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Innovation in responding to the intermittence of solar and wind energy

Renewable energy

Electroproducer system

Water energy plays a key role in a future world of clean energy due to the possibility of water accumulation in reservoirs, mitigating the problem of the bursting of other renewable energy sources. The Alto Tâmega Electroproducer System, a project that counts on the collaboration of ISQ, is an example of innovation in this area.

by Hugo Carrasqueira and Liliana Silva

Alto Tâmega Electroproducer System

The production of hydroelectric energy in Portugal is a well-known theme, having begun in the forties of the twentieth century with the electrification of the country. Currently, due to the existence of some capacity still available in the national watershed, one of the largest initiatives in the sector is underway, which is also one of the largest projects carried out in Europe in the last 25 years, the Electroproducer System of Alto Tâmega.
This system consists of three dams and three hydroelectric plants. Two of the dams will be located on the River Tâmega (Daivões and Alto Tâmega) and the third on the Torno River (Gouvães). In a total investment of EUR 1.5 billion, when it comes into operation, it will have the capacity to produce 1,766 GWh of energy per year.

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ISQ’s advanced testing engineering team has developed an automatic inspection system, which allows real-time evaluation

Reversibility in the gouvães plant

The innovative feature of this project is the reversibility capacity of the Gouvães plant, which will allow the pumping of water already turbocharged and stored in Daivões again to the gouvães reservoir.

In this way, you can win a course over 650 meters of height difference and more than two kilometers in length. Pumping will tend to be carried out when there is excess production in the network, thus enabling the recovery of energy stored in the form of water. It will be used again when it is most needed, contributing to the control of the problem of the bursting of solar and wind energy.

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ISQ ensures all quality control of forced conduct welding that joins the reservoirs of Gouvães and Daivões.

ISQ has been present in this project since 2017, having carried out several activities. Currently, it ensures all quality control of forced conduct welding that joins the reservoirs of Gouvães to Daivões. It is a large diameter pipe constructed of high-thickness steel, which is mostly buried within the mountain.

ISQ Automatic Inspection System

Since there is no access to the outside surface, all control in the assembly phase is carried out inside the pipe. To this end, ISQ’s Advanced Testing Engineering team has developed an automatic inspection system based on ultrasound technology, which combines various techniques and allows you to examine welding. Thus, it is possible to ensure compliance through a high probability of measurement, high resolution and high accuracy in the sizing of discontinuities, while simultaneously recording the digital acquisition of the data from the survey. In addition, this system enables real-time evaluation and permanent recording of data obtained through ultrasound, making it an important means for evaluating and comparing future quality controls in service.

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pre-manufacture control
all control work in the assembly phase is carried out inside the pipe.

The solution applied to this project is possible due to the knowledge accumulated in ISQ in the field of Non-Destructive Testing and participation in other similar projects, such as that carried out in Spain between 2011 and 2015. Through this wide range of services and with an accumulated experience of more than 50 years in the field of testing, ISQ has contributed with innovative solutions in various sectors of industry and particularly in Energy.

Through this work, it guarantees the quality in the construction and maintenance of infrastructure and equipment, and puts all its capacity and all its commitment to the challenges that lie ahead in this sector, such as the Green Hydrogen program.


Non Destructive Testing Business Manager

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