Innovation swiss made
For local snowmaking on a glacier different aspects have to be considered. The installation of conventional snow lances is not possible due to the underground conditions (permafrost and glacier areas). In addition, if possible, no electrical energy should be required for water transport and snow production and there must be sufficient meltwater. Thus the idea of a snowmaking system independent of ground conditions was born. The Swiss company Bartholet Maschinenbau AG is the world's leading manufacturer of cable car systems. The company Bächler Top Track AG also holds a patent on the "Nessy" system, which makes electricity-free snow production possible.
Participation of Innosuisse
The Swiss Agency for Innovation Promotion supports the project. In June 2019 the Academia Engiadina together with the University of Applied Sciences Grisons (FHGR) submitted the project to the Swiss Agency for Innovation Promotion (Innosuisse). Under the co-leadership of Dr. Felix Keller (Academia Engiadina Samedan and FHGR) and Dr. Dieter Müller (FHGR and HSLU), the technology development project "Ground-Independent Snowmaking System" is pursuing the glacier rescue idea together with partners from research and industry. The project, worth 2.5 million Swiss francs and lasting 30 months, has been approved. Innosuisse will bear half of the costs. The Innosuisse project focus on the technological development. Research funds have been allocated for the development of the cable clamp and the cutting nozzles, as well as for the development of the cable hangers with ice slope. In this ambitious project, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) is responsible for the development of the innovative cutting nozzles in cooperation with the company Bächler Top Track, while the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) simulates snowmaking. Special attention is also paid to cable technology (clamps, vibration behaviour). This aspect is the result of cooperation between the Crossborder Technology Centre Buchs (NTB) and the Bartholet company.