Mountainous regions are often strongly dependent on tourism, particularly on winter tourism. Technical snow is of vital importance in operating ski resorts that are fighting climate change. Operating costs and environmental aspects considerably gain importance and threaten feasibility of snowmaking.
This project presents a multi-barrier approach to establish a scientific basis in technical snowmaking, which was prior dominated by incremental experimental developments. Bringing a scientific understanding to the process development we anticipate major improvements, especially in fluid dynamics and noise-control. Current snowmaking technology is already sophisticated, but still yields a major potential for improvement. High energy demands and therefore operating costs hinder the widespread use of the technology, as well as the high noise emissions that are restricted by law.
The aim of the project is the development of a new snowmaking system that will offer an improved performance allowing production of quality snow with reduced energy consumption at higher temperatures and with low noise emission. This will enable the widespread and financially viable use of snowmaking technology in ski resorts. Operators profit from low operational costs and an earlier season start. The lowered noise emission enables use near residences or wildlife sanctuaries.
Tourism industry is major branch in Europe and together with all its linked businesses accounts for 10% of Europe’s GDP and 12% of the total employments. It annually generates €266 billion.
The tourism market is steadily growing at about 4%, the high demand on winter tourism is lasting and climate change is threatening. This demands increased use of snowmaking equipment.
In developing the new snowmaking equipment we will generate improved technologies in the area of fluid dynamics, passive cooling and noise-control that can be of interest for industrial applications beyond this project.