How is snow made in ski resorts?

February 22, 2022

The Beijing Winter Olympics have inspired more southerners to participate in ice sports. In a ski resort in Changsha, Zhang Xiaobo, a "snow maker", saw more and more customers coming to play in the snow. He felt that his work could help others. bring joy.
At 4 am on February 13, Zhang Xiaobo came to the ice room of the screw compression mechanism as usual and pressed the operation button. After going down the stairs and confirming that the ice flakes in the room where the ice flakes were stored were falling normally, he returned to the control room to monitor the temperature of the ski resort.
This is Zhang Xiaobo's 7th year working at an indoor ski resort in Changsha. Many nights, he completed the ice-making work in this way, providing a comfortable and safe skiing environment for ski lovers.

Snow-making principle: "It's like a giant air conditioner"
At about 11 am on February 13, Zhang Xiaobo brought reporters to the ice making room on the fourth floor. After pressing the operation button of the screw compressor, the machine starts to run, making a loud noise. Zhang Xiaobo told reporters that the water was transported into the round tank through pipes and flowed down the edge of the tank. "Freon refrigerant will quickly condense this water into ice flakes, which will then be scraped off by rollers in the round tank and dropped into the next room where the ice flakes are stored."

In the ice storage room on the third floor, a few minutes later, ice flakes were falling from the jar upstairs. Zhang Xiaobo touched a piece of ice slag and rubbed it with his fingers: "The ice that fell at the beginning was wet, and it will become dry after a few minutes."
According to Zhang Xiaobo, the ice-making speed of the screw compressor is about 1 ton/hour. And his night shift time is from 0:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., producing a total of 8 tons of ice. "The ice will be replaced as a whole about every half month."
After the ice storage room is full of ice flakes, Zhang Xiaobo will shovel the ice flakes into a small hole next to it. This small hole leads to the ice crushing machine downstairs. Entering the ski area, the ski area is finally filled and leveled by humans.

Daily work: In addition to making snow, it is also necessary to monitor the indoor temperature
In addition to monitoring the ice-making work of the screw compressor, Zhang Xiaobo spends more time in the control room monitoring the temperature of the ski resort. The display shows the real-time temperature of each area of ​​the ski resort, "It is normal from minus 1 degree Celsius to minus 8 degrees Celsius. This will not happen in winter, but once there are many people in summer, sometimes the indoor temperature will even reach zero. A couple of degrees. That's when the ice in the room starts to melt, and there's a problem."
Whenever there is a small problem with these refrigeration equipment, Zhang Xiaobo will bring tools to overhaul. "Fluorine leakage is a very common problem, but it is difficult to detect it. If there is a problem with the indoor fan, I have to hang a safety rope and climb up the pipe to repair it."

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Many years ago, Zhang Xiaobo worked in a refrigeration plant in Changde. There, he learned about refrigeration. Introduced by a friend, he came to this ski resort 7 years ago and has since started ice making. "In fact, the principle is the same, our machine here is like a giant air conditioner."
Referring to the recent Beijing Winter Olympics in full swing, Zhang Xiaobo said: "The ice and snow-making technology of the Winter Olympics is definitely more advanced and mature, and the quality of the snow will be better than our amateur ski resorts."
According to media reports, at the Winter Olympics, different competitions have different requirements for the density, hardness and moisture content of snow. At the Shougang Ski Jump where Gu Ailing won the championship, the snowmaking work started in December 2021, mainly including 4 stages of snow making on the track body, snow storage in the snow storage area, shaping and cooperating with the secondary shaping team to make up snow. As a state of snow quality in ski resorts, icy snow can keep the surface of the ski track in a crystalline state, and is approximately wrapped with a thin hard ice shell to ensure the strength and elasticity of the track, just like laying a " "Rubber track" can effectively improve the skiing safety and performance stability of athletes.
The Beijing Winter Olympics have inspired more southerners to participate in ice sports, and more and more tourists come to ski. Zhang Xiaobo introduced that there are not only local tourists from Changsha, but also groups from Hubei and Jiangxi to experience skiing. He hopes to do a good job in snowmaking so that more people can enjoy the fun of skiing.