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Snow Melt

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j a_2
j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
Just curious as to how common snow melt systems are in other areas of the country? Not popular at all in the Boston area..thanks

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  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,649
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    I've installed two, both electric, in the past decade or so. One for the phone company, one for the local library system (whose income exceeds many country's GNP). I've seen a half-dozen or so more; all entities with buckets of $$$. So, I guess not very common.

    If I ever get a chance to pour a new sidewalk out in front of the homestead, it'll have PEX in it. I would dearly like to never have to shovel snow again!

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,256
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    Fairly common in the ski resort towns both US and Canada.

    City of Vail Colorado talks in acres when you ask how much area they melt :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    j a_2
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
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    I visited the most wonderful city of Sapporo in Japan's most northern Hokkaido island in the summer of 1997... We were told the city has all their DT sidewalks heated. After living in northern Michigan for 2 years prior, I thought it was a joke. It wasn't.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/01/japan-snow-country/426738/
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 998
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    I have designed several for high end houses, apartment block garage ramps and office building ramps. The city of Montreal is proposing to have heated sidewalks on the main shopping street downtown.
    j a_2
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    At my age I'd love to have a snow melt system for the 50ft walk and drive but reality is I'll be shoveling snow till I drop dead.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    HVACNUT
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,075
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    Many hospital ER entrances and ramps might have it.
    We simply have a heated ER garage to drive into. All ambulances have a remote for the door opener.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,616
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    New Casino being built in MA. has hot water snow melt on the exposed parking garage ramps
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
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    The demand is slowing from my perspective in Greenwich CT area. Last one I did was about 5 yrs ago, 10, 000 sq ft. 3- TT399's; somewhere around a million BTU.
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
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    Thanks for The responses
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
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    New Casino being built in MA. has hot water snow melt on the exposed parking garage ramps

    Guess we know who is paying for that...lol
    kcopp
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
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    When I worked at the airlines, Eastern Airlines in Boston our multi bay airplane hanger was all floor heated....I was a line mechanic so I never benefited from it...but the ramps leading into it were heated as well so when towing in a broke down airliner it did help...
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    Salt, or chloride mix snow melt systems most prominent around here :D
    Canuckerdelta T
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    Did a few over the years. Went on probably close to 40 look sees, gave 10 or 12 serious quotes. Less than 5 of them actually had it done. It's not that common here in New York. Mad Dog
    Bob Bona_4
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    Didn't you do your drive way, and try some solar harvesting in summer with it Mad Dog?
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    Ahhh...you remember! The solar driveway.....Laid the grid, did the driveway and soon after the economy nose-dived. Never again had "disposable income" like that to lay out after that for the tanks, controls at al. If the next owner or one of the kids want snowmelt or to tackle it, IT'S ALL THERES. Jr. Is training to be an engineer, so we'll see. Mad Dog
    GordyBob Bona_4
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 884
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    Had a few in Boulder, CO, but then the eco nuts made a rule that for any snowmelt system the total expected load of the installed system had to be offset by some kind of renewable energy kw for kw. Looked at doing one on a driveway that was about a mile long and full of switchbacks, steep as hell, almost impossible to plow, and dangerous with dropoffs close to 50' for most of it. Did the calcs and she would have had to put in a PV field roughly 1/2 the size of a football field to offset the snowmelt system.

    We didn't do that one....
    Gordy
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    Mad Dog said:

    Ahhh...you remember! The solar driveway.....Laid the grid, did the driveway and soon after the economy nose-dived. Never again had "disposable income" like that to lay out after that for the tanks, controls at al. If the next owner or one of the kids want snowmelt or to tackle it, IT'S ALL THERES. Jr. Is training to be an engineer, so we'll see. Mad Dog


    I would never forget anything you have discussed, or accomplished Mad Dog.
    Bob Bona_4MilanDkcopp
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    Awwww shucks...Gordy...just being me. Mad dog
    Gordy
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
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    The solar driveway...that sounds like a really good idea! I just had a new garage built...in addition to insulation and tubing in the slab, we also laid tubing in the garage apron slab, the walkway from the house to the garage, and the sidewalk from the front porch to the city sidewalk is planned for spring...all with 2.5" foam board beneath and 3" up the sides (about an inch below the level of the finished yard).

    I'm intending to *eventually* install solar collectors on the garage roof (solar-south-facing by design) to help offset operating costs. I currently have 500 watts of solar up there with a standalone electric system in the garage. Time & money, that's all it takes - ha. Sigh.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,573
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    The problem with Solar Snowmelt is getting the sun to shine when it is snowing out. :)
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
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    Agreed...it's primary purpose will be to heat the garage and a storage tank. Someday.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    @Mad Dog s approach was to harvest solar with the driveway in the summer, and any opportunity in other seasons. You know curb DHW, heat the pool, maybe even a little storage for heating in a shoulder season.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    Exactly, Gordy. Tanks. And be able to switch over to snowmelt . Mad Dog
    Zman
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,441
    edited October 2017
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    I have a friend here in NH that has snowmelt all through the sidewalks out front on his 5axis machine plant. Their issue is what to do w/ all the waste heat. They use the front side walks to pull the heat from the machines... beats using A/C...
    ZmanCanuckerGordy
  • mars_6
    mars_6 Member Posts: 107
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    In the Denver market it was one of my bread and butter offerings. I have done at least 50 to 60 for my various contractors. The last one I designed and installed was 7,500 square feet for a Private guest house in Castle Pines Co. The boiler was a Viessmann CM2311 1.1 million btuh boiler. Wound up bieng a very nice system with the exception of the start up of the boiler. That part was a pia.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
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    Fighting the Green Weenies of Boulder (and Aspen) Colorado. Aspen (Carbon County specifically) started this alleged war on snowmelt many years ago. It was thought to be an egregious waste of natural resources. Whatever... The people of Aspen can afford to burn money on their driveways to keep them free of snow and ice, but then the Greenies would have a fit over the smoke and fly ash. I think that everyone is missing the boat with snowmelt. My back of the envelope calculations show that we could "harvest" more energy from a typical properly operated snowmelt system then the snowmelt system uses on an annual basis. And we can do it with off shelf technology. It would require some means of storage of the harvested energy (like GSHP, or Thermal Battery Storage systems). If we harvested and used every solar btu that fell on the active surfaces of a typical snowmelt system, we could put a HUGE dent in the fossil fuels we use on a daily basis.

    Ideally, there would be a load (think restaurant) to accept the harvested energy, but not necessarily.

    Ya'll need to start thinking outside the proverbial box. Heatboy (the ORIGINAL) did Mario Andretti's driveway many years ago, and tied it into his Olympic sized swimming pool, and completely eliminated natural gas consumption associated with the pool. They now have PEX tubing which is designed for exposure to higher adn constant exposure to oxidants (chlorine) that can be used for direct heating of pool water. Think radiant cooled decks around the swimming pool, harvesting FREE solar radiation. This is not new technology. We just need to apply what we already know.

    As it pertains to Boulder, tell them that you want to use a wood fired gasification boiler, that will use the Beetle Kill pine. That's about as green as it gets, and they have to accept that because it is considered an "Alternative Energy". With the pellet burners of today, it could be set up such that it would be nearly free of the end users services, with the exception of hauling ash and paying and ordering pellets.

    ME

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 1,047
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    Have to smile, Mark. I remember in the 60's Aspen was just a sleepy little ski town. When they began developing it the "Aspen Underground" would blow up the condos. That was of course before Texas bought Aspen.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,256
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    ME mentioned:
    My back of the envelope calculations show that we could "harvest" more energy from a typical properly operated snowmelt system then the snowmelt system uses on an annual basis. And we can do it with off shelf technology. It would require some means of storage of the harvested energy (like GSHP, or Thermal Battery Storage systems). If we harvested and used every solar btu that fell on the active surfaces of a typical snowmelt system, we could put a HUGE dent in the fossil fuels we use on a daily basis.

    This has been the challenge for solar thermal since day one, still no efficient affordable answers to storage. And with fossil fuel so cheap, not many are looking for storage break throughs.

    The thermal energy from a concrete or asphalt surface would be fairly low grade, maybe 100F harvestable from the bottom of a slab or asphalt. Certainly good for DHW pre-heat, depending on how many degrees you loose before you have a load to use it on, but not a lot of 90- 100F SWT hydronic systems out there.

    Over the years we have tried all sorts of thermal storage in rock beds, sand layers, bore holes, geo loop fields, water, brine, phase change materials, etc. The cost and space required to store 10's of thousands of gallons for winter use. The loads are still to lopsided to make seasonal thermal storage feasible.

    Worldwide there are some solar and bio district systems in design or under contract, mainly in countries with fuel costs 3 or 4 times what we pay, and driven by the populations desire to spend $$ to get off fossil fuels.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Zman
  • alby42
    alby42 Member Posts: 9
    edited October 2017
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    See Photos....Here is a set of under pavement coils (in line with tire tracks). Sloped driveway is 140 feet long. Uses about 150 amps but runs only 30 minutes for complete melting process. Dan Foss makes the cable. Purchased in Salt Lake City from Warmzone and installed on my driveway in Carlisle, Massachusetts. Great luck since 2008. This image is 2016. All GOOD! Also, did my roof valley with a automatic low voltage mat shown in last image. Product is By Steep.
  • RobVerreault
    RobVerreault Member Posts: 3
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    We use our hydronic product to "harvest" heat from driveways and patios often. We utilize a panel system instead of a PEX system which allows for greater heat transfer rates in both snowmelting and harvesting mode. The savings from harvesting this heat in the summer often offsets the cost of snowmelting in the winter. We have also found that by harvesting heat has a considerable cooling effect on the paved surface, sometimes up to a 50 degree reduction.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,649
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    What is your hydronic product?
  • RobVerreault
    RobVerreault Member Posts: 3
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    The product is a modular hydronic heating system called ThermaPANEL.
    ratio