In order to prevent injury to persons or damage to buildings, gutters and downpipes - and even the canopies where necessary (from the last snow protection grille to the roof gutter) are heated with heating strips. This is custom-planned. The ETHERMA planning team will configure the heating system to your specific requirements. Combined with an intelligent control system, these will operate efficiently and safely.
Frozen condensation which cannot run off can cause severe damage to gutters, the backflow from which combined with the cold can lead to dangerous icicles and damage to buildings. ETHERMA gutter heating avoids these dangers - simply, and completely automatically.
Iced-up downpipes can not only damage your gutters, but also impact the building. Heating the downpipes down to a depth of 1 m below the ground surface (= the soil's frost limit) prevents this permanently and guarantees the smooth flow of melted water.
Large amounts of snow often collect in large box gutters, after sliding down from the roof areas. In this case, damage to the building shell and structure is hindered by a rapid, safe defrosting response.
WHAT COSTS MUST I TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION?
The expected average operating hours for the gutter heating system are dependent inter alia on the location and weather, and are based on experience. Multiplying these by the installed output enables you to draw conclusions about the power consumption required. A calculation example based on a gutter heating system in a private space should provide an appropriate illustration of this:
SELF-REGULATING OR CONSTANT?
Heating tapes with the advantage of a wide radiant surface are used to keep roof and box gutters free of ice. A distinction is made depending on the location and area of application:
SELF-REGULATING HEATING TAPES
Self-regulating heating tapes adapt the output to the ambient temperature: if the outside temperature rises, the heating output and thus the consumption decrease. In addition, this avoids possible overheating - this means that these heating tapes can also be used for the less temperature-resistant plastic gutters.
DANGER TUNNEL CREATION
Downward regulation is not always desired, as is the case with self-regulating heating tapes. In certain cases, so-called "tunneling" can occur: if larger amounts of snow slide behind and only part of it is melted, a "tunnel" is created - the insulating effect of the snow increases the temperature, the heating tape reduces the output, although not yet all the snow has melted away. The remaining snow melts too slowly or not at all - icicles form again. In such cases, constant heating cables that do not regulate back are the right choice.
CONSTANT HEATING TAPES
The perfect alternative to avoid "tunneling" are heating cables and heating tapes with constant power. They are soft and elastic and lie flat and even in the gutter, the low-loss heat transfer to the sheet ensures efficient melting and thus prevents "tunneling".
PLUG-IN HEATING CABLES AND HEATING TAPES WITH THERMOSTAT
For small systems, ETHERMA recommends prefabricated heating cables and heating tapes with a plug-in cable and thermostat, which automatically switches on when the temperature falls below + 3 °C and switches off again at + 9 °C.
ETHERMA heating traces are used when particularly low investment costs and simple assembly are required.
MERCEDES PAPPAS HEADQUARTERS, SALZBURG GUTTER HEATING
THE INITIAL SITUATION
The headquarters of the Mercedes Pappas Group in Salzburg is a typical example of a custom-made heating solution. The ETHERMA planning team in this case were faced with a relatively shallow (approx. 5 cm) yet particularly wide (ca. 40 cm) box gutter. As this box gutter forms a recess in the foil roof, it was made of a material with a relatively poor temperature resistance. The building's own warmth was creating melted water on the flat roof. To ensure that this did not form blocks of ice in the box gutter and melting is secured, the melted water had to be kept free from ice.
THE ETHERMA SOLUTION
A constant heating strip is normally used in such cases. As this was a special gutter design with a material with a relatively poor temperature resistance, however, the ETHERMA planning team decided on the self-regulating EGT heating strip, which can also be installed in plastic gutters. With flat roofs, there is no risk that larger amounts of snow slide into the box gutter, and there is hence no risk of tunnelling. Three EGT strips were laid along the width of the roof gutter, thus guaranteeing that the melted water did not collect ice, and hence safe drainage.
NEW AIRPORT TOWER, SALZBURG GUTTER HEATING
THE INITIAL SITUATION
The new tower at Salzburg airport also required an ETHERMA custom solution.
Icicles formed along the entire curvature of the building, and thus posed a constant danger to airport workers.
THE ETHERMA SOLUTION
In order to prevent the build-up of icicles and the danger that they posed, tracks
with ETHERMA SHK constant heating strips were laid beneath the sheet metal.
The melted water was then directed via an internal gutter into the inside of the building.