Solar Road Systems cut through the ice, save lives and prevent accidents

Solar Road Systems cut through the ice, save lives, extend the life of roads and reduce salt pollution to the water table. ICAX demonstrates Solar Road Systems on an access road to the M1 Toddington motorway service station in a project commissioned by the Highways Agency. This innovative system collects solar energy in summer, and stores it in ThermalBanks™ until the heat is needed to melt ice from the road in winter.

The system, comprises two solar collector arrays integrated into the road surface (shown in orange below), and two Thermal Banks (shown in blue) to provide thermal storage. The first demonstrates that the Thermal Bank can be placed beneath the road surface for new construction. The second demonstrates that the Thermal Bank can be placed adjacent to the road for retro fits.

Solar Road Systems from ICAX

The energy collected at Toddington is monitored and simulated building heating loads and snow melting demonstrations are conducted in the winter. The cooling capacity of the cold store is demonstrated in the summer.

Successful Demonstration - independently monitored by TRL

This two year project for the Highways Agency was independently monitored by The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). TRL has recently published a very detailed reporton its findings at Toddington which confirm that Interseasonal Heat Transfer did perform as designed and that the extensive computer modelling to predict heat flows to and from the Thermal Banks were verified in practice.

Interseasonal Heat Transfer can be used to clear snow and ice from roads, public squares or airport runways.

  • It saves lives and prevents accidents
  • prolongs the life of the road by reducing peak temperatures in summer
  • prevents freezing in winter
  • reduces environmental impact
  • and reduces road salt pollution to the water table.

Solar Road System diagram ICAX

Toddington was commissioned in summer 2005 and featured in BBC News London

See Independent Report on Toddington Demonstration

Second Successful Demonstration - at Hiroshima by Misawa

Solar Road Systems has had a second successful demonstration in Japan. Miswawa, who have been clearing ice from roads in Japan for many years, were surprised to read of the success at Toddington on the ICAX website and worked out that the ICAX solution was much less expensive than their own technology which uses heat from drilling deep boreholes. Misawa came to England to investigate the ICAX technology and asked if they could do a demonstration in Japan. A licence agreement was concluded and the results of the Misawa demonstration are clearly demonstrated in the Hiroshima photograph:

Solar Road Systems from ICAX

ICAX Solar Road Systems clear snow using under road heating

See also:Solar Roads  Solar Runways  Ground Source Energy