Posted by Carmen Schick - 15 February, 2021
With its lovely nature and beautiful beaches Madeira is well-known as a holiday location, and furthermore as the home of football star Cristiano Ronaldo. Preserving the island’s nature is very important, so sustainability becomes more and more important. When the local utility planned the expansion of the Calheta power plant, they looked for a sustainable solution consequently. Master Builders Solutions supported the mission with a waterproofing solution that did not only enable uninterrupted operation of the hydroelectric power plant, but also contributed to lowering the environmental impact.
Switching to renewable energy sources
On Madeira power has been mainly generated from thermal energy, but Portugal committed to reaching 50% of energy coming from renewable energy sources by the year 2022. Due to the island location, however, all energy must be produced locally. Therefore, with the expansion of the Calheta power plant thermal energy was to be substituted with water and wind, supported by EU funding.
Located in the Southwest of Madeira, the Calheta power plant used to provide 12 MW of energy output, supporting the municipalities of Calheta and Ponta do Sol in Madeira. With 38.3 MW the expansion will more than triple the energy production, coming from wind, solar and hydropower. For the latter a 17.7 MW-capacity pumped-storage facility was built, enabling excess energy to be stored in a reservoir when demand is low. As soon as demand rises, the water can be pumped to a station at a higher altitude to increase power production.
Mastering the waterproofing of the holding reservoir
To ensure the uninterrupted operation of the hydropower plant Master Builders Solutions protected the hydroelectric reservoir of 70,450 cubic meters against leakage and corrosion. Built with a reinforced concrete slab and sprayed concrete on the walls, the reliable waterproofing of the structure required a system consisting of membrane and joint treatment. First, the surface was reprofiled and levelled using MasterEmaco S 5300 to increase its strength. MasterEmaco S 5300 concrete repair reduces shrinkage and minimizes crack tendency. Additionally, all edges were rounded to enhance the durability of the membrane. Wall to wall and wall to floor covings were treated using MasterSeal 930 tape bonded to substrate using MasterSeal 933 adhesive.
Afterwards MasterSeal 6100 FX membrane spray was applied with an average total thickness of 3 mm, covering 5,400 square meters of walls and runways, and 3,300 square meters of slab and ramps. MasterSeal 6100 FX is a sustainable, one component and highly elastic cementitious waterproofing membrane with low consumption. Thanks to the fully bonded system, the installation of MasterSeal 61000 FX does not require neither treatment of seams nor mechanical fixings, and therefore was easy and fast to apply. With its elasticity and crack-bridging properties MasterSeal 6100 FX is perfectly equipped for outdoor installations and extreme temperatures, reducing maintenance and saving costs.
Sustainable from construction to production
The solution provided by Master Builders Solutions did not only meet the requirements for a durable waterproofing solution, but also supported the utility’s commitment to sustainability: material consumption was reduced to a minimum, thanks to the lightweight formula and of MasterSeal 6100 FX (compared to a conventional waterproofing membrane). As it represents a single component waterproofing membrane less materials had to be transported to the island. The quantified sustainable benefits: the application of MasterSeal 6100 FX helped the utility of Madeira to lower CO2 emissions by up to 26 tons (calculation based on Eco-Efficiency Analysis compared to the use of alternative two-components cementitious waterproofing membrane).