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Snow time: Japanese authorities use a 200m-wide pile of insulated snow to cool Hokkaido airport


15th April, 2009

Groundstaff at Japan’s Hokkaido airport must be the only team in the world trying to save the snow that collects on the taxi-ways, rather than get it to melt as quickly as possible.

This winter, a mound of snow 100 by 200 metres long and between 8 and 15 metres high will be created by snow ploughs, and then covered with insulation.

The Tokyo Regional Civil Aviation Bureau hopes that the snow pile can then be used from spring 2010 to provide cooling to the airport, saving an estimated 2,100 tons of CO2each year.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist April 2009


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