„It doesn´t snow and you´re on a ski trip“.... we know these words from a popular song.
Are you eagerly waiting for the winter to come as we are?
Artificial snow-making is an inherent part of quality skiing, which helps to prolong the winter season in the resort and to improve conditions for skiers. In the first episode of our serial we will describe the snow-making technique and service operations of snow-making systems. For everything to work without faults in winter and for trouble-free operation of the snow-making system, proper maintenance is very important after and before winter, focusing on leaks and replacement of defective parts. When doing pressure testing in spring, it looks like watering large gardens ;)
In Jasna we rely on a high-pressure system, where water and air are conducted underground and in one of 437 poles snow are then mixed and sprayed out in the required quality. The poles are equipped with electric heating. When condensed steam is blown out of a cap to clean the nozzles, you can hear air blowing that time. Afterwards the water is admitted, blended with air, and finally only air is admitted to remove any water left in nozzles so that it wouldn´t get frozen. It´s very interesting that electricity consumed last winter in the production of artificial snow would be enough for a year-round consumption for 150 families, which is the year-round consumption for one medium-sized village.
„The guts“ of the snow-making system are hidden underground. They consist of electronically controlled valves, where water and air are mixed in the desired ratio. It depends on the air temperature, water temperature, humidity, altitude, direction of the wind as well as on what snow is required (e.g. the base layer requires more water). In so called "guts" electrical distribution system is installed which is connected to the valve and communicates with a control room, which thanks to the latest technology records even the smallest problems.
„The brain“ of the snow-making system is the control room. Fully automated system allows for a selected segment or a pole to set up a trigger for spraying as for a temperature, wind direction and strength, with emphasis on effectiveness of spraying and quality of snow. 2 technicians are able to control 350 poles on the northern side of Mt Chopok. One of them checks the performance of the system from a control station and the second one on a scooter checks manually in the field whether the snow quality corresponds to selected parameters. Easy control and the possibility to cover certain sections of pistes in artificial snow according to requirements are the biggest advantage of the automatic high-pressure system, which we have invested considerable funds in. And advantage of Jasna is that only 1 supplier has been used for 16 years, and thus the compatibility of the system with the latest components is ensured.