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Driving On Negative Winter Roads

lane indicators that heat up to reverse the image
  [vote for,

Winter is approaching in the northern hemisphere, and with it comes snow covered roads. Global warming will effect some places and there won't be any snow, but for others there will be even more. Until plowing and salting can take place, some roads become featureless vistas of white snow. Heated road lane spacers solves this problem.

The idea is to provide a low powered heating element under each of a series of black dashes that run along the centre of the road, interspersed between the normal white ones.

These black dashes are all connected via a wire that runs to a central point, and delivers the current needed to cause them to heat up to a sufficient degree to melt any snow lying on top of them.

This results in them being revealed as a series clearly visible of black dashes against the background of the white road. This is almost a complete negative image of the road that usually appears as a black surface with white dashes.

xenzag, Oct 05 2020

SNOWLESS https://cordis.euro...u/project/id/831120
heated road surface at only €1.2/m2 per year [kdf, Oct 05 2020]

Road coverage in US states https://www.fastcom...he-us-is-paved-over
Maps showing interesting negative imagery [kdf, Oct 05 2020]

Ground temp by depth: Fig 2 https://igws.indian...eothermal/HeatPumps
[bs0u0155, Oct 05 2020]


       But won't this add to global warming... ?
8th of 7, Oct 05 2020

       One existing technology close to real-world implementation (link) places continuous ribbons under the road surface. Melting snow off the entire driving lane likely brings a bigger safety improvement than just melting lane markers into visibility.
kdf, Oct 05 2020

       Oh how amazing! I never heard of that. You know so much more than me. What you forget is that this is the halfbakery and the idea is about creating a negative image, not about solving an actual real life problem.
xenzag, Oct 05 2020

       <Ignores "not real life problem" comment in typyical passive-aggressive way/>   

       Just melting in the "dashes" might cause more problems than it solves. The runoff water has to go somewhere; it will seep under the surrounding unmelted snow, and may well re-freeze, but as sheet ice rather than snow crystals. This will create patches of loose snow with sheet ice underneath ... what fun.   

       It does seem to be a case of "clear the whole surface, or not at all" if it's safety you're after.
8th of 7, Oct 05 2020

       //solving an actual real life problem// I thought we had finished dealing with all those a few years ago?
pocmloc, Oct 05 2020

       8th becomes "practical man". This is like Japan’s "salary man", only without the mad Kirin beer drinking :-)
xenzag, Oct 05 2020

       “... the idea is about creating a negative image”
-xenzag, Oct 05 2020

       I’ve not forgotten - and I was inclined to make a joke about negativity, what you do scathingly accused me of the other day. And of course I see most of your ideas as art for art’s sake. This one belongs in a gallery - as a sculpture perhaps, as it would be hard to paint and get the idea across.   

       Even so, pondering this one led me to wonder what the state of technology was for snow melting systems. In general that’s a large reason why I visit halfbakery - to prompt me into reading on random subjects that don’t regularly pop up in my other data streams.
kdf, Oct 05 2020

       // the state of technology was for snow melting systems //   

       Well developed; it relies on increasing the atmospheric CO2 content, by oxidising fossil carbon deposits.   

       It's working well, apparently.
8th of 7, Oct 05 2020

       "increasing the atmospheric CO2 content, by oxidising fossil carbon deposits."
-8th of 7, Oct 05, 2020

       Unfortunately that's not focused enough on roadways. And climate change has a fairly uneven effect - until the whole place is really sweltering, all it's doing is making weather patterns more severe - some places get more snow, other less. As for *targeted* melting of snow, on roadways or other other areas - it won't necessarily increase global warming. Depends on the energy source you use, and also if you're affecting large enough areas to significantly increase planetary albedo.
kdf, Oct 05 2020

       //if it's safety you're after//   

Voice, Oct 05 2020

       Given that, at least here on the US east-coast, we can't seem to keep anything resembling a continuous paved surface, I worry that adding complexity and cost would be practical. Honestly half the reason people have SUVs around here is just to cope with "road" conditions. My particular favorite is the removal of 2" of road surface leaving the road open, but with 2" cast iron drain installations sticking out at random intervals.   

       Anyhow, electrical heating is energy intensive, but the goal here is just to melt water ice. So all you need is access to something that is warmer than 0C. For that, just go down a couple of feet <link> and you're above freezing. Even 6" would probably do it in most places. Ohh, that gives me an idea...
bs0u0155, Oct 05 2020

       //just to cope with "road" conditions//
After the earthquakes here (Christchurch, New Zealand), the roads were (understandably) somewhat messed up. After a (rather long) time, some were fixed, and some clever nut put up signs saying "Warning - Smooth Road Ahead".
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 05 2020

       Based on previous evidence of what passes for "humour" in NZ, that's entirely consistent ...   

       Do you have tumbleweeds there, or did they all die of boredom ... ?
8th of 7, Oct 05 2020

       Perhaps sell of the rights to install heating strips to various advertising companies. Soon 98% of the roads will be covered in black asphaltic advertisements.
AusCan531, Oct 06 2020

       If quantum entanglement can be crystallized, such that perturbations don't cause collapse, cold country roads could be tunneled to hot country roads/spaces.
wjt, Oct 09 2020

       // If quantum entanglement can be crystallized, such that perturbations don't cause collapse, //   

       "crystallized" ... ?   

       Crystals exist at a supratomic level. Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon associated with subatomic particles. The two concepts operate at entirely different physical scales.   

       Could you explain your idea in a more muddled and confusing way ? (Since it would be trivially easy to explain it in a less muddled and confusing way, we are attempting to set you a meaningful intellectual challenge).
8th of 7, Oct 09 2020

       wjt: "crystallized quantum entanglements"
8th: "can you explain in a more muddled and confusing way?"

       Oh c'mon 8th, you know exactly what he's on about. Imagine a Feynman/Stueckelberg diagram but drawn in 3D. It would look like one of those ball-and-stick models they show kids to help them understand crystalline structure. Now, drop a little LSD, Salvia Divinorum, Psilocybin - whatever you have handy - and visualize it in higher dimensions. All of reality as a bunch of interlinked lines down to the quantum level   

       The only real questions here are what pharmaceuticals did he use and if someone can talk him down.
kdf, Oct 09 2020

       Failing that, someone can talk down to him. That's probably a better match for the skill sets we have here.
pertinax, Oct 09 2020

       Talk down to him? Far be it from me to intrude on 8th’s province.
kdf, Oct 10 2020

       You're being almost nice again ... why are you being almost nice ? What are you up to ? What are you planning ? You're in league with [xenzag], aren't you ?   

       <Paranoid twitching/>
8th of 7, Oct 10 2020

       A gloved hand turns a dial one spot clickwise.
pertinax, Oct 10 2020

       Oh, so you're in it too ? Might have known ...
8th of 7, Oct 10 2020

       Out there, in a corner of the expanse, there might just be supratomic structures that carry quantum tunneling abilities, like any good science fiction extrapolates. .
wjt, Oct 11 2020

       Wouldn’t the heated black lines on the road be covered in animals (foxes, wildcats, deer, raccoons, etc.) warming themselves up?
hippo, Oct 11 2020

       No, they'll prefer using the larger road side heating pads that serve as clear areas for cars to pull over to and park on in the event of a flat tyre etc.
xenzag, Oct 11 2020


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