BS in Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering Department
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, flight delays cost airlines $22 billion annually (Rapajic 16). Snow and ice buildup on the tarmacs are a major contributor to these delays in regions where freezing weather conditions are common. Current solutions such as anti-freeze chemicals and snowplows are ineffective and costly. Implementing a radiant heating system, specifically pipes running hot liquid within or below the runways, can help maintain the surface above freezing temperatures. Such a system has yet to be installed in a functioning airport because of its complexity and high cost. However, the FAA provides funding for infrastructure improvements, and is already supportive of the idea after seeing its success in experimental models. But airport officials are mainly concerned about the operating costs, claiming such a solution is not an economical application. There’s no doubt that a tremendous amount of electricity will be needed to power all the boilers and pumps, but with the advancements in geothermal and inter-seasonal heating, a large portion of the energy can come free and clean. In our senior project, we will discuss the resources required to install and operate our own heating system design. Then through a small-scale model, we will demonstrate the effectiveness of this system. Our model will consist of a slab of concrete with tubing underneath and an Arduino microcontroller acting as a thermostat to control a network of a boiler, pump, LCD screen, and various button inputs.