Safety and efficiency: optimisation of snow-making systems
TechnoAlpin attaches particular importance to the optimal performance of its snow-making systems. When planning a snow-making system, the focus revolves around energy balance optimisation and the most efficient use of the resources available. However, this focus should not neglect another equally important area. The systems must be planned and built to operate safely and reliably. In newer systems, these requirements can be integrated from the start. Existing systems offer a whole slew of possibilities for increasing efficiency and safety.
As snow-making obviously involves high pressure levels, TechnoAlpin places a great deal of value on a precise analysis of the system's hydraulic behaviour. A wide range of safety features are required to meet today's technical standards, which are also aspired to for existing systems. These include pressure relief and automatic venting valves, set points and hardware switches, as well as valves with automatic closing mechanisms etc. The maximum pressure surges are calculated in advance to prevent the equipment from being used above the maximum rated pressure. Short pressure surges above all are at issue here, as their risk potential is often underestimated. A precise analysis also helps define the closing times for the valves.
The foundation for all this is a detailed master plan taking the prevailing conditions and future expansion possibilities of each individual project into consideration. Each year, more than 1,000 of these master plans are drawn up both for large resorts and for small family skiing areas. Water supply is one of the most important aspects addressed. Water supply planning must take the snow-generation targets (particularly in winters with low snowfall), skiing slope surfaces and future configuration stages into consideration. Ground coverage of all the main runs should be possible within 72 hours. This allows optimal use of the snow generation windows. The heart of the system is the pumping station. Correct pressure classification and component protection play a central role in operational safety and reliability. To prevent the risk of damage due to overloading, the power supply must be correctly dimensioned.
In addition to the right amount of water, its temperature also plays a pivotal role in increasing efficiency. Cooling towers ensure the requisite cooling of the water to the optimal temperature and in this way increase snowmaker performance considerably.
The installation of the right snowmaker in the right place is also essential for the optimal energy balance of the system. Planning takes numerous factors into account, such as the width of the run, wind impact, terrain, the requisite snow volumes etc. The wide range of TechnoAlpin products offers the ideal solution for the most diverse areas of implementation.
All these factors interact with each other and must be balanced for the optimal solution accordingly.