Prior Art

Numerous other snow removal systems exist in the prior art. Typical of these are U.S. Patent Nos. 2,717,957; 4,728,775, 5,029,662; 5,115,116; 5,408,071; 5,591,365; 6,100,500; 6,163,013; 6,710,302; and International Patent Applications EP 0 558 845; ES 2072216 and DE 10024765. While these ice and snow removal systems may be suitable for the purposes for which they were designed, they would not be as suitable for the purposes of the present invention, as hereinafter described.

U.S. Patent Number 2.717.957

Inventor: Carlton E. Ohlheiser
Issued: September 13,1955

This invention relates to snow, ice and sleet sensing devices, and more particularly to an apparatus for detecting the presence of snow, ice or sleet on an exposed structure, such as an antenna, and for controlling a heater or similar device provided to remove the accumulated snow, ice or sleet from said structure.

U.S. Patent Number: 4.728.775

Inventor: George A. Van Straten
Issued: March 1,1988

An indicator light for vehicles and the like including a heated lens or cover. The heated cover is operatively connected to the indicator light, and is comprised of a thermally conducive, translucent cover plate. The cover plate has interior and exterior surfaces to which an elongated resistor is operatively connected in a widespread pattern to heat at least a major portion of the exterior surface of the cover. The resistor is electrically connected to the electrical system of the vehicle to induce an electric current through the cover, such that frozen particulate on the exterior surface thereof is melted for improved visibility through the indicator light and related vehicle safety.

U.S. Patent Number: 5,029,662

Inventor: Henry A. Pena
Issued: July 9,1991

A remote starting apparatus utilizes a receiver for receiving a command signal from a remote transmitter operated by a user. The apparatus facilitates both the starting of the vehicle from a remote location as well as the supplying of extra fuel to the vehicle's carburetor as required. The receiver is positioned on the dashboard of the vehicle and a flexible heating pad may be employed to keep the window free and clear of accumulated condensation so that the receiver can receive the command signal generated by the remotely located transmitter.

U.S. Patent Number: 5.115.116

Inventor: Mark L. Reed
Issued: May 19,1992

A vehicle preheating system which provides for the preheating of the vehicle interior, as well as other components, is disclosed. The system includes an electrical heating element installed within the heater assembly of the vehicle and is supplied with electrical power by an external source. The standard vehicle heater fan is supplied with electrical power from a transformer and rectifier in the circuit, thus using only external power rather than vehicle battery power. The system is controlled by a time controller, which may be preset to activate the heater assembly at some predetermined time prior to vehicle operation, and may provide for other component preheating devices such as engine and battery warmers. The time controller may activate each of these devices simultaneously, or independently at various times depending upon the lead time required to thoroughly warm each component. Alternatively, power may be applied to each device in turn in order to avoid excessive current draw from the external circuit. The time controller may also contain additional circuitry interconnected with the vehicle ignition system which provides a visual and/or aural warning when the ignition system is activated and the system is still plugged in and receiving power from the external source, Alternatively, the time controller may be set to deactivate the vehicle starter system when the time controller is receiving external power. The external power cord is contained on a reel which is installed within the vehicle body and is retracted onto the reel for storage when not in use.

U.S. Patent Number: S.408.071

Inventor: G. William Ragland
Issued: April 18,1995

A heat distributing device which includes a concentrated heat source and a stack of metal foils wherein the heat source is encapsulated between two of the layers of metal foil. The heat source can be a resistance heated wire which extends linearly and has a free end spaced inwardly from an end of the stack. The outer edge of the stack can be open or sealed. The stack can include metal wool and/or insulating material between layers of the metal foil. The heat distributing device can be used to provide uniform heating across an outermost layer of the metal foil. For instance, the heat distributing device can be used to heat a side-view mirror of an automobile.

U.S. Patent Number: 5.591.365

Inventor: Christopher G. Shields
Issued: January 7,1997

A heating apparatus for preventing the accumulation of snow and ice, and having an apertured heating mat in the form of a lattice or web. The heating mat is made of a durable weatherproof insulative polymer so that the mat maybe installed on any outdoor surface, such as a driveway, walkway or rooftop. The apertures within the lattice serve to increase the flexibility of the mat, thus allowing the mat to fit uneven surfaces. In addition, this flexibility allows the mat to be easily rolled up when not in use, the apparatus therefore only occupying minimal storage space. The heating mat is also constructed to be highly resistant to wear and may be left outdoors for the entire snow season, exposed to both the elements and frequent vehicular traffic without losing its effectiveness. Also included is a controller from which the apparatus can be set to a manual mode, in which the apparatus may be manually activated, or an automatic mode, in which the apparatus is automatically activated by snowfall.

U.S. Patent Number: 6.100.500

Inventor: Bobby J. Jefferson, Jr.
Issued: August 8,2000

A vehicle glass clearing system includes an installed portion and an auxiliary heating system including an auxiliary heating element having a control and drive circuit having mechanisms for detecting the moisture level and the temperature and that provides a higher drive current to the heating element when threshold temperature and moisture levels are detected.

US. Patent Number 6,163.013

Inventor: James H. King, et al.
Issued: December 19,2000

An electric heating grid extends from the middle of one side of the windshield, down that side to the bottom of the windshield, and from there across the bottom to the opposite side. The grid is operated by a control circuit having an on-off switch that is accessible to the vehicle operator. The control circuit includes a switch for sensing ambient outdoor temperature so as to allow the grid to be operated only when the outdoor temperature is below a threshold that distinguishes wintertime from non-wintertime conditions.

U.S. Patent Number: 6.710.302

Inventor: Mark Rennick
Issued: March 23,2004

A sensor assembly includes an integral heating unit. The sensor assembly includes a sensor housing which can be attached to an exterior surface of a vehicle. A transducer is configured to receive interrogation signals from a controller and to transmit signals in response to the interrogation signals. A heating unit is positioned in the sensor housing. The heating unit includes a shell including a recess which is sized and configured to receive the transducer. A heating coil formed of a high resistance wire is embedded in the shell. The heating coil is configured to radiate heat to warm the transducer to melt built up ice and snow which can block signals emitted by the transducer.

European Patent Number: 0 558 845

Inventor: Watanabe, Koji et al.
Issued: September 8,1993

The present invention provides a heating unit wherein a surface heating element (4), in which an electrically conducive coating is applied onto a cloth, is positioned between metal plates (2) such as aluminum plates above and below and wrapped in a tar-based moisture-proof sheet (3). The heating unit is then embedded beneath the surface of a road paving or other surface. The heating unit is preferably supported by a steam rolled asphalt and concrete base layer which has been coated with a primer. After installing and wiring the above-mentioned heating unit (4) on top of said primer-coated base layer, an additional coating of primer is applied followed by paving with a material having a high degree of thermal conductivity, such as an asphalt layer or concrete containing fine granules of blast furnace slag, to function as the surface material.

Spanish Patent Number: ES 2072216

Inventor: Arno Fernandez Alfredo
Filed: July 1,1995

Infrared rays for reducing freezing on roads and the like. The system includes a series of heating equipment 10, using infrared rays, provided in order to be located in series at the edge of a road 11, dual carriageway or similar surface, in order to heat up the latter, preventing the formation of ice or in order to cause thawing or melting of snow, the equipment preferably being supplied by means of a liquefied petroleum gas via corresponding pipes 12 which are supplied from a general tank 13, this infrared equipment being mounted on posts suitably located at regular intervals along the roadway, specifically at the edge of the latter, having temperature sensors for starting up and/or shutting down the system when certain temperature values, relating both to the ambient air and to the actual roadway, are reached. The system is supplemented with one or more local control centers or equipment items capable of being combined with remote-control equipment, functioning manually or automatically.

German Patent Application DE 10024765

Inventor: Raulfs Hermann
Filed: November 22,2001

The wheel (1) is made from cast metal or sheet metal and can be heated directly by an electric heating system to melt ice and snow etc. The electric heating comprises a resistance wire (9) which is electrically insulated from the wheel and has current flowing through. The resistance wire can be cast into the material of the wheel and connected electrically to the mains supply on the vehicle.