Like the ice cream machine: Snow production through direct expansion of CO2

The existing temperature independent snow production technologies all have a high energy consumption and are very expensive to operate.  There are other ways to produce snow more efficient, also in temperatures above 0 degree Celsius.  CO2 is getting more attention as an environmentally friendly cooling medium in heat pumps and cooling machines, and can also provide possibilities in snow production systems.

Direct expansion of carbon dioxide

This research work evaluated a flash cooling system for snow production.  It utilized expansion of CO2 under high pressure, originally used to produce ice cream.  The system was compared with existing temperature independent snow production systems.  An alternative system was also presented, with the purpose of further lowering the energy consumption by using waste heat from other processes.


The presented solutions had higher COP (coefficient of performance) values and lower energy consumption than the existing technologies.  The main solution achieved a theoretical COP value of 5, while the existing technologies at the same temperature had values around 2.  The energy consumption for the main model was about 50% of the existing technologies, with even lower values for the alternate model using waste heat.

This research is part of the project “Snow for the future”. The research report was published in 2019. Author is Lasse Borg Anderson. Contact person is Cecilia Gabrielli (