Engineers set store by heat recovery

Sustainable development is challenging highway authorities to recycle road materials, to use cold-lay techniques and to minimise winter salt use. The Highways Agency commissioned research into developing renewable energy resources. Employing a technique invented primarily to heat and cool buildings, the use of 'inter-seasonal heat transfer' (IHT) systems was investigated. In summer the sun's heat is absorbed by the road surface, and stored in insulated heat stores in the ground, ready for recovery in winter to prevent icing of the road surface. It can also be used to heat nearby buildings. TRL undertook a trial at Toddington, using heating engineering and meteorological techniques. The heat stores built up significantly in summer, then in winter the heated area of road remained above freezing except for a period of extremely cold weather. Follow-up work suggested well-known cold spots on the highway network, or slip roads and interchanges might provide the most cost-effective locations for initial implementation of IHT systems. Other forms of heat storage such as borehole heat exchangers may be worth considering. The use of IHT to heat and cool nearby buildings was monitored, revealing significant advantages. Numerical modelling and whole-life costing of the recovery of heat for winter highway maintenance were included in the study.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 14-16
  • Serial:
    • Publisher: Hemming Group, Limited
    • ISSN: 0039-6303

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01109395
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Aug 25 2008 8:15AM