An intelligent frost protection system has been installed under the driveway of a luxury home in the centre of London.
The DEVI DTCE-30 frost protection cables, mounted on D49 wire mesh, were installed under block paving on a 40m2 driveway in the fashionable Notting Hill district. The special twin-conductor electric cable produces 30W of heat per linear metre to raise the surface temperature of the pavement sufficiently to melt ice or prevent standing water from freezing. Especially useful on steeply-sloping surfaces, the system is invaluable for maintaining pedestrian safety and preventing vehicles from skidding or getting stuck.
“These frost protection systems typically switch on at +4ºC external air temperature, but only when air’s moisture content is sufficient to form ice. It will then maintain an above-freezing temperature.” explains Gaia account manager, William Theobald. “The system is commonly used in northern climates, notably the Baltic states and Russia, where ambient temperatures remain below freezing continuously for days or weeks during the winter months. This particular system will easily protect down to temperatures of -15ºC.” says William.
“In Notting Hill, the heating element is controlled via a DEVIreg 850 frost protection control system.” he continues. “This advanced controller monitors the external air temperature along with the air moisture content and ground temperate to provide power to the heating elements if there is a risk of frost or snow.” The system, which works well under most surfaces covering materials including asphalt, concrete and tiles, operates fully automatically. Thermal and moisture sensors combine to register the need for ice and snow melting and send a signal to the DEVIreg 850 thermostat which switches on the power to the cables. The thermostat ensures that optimal results are achieved with the least possible amount of energy.
The DEVI cables can be arranged either in linear runs or made up into mats, depending on the application. Linear elements are often used to prevent snow build-up on roofs and in guttering and downpipes while mats are ideal under pavements and drives. Besides ensuring a safe surface on which to walk or drive, the preventative advantages of the Gaia system mean that snow shovelling and salting becomes unnecessary.
Installing the system is easy. At this address, the DEVI heating cables were simply bedded in a layer of sand and fixed using DEVIfast fitting bands before the block paving was laid in the conventional manner. Depending on the size and shape of the driveway, DEVI heating cables can be installed under the entire surface area or just under the areas affected by car tyres, as well as pedestrian walkways. On sloping drives, Gaia recommends heating the entire surface area and making some provision for drainage at the bottom of the slope.