Kitzsteinhorn: Smart Energy Management Reduces Energy Consumption

With smart energy management, the Kitzsteinhorn ensures efficient operation and a reduction in the carbon footprint.

Numbers are his passion. And that's a good thing, because in his job as energy manager, operations manager Stefan Reisinger juggles countless columns of numbers every day and constantly monitors parameters on the monitor to optimize energy consumption.

Goal: Reduce consumption

The Gletscherbahnen Kaprun was the first cable car company in Austria to be fully certified in accordance with the energy management requirements EN ISO 50001:2018 in 2015. This means that the company records, controls and optimizes all the energy used in the company. Stefan Reisinger was involved in the systematic development of energy management from the beginning and reports: “Monitoring requires that all of the company's key figures are available in order to achieve the highest possible energy efficiency. And that is a complex task with over 100 counting points on the mountain and in the valley. So the first step was to summarize all the key figures in a dashboard on the computer and to display the whole mountain transparently. This means I can constantly monitor consumption by looking at the graphics and, if necessary, intervene to optimize it. Our goal is clear: reduce consumption!”

Small town of Kitzsteinhorn

On peak days, the Kitzsteinhorn, with 12,000 visitors on the mountain, looks like a small town that wants to be supplied with energy. Stefan Reisinger knows: “In addition to the railway operations, the snowmaking and the office buildings, we also have our own workshops in operation. Due to its altitude, the Kitzsteinhorn has its own electrical, metalworking and plumbing department. Six of the company's catering establishments turn on their equipment in the morning to provide hungry skiers with culinary delights. There are already noticeable current peaks in my graphic.” Stefan Reisinger focuses on these current peaks, deciphers the causes and tweaks the wheels to fine-tune the reduction in electricity consumption. He explains using an example: “The peak loads can be reduced as much as possible by not having the kitchens switch on all of their large appliances while the cable cars are extending the gondolas. Staggered switching on of the devices provides enormous relief. The minimal reduction in the speed of the cable cars is also clearly noticeable in the energy consumption - on bad weather days, for example on the 3K K-onnection, a lot of energy can be saved with fewer gondolas and travel speed, which is hardly noticeable for the guest.

Pleasing figures in the energy balance

For Stefan Reisinger, energy management is like juggling 10 balls. He says: “I constantly monitor where numbers go off track, where I can intervene through fine adjustments and tweak the wheels. On my monitor I combine all the numbers, from slope preparation to my own energy production. Thanks to the third turbine at our Grubbach hydroelectric power plant and the expansion of the photovoltaic systems, our own electricity generation was increased by 42.4%." The high-tech snow groomers, which are equipped with the innovative Snow-Sat, make the pushing work even more efficient because they are on the monitor the snow depths are visible. “This saves up to 4% fuel.”

Energy reduction of 2.6%

The energy manager's work is particularly gratifying when juggling the numbers brings great success for the company. And so Stefan Reisinger and the Gletscherbahnen Kaprun can look forward to an energy reduction of 2.6% this year. Stefan Reisinger is enthusiastic: “An external auditor takes over the audit for ISO certification at the end of the year. It's a nice feeling when the result is a significant loss - we were able to reduce energy consumption despite a record financial year. It shows that we are on the right track, but with the help of monitoring we are already defining the next focal points in order to save even more energy in the future.”

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