No matter whether it is rock consolidation, avalanche protection equipment, construction or repair of cable cars and lifts or the renovation or construction of hiking lodges – HTB can provide references for work on high-altitude mountains across Europe, and particularly in the Alps. Material and equipment often has to be transported to the construction site by helicopter.
"The construction compressor is an important machine on site. Ideally it will also supply electricity for light and other electrical equipment, as well as compressed air," says the company. During the planning phase, everything must be assessed and taken into account, right down to the expected fuel consumption. The company opts for compressors from CompAir Drucklufttechnik, not least due to their outstanding power-to-weight ratio. In general, the CompAir compressors still have a lot of reserves.
It is quite something to carry out rock consolidation work or provide avalanche protection in a location that no truck can access, such as locations 3,000 metres above sea level. The means of transport for people, equipment and material is the helicopter. "When it comes to equipment for such projects, every kilogramme of weight counts. For example, in the case of compressors, you need a lot of power with a low weight." A range of compressor configurations are therefore available in the machine fleet for these diverse application requirements.
Base-mounted, skid-mounted or chassis-built versions; equipment such as a generator, hose reel, aftercooler, including compressed air heating or extra cold start device can all be found among the 50 compressors as well as different pressure and volume flow versions. Physics makes the rules and, as well as the engine, the compaction power of the screw also inevitably declines when used at great altitudes. Both must be compensated by dimensioning the machine accordingly so that the team on location at the construction site can call up the compressed air power that they need.
Due to cost/benefit considerations, the Ecureuil B3 helicopter is a popular choice for transporting to construction sites on high-altitude mountains. Despite this, sometimes it is still necessary for the compressor tank to be emptied and the battery to be removed to reduce the transport weight. This is because it is cheaper to make several flights than use a more powerful helicopter at a considerably higher hourly rate.
An extra cold start device, shown here in use on a construction site at an altitude of more than 2,000 m in the Allgäu Alps, ensures that the engine starts even in adverse weather conditions.
Smaller helicopters, such as the Aérospatiale SA-315 shown here, are cheaper per hour. Air transport represents one of the main costs on construction sites at high altitude.