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There are in operation today a large number of snow melting systems which utilize heating from pipes or electrical cables buried below the pavement surface. The first snow melting systems (1-4) were used for relatively small areas (e.g. sidewalks, loading docks, etc.) but as the design of these systems was improved they became economically feasible for much larger areas. (5-7) In the future such systems may be used for large sections of roadway (e.g. steep grades, bridges, etc.) where icing is a serious hazard as well as for airport runways. Whether or not installations on such a large scale can be justified economically may depend on the ability of the designer to optimize the system with respect to cost. The data which will be needed for such an optimization will include the heat flux requirement as a function of design parameters such as tube spacing, depth, diameter, and weather conditions.

Citation: ASHRAE Transactions, Volume 76, Part 2, Kansas City, MO