ReNewSnow finished building the protective case that will house the SnowPod™ instrumentation. The device will be installed in the stream running next to the green Weaver trail at Saddleback Mountain. As anyone who has spent a night at Saddleback will know, it can get very cold, especially at night. Even so, this stream runs with water all winter long, sometimes forming a tunnel under several feet of snow.
While the air temperature will often drop well below zero, the water in the stream remains at a comparatively warm 32°F. The SnowPod™ is designed to extract energy from the running water to power the electronics and to keep the space inside relatively warm. To this end, the sides and top of the case are well insulated, and we plan to bury most of the box below grade. The base, however, isn't insulated. This is because the earth, like the water, is warmer than the air, and this energy will help us keep the space inside “warmer.”
We expect the SnowPod™ will take a lot of rain, sleet, and ice. To ensure the casing is air and watertight, we pumped air out to lower the internal pressure. The case was able to hold negative 7 psi with no air leakage.
We next plan to install the instrumentation in the case and insert the SnowPod™ in the (blue) industrial cooler, shown in the picture below, to simulate the actual temperature range it will experience at Saddleback.