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Saline Sprinkler System

For winter use in parking lots that get a lot of snow and ice.
  [vote for,

Winter is once again approaching, and with it comes slick roads and dangerous parking lots. I figured I'd get an early start on my winter baking.

Simply put, this is a sprinkler system that is installed in parking lots and forgotten until winter. This sprinkler system draws from a large reservoir tank filled with salt water. The parking lot should be sloped slightly for this work best. On the raised end of the lot is an array of sprinklers on raised poles (about 3 feet tall) that spray the saline downward in a wide spray directly down onto the parking lot between the edge of the lot and the parked cars (instead of concrete bumper stops, there's a rope fence to avoid blocking water flow) like a shower head to keep it from spraying onto cars and causing corrosion damage. The saltwater spreads out and runs down the sloped parking lot, running under cars and around tires, covering the whole lot to prevent dangerous ice layers and snowpack from forming.

21 Quest, Sep 11 2007

The effect of salt on water's freezing point http://www.madsci.o...890115623.Ch.r.html
[21 Quest, Sep 12 2007]

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       Does saline not freeze easily? And does it melt snow?
BJS, Sep 12 2007

       I am not sure it would work. Particulate salt mixes with ice to form a hypersaline brine with a low freezing point. Even if your tank contained such a brine, it would not be as concentrated as a salt crystal, and would be further diluted by contact with ice and snow.

       Better to have a dry tank of salt, and have it blow outwards using compressed air.
bungston, Sep 12 2007

       They use trucks spraying saline solution to keep the roads here free of ice in winter, so yes, it works in that application.
21 Quest, Sep 12 2007

       isn't salt bad for the paintwork?
po, Sep 12 2007

       Not only a parking lot, which is to my admittedly biased mind automatically boneworthy, but a parking lot with automatic rust dispensers! (directed spray notwithstanding) The OEMs will love this one. Eliminate walkable environments and durable second-hand cars in one fell swoop.
Ned_Ludd, Sep 12 2007

       They get salted anyway. This just does it quicker and more uniformly. And, as far as //Eliminate walkable environments//

       um... the idea is to prevent ice from forming and KEEP the environment walkable and driveable. Have you ever driven or tried walking in a parking lot covered in a 1-2 inch layer of solid ice?
21 Quest, Sep 12 2007

       I'm not in the least happy that so many trees and plants die from salt poisoning every winter, just because we want to be able to drive our cars around in the foullest weather conditions. Parking lots? Sheesh! Those things are the easiest to plow.

       - for environmental impact. Get snow tires/shoes, dammit.
DrCurry, Sep 12 2007

       What [DrCurry] said.

       A walkable environment is one that most encourages one to choose to get over there by walking rather than any other way. It is an accepted concept in urban design. Parking lots are big, empty spaces. The nearest buildings are far away, so as you walk your view of them changes very slowly. The result is that you don't feel as if you're getting anywhere, and wish you'd taken the car instead. Parking lots are just flat boring, and if you want to encourage pedestrians (I've admitted my bias above) you can't let them become bored.
Ned_Ludd, Sep 12 2007

       Use snowplows and sand. Salt should only be used for ramps.
Galbinus_Caeli, Sep 12 2007

       //Those things are the easiest to plow//

       Not when there are cars to try and avoid hitting.

       //Salt should only be used for ramps.//

       That's fine and good, but the fact is salt *is* used in a great *many* places other than ramps, and as long as it's being used anyway, there is simply no reason it shouldn't be done more efficiently. Goodness, sometimes I think the sense of pacifism and hippy-ness gets the better of many a baker's judgement. It's good to be an idealist in theory, but the fact is pushing your ideals (such as not salting roads and not ever going to war for any reason) on the rest of the world is not realistic and saying that any ideas that make use of the current way things are done is somehow wrong since we should focus all our efforts on trying to elliminate those ways is naive. There's a way things should be, and a way things will be. You have to see that, and be willing to compromise or you'll live out your entire life being angry and bitter and impotent.

       I'm done annotating this idea. Do to it what you will, but before I leave it to the wolves, I say I don't feel it's fair to bone an idea simply because it streamlines a process that you don't personally feel is right (there's a rule here against ranting in a posted idea, why is it acceptable to rant in anno form? Seems hypocritical to me that a would-be poster is expected, in fact demanded, to remain completely objective and professional in bearing, yet annotators can say whatever they like, however they like, and can rant all day because they feel the issue in the post is dear to their heart. I think M-F-D rules should apply to anno's as well.)
21 Quest, Sep 12 2007

       I am going to bone it because you misspelled process.

       wahhhhh just kidding. I do think a saline sprinkler truck would be more efficient. The driver could avoid sprinkling old cars. Also, if the sprinkler broke, it would be easier to repair on a truck in a garage than in a freezing parking lot.
bungston, Sep 12 2007

       I've always respected your objectivity, bungston, and you've got a good point... a truck would be more efficient, and seeing as the trucks do exist already, this is a less efficient idea than simply making wider use of existing trucks...
21 Quest, Sep 12 2007

       I am not boning it merely because I disagree with the concept, but also because it makes the underlying concept less efficient.

       Salting driving surfaces does four things. First salt crystals mechanically break up ice through the grinding action of wheels. Second, salt crystals provide extra traction by giving tires grip to the road. Third, heat of fusion melts ice into water. Fourth adding salt to water reduces the freezing point.

       Your concept fails to provide three of these four benefits.

       Road salt also has a number of disadvantages. It damages car frames. it damages roadside (or median) vegetation. It runs off into streams and rivers and damages those eco systems.

       Your system will require a greater quantity of salt so will exacerbate all of these. It will also be harder to keep sprayed saline from getting on vegetation than it is for dropped salt.

       In addition saline lines are going to be very expensive, as they will need to be stainless steel to avoid corrosion. Probably welded rather than soldered or glued for the same reason.
Galbinus_Caeli, Sep 12 2007

       Even most stainless steels will corrode in salt water. Cathodic protection is probably going to be required.
MechE, Sep 13 2007


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