Numerical Simulation of a Geothermal Bridge Deck Deicing System for Use in Montana

This research will investigate the use of a ground-source bridge deck deicing system, to remove snow and ice and mitigate temperature fluctuations within concrete bridge decks for Montana weather conditions. Temperature fluctuations lead to the deterioration of concrete. Damage from these fluctuations is especially prevalent in concrete bridge decks in Montana where there are many freeze-thaw cycles throughout the year. Time histories of weather data from 73 road weather information system stations throughout the state were collected over the period of 2015 to 2020 and used to develop a range of winter events to replicate in a numerical model. The numerical model of a bridge deck with embedded heat exchanger pipes was constructed in COMSOL Multiphysics and used to evaluate the feasibility of using a geothermal bridge deck deicing system when exposed to severe winter events. Results from a series of model bridge deck heating experiments available in literature were used to validate the numerical model. Preliminary results show that a geothermal bridge deck deicing system can successfully bring the bridge deck surface temperature above freezing during severe Montana winter events. However, ground-source bridge deck deicing systems will likely not eliminate the need for other snow and ice removal and prevention strategies. The most effective solution will likely include a combination of available methods.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 593-602
  • Monograph Title: Geo-Congress 2023: Soil Improvement, Geoenvironmental, and Sustainability

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01882402
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784484661
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: May 22 2023 1:28PM