Warm and low-snow winters have become a serious problem for most ski resorts. To extend the operation of a ski resort, it is necessary to create a snowmaking system. Such a system consists of pumping stations and snowmaking installations. During downtime, in the summer, the hydraulic part of the pumping equipment may jam. To prevent this, an automatic pumping station control system can be introduced into the system.

Control system concept using akYtec products:

  • Programmable relay PR200 оf akYtec;
  • Analog input module MV110 оf akYtec;
  • Digital output module MU110 оf akYtec;
  • Pressure transmitter PD111 оf akYtec;
  • Submersible level sensor;
  • Float sensor;
  • Frequency converter;
  • Human Machine Interface (HMI);
  • Network gateway to access RS485 <=> GPRS cloud service;
  • Cloud services such as Microsoft Azure / Amazon Web Services (AWS).

A submersible level sensor and a float sensor monitor the upper and lower water levels in the tank. The Mini-PLC PR200 controller controls the operation of the pump units and gate valve. The pumps are to alternately start every 24 hours for 5 minutes to circulate the liquid and prevent jamming. A simultaneous start is not intended. The pump capacity is regulated by the signal from the pressure sensor PD111. The operating pressure must not be less than 2.5 kgf/cm2. A PT1000 temperature sensor measures the water temperature. In this video, we will show you how you can use the PT1000 macro for direct temperature measurements with the programmable relays PR200. At the same time, the water level in the technical pond is monitored so that in case the pond overflows, the gate valve is opened and the water is drained. If the water level in the pond falls below the limit level, the operation of the pumps is stopped. The opening level of the overflow gate in the technical pond is controlled by a signal from the water level sensor.

Frequency converters are used to drive the pump equipment. The motor is stopped when the lower limit of the pond water level is reached when the water pressure in the general manifold is low and in case of a short circuit.

An RS485-HMI panel can be installed on the front of the cabinet to monitor the status of the unit.

Parameters such as:

  • pressure in the general manifold after the pumps;
  • the water level in the technical pond;
  • current frequency setpoint of the pump frequency converter;
  • the on and off time of the pumps can be displayed.

The panel can also be used for system configuration.

Dispatch system and visualization concept

A cloud-based service can be used for remote monitoring, setpoint changes, and data storage. The PR200 is connected to the service via an RS485 interface using a network gateway.

Available functions using the cloud-based service:

  • data collection from the PR200;
  • displaying data in the form of graphs and tables;
  • displaying devices on a map;
  • remote management of devices.

Artificial snowmaking can extend the ski season. It ensures good condition in all weather, including light frost and even in temperatures above zero degrees. It is possible to introduce an automatic control system, using akYtec equipment, that will produce a sufficient amount of snow on the ski slopes.