Bioclimatic and Green Ecological Building, the new Cortijo el Puerto Oil Mill is an integral project in renewables energies.
In this Post we explore the backbone that runs through all the processes of this Agro-industrial complex.
Geothermal, 100% renewable and sustainable with zero environmental impact, contributes to eliminate dependence on fossil fuels. Clean and highly efficient, Geothermal is here to stay.
Contextualizing: an ecological and innovative building
The eco-innovative binomial that characterises Cortijo el Puerto since its early beginnings in our organic agricultural and stockbreeding, now has a remarkable exponent in its industrial development.
An Eco bioclimatic building. That means minimizing the ecological footprint by reducing energy consumption, achieving maximum comfort within a building with minimum energy expenditure, taking advantage of the climatic conditions of the environment by using an intelligent architectural design, control and smart use of space. A bioclimatic approach to design, therefore, is a synthetic response to the dialectic between the tectonics of physical experience and the dynamics of the natural environment.
Our Oil Mill is built with natural and local materials (straw, lime, wool, cork, ceramics), well known as sustainable insulators that will keep the building at a constant temperature with minimal energy expenditure. It will house, in addition to the industrial plant, offices, a store, training spaces (EVOO tastings and oil and ecotourism events).
A composting plant is accompanied, where the vegetable by-products of the production of eco-biodynamic olive oil are derived, together with the manure from the Cortijo el Puerto livestock, becoming natural ecological fertilizer for the crops, closing the circle of green and circular economy.
The air conditioning of the building, including that of the oil mill, comes from geothermal energy, in a process of exchanging heat and cold with the ground, according to the needs of the time of year, through pipes buried at a certain depth.
ABC of Geothermal
Geothermal energy is the heat that comes from the sub-surface of the earth. It is the natural heat that our planet has: 100% renewable, sustainable and unlimited energy. Unlike other systems, it is not influenced by meteorological conditions (such as the sun or the wind). Among its main advantages is that the temperature of the soil remains constant throughout the year once a certain depth is reached (this is approximately 15 ° C at 20 metres in Spain, which can be affected by an increase of 1 ° C every 33 metres), precisely because it is not influenced by outside weather conditions. Geothermal energy is considered an energy with zero environmental impact and that contributes to eliminating dependence on fossil fuels (propane, natural gas, diesel, coal, etc.), with the consequent reduction in CO2 emissions.
Geothermal energy is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
400% efficient, the savings are quite remarkable. In addition, due to its conditions and operating characteristics, heat can be conserved in the land for later use when it is necessary to cover a future demand at the time of year when it is necessary. Ground-source heat pumps can be used for heating, cooling or both, i.e. heating during winter and cooling during summer.
Geothermal in the industry: Innovating in the oil mill
Geothermal has a wide range of possibilities in direct uses that have not yet been sufficiently exploited. Multipurpose and versatile, the possibilities of geothermal use are unlimited: heating in winter, cooling in summer, domestic hot water, air conditioning … The potential of geothermal energy in industrial applications is more than remarkable. Any industry that requires thermal energy with temperatures from -10ºC to 60ºC is a candidate for the use of geothermal energy !!!
Both in the oil mill and in other industries, a very high percentage of processes involve intensive consumption of thermal energy, both in the form of heat and cooling. In Cortijo el Puerto, the industrial facilities, and the oil production process itself, from hoppers to mixers, or the temperature of the water added to the industrial process, also come from this renewable source. Pioneers in organic innovative agriculture, IngeOliva-Cortijo el Puerto now presents a green industry 4.0, becoming the first oil mill that will work with this green energy, from the earth to your table.
Traditionally, boilers have been used that have either been diesel fuel or evolved into biomass, an important advance but one that continues to produce CO2. With the use of geothermal energy, we take an enormous qualitative step, since it also allows eliminating the boiler from the industrial oil manufacturing process, being that “geothermal energy is responsible for heating the water, and without polluting emissions or smoke, so it is no longer necessary to have a boiler”, as our CEO, Enrique de la Torre, explains.
A bit of theory. How does it work?
There we go: the usual system for harnessing geothermal energy is based on a series of perforations in which a thermal exchange takes place with the ground and a geothermal heat pump. The heat is thus captured by a system of sealed pipes containing water or a mixture of water and antifreeze. It is in these pipes that heat exchange occurs. So, the geothermal loop is a path of pipes that travel deep enough to reach the zone that stays at this constant temperature. This loop system circulates the liquid and either brings heat to the geothermal system or cools it down. In other words, the pipe system is closed and, when the liquid descends to depth, it heats up and rises again by operating a pump. Afterwards, it transfers the heat to the coolant and to the medium used for heating (refreshing underfloor heating, water, fan coils, etc.). The drilling depth is around 100-120 m, depending on the specific needs of each building.
In addition, in the case of new construction works, structural piles can be used in order to achieve the integration of the catchment system in the foundation of the building. The heat pump circulates the fluid in such a way that it absorbs the heat from the ground to transfer it to the oil mill complex. Again, we return to concepts of bioclimatic architecture, low consumption and high performance (it is possible to produce 5 kW of heat for every kW of electricity used, this being possible thanks to the fact that heat is not generated, but is captured from a source external). This implies important energy savings (and the associated economic costs) and a profitability of the system that allows achieving a saving rate both in heating (up to 70%) and in cooling (up to 50%).
Geothermal: many advantages
Efficiency: Geothermal energy allows to achieve high thermal power with minimal energy consumption
Flexibility: Versatility to integrate, in the same system, heating, cooling and production of a.c.s (sanitary hot water).
Renewable and respectful with the environment: recognized by the administrations as clean, renewable, efficient energy with reduced operating costs.
Architectural integration: heating systems and geothermal heat pumps are easily integrated into communities with almost no visual impact. Geothermal power plants use relatively small acreages, and don’t require storage, transportation, or combustion of fuels.
Low maintenance cost: Without noises. No need for auxiliary gas systems, solar collectors, chillers, etc.
High degree of system comfort. It does not depend on outside temperature conditions.
Naturally, this requires previous efforts and good planning: project feasibility study, high initial investment, and a period of between 5 and 7 years for its amortization.
Organic and innovative EVOO, from the ground to the table
The advantages of geothermal energy for the oil mill do not end there … At Cortijo el Puerto we make an early harvest. This allows us to have a fresh green fruit, “green gold”, “olive juice”, which is made from olives collected at the optimum time of harvest, because that is when its juice offers the maximum complexity of aromas and flavour . High quality EVOO and 100% organic and biodynamic. Now comes the but … and it is that this forces us to face the high temperatures of the south (Lora del Río, Seville) in the month of October. This perfectly means reaching and exceeding even 30 ° C ambient temperature, and to the fruit. What happens? Well, the heat produces an acceleration of the enzymatic process, with a notable loss of volatile compounds and a deterioration in the quality of the oil obtained. A fruit collected at its ideal and quality time would be highly diminished in this way, due to temperature factors. To avoid this, in Cortijo el Puerto geothermal energy is used to “bathe and cool” the olives after they are collected, gradually in the different processes, hopper, mixer, since geothermal also provides us with cold, allowing the mixer to cool and add cold water to the industrial process, making it possible to produce cold-extracted oils, which are increasingly in demand, since all their properties are guaranteed to remain intact, ensuring an oil of the highest quality. The result is more balanced, less bitter and more complex oils. The oil mill is conceived as a smart factory, a green industry 4.0, where the most advanced production and operations techniques are combined with intelligent technologies.
Besides, the entire machinery and process is air-conditioned and automated and through the sensors incorporated into all types of machinery (such as in the reception hoppers), there is real-time temperature control in each phase, with the ability to extract oil to the specific degrees that are desired. The data and parameters are registered and are recorded in a central computer, allowing us a total traceability. And this is Quality.
We invite you to the next new Harvest, starting in October. The daily milling capacity is 120,000 kilos of olives, always coming from organic and biodynamic agriculture. A service that is expanded and offered to organic olive farms in the area.
Our Olives, organic and biodynamic from their roots to the table, are a true tribute to nature and the balanced ecosystem from they come (and to which they owe so much), as well as a design product, technology application and innovation of humans, aware of our environment. We know we are part of it and we are commited to protect it.
And we return to geothermal energy, and the use of that great thermal inertia (constant temperature, depending on the different places, from 10 to 16 ° C) of the shallow subsoil, because Cortijo el Puerto looks at the sky and to the ground, because in the observation of nature we find, day by day, important answers.
Now is time to continue working hard and with enthusiasm, Ecology and Innovation together, core elements of Cortijo el Puerto.