Solar-energy-powered system developed to keep runways ice-free
Ice on a runway can spell disaster. Previously, chemicals, thermal, electric and microwave technologies were used to keep runways ice free and skid-proof. Engineers at the University of Arkansas lately stumbled across a pretty green way to keep runways free from ice, using solar energy! For this, the runway needs a bit of tweaks too, using a lower layer consisting of a single slab of non-conductive concrete on a gravel-laid bed measuring 20 x 24 feet above which is placed a second layer of concrete, made up of 12 panels each measuring 4 x 10 feet made from heat-conducting concrete.
The energy is then converted to electrical energy in a nearby photovoltaic system that in turn powers electrodes embedded in the conductive panels, helping keep the ice away!