• Aug 24th 2007 at 7:24PM
  • 7
What if streets never needed snow plowing, they could simply melt the snow away? Sustainable energy company Icax is turning that dream into a reality and they are doing it in a green way. Tubes with anti-ice liquids are heated in the summer, the hot liquid is stored and then recirculated in the winter. The tubes radiate the heat, melting the snow.
Icax's system was tested on a section of a London street and it's being used in the roads around a school, opening this September. Icax says it has had inquiries from all over the world, especially Japan and the Gulf. The idea of capturing and storing heat energy through the ground is not a new one. Systems like this one used to heat homes have been around for thousands of years. Icax is really just rediscovering the idea and applying it to the modern problem of snow on streets.

[Source: Edmunds]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Great post!

      If the economics don't work, recycling efforts won't either.
      As our little contribution to make this economics of recycling more appealing, http://LivePaths.com blogs about people and companies that make money selling recycled or reused items, provide green services or help us reduce our dependency on non renewable resources.

      • 8 Years Ago
      why not the LS2/LS7?: heat can be stored forever if you can eliminate the heat-flow. Of course we can't do that but we can minimize heat-flows through better insulation. In a town nearby a housing project was built that uses heat collected in summer for winter heating. The heat is captured in the asfalt, stored in a static freatic water layer and pumped through the houses in winter. There are 13 houses using just the stretch of road in front of them as the heat exchanger. Pretty cool huh?
      • 8 Years Ago
      These systems have existed for some time for driveways and walkways (go to a high-end ski resort some time).

      The problem is these devices are TERRIBLY wasteful of energy. It takes a lot of energy to melt snow. If you could store energy from your driveway for six months and use it to melt snow in the winter, then you could store the energy in summer and use it you warm your house in winter!

      The simple answer is you can't store heat for 6 months.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm surprised they've had inquires from the Gulf. Are snow and ice problems in the winter there? Wouldn't a little sand ensure sufficient tire grip?

      @Luis - your comment is not directly pertinent to the article, just URLspam. Thumbs firmly down.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #3 wrote: The problem is these devices are TERRIBLY wasteful of energy.

      How is wasting energy problematic?
      • 8 Years Ago
      It would be well suited for southerly states that get only a little snow and ice during winter. The amount of heat needed would be much less than in colder area, and could come from solar heated water stored in insulated tanks.
      • 8 Years Ago
      That would be a huge-ass dewar flask.

      Can't you just drill down 2.5 miles and run a heat pump
      Wouldn't it be cheaper just to buy winter snow tires
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