Front Marítim del Besòs | Aeronautical sector

ICAO Beaconing system for the Three Chimneys of the Besòs (Barcelona)


Design and supply of a complete ICAO Beaconing system for the Three Chimenys of the Besós (Barcelona)

In 2022, after months of hard work, IES completed the supply and fine-tuning of a complete system made up of 21 medium-intensity DUAL type A/C obstacle beacons and 21 medium-intensity type C beacons of the LUX SOLAR brand, all connected to 3 control panels with GPS, in order to bring the facilities of the Three Chimneys into line with the aeronautical easement requirements of the State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA).

These beacons signalling air obstacles are required by international regulations (ICAO/FAA) for the correct visibility of chimneys and other high-altitude obstacles located in areas of aeronautical easements to avoid accidents in the vicinity of an airport, heliport or aerodrome. In this case, this upgrade was necessary since the previous beacons were not sufficiently intense (they were low intensity) and the Three Chimneys are structures that rise 201 metres.

The Three Chimneys are an emblematic and historical complex and a former Thermal Power Station of Sant Adrià de Besòs. They are one of the tallest structures in the entire metropolitan area of Barcelona. Currently dismantled, and waiting to become the nerve centre of a new district, one of the city’s largest urban operations.

ICAO four-level beacon system composed of:
3x dual AC type medium-intensity beacons (flashing white during the day and fixed red at night) at the top of each chimney
4x dual AC type medium-intensity beacons (flashing white during the day and fixed red at night) at an intermediate height
3x type C medium-intensity beacons (fixed red) at 3/4 of the height
4x type C medium-intensity beacons (fixed red) at 1/4 of the height
All 14 connected to an IP66 control panel specially designed for the project. These requirements were those specified in the favourable preliminary agreement that the State Aviation Safety Agency delivered to the customer.
The light changes between white and red automatically at sunrise and sunset thanks to twilight sensors with GPS installed, connected to each control panel. The attached photograph shows the exact moment of the change from daytime white light (two levels) to red night light (4 levels).
The beacons supplied by LUX SOLAR (Italy) are of the highest quality on the market and hold all the current certifications and approvals, including the ICAO regulation annex 14. Protected to IP66, they have a weather-resistant aluminium body and circuits of LEDS with a useful life of 100,000 hours. The light intensity is 20,000 Cd in day mode (white) and 2,000 Cd at night (red).
The customised control panel also includes a twilight sensor that automatically switches between day/night mode, surge protection, GPS to synchronise flashes and status and fault indicator alarms/LEDs, among other remote control and monitoring elements.
IES Soler, a specialist in offering its customer obstacle beaconing solutions, together with LUX SOLAR , has designed the technical-economic proposal and supplied the material to the customer, and also provided support to the installer in the commissioning. Full pre- and post-sale technical-commercial advice and all the necessary and required certificates and documentation were also provided. The Three Chimneys already have the new approved beaconing system.
About our client:
The end customer is Front Marítim del Besòs, a company made up of several companies including Metrovacesa and Endesa, and it owns the land where the Three Chimneys currently stand. They have various urban projects in the area in the pipeline.
This operation was sold through Suministradora del Vallès, a distributor of FEGIME, and which actively collaborates with IES in the area. It is a company specialised in the distribution of electrical material for professional installers in industries and homes. Created in 1950 as a small 70 m2 store, today it offers a wide range of products at two points of sale (Sabadell and Barcelona) and has a surface area of more than 7,000 m2.
The difficulty of installing the system, due to the aforementioned height and the state of the existing facilities, has been successfully overcome by Erik Lorente Hernández, a benchmark installer in Barcelona for work at heights.
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Photo gallery of the Engineering project

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