Saddleback leveled the ground for the installation of the ReNewSnow Science Hut. The hut is primarily needed to house our pump, but it will also host additional equipment and serve as our mid-mountain base of operations for the ReNewSnow team.
Our SnowPod prototype test has two primary goals. First, we want to demonstrate that we can make snow using snowmelt flowing down the stream shown in the photo. Second, we need to validate our high-elevation water availability model.
For our first objective, we will need to operate the SnowPod, pump, and snow gun when water is available and when the wet bulb temperature is low enough for snowmaking, which is often in the middle of the night. For the test, we will be operating the equipment manually, which means Peter and Vittorio will likely have to spend a few nights on the mountain making snow. The science hut gives them a place to wait for the temperatures to drop into the snowmaking range. For commercial installations, we plan to automate the entire process, and operators will be able to control the SnowPod from the comfort of the lodge.
Second, we need to monitor flow rates throughout the season and compare this to our estimates. This data will be collected using sensors and transmitted to receivers at the base lodge, where it will be uploaded to our servers in the cloud. The shed will allow us to test different communication systems (cellular, radio, etc.) to determine which ones are most reliable and cost-effective. The flow rate data will help us calibrate our model, which we built from data collected at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire.