Snowmaking guns

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Snowmaking guns

There are many different forms of snowmaking guns, however they all share the basic principle of combining air and water to form snow. For most guns you can change the type or "quality" of snow by regulating the amount of water that is adding to the mixture. For others they are simply on or off and the snow quality is determined by the air temperature and humidity.

In general there are three types of snowmaking guns:

  • Internal Mixing,
  • External Mixing
  • Fan Guns

These come in two main styles of makers:

An air water gun can be mounted on a tower or on a stand on the ground. It uses higher pressure water and air, while a fan gun uses a powerful axial fan to propel the water jet to a great distance.

A modern snow fan usually consists of one or more rings of nozzles which inject water into the fan air stream. A separate nozzle or small group of nozzles is fed with a mix of water and compressed air and produces the nucleation points for the snow crystals.

The small droplets of water and the tiny ice crystals are then mixed and propelled out by a powerful fan, after which they further cool through evaporation in the surrounding air when they fall to the ground. The crystals of ice act as seeds to make the water droplets freeze at 0 °C (32 °F). Without these crystals water would supercool instead of freezing. This method can produce snow when the wet-bulb temperature of the air is as high as -2 °C (28.4 °F). The lower the air temperature is, the more and the better snow a cannon can make. This is the main reason snow cannons are usually operated in the night. The mix of all water and air streams and their relative pressures is crucial to the amount of snow made and its quality.

Modern snow cannons are fully computerized and can operate autonomously or be remotely controlled from a central location. Operational parameters are: starting and stopping time, quality of snow, max. wet-bulb temperature in which to operate, max. windspeed, horizontal and vertical orientation, sweeping angle to cover a wider area, sweeping may follow wind direction.


[edit] Also see

[edit] Reference

  1. See Wikipedia Snowmaking [1]

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