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heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 19, 2009 09:49PM
there is a building near my apartment that has heated sidewalks. i had to stare closely at them to believe it. the ground was covered in an inch of snow except for the sidewalk squares surrounding this building. today i walked by under similar circumstances and they weren't just free of snow - but nearly dry!

has anyone seen this before? anyone familiar with the environmental impact? i'm curious if it would effect the nearby trees.





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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: jonny
Date: January 19, 2009 09:59PM
Ahhh... They finally found something to do with that pesky nuclear reactor waste.
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: MikeF
Date: January 19, 2009 10:07PM
I think Satan lives there.
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: January 19, 2009 10:11PM
Yeppers.
Basic Electricity& Electronics building, Naval Training Center, North Chicago, Illinois.
Last time I was there was the 1970's, sidewalks and ramps were heated.

BGnR



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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: Black Landlord
Date: January 19, 2009 10:15PM
I watched heating elements being installed in the outside steps during renovation of this church I passed on the way to one of my jobs:
[www.stnicholascathedralukrcath.org]



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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: January 19, 2009 10:30PM
I have seen them at a couple different places, both universities.

The steps and part of the sidewalk at the Lindquist Center on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City.

Part of the sidewalk at the Breslin Center on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing.



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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: January 19, 2009 10:33PM
Front walk where I work has a heated sidewalk. It's amazingly wonderful in the winter- a foot of snow, and that part is.. clear and dry. And the entrance to the building is a doors, vestibule, doors 'airlock' arrangement. And the floor is actually raised mesh decking with drains under it. In the winter they just hose down the decking after the morning rush, and all the salt and gunk is just washed down to the water treatment plant.
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: Black Landlord
Date: January 19, 2009 10:40PM
Quote
cbelt3
Front walk where I work has a heated sidewalk. It's amazingly wonderful in the winter- a foot of snow, and that part is.. clear and dry. And the entrance to the building is a doors, vestibule, doors 'airlock' arrangement. And the floor is actually raised mesh decking with drains under it. In the winter they just hose down the decking after the morning rush, and all the salt and gunk is just washed down to the water treatment plant.

Sounds glorious, until you consider the 'cost' of the electricity.




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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: tronnei
Date: January 19, 2009 10:40PM
Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: January 19, 2009 10:44PM
The university I work at had part of a road heated and clear of snow and ice for a time. But that was a bit over 30 years ago and not intentional. They put in a new central steam plant and the contractor did not install the steam line properly. So much heat and steam escaped, the road above stayed clear most of the time that winter. They shut it down after that, never used it again and went back to the old coal steam plant until just last Summer.



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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: Z
Date: January 20, 2009 12:03AM
They've been redoing a couple of blocks in downtown Anchorage and have integrated heated sidewalks into them. You can also see heated driveways installed occasionally around town.
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: January 20, 2009 12:17AM
A couple of blocks of downtown Holland, Michigan.
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: srf1957
Date: January 20, 2009 12:51AM
I-84 freeway in eastern Oregon . I don't think it
worked to well to melt the ice for the trucks to keep
from spinning out. Don't remember the but was close to 5 million.
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: Doc
Date: January 20, 2009 02:15AM
Apparently, it's pretty cheap to do nowadays and is becoming more common.

There's also a heated mat that can be laid over a walk just for the snowy days.

[www.costco.com]|50126|79293&N=4035571&Mo=3&No=3&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=79293&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: Doc
Date: January 20, 2009 02:16AM
Cool! The link still works!
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: olnacl
Date: January 20, 2009 03:24AM
My father, rest his soul, heated a downsloping driveway to a garage in the basement of a house he build in the 1930s. Other than that it worked, details of how he did it are lost, but it had to do with a coal fired furnace that was combined with a water heater and copper pipes in the concrete slab. The man was an engineering genius and 24 years after his passing I miss him on a daily basis.



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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: January 20, 2009 05:23AM
I always thought it would be more efficient to have heater elements in driveways and roads instead of having to plow and treat them with chemicals all the time. Of course it would cost a lot to install that.
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: iaJim
Date: January 20, 2009 06:46AM
My doctor's office had a heated sidewalk when I was a little boy. That was over 50 years ago.
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: January 20, 2009 07:10AM
My parents have heating elements in their driveway due to the severe slope. Previous owner put them in after he slid down the driveway and over the embankment. My Dad said it was much cheaper to run the elements than have someone plow the driveway. Plus he didn't need to use any salt. The system had a temperature and moisture control. The elements would come on automatically when the conditions were correct and shut off automatically as well.

I guy I used to work with put PEX tubing throughout his driveway when he put in a concrete driveway. He hooked it up to a small gas-fired boiler and ran an antifreeze fluid through the loop. He kept the heat fairly low, enough to melt snow and ice. He liked the result and the low cost so much that he replaced his walks so that he could add the melt system to them.

When one considers the pollution created by small gas equipment and the damage that salt can cause to the environment, I'm not sure that these melt systems are that bad. For some high-rises in larger cities, there may be a way to supply these melt systems with waste heat.
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: Buckeye_Sean
Date: January 20, 2009 08:02AM
Parents of a very good friend of mine had it installed on their driveway, which is very steep. Works very well and I think they just use a dedicated hot water heater which runs a type of antifreeze solution to keep it from freezing. (They only turn it on when icy or snowy.)

Also, I saw a show not too long ago where the majority of Iceland's streets in their city centers use local geothermal energy from their hot springs to keep the roads and sidewalks clear during winter.




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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: January 20, 2009 08:24AM
I read somewhere that Walmart is starting to install geothermal loops under their parking lots. The heat gain from the asphalt can provide them with free building heat.
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: January 20, 2009 09:05AM
Quote
macphanatic
I read somewhere that Walmart is starting to install geothermal loops under their parking lots. The heat gain from the asphalt can provide them with free building heat.
\

That is a good idea. Shallower than typical geothermal installs. I wonder if they could get enough energy during the summer months to run an AC unit too.
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: January 20, 2009 10:49AM
Depends on the size of the parking lot, I suppose...

Interesting idea. It's shallower than most geothermal installs, but it's purpose is twofold; radiate heat not to the deep ground, but to the surface of the parking lot in winter... AND capture solar heat from the asphalt for the building (to a heat exchanger, I presume).
Don't think it would be easy to turn that heated water into a cooling system in summer, but during the winter, you could presumably dump any "waste heat" in the building into the cold parking lot.

I've never actually heard of direct ELECTRIC heat under sidewalks/driveways, but have heard of using hydronic heat (circulated water).
You'd only have to raise the temp of the driveway to 40°F to keep it snow-free... That's easily within the realm of using a deep geothermal heat exchanger, getting a lot of heat "free" from the ground at 6 feed under.



Paul F.
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Re: heated sidewalks - anyone see this before?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: January 20, 2009 11:46AM
Quote
olnacl
My father, rest his soul, heated a downsloping driveway to a garage in the basement of a house he build in the 1930s. Other than that it worked, details of how he did it are lost, but it had to do with a coal fired furnace that was combined with a water heater and copper pipes in the concrete slab. The man was an engineering genius and 24 years after his passing I miss him on a daily basis.

That's essentially how homes in Korea are heated today (under the floor pipes), except that the furnace is oil. Traditional Ondol heating systems heated with the hot exhaust fumes from a wood stove. Yeah, they had carbon monoxide issues.
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