Snowmaking Patents (Class 239/2.2)
  • Patent number: 9586068
    Abstract: A system for controlling and containing wildfires comprises a transport unit that is configured to transport the system to a site of a wildfire. At least one fluid-spraying apparatus is configured to spray and blow fluid at the wildfire for control and containment thereof. At least one linkage device is configured to movingly link the transport unit to a corresponding fluid-spraying apparatus. The transport unit is configured to control operation of the transport unit, linkage device, and fluid-spraying apparatus. The linkage device is configured to move with respect to the transport unit and the fluid-spraying apparatus is configured to move with respect to the linkage device such that the fluid can be sprayed multi-directionally for control and containment of the wildfire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2017
    Inventor: Michael D. Wiley
  • Patent number: 9470449
    Abstract: A nucleator nozzle (20) for producing ice nuclei is designed as convergent-divergent nozzle. The nozzle channel (25) has a section (27) that is widening. The ratio of the cross-sectional area of the outlet opening (23) to the cross-sectional area of the nozzle channel (25) in the region of the nucleus diameter (26) is at least approximately 4:1. A snow lance (1) having at least one nucleator nozzle (20) and having at least one water nozzle (30; 30?) is designed such that water droplets (32) produced by the water nozzle (30; 30?) pass through a droplet path (31; 31?) of at least 20 cm until they reach ice nuclei (28) from the nucleator nozzle (20) in a germination zone E.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: BAECHLER TOP TRACK AG
    Inventors: Daniela Lehner, Mathieu Fauve, Bruno Koch, Claus Dangel
  • Patent number: 9429349
    Abstract: A device (100) for producing artificial snow, provided with a body (101) including a pressurized water supply duct (10) and a pressurized air supply duct (20), at least one spray element (130) for spraying water or a mixture of air and water, at least one control valve (140) for adjusting the pressurized water and/or pressurized air supply of the spray element, and operating elements, in the form of at least one camshaft, for operating the control valve (140). The valve (140) is placed on the pressurized water and air supply ducts (10 and 20), and includes, on the periphery thereof, a water chamber (144) for the pressurized water supply thereof and an air chamber (145) for the pressurized air supply thereof. The valve (140) also includes a fixed body (141) in the general shape of a tube defining an inner receiving region (142) wherein a movable body (142) is housed, the body being translatably movable along a translation axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: TECHNOALPIN FRANCE
    Inventors: Matthieu Meneuvrier, Eric David, Michel Galvin
  • Patent number: 9395113
    Abstract: The present invention is an improved nucleator for generating ice crystals for seeding water droplets in snow-making systems. Atomized water droplets can more easily be converted to snow at higher temperatures by using a nucleator. Embodiments of a snow-making gun including the novel nucleator are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Inventor: Mitchell Joe Dodson
  • Patent number: 9004458
    Abstract: A valve for dispensing water and air in installations for spraying water under pressure, includes: firstly, a body (2) equipped with two independent circuits (C1, C2), each for circulating a fluid, one air, the other water, each of the circuits including (i) a chamber (5, 15) accommodating a shutter member (6, 16) in the form of a spool, (ii) a duct (7, 17) for admitting the fluid, (iii) a discharge duct (8, 18) for discharging the fluid, and (iv) a drain duct (9, 19) for draining the fluid contained in the discharge duct; and, secondly, control elements for controlling the shutter members so as to make each one move between an open position which allows the fluid to pass and in which the drain duct is shut off, and a closed position in which the fluid is prevented from passing and the drain duct is open.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Johnson Controls Neige
    Inventors: Pierrick Jouneau, Eric David, Michel Galvin
  • Publication number: 20150053785
    Abstract: A device for producing artificial snow includes: elements (100) for producing a central jet (101) consisted by a first fluid chosen among air or water; elements (110) for producing a peripheral jet (111) consisted by a second fluid chosen among water or air and different from the first fluid; and nucleation elements (120) for the production of at least one nucleation jet (121). The elements for producing the central jet and the elements for producing the peripheral jet are arranged in such a manner that the opposite contours (103, 114) of their respective jets each define a generating line, which opposite generating lines extend parallel or at least approximately parallel to each other; moreover, the nucleation elements (120) are distributed over the external periphery of the elements (110) for producing the peripheral jet (111).
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 25, 2014
    Publication date: February 26, 2015
    Applicant: TECHNOALPIN FRANCE
    Inventors: Michel GALVIN, Eric DAVID, Karlheinz TERRABONA
  • Publication number: 20130264032
    Abstract: This invention relates to method and system for making of artificial snow or ice for outdoor as well as indoor artificial ski as well as method and systems for preserving ice for winter recreational activities, all year round for indoor facilities and at least half year or longer for outdoor facilities. It also relates to method and systems for preserving ice using embedded coolant lines capable of absorbing the heat from the thermal storage medium through a coolant and passing on same further to snow/ice layer. It also relates to method and systems for circulating waste snow/ice and using the thermal energy stored for snow making.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 25, 2012
    Publication date: October 10, 2013
    Inventors: Naeem Ahmad, Nadeem Ahmad
  • Patent number: 8393553
    Abstract: The invention provides a floating ice sheet based renewable thermal energy harvesting system, that can harvest energy from naturally occurring temperature differential between liquid water below a floating ice sheet that is substantially at the freezing temperature of water (0 degrees C. or slightly lower for salt water), and colder air above the floating ice sheet. For example, this is a naturally occurring phenomenon in Arctic and Antarctic region sea ice or ice shelf regions, where the air temperature above the floating ice may range from ?5 degrees C. down to winter extreme cold temperatures of around ?50 degrees C. In addition to the inventive application of thermodynamic cycle engines to harvest renewable energy from this naturally occurring temperature differential, variant embodiments also combine wind energy and/or solar energy subsystems to provide synergistic further benefits and greater quantities of renewable energy harvestable from devices of this class.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: RIC Enterprises
    Inventors: Mithra M. K. V. Sankrithi, Siva U. M. Sankrithi
  • Publication number: 20130056546
    Abstract: A snow making tower pipe comprised of multiple aluminum pipe segments of different diameters dimensioned whereby the segments are telescopically fitted and welded end to end with the segment of larger diameter at the lower end, and the end to end weld fittings are angled relative to the longitudinal axis of the tower pipe at an angle of less than 90 degrees to provide a maximum strength weld connection. The snow making tower ejects air and water under pressure through snow making nozzles to form an atomized plume of water in adjacent ambient atmosphere under sub-freezing conditions. Water is ejected under pressure from a projection nozzle in the form of a spray stream at a velocity greater than the ejection velocity of the plume and this water stream is directed to engage the plume and thereby project the plume outwardly farther than possible without the assistance of the spray stream.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 2, 2011
    Publication date: March 7, 2013
    Inventor: Herman K. Dupre
  • Publication number: 20130043322
    Abstract: A procedure for moderating the intensity of a hurricane in regions of the seas that are host to the oil and gas industries is described, using the Gulf of Mexico as an example of such a region, and snow-making machines as the instruments for carrying out the procedure. These machines are carried on moving platforms that follow the hurricane and on fixed platforms that are located in the path of the hurricane. In the described procedure snow-making machines are installed on fixed platforms throughout the region, and only those machines that are in the path of an approaching hurricane are turned on, while the snow-making machines on the moving platform(s) are operating continually.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 22, 2012
    Publication date: February 21, 2013
    Inventor: Alfred Rosen
  • Patent number: 8292261
    Abstract: A water and/or air dispenser for snowmaking system includes water and/or air supplying ducts and is equipped with at least one valve (9) associated with an electric actuator (10), the actuator (10) being connected to an electric power source (12, 19) and associated with its own management unit (11) to ensure the operation of the valve (9) between the open and closed configurations thereof. The dispenser is associated with security elements able to cause the valve (9) to be positioned in a known security configuration, for example tightly closed, in case of voltage cut-off at the electric source (12, 19), the security elements being integrated and including a capacitor-type electric unit (16), connected to the electric power source and to the actuator (10), the capacitor unit being able to store, and then return, a quantity of energy necessary for complete actuation of the valve, to implement the security elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2012
    Assignee: Johnson Controls Neige SAS
    Inventors: Damien Landreau, Eric David, Pierrick Jouneau, Michel Galvin
  • Publication number: 20120193440
    Abstract: A method for producing substantially dendritic snow includes: a) supplying a flow of humid air (1) and a flow of cold air (9) into a substantially closed space (15, 16, 17) to mix the two air flows and create an atmosphere oversaturated with water within the space; b) forming ice crystals and allowing snowflakes to grow from the oversaturated atmosphere, keeping the ice crystals and growing snowflakes floating within the space and allowing them to grow over a predetermined period of time sufficiently long to obtain snowflakes having a predefined size, the floating condition being achieved by moving the ice crystals and growing snowflakes, on average, along a substantially helical trajectory by the air flow, which results in the snowflakes being distributed according to their size along the substantially helical trajectory; and c) thereafter releasing the predefined size snowflakes via a release opening (7) of the space by a carrier air flow (3).
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 9, 2010
    Publication date: August 2, 2012
    Applicants: UNIVERSITATT FUR BODENKULTUR WIEN, TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITA TWIEN
    Inventors: Meinhard Breiling, Michael Bacher, Sergey Sokratov, Frederick George Best
  • Publication number: 20120175428
    Abstract: A valve for dispensing water and air in installations for spraying water under pressure, includes: firstly, a body (2) equipped with two independent circuits (C1, C2), each for circulating a fluid, one air, the other water, each of the circuits including (i) a chamber (5, 15) accommodating a shutter member (6, 16) in the form of a spool, (ii) a duct (7, 17) for admitting the fluid, (iii) a discharge duct (8, 18) for discharging the fluid, and (iv) a drain duct (9, 19) for draining the fluid contained in the discharge duct; and, secondly, control elements for controlling the shutter members so as to make each one move between an open position which allows the fluid to pass and in which the drain duct is shut off, and a closed position in which the fluid is prevented from passing and the drain duct is open.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2010
    Publication date: July 12, 2012
    Applicant: JOHNSON CONTROLS NEIGE
    Inventors: Pierrick Jouneau, Eric David, Michel Galvin
  • Publication number: 20120153033
    Abstract: An ice building machine for spraying a fluid comprising water to form ice is described. The machine comprises: a chassis; a power generating source connected with the chassis; a control module electrically connected with the power generating source; and a fluid spray system coupled with the chassis and arranged to spray a fluid under control of the control module and powered by the power generating source, the fluid spray system arranged to access the fluid from below a lower surface of the ice building machine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 14, 2010
    Publication date: June 21, 2012
    Inventor: Paul Kuhn
  • Publication number: 20120138700
    Abstract: A navigable vessel for use in reducing the intensity of a tropical cyclone having an eye located over an ocean comprises a plurality of artificial snow-making devices aboard the vessel, at least one pump coupled to the devices and accessible to a body of water in which the vessel is floating for supplying the devices with water for making artificial snow, and a power source coupled to the devices to operate the devices in concert for producing a substantially uninterrupted supply of artificial snow. The artificial snow-making devices have discharge nozzles oriented to project the artificial snow away from the vessel onto or above the water adjacent the vessel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 13, 2011
    Publication date: June 7, 2012
    Inventor: Alfred Rosen
  • Patent number: 7998566
    Abstract: The present invention is an artificial snow and an artificial ski area. The artificial snow is composed of a solid lubricant compound and resin grains, wherein the components of said solid lubricant compound include: 40-50 parts by weight paraffin and 15-25 parts by weight polyethylene ester or polypropylene ester or polyurethane grains and 15-30 parts by weight talcum powder. The artificial ski area includes an artificial snow layer formed from artificial snow and a fiber layer. The artificial snow layer is laid on top of the fiber layer. The above-described artificial snow and artificial ski area is not subject to temperature and seasonal restrictions. It does not require water or cooling agents. It is inexpensive to manufacture and is low cost. It can be designed and built according to actual needs to meet the needs of different groups of people.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2011
    Inventor: Jingming Lang
  • Publication number: 20110163175
    Abstract: According to the present invention there is provided a compact heat pump using water as refrigerant, comprising an evaporator located at a first end section of the heat pump casing, adapted to allow evaporation of water therefrom, One or more compressors located at a second end section of the heat pump casing adapted to induce said evaporation by maintaining vacuum, provided with an intake conduit extending from the evaporator to the compressor leading vapor thereto. A condenser is located in the intermediate section of the casing wherein the intake conduit passes therethrough, adapted for condensing the vapor. The heat pump also comprises vacuum means allowing creating and maintaining vacuum in the casing. There is also provided a snow dome allowing skiing and snow related activities in above zero conditions using the heat pump for creation of snow or ice slurry.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 6, 2010
    Publication date: July 7, 2011
    Inventors: Avraham OPHIR, Henrikh Rojanskiy, Rafi Siluk, Arie Kanievski, Larisa Kanievski, Achmon Ori
  • Publication number: 20110049258
    Abstract: A nucleator nozzle (20) for producing ice nuclei is designed as convergent-divergent nozzle. The nozzle channel (25) has a section (27) that is widening. The ratio of the cross-sectional area of the outlet opening (23) to the cross-sectional area of the nozzle channel (25) in the region of the nucleus diameter (26) is at least approximately 4:1. A snow lance (1) having at least one nucleator nozzle (20) and having at least one water nozzle (30; 30?) is designed such that water droplets (32) produced by the water nozzle (30; 30?) pass through a droplet path (31; 31?) of at least 20 cm until they reach ice nuclei (28) from the nucleator nozzle (20) in a germination zone E.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 8, 2008
    Publication date: March 3, 2011
    Applicants: BAECHLER TOP TRACK AG, MICRO-VERSCHLEISS-TECHNIK AG
    Inventors: Daniela Lehner, Mathieu Fauve, Bruno Koch, Claus Dangel
  • Patent number: 7874500
    Abstract: A snow making apparatus of the low profile snow gun type or of the tower type having independent and co-extending air and first water conduits supported above ground. Air and first water discharge nozzles are connected to the upper ends respectively of these conduits for producing a plume of atomized water from external interacting air and water discharge under pressure from the air and water discharge nozzles to produce snow in sub-freezing ambient conditions. A second water conduit co-extends with the air and first water conduits and a second water discharge nozzle is connected to the upper end of this second water conduit in the head of the snow gun or tower for discharge of additional water under pressure to ambient atmosphere through this second water discharge nozzle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2011
    Inventor: Charles N. Santry
  • Publication number: 20100051714
    Abstract: A procedure for moderating the intensity of a hurricane in regions of the seas that are host to the oil and gas industries is described, using the Gulf of Mexico as an example of such a region, and snow-making machines as the instruments for carrying out the procedure. These machines are carried on moving platforms that follow the hurricane and on fixed platforms that are located in the path of the hurricane. In the described procedure snow-making machines are installed on fixed platforms throughout the region, and only those machines that are in the path of an approaching hurricane are turned on, while the snow-making machines on the moving platform(s) are operating continually.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 5, 2009
    Publication date: March 4, 2010
    Inventor: Alfred Rosen
  • Publication number: 20090294547
    Abstract: A snow making apparatus that allows for the production of snow when the outdoor air temperature is from about ?3° Celsius or colder to about +5° Celsius. The snow making apparatus includes a snow machine that includes one or more water nozzles that spray a water mist into the air. The snow making apparatus also includes a snow accelerator that includes an air compressor, a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the compressed air and a cooling system to cool the compressed dehumidified air. The cooled air is passed through an expansion valve and the modified compressed air is directed through a nozzle positioned to lie near the water nozzles. The modified compressed air has a absolute humidity of about 0.02 g/m3 or less and a temperature of about ?50° Celsius or less. The water mist and modified compressed air are combined, causing the water mist to turn into snow.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 29, 2008
    Publication date: December 3, 2009
    Inventors: Takumi Ichinomiya, Tomoaki Akiyama
  • Patent number: 7562831
    Abstract: The invention relates to artificial snowmaking and specifically to the discovery that by introducing an effective amount of organo-modified polysiloxane material to the water being supplied to the snow guns, the quality of the snow thus made is significantly enhanced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2009
    Assignee: Aquatrols Corporation of America, Inc.
    Inventors: Dominic Charles Costa, Stanley J Kostka
  • Publication number: 20090151964
    Abstract: A method of suppressing a naturally occurring event that requires heat to sustain itself, comprises the steps of generating artificial snow in the vicinity of the event and introducing the snow into the event to melt therein. One application of this method is extinguishing a fire by generating artificial snow in the vicinity of the fire and introducing the snow into the fire to melt therein. For example a fire boat or truck may carry on a movable structure a snowmaking machine for generating artificial snow and projecting the snow in a desired direction. In another example, a sprinkler system may be modified to spray artificial snow.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 19, 2008
    Publication date: June 18, 2009
    Inventor: Alfred Rosen
  • Patent number: 7546960
    Abstract: A snow making apparatus comprises at least one water/air nozzle for ejecting a water/air mixture. The snow making apparatus comprises at least one jet pump which operates with water as a driving medium and mixes air with the water and compresses the water/air mixture in order to form the water/air mixture which is supplied to the at least one water/air nozzle. A method of operating a snow making apparatus comprises corresponding features. The snow making apparatus and method enables unused energy to be used in a particularly effective manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2009
    Assignee: Nivis GmbH-SRL
    Inventor: Wilhelm Stofner
  • Patent number: 7543400
    Abstract: A machine towed by a snowmobile that forms parallel cross country snow skiing tracks and having a water container mounted thereon, which streams water through two water outlet ports by gravity and assist from the use of an air pump, powered by a storage battery to the bottom portion of the skiing tracks, where the water turns to ice in below freezing temperatures, thus imparting a slippery surface to the tracks, which provides an improved skiing surface that enhances the gliding action for the enjoyment of a skier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Inventor: Jerry Vernard Kramer
  • Patent number: 7543760
    Abstract: An apparatus for producing evaporative snow having a snow generation unit including a fluid reservoir, a fluid delivery line and a snow generation tip; and a compressed gas unit including at least one container of compressed gas, a source of electric power, and a gas regulator valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Inventors: Frank Levy, Francisco Javier Guerra
  • Publication number: 20090114735
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for producing artificial snow is provided. The method and apparatus include controls and operating parameters for given ambient conditions to assure that fluid droplets are at equilibrium temperature before mixing with ice nuclei to produce artificial snow.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 4, 2008
    Publication date: May 7, 2009
    Applicant: JOHNSON CONTROLS TECHNOLOGY COMPANY
    Inventor: Jay H. COLLINS
  • Publication number: 20090032608
    Abstract: A snowmaking apparatus having a housing having an inlet and an outlet through with fluid is propelled into which liquid droplets and ice crystals are injected to form artificial snow is disclosed. The liquid droplets and ice crystals are injected into the propelled fluid by a structure disposed within the housing proximate the outlet. The snowmaking apparatus also includes an outer ring system that injects additional liquid droplets into the propelled fluid at an inclined angle around the housing outlet.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 30, 2008
    Publication date: February 5, 2009
    Applicant: JOHNSON CONTROLS TECHNOLOGY COMPANY
    Inventor: Craig D. KINCADE
  • Publication number: 20090014549
    Abstract: A navigable vessel for use in reducing the intensity of a tropical cyclone having an eye located over an ocean comprises a plurality of artificial snow-making devices aboard the vessel, at least one pump coupled to the devices and accessible to a body of water in which the vessel is floating for supplying the devices with water for making artificial snow, and a power source coupled to the devices to operate the devices in concert for producing a substantially uninterrupted supply of artificial snow. The artificial snow-making devices have discharge nozzles oriented to project the artificial snow away from the vessel onto or above the water adjacent the vessel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 18, 2008
    Publication date: January 15, 2009
    Inventor: Alfred Rosen
  • Patent number: 7290722
    Abstract: An elongated pipe conduit snow making tower, and assembly method, having an upper end spray nozzle head and pivotally supported on a support pipe for vertical inclination by a hydraulic ram jack enabling infinite non-preselected incremental inclinations. A ram safety latch automatically latch/catches the tower pipe if the jack leaks. Secondary and tertiary external flexible water hoses are selectable to feed associated spray head snowmaking nozzles, and an internal compressed air conduit feeds spray head seeding nozzles. Secondary and tertiary ball valve assemblies mounted on a water feed block are outlet coupled to their respective hoses. In drain condition turbulent primary water continually washes against a valve ball flow closure side for an anti-freezing effect. The spray head is a four-piece modular planar stack up of disks each carrying spray nozzles that all discharge forwardly away from the pipe tower in generally parallel spray patterns.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2007
    Assignee: Snow Machines, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey Allen Ewald
  • Patent number: 7269959
    Abstract: Method for making snow wherein snow is made within a closed environment by discharging water droplets into a body of air maintained by air conditioning means at a temperature and humidity such as to turn the water droplets into snow, falling on to a surface including coolant pipes which are covered with a layer of snow, the coolant being at a lower temperature than the air temperature such that there is a temperature gradient in the snow layer of the order of 0.1 degrees centigrade per centimeter depth, whereby during the initial part of the process a small quantity of small droplets is discharged to provide nucleating particles, and thereafter a larger quantity of droplets is discharged and whereby incoming air to be discharged into the body of air is drawn over cold surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2007
    Assignee: Acer Snowmec Limited
    Inventors: Malcom George Clulow, David Winnett
  • Patent number: 7246497
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system that generates particles of mist, freezes the mist particles, and delivers a mixture of a gas and the solid mist particles to an external application.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2007
    Assignee: Lytron, Inc.
    Inventors: Boris Akselband, Charles C. Carswell, Craig R. Carswell, Richard Goldman, Kathryn Whitenack
  • Patent number: 7124958
    Abstract: A method and apparatus suitable for producing an artificial snow surface for tire evaluation is provided. The process provides for manufacturing a series of snow layers, each layer followed by a packing and a grooming step to provide a multi-layered snow surface. Desirable shear strength properties of the snow surface are enhanced by a surface grooming technique that applies a layer of water to the upper snow surface followed by grooming of the surface. The manufactured snow surface allows the testing and evaluation of tires that compares favorably to tire evaluation data obtained from outdoor testing facilities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2006
    Assignee: Michelin Recherche et Technique S.A.
    Inventors: Paul Schultz, Timothy Dougherty
  • Patent number: 7114662
    Abstract: Snow is made, for use on ski slopes and the like, using compressed air at a pressure substantially less than 95 psig, preferably around 30 psig. The air is provided to a snow making head or snow gun, where it is flowed through an air nozzle having effective diameter D. The air stream intersects a water droplet stream with angle A and at distance L from the air nozzle. Preferred angle A is in the range 70 to 110 degrees. The preferred ratio L/D is in the range 9:1 and 22:1. High pressure air from existing compressor systems is reduced to a desired substantially lower pressure by a central choked flow throttle upstream of an aftercooler, or by multi-stage throttles located near the snow making head. Water is added to the compressed air to substantially improve snow making, particularly when ambient relative humidity is low.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2006
    Inventor: John P. Nikkanen
  • Patent number: 7062926
    Abstract: Method for making snow wherein snow is made within a closed environment by discharging water droplets into a body of air maintained by air conditioning means at a temperature and humidity such as to turn the water droplets into snow, falling on to a surface including coolant pipes which are covered with a layer of snow, the coolant being at a lower temperature than the air temperature such that there is a temperature gradient in the snow layer of the order of 0.1 degrees centigrade per centimeter depth, whereby during the initial part of the process a small quantity of small droplets is discharged to provide nucleating particles, and thereafter a larger quantity of droplets is discharged and whereby incoming air to be discharged into the body of air is drawn over cold surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2006
    Assignee: Acer Snowmec Limited
    Inventors: Malcolm George Clulow, David Winnett
  • Patent number: 6951308
    Abstract: A snow making method and apparatus wherein water (3) in flexible hoses (2), within a cooling medium (1) is converted to snow and/or ice crystals. The hoses (2) are cyclically inflated and deflated to cause the crystals to be dislodged from the inner wall surfaces of the hoses (2). When the hoses (2) are full of crystals, the crystals can be discharged by pumping or blowing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2005
    Assignee: Snow Factories SA
    Inventor: Alfio Bucceri
  • Patent number: 6938830
    Abstract: A snow making method where water and/or ice is mixed with a cryogenic material, such as carbon dioxide, in a mixing vessel and the mixture is mechanically agitated or mixed to convert the water and/or ice into snow. The cryogenic material may be recovered and return for return to the vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: Snow Factories PTY LTD
    Inventor: Alfio Bucceri
  • Patent number: 6868691
    Abstract: A Machine and method for producing the illusion of snow is disclosed and described. It produces said product in a manner such that is easier to manufacture, operate, and produce than is currently available.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Inventor: Francisco Guerra
  • Patent number: 6797191
    Abstract: A method for reducing the drag on an aqueous solution in a pipe or hose system such as a snow making system includes the introduction of drag reducing polymers into the aqueous solution prior to circulating the solution in a pipe or hose. In a preferred embodiment, the drag reducing polymers are a mixture of polyethylene oxide in a carrier solution. The introduction of the polyethylene oxide in a carrier solution reduces the overall frictional drag and therefore increases the snow making efficiency by reducing the power needed to pump the water. As a result, it is easier for greater quantities of snow to be made using existing equipment due to the increased flow rate as a result of the lower drag friction. In a preferred embodiment, the polyethylene oxide is approximately 20-30% by weight and is introduced into the water pipe so resulting concentrations are approximately 30-100 weight parts per million (WPPM).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2004
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Richard B. Philips, Theresa A. Baus
  • Patent number: 6793148
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for producing man-made snow without using either compressed air or high-speed fans. The method makes use of a special water nozzle that is designed to provide a high volume spray of water particles that, owing to their size distribution (having a median size of between about 100 and 200 microns) in the spray, are readily susceptible to conversion to ice crystals as they settle to earth under favorable ambient conditions. Preferably, water applied to the nozzle is seeded with artificial nucleation sites so that water particles in a spray containing such sites are more susceptible to conversion to ice crystals as the particles settle to earth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: Ratnik Industries, Incorporated
    Inventor: H. Ronald Ratnik
  • Publication number: 20040144852
    Abstract: A snow making method where water and/or ice is mixed with a cryogenic material, such as carbon dioxide, in a mixing vessel and the mixture is mechanically agitated or mixed to convert the water and/or ice into snow. The cryogenic material may be recovered and return for return to the vessel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2004
    Publication date: July 29, 2004
    Inventor: Alfio Bucceri
  • Publication number: 20040112976
    Abstract: The spraying device comprises:—a tubular body which defines a chamber connected to a supply of water under pressure, a nozzle (1) with atomizer and a constriction organ in the form of a valve (6) in order to form a thin-walled hollow jet. The orifice (7) of the nozzle comprises a surface shaping the jet which is arranged to produce at the level of this latter an asymmetry of rotation. The spraying device preferably comprises two nozzles centered in the same plane and forming between them an angle which is of the order of 80°. The valves of these two nozzles are controlled simultaneously by appropriate elements.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 30, 2003
    Publication date: June 17, 2004
    Inventors: Michel Galvin, Eric David, Bernard Pergay
  • Publication number: 20040060995
    Abstract: A snow making method and apparatus wherein water (3) in flexible hoses (2), within a cooling medium (1) is converted to snow and/or ice crystals. The hoses (2) are cyclically inflated and deflated to cause the crystals to be dislodged from the inner wall surfaces of the hoses (2). When the hoses (2) are full of crystals, the crystals can be discharged by pumping or blowing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 15, 2003
    Publication date: April 1, 2004
    Inventor: Alfio Bucceri
  • Publication number: 20040056110
    Abstract: A Machine and method for producing the illusion of snow is disclosed and described. It produces said product in a manner such that is easier to manufacture, operate, and produce than is currently available.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 26, 2003
    Publication date: March 25, 2004
    Inventor: Francisco Guerra
  • Publication number: 20040035947
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for producing man-made snow without using either compressed air or high-speed fans. The method makes use of a special water nozzle that is designed to provide a high volume spray of water particles that, owing to their size distribution (having a median size of between about 100 and 200 microns) in the spray, are readily susceptible to conversion to ice crystals as they settle to earth under favorable ambient conditions. Preferably, water applied to the nozzle is seeded with artificial nucleation sites so that water particles in a spray containing such sites are more susceptible to conversion to ice crystals as the particles settle to earth.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 10, 2002
    Publication date: February 26, 2004
    Inventor: H. Ronald Ratnik
  • Patent number: 6691926
    Abstract: A snow making system comprises a cooling subsystem having a fan that draws a first air into the cooling subsystem and a turbine that expands a second air to produce an expanded air, with the cooling subsystem combining the first air and the expanded air to produce a high mass-flow, high-velocity, cooled air. A nozzle subsystem has a channel that receives the cooled air and a water injector that injects water into the cooled turbine air such that the water is atomized and frozen by the high-velocity cooled air. The system thereby produces frozen water nuclei in the absence of a nucleating nozzle. The remainder of the channel receives high-velocity, high mass-flow fan air and water injectors that inject water into said air such that water particles are partly atomized. The two flows then mix upon exiting the system and produce snow if ambient conditions permit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Alan Moen
  • Publication number: 20030141377
    Abstract: A tower hydrant station for a snow making apparatus is illustrated wherein underground air and water pipes are respectively connected to remote sources of air and water under pressure and air and water hydrant pipes are respectively connected to these underground air and water pipes for supplying air and water under pressure above ground. Valves are respectively connected to these hydrant pipes for valving air and water therefrom. A substantially vertical closed metal snow tower mounting pipe is provided and has a hollow interior and is embedded in ground and exposed above ground for supporting a snow making tower thereon. The air hydrant pipe is connected to the interior of this tower mounting pipe whereby the interior portions of the mounting pipe constitute a portion or segment of the air hydrant pipe system and air under pressure supplied to the air hydrant coupling is circulated through above ground portions of the mounting pipe for cooling.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 30, 2002
    Publication date: July 31, 2003
    Inventor: Herman K. Dupre
  • Patent number: 6575381
    Abstract: Primarily crushed flaky or platy pieces of ice are supplied from a supply port into a rotary blade casing of a high speed rotary snow producing and throwing apparatus toward a rotor blade in the shaft direction of a rotating shaft by strong discharge pressure of a forced blast, crushed into pieces with smaller and finer particle size through second crushing by the rotor blade rotating at high speed, and sent out from a delivery port nearly in the direction of a tangent of the rotational outer periphery of the rotor blade.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Piste Snow Industries
    Inventor: Takamasa Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 6554200
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system capable of accurately monitoring each of a plurality of snowmakers of ice crushing type which are placed on a skiing ground. The system has a monitoring device, which is placed in a monitoring station of the skiing ground and is connected to each of the snowmakers for monitoring an operational state of each of the snowmakers. The system further includes an external monitoring device provided in an external monitoring station located in a remote place from skiing grounds. The external monitoring device is capable of monitoring an operational state of each of the snowmakers in a selected skiing ground, since it can be selectively connected to the monitoring device placed in each skiing ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Piste Snow Industries
    Inventor: Toshihide Satonaka
  • Publication number: 20030071135
    Abstract: A snow making tower including an elongated tower conduit combination which has an elongated air conduit extending within an elongated water conduit with upper and lower ends and provided with a ground support mount. Air and first water discharge nozzles are respectively provided adjacent the upper ends of the conduits and positioned for producing a plume of atomized water from external interacting air and water discharged under pressure from the air and first water discharge nozzles to produce snow in subfreezing ambient conditions. Couplings are provided for connecting air and water under pressure at the lower end of the tower. Three additional water discharge nozzles are positioned below the first water nozzle and connected to the water conduit for providing additional water sprays which are directed whereby at least portions thereof will intermix with the plume of atomized water as it falls.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 15, 2001
    Publication date: April 17, 2003
    Inventor: Herman K. Dupre