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Ice Stupa Artificial Glacier Project  RSS feed

 
Claudio Nirvana
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Hi all,
I've found this project very interesting and maybe could be helpful for someone:


Ice Stupa site project

Have nice day
Claudio
 
Burra Maluca
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That is seriously impressive!
 
Claudio Nirvana
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Burra Maluca wrote:That is seriously impressive!


simply ingenious!
 
David Livingston
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Great stuff I hope they avoid the ongoing political mess up there on the roof of the world
 
Rebecca Norman
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Yes, I work with the people doing this. You can ask if you've got questions about it.

Thanks for your concern, David. The Kashmir problem don't affect Ladakh much even though we are administratively in the same state.
 
Tracy Wandling
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Amazing and wonderful! What an exciting idea. So many implications. Might help out the northern farmers in my province who are facing summer droughts after less than normal snow falls in winter. Extremely cool.
 
Marla Kacey
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WOW!!!

Now, if I only had a water source in the cold winter.
 
Jason Padvorac
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This is marvelous. So basically what they've done is create a seasonal pond, but without the huge task of excavation and sealing that is normally required.

I'm in the Pacific Northwest, and I don't think we get enough cold for something like this. But now I'm wondering if there is a simple, non-pond way to store liquid water here for the dry summers...

(Hugelkulture counts as storing water, sort of, but takes a lot of work to setup at scale.)
 
Rebecca Norman
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Jason Padvorac wrote:This is marvelous. So basically what they've done is create a seasonal pond, but without the huge task of excavation and sealing that is normally required.


Precisely! I like your phrasing. Many villages here in Ladakh depend on glacial streams that have minimal flow in winter and early spring including planting time, and then sometime in June or July the glacier suddenly releases a lot of water and there's plenty of water on a regular basis for the rest of the summer. This Ice Stupa tactic is to store up wasted winter water so that there's enough water in springtime to plant as much as you want or can.

The location they're doing it at is lower and warmer than would be expected to keep ice frozen as late as it does. The ice mass is so large, and vertically oriented as much as possible to avoid collecting too much sun as the season warms up in spring, so the ice sticks around until late in the spring or even early summer. Also, sprinkling makes more water freeze than it would if flowing in a different way. It still requires below-freezing temperatures to form ice, but doesn't require extreme cold.
 
Alan Loy
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Jason Padvorac wrote:This is marvelous. So basically what they've done is create a seasonal pond, but without the huge task of excavation and sealing that is normally required.

I'm in the Pacific Northwest, and I don't think we get enough cold for something like this. But now I'm wondering if there is a simple, non-pond way to store liquid water here for the dry summers...

(Hugelkulture counts as storing water, sort of, but takes a lot of work to setup at scale.)


I wonder if you could operate this at night (or whenever cold) in marginal climates.  I'm thinking about the snow making process used here in Oz. 
 
Jason Padvorac
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Rebecca Norman wrote:
The location they're doing it at is lower and warmer than would be expected to keep ice frozen as late as it does. The ice mass is so large, and vertically oriented as much as possible to avoid collecting too much sun as the season warms up in spring, so the ice sticks around until late in the spring or even early summer. Also, sprinkling makes more water freeze than it would if flowing in a different way. It still requires below-freezing temperatures to form ice, but doesn't require extreme cold.


Hrm, so maybe that could work here? Especially if one took advantage of nighttime colds like Alan suggested. This is intriguing!
 
Andrew Parker
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In locations that experience temperatures below freezing for at least part of the year (and perhaps only at night), artificial ice caves or large insulated blocks of permafrost might be built that could be used for cooling through the rest of the year.  The ice could also be used to condense humid nighttime air in arid climates.

In areas that get snow in winter, making large snowman sized snowballs in permanently shaded areas will reduce, significantly, moisture losses through sublimation, especially if you can cap it with a layer of ice.  If you can encourage drifting into shaded areas with strategically placed trees, shrubs and snow fencing, much of the work is done for you, you may still want to run a heavy roller over the drifts to compact them.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Well, it's still below freezing where they are making these things, but even if the days are above freezing, they can freeze enough at night, more than melts in the day.
 
Andrew Parker
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Shade makes a huge difference, if you can get it.  The sun will sublimate water vapor from snow and ice, even at sub-zero temperatures.  If they can position the ice stupas so they will be in shade, or mostly shade, until they want them to melt, there will be more water available when it is needed.
 
Laura Emil
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Fascinating and encouraging.  Looked for followup word on how successful the 5000 trees planted in March of 2015 are doing.  In my field of work, planting in entirely different conditions, we loose "too many" if our livelihood depended upon them (but we can 'afford' to lose them.)  Found the continuing success I was looking for, on their facebook page*, snipped a screen shot to share here.  Looking forward to a verdant future for them!
https://www.facebook.com/icestupa/photos/a.687235904718014.1073741828.686004281507843/1019047998203468
IceStupaTrees.JPG
[Thumbnail for IceStupaTrees.JPG]
 
Miles Flansburg
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More info here.

ice stupa

Rebecca, are they also building swales and teraces to spread water out over the countryside?

Using any of the greening the desert stuff?

What was the purpose of the plastic dome and tunnel?

Are there water rights issues like we have in the western US or can they take water anytime they need it?
 
Ralf Siepmann
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Hi all,

as I looked at the pictures in the project website another idea come to my mind:
As well as preventing too much melting by applying shade or insulative covers, you can also speed up the melting by covering parts of the Ice Stupa with fine dark dirt, in case more water is required.
 
Alan Loy
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or you could just chip bits off
 
Miles Flansburg
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This made me think of a place in Wyoming called the Killpecker sand dunes. When it snows the sand covers the snowdrifts which turn to ice. As the dunes move old "ice drifts" come back out into the sun after being buried for many years. I was thinking that they could bury some of the ice stupa's they are making and save it in the insulation of the "dune", until they needed the water, then uncover it and let it melt.

 
Rebecca Norman
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Miles Flansburg wrote: I was thinking that they could bury some of the ice stupa's they are making and save it in the insulation of the "dune", until they needed the water, then uncover it and let it melt.

Good idea! Sawdust and wood shavings are almost the only free useful waste product available in the area, and are available by the truckload.
 
David Livingston
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During WWII the Brits had a plan to build aircraft carriers only using ice and saw dust for use in the north adlantic / artic  convoys it can make a useful material
 
Roberto pokachinni
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I'm bumping this cool thread up to the present year.  There's lots of youtube stuff about the ice stupas now, and it's too cool of an idea to not get back into the mainframe of thought, especially to the peeps out there who have water flowing in the winter have  challenges with water at other times of the year. 

I for one, do not have those exact problems.  My creek flows year around and I have enough, but I and my neighbors would like there to be a bit more.  My creek, though, is small, and I would like to increase it's annual water potential, as there is a massive (on this creek's scale) surge of water in late spring and early summer that rushes a large volume of water down the creek off the property and soon into the Fraser River.   The winter is sufficiently cold enough, and their is plenty of gravity water moving down the mountain under ice.  I was thinking that I could go up the mountain about 800 feet to the small hanging valley that is above my land on the creek, and set up a stupa system there, from a gravity line coming into the hanging valley from steeper slopes above.  I was thinking of using one pipe that feeds many stupas on one side of the valley.  Although the valley faces South-ish, I think that the lack of morning light, because of the height of the ridges, it might be good to do it on the West side of the little hanging valley.  That way as soon as it's in shade in the winter evenings it would start forming ice, and not get any sunlight until the sun got past the eastern ridge in the morning... which is pretty late.   I'm not sure though.  Perhaps the east side would be better?   My curiosity in this regard is whether producing the ice with colder/shadier zoning is more beneficial to the system than shading of it in the summer.   To put it another way:  As summer sun reaches it's max, would shade in the morning be better, or shade in the afternoon/evening?  Or is it better to be considering the building of the largest volume of ice as the primary consideration?

On topic within this thread there was some discussion of shading the ice, or covering the ice as well as the last comment about the Brits making a ship out of ice and sawdust.  Here's a link that Ice and Sawdust Ship Experiment

Here's a few quotes from that link: 
The project would have been abandoned if it had not been for the invention of pykrete, a mixture of water and woodpulp that when frozen was stronger than plain ice, was slower-melting


optimum structural properties were given by a mixture of 14 per cent wood pulp and 86 per cent water.


Pykrete could be machined like wood and cast into shapes like metal, and when immersed in water formed an insulating shell of wet wood pulp on its surface that protected its interior from further melting.


Incidentally, the Brits had Canadians conduct experiments in lakes in Jasper and Banff National Parks, quite near where I live.

At any rate, I think that the idea of using sawdust or wood chips to make the ice last longer might have merit if the wood material was easily obtainable to the site, as Rebecca indicates is the case where the primary project is.  It could not only be added to the ice, but it could be used to bury the ice to insulate it from the summer sun.    If one had the machine to dig a huge pit, a large volume of Pykrete (woodpulp/ice geothermally stable in the pit) could be then buried with a heap of woody waste materials, thus further insulating it from the sun.   The stupa in this case, could also be a large pile of logs or woody waste, which would shade the ground below it, and provide a place for the prayer flags to hang.
 
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