It would probably be difficult to think of another sport which is, and always has been, as close to nature as skiing. As a company with a naturally close association with skiing and with the mountains, it is particularly important to us to be sparing in our use of the available resources. That's why TechnoAlpin never stops trying to increase the efficiency of the snowmaking systems and is constantly looking for ways to make improvements and optimize potential, from the system design, pumping plants and the snow guns right through to the control system. And successfully so, having seen constant improvements in energy efficiency in recent years thanks to intelligent snowmaking systems.
Fundamental to energy efficiency in snowmaking is the system design. The requirements of any given ski resort must be discussed with the managers there and precisely defined in order to dimension the system correctly. The aim should be to design a snowmaking system which can provide basic ground coverage within 72 hours, using optimum windows of opportunity for snow generation. Another key aspect is the installation of the right snow gun in the right location. Therefore TechnoAlpin has a broad range of fan guns and lances, enabling various applications and providing scope to factor in the conditions in any given locality.
A fully automatic and intelligent control system is essential for energy-efficient snow generation. TechnoAlpin is setting new standards in this area with ATASSplus and the Liberty software solutions. The snow operations team can see at a glance from the temperature readings which slopes are the best option for energy-efficient snow generation. The real-time statistics allow them to monitor the water and energy consumption at all times. An energy control function prevents the maximum power limit from being exceeded.
Another step on the way to improved energy efficiency is the new ATASSplus Snow Manager. This system provides a simple and straightforward way to manage the use of resources, particularly the energy consumption. Statistics from previous years are taken as a basis for setting snow targets for the current winter season. Calculations include identifying how much snow is needed at the individual pits.
Thanks to the Snow Manager, the snow operations team can monitor the targets during the season. The program automatically sends a signal as soon as the snow target is reached. The Snow Manager works by optimizing snow production and rationalizing the use of resources and energy, making sure that the system does not generate more snow than is needed.
High-quality components and regular servicing increase the reliability and therefore also the efficiency of the pumping plants. Regular maintenance work should be understood as an essential contributory factor when it comes to guaranteeing optimum performance. The new service contracts are ensuring that the systems are regularly checked by trained personnel.
Every TechnoAlpin pumping plant has its own control unit with the software adapted to individual specifications. The pumping plants are linked with the ATASSplus data transmission system, thereby making optimum use of the increasingly shorter windows of opportunity for snow generation. The intelligent ATASSplus system also ensures that optimum use is being made of the pump and compressor capacity. This increases the efficiency of the system with lasting and sustainable effect.
The Development department at TechnoAlpin is always trying to come up with ways to make the snow guns more efficient. The aim is to make more snow with the resources used. The Quadrijet nozzles with ceramic insert on the fan guns guarantee an even spray action for optimum results, generating more snow from the amount of water used. The snow output from the lances has also been continually increased by optimizing the nozzles and nucleators.
The right snow gun for every requirement has been engineered due to the sheer number of applications. Fan guns for wide and medium-sized slopes are fitted with an automatic rotation mechanism in order to distribute the snow over a wide area. This also reduces the slope preparation time. Lances are used on narrow, medium-sized slopes which are sheltered from the wind in order to minimize drift.