Conveyor Belt: Retrofitting for superior transportation capacity
Over the course of the past 20 years, the Sunkid Conveyor Belt has, aside from its original purpose in kids' ski areas, made its place in ski resorts as an important supplement to gondolas, chair lifts and T-Bar lifts. It proves to be the perfect logistics solution to bridge comparatively short yet tedious climbs for winter sports fans conveniently and quickly.
Whereby the term “bridge” should be taken literally in some projects, as the pictures in this report show. As far the increased speed or retrofits in the motor and conveyor belt are concerned, these measures are of course not only limited to installations on bridges, but can in principle be installed on all Sunkid Conveyor Belts (retrofits are also possible) where high capacities are required.
"High-Speed" Conveyor Belt featuring 3.9 ft/s (1.2 m/s)
In the example of Zürs am Arlberg, there is a small climb to overcome to get to the bottom station of the Zürserseebahn mountain lift. This issue was solved with a 137-foot (42m) long Sunkid Conveyor Belt which had been integrated into the bridge. Since the number of beginning skiers is rather low in this area of the ski resort, a “high-speed” conveyor belt with a maximum speed of up to 3.9 ft/s (1.2 m/s) could be installed.
Upgrade: Sunkid Conveyor Belt with tensioning tower, larger drive drum and stronger motor, as well as curing of the conveyor belt
Also passing over a bridge but in different circumstances, a Sunkid Conveyor Belt in Madonna di Campiglio has been retrofitted for changing needs.
The system in Madonna di Campiglio had been installed 15 years ago and at 446 feet (136 meters) in length was the longest passenger conveyor belt in the world at the time. Since then, the belt has been running in part in the most extreme of conditions and under extreme stress. To satisfy the requirements for transport capacity which had grown over the years and will continue to grow in the future, a tensioning tower was installed, accompanied by additional features. The significant advantage of the tensioning tower is guaranteed equal and optimal tension of the conveyor belt - independent of its (constantly changing) load. A tensioning tower like the one here in Madonna di Campiglio is rarely freely suspended. In the majority of installations, a ditch is used which houses the tensioning tower.
Independently of the placement of the tensioning tower, additional accompanying features include a more powerful motor and belt (cured instead of using mechanical fasteners), as well as a larger drive drum with a diameter of 2.5 ft (790mm). These features result not only in clearly more efficient power transmission, but also double the transport capacity to 2,810 passengers per hour.
An overview of measures which increase passenger capacity: :
• installation of a tensioning tower
• larger drive drum (Ø up to 3.2 feet - 1,000mm)
• more powerful motor (up to 60 KW)
• curing of the belt (vulcanization)
• wider conveyor belt (up to 6.5 feet - 2,000mm possible!)
• stronger conveyor belt (breaking resistance up to 800 N/mm)