Break the foreign monopoly!How to make snow machine for the Winter Olympics?
Alpine skiing at the beginning of the Winter Olympics, very exciting!Athletes have to ski down steep mountains at speeds of 130 to 140 kilometers per hour with a vertical drop of more than 800 meters in a minute.In addition to testing the players’ technical level, the snow inside the venue was also a “big test”.If the quality of the snow is not good, it will be difficult for athletes to leap, turn, slide and other movements to be silky smooth.In order to meet this demand, the Beijing Winter Olympics used many pure homemade snow making machines to continuously make artificial snow.Well!You read that right, before we couldn’t make a good snow machine, the technology was blocked by foreign countries.So what’s so hard about a little snow machine?Why can’t we build it?The need for Artificial Snow It would be a huge amount of snow to hold a Winter Olympics.The slalom course, for example, requires about 71,500 cubic meters of snow, which, when added to the melting factor, rises to 107,200 cubic meters.Even small, large jumping tracks need to maintain at least 11,000 cubic meters of snow.A 5s-rated commercial ski resort, for example, would need at least 18,000 cubic meters of snow to fill a 1km primary ski slope.If you have to build dozens of kilometers, it’s really bald.And that’s just one event. There are a lot of snow events in the Winter Olympics, and it’s not enough to just rely on the weather for food.Also, since many tracks are often built on difficult mountain terrain, it can be costly to transport natural snow from elsewhere.So it’s going to be tough for a Winter Olympics venue, especially for places that don’t produce much snow. So what do you do?Ah, since natural snow is not good, that can make snow artificially!That’s a good idea!The past few Winter Olympics have done the same.For example, the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid were the first to use artificial snow, and subsequent Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Sochi and Pyeongchang all used artificial snow extensively.At the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, 90 percent of the snow used was artificial.The Beijing Winter Olympics is the first to use almost 100% artificial snow.To create snow that can cover the trails, snow machines are key.The working principle of the snow making machine is basically to imitate the formation process of natural snow.It is mainly to mix cold water below 5℃ and compressed air into the evaporator at minus 25℃ to freeze, and then use the cutting machine equipped inside to cut up the ice, and finally spewed out with the air.The principle is simple, but the internal process is crucial.First produced high pressure air compressor to nuclear generator of the nozzle, and then the fan blow the atomized spray to scatter in the air, a nuclear device in air and water to form certain proportion after nuclear generating snow, snow nuclear formed when it meets cold snowflakes in the air, then fell to the ground in the process, they freeze into snow crystals.So you see, although the components are only water and air, the nucleator is the core technology of the snowmaking machine. Modern new snowmaking machines have been able to create small flake flakes that are close to natural snow.However, in the past, because skiing in China was not very prosperous, we lacked experience and technology in snow making.To put it this way, before 2015, we could not even build a decent international professional ski trail, let alone improve the technology of snow making machine. We had to buy foreign snow making machine for a long time.In 2015, Beijing won the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. In order to successfully host the Games, our researchers began to solve this problem.For example, in 2017, under the leadership of the State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a scientific research team was formed in collaboration with domestic institutions and companies engaged in ice and snow technology research. After years of breakthroughs, the homemade snow making machine was finally manufactured, which can fully meet the various needs of the Winter Olympics.The density of snow produced by the machines is usually between 0.1 grams and 0.4 grams per cubic centimeter, while icy snow needs to have a density of 0.65 grams per cubic centimeter to turn it into ice, according to the report.What is icy snow?The International Snow Federation requires that the surface of an alpine skiing course be kept in a state of crystallization that approximates the surface of ice, known as “icy snow.”The hardness of the piste ensures that the surface of the piste is relatively smooth in the case of high-speed impact and turning.In addition, the condition of the piste and the shape of the snow remain stable regardless of the number of runners.If ice snow is used for alpine skiing, it is like building a “plastic track” in the snow.It can not only reduce the friction of the track surface on the skis, significantly improve the performance of athletes, but also improve the comfort of athletes in skiing, protect their body joints, and prolong the athletes’ professional sports career as far as possible.The process of making ice snow seems simple. You just need to cover it with snow and fill it with water, but there are no specific parameters for how much snow to cover or how often to fill it with water.In order to successfully create China’s own ice snow track, researchers went to various ski resorts and the National Alpine Ski center to make ice snow experiments.In some test areas, temperatures once reached minus 20 degrees Celsius, but the team members were still fighting on the front lines. It was worth the pain and suffering to serve the Winter Olympics early.Finally after the snow, water, compaction, measurement, analysis…As well as hundreds of field trials of different water injection and compaction techniques, the team has been able to compare and contrast data to determine the best ice snow production plan for the local area and optimize the functions of the snowmaker.It is worth mentioning that the snow made by the domestic snow making machine can completely catch up with the advanced foreign level, whether it is from the quality of snow making or the efficiency of snow making.For example, the degree of looseness and softness of the snow can fully meet the needs of skiing. Only in this way can the skiers before and after the appearance be able to slide on the same track and ensure the fairness of the competition.Is it a waste of water to make all that snow?Well, the answer is no.Snowmaking does not simply consume water; the snow it creates returns to the natural water cycle, and if the watershed is well planned, most of it flows back into reservoirs.For example, the national Alpine Ski Center uses two sources of water to make snow, one is a natural lake below the mountain, and the other is the mountain water circulation system.The system consists of two pools that collect rainfall and melt snow water for efficient recycling.The meltwater after the snow season and the daily rainwater will be collected to the pond dam located at an altitude of 900 meters through the natural channels in the competition area for greening and snow making in the next snow season.At the same time, the dam can also be used as a landscape reservoir, which is an important part of the landscape of the competition area and a model of sustainable utilization of water resources.Finally, of course, the snow machine is only one of many components in the snow making system, and domestic manufacturers have made breakthroughs in other key areas, such as the SG400 snow press made by Hebei Xuangong.This thing can glide over the snow, and as it passes, the surface becomes smooth and smooth, forming beautiful lines like ramen noodles.Not only to make the snow smooth soft snow, but also can not be too hard to cause ice skid, so the requirements are very high.Previously, the global high-end snow press market is almost occupied by foreign enterprises, the Chinese market is no exception, such as Germany Kassbohrer, Italy Prinoth two.Now the SG400 snow press manufactured by Hebei Xuangong has broken the foreign monopoly and enabled China to have independent intellectual property rights in key core technologies such as chassis suspension, electronic control system and hydraulic transmission, filling the gap of high-end snow press in China.Its biggest features are: it can climb 45 degrees of steep slope still like walking on flat ground, can break the snow layer at minus 40 degrees Celsius, and storage of a variety of domestic snow parameters, can quickly respond to snow conditions.In addition to the snow press, domestically made snow wax cars were also used for the first time at the Winter Olympics, involving new energy power, photovoltaic power, 5G and other technologies. The 20-meter-long car has six wax operating stations.It is with their escort that we can finally present the charm of the Winter Olympics!Finally, thanks to all the hard work for China’s Winter Olympic Games, without the efforts and achievements of scientific researchers, there would be no winter Olympic Games of science and technology, but also wish the Olympic athletes can achieve satisfactory results!