Tuesday, July 22, 2008

IDE's Flakey Idea Makes Swiss Snowjob Easier


Proof that when we develop a technology to help Eretz Israel, Hashm rewards us in ways that we may not be aware of.

Here IDE Technologies developed a technology that would desalinate water for Eilat, then they found it had a use in cooling mineshafts (especially helpful in places with active geothermal vents, like Nevada, where the era of the Comstock Load was punctuated by sudden flooding of superheated water, killing miners instantly), and then using that same technology to sell snow to the Swiss! Excellent!

Get this technology to Tahoe too! We could use a little early skiing! (Hey, I'm in favor of year-round skiing, myself!!)

Israeli Company Dives Into the Snowmaking Biz

Tel Aviv, Israel - IDE Technologies (IDE), equally held by Israel Chemicals of the Israel Corporation and the Delek Group, is enlarging its core operations by introducing a unique refrigeration technology for producing man-made snow. Relying on its proprietary technology, which is used for additional applications such as thermal energy storage for building and district cooling, district heating, and deep mine cooling, the company has begun marketing snowmaking to the global ski and snowboard resort industry.

The Vacuum Ice Maker (VIM) technology, also known in Israel as the "Zarchin Process" was developed by IDE as early as the 1960s for seawater desalination in Eilat, Israel's southmost city, located in a desert area. Over the past 15 years, IDE has manufactured 10 icemakers for mine and building cooling and district heating by customer request.

Last year, IDE presented its snowmaking technology to representatives of the global ski industry, including leading ski resorts in the Alps. The first two snowmakers were sold to Zermatt in Switzerland and Austria's Pitztal, and are scheduled to be in operation by this fall. The investment in an IDE snowmaker,
exclusive of related costs, is approximately $2 million.

Existing snowmaking technologies spray tiny water droplets into the air, which freeze into crystals before reaching the ground. Such technologies depend upon ambient temperatures being at or below freezing, depending on humidity. IDE's snowmaking facilities produce large quantities of snow regardless of air temperature. Consequently, they allow the production of snow early in the ski season, ensuring an early opening of the ski slopes, extending the ski season and increasing the revenues and profits. IDE officials view their product as a hedge against the effects of climate change.

Power consumption using IDE's snowmaking technology is 80% lower than the power consumption of other weather-independent snowmaking technologies, company officials assert.

"The global snowmaking market alone turns around $1 billion annually. This market accounts for a small portion of the global market for industrial heating and cooling applications which our unique technology addresses with clear economic benefits," says Avshalom Felber, IDE's CEO. "We identified significant economic and business potentials in expanding our operations in these sectors, making them one of IDE's key growth engines for the next few years. We seek to capture 5% of the global snowmaking market with our exclusive, innovative applications, which are backed by solid global positioning as an innovative, breakthrough water and energy company."

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