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Gondola Electronics upgraded!

Posted by Nevis Range on 7th January, 2016

• 12 tons of equipment
• 15 kilometers of cable
• 4,000 terminal connections
• 6 Doppelmayr engineers from Austria
• 9 Nevis Range staff
• £½m capital cost

This year when we closed for our annual ‘planned maintenance’ schedule we started a major upgrade of Electronics on our Gondola system which was first installed when Nevis Range was built in 1989.

Parts for the old system were becoming obsolete and it was difficult to find parts when we needed to carry out a repair.

Preparatory work started mid-summer and we laid cables from the gondola top station to the base – one cable runs the whole way, and the other connects the control cables from each of the 18 towers. We dug trenched in sections, laid the cables and then carefully back filled. Only months later, there’s minimal trace of any of this work being carried out.

A new control room was built and is located in the gondola base station.

Every electrical component and every electrical cable on the gondola system was renewed.

The new gondola drive motor was installed and is located in the gondola base station. This 269kW drive motor is almost twice as powerful as the original motor. It’s much more efficient system, requiring less operator hours especially for loading and unloading. The motor now acts as a brake for the gondola system and also as a generator, putting power back into the grid. It’s also an AC rather than a DC motor needing less maintenance and (we hope) fewer problems in the office … no more computers tripping or the Internet crashing. It’s now modern with touch screens controlling computer and fault finding quicker as Doppelmayr dial straight in from Austria to diagnose problems.

We’ve now brought the system up to current engineering standards and future proofed it for a significant period of time.

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