Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Not the Happy Cuddle Club.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Driveway : Snowless, Automatic

Use energy per need: Three technologies combined as a system for Snow/ice control
(+4, -4)
  [vote for,

Every Laffee Taffy that I chew has me staring off into the corner of the ceiling about this 'automatic driveway'. It’s been easy enough, so far - I just rip up and down in my four wheeler, and then proudly strut in to the house to patch up the rips in my right arm from my wife's fingernails. Macho asserted, I now seek to display to her my intellectual moxie through invention.

THINK THIS THROUGH, AND TELL ME IN A RESPONSIBLE THOUGHT WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT: I prefer lawn over driveway, and those antiquated "two runners" have some appeal to me. I think that I could recess the runners only slightly, and on a curved driveway they might all but disappear.

THREE PART SYSTEM ______________________________

one------------------ No matter what, ya gotta have traction. This plan has several fail-safes, and one is - no metal: then I can supplement snow removal with salt. I propose in-line, (vertically) diagonally laid bricks, on sides - for strength and drainage. Concrete bricks would do, but laid the same way, with the flat side edge corner up. Sharpest edge uphill for traction dig. See what I mean: rows of bricks on edge, cascading up from the street to the garage. Here now -- there is a space between the individual rows of bricks that make up each runner. The system must be set on a pitch to the street, and laid over a drained, worthy bed.

two------------------- Between each row of bricks is a 1" heat tube that runs antifreeze/H20. The liquid is optionally heated by a flash heater (quite available - Google "Tankless water heater", Affordable to restaurant managers). Anyway, it has lateral fins to dissipate a BTU or two to - and between - the bricks. The tube is spiral wrapped with that blue "heat tape" cord that inherently adjusts temperature per inch output relative to outdoor temperature. It's a temperature/chemical/ variable conductor thing. I've used it, it's incredibly cheap to operate, and its budgeted for UPS carriers. The heat cord warms the tube liquid slightly, so it keeps the driveway mildly pre-warmed (better for the bricks), and reduces the load on the flash heater.

three-------------------- This system is designed to run at low cost, often without the flash heater. Now here's what we're doing for those bunchy flakes make you snow blind out your front window. This employs a 5/8" pipe of aluminum sitting at the same elevation as your driveway's tread, above the 1" heat tube in the space between brick rows. Hey, mount them on big, bunchy grommets, and a little push into the slot by your car tires won't matter. Whatever it's made of, it has to be cheap, since you blew your wad on the flash heater and the heat cord. Small, carefully placed holes in the air pipe allow the compressor pressure to blow away snow more thoroughly, with the help of tiny, strategic air deflector/diffusers. With an Associate's degree in engineering design, you can put in nylon tapered pin valves in aluminum sleeves that won't freeze up, and will release air pressure upward into tiny, diffusing 'umbrellas', 1" above the brick grid at full extension, only at max pressure. Look both ways for your Mother-in-Law sneaking in, before you switch it on.

Hook up that compressor (you already own this) and periodically blow the dang driveway clean. All of this should be tested in the wind tunnel at Cape Canaveral, or with a twenty five pound sack of talcum powder in your front yard (with Moe as the victim, of course). Experiment with a measured section of pipe and the smallest, accurately drilled holes. Unplug the charged compressor, and time a unit of PSI drop to build up pressure and sufficiently blow through the holes. Multiply the drop by the number of sections that length, and bear in mind the significant pressure build-up required. You might have to switch the pressure to one or two driveway-lengths at a time. The air pipes drain any moisture to the street. (A 'drain only' valve that opens at 'pressure off' is affordable to prudent newsboys, or a stopcock plus pressure will blow each runner out).

-------------------- Automatic controls keep this 3 part system going without significant tending. The heat cord is already smart to temperature. It would necessarily switch off when the flash-heat starts. The same switch that starts your water pump (priceless) can delay-start your compressor. The flash heater can be set to low temp, and adjust. High School grad income and lower cannibis intake ingenuity can develop a 'snow weight switch' to activate the blower. (What am I thinking -- I lost the potheads after they scanned for girly pics).

The tube should run the edges of each runner, too, to ultimately show the ‘safe navigation’ zone. I figure four thick bricks wide, with 1 Œ inch space for the conduit. That’s five conduits per runner … Well, it can be done carefully to avoid maintenance, and the advantage is that it has the failsafe of multiple systems, output per necessity --- and no boot-wit Joes slapping down a toaster under a concrete yard display at my house, and giving a flippant spin on my elecric meter, smiling perfect Union teeth at me. BY THE WAY, THE HALF OF THEM ON DISABILITY NEED NOT ANNOTATE HERE.

If you got kicked out of dance classes, and you prefer circling the block to parallel parking, consider this: the inside and outside rows of diagonal (nearly vertical) bricks can be angled in, toward the center. In this position they create a "guide" for your tires, by way of slightly higher brick edges, and the top (end) of the brick having a smooth, less angled 'edge-guide ramp'. They would also catch the warm rise better, show up better, and get blown off better by the system. Like an upward slope leading to a fence - more resistance to cross.

Ojala, this inclusive system allows best for keeping the two-runner driveway mildly heated, frost free, and ready for precipitation and frost as needed, and with tools for blowing off much of the bigtime snow, and for melting most loads.

How come so many here are only quarter baked?


WryGuy, Jul 07 2007

[snarfyguy]'s Electric_20Driveway
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 08 2007]

Radiant heat snow removal http://www.allwarm.com/driveway-heat.htm
[Freefall, Jul 09 2007]


       Here's a good place to start your search. [link]   

       One and two: very nice. A low cost, attractive and eco-friendl(ier) heated driveway. I like it.   

       Three: doesn't really sound like it has a hope of working, even before it goes wrong which will be soon.
wagster, Jul 08 2007

       So basically, it's a subfloor radiant heating system, applied to your driveway. OK, you've added the angled bricks bit for traction and drainage control, as well as the pneumatic snow removal method, and I give you credit for those. The pneumatic system will by no means be either low maintenance or cheap.   

       The radiant heat method is already available, in both fluid and pure electric forms. See link.
Freefall, Jul 09 2007

       The blower has holes in a pipe, is in the ground, and gets driven over. There's no way the holes won't get blocked unless you also install an active cleaning system (think cats-eyes). That'll ruin the low-budget aspect. The heating should be long lasting and low maintainance having no moving parts.   

       Oh, and please don't SHOUT - people in here are trying to think. And if you make a habit of deleting people's annos you will become unpopular and have to play on your own like that smelly kid in year five.
wagster, Jul 09 2007

       If you want to use blowers, they should be mounted above ground with the holes facing horizontally and somewhat shielded from dirt so that they don't get blocked. Even so, all snow blowers work on the principle of a single blower that moves along the path to be cleared. You are trying to blow the whole path at once which will require heaps more pressure and air throughput and therefore a HUUUUGE compressor. It's probably possible, but it won't come cheap.
wagster, Jul 10 2007

       ----- A Note From Hickory H. Halfbakery, esq. ----- While the possibility of contributing with constructive comment remains, remarks that are redundant, or limited to snide chortles get swept up when they get stale, in 7-10 days. If my key text gets changed, and it makes an entire annotation obsolete, and inapplicable, it is removed. Annotations that are strictly and entirely limited to social issues belong in a better place, and I send them there, (so that you need not relinquish those visitation rights). Unadulterated whining is handled just as professionals advise us.   

       This isn't graffiti, girls. Go ahead, criticize constructively and say why, with sound thinking-- at that point you earn space for your joke or insult to stay posted, also. Look at the honorable Wagster, there. I changed my text with advice from Wagster, and I leave his message because: part of it still applies. It's objective, and it applies. If you want your fussy, baseless judgments and opinions heard, take your sister shopping.   

       -----> The fact that you are checking back repeatedly, and guarding your master...pieces (which borrow space on my cause and posting), and then hissing together like the sorority spit committee because your empty subjective eyelash batting is deleted makes you look like -   

       - Well, like you don't know what this site is about.   

       Get a puppy, or go make yer kids neurotic. love, WryGuy
WryGuy, Jul 17 2007


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle