For years snowmaking companies have tried to produce snow at higher and higher temps. Most have failed but some have succeeded. Over the years people have used giant freezer systems to make snow, Liquid Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide Dry Ice to name a few.
   
The first recorded patent of a snowmaking device using a cryogenic gas or liquid was in the late 1930's by the Liquide Air Corporation of France.

Since then several patents have been applied for, by numerous companies and individuals.

In 1993 Snowtech Systems Australia commenced comprehensive experimentation into the development of a snowmaking system capable of producing snow at virtually any temp.  This experimentation was carried out both at Kapunda in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, and at Mt Thebarton Indoor Ski Centre in Adelaide, South Australia.

After numerous attempts and several failures snow was finally made at Mt Thebarton in April 1993 at an ambient temperature of +10 Celsius.  A week later snow was produced for a School show at Kapunda. This was the 1st public demonstration of this technology.

During 1993 Snowtech produced snow for numerous events including both the Sydney and Melbourne ski shows.

The process Snowtech uses involves the creation of an environment, within a canopy, conducive to snowmaking by injecting a stream of Liquid CO through an experimental snowgun.  This creates an environment with an ambient temperature of around (dry bulb) -40 Celsius

The snowgun used created a uniformly atomised spray of water droplets at about 100 micron which is basically a pure wet fog. These droplets freeze upon discharge from the gun head due to the extremely cold temperature of the environment within the canopy.

The snow produced has of a uniformly consistent 'powder' like quality. Early prototypes could only produce 8m (cubic meters) per hour. Later ones increased the capacity to a rate of 20m (cubic meters) per hour.

 

A SNOWTECH CRYOJET SNOWGUN

A SNOWTECH CMD II D SNOWGUN

Snow has successfully been produced both indoors & outdoors in ambient temperatures up to (dry bulb) +40 Celsius.

Unfortunately cryogenic snowmaking, regardless of the type process, type of equipment or fluid used is an extremely costly process, due to the amount of cryogen required to convert water to snow.

An average conventional snowmaking system that produces snow at temperatures below a wet bulb temperature of -2 Celsius would produce snow at a cost of no more than $5.00 per cubic meter. 

 

The cheapest that cryogenic snow could be produced commercially, while dependent on the cost of the cryogen would be no less that $100 per cubic meter.

 

Obviously this is has proved a non viable snowmaking option for ski resorts at this stage.

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