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How can I make a ice-melting system to install under my asphalt driveway?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], Feb 9, 2007.

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  1. Guest

    How can I make a ice-melting system to install under my asphalt

    I'm going to be repaving my driveway and want to make a snow melting
    system. Don't know how to design it or what size wire I should use or
    if I need 110 or 220, how many different circuits I need based on the
    square footage.
  2. They built one into a bridge in our city. They've never used it because it
    takes so much power it's too expensive to use.
  3. Guest

    It is extremely highly reccommended not to do it! It will waste too
    much energy, therefore it will add too much to the already excessive
    CO2 emissions and it will inflate your electricity bill.
    Now, if u hv an electricity producing windmill on your roof, it does
    not really matter what voltage you use, as long as you insulate your
    wires to avoid electric shocks.
  4. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    This is good example of the problem I thought about in my post
    "Dealing with Customers in Electronics Design"
    I can sell you plans and make $$$ but I'm getting slammed with the
    ethics on here so...
    In the long run, I think it might be cheaper to construct a covered
    driveway.. money made here.. :(
    D from BC
  5. A quick search turned up this:

    They recommend 36-50 watts/square foot! Yikes!!!

    I would suspect that the propane based system would be much more practical.
    Perhaps this could be duplicated cheaply with a small gas water heater
    circulating antifreeze through a tubing system. You don't need to fry eggs
    on the thing, just hold the temperature over freezing.

    Sounds like you need a plumber instead of an electrician...

  6. colin

    colin Guest

    Yes but the extra CO2 will cause more global warming wich may eventually
    melt the ice on his driveway anyway, thus making the enregy waste self
    limiting. unless you live in one of those places where global warming will
    make it colder wich would be unlucky.

    How about making a robotic driveway clearer ?

    Colin =^.^=
  7. GregS

    GregS Guest

    I would run two pads for the tire tracks, and not the whole driveway.

  8. maxfoo

    maxfoo Guest

    Waste of money really, in 5 years the weather in New Jersey will never go below

    Heck, they predict that even New England will never see snow again in 10-20
  9. kell

    kell Guest

    Northern Tool, or maybe it's Harbor Freight, sells a propane flame-
    thrower thing.
  10. Ecnerwal

    Ecnerwal Guest

    Just run 4 inch diameter clay pipe under there, and stuff it full of
    dollar bills - then place a lit match at one end and start the money
  11. Guest

    I think it's best if you park your car under the driveway where
    there's no ice.
  12. mkaras

    mkaras Guest

    Where I used to live people would throw down salt and let that melt
    the ice. I'm not going to give my comment toward the environmental
    issues of the salt but it did seem to work for temps well below the
    normal freezing level.

    - mkaras
  13. krw

    krw Guest

    Normal table salt (NaCl) only works down to 20F or so. It's messy,
    rots the hell out of concrete (and cars), and as you say isn't very
    eco-friendly. Highway departments use it by the megaton because
    it's cheap. Here they don't even mix it with sand, rather use it
    as sand.

    I use Calcium Chloride on my sidewalk and driveway. CaCl2 works
    well down below 0F (they claim -25F). Though CaCl2 may not clear a
    lot of ice at 0F it will pit the ice giving quite good traction.
    CaCl2 costs 2-3x NaCl but works much better.

    I've also tried Potassium Chloride, which is supposed to be even
    more eco-friendly. KCl was too expensive and didn't work well
    enough for my liking.
  14. Maxwell

    Maxwell Guest

    Ok group, correct me if I am wrong, but weren't most building codes in the
    US ammended to mandate minimum insulation requirements back in the 70s or
    so? I thought I recall this was done to force energy conservation in the
    construction of new homes and buildings.

    Well if so, how can it be considered legal or prudent to allow people to
    heat their friggin' parking lots!!!!!!
  15. The obvious solution is to move the driveway to where there is no ice.

    Many thanks,

    Don Lancaster voice phone: (928)428-4073
    Synergetics 3860 West First Street Box 809 Thatcher, AZ 85552
    rss: email:

    Please visit my GURU's LAIR web site at
  16. krw

    krw Guest

    Because driveways aren't dwellings?
  17. James Beck

    James Beck Guest

    That's what I ws thinking.
    Why run a wire through the thing when hot "water" would do just as well,
    AND the technology is already out there. Small hot water heater,
    radiant floor tubing, recirculator pump, a pressure bladder for reserve
    liquid/expansion control, temp sensor and/or manual switch. A 50/50 mix
    of automotive antifreeze and water. Done.

  18. James Beck

    James Beck Guest

    Salt is on the way out and a lot of states don't even allow it on the
    roads anymore because of the environmental impact during the thaw.
  19. krw

    krw Guest

    I keep hearing the wacko tree-huggers saying that but I'll believe
    it when I see it. They might just as well shut the state down from
    Dec1 to May1.
  20. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

    And you think Americans are stupid?

    At the very least we would have figured out, ahead of time, what it
    would cost to run it and then, based on that, made a decision to
    build it or not.

    As it is, it sounds like you yokels spent hundreds of thousands or
    millions to build it and then when you fired it up you found out it
    was prohibitively expensive to run.

    What a bunch of fucking idiots.
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