The Norwegian archipelago of Spitsbergen lies in the Arctic Ocean, well above the Arctic Circle and only about 1,300 kilometers south of the North Pole. The island is rich in peculiarities: with a population of 3,500 polar bears, their number exceeds the human population of 2,500 habitants. The polar night lasts annually from late October to mid-February and between May and August the sun never sets.
Despite this unique northerly location, sufficient snowfall does not fall during the winter, to the suffering of the Longyearbyen ski area. The reason: an offshoot of the Gulf Stream, which transports warm water to the Arctic Ocean.
That’s why the municipality of Longyearbyen recently installed a snow-making system from TechnoAlpin in hopes this will help turn skiing from an occasional leisure activity into a regular winter activity for the locals.
The new installation includes a container with a turnkey, fully automatic pump and compressor station. The snowmaking system’s pump has a capacity of 35 liters of water per second and reaches a pressure of 37 bar. At the same time, the compressor achieves an output of 5.5 cubic meters per minute.
Laying the pipes in this area poses a particular challenge. The 500-meter-long line material had to be laid above ground and fixed in the permafrost with special anchors. Twelve connection points with hydrants supply the snow guns with water and air. The 600 meters of slopes are snowed with a total of 12 manual lances.
TechnoAlpin is proud to implement this unique project with special geographical conditions and is thus once again demonstrating its expertise in the planning and manufacturing of snowmaking systems.