For the perfect wave

15 propeller pumps with submersible motors from KSB find use in the novel surfing facility of a Milan water park. The operators of Idroscalo were able to open the new attraction right on time for the beginning of the main season. But KSB’s engineers had to put in a lot of work in advance to ensure that everything ran so smoothly and the numerous visitors could enjoy their exciting surfing experience.

The project: High-performance pumps for surf machine

Unit Parktech AG, a manufacturer of surfing equipment headquartered in Germany, developed a surf machine for the northern Italian water park with a unique design: It is used directly on a lake. This reduces the head to which the water must be pumped, meaning the surf pool requires half the energy of land-based systems. It also creates a better wave, with the feeling of surfing being more realistically replicated because the floating surf pool is located on a body of water.

The customer: Unit Parktech AG

Founded in Cologne in 2008, Unit Parktech AG has long specialised in using classic plastic processing methods for snowboarding and wakeboarding. In 2016, the company expanded its business to surfing and is now the world market leader in manufacturing and equipping surf machines.

A surfer rides a wave, spectators stand at the edge of the surfing area

The first surfers test out the quality of the surf machine

The challenge: Existing pump design not sufficient

As the pump sets were required to operate below the pool in order to achieve optimum efficiency, KSB engineers in Halle were handed the task of adapting the type series. Their challenge was to redesign the pumps so that maintenance measures such as regularly changing the gear oil would not require the usual divers. Instead, both the installation and maintenance of the pumps needed to be easily handled from the surface.

The solution: Tailored adaptation of the pump design

After discussing these special requirements with Parktech, KSB engineers set about adapting the pumps to the customer’s needs. They re-engineered the Amaline pump so that its approach flow was similar to that of the Amacan pump. Additional modifications were made to the pump set’s blades. In close cooperation with Parktech, KSB’s engineers also designed and built a special funnel-shaped casing to facilitate handling and repair work. This allows the pumps to be serviced from above and removed easily in the event of an emergency as stipulated by the customer.

The solution-focused cooperation with Parktech resulted in a global first: At the time of completion, this was the world’s only surfing facility floating on a lake. The surf pool’s high-performance pumps transport 30,000 litres of water per second to generate a surfable deep water wave 10 metres wide and up to 1.80 metres high – and all this at comparatively low energy costs and zero water consumption. A positive side effect: Surfing lessons can be offered for a lower price.

The facility also offers an additional ecological benefit: As the lake near Milan is a standing body of water, the surf facility provides circulation which redistributes large quantities of oxygen and significantly improves water quality. Screens in front of the pump inflow and a comparatively low suction pressure also ensure that fish and other aquatic life are not sucked in. A win-win solution for water sports enthusiasts and nature.

Lake with surfing facility and visitors of the Idroscalo near Milan

The surfing facility of the Idroscalo near Milan

Figures I Data I Facts

System: Surf machine at Milan’s Idroscalo water park

End user: Unit Parktech AG

Project data: 15 Amaline 800 (special design)