Ski Lift Running on Solar Power

Ski Lift Running on Solar Power
Started by Bandit in Switzerland - 93 Replies
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May-2010
AllyG
Mekka,
I had another look at the photo, and you're quite right. It is a drag lift.

There must be a mistake, saying each lift uses 22,000Kwh unless they mean during a whole year. I'm sure those drag lifts can run on quite small diesel generators, unless they are very steep or very long, which is one of the reasons drag lifts are more environmentally friendly than cable cars etc.

I would have thought myself, that a short drag lift would be able to function with only, say, a 5 KW diesel engine, and even a long one probably wouldn't need more than about 50 KWh.

If we assume that my guess of 50 KWh is correct, then one would need 50/0.08 = 625 solar panels of the type I described above 4 foot X 2 foot producing 80 Wh each. This seems much more feasible. The ones in the photo are in mini-arrays (or whatever you call them) 8 panels wide, only I don't know the size of each of the panels.

Does anyone have any more factual information on this? I am only guessing. I tried googling it but I couldn't find anything about the actual number of solar panels involved or the energy required by a drag lift.

I would imagine they must have a mechanical method of removing the snow from the panels, like passing under a rubber bar or something.

Ally
May-2010
Pablo Escobar
Don't think the panels move?!
May-2010
AllyG
I expect you're right Pablo, I am a bit confused about the whole thing. Well, how do they get the snow off them then? Do you think they tip over or what? Maybe something travels over the top of them?

Ally
May-2010
Pablo Escobar
AllyG wrote:I expect you're right Pablo, I am a bit confused about the whole thing. Well, how do they get the snow off them then? Do you think they tip over or what? Maybe something travels over the top of them?

Ally


Just read the article

It's all in there.
May-2010
AllyG
Thanks Pablo
I did read the article, but it just says:

The panels are adjustable and can be removed to clear accumulated snow. The panels are anchored to the lift's cables and bear the entire weight of the panels.

I mean, who's going to keep climbing up there to remove and clear 625 panels, or however many there are? There must be a mechanical, automatic way of doing it, surely? Sometimes it snows continuously for days.

Ally
May-2010
Bandit
AllyG wrote:

I mean, who's going to keep climbing up there to remove and clear 625 panels, or however many there are? There must be a mechanical, automatic way of doing it, shirley? Sometimes it snows continuously for days.

Ally


Shirley's busy, you could volunteer
May-2010
AllyG
Bandit,
I have been thinking about this. It seems that they do measure power output with photovoltaic cells over the whole year.

So, if each of their solar powered drag lifts produces 22,000 KW hours of electricity over the year, and one assumes that there is an average of 12 hours of daylight per day over the year, and one includes the summer as well even though the drag lifts wouldn't be working (I don't know if they worked it out like this of course) then the answer to the drag lift power consumption problem looks something like this:

Number of daylight hours in a year = 365 X 12 = 4,380
KW of electricity produced per hour of daylight = 22,000/4,380 = 5.02 KW

So, I would think, if I am right, that these are only short drag lifts requiring 5 KW of power to run them.

I suppose, in the summer, they could sell the solar power back to the national grid, assuming they're connected to it.

Ally
May-2010
AllyG
Planetski now has a small article on this, and they say that it is a chairlift! I think maybe the photo on the other site, is of the older solar powered lift in Westendorf Austria, which is indeed a drag lift.

http://www.planetski.eu/news/1692

So, now I am even more confused

I wouldn't think a chair lift could run on 5 KW of energy. Maybe the 22,000 KWh is how much energy each of the 3 new chair lifts uses during its operational period of, say 8 hours per day for 5 months. This would equate to 18 KW, which I would have thought would be more likely for a chair lift.

Maybe I will e-mail the authors of the original article before I am driven mad wondering about this

Ally

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