Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Winning Design

TechnoAlpin is gaining accolades for its TT10 fan gun and TLx Lance series
Man operating TechnoAlpin’s TT10 fan gun

An abundance of fresh snow is never a given event for any ski resort or area. It’s why snow generators, like TechnoAlpin’s TT10 fan gun and the TLx Lance series, remain essential components for any hill lacking a plush landscape.

“Both solutions are not comparable to any other systems on the market,” said Paolo Bagozzi, who works in product management at TechnoAlpin, headquartered in Bolzano, Italy. “This is part of the company’s philosophy – to be trendsetters and push innovation wherever possible.”

TechnoAlpin has been a leader in technical snowmaking and manufactured snow for over 30 years, with offices located globally. They provide ski resorts and areas with snowmaking systems to boost winter tourism, especially for those offering experiences like skiing and snowboarding.

“The TechnoAlpin snow generators are very versatile,” said Bagozzi. “They’re suited for all types of usage because the dry snow and massive throwing range can cover very large areas.

“We developed and designed the TT10 fan gun in-house through our research and development department. Meanwhile, our French research and development department developed the TLx Lance Series.”

TLx Lance making snow

Like natural snow, man-made snow consists exclusively of water and air. The only difference lies in the production method. The systems for the snow guns and lances are composed of nothing more than compressed air and water, involving the use of nucleators to form nuclides upon entering the atmosphere.

“The nozzles on snow guns and lances convert the water into fine droplets which combine with the nuclides and freeze into small snow crystals on their way down to the ground,” he said. “It’s a very efficient system that is easy to install, use and maintain, and both can be used in all terrains wherever snowmaking is required.”

The TT10 is the first pre-assembled fixed tower snow generator on the market, says Bagozzi. Users can take the TT10 from the truck and install it directly in the pit without further assembly. “It’s also the first fixed installed tower snow generator that can lower for servicing or repairs,” he said.

Bagozzi says snowmaking principles are similar in all snow generators. “The only required training is the user interface and component, which happens during the commissioning of our products,” he said. TechnoAlpin also offers specific technical training for its equipment through the TechnoAlpin Academy.

“The academy trains 550 people worldwide annually,” said Bagozzi. “In 2022, three pieces of training in the U.S. focused on practical work and troubleshooting for TechnoAlpin’s products.”

This year, iF Design, known for celebrating outstanding design and social engagement, recognized the TT10 fan gun as one of 73 outstanding submissions from nearly 11,000 entries with the iF Design Gold Award.

The TT10 is the first pre-assembled fixed tower snow generator on the market, says Bagozzi.

“This is a very innovative and efficient machine,” said Bagozzi. “However, my favorite aspect of the TT10 is the clean design of the whole snow generator.”

Meanwhile, the TLx Lance Series is a lance concept that unifies all of the different versions and components in the series for targeted snowmaking.

“The only components that differ between the versions are the head and the distributor,” said Bagozzi. “The available versions are the TL8, which maximizes efficiency and precision control across the entire temperature range; the TL4, which also offers efficiency and precision control, but at a lower maximum flow and cost; and TL2, which is used specifically on relatively low slope sections in the limit temperature range.”

All TLx lance heads sit on the new lightweight universal pipe, also developed by TechnoAlpin. “Snowmaking systems are highly complex technical systems which consist of many components,” said Bagozzi. “For optimum snowmaking, all the components must precisely match each other.”

TechnoAlpin develops not only snow guns and lances, but also all the upstream and downstream parts of the system, including pumping stations, field pipelines, compressor plants, pits and valves. A one-stop shop for their clients.

Bagozzi says one of the essential features of both product lines is water efficiency, which reduces potential costs associated with unused water for ski resorts and areas.

TechnoAlpin TT10 fan gun blowing snow

“At the head of the nozzle valve in the TT10 and the distributor for the TLx Lances, we use the water resources as effectively as possible,” he said. “All the water that passes through the snow generator is transformed into the snow.”

Bagozzi says they accomplish this when switching the valves due to temperature changes. “So, we don’t drain the water into the ground because we want to prevent any freezing of the components. Instead, we blow the water into the snow cone through a short burst of compressed air.”

The wet bulb temperature, the ratio of air temperature to relative air humidity, is the temperature most relevant to snowmaking technology, says Bagozzi. “While colder temperatures are required to form snow crystals from water droplets, TechnoAlpin snow guns start producing snow from a wet bulb temperature of approximately -2°C.

“The flow of the snowmaking process depends on the available pressure. For example, at 40 bar (580 pounds per square inch), the TT10 maximum flow is approximately 10 liters per second (l/s) or 158 gallons per minute (gpm). Meanwhile, for the TL8 maximum flow, depending on the nozzle configuration, it’s from 2.9 l/s (45 gpm) to 5.8 l/s (92 gpm).”

Another product that can complement the TT10 fan gun and the TLx Lance series is the SnowFactory system, which can produce 1,000 cubic meters of snow per day. Alpine Ski World Cup used the system, proving the technology is flourishing.

“TechnoAlpin’s mission is to be precedent-setters through innovation and technology,” said Bagozzi. “We constantly refine our products to increase efficiency, simplify production and maintain competency.

“For the future, we have many more aces up our sleeve.”