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ReNewSnow Assembles SnowPod and Prepares for Field Installation

ReNewSnow is in the final stages of assembling and testing the SnowPod in our lab in Chelmsford, MA. We have installed the microprocessor control boards, valves, and sensors, and are in the final stages of testing and calibrating the components. Once all components are tested, we will install the equipment in a protective case and ship it to Saddleback for field installation. We remain on schedule complete the installation by December 1.

Figure 1 shows our engineers testing the diverter valve, which will send water to the snow gun when the stream flow rate and atmospheric conditions are adequate for making snow.

Figure 2 shows the control unit, which allows us to monitor and operate SnowPod using a browser-based interface from anywhere with a web connection. The interface will display the stream flow rate, depth of water in the collection area, water temperature and pressure, and a video stream of the test site.

Figure 3 shows a computer receiving the raw data stream from the SnowPod.

In the field, the SnowPod will be attached to a weir, which Saddleback will install near the top of the stream shown in Figure 4. Our analysis suggests that during rain events, and in the cold days that follow, the flow rate in the stream will increase by more than 20-fold, providing enough water to supply as many as ten snow guns.

When the flow rate is sufficiently high and atmospheric conditions are adequate for making snow, we will actuate the diverter valve in the SnowPod and send the water through a 2” pipe run to a booster pump about 250 feet below. Figure 5 shows the pump we plan to use being assembled at HKD Snowmakers factor in Quebec City, Canada.

The pump will supply water to an HKD Volt snow gun, like the one shown in Figure 5. The box with the orange label holds the gun’s control unit, which enables it to operate automatically when conditions are appropriate for making snow.

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