Snow and ice melting system in ecosmart house
A REHAU snow and ice melting system (SIM) will be installed beneath a section of the driveway and the front porch of the REHAU MONTANA ecosmart house. Instead of being sized to handle major snow storms, which can consume large amounts of energy, the SIM system will instead be designed to minimize the safety hazards associated with icing and modest snowfall. Fluid from the geothermal ground loop water will be pushed through a network of RAUPEX crosslinked polyethylene (PEXa) pipes embedded in the driveway and porch, elevating the surface temperatures. The SIM system will be controlled by an on-off switch (with a timer) allowing priority to be given to the home’s heating and cooling system.
How snow and ice melting systems work
SIM systems are hydronic systems intended to augment the removal of snow and ice by circulating a heat transfer liquid (usually a glycol and water mixture) through pipes installed within the SIM area. Pipes can be installed in substrates such as concrete, sand beds and under asphalt using fastening systems that are designed to ensure fast, economical installations. An important feature of SIM systems is the electronic controls, which can provide fully automatic detection and sensing of snow and ice, and ensure the most efficient use of energy.
The most compelling reason for installing a SIM system is to increase safety. By employing a high-efficiency hydronic SIM system instead of motorized snow removal and deicing chemicals, it is possible to reduce a building’s environmental impact. In addition, the life of outdoor surfaces can be extended and damage to outdoor landscaping caused by the weight of snow banks can be avoided.