Friday, June 3, 2011

EcoGroomer Expected to Cut Ski Resort Costs and Fuel Consumption

Reacting to the increased costs of fossil fuels that often lead to higher lift ticket prices, Dan Osborne, believes he has a solution in his invention, EcoGroomer.
Osborne, a Florida-based entrepreneur and inventor, added two more grooming mechanisms to an existing snowcap to triple the amount of slopes a single cat can take on. He believes that cutting down the time a cat needs to groom ski slopes will cut down on fuel costs.
“Though a benefit of the EcoGroomer is 30-35 percent better fuel efficiency, that was not my driving motivation for this — reducing operating costs was,” said Osborne to ESPN. “The fact that it reduces pollution and fossil fuel use is a great side benefit, and I think the skiing public and resorts will feel good about … doing something to reduce all that diesel used to lay down nightly corduroy.”
According to ESPN, the EcoGroomer uses two driverless “SPU” snow-processing units located on each side of a cat. Each SPU has its own engine. In its final setup, each SPU runs on half the horsepower of a snowcat engine, which is expected to save fuel.
Testing will start this summer, either on a Canadian or European glacier. Additional testing is scheduled for the 2011-12 season. Osborne expects delivery to major North American ski resorts by the start of the 2012-13 season.
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