Snow Flurries Instead of Sandstorms
Skiing in the desert? GEA cooling and refrigeration technologies allow people in the hottest and driest regions to enjoy winter sports on their doorsteps.
Ski Dubai, the first Ski Dome in the Middle East, is at the center of Dubai (United Arab Emirates), and offers skiers 22,500 square meters of snow surface, including five ski slopes that will suit ever level of expertise. The site includes a ski school for beginners, a 90 meter half-pipe for snowboarders, and a Snow Park for more gentle activities such as sledding or even just building snowmen. The extreme differences between the temperature indoors and outdoors mean that the indoor ski slope is effectively constructed as a huge refrigerator, with walls that are five meters thick. Three GEA Grasso screw compressors form the key components of the entire refrigeration plant.
Artificial cold for ski slopes: Winter fun – when it’s summer outside
GEA has made a name for itself as a specialist in the production of flaked ice for industrial applications, and we have also exploited this expertise for the production of artificial snow. For example, GEA has equipped the indoor ski slope in Moscow (the Moscow Snowdome) with three GEA Snowline snow cannons, which produce 150 cubic meters of snow daily. The snow in reality consists of crushed ice, without any additives. Produced in advance and stockpiled in heaps near the indoor ski slopes, the artificial snow can be blown through flexible hoses for up to 100 meters, to reach wherever it is required on the slopes, perhaps to compensate for an uneven surface or to prepare a slope for the next day’s session.
Snowline can function at temperatures above freezing, both indoors and outdoors. At a Belgian ski resort near Brussels, for example, professional snowboarders and skiers have been putting Snowline snow to the test outdoors in summer temperatures of 20°C / 68°F. The snow cannon used generates 50–55 cubic meters of snow per day, which is sufficient to cover an area of 1000 square meters to a depth of 20 centimeters of snow, in just three to four days.