Generate electricity where it is easiest: A wind rim naturally works best where there is strong wind. The young company “Bergwind” would therefore like to use cable cars to generate energy.

A stiff breeze often blows on the mountainside – winter sports enthusiasts will know it. There is a lot of energy in this wind that makes life difficult for skiers. The young company Bergwind wants to take advantage of this and is showing wind turbines and photovoltaic modules that can be attached to cable cars outside of operating hours. Due to the rotating rotor blades, operation during lift times is probably not the best idea either.

Cable cars are not used most of the time

However, using the existing infrastructure sensibly when it is not actually needed is all the wiser. Ibrahim Sagerer-Foric, the founder of Bergwind, said to “Futurezone”: “Austria consists of two thirds of mountains and there are a lot of cable cars. Most of the year they are not used.” There is a huge potential for generating energy there.

Bergwind turbines will be available in two sizes in the future. With a rotor diameter of 2.6 meters, Bergwind plans an output of 3 kilowatts, with 4 meters it would be 5 kilowatts. A gyroscope is intended to prevent strong pendulum movements. The system should be comparatively safe for birds, since the rotors (as in the video) turn very quickly and are therefore easier for animals to perceive according to the mountain wind.

With the turbines, the company is targeting cable car operators whose tow lifts, chair lifts or gondola lifts are often idle for long periods outside of the season. In the future, the company’s energy modules could be installed there and thus generate renewable energy over a longer period of time, which could either be used “for self-consumption, for communities, as a blackout backup or for feeding into the grid”.

Tests from spring

Compared to “Futurezone”, Sagerer-Foric shows other possible uses. The system would also be interesting for hotels, for example, which could use it to expand their heating systems or operate charging stations for electric vehicles.

The world’s first mountain wind turbine was installed in Attersee am Attersee on March 10th, 2023. In spring, Bergwind wants to carry out tests with several turbines on a cable to check the suitability for everyday use and the efficiency of the systems.

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