OPPD drawn to water-repellant technology produced by UNL

Students and professors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are developing new technology that could help OPPD prevent power outages.Laser-emitting machines inside the engineering school carve surfaces that are hydrophobic, repelling water. During a storm with freezing temperatures, laser processing prevents powerline cables from freezing and whipping in the wind.”When you […]

Students and professors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are developing new technology that could help OPPD prevent power outages.Laser-emitting machines inside the engineering school carve surfaces that are hydrophobic, repelling water. During a storm with freezing temperatures, laser processing prevents powerline cables from freezing and whipping in the wind.”When you drop droplets on the cable, the droplets bounce off, so they don’t have a chance to stick to the cable,” assistant professor Craig Zuhlke said.It caught the attention of Omaha Public Power District’s director of innovation. Matt Hardebeck says the technology would be utilized in rural areas susceptible to high wind, where frozen cables could collide, leading to an outage nearby.”We would be looking anywhere kind of north and south of Omaha, as you think about our service area, extending north towards Blair, and then south down to the Kansas border,” Hardebeck said.Hardebeck visited the lab at the engineering school, followed by NASA on Wednesday.”We’re working with NASA to create antimicrobial surfaces for the next generation heat exchange for the International Space Station,” Zuhlke said. Professor George Gogos says Boeing and the Office of Naval Research are also interested.”We are supported by the Office of Naval Research to do drag reduction for underwater vehicles of any kind,” professor George Gogos said. “We are also funded by the Office of Naval Research for enhancing heat transfer and that has applications in many areas cooling of electronic equipment.”It sounds other-worldly, and the costs are astronomical. But professors and students expect to see the industry takes off.”There is a certain strength that we have by bringing all these different expertise together,” Gogos said. “That’s a great advantage.”The professors say they’re on the cusp of commercializing the application process, which could lead to creating a spin-off business with students — and keep engineering students in the state.

Students and professors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are developing new technology that could help OPPD prevent power outages.

Laser-emitting machines inside the engineering school carve surfaces that are hydrophobic, repelling water. During a storm with freezing temperatures, laser processing prevents powerline cables from freezing and whipping in the wind.

“When you drop droplets on the cable, the droplets bounce off, so they don’t have a chance to stick to the cable,” assistant professor Craig Zuhlke said.

It caught the attention of Omaha Public Power District’s director of innovation. Matt Hardebeck says the technology would be utilized in rural areas susceptible to high wind, where frozen cables could collide, leading to an outage nearby.

“We would be looking anywhere kind of north and south of Omaha, as you think about our service area, extending north towards Blair, and then south down to the Kansas border,” Hardebeck said.

Hardebeck visited the lab at the engineering school, followed by NASA on Wednesday.

“We’re working with NASA to create antimicrobial surfaces for the next generation heat exchange for the International Space Station,” Zuhlke said.

Professor George Gogos says Boeing and the Office of Naval Research are also interested.

“We are supported by the Office of Naval Research to do drag reduction for underwater vehicles of any kind,” professor George Gogos said. “We are also funded by the Office of Naval Research for enhancing heat transfer and that has applications in many areas cooling of electronic equipment.”

It sounds other-worldly, and the costs are astronomical. But professors and students expect to see the industry takes off.

“There is a certain strength that we have by bringing all these different expertise together,” Gogos said. “That’s a great advantage.”

The professors say they’re on the cusp of commercializing the application process, which could lead to creating a spin-off business with students — and keep engineering students in the state.

https://www.ketv.com/article/oppd-drawn-to-water-repellant-technology-produced-by-unl/39532843

Dong Anker

Next Post

Opinion: Our newly expanded contemporary art museum is a work of art. Here's what to expect.

Thu Mar 31 , 2022
Kanjo is the director and CEO of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and lives in La Jolla. What makes a great art museum? Today’s museums are reimagining their role in the community and reevaluating who they serve and how. As the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego prepares […]