Up for a good snowball fight? Need to mimic a winter wonderland for your ski resort? Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate so just make your own snow.
Temperatures must be at the freezing mark or below. Under these conditions, diesel or electric energy and water can be your sources of snow no matter what the weatherman has in his local forecast.
Snow is basically small ice particles. Grinding ice blocks was the way snow was once made for special events. That method is still used in the tropics. This is a labor intensive and expensive method when large amounts of snow are required. Now, whenever possible, water is converted into snow on-site by machine.
The snow machine breaks water into particles that are small. The water is moved through cold air to cool it. The water particles are nucleated and distributed on the intended surface. Without nucleating the water, it will remain liquid at temperatures below 32° F.
Large amounts of water are needed to cover a 200 X 200 foot area with six inches of snow. A thousand cubic feet of water is required. That is equivalent to 82,000 gallons or 11 tanker trucks full of water. The water pressure has to be at least 100 pounds per square inch.
Ski resorts convert more than 5,000 gallons per minute. That is the same as 20 tons/min. Other uses of for manufactured snow are construction project protection, protecting crops from freezing, aircraft and automotive testing and disposal of sewage.