Researchers at the University of Arkansas in the US are developing an anti-icing system that will make airport runways safer and less expensive to maintain during winter.

The researchers are using a conventional photovoltaic system to supply energy to a conductive concrete slab, which will function as a surface overlay on runways.

The energy-conductive slabs will continually maintain temperatures above freezing point, thereby preventing the accumulation of snow and ice.

The conductive concrete slabs are embedded with electrodes supplied by DC power through the photovoltaic system to keep them from icing, and consist of two layers above the existing soil and a gravel base.

After the initial design, the researchers will test the slab at the university’s Engineering Research Center in Fayetteville, US.

The system will have a battery storage bank that will store energy to supply DC electricity to the system during overcast conditions and at night.