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Design of snowmelters is dependent primarily on thermal energy transfer to snow.

For diesel and gas snowmelters, thermal energy can be transferred to snow directly or with the help of heat exchanger.

During direct transfer of thermal energy gases generated at fuel combustion with the help of positive blower are pumped directly through snow mass to be loaded into the tank where it is to be melted and turned into water. In this way combustion products and unburned fuel get into water.

If you use heat exchanger which is a set of pipes and ducts where hot gases generated during fuel combustion flow, water heating and snow melting happen due to heat transfer from hot walls of heat exchanger.

Принцип работы снегоплавильной установки при минемальной потери тепла

Single-chamber and double-chamber snowmelters are used for this method of heat transfer.


Single-chamber snowmelters

Snow melting and water heating are to be done in one container. Using pump the water is sprayed over the snow to promote further melting.

Double-chamber snowmelters

Water heating and snow melting are to be done in separate containers. The melt water is pumped from melting container into heating container.


Main advantages of double-chamber snowmelters compared to single-chamber snowmelters:

  • Intense water circulation between two containers leads to active mixing of snow in warm water that accelerates the process of heat transfer from water to snow.
  • Hot water is sprayed over the snow in a cascading manner, mechanically breaking the snow and forming a large contact area of water with the snow which also promotes further melting process.
  • Snow to be loaded into the snowmelter contains mud and waste. For double chamber snowmelter all large waste particles remain in melting container. This helps to protect the heat exchanger and extends its service life.
  • Under our conditions the snowmelter shall be cleaned from mud and waste particles at least once per shift. For this purpose it is sufficient to drain water from snow melting container (standard tank with flat bottom) into double-chamber snowmelter and remove mud and waste particles through special-purpose holes in the bottom part.
  • As for the single-chamber snowmelter, all water shall be drained and the cleaning process becomes difficult because the heat exchanger is in the same chamber.


For electric snowmelters single-chamber type is used due to their low capacity and small dimensions. For snowmelters which are part of heat supply system the principle of single-chamber or double-chamber use is the same as for diesel snowmelters. For snowmelters with capacity of 1 to 6 m3/h it is recommended to use single-chamber system and for higher capacity - double-chamber system.