If you’ve ever been skiing (or watched a documentary about it) you might have seen snow cannons—the cylindrical guns that use huge fans to shower snowfields with manufactured snow so that resorts can extend ski seasons or pad the slopes in years of lean snowfall.
As effective as traditional snowmaking systems are, they’re not without inefficiencies in water and energy use. But Austrian startup Neuschnee (German for “new snow”) aims to change that: It has hit on a method that’s as elegant as it is effective to create natural snow—inspired by the very best snowmaker. “We thought it might be easier to just copy nature, create a cloud, and literally let it snow,” says Michael Bacher, CEO of Neuschnee.
All snowmaking systems essentially mix water and air, but the method makes the difference in the quality of snow produced and, more important, the system’s water use and resulting environmental impact. “Just in Austria, we use about 50 million cubic meters of water every season to make snow,” Bacher says. “We consider it our responsibility to develop the most efficient way to produce snow.”
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