Surface Snow Melting

Ice and snow on access ways or ramps cause delays, accidents and injuries. Find out how the RAYCHEM range of surface snow melting solutions help you avoid this.


nVent RAYCHEM supplies heat trace cable for snow melting of

  • Ramps and driveways
  • Roads
  • Footpaths and stairs
  • Surface heating applications

Ice formation can cause accidents. RAYCHEM has the smart solution to safe, effective melt snow and clear ice.

Snow melting systems are ruggedly constructed to resist tough installation conditions including concrete, sand and even hot poured asphalt.

Complete surface heating system solutions

RAYCHEM has snow clearing systems to meet all application needs. Systems are supplied as a complete solution including

  • heating cables and mats
  • components
  • advanced energy efficient control units
  • integrated control panels.


Three good reasons for choosing a nVent RAYCHEM Electric Snow Melting System
1. Up to 80% energy savings

Compatible with the ‘smart’ RAYCHEM  VIA-DU-20 control unit for up to 80% energy savings over standard thermostatic controls. How does it work?

The control unit features a combined sensor module, which measures ground temperature, ground moisture and ambient temperature. Working together, these sensors only activate the surface heating when ice and snow conditions exist. Conventional systems start working when the temperature falls below a set point. In comparison, the VIA-DU-20 control remains off until ice or snow is present, and as a result reduces the energy use – and cost - of operating the snow melting system.

2. Robust and reliable

RAYCHEM surface heating systems are built to withstand demanding installation conditions and to give reliable ice and snow melting across the installed surface. The system’s heat trace cable is available as a cut-to-length and on-site terminated product, and also available in factory-supplied, pre-terminated units for increased peace of mind.

3.  Flexible design and installation

RAYCHEM systems are flexible in design and installation:

  • Easy design for complex heated areas: ramps or access ways with irregular shapes
  • Simple selection to meet the proposed ramp/ground profile. Whether in a sand/cement mix or directly under asphalt
  • Fast installation formats to reduce installation time on site
Energy Efficient

The “Smart” VIA-DU-20 control unit can save up to 80% of energy over standard controls. The smart control unit features a combined moisture & temperature sensor as well as an ambient temperature sensor, which work together to only activate the ramp heating when ice and snow conditions exist.The VIA-DU-20 reduces the cost of operating the snow melting system thanks to the combined sensing operation.  Where conventional systems use a temperature set point, the smart VIA-DU-20 control remains off until ice or snow is present on the surface.

nVent RAYCHEM surface snow melting systems are available in following distinct technologies:


Flexible EM2-XR heating cables use self-regulating technology, which allow terminations and connections can be made on site. These cables can also be spaced narrowly – for example, around obstacles – without the risk of overheating.

Robust EM-MI systems are based on Mineral Insulated (MI) technology. These cables can easily withstand the high temperatures of poured asphalt.


Key Challenges

Scottish Widows is a High Profile New Build Investment Bank Project constructed at Exchange Place in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. The clients comprise of Scottish Widows Management, K J Tait Consulting Engineers, Edinburgh, and Heating & Detection Solutions (HDS), Fife (Trace Heating Specialist). The requirement was for energy efficient, easy to install and a cost effective ground heating solution to prevent snow and ice formation in reinforced concrete ramps.

The main challenge faced by the consultants, K J Tait was to identify an optimum cost effective and energy efficient solution to avoid snow and ice formation on the ramps constructed in the project. They were also looking for a robust system for flexible installation under severe site conditions. Another concern for the consultants was that the system had to be a BMS compatible system.

The solution

We discussed our self regulating EM2-XR ramp heating systems with the consultants as the solution to their issue. The energy efficiency of the application came up to their expectations for the specification of the product, as well as our control system which is BMS compatible. Time was a factor for the project as it was a quick turnaround project within 4 months from design to final commissioning of the project.


EM2-XR Cable: 546 m

VIA-DU-20 Controller: 1


The consultants were convinced about the EM2-XR efficiency and they were also happy to go ahead due to other reasons such as BMS compatibility, ease of design and the overall cost savings in installing and operating the system. We worked with them and gave them all the necessary support to use the heat tracing system. They instructed HDS to install the system, which was supplied by our Wholesaler partner, Edmundson Electrical Ltd in Kirkcaldy. The project was a successful venture with 546 ms of EM2-XR and 1 no of VIA-DU-20 being installed in the project.

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