IceController Defrosts the Windshield in Seconds
First of all, how does this work. According to Victor Petrenko, Ice Engineering's chief technology officer and a professor of engineering at Dartmouth College's Thayer School of Engineering, the IceController produces a very short jolt of high-power electricity between the exterior side of the windshield and the ice using a very thin transparent film of stainless steel, copper or aluminum. The electro-thermal pulse melts the ice almost instantly, Petrenko said, compared to traditional defrosters which need up to several minutes to heat the windshield.
Its advantage? The interface created between the ice and the windshield surface. A regular system heats the glass with up to 700 watts, according to sciam.com, which means it needs about 8 minutes to heat the windshield and melt the ice. Unlike these systems, IceController applies up to 20,000 kilowatts per meter for a maximum of four seconds, which melts the ice almost instantly.
"The objective is to heat an interface in-between the ice and the surface from [the] ambient temperature to ice['s] melting point quickly and with a lot of power," Petrenko said according to sciam.com. "It happens so quickly that, unlike other de-icing methods, heat is not wasted warming up the [object's] surface or the ice. Once the ice is dislodged, gravity or air-drag force [such as on an airplane wing) do the rest."
As mentioned, IceController is already implemented in a couple of regions around the world, including the Uddevalla cable bridge in Sweden. That's right, the defroster is also compatible with several other systems beside windshields, such as airplanes and... bridges. For instance, it is currently being used in Sweden to defrost cable-attached ice by applying electric pulses to the end of the cable.