Boyne Resorts implement energy efficient snow making equipment
EMMET COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- Like most ski resorts, Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs uses hundreds of snow guns to operate for the season. With all that equipment running, the cost adds up.
“With everything running, the last time I actually calculated it we’re looking at about $1,800 an hour to make snow," said Boyne Highlands Area Manager Joe Breighner. "So it’s not cheap.”
After adding up the cost, Breighner came up with a more efficient way to make snow.
“It started about four years ago," Breighner recalled. "It all started on a piece of paper. We sat down you know, 'how can we do this more efficiently?'”
With the help of Midland, Michigan-based company Snow Makers Incorporated, Boyne found a simple solution that made a huge difference.
“All we did was replace these two parts," said Breighner as he pulled two small pieces out of his pocket. "This was it. This is what we’ve been testing for the past two years.”
Without limiting snow production, these two small parts helped reduce the air usage on the fan guns from 60 cubic feet per minute down to just 8.
“What that means is, we can still put out the same amount of pressure we need with fewer compressors," Breighner explained. "So when those compressors aren't running, guess what else isn’t running our electric meter.”
Those two parts have now been installed on over 460 fan guns across both Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain, creating quality snow at a much lower cost to both the resort and the environment. According to Boyne, the amount of power the new system saves would be equivalent to running 30,000 100 watt light bulbs during a typical snowmaking session.