VKW, Illwerke and Doppelmayr build another world's first at the Golm Ski Resort

VKW, Illwerke, and Doppelmayr have joined forces to build the world's first chairlift fitted with an integrated photovoltaic system at the Golm Ski Resort in Vorarlberg, Austria, thus demonstrating once more their high innovative strength: One third of the power requirements of this chairlift will be met with the power generated by the PV system. This advanced solution is another milestone in modern-day ropeway engineering and an important contribution to a sustainable future.


The bottom station, the top station, and the chair parking of the new Hüttenkopf chairlift will be fitted with high-strength PV elements. What is unique about the project is that the individual solar panels will be integrated directly into Doppelmayr's standard station buildings and therefore blend in well with both the installation and the landscape.


The solar power generated by the system will be sufficient to cover one third of the total power requirements of the chairlift. During 1,000 hours of operation throughout the year, the Hüttenkopf chairlift consumes 180,000 kilowatt hours, 60,000 of which will now be generated by the solar power system, an amount that equals the annual power requirements of 15 single-family homes. Depending on the topography of the terrain and on the capacity of each installation, it may in some cases even be possible to reduce conventional energy consumption by up to 50 percent with this new power system.


It is generally possible to fit both new and existing Doppelmayr installations with the new solar power system. With the system's exemplary energy efficiency and superior performance, the payback period for the higher costs of the PV system will be approximately 10 years.


Construction work for the new detachable chairlift has been underway since 4 July, 2012, and the first lot of PV elements will be ready for assembly by mid-September. The second half of November will see feed-back commence from the solar power system, so that the first passengers riding the new lift will be travelling on solar energy. In an initial stage, the new Hüttenkopf chairlift with its comfortable 6-passenger chairs will have a transport capacity of 1,800 persons per hour.


With VKW, Illwerke and Königsolar, Doppelmayr has been able to team up with strong and reliable partners to realize this project. By cooperating closely on every aspect of the project, the companies were able to share, and draw on, their specific experience and to combine their individual know-how to develop a unique, sustainable, and truly innovative solution.


Facts and figures: 6-passenger chairlift Hüttenkopf:
Supplier Doppelmayr Group
Client Vorarlberger Illwerke AG
Ropeway system detachable 6-passenger chairlift
Overall length 1,300 m
Vertical rise 395 m
Capacity 1,800 (2,400 final capacity) persons/hour
Travelling speed 5 m/s (= 18 km/h)
Travelling time 4.74 min
Number of chairs 47 (63)
Motor rating, continuous 422 kW
Motor rating, starting 584 kW


Enquiries to Doppelmayr:

Ekkehard Assmann
Head of Marketing and Public Relations
Rickenbacherstrasse 8-10, P.O. Box 20
A-6922 Wolfurt, Austria 
Tel. (+43) 05574/604-223
Fax (+43) 05574/75590 
Email: ekkehard.assmann@doppelmayr.com
Internet: doppelmayr.com