The Director of Culture of the Autonomous Regional Government of Catalonia, Ferran Mascarell, and the Corporate Director of Communication and Corporate Responsibility of the Spanish grid operator REE, Antonio Prada, were on hand today at the Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia (mNACTEC) to cut the ribbon on the exhibition "A Highway behind the Plug Socket. Electricity: from the power plant to your home". The event was likewise attended by Jaume Perarnau, the Director of the Museum, and Luis Pinós, the Regional Manager of REE in Catalonia.
This travelling exhibition has been designed and created with the aim of explaining how the Spanish electrical system operates, raising awareness among the general public as to efficient and responsible consumption.
With a highly educational approach employing an interactive pathway, the exhibition, which will be open until November at the mNACTEC, explains the phenomenon and properties of electricity, as well as the process of electrical supply, and sets out ideas and recommendations for rational and efficient energy use. This places visitors centre stage in the electrical process, with the ability to be responsible agents, selecting what, how and when they consume, so as to contribute to improved efficiency and sustainability in the electrical system.
The exhibition is divided into three sections, covering everything from the physical principles of electricity up to the role of citizens as central players in the electrical supply process.
The first section includes an experimental laboratory where visitors can see and feel how electricity travels and is converted into light, cold, heat and motion. The second section focuses on the electrical supply process, explaining the challenge of balancing generation and consumption, while dedicating a part of the contents to an explanation of electrical interconnections between systems, which are essential in order to improve the exploitation of renewable energy sources, enhance the quality of supply and foster the creation of a single European electricity market. Lastly, in the third section, visitors, as citizens and consumers, become the central players in the story.
The exhibition features interactive spaces allowing visitors to play the role of Electrical Control Centre operators; to become an engineer and build an electrical power line from the power plant as far as the points of consumption, bearing in mind that the layout has to respect the natural and social environment as far as possible, while the interconnections game provides an insight into the benefits of interconnected rather than isolated electrical systems.
There are also dynamic activities within the exhibition, guided tours, workshops and teaching resources for different levels of education, as well as a virtual visit to Cecoel, videos and animated graphics.
A travelling exhibition
"A Highway behind the Plug Socket" has already been presented at five Spanish museums. Since it was launched in 2010, it has been on display at the Granada Science Park, the Logroño House of Science, the Valladolid Science Museum, the Elder Science and Technology Museum in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the House of Science in Seville and the Mérida Open Museum. Over the course of its five years, it has received some 275,000 visits.
The exhibition in Terrassa is the most complete staged to date, as it also includes newly created elements, practically doubling the previous number of exhibits.
The European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy highlighted this exhibition as one of the five best practices among Transmission System Operators (TSOs), transferable to all Member States of the European Union, in order to improve our understanding of the need to develop electricity transmission installations and to encourage their social acceptance.
The Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia is one of the three national museums recognised by the Catalan Parliament. Its mission is to provide a permanent exhibition of the implementation and evolution of scientific and technological advances in Catalonia, their industrial application, and above all their social implications and impact.
The main site of the mNACTEC is in Terrassa, in one of the most emblematic manufacturing buildings of the Catalan modernist movement: the Vapor Aymerich, Amat i Jover, a former textile factory designed by the architect Lluís Muncunill and built between 1987 and 1908.