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The ever shorter windows of opportunity for snow generation at the beginning of the season pose a challenge for some ski resorts. If the often brief periods are to be exploited fully, it is necessary to have an efficient snowmaking system.
One ski resort which is gearing up to meet all the challenges of the future is Schlossalm in the Gasteinertal (Austria). TechnoAlpin and cable car company Gasteiner Bergbahnen AG have taken on a large-scale project set to run for the next three years. By the year 2019 it will be possible to provide snow coverage for the total area of approximately 100 ha in next to no time. The aim is to reduce the initial snowmaking time and to cover the entire ski area within 70 hours at a wet bulb temperature of -5°C on average. It will also be possible in future to prioritize slopes, if need be, and single them out for even faster snow coverage.
A total of about 200 fan guns and a further 100 snow lances will be used in the ski resort of Schlossalm in order to achieve this target. The capacity of the existing Schlossalm and Aeroplan pumping stations will be extended to approximately 350 l/s and 320 l/s respectively in order to optimize the water supply to the ski resort. The latter has the inherent pressure to achieve a throughput of a further 200 l/s. An optimum water temperature increases the efficiency of the snowmaking processes. Therefore the water cooling system will also be expanded and will be able to boast a throughput of 400 l/s in future. The entire system will operate at a nominal output of 9 MW after the upgrade.
The ATASSplus control software will be used to manage the system, thereby enabling fully automatic operation making optimum use of resources. Now, thanks to TechnoAlpin, nothing else can stand in the way of fast and efficient snowmaking, and the cable car company Gasteiner Bergbahnen AG and its ski resort of Schlossalm will be well-equipped for the future.