Air as Clean as the Driven Snow


While California is the most populated state in the nation, it is also home to some of America’s most natural and pristine wilderness and recreation areas. One such venue is the Snow Summit Ski Resort in Big Bear Lake.  Situated just over two hours from Los Angeles, Snow Summit is a fullservice winter resort that opened in 1952 and operates an average of 142 days a year.


Though situated at an elevation of 7000 ft. in the San Bernardino Mountains where the average yearly snowfall is in the neighborhood of 75 ft., there are still times when — to ensure that all 240 acres of ski runs have a sufficient amount of base — the resort operators employ snowmaking equipment. Those machines are powered by diesel generator sets, which must adhere to strict South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) emissions limits.  To meet that challenge, Snow Summit turned to Johnson Matthey’s Stationary Source Emissions Control (SSEC) business unit, which develops and supplies catalysts and catalytic systems to control diesel engine emissions such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and particulate matter (PM).  For Snow Summit, Johnson Matthey supplied its SCRT emissions reduction systems on two Cummins QSK60-G6 stationary diesel gen-sets. The gensets, rated 2000 kW, are used to power two sets of water pumps and air compressors that are used in the snowmaking process. When the ambient temperature is at freezing point or lower, the water pumps generate an extremely fine mist, which freezes into snow upon hitting the cold air. The snow is then blown onto the slopes by airflow from the compressors.  The installation was a significant project for Johnson Matthey, as there was fierce competition for the application.  “This was not an easy assignment,” said Rich Rosowski, SSEC sales engineer.  “But we rose to the challenge.

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