Researchers tap summer
road heat for winter warmth
In England, researchers are using a paved road surface as a solar collector. It warms a water/glycol solution in a pipe array beneath the surface, and sends the heat to a roadside storage area, which can be as simple as a generous sub-surface layer of rocks. The rocks store the heat until itâ™s needed in the wintertime, when it is sent back to the piping beneath the roadâ™s running surface, warming it to help prevent accumulations of snow and ice.
The other British project is a new school where a paved playground acts as a solar collector which heats the fluid in a pipe system below the surface. The heat is then piped to a storage bed beneath the school.
And there are already rough sketches for a system under a shopping mall parking lot, with the energy collected used to heat the mall buildings.
Korky Koroluk is an Ottawa-based freelance writer