Local council to trial heated car parks
With temperatures starting to fall and the start of winter maintenance season approaching, council members at Central Bedfordshire Council have a new plan in place that involves an underfloor heating-style system.
Using innovative technology that requires a geothermal energy system, the local authority has affirmed that it is ready to keep vehicles running on the road over the colder months of the year with heated car parking.
The new council initiative is part of the ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs programme, which was funded by the UK’s Department for Transport and represents a significant investment of £22.9 million. A total of five “geothermic probes” have now been positioned 150 metres below ground.
When it’s warm outside, the surface of the car park surface will heat up. The tubes located underground but close to the surface are filled with a specially designed liquid that captures this warmth in the form of heat energy. The energy can then be transferred to the probes, where it is stored within a storage unit onsite that can retain its heat for many months.
In a statement, Central Bedfordshire’s Executive Member for Sustainability and Transformation, Councillor Steven Dixon, commented:
“I am thrilled we’re part of this exciting and innovative trial.”
The cleverly engineered geothermic probes, combined with a dedicated heat pump, can respond effectively when temperatures become freezing. Like a luxury home underfloor heating system, the car park is heated beneath its surface, preventing snow from settling and ice formation. As a result, cars can operate easily, and no gritting is required, saving both money and time.