Ultra-Efficient and Ultra-Rapid Electro-Thermal Pulse Deicing, Defrosting, and Desnowing for Renewable Energy and Electrified Aircraft Systems

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OPEN 2021
Champaign, Illinois
Project Term:
08/09/2022 - 08/08/2025

Technology Description:

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) aims to eliminate ice/snow/frost accretion on stationary and mobile electrified systems by developing a multi-functional coating that synergistically combines two different ice/snow/frost removal mechanisms. The team will incorporate pulsed interfacial heating with controlled surface wettability to demonstrate a two orders of magnitude reduction in ice/snow/frost removal time with 50% lower energy consumption without bulk melting compared with state-of-the-art steady heating methods. The team aims to melt only an ultra-thin layer of ice/snow/frost while the remaining ice/snow/frost is removed with the aid of gravity or shear forces (e.g., wind). The team aims to scale up and validate their technology on an electrified aircraft. In addition, the proposed coating and pulsed interfacial heating strategy will have broad applicability on cutting-edge renewable energy devices and systems (e.g., PVs, wind turbines, etc.) that are particularly affected by ice/show/frost aggregation.

Potential Impact:

The proposed technology requires less energy and it can be 1000X faster than conventional defrosting methods.


The proposed technology will help maintain operational fidelity of the aforementioned electrified systems.


If successful, the proposed approach will replace a number of current defrosting methods (steady electric heat, hot gas bleed, chemical treatment) that are environmentally harmful and consume large amounts of energy, as well as sometimes only partially remove ice/snow/frost.


The proposed pulse electro-thermal heating method will achieve an economic benefit through reducing energy consumption in electrified aircraft by efficient deicing as well as increasing and stabilizing the power generation from PV and wind systems by rapid desnowing.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Olga Spahn
Project Contact:
Prof. Nenad Miljkovic
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Ampaire, Inc.

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