When tasked with designing the cabling for a new tricable gondola lift at the Pardatschgratbahn in the ski resort of Ischgl, Austria, LÜTZE Inc. had to think outside—and inside—the box to come up with a design that would meet all the tough requirements of the application. The seats on the new gondola cars are heated by up to three generators providing a continuous supply of power. This power source is also used for interior lighting, heating and screens. This is the first gondola system in the world that supplies this power throughout the climb up and descent down.
When developing the new cabling system, LÜTZE worked closely with the Austrian gondola lift constructor company Doppelmayr to ensure the cables could withstand the extreme weather conditions and UV radiation from the mountains all while coping with perpetual movement in the car. It was clear from the beginning a standard solution was not going to fit the bill. The new combined cable would need to not only feed the voltage from the independent generators into the cabin, but also carry the signal for the thermo-sensors. The plans required additional signal lines and individual cables that could be connected at different points while still monitoring the temperature of the generators.
LÜTZE engineers opted for heavy-duty industrial plug connectors rated to IP65 that are used with a cable featuring a black, halogen-free PUR sheath to ensure it could withstand extreme conditions and the high UV radiation in the mountains. This ensures reliable operation even in the case of temperature fluctuations between -40 and 80°C.
The new PUR cable from LÜTZE allows a very small bending radius of up to a maximum of 10 times its own diameter for tight installation spaces and movements. This was necessary because the cables are always in motion as the cabin moves. Some of the completed assemblies were supplied with aluminum IP65 connectors and casings with a special surface finish making them highly suitable for outdoor applications.
Finally, the two terminal boxes were completely manufactured and wired by LÜTZE to serve as transfer points and a central collection point. Containing 80 fuses, the boxes are rated to IP65 and protect the elements inside against all weather conditions, even if covered by snow or melting snow. They also have an integrated forced ventilation system, an installed diaphragm that prevents condensation from forming on the inside.