CORDIS - EU research results

All Weather Snow machine driven by Renewable Energy Sources

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SnowRESolution (All Weather Snow machine driven by Renewable Energy Sources)

Reporting period: 2015-12-01 to 2016-03-31

The ski business and mountain economy depend on the randomness of snowfalls. Ski resorts have to counteract the lack of natural snow, and to guarantee the opening of ski district in the most touristic periods. SnowRESolution is a clean-tech snowmaker, able to produce high quality snow also when traditional snowmakers (fans and cannons) cannot be operated. It works at temperatures above 0°, in all weather condition and without any chemical additives. The technology is based on the refrigeration cycle and exploits the triple point of water, a condition that occurs at 0°C and almost in vacuum (6mbar) at which the three phases of ice, liquid, and vapour are in equilibrium. Thermal energy for the compressor is provided by renewable energy sources, which may be either a solar thermal collector or a biomass steam boiler.
NeveXN has achieved the business and technical feasibility objectives defined in the Phase 1 proposal, by identifying the product development plan, defined the minimum viable product and the profiles of key stakeholders to be involved to launch the snow machine on the market. Furthermore the company has conducted a comprehensive analysis of the market segments; identified the competition, the entry barriers and proper counter actions, prepared the commercialisation plan and 5 years financial projection. During the Feasibility Study, NeveXN has interacted with all the stakeholders in the value chain, identifying and contacting the suppliers, and the contract manufacturer for the industrial production, and establishing agreement for the future commercialisation, talking with end-users to gain further insights on their requirement. According to the results of the Phase 1 feasibility assessment, NeveXN considers worthy to follow up with the implementation of the industrialisation and commercialisation of the snow machine, and evaluated that the SME Instrument Phase 2 funding could provide the amount of funding and support to complete the validation of the all-weather snow machine.
The climate change, which has caused a growth of the average temperature and a decrease of the frequency of snowfalls, is expected to increase the occurrence of drought and warm periods when traditional snowmaking is not achievable. To produce snow at temperatures above 0°C, extend the time interval when snowmaking can be operated and therefore it offers the chance to extend the duration of the opening season of ski resorts. This will protect the revenues of ski resort and stakeholders in the ski business, and the job of hundreds thousands of people employed in the ski industry. SnowRESolution is the only snowmaker that can be powered by renewable energy sources, which decrease the operating costs for the ski resorts and reduce the environmental impact of snow making (less energy consumption and less carbon emission).
Prototype of the snow machine