Open space heating

Keeping ramps, stairs, sidewalks and driveways free of ice and snow

Ice and snow make many a ramp, stairway, walkway and driveway a slippery experience. With freezing temperatures, they present an increased risk for vehicle and personal accidents. Keeping access to your building free of snow and ice should be a priority.

With eltherm open space heating systems we offer you robust and efficient solutions and create the safety to protect you from serious accidents and injuries in winter.

Areas of use / applications

Safe and slip-proof through the winter

Open space heating systems are used in all areas where, due to snow and ice, personal injury and property damage are to be prevented.

  • Ramps
  • Stairs
  • Walkways and bridges
  • Entrances and exits such as garage entrances or helipads
  • Private buildings such as terraces or paths to front doors
  • Commercial or industrial environments such as loading ramps

Functionality and structure of an electric open space heating system

The task of an open space heating system is to prevent the ground from freezing up. As a result of the heat generated, the overlying ice and snow will melt.

The system consists of self-regulating heating cables embedded in the concrete layer or in the sand substructure. Our ELSR-Ramp is not only very durable and designed for the most demanding installation conditions, but also offers on-site installation flexibility. The system is controlled by the intelligent and electronic ice and snow detector ISD-2.

ISD-2 controls your heating needs automatically

Nowadays, environmentally conscious heating is more important than ever. The combination of temperature and humidity sensors ensures that heating only takes place when it is necessary.  Thus, energy wastage due to unnecessary heating can be avoided and heating costs can be saved.  Once the sensor detects a certain minimum temperature, it switches on the heating bands to activate heat dissipation on the heating surface, thus preventing the formation of ice and snow. It deactivates again once the ice and snow accumulations have been removed. Thus, the ice and snow detector ensures fully automatic and energy-saving operation of the open space heating system.

Comparison between an electric open space heating system and a warm water solution

Basically, there are two types of open space heating systems between which a distinction is made.

  1. Water-bearing open space heating: this often runs on fossil fuels such as gas or oil and is integrated into the central heating system.
  2. Electric open space heating: in this case, heating cables or heating mats are installed directly under the top surface of the floor area and are heated with electricity.

In a water-based system, the water must first be heated before the open space heating system becomes active. The electric open space heating, on the other hand, has a direct effect. Thus, the reaction of the electric open space system is much faster and long reaction times and high operating costs can be avoided. In addition, an electric heating system is easier and cheaper to design and to install.

Advantages of an electric open space heating system
  • Avoidance of falls and accidents
  • Protection of environment and substance of the building due to less gritting material
  • No snow removal in the morning, which saves personnel costs
  • Economical and energy-saving
  • Low installation and operating costs
  • Intelligent and safe control
  • Faster melting reaction than a hot water solution
  • Suitable for almost any floor covering such as concrete, slabs or paving stones
  • Durability of the system

Installation of an open space heating system

The installation of an open space heating system is done directly underneath the surface to be heated. In this case, the heating cables are installed as a loop at a small distance from each other. It is important to remove all unevenness at the beginning through or over which the heating cable will be pulled.

Depending on the type of application, the mounting and the exact laying of the heating cables may vary. Please refer to the installation instructions to determine which installation method is suitable for your application.


Ramp heating is required whenever driveways, stairs, terraces, walkways, bridges, rolling gate tracks, helipads and the like need to be kept free of ice. It is a robust and efficient solution to provide safety and prevent people from getting badly injured during winter.

The electric open space heating system is installed directly under the top surface of the ground area and is heated by electricity. Unlike a water-bearing system, where water must first be heated, it acts directly. The combination of temperature, precipitation and humidity sensors ensures that heating only takes place where necessary and only for as long as necessary. In this way, energy waste due to unnecessary heating can be avoided and heating costs can be saved. Thus, sidewalks, driveways or bridges can be kept free of ice and snow in an energy-efficient way.

Products used

Self-regulating Heating Cable ELSR-Ramp

Electronic Ice and Snow Detector ISD-2

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