Icy alpine environment puts pumps to the test

Let it snow! Pumps enhance the après ski experience PHOTO: “With the system built by Grundfos, everything has become a lot more efficient. We save massive amounts of energy and water, and we save many working hours because everything has been installed perfectly,” says Roger Steiner, General Manager, Engstligenalp AG.
A blast of fresh snow

Grundfos pump systems ensure that snow cannons produce artificial snow on demand at Switzerland's Engstligenalp ski resort.  

The pumps not only take care of water supply to the entire resort – including to an artificial ice waterfall for climbers – but also in the making of snow igloo restaurants. The Grundfos system has allowed the resort to enlarge its popular igloo restaurant to accommodate about 170 guests at a time.
Grundfos supplied its heavy-duty, multi-stage, in-line CRNE pumps and “intelligent” controls for the snow cannons, as well as for the resort’s groundwater pump house.

PHOTO: It takes a huge amount of snow, some 3,000 cubic metres, to build the igloo restaurant and about 1,000 hours to form the complex interior with its eight rooms. The Engstligenalp resort even offers courses in igloo making.
PHOTO: Hot fondue tastes great in a cold igloo. The Grundfos system has allowed the resort to enlarge its popular igloo restaurant to accommodate about 170 guests at a time.
PHOTO: Grundfos' pump system is tough enough to withstand the extreme weather conditions at Engstligenalp. Early in the season, snow cannons rely on the system to work 24 hours a day.
PHOTO: The Grundfos CRNE pump and accompanying system allow Engstligenalp to build its huge igloos with less water, less energy and less manpower than the previous pumps. Payback time was 2-3 years, says Roger Steiner.
PHOTO: The future looks white: “We want to create an igloo world that is unique in Europe, and we need these top systems made by Grundfos to implement these dreams,” says Roger Steiner, General Manager, Engstligenalp.
PHOTO: The Grundfos system is part of the first waterworks producing renewable electricity in a nature protection area in Switzerland, Steiner says – it provides enough power for the whole resort. The system also takes the water from here to produce the snow for the igloos.
PHOTO: Engstligenalp operators can monitor and control the Grundfos CRNE pumps via the Grundfos GO smartphone app.
PHOTO: Is it real? A snow drift emerges from the morning fog at Engstligenalp’s resort near Adelboden, Switzerland.
PHOTO: Engstligenalp resort is situated on a plateau 2,000 metres above sea level. Besides the ski trails and the igloo restaurant, Engstligenalp offers an ice skating igloo and an ice climbing wall. Further developments are planned now that the Grundfos system has proven its capabilities.

Photos by Maurizio Calmanga

Read more about the Grundfos CR pump range here.

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