To counter hydrogeological instability and the chronic emergency of infrastructures in Italy, the Cesi group, global leader in innovation, testing, consultancy for the electricity sector, civil and environmental engineering, has decided to focus decisively on “reborn” Ismes, a subsidiary company specialized in the management of the life cycle of complex infrastructures and territories, whose operational headquarters are in Seriate, in the province of Bergamo.
Ismes’ strong point is that it is a company with a dedicated group of 70 professionals, including engineers and geologists, and that it has a structured portfolio: from the design and installation of sophisticated monitoring systems for instability phenomena (for example, landslides and widespread territorial fragility) to remote assistance and continuous interpretation of the data collected to detect any anomalies early, issue early-warnings and activate timely evacuation procedures for communities in the area.
To these services is added a planning action with engineering proposals for intervention in the face of innovative diagnostic analyses, aimed at strengthening and making more effective the maintenance of the territory, the morphological and naturalistic protection of the watercourses and at suggesting actions of consolidation and for the safety of large infrastructural works (for example, viaducts and the railway network).
A concrete example of how innovation guides the future strategies of the Cesi group, present in 70 countries around the world with a network of about 2,000 professionals and in “space” with its solar cells for satellites, are the monitoring systems which provision of vital information for the correct management, over time, of territories and infrastructures, highlighting potential critical issues and risks. The use of deep learning, a branch of machine learning, or a set of methods developed in recent decades that allows artificial intelligence systems to learn autonomously to elaborate deductions from previous experience, without these being determined by instructions, is also fundamental statements of the programming code.
This is a very useful tool when you have a large amount of unorganized data, where it is difficult to find correlations or cause-and-effect relationships. Deep learning applications are growing more and more and play a very topical role, just think of those for intelligent vehicles or for image recognition. In Italy, Ismes uses methods based on deep-learning in construction and, in general, in monitoring the conditions of infrastructures in the area, to predict their evolution. In fact, a forecast of this type makes it possible to schedule maintenance and restoration interventions in time during the life of the work, using only the resources that are really necessary and thus optimizing costs.
Over the past year, Cesi and Ismes have also been involved in developing for Enel Green Power the definitive project for the authorization of the civil works of a new “zero” emissions geothermal plant in Central Italy, which is configured as the first geothermal plant in Italy to be built with a total reinjection system which allows both condensate water and non-condensable gases to be reintroduced into the cycle, including the gases naturally present in the geological formations of origin, guaranteeing zero process emissions. The production of electricity can therefore take place without gas emissions and, in particular, CO2 in the atmosphere.
The project aims to increase the production of electricity from renewable sources in Italy, making use of the availability of geothermal resources in the area, and at the same time to reduce both dependence on fossil fuels and CO2 emissions. The Geothermal Power Plant will have an electricity production of approximately 30 GWhe/year. The plants of the new 5MW power plant will be located on the same sites affected by a previous project for the construction of a traditional geothermal power plant.
The location of the new geothermal power plant, in addition to the availability of the geothermal resource, was defined by considering different aspects, both plant engineering (for example: the proximity to the production wells, the network of aqueducts and reinjection wells, the medium voltage, etc.) both of a geological, naturalistic and environmental nature (for example: the stability of the site, the absence of erosion phenomena and flooding of waterways, etc.). An innovative intervention right from the planning stage which will be implemented using all the most advanced technologies to combine the development of geothermal resources with respect for the environment.