Conference on developments in desalination technology
In Tulfes near Hall in Tyrol, about ten kilometres east of the provincial capital Innsbruck, there is the traditional skiing area Glungezer. In addition to a recently completed 10-seater gondola lift that leads right into the skiing area, a state-of-the-art summit lift up to 2055 m altitude is also to be built. In order to guarantee snow throughout the winter season, artificial snowmaking will be used for the first time in the history of the ski resort. The centrepiece is a storage pond with a capacity of 45,000 m³, sealed with geomembranes produced by AGRU Kunststofftechnik GmbH.
In the Glungezer panoramic ski area, visitors will not only find perfectly groomed ski slopes. With a length of 15 km, it features also the longest ski run in Tyrol. Only 12 km from the Tyrolean capital Innsbruck, visitors can expect powder snow and lots of sunshine. An important component of this is the new snow-making system, the heart of which is a reservoir lined with AGRU LINING SYSTEMS. After all, 25 hectares of ski area must be covered with up to 40 cm of snow before ski operations can start. The new pond above the Tulfein Alp at approx. 2,080 m above sea level is harmoniously embedded in the landscape. With a capacity of 18 Olympic swimming pools - around 45,000 m³ - the water supply for snow-making in the Glungezer ski area is guaranteed.
After several months of excavation work, GEO-ALPINBAU GmbH sealed the twelve metre deep and 9,500 m² large snow-making pond. For the geometry of the reservoir pond, which is characterised by steep slopes, approx. 12,000 m² of MICROSPIKE HighGrip geomembranes with a thickness of 2.5 mm and a width of 7 m were used. The construction was carried out on a protective fleece of 1200 g/m², which also serves as a drainage fleece. The structured MIKROSPIKE HighGrip geomembrane was produced by AGRU Kunststofftechnik GmbH from the technical plastic HDPE and features over 20,000 spikes/m². Thanks to these micro spikes, the geomembrane also clings to the protective fleece in steep alpine terrain. This makes it the ideal solution for steep slopes in conjunction with protective or drainage membranes. A spike-free welding area facilitated the installation. As a final step, the geomembrane is covered with a 50 cm thick gravel bed and thus permanently protected from UV radiation and mechanical damage. The new reservoir is filled each spring by the snow melt and refilled with spring water before the ski season. This requires two pumping stations for which AGRU Kunststofftechnik GmbH also supplied sheets, pipes and fittings made of polyethylene. During the summer months, walks and rest areas around the pond will create a recreation area for hikers.
Managing Director Walter Höllwarth says: "The municipality of Tulfes and the Hall-Wattens Tourism Association are investing a total of 16.5 million euros in modernising the family ski area. With the new snow-making pond we are on the safe side and can guarantee fun on the slopes even in winters with little snow. Thanks to the new gondola lift and snowmaking system, our ski area is state of the art and, thanks to favourable ski pass prices, we are confident that we will be an extremely attractive option for families and locals alike".
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