In a low temperature laboratory in Canada, the effects of rime icing on the intake of a jet engine were being studied. To reproduce natural conditions, researchers, assisting Dr. Ray Ringer were spraying water into the airjust before the engine intake in a wind tunnel. They did not create any rime ice but they did make snow. As per records, this is the first known research discussing about the snowmaking.
Later the snow cannon were invented by Art Hunt, Dave Richey and Wayne Pierce in 1950. In 1952, Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel is the first skiing resort in the world to use artificial snow. Artificial Snowmaking started on commercial scale in the early 1970s.
|What is Snow Making:
Snowmaking is the production of snow by forcing water and pressurized air through a “snow gun” or “snow cannon”, on ski slopes. Snowmaking is mainly used at ski resorts to supplement natural snow. This allows ski resorts to improve the reliability of their snow cover and to extend their ski seasons. Indoor ski slopes often use snowmaking. They are generally able to do so year-round as they have a climate-controlled environment.
Why Make Snow?
Making snow artificially is useful for area, which has occasionally freezing temperatures but rarely has natural snowfall. This can help businesses, attract holiday customers and free media attention!
Snowmaking plants require water pumps and sometimes air compressors when using lances. One of the basic requirements is source of water such as a river or reservoir.Water is pushed up a pipeline on the mountain using very large electric pumps in a pump house. A nucleating agent is added to ensure that as much water as possible freezes and turns into snow.
The next step in this process is to add air using an air plant. This plant is often a building that contains electric or diesel industrial air compressors the size of a van or truck. However, in some instances air compression is provided using diesel-powered, portable trailer-mounted compressors that can be added to the system. Many fan-type snow guns have on-board electric air compressors, which is cheaper and more compact.
Snowmaking has become increasingly complex, to achieve greater efficiency. Traditionally snowmaking relied on having a skilled snowmaker to operate the equipment. The addition of computer control means that snowmaking can be controlled with greater precision to ensure that snow guns only operate when conditions make snowmaking possible. However, the process is not fully automatic, as computers only require human control. IDE have recently developed all weather snowmakers.
The pipes are equipped with shelters containing hydrants, electrical power and communication lines mounted which is optional. Shelters forfan guns require water, power and maybe communication lines.
Different forms of snowmaking guns
Internal mixing guns: These guns have a chamber where the water and air are mixed together and violently forced out an opening or through holes and fall to the ground as snow.
External mixing guns: These guns have nozzles spraying water and air nozzles shooting air through the water stream to break it up into much smaller water particles.
Fan Guns: These guns are much different from all other guns because they require electricity to power a fan as well as an on-board reciprocating piston air compressor. Compressed air and water are shot out of the gun through a variety of nozzles.
Snow Lances: Theseare up to 12 meters long vertically inclined aluminum tubes at the head of which placed water and-or air nucleator. Air is blown into the atomized water at the outlet from the water nozzle. The previously compressed air expands and cools, creating ice nuclei on which crystallization of the atomized water takes place. There are also small mobile systems for the home user that are operated by the garden connection (Home Snow).
Snow making invention is a blessing to skiing industry.