Heated Driveway

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  #41  
Old 12-22-09, 06:20 PM
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Heated Driveway

This is to all those who are wondering if my heated system works. I put everything together, but am still waiting for plumber to put regulator. These guys must have a lot of money because I called 3 and none came. If someone tells me how to send a photo, I will show everyone what I did.
 
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  #42  
Old 12-22-09, 06:29 PM
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set up a free account at photobucket.com. upload the photos there and provide a link to them here.
 
  #43  
Old 12-22-09, 06:48 PM
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heated driveway

OK thanks, I will get my son to do it, he is coming over Christmas. Stay tuned
 
  #44  
Old 02-24-10, 08:58 AM
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Is it up and running yet............. ??????
 
  #45  
Old 02-26-10, 09:51 PM
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Homefield, I can under stand you wanting to heat your drive way. I have often though about doing the same thing. But the cost of heating, heater, and ect stop me. There is a bank downtown where I live that has a heated side walk. But it is made with paver, not blacktop. And it is heated with solar, the roof is half covered with panels. The heater you have may work, but it sound like you have what they call a donkey boiler. Made to heat a large hot water storage tank. Like what they would have in a laundry mat, or a large apartment building. And the cost of LP is kind of high. But good luck, I hope you the best. My design if I do it call for a wood boiler, lot cheaper to run
 
  #46  
Old 04-04-10, 08:26 AM
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new post for radiant driveway

I am going to have the viega guy come on the week of the 12th. to look at theh job and I wanted some of your opinions. costomwer is spending $10,000 for removal of three trees to make driveway wider, $7,500 on the ashphalt driveway and 5,000 on a stone wall to keep the job looking nice that also includes paver walk way. They want to add snow melt to the driveway, I came up with 450,000 btu's but istead of doing the whole driveway and walk way we may cut it down to a single path to the street and double it at the garage. Its a 125 foot driveway and over 2,000 square feet.
Would anyone use solar water on north side of house with a flat plate heat exchanger, and use a tankless water heater as back up. and also have the water for domestic. right now they have a steam boiler and a tankless coil in the boiler. I would like to just update everything know in one shot. I also have a chance of making three rooms radiant with the under rafter method.
I am going to double check but they do hae the roof on north side which will have sun and no shade. It willl be a low flow rate so a tankless will do. What the ultimate goal to be accomplished is not having ice in the driveway after it stops snowing.
Can I put a loop under the driveay for the domestic water so instead of dumping the load becuase it is to hot to act as a cooling heat exchanger and just use a circulating pump to pump the water under ground to cool it off?
 
  #47  
Old 04-04-10, 03:48 PM
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Unless you are in the southern hemisphere, I think you want any solar collector installation on the SOUTH side, and for the best efficiency, the tilt of the collectors should be 'roughly' the same as the latitude.

Right off the bat I think I would also forget about running the domestic water under the driveway... mainly because you are going to need ANTI-FREEZE in the snow melt loop, and that stuff ain't good to drink. Or, is that what the heat exchanger is for?

You mentioned a tankless coil... that is most definitely not going to cut it either.

There's much more to all this, and I don't have the answers for you. But it will be very expensive to get this wrong, and you will not like the opinion the customer has of you if you do. So, study up as much as you can, and get it right.
 
  #48  
Old 04-04-10, 04:57 PM
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I don't see where you are located. But, what does snow removal cost in your area? Here, I pay $30 per plowing, for a pretty large circular drive.

Around here, the only place that has heated snow removal is the bank on Main Street (sidewalk only).
 
  #49  
Old 04-04-10, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by wisehvac View Post
I am going to have the viega guy come on the week of the 12th. to look at theh job and I wanted some of your opinions. costomwer is spending $10,000 for removal of three trees to make driveway wider, $7,500 on the ashphalt driveway and 5,000 on a stone wall to keep the job looking nice that also includes paver walk way. They want to add snow melt to the driveway, I came up with 450,000 btu's but istead of doing the whole driveway and walk way we may cut it down to a single path to the street and double it at the garage. Its a 125 foot driveway and over 2,000 square feet.
Would anyone use solar water on north side of house with a flat plate heat exchanger, and use a tankless water heater as back up. and also have the water for domestic. right now they have a steam boiler and a tankless coil in the boiler. I would like to just update everything know in one shot. I also have a chance of making three rooms radiant with the under rafter method.
I am going to double check but they do hae the roof on north side which will have sun and no shade. It willl be a low flow rate so a tankless will do. What the ultimate goal to be accomplished is not having ice in the driveway after it stops snowing.
Can I put a loop under the driveay for the domestic water so instead of dumping the load becuase it is to hot to act as a cooling heat exchanger and just use a circulating pump to pump the water under ground to cool it off?
Are you thinking of trying to tie solar into the snowmelt system ? If so, forget about it.
On a good day in the winter you may get 10,000 btu out of a panel, note I said DAY 10,000 BTU per day. The amount of panels you would need to even start to help the snowmelt function would be huge.

Through plate heat exchangers and pump relays you could easily use the snowmelt slab to dump excess solar energy into the ground once your tanks where topped up.
Lots of good solar controllers out now that have heat dump contacts.

My advice, get a proper design done using the exact surface the customer plans to use on the driveway. Asphalt requires a hotter water temp to melt, and requires some installation precautions.

Once you know your load, size one or 2 proper condensing boilers. Don't play with tankless water heaters, they are not made for this kind of workout.

You can of course use the steam boiler if it has the capacity, but I doubt it would be in the customers best interest.
 
  #50  
Old 04-04-10, 10:51 PM
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NJ trouper I really ment the south I don't know whyn I said norh.
and yes that what the heat exchanger is for. That would be the only way that the anti-freeze would be seperated. I thought the temp of the water had to be top of 140 degrees and the fflow rate was slow betwee the loops. would it be more benificial to use more loops. if they gave me an option to use 15 loops instead of 12, would that give me a closer td at the return. should I just use a weil mclain ultra or a peerless condensing boiler? what do you guys think of the heat exchanger block from taco and maybe tekmark on the snow melt controls. of course use an outdoor reset. If I use a boiler instead of the tankless. but I am not convienced yet not to use the tankles becuase of low gpm and not to high of water temp. I could do the entire first floor with radiant on the condesing boiler. have to really see what my btus are going to be with the whole job.
Thanks for writting back guys this will be my frst snow melt job.
 
  #51  
Old 04-05-10, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by wisehvac View Post
NJ trouper I really ment the south I don't know whyn I said norh.
and yes that what the heat exchanger is for. That would be the only way that the anti-freeze would be seperated. I thought the temp of the water had to be top of 140 degrees and the fflow rate was slow betwee the loops. would it be more benificial to use more loops. if they gave me an option to use 15 loops instead of 12, would that give me a closer td at the return. should I just use a weil mclain ultra or a peerless condensing boiler? what do you guys think of the heat exchanger block from taco and maybe tekmark on the snow melt controls. of course use an outdoor reset. If I use a boiler instead of the tankless. but I am not convienced yet not to use the tankles becuase of low gpm and not to high of water temp. I could do the entire first floor with radiant on the condesing boiler. have to really see what my btus are going to be with the whole job.
Thanks for writting back guys this will be my frst snow melt job.
Christ, overwhelmed by the questions....
12 -15 loops makes no difference as far as a heat dump.
Tekmar are solid for snowmelt controls, or look at HBX.
Forget tankless, please.
 
  #52  
Old 04-25-11, 12:16 PM
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Found this old thread while researching a possible heated system for my house and thought I'd revive it and bring it to the front. I can see that has some valuable information for DIY'ers wanting to tackle the project.

I haven't read the complete thread thoroughly yet, and I will, plus I'll follow the links that have been provided, but I have a few questions off the bat.

1.) I have an older drain back styled collector/exchanger solar system. Heat is of course exchanged from the primary (collector/exchange circuit) to the secondary storage tank circuit which is crossconnected with the house hot water system. It has a branch circuit off of the secondary for a radiant heater. Is it possible to rework any of this and place either the primary or secondary circuit in line with my primary heat source for the snow melt system? Can anyone possibly reference tech articles on something like this? I'm assuming of course that both primary and secondary coils in the exhanger are nothing but copper loops and would be fine to use with an antifreeze in the primarys or the secondarys if I were to rework that side and close it.

(for a bit more info on the collector/exchange circuit: When not running, it will gravity drain the fluid from collectors for freeze protection. There are sensors at collectors and storage tanks and when outside and storage tank temps are right then that circuits pump will activate, fill and purge air from the collectors on the roof and heat exchange process will begin. Although this is closed loop I don't think it has an antifreeze solution in it being that it is drainback protected.)

2.) If it could be used, what side? Modify the primary (collector) side with appropriately sized components, pumps, sensors, etc. and possibly use the walk/driveway surfaces to help collect heat on warm days too? Or close the secondary system off from the domestic water and use it exclusively for my walk/driveway/radiant heat circuit? My concern with the latter of course would be using the present storage tank on that circuit and it's ability to be used with an antifreeze and possibly withstand higher temps, or if it would just be removed entirely.

That's about all I'm looking for at the moment. Whether or not my present solar system can be used I will be designing and building this project in stages due to budgeting. First stage being the design and installation of my walk/patio areas and then adding a driveway circuit a few years down the road. I need to get my walk/patio finished so I want to get the pex loops for that designed and installed first. I'm thinking 2" of insulation, 4" pad and natural flat stones set in the top of the slab for the surface. I'll add the manifolds and heating portion of the system at a later date. If I can stub the snow melt plumbing out of the side my walk/patio slabs and protect it somehow (maybe with a capped piece of PVC) for later connection it would be best. I would assume that it will also be best to have both the walk/patio areas and the eventual driveway circuit fed by one system instead of paying to run completely seperate systems. . . So if I end up building and connecting my heating system to energize the first segements of the project before finishing the drive then I should still size my heating circuit for the entire system and just have some overkill for the walk/patio until it's all in place.

Any further 'starting this project' advise would be great. Thanks all, and great question/advice so far here!!!

Oh. . . one more thing. I'm also going to eventually research radiant heat for the house. Is it best to keep snow melt and indoor heating systems seperate, or should I start this project with the mindset of one system to provide for all my heating needs? I'm sure that if answer is to use one system then it will affect the overall design of the heating system itself and I'll need to have that in mind.
 

Last edited by cnfmtnskr; 04-25-11 at 12:56 PM.
  #53  
Old 04-25-11, 02:59 PM
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I recognize the original post is old and all problems may have been resolved. Since you have decided you need snow melting (whether needed or not) it is just a matter to make it work in a possibly marginal location/system.

We have colder winters and almost as much snow (90" so far this year with some more predicted - not lake effect) as the lake effect areas, but we have something called the sun that does most of the work in a day once you get the majority pushed off even if it is 0F. Usually our snows are followed by clear skies for a couple of days. The only places you see melting systems are where there are limited access to high pedestrian traffic and the steam heat is dirt cheap, if you can stand the installation and maintenance costs. Also used on downtown sidewalks, but driveways are extremely rare and everyone wants a concrete driveway (usually exposed aggregate) and not asphalt for upper level driveways. After living in NE, I understand for costly assistance with the lack of sun you have.

Dick
 
  #54  
Old 04-25-11, 03:02 PM
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Do not assume that you can snowmelt with solar. First, it takes a huge amount of BTUs to do snowmelt. Like an order of magnitude more than you'd generate with a typical domestic hot water array, or even a roof full of collectors. Second, when you need the BTUs (winter time), you get the least out of your collectors. So even if you somehow got the acreage to do a solar snowmelt array, you'd have either an enormous, unwieldy drainback tank system, or an incredibly large summer dump load problem.

Same is true -- at smaller scale -- with solar-powered space heating. When you need it the most, you get it the least. For solar space heating, you really need a tight structure designed or heavily retrofit around it. Even then, you are often looking at a fraction of the load covered by solar.

Good software for estimating such things is RETScreen
RETScreen International Home

Sorry to be so negative, but that's the reality. If you're looking to get further into renewables, see what incentives and programs your state and utility may offer for grid-tied photovoltaics. Start here:
DSIRE: DSIRE Home
 
  #55  
Old 01-10-13, 07:39 AM
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Does anyone know how Homefield made out with his system?????
 
  #56  
Old 01-10-13, 07:53 AM
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FirstPonder -

I also wonder if it worked and how long the asphalt survived.

The big question is WHY do it? - After you get out of the driveway, you still have to drive on roads and streets that have no heat in/under them.

Dick
 
  #57  
Old 01-10-13, 08:59 AM
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Homefield hasn't been here in 2 years, so we may never know.
 
  #58  
Old 01-10-13, 01:31 PM
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One might assume the system didn't work based on the math. The fact that he never returned to give an update or tell all those involved in the discussion they were wrong also makes one assume it failed.
 
  #59  
Old 01-10-13, 01:36 PM
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I agree with Tom, the numbers seemed too far off for that scenario to have worked and the general impression I got was the OP was not going to come back and let us know if it did not work but likely would have told us if it did.
 
  #60  
Old 01-11-13, 11:23 AM
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I hope I read wrong!!! I believe he stated that he placed 2000 ft. of pex in his driveway,was that 2000 continuous feet?
 
  #61  
Old 01-11-13, 11:29 AM
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That was the way I read it.
 
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