In 2018, fire swept through 20,000 hectares of mountains and forests in Spain, one of the countries most affected by forest fires in the European Union. The lack of rainfall and the high temperatures of the summer season are two of the main factors that negatively influence the conservation of natural areas.
Aware of the serious danger posed by forest fires, Red Eléctrica is developing PRODINT, an R&D+i project for the early detection of fires. Based on IoT technology, the system uses sensors installed on the infrastructure of the high-voltage transmission grid that, by analysing thermal radiation data, swiftly alert to the presence of a fire and help reduce both the duration of the incident and its social, economic and environmental costs.
The first tests conducted using PRODINT for the detection of a fully controlled fire have exceeded all expectations, with the system proving its capability to locate a fire one metre in diameter at a distance of 190 metres. In the coming months, Red Eléctrica will continue to analyse sensor readings and adjust software and hardware parameters to increase the reliability of collected data and of fire alerts.
In this way, the Company strengthens its commitment in the fight against forest fires and in the conservation of the natural environment, key factors for the social and economic development of the country.
Red Eléctrica and the Conservation of the Natural Environment
PRODINT is not the first initiative to be developed and presented by Red Eléctrica in order to avoid and prevent forest fires as an intrinsic part of its biodiversity conservation and protection policies. For a decade now, it has been developing and carrying out initiatives that include, among other actions, training state security forces and law enforcement bodies in the prevention and fighting of forest fires and in the supply of specific firefighting and safety equipment.
In addition, in 2009 the Company started the Red Eléctrica Forest project, a project that contributes to the fight against climate change through the planting of trees and, at the same time, to the conservation of a natural area rich in biodiversity or the recovery of a degraded natural area. Every year, reforestation projects are conducted in publicly owned land in different geographical areas nationwide, seeking the collaboration of various public bodies and organisations that work in this field.