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Brad
11-26-2007, 09:00 PM
Hawk,

I saw your comments on the heated driveway controls pictures. There is one picture of the whole setup.

http://images31.fotki.com/v1053/photos/8/8235/1528250/IMG_932829-vi.jpg

From the right side of the window to the left is all new this year. We added a second zone. The Tekmar controller is a 664 model - which supports 2 zones. The way it is set now is very different from before. When everything is melted and the system is "in balance" and at temperature, everything gets shut down. The system goes into a kind of standby mode. No power is used and the furnace is off. When it needs to it wakes up - brings the temp back up and then sleeps again. The old controller ran the driveway pumps all the time.

What i "need" is the ability to read all the settings and status remotely with a device that is available through a browser and is sitting on the home network. So far we have not found one to work with the Tekmar controls.

If my son's thermostats in his house all have IP addresses and can be accessed with a browser, one would think Tekmar would have an option for such an expensive controller.

Patrad Fischroy
11-27-2007, 09:05 AM
In a past life that is now in a dim memory, I worked a bit with PLC's (programable logic controllers), mostly David Bradley. Anyway, it seems as though you could utilize them to run the controls and then just use an IP controlled relay to turn the whole mess on and off. I know that this is a breadboard sort of solution, but until the market comes out with your needs, they can be a powerful tool to get what you want.

Brad
11-27-2007, 10:18 AM
For turning the system on and off I use an X-10 switch. That way I can get at it remotely. What I want is the ability to look at the slab, supply, boiler, return temps, etc. for each zone.

Acrophobe
11-27-2007, 01:52 PM
Heated driveway? You must be joking.

KD Talbot
11-27-2007, 04:52 PM
He's working on a system for the Auto Road.

KDT

Bill O
11-27-2007, 06:11 PM
Heated driveway? You must be joking.

They're more common than you think. Especially in places that get lots of snow. And in places like Aspen and Vail.

Over the long run I wonder if you ever make your money back compared to paying for a plow service.

Acrophobe
11-27-2007, 06:11 PM
He's working on a system for the Auto Road.


Suppose that's easier then shoveling it off. ;)


And you say you really do have one? That's funny - I've never heard of such a system, despite living in New Hampshire. How well does it work?

Gorque
11-27-2007, 06:34 PM
I'm curious as to a) what is the initial cost of the system; b) annual costs for operating the system, and; c) expected life of the system.

climbabout
11-27-2007, 06:43 PM
I've worked my whole life for an electrical supply business and underdriveway heating systems are quite common in high end homes. We sell electrically heated units. The electrical draw for even a moderately long driveway (100-150') can easily be hundreds of amps. Those that can afford them don't worry about the cost of electricity like most of us.
Tim

ps a previous poster mentioned working with plc's by David Bradley - did you mean Allen Bradley?

Brad
11-27-2007, 07:11 PM
Good questions.

1. Yes, we do have a heated driveway. It was gravel and several times a summer we were raking it back in place after washing out. Paving it would have been fine - but any moisture in the winter and the driveway would have been unusable due to the steep slope. So, we heated it.

2. The system is just like floor radiant heat - PEX tubing in loops running hot water/antifreeze mixture. There is a control unit in the garage. Senses moisture going up - temp is down - turns the system on to bring the slab up to melt temp of 39 degrees. Once the snow has stopped - supply & return water temps are the same (melting is done) - then it goes back to idle temp we have set at 29 degrees.

3. With the driveway slope going down to the garage - front yard and plantings along the driveway - and a rock wall along the other side of the driveway - there is no place for a plow to push the snow some place. So, the other alternative is to snowblow the driveway by hand.

4. We priced out the cost per snow storm to be roughly $50 a storm for electricity and oil for the system. The price of oil has gone up - not quite double since we did the math. And the system now is a lot more efficient. So, maybe less than $100 a storm. Part of the value is knowing we can get in or out no matter what the weather is. My wife is there by herself a lot in the winter. I do not have to worry about her being stranded. Get up at 6Am after an all night storm and drive out for coffee. The driveway would be wet, but clear.

4. Does it work? Here is a picture with the snow still coming down. You can see how much snow is on top of the car. This was listed as a 17" storm.

http://images24.fotki.com/v770/photos/8/8235/20371/P0001435-vi.jpg

5. Initial cost depends on whether you can tap into the existing furnace. In our case we added a second furnace just for the driveway. The total cost was about $18K including the paving of the driveway, which we were going to do anyway.

6. It is quite common to see these systems now. When we did this over 10 years ago there were not many around in the US. Now in the Rockies and around Boston they are quite common. There are associations in Colorado where they are required if the driveway is greater than a certain slope.

Charlie
11-27-2007, 08:03 PM
thank you brad that looks very neat work .
what boiler are you using to heat the driveway
i will ask at work to see if there is something you can use to do what you want to check the temps .

this type of system has bin used in Europe for a long time to melt snow in intersection's and walkways .

we have some walkways in front of some buildings here that have it and if i have to redo my driveway i will put it in

i put in 4200 ft of 1" pipe in the ground for a freezer warehouse under the concrete to keep the cold from freezing the ground and lifting the building

Brad
11-27-2007, 08:16 PM
Charlie,

I do not know the make of the boiler being used for the driveway system. I recall it was in the 140K BTU or 180K BTU range. It is a standard hot water boiler for a baseboard hot water system.

The readings I need access to are at the Tekmar 664 control unit. It knows boiler supply, temp going out to each zone, temp coming back from each zone, temp of each slab, outside temp, humidity, whether the system is in idle or melt mode, does it "see" water, as well as boiler water temp, and which pumps are running. All the data is at the controller. It can handle a remote reading unit - but, you have to be standing at it and reading the display.

One solution would be a web camera looking at the display, turn the room lights on with an X-10 switch, and have a robot push the reading button to cycle through the settings. It would be easier to have an IP network based unit I could get at with a browser.

Charlie
11-27-2007, 08:22 PM
Charlie,



One solution would be a web camera looking at the display, turn the room lights on with an X-10 switch, and have a robot push the reading button to cycle through the settings. It would be easier to have an IP network based unit I could get at with a browser.


although this is some thing you would love to do and can do i will see what i can come up with :D

Patrad Fischroy
11-28-2007, 09:36 AM
ps a previous poster mentioned working with plc's by David Bradley - did you mean Allen Bradley?

Did I mention that my memory was dim?:confused: Err.. yes, of course, David-Bradley made those small tractors

spyboy
11-28-2007, 09:43 AM
Of course, that just lets you get down to the end of your driveway. Where my parents are in Maine, the plows sometimes don't come by until almost 8am :(


Get up at 6Am after an all night storm and drive out for coffee. The driveway would be wet, but clear.

spyboy
11-28-2007, 09:45 AM
To take it a step further, in Iceand they use geothermal steam to heat their houses and the excess is used to heat the sidewalks and streets.


And you say you really do have one? That's funny - I've never heard of such a system, despite living in New Hampshire. How well does it work?

Brad
11-28-2007, 12:20 PM
Of course, that just lets you get down to the end of your driveway. Where my parents are in Maine, the plows sometimes don't come by until almost 8am :(
In my case, it is drive up the the end of the driveway - at the road. We are on a shared gravel road. It is normally plowed and usable by 5:30am. My neighbor goes to work at 3:30am - no problem.

Brad
12-03-2007, 02:16 PM
We ran our first test of the new control unit this morning. Conclusion was - the heat did not turn on soon enough. We need to "see" snow way before it starts to snow. Right now it is still snowing and the system is working to catch up, which it will.

One setting on the controller is a sensitivity setting. The manual (probably translated from Swedish) says that if the snow is dirty, turn the setting to a lower number. Based on this morning's results, we need to go the other direction with this one. The change request is in and they will do it tomorrow. Then we will watch for the next storm to do better.

Brad
12-03-2007, 09:43 PM
Driveway looks like this as the snow is stopping.

http://images32.fotki.com/v1059/photos/8/8235/2642395/LV0420071203213355000N-vi.jpg

Charlie
12-04-2007, 07:03 PM
you can see where the loops are

how long did it take to clear the snow after it stopped

Brad
12-04-2007, 08:15 PM
The image above was taken at 9:30pm on the first day of the storm. By the next morning they had another 3-4 inches of snow and the driveway including the top area was clear and starting to dry. If the system can keep up with the storm, the last half of the storm will melt on contact.

Charlie
12-04-2007, 08:27 PM
very good

do you run the heat if you aren't going up for some time or all the time

Brad
12-04-2007, 09:36 PM
very good

do you run the heat if you aren't going up for some time or all the time
In the beginning we ran it a lot. To turn the system on and off we had to depend on the housekeeper going in and flipping the switch. With the web camera and x-10 switches I am now able to turn it on and off on my own. So, I can pick a warmer day to turn it on.

If we are not to be there for a while, I will turn it off completely. Then on a warmer day I might clear it pretty well during the daytime. I do not let it get too deep. This year someone will be at the cabin most of the winter so it will be on a lot. But, the settings have it turn itself off when it is not needed.

Charlie
12-04-2007, 09:51 PM
i wish i had it here i have a 100ft by 25 ft driveway and 1/2 is in between two buildings so the snow drifts there . and my snow blower needs to be fixed it is over 25 years old .i had it when it was new and this is the first big brake down

Magpie
12-10-2007, 04:37 PM
These system are very cool.
My sister and brother inlaw have a heated garage floor and driveway but it cost so much to run my sister made him shut it down. Added $250.00 a month to the bill.
The system you show is plumbers art.
:cool:

Brad
12-10-2007, 07:09 PM
The key is to either have the ability to turn the system off when it is not needed - or have a controller that does it. i work with a combination of the two approaches. When the system is not needed for a while I access it thru the Internet and shut off the power to it. When it is on the controller goes into standby mode when it is not needed. Between these approaches we should be more efficient this year.

Even the plumber uses the web camera to check on how it is running - instead of having to drive over and look.

Steve M
12-10-2007, 10:30 PM
Even the plumber uses the web camera to check on how it is running - instead of having to drive over and look.
The great thing about the camera is he is more apt to check it out than if he had to drive there every snow storm.

Brad
12-11-2007, 05:23 AM
The great thing about the camera is he is more apt to check it out than if he had to drive there every snow storm.
Very definitely true. He asked me to save each storm's pictures so he can run back through them to see how the settings worked and compare storms. He has now installed several other systems and controllers. But, this one is his test system where he can try something and see what is going on.

Plus, I bring Dunkin Donuts into their office every once in a while when I am in town.

Steve M
12-11-2007, 11:07 AM
Plus, I bring Dunkin Donuts into their office every once in a while when I am in town.
That's it...the way to the heart is always through the stomach.:)

Charlie
12-12-2007, 08:17 PM
Steve when are you getting a heated driveway or you should get a chilled one

Steve M
12-12-2007, 08:52 PM
Steve when are you getting a heated driveway or you should get a chilled one
Yea, I'm having the system they use for ice rinks installed so when I blow snow it will stick!:cool:

Mike D
12-12-2007, 10:01 PM
Yea, I'm having the system they use for ice rinks installed so when I blow snow it will stick!:cool:

Why fight the snow? Forget the heated driveway; install a gondola instead.

Charlie
12-13-2007, 08:11 PM
i think they should do the auto road with the heat :D

Brad
12-14-2007, 05:11 AM
i think they should do the auto road with the heat :D
We do seem to have plenty of hot air around.

Charlie
12-14-2007, 07:45 PM
maybe there are some hot springs a couple 1000ft down they can tap into


just think if the road was like your driveway then they can keep the top open all year :D

Patrad Fischroy
12-16-2007, 12:23 PM
Actually the Conway Granite is rather high in natural radioactivity. As susch it is a little "warm" on its own. In the late 70's it was looked at as a potentially mineable source for uranium.

KD Talbot
12-16-2007, 12:57 PM
MW is made up of gneiss, quartzite and mica-schist. You'll have to look somewhere else for Conway Granite.

KDT

Mike D
12-16-2007, 02:28 PM
MW is made up of gneiss, quartzite and mica-schist. You'll have to look somewhere else for Conway Granite.

KDT

Conway would be a good start. The Conway variety of granite is pinkish, which I gather inspired the name "Redstone", which is part of Conway.

Patrad Fischroy
12-16-2007, 05:04 PM
Conway would be a good start. The Conway variety of granite is pinkish, which I gather inspired the name "Redstone", which is part of Conway.

It was the old Redstone Quarry that I was referring to, my reference was to a geothermal test bore that was drilled there in the late 70's. It did not pan out all that well, but in theory that formation could be used for energy production. While large scale energy production may not be feasible now, I thought a simple snow removal project could be workable.

Steve M
12-16-2007, 08:35 PM
MW is made up of gneiss, quartzite and mica-schist. You'll have to look somewhere else for Conway Granite.

KDT
Thanks Kevin, Bill gave me the height, and now you've given me the ingredients needed for the mountain I'm building in Florida.:)

Steve M
12-16-2007, 08:43 PM
Brad, looks like the driveway is melting nicely. The nice thing about that system is no snow banks from the shoveling or snow blower.

Brad
12-16-2007, 09:40 PM
The big change we made this summer was to add pipes up by the road. So, the pile made by the snowplow on the road gets a whack of heat to melt it a bit. Each storm we watch and talk through if there are any things to adjust to make it run better. The 2 furnaces in the basement appear to be starving each other for air because the house is so tight. So, tomorrow we will directly hook outside air to the driveway furnace. then wait for the next storm to watch.

Charlie
12-16-2007, 09:47 PM
when you look at the driveway cam shots witch is the newest shot and is there a date and time in all the # under the pictures

Brad
12-17-2007, 06:18 AM
Generally, when files are being added to an album (like from a web camera) I have the most recent first. If I save some of the images to another album, likefor a sunrise, i will have them in normal ascending time order.

The cameras produce a file name with the format of
LiVe camera# year month day hour seconds sequence number N

So, the title, filename and URL all have this format for naming.

Brad
12-17-2007, 10:35 PM
I just found a very cool device! I will set up 4 temperature sensors and will have access through a browser to the temps. The plan is to do water temp going out to and coming back from each of the 2 melting zones. The unit will sit on the house' network and I will have access inside and outside the house to these readings. The unit also has 2 relays we may be able to use also.

http://www.controlbyweb.com/temperature/index.html

It is nice to find a product that comes close to what I wanted.

Steve M
12-17-2007, 10:57 PM
I just found a very cool device! I will set up 4 temperature sensors and will have access through a browser to the temps. The plan is to do water temp going out to and coming back from each of the 2 melting zones. The unit will sit on the house' network and I will have access inside and outside the house to these readings. The unit also has 2 relays we may be able to use also.

http://www.controlbyweb.com/temperature/index.html

It is nice to find a product that comes close to what I wanted.
That is cool stuff. Amazing technology. Hopefully that unit will save you money in fuel costs.

Brad
12-18-2007, 05:36 AM
That is cool stuff. Amazing technology. Hopefully that unit will save you money in fuel costs.
It will sure make it easier to see what is happening to make adjustments and know when things are starting to go wrong. Their web site has excellent information - the product manuals are easy to find - the screen shots of the browser based setup pages is right there. You know exactly what you are buying.

Brad
12-24-2007, 08:22 PM
I just found a very cool device! I will set up 4 temperature sensors and will have access through a browser to the temps. The plan is to do water temp going out to and coming back from each of the 2 melting zones. The unit will sit on the house' network and I will have access inside and outside the house to these readings. The unit also has 2 relays we may be able to use also.

http://www.controlbyweb.com/temperature/index.html

It is nice to find a product that comes close to what I wanted.
The module came in today and it is up and running. We have 2 zones in the melt system. Zone 1 does the main driveway. Zone 2 does the top of the driveway and the front walkway. For each zone i put a sensor measuring the water temp going out to the system (Supply) and another coming back in from the system (Return). The web page to view these temps is at
http://longlake.homeip.net:8001 and it refreshes every 30 seconds

An old web camera looking at the control panel (which all sorts of indicators on it when it is running) is at
http://longlake.homeip.net:8002 and go to View Video.

Charlie
12-24-2007, 08:54 PM
the control panel cam said 41* what was that temp from


where are the sensors for all of this looks a little hot
Melt System Zones
Zone 1 - Supply 73.2 °F
Zone 1 - Return 65.6 °F
Zone 2 - Supply 80.8 °F
Zone 2 - Return 67.2 °F

Brad
12-24-2007, 09:20 PM
To test the new temp sensors I turned the system on. The "41" is the temp of the driveway at the sensor in the pavement. The target to get to is lower. But, to get all the areas melted the system will continue till the return water temp is the same as the supply. Then it knows it is not melting any more. Since the water going out is over 100 degrees, the sensor will get above the target. We have been moving the target lower with each storm to get to a point that works well - now we have the boiler putting out max BTUs. As the difference between the supply and return gets smaller, the systems starts to pull back and coasts - just pumping the water and not needing to add more hot water.

When you looked at the temps the zones were cooling down and nothing was running. I saw supply temps around 112 and returns in the 80's. It will settle down over night into the mid 40's probably. The garage where the pipes are stays at 45 degrees.

Brad
12-24-2007, 09:24 PM
When a snow storm comes you want the slab temp to be near the melt target if possible. Then the snow will melt on contact. But when that happens the slab temp will easily drop 4-5 degrees right away. The key seems to keep it above 32 or else the snow will start to pile up. The system runs better this way. When we put it in we were told it was engineered for a 3 inch per hour snow fall. It has to be up and warm before the snow starts to pull that off - but we have done it.

Now we need a good storm to see how things really work behind the scenes through these sensors.

Charlie
12-24-2007, 09:28 PM
i would think the return temp would not get to the same as the supply line because you will always lose heat by the time it comes back ?

Brad
12-24-2007, 09:48 PM
i would think the return temp would not get to the same as the supply line because you will always lose heat by the time it comes back ?
Actually the system knows it will get to be the same.

The system turns itself on when the outside air temp is low enough - and the humidity goes high enough. The controller brings the water temp up gradually to get the slab to its target temp - which we have set to 39 degrees right now.

When the humidity goes down - and the supply and return temps are the same for 30 minutes - then it shuts back to idle temp. We have some extra running time programmed in the system to help melt the pile of snow left by the plow - or at least make a dent in it. The driveway is very steep and the very top section must be dry or you will spin out.

As the slab gets to target temp the temp of the supply water goes down since it does not need to be as hot. So, I think it is more that the supply comes down to the return - as opposed to the other way around. I am hoping to be able to watch things during the next storm to see how this works. This is also the first time we have had 2 zones running off the controller. How the system balances the heat and pumps between the zones is still a mystery to us. These temp sensors and the web camera will help us understand how things work. I may record a storm off the web camera to be able to play it back later. Getting a better understanding of how the system works has helped us in the initial tuning (which we are still in).

Let it snow.

Charlie
12-24-2007, 09:53 PM
wow sounds like a lot of fine tuning ,a lot different then house floor heat

Brad
12-24-2007, 10:01 PM
wow sounds like a lot of fine tuning ,a lot different then house floor heat
House floor heat is very different. We used the same PEX tubing - but that was about where the system ends being the same. An inch and a half of stone dust covers a reflective insulating barrier under the pipes - then more stone dust around the pipes to transfer the heat. The controller knows not to bring up the temp too fast or the pavement will get stressed and crack. As I learn more about how it works I am impressed.

Charlie
12-24-2007, 10:04 PM
yes house heat you cant make to hot or tou cant walk on it
i have done a couple or so

Brad
12-24-2007, 10:07 PM
yes house heat you cant make to hot or tou cant walk on it
i have done a couple or so
We did not do radiant heat for that reason. To get the great room heated and comfortable, you might be burning your toes. The systems today might work a lot better than when we were doing our design work.

Charlie
12-24-2007, 10:10 PM
I'm sure there are not to many people putting all the gadgets that you are

Brad
12-25-2007, 08:49 PM
I'm sure there are not to many people putting all the gadgets that you are
My son has me beat by a long shot!

The temperature module for the melt system shows 45 degrees on all 4 sensors. this is because those pipes are inside the garage and the garage heat is set for 45 degrees.

Charlie
12-29-2007, 08:19 PM
the control panel cam said 41* what was that temp from


where are the sensors for all of this looks a little hot
Melt System Zones
Zone 1 - Supply 73.2 °F
Zone 1 - Return 65.6 °F
Zone 2 - Supply 80.8 °F
Zone 2 - Return 67.2 °F


brad you have a lock to view this

Brad
12-29-2007, 09:22 PM
brad you have a lock to view this
Yes, we are setting to use this temperature module to trigger an external relay for the melt controller. Therefore, I need to restrict access to the web page - and the relay on/off function.

Charlie
12-29-2007, 09:51 PM
OK i tried to pm you and it said Brad has exceeded their stored private messages quota and can not accept further messages until they clear some space.

Brad
12-29-2007, 10:06 PM
OK i tried to pm you and it said Brad has exceeded their stored private messages quota and can not accept further messages until they clear some space.
That is fixed

Charlie
12-29-2007, 11:18 PM
15 hr run time on the boiler :eek:

did you tap into a oil line under the lake :D


is it better to start running the heat at the start of snow coming down

or it works the same if you start it later but does it take a long time to get through deep snow .

i would think that after there is some snow on the drive your sensor would read a wormer because it would act as it is insulate the drive ?then when you start it it worms up faster ? i have no idea just a thought

Brad
12-30-2007, 09:10 AM
15 hr run time on the boiler :eek:

did you tap into a oil line under the lake :D


is it better to start running the heat at the start of snow coming down

or it works the same if you start it later but does it take a long time to get through deep snow .

i would think that after there is some snow on the drive your sensor would read a wormer because it would act as it is insulate the drive ?then when you start it it worms up faster ? i have no idea just a thought
The best deal is to have the slab up to melt temp when the first snow starts to fall. Then it all melts on contact and the system goes back to idle mode soon after the storm is done. If it gets behind it takes a long time to catch up after the storm is done. The 15 hours time was about 4 hours of extra running time we have set in the controller to help make sure the top of the driveway is melted. With such a steep driveway that top has to be clear or you will not get up and out.

Steve M
12-30-2007, 11:39 AM
What do you estimate you seasonal operating costs to be for that system?

Charlie
12-30-2007, 12:32 PM
brad have you ever thought of one of these

http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s279/hawk63/HE-2000-R.jpg



it is a little work chopping wood but you do have a little around the house :D

Brad
12-30-2007, 12:59 PM
The problem with that is you have to be there to stoke it. I need an automated system that can run on its own. "Gee boss, i have to head to Maine to put wood in the fire cause a snow storm is coming." Will not fly.

There are folks here that run radiant heat in their workshops or garage or even the sidewalk off a wood boiler.

A couple of years ago we figured the cost for the season was around $2,000. Then I worked with the web camera and the X-10 switch to turn the system on and off remotely and the cost was around $1,000. Now we have more control, but my wife is here all the time. So, i will not be able to trn the system off completely like I did last year. Part of the answer depends on how many storms there are. Recently we have had a storm every 2 days.

Steve M
12-30-2007, 03:52 PM
If the trend keeps going it could be costly.:eek:

Charlie
12-30-2007, 04:03 PM
The problem with that is you have to be there to stoke it. I need an automated system that can run on its own. "Gee boss, i have to head to Maine to put wood in the fire cause a snow storm is coming." Will not fly


if you have a care takers house i will stay there and stoke it for you :D

Brad
12-30-2007, 07:38 PM
if you have a care takers house i will stay there and stoke it for you :D
We could rename the pumphouse to be carretakers' house. Will that do?

Charlie
12-30-2007, 08:50 PM
We could rename the pumphouse to be carretakers' house. Will that do?
OK can i build a couple of dormers on it so my feet can stay in side:eek:

Brad
12-31-2007, 06:56 AM
Not sure it would help. The building is only 5x8 I think

Charlie
12-31-2007, 02:28 PM
OK i will Waite until you make my caretakers hut :D

Charlie
12-31-2007, 02:57 PM
brad i made some comment's on your driveway cam shots ,just trying to get an idea how good it is doing . check them out


and you can go out a stand there with a shovel and do a before and after shot :D lol

Brad
12-31-2007, 04:13 PM
brad i made some comment's on your driveway cam shots ,just trying to get an idea how good it is doing . check them out


and you can go out a stand there with a shovel and do a before and after shot :D lol
Response have been provided :-)

I did the before and after deal. Just it was before the camera took the image and again after the image.

Charlie
01-02-2008, 09:46 PM
is this the right temps it is 9:30 pm

Melt System Zones
Zone 1 - Supply 133.9 °F
Zone 1 - Return 97.0 °F
Zone 2 - Supply 75.9 °F
Zone 2 - Return 102.5 °F
Relay - Melt Demand OFF


zone 1 is hot going out

how is zone 2 hotter coming back did you hit a hot spring

Charlie
01-02-2008, 09:53 PM
the lights are bright on the driveway tonight

Brad
01-02-2008, 10:07 PM
is this the right temps it is 9:30 pm

Melt System Zones
Zone 1 - Supply 133.9 °F
Zone 1 - Return 97.0 °F
Zone 2 - Supply 75.9 °F
Zone 2 - Return 102.5 °F
Relay - Melt Demand OFF


zone 1 is hot going out

how is zone 2 hotter coming back did you hit a hot spring
Zone 1 pump is running. Zone 2 is up to temp so it is not running. So, the temp from main pipes is flowing up towards the temp sensor of zone 2 since there is no flow in zone 2.

The caretaker must had run the snowblower over the driveway sensor dropping snow on the sensor. This turned the system on to melt what might be left there.

Charlie
01-02-2008, 10:17 PM
i would fire the caretaker and get a new one

Brad
01-03-2008, 07:26 AM
i would fire the caretaker and get a new one
Lets see now - small town - hard to find good folks to help with things (because the good folks are already busy) - and I really like the guy. I will stay with what I have.

Brad
01-08-2008, 06:34 AM
Probably only Charlie cares about this - When I was in Maine last week we got one additional thing to work on the melt system. The temperature module has 2 built in relays that can be turned on and off based on temperature - or they can be directly turned on and off through a browser.

The melt system controller has the ability to use an external unit with a START button to force the system to go into melt mode to pre-heat the driveway. We wanted to use the temperature module relay to trigger the START function. An initial test on Friday morning showed us what we needed - mainly a power source between 24V and 28V. In the afternoon the plumber came with a transformer that produces 24v power. Hooked the power source to the relay and the controller and it worked. The system was in IDLE mode and I was able to force the system to MELT mode by turning the relay on at the temperature module for "more than 4 seconds" then turning it off.

We had had a 6 inch snow storm that used 15 hours of burner time - for just the storm. The next storm was an 8 inch storm and I forced the system to turn on about about 4 hours before the storm came. For the pre-eat time, the whole storm and the 2 days between the first and second storm, the burner time was a total of 9 hours. This setup is more efficient overall as the snow melts on contact allowing the temperature of the system to stay higher and not have to work as hard.

Charlie
01-08-2008, 07:14 PM
with the 8" snow and the 4hr pre heat how long did it run to clear the drive

how long did it take to get the 8"

was it the same time for the 6" to fall or less

if the storm is slow the the system runs more ???

Brad
01-08-2008, 09:01 PM
with the 8" snow and the 4hr pre heat how long did it run to clear the drive

how long did it take to get the 8"

was it the same time for the 6" to fall or less

if the storm is slow the the system runs more ???
8" snow and 4 hour pre heat - total burner time was 9 hours including 2 days in between the storms. Clock time was a lot longer - pretty close to 17 hours for the storm thru to being done melting + 4 hrs = 21 hours total.

It is hard to know how long it was snowing. It started around 3am. I recall it ended about 10-12 hours later. the rate of snowfall was about the same as the 6" storm - just a bit longer clock time.

Charlie
01-08-2008, 09:07 PM
and with the 4 hr pre heat did it keep the snow down good or did it build up some

Brad
01-08-2008, 10:10 PM
and with the 4 hr pre heat did it keep the snow down good or did it build up some
It kept up with the snow a lot better - which is why the system used less energy.

Charlie
01-09-2008, 01:30 PM
very good and thanks for all the info about this it may come in handy some time in my job and you have a drive to do something and do the research to get the job done .

i will soon be doing a school with a geothermal heat pumps .it will have some floor heat with out a boiler to heat the water but uses a heat pump ,don't no how yet but i will soon .

maybe we can change yours over when i learn how :eek: :D :D :D :D :D

Brad
01-09-2008, 04:29 PM
very good and thanks for all the info about this it may come in handy some time in my job and you have a drive to do something and do the research to get the job done .

i will soon be doing a school with a geothermal heat pumps .it will have some floor heat with out a boiler to heat the water but uses a heat pump ,don't no how yet but i will soon .

maybe we can change yours over when i learn how :eek: :D :D :D :D :D
We thought about geothermal - and even discussed it again last week. But, the electric costs to run the pumps would be a killer. If I remember right, geothermal would give us 50-55 degree water. To handle a 3" per hour snowfall you need to be pumping 120 degree water (or higher) out into the system. So, you have the same heating requirements. If it were a closed loop system including the geothermal part, you would be cooling the water as it goes through the ground. So, for this type of system I am not sure it makes sense.

Charlie
01-09-2008, 04:44 PM
We thought about geothermal - and even discussed it again last week. But, the electric costs to run the pumps would be a killer. If I remember right, geothermal would give us 50-55 degree water. To handle a 3" per hour snowfall you need to be pumping 120 degree water (or higher) out into the system. So, you have the same heating requirements. If it were a closed loop system including the geothermal part, you would be cooling the water as it goes through the ground. So, for this type of system I am not sure it makes sense.


this is the first time doing the geothermal system ,we went to a school on it but it did not teach us about making hot water from it . so by the end of may i will know how and will keep you in the loop .[ in the loop ,i made my self :D on this one ]

Steve M
02-29-2008, 09:37 AM
Brad,

It looks like you have had a great year to test out that heating system. I hope it is working out as well as you had hoped. I was looking at it this morning and I see it's clear and dry.

Brad
02-29-2008, 06:52 PM
Steve,

We have done some excellent testing this winter. We are running another 8-12 inch snow fall test tonight and tomorrow. All systems are running - the pre-pre-heat cycle is done - we are now into the pre-heat at a higher temperature cycle now. The system needs to get up to temperature fast and it is not moving at all right now. ;) The air temperature has been falling too fast - just dropped to 13 degrees.

Brad
12-22-2008, 08:08 AM
Charlie,

The ice storm/power surge created a bit of a problem with the furnace for the driveway heat system. Got the part replaced last week and then got on to fine tuning. Made a few more adjustments yesterday morning and things are running a bit hotter.

Here is the driveway as of this morning after the one foot storm.
http://images42.fotki.com/v1379/photos/8/8235/7047644/LV0420081222073630000N-vi.jpg

The follow are graphs of the water temperature in the system for the prior storm
Supply1 = water going out to the main part of the driveway
Return1 = water coming back from main driveway
Supply2 = water going to the front walkway and the top of the driveway by the road
Return2 = water going back from walkway and top of driveway

Before the storm on the 19th - then I forced it to go from its idle temp up to the melt temp which it did quickly
http://images46.fotki.com/v1432/photos/8/8235/242566/200812191pre-vi.jpg

During the storm the temps stayed constant as everything was melting.
http://images46.fotki.com/v1433/photos/8/8235/242566/200812192during-vi.jpg

Then when the system knew the demand for heating was doing down and everything was in balance, it started to shut into more of a running mode, then later it went back down to the melt temp.
http://images45.fotki.com/v1429/photos/8/8235/242566/200812193end-vi.jpg

Anyone with a radiant heat system "has" to have the ability to see what is happening with the temps. I have a small 4-probe temperature module that reads the temps and the data is available through a browser (since it is IP network based) and also the XML data is available. Spyboy's roommate wrote a small program to capture the XML data and then I can save it and import into Excel.

ColdWeatherClimber
12-22-2008, 08:20 AM
$18,000 ??? That thing is way over-complicated for what it is supposed to do. Run some pipes, poor the blacktop and pump hot water through it :D

Bill O
12-22-2008, 08:26 AM
Half the fun of winter is having a snowy driveway. With big piles on the side and snowpack on the pavement.

Steve M
12-22-2008, 09:27 AM
Half the fun of winter is having a snowy driveway. With big piles on the side and snowpack on the pavement.

I think that would depend on how steep your driveway is.:eek:

Brad
12-22-2008, 10:08 AM
With this driveway there would be only one way to go - down into the garage. And "into" could have a couple of different meanings. Without a clear, dry pavement on the asphalt being so steep there would be no way of getting up. Any slickness and you will make it down one way or another - but not up. Before the melt system was put in we had several instances where the car ended up sideways across the garage doors instead of going through the door.

So, it is either get it really clear - or park at the top and walk up. For some in our family walking up is not a real option. The driveway can not be plowed as there is no place to push the snow to at the bottom of the hill by the house. So, snowblower is a possibility if you want the danger of trying to stand on a steep slippery slope and manage a bucking snowblower. I used to do it before we paved the driveway and almost killed myself several times.

Plus, the melt system is cool. And it is cheaper to run than having it plowed all the time.

mtruman
12-22-2008, 01:02 PM
Sounds like your driveway configuration is like mine Brad (sloping down to the garage). Sure wish mine had been heated this weekend - my back is still unhappy about shoveling the nearly 18" we got between Friday and yesterday. I keep waiting for the day we have the "car ending up sideways across the garage door instead of through it". Been lucky (and careful) so far. Had a few times where getting up the driveway has taken a running start out of the garage and a prayer that the car would keep going straight and make it to the top before the ice took over. My problem with the melt system would be that we have a really poor drainage system at the bottom of the driveway so a clear driveway could easily equal a flooded garage (which has happened several times in heavy rains when the single drain was either frozen or clogged). Come to think of it, maybe I should just move to a new house that was engineered better to begin with...

Steve M
12-22-2008, 03:34 PM
Sounds like your driveway configuration is like mine Brad (sloping down to the garage). Sure wish mine had been heated this weekend - my back is still unhappy about shoveling the nearly 18" we got between Friday and yesterday. I keep waiting for the day we have the "car ending up sideways across the garage door instead of through it". Been lucky (and careful) so far. Had a few times where getting up the driveway has taken a running start out of the garage and a prayer that the car would keep going straight and make it to the top before the ice took over. My problem with the melt system would be that we have a really poor drainage system at the bottom of the driveway so a clear driveway could easily equal a flooded garage (which has happened several times in heavy rains when the single drain was either frozen or clogged). Come to think of it, maybe I should just move to a new house that was engineered better to begin with...

What...and take all the fun away?:)

Charlie
12-22-2008, 08:00 PM
brad looks like you have it the way you want it .i was looking at the temps every so often to see how it was doing .the next time i redo my drive way or move up north i will have a system like this .

steve how is your driveway cooling system doing ,did your tires stop melting :eek:

Steve M
12-23-2008, 12:20 AM
brad looks like you have it the way you want it .i was looking at the temps every so often to see how it was doing .the next time i redo my drive way or move up north i will have a system like this .

steve how is your driveway cooling system doing ,did your tires stop melting :eek:

The system WAS doing well until it froze the driveway and all the cars slid out into the street. Luckly I don't live on a busy street.:p

Charlie
12-23-2008, 05:12 PM
the system was doing well until it froze the driveway and all the cars slid out into the street. Luckly i don't live on a busy street.:p

good one:D:D:D