Title:
SNOW MAKER
United States Patent 3838815


Abstract:
A snow maker uses a blower forcing an air stream outward at at least 7000 feet per minute, and an injector receives pressurized water and directs it as a fine spray into the air stream so that the water is broken into fine drops that are carried along by the air stream and freeze into snow before landing.



Inventors:
RICE B
Application Number:
05/325575
Publication Date:
10/01/1974
Filing Date:
01/22/1973
Assignee:
RICE B,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
239/554, 239/DIG.13
International Classes:
F25C3/04; (IPC1-7): F25C3/00; F25C3/04; A19
Field of Search:
239/2S,14,DIG.13,554,555
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3703991SNOW PRECIPITATOR1972-11-28Eustis et al.
3408005Snow making nozzle1968-10-29Struble et al.
3107060Fog tip1963-10-15Coursey, Jr.
2813753Fog nozzle1957-11-19Roberts
2647800Fire extinguishing nozzle and distributor head1953-08-04Burnam et al.
1890156Shower rose1932-12-06Konig



Foreign References:
FR1372024A1964-09-11
Primary Examiner:
King, Lloyd L.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Cumpston, Shaw & Stephens
Claims:
I claim

1. A snow maker comprising:

2. The snow maker of claim 1 wherein said injector is recessed into an output housing of said blower.

3. The snow maker of claim 2 wherein said water directed out of said injector is angled to clear said housing.

Description:
THE INVENTIVE IMPROVEMENT

Previous snow making machines have used water and compressed air mixed together and directed forcefully outward so that the expanding air helps chill and freeze the water drops. Equipment for providing the compressed air is relatively expensive and heavy so that snow making equipment has required a large investment.

The invention involves recognition of a way to make snow without using compressed air, and this allows substantial savings in expense and weight so that snow can be made much more economically. The invention aims at efficient snow making with relatively inexpensive and lightweight equipment that is convenient, effective, reliable and easy to operate.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The inventive snow maker has a blower forming an air stream traveling outward at at least 7000 feet per minute and a water injector receiving water under pressure. The injector has openings for directing water into the air stream, and the openings are small enough so the water breaks into fine drops carried along by the air stream and frozen into snow before landing. The openings in the injector are preferably approximately .010 to .030 inches across, and the injector is preferably on the axis of the air stream to direct the water radially outward into the air stream.

DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partially schematic, elevational view of a preferred embodiment of the inventive snow maker; and

FIG. 2 is a partially cross-sectioned, enlarged elevational view of the injector for the snow maker of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Snow maker 10 of FIG. 1 has a blower 11 powered by an engine or motor 12 arranged on a pivotal base 13 mounted on a stand 14. Engine 12 is preferably an internal combustion engine, but can also be an electric motor, and blower 11 is preferably a large, centrifugal blower as schematically illustrated. Blower 11 drives an air stream out of output opening 15 at at least 7000 feet per minute, and preferably has sufficient power to drive the air stream at 12,000 or more feet per minute. Blower 11 is preferably mounted to be pivotal in a vertical plane as indicated by the arrows, and base 13 pivots horizontally on stand 14. The combination of these movements allows blower 11 to be aimed throughout a wide territory around stand 14 for spreading snow as desired.

Water under pressure is directed to blower 11 through line 16 as schematically illustrated, and the flow rate in line 16 is preferably adjustable for optimum snow making. Line 16 leads to an injector 20 recessed into output housing 15 on the axis of the air stream. Injector 20 directs water radially outward in fine streams so that the water breaks into fine drops carried along by the air stream. The air stream moving at 7000 feet per minute or more is forceful enough to carry the droplets along for a substantial distance so that the droplets are chilled and freeze into snow before landing. Injector 20 could also be a ring or a plurality of nozzles around output housing 15, and injector 20 is preferably recessed into housing 15 for mechanical protection.

FIG. 2 shows a preferred form of injector 20 arranged on pipe 21. Pipe 21 has open slots 22 to admit water radially outward from the end of pipe 21, and a ring 23 secured to pipe 21 has recesses 24 registered with slots 22. The forward face 25 of ring 23 is angled at about 45° to the axis of pipe 21 and recesses 24 are formed as slots cut at smaller angles to the axis of pipe 21 and registered with slots 22.

Another ring 26 forward of ring 23 has a seat 27 mating with surface 25 around the radially inner edges of recesses 24. A notch 28 radially outward of seat 27 receives water passing through recesses 24, and the rear surface 29 of ring 26 leading outward from notch 28 is slightly inclined relative to surface 26 to form a narrowing gap between ring 23 and ring 26. At the outer extremity of injector 20, this gap is .010 to .030 inches across and preferably about .020 inches across.

Pressurized water admitted through line 16 forces out through slots 22 in pipe 21 and through recesses 24 to fill annular notch 28. From notch 28 outward, the water passes through a gradually diminishing gap to spray outward from injector 20 in a thin sheet of water having a generally conical form directed outward at about 45° to the axis of pipe 21. Injector 20 could also use a plurality of holes of approximately .010 to .030 inches in diameter, but experience has shown that a greater quantity of water can be output through the arcuate slot between ring 23 and ring 26, and under some conditions, this allows snow to be made at a faster rate.

Ring 29 is like ring 26 in seating around recesses 24 to form a gap 30 for output of another conical spray of water. Ring 31 has a rearward surface shaped like the rearward surfaces of rings 26 and 29 for seating against ring 29 to produce another water gap 30 as illustrated. End cap 32 holds a screw 33 that fastens rings 26, 29 and 31 in place against ring 23 which is preferably welded to pipe 21. Recesses 24 can be formed either on the forward edge of rings 23, 26 and 29 as illustrated, or on the rearward edges of rings 26, 29 and 31.

Optimum snow making with the inventive snow maker depends in part on the temperature and relative humidity. The gallons per minute of water that can be converted to snow vary inversely with both temperature and humidity, and a faster moving air stream generally enhances snow making ability at any temperature or relative humidity. In practice, machine 10 is generally put into operation so that the quality of snow it produces can be checked, and then a valve or other control in line 16 is adjusted for the correct water flow rate for optimum snow making under the circumstances. Those experienced with snow makers can quickly adjust machine 10 for optimum performance.

Compared to other snow making equipment using compressed air, either from a central fixed location or from a compressor operated at the site of the snow maker, machine 10 is far smaller, lighter and less expensive. Compressed air snow making equipment can operate at higher temperatures, but machine 10 by its simplicity and economy serves a wide range of snow making needs.

Persons wishing to practice the invention should remember that other embodiments and variations can be adapted to particular circumstances. Even though one point of view is necessarily chosen in describing and defining the invention, this should not inhibit broader or related embodiments going beyond the semantic orientation of this application but falling within the spirit of the invention. For example, blower 11 can have many sizes and shapes and can be powered by many different engines and motors. Also, a water injector can be arranged in many different ways to inject fine streams of water into the air output of the blower.