Red Eléctrica de España’s travelling exhibition ‘A highway behind the wall socket. Electricity from the power station to your home’ has received 35,000 visitors since it was inaugurated in February at the Science Centre of Seville. In addition to the city of Seville, the exhibition, which began in 2010, has paid a visit to four other Spanish cities, receiving a grand total of approximately 250,000 visitors.
The aim of the exhibition is to facilitate the understanding of the operation of the electricity system and raise awareness amongst the public on matters regarding responsible and efficient electricity consumption. This is accomplished through the use of screens, working scale models and all kinds of visual and interactive devices. Visitors can participate during the interactive journey, experience and discover the properties of electricity and the electricity supply process, as well as learning about some ideas and recommendations for a rational and efficient use of energy.
Amongst the visitors, especially noteworthy are young people and school students, although it has also been visited by many families, university students and senior citizens. In the case of Seville, the exhibition also forms part of some touristic visits around the city, which has also contributed to the influx of tourists and foreign students to the exhibition. Several town councils in the neighbouring provinces (Huelva, Cadiz and Cordoba) have even organised coach trips for their residents to visit the exhibition.
In addition to Seville, Red Eléctrica’s exhibition has already been on display at the Science Park of Granada, the Science Centre of Logroño, the Science Museum of Valladolid, and the Elder Museum of Science and Technology of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. From January 2014, the exhibition will visit the city of Merida, in the Community of Extremadura.
With this initiative, Red Eléctrica is confident that citizens will acquire a more comprehensive level of knowledge regarding electricity and energy savings, and will incorporate these guidelines into their daily habits to promote a smarter and more sustainable consumption. In addition, they will also get to know the Spanish electricity system in more depth as well as learn more about the functions assigned to the Company as system operator and manager of the electricity transmission grid throughout Spain. You can see a video regarding the exhibition by clicking on the following link: https://www.ree.es/en/educaree/exhibition-the-electricity-highway-behind-the-wall-socket.
The three themed zones of the exhibition
The exhibition ‘A highway behind the wall socket’ is structured around three main themes. It begins with the ‘Electricity, the force of nature tamed’ zone, which explains the physical principles that make electricity possible. What is electricity? How does it become visible? What are its properties? - these are some of the questions that are answered in this section. It includes a laboratory in which you can carry out experiments that allow you to discover the visible side of this physics phenomenon such as the electric arc, the plasma sphere, the Peltier cell or the Tesla coil.
The second zone, entitled ‘A highway behind the wall socket’ draws attention to a particular situation: electricity is not always generated close to the location where it is needed, making the transmission of electricity essential. Additionally, as it is not possible to store electricity in large quantities, it is necessary to instantly generate the precise energy that is going to be used. In this zone, an interactive model demonstrates the operation of an electricity system and explains why electricity is transported at high voltage, what a meshed grid is, how the balance between generation and consumption is achieved, and how renewable energy is integrated into the electricity system. Additionally, this part of the exhibition is of special relevance as it is directly related to the role that Red Eléctrica plays in the Spanish electricity system, due to the fact that the Company is responsible for maintaining the instantaneous balance between generation and consumption, and for ensuring continuity and security of the electricity supply.
Finally, the third zone of the exhibition entitled, ‘From your side of the wall socket… responsible consumption’ places the public in the spotlight, as they are true protagonists of the electricity supply process. Through an interactive space, appliances themselves explain practical tips in order to achieve an efficient and sustainable consumption. Another of the elements included in this area is the electric vehicle charging simulator. In this section, visitors will learn how society uses electricity and what effects their consumption habits have on the system as a whole.
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