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Investigation of design alternatives for hydronic snow melting pavement systems in China

Xu, Huining, Wang, Dawei, Tan, Yiqiu, Zhou, Jing, Oeser, Markus
Journal of cleaner production 2018 v.170 pp. 1413-1422
algorithms, cities, climate, frost, heat transfer, heating systems, ice, meteorological data, model validation, models, pavements, snow, statistics, temperature, China
Hydronic pavement heating systems are environmentally friendly, clean, and sustainable alternatives to chemical salt for eliminating ice/snow that has accumulated on pavement surfaces and to improve driving safety during days with frost and snowfall. The first task in designing a hydronic pavement heating system is determining heating capacity. A simulation method for the heat-mass coupled snow melting process is described. This numerical algorithm can predict system heat consumption, surface condition, and pavement temperature at a specific depth when inlet fluid temperature and meteorological data are provided. The model is validated experimentally and included in the discussion of design alternatives to hydronic pavement heating systems. Simulation test results show the importance of preheating time, heating capacity, weather condition, and snow melting target in snow melting performance. It is reasonable to design hydronic pavement heating systems under consideration of specific climate conditions and snow melting target. Finally, the design alternatives for 12 representative cities in China with various snow melting targets have been proposed based on the collected statistics of limit snowfall conditions from the last 30 years. Compared with the heat-only model, the utilization of the heat-mass coupled snow melting model can avoid overestimating the required heat fluxes to achieve a specific snow melting performance.