Slcpilot
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Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:57 am

Howdy!

Somebody tried to tell me today that the airport in Grand Forks has a heated runway. I find that pretty hard to believe since it would take and HUGE amount of energy to melt snow over such a hard area.

Heated runways.....fact or fiction?

SLCPilot


PS> I have seen heated ramps in front of hangars before, there are some in SLC specifically...
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FredT
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RE: Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:06 am

It would only have to be slightly warmer than the surroundings to get the snow and ice to disappear. No need to heat the runway to above freezing, which would require loads of energy.

Ice will go directly from solid to gas form, if there's a temperature difference and you've got a bit of time. Works like a charm on various streets and bicycle paths up here in the cold north, running off the return water from the central heating in many cases.

Cheers,
Fred
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
 
skysurfer
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RE: Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:14 am

Hi, Yes heated runways DO exist and some airports are equipped with it.......i posted something about this awhile back but i can't remember which airports have them. There is a website of a company that makes the equipment for the runways, but alas my memory fails me yet again. But whoever told you that some runways are heated is absolutely correct!!!!!

Cheers
In the dark you can't see ugly, but you can feel fat
 
Contact_tower
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RE: Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:57 am

"It would only have to be slightly warmer than the surroundings to get the snow and ice to disappear"

So if we get the runway to -25C when it's -35C outside, the snow and ice disapears?

B@llocks!
 
Santhosh
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RE: Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 12:30 pm

What method of heating is used to heat the runways and how much power is required to heat up a typical runway?

George
Happy Landings :)
 
EMBQA
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RE: Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 1:13 pm

Some military bases in the northeast used steam piping embedded under the surface.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
Okie
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RE: Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 1:27 pm

I remember reading many a year ago about heating runways with recirculated ground water. Lift the water from wells and reinject back in the ground in another well.
So the operational costs would be relatively cheap, just some pumps, let mother nature provide the heat. Unfortunately the original capital investment of installing the piping loops in or under the runway and taxiways would most likely make the system cost prohibitive. I do not remember hearing anymore about it. If the system required a secondary loop heat exchange system then I suppose there would be environmental issues with glycols as well.

Okie
 
Slcpilot
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RE: Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 2:41 pm

OK, so people have "heard" about these heated runways, but I am still lacking other than hearsay in terms of evidence. My google searches haven't provided much help. I guess tomorrow I'll call the Grand Forks Airport and see what they have to say on the matter and report back here.

I still can't imagine a system of pipes to warm a runway, it would be an incredible system. I can see it at a SAC base where you used to have bombers on alert, but can't imagine a municipality spending this kind of money.

Anybody else have any input?

Thanks!

SLCPilot
I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
 
buckfifty
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RE: Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 3:08 pm

 
gigneil
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RE: Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 3:27 pm

If I am not ridiculously wrong, which I can easily be, I think one of the runways at COS is heated.

This is, of course, thanks to Peterson AFB which shares the field.

I remember hearing about it when the new runway was being built. I was 17 at the time, but I remember it.

Again I could be wrong.

N
 
Slcpilot
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RE: Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:08 pm

Buckfifty,

My long typed response got sent into the internet neverland......

Anyway, thanks for the research. The articles were interesting and the cost seem to vary from $100-15 million for a runway with operating costs at least $2400/hr.

The second article had neat pictures of a hardware demo at O'Hare....neat!

We still don't have any heated runways.....that we know of for certain...

SLCPilot
(who, incidently, has been sliding on snowy runways this week)
I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
 
FredT
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RE: Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 6:55 pm

Contact Tower,
that was really way below you and rather immature. You may call it b@llocks. Those of us who know what we are talking about call it sublimation.

http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints2/369/

http://www.wonderquest.com/ice-sublime.htm

While it is most easy to observe at low pressures, where water has no liquid phase, it also happens at SLS pressure.
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
 
Contact_tower
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RE: Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:23 pm

I know what sublimation is Fred, and I allso know how great the difference has to be to get it to work in practical therms. It's true that in certain met conditions you can get sublimation from rwy or twy surfaces, but that's in the conditions when you don't need it. (That's the B...... part)

The time you need runway the most, is in conditons with percipitation, and you don't get sublimation that counts in those conditions. I you don't belive me, fine, but I work ATC at a arctic training base, and have ambient air and runway temp sensors in my console. Runway core temp allways "lag" after the air temp, and it's not uncommon that the runway is up to 10 degreees warmer then the surroundings for several hours. Let's say we have about -5 in the core, and -18 in the air. The only thing that happens in dry air conditions, is that rime form on the surface. (Should not happen, should it? In theory, but it does. ) During percipitation you get reduced friction whatever you have in the core, sublimation is not the issue, the rate of perciptiation is.

It might work in theory, but its a non starter in the timespan and met condtions where snowclearence is an issue. No runway is hard to keep open BA wise in good condtions, it's the days with heavy snow that is.

Today, when we really need the snow removed, we have the sun below horizon, and snow is falling in heavy showers. Raising the temp in the runway would only dictate a change from sand to urea in the gritter. Still going to need hundres of man-hours working the sweeepers.

Now, high power warming, raising the temp to +10C with -35C in the air........ Now we're talking.  Big thumbs up

[Edited 2004-12-12 13:26:47]
 
Slcpilot
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RE: Heated Runways?

Mon Dec 13, 2004 1:52 am

Howdy!

A call to the Grand Forks FBO had them laughing with (at?) me over the notion of a heated runway. I didn't have the chance to call the airport operations folks. So, we're still without a heated runway AFAIK.....

SLCPilot
I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
 
Okie
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RE: Heated Runways?

Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:01 am

http://www.geotermie.de/egec-geothernet/ci_prof/america/usa/pavement_snow_melting.htm

From the above link
CONCLUSIONS
There are two main geothermal systems that can be used to heat a pavement for snow and ice melting: heat pipes and the direct use of geothermal hot water. The later case is less common due to the limited number of places in the U.S. where geothermal fluids above 100oF are available. On the other hand, heat pipes can be used with normal ground temperatures that are typical of the entire U.S. or by using other heating mechanisms. Heat pipes may not be as efficient as using geothermal waters directly, due to the lower temperature of the circulating fluid. Geothermal systems can be installed for around $20/ft2, plus the cost of the well and pumping system. Heat pipe systems will run $35/ft2 for typical highway bridge deck systems. Total cost for the deck and heating system will run $100 to $150/ft2. It may not be practical to heat an extended section of a highway or an entire runway with this system. However, heating critical areas such as bridge deck (exposed to the elements from top and bottom) and airport hard stands, refueling area, baggage handling areas, and passenger walkways may be more beneficial from a safety and economic standpoint


For 7,000ft x 150ft runway not counting taxiways and ramp.
7,000ft x 150ft x $20 = $21M on top of the cost of the runway.

Okie

 
meister808
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RE: Heated Runways?

Mon Dec 13, 2004 1:17 pm

Man, we got a heated runway at GFK?

 Smokin cool

Crazy.

It doesn't work too well because I know for damn sure that I have slid around on every single runway here at some point.

So, no, we don't have one at GFK, unless it is top secret or something.

-Meister
Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Heated Runways?

Mon Dec 13, 2004 2:15 pm

Wont these heated runways be suseptible to slippage due to melted snow on its surface.
How effective is the traction on such runways.Is the surface different.
regds
MEL
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Night_Flight
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RE: Heated Runways?

Mon Dec 13, 2004 4:29 pm

NO HEATED RUNWAYS.

35L/17R...35R/17L...8/26

I have been flying out of GFK almost everyday since 1997. The floors of most hangers are heated. We do have one heck of a huge snowblower!!!


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Santhosh
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RE: Heated Runways?

Mon Dec 13, 2004 5:08 pm

Wont these heated runways be suseptible to slippage due to melted snow on its surface.

Adequate sloping will be given to the runway surface which enables easy draining of melted ice.

Regards,
George
Happy Landings :)
 
dragogoalie
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RE: Heated Runways?

Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:33 am

Maybe they were talking about the grand forks airbase heating their runway. I wouldn't put it past the airforce to do that. Especially with tankers, since if the tankers cant get out, it makes huge problems for other missions.

--dragogoalie-#88--
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RayBolt
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RE: Heated Runways?

Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:48 am

Maybe RDR (Grand Forks AFB), but GFK definitely does not have heated runways...or heated anything for that matter  Big grin

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Klaus
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RE: Heated Runways?

Tue Dec 14, 2004 3:38 am

I´d expect that raising the runway temperature above the ambient temperature could only work if a) the target temperature would exceed 0°C or b) additional means of de-icing were being used at the same time that lower the melting point to that temperature (chemically). Otherwise, snow and ice would probably stay.

As far as I know Holland is experimenting with heatable highway technology. They are pumping water through a pipe network in the surface to heat ground water when it´s warm enough and pump it back into the ground where it preserves most of the energy for several months until it is re-used to heat the surface in winter... As far as I know it´s still experimental, though.
 
hmmmm...
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RE: Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 26, 2004 5:03 am

Very often, heavy snowfall occurs when the temperature is just a few degrees below freezing. High moisture content in the atmosphere accompanying a low-pressure warm front is what brings the big snows in places like the North American east coast. If the runway can be heated to just a few degrees above ambient, that might bring it above freezing, then the amount of heat used is not too dramatic. In those areas of the world, a heated runway might make sense. The idea is not to melt a pile of snow once it has accumulated, but to melt each snowflake as it makes contact.

The idea of using a geo-thermal system to heat the runway is the way to go. If you go down about 50 feet into the earth, the temperature there is close to a constant 50-55 degrees F. Bury a massive heat exchanger with pipes running to the runway, and you have a very energy-efficient melting system. The only electricity needed is to run the pumps.
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hiflyer
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RE: Heated Runways?

Sun Dec 26, 2004 5:35 am

Considering the ample supply of geothermal water in Iceland I wonder if they have done it?

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