1979 - Volume #3, Issue #1, Page #15[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Solar-Powered Roof De-Icer
Called the Sorod Ice Lance, it uses a tiny solar collector to melt small corridors through ice dams at the edge of shingled roofs, preventing water buildup and damage inside from dripping water.
Ice dams -are formed when heat from inside the house rises through the roof and melts snow. As the snow melts, water runs down the roof to the unheated overhang where it freezes, forming a ridge of ice. This ridge dams the continuing flow of water, which backs up over the heated portion of the roof. Eventually this water backs up under the shingles and leaks inside the house.
The Sorod Ice Lance is a narrow tube filled with a refrigerant. The collector, a black aluminum fin, absorbs energy from the sun. A sealed plastic cylinder gathers this stored heat and passes it to the tube. The refrigerant begins to bubble and the heat passes through the length of it. It melts a small corridor along the tube, almost too small to see but large enough to conduct backed-up water to the edge of the roof.
The 4 ft. Sorod will protect overhangs up to 3 ft. wide. It needs sunlight to work effectively and will not work at night, during heavy overcasts or when badly shaded. With most buildings, this is not a problem, however, as the dammed water need not be continuously drained. Periodic relief is generally sufficient, says Fred Tingley, Tindev representative.
One Sorod can protect 10 to 15 running ft. of roof, and is fastened in place with a single bracket. The black collecting fin is pointed toward the average winter sun position. A package of 4 rods sells for $32. Shorter Sorods for overhangs less than 11/z ft. wide are also available.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tindev, Inc., Route 1, Box 325, Lincoln, Mass. 01773 (ph 617 259-9641).
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