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Siemens Drive supplied drive and electrical engineering system for the new cableway in Ischgl Austria

siemens drive electrical engineering system

Two three-phase drives, each with an output of 880 kW, interact with Sinamics low-voltage converters as an Integrated Drive System to enable particularly energy-efficient and reliable operation of the cableway.
Photo by Silvretta Seilbahn AG

The Siemens Drive Technologies Division – in collaboration with the Doppelmayr Gruppe, global market leader in ropeway construction based in Wolfurt, Austria – has supplied the complete drive and electrical engineering system for the new “Piz Val Gronda E5” cableway operated by Silvrettaseilbahn AG. This two-track reversible cableway uses an integrated drive system that consists of AC drives and Sinamics frequency converters that are optimally matched to each other. These require up to 40 percent less energy than their predecessors and contribute to an energy-efficient service. The Simatic S7 Failsafe controller ensures a high level of availability and safety. Thanks to the intelligent design of the power supply and low-voltage distribution system, it has also been possible to do without a cable trench between the valley and mountain stations, greatly reducing the impact of the project on the environment. For the supply to the summit station, the power and data cables have been integrated into the suspension cables, and only two supports are required between valley and summit station.

The new Piz Val Gronda E5 cableway has been constructed as part of the expansion of the Ischgl ski area in Austria and has two large-capacity cabins, each with room for 150 people. The three-phase drives supplied by Siemens each have an output of 800 kW and facilitate a maximum operating speed of 12 m/s. The interplay with the two high-performance Sinamics S150 low-voltage converters creates an Integrated Drive System that makes a significant contribution to the overall efficiency and availability of the system. The ready-to-connect Sinamics cabinet units featuring power regeneration as standard enable considerable energy savings to be made, particularly where frequent braking cycles occur, as is typical in cableway systems. Thanks to their highly dynamic regeneration, the drives also respond robustly to fluctuations in the line voltage, which has a positive effect on the operation and the availability of the system. By means of the standard Profinet interface, the converters are integrated into the higher-level automation and visualization.

The Simatic S7 failsafe controller permits extensive diagnostics functions and thereby early detection of faults. This contributes to the safe operation and high availability of the cableway. To guard against a standstill caused by a power failure or technical defect, the system is also equipped with two independent emergency drives, enabling the cableway to continue running until cabins are empty of passengers. This more or less rules out any risk of passengers having to be rescued from stranded cabins.

In addition, the “Piz Val Gronda E5” is the first cableway in the world to be fitted with heated seats. This heating has also been provided by Siemens for the 34 seats per cabin. A special Sinamics DCM control module and a 40 Volt isolating transformer ensure the necessary controllable DC source. In addition, Siemens is responsible for providing WLAN transmission to the vehicles, with failsafe communication between the station and the moving cabins, as well as an audio and video link in HD quality.

Siemens handled the engineering, installation and commissioning of the entire electrical system for the cableway that entered service in Ischgl at the end of 2013. The specialists from the “Siemens Alpine Technologies” competence center, based in Innsbruck, Austria, were responsible for project management.

For more information, please visit http://www.industry.siemens.com/drives.