One of the scourges of winter would be having ice, whether a thin layer or a thick wad of snow, covering the roads as well as runways. Water on a runway alone is bad enough as it would make it hazardous to land on, but at least you can spot water easier than a thin layer of ice. In order to make sure runways remain clear of ice during winter, several expensive options from the chemical, thermal, electric and microwave technologies are applied – but here’s a green way of approaching the problem. Engineering researchers over at the University of Arkansas decided that their new system, using solar power, will be enough to prevent runways from freezing up.
Using a two-layered section of runway set up to test their system, the lower layer will comprise of a single slab of non-conductive concrete, while the second layer of concrete on top comprises of a dozen panels that are made from a special concrete which is able to conduct heat. Power from the sun will juice up the batteries which in turn sends power to the electrodes in the runway – heating them up in the process so that there is no ice over. Neat, no?