Microwave Journal

Microwave Snow Removal

February 2, 2011
I was shoveling (still) more snow from my driveway this morning and found myself thinking about a blog parody concerning scientists having successfully developed a way to remove snow using microwaves. In my fictitious report, I would embed quotes from Dr. Mi Bak Aches and his colleague Dr. Pho Zen Tose on how they came up with the technology to efficiently melt an 8 inch covering of snow from a 700 square foot driveway in the time it takes to microwave a large Idaho potato. Ah, a truly wonderful fantasy as the snow banks surrounding the end of my driveway surpassed the six feet high mark.

Returning to the warmth of my office (and lap top), I decided to check the internet first, to see if anyone had preempted my early April fools story with an actual use of microwaves to fulfill this fantasy. Lo and behold (such an odd phrase), ANZAI HIROKI(Tsuruoka National Coll. Technol., JPN) and SHIRAHATA DAIKI(Tsuruoka National Coll. Technol., JPN) have already beaten Dr. Bak Aches and Pho Zen Tose in this effort. Why am I not that surprised?

From Science Links (Japan), a paper titled: “A Melting Snow Experiment for Road Heating with A Microwave Snow Melting System and Its Estimation of Electric Power”.

The scenario laid out by the authors - it is winter in Hokkaido and Tohoku region, the Sea of Japan side of Honshu, there are more snowfalls. An accident during the snow-removal work and a slip accident by icy roads occur in conjunction with this, and a problem to affect human life gets up. Therefore a melting of snow system and melting snow agent plans prevention such as icy roads, but there are various problems when they execute the work, and a cost side, environment side do not reach large use expansion. Therefore the author put an important point for melting snow of a road surface (a road, stairs, a parking lot) by this study and did the measurement and an electricity test calculation of a microwave melting of snow system and examined possibility of a microwave melting of snow system. As a result, the author understood that there was melting snow ability enough.

http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/200603/000020060306A0065609.php

Has there been any progress in this area? I'm listening.