GEOTHERMAL HEATING OF BRIDGE DECKS

The capability of gravity operated heat pipes to couple geothermal energy to a bridge deck for snow and ice control has been investigated experimentally. A 1.8 x 4.9m (6 x 16 ft.) section of a concrete bridge deck was equipped with 15 heat pipes located on 15 cm (6 in.) centers, 5 cm (2 in.) below the deck surface. The site was heavily instrumented to allow quantitative comparison of the performance of the heated deck, unheated deck and adjacent roadway. One of the major objectives of the project was to provide performance characteristics on the heat pipes for simulation studies. This required additional instrumentation in the deck and in the ground. The power provided by the heat pipes was inadequate to melt the snow as fast as it fell during the most severe storms; however, throughout the 1977-78 winter the surface of the heated portion of the deck was always in better condition than the adjacent roadway. A total of 1.0 x 10 to the 9th power joules (9.5 x 10 to the 5th power Btu) was delivered to each pipe at an average rate of 125 w/sq m (40 Btu/hr-sq ft.) during the winter season. It was concluded that heat pipes are an effective means of snow and ice control on bridge decks which should be considered for high risk locations. /Authors/

  • Record URL:
  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This Paper appeared in TRB Special Report 185, Snow Removal and Ice Control Research. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Cundy, Vic A
    • Nydahl, John E
    • Pell, Kynric M
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1979

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 169-175
  • Monograph Title: SNOW REMOVAL AND ICE CONTROL RESEARCH
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00193875
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 13 1979 12:00AM