Weather—Precision de-icing

Weather—Precision de-icing

An ORNL-led team developed a variable control mechanism to enable precision de-icing on urban roads, using roadway data from the City of Knoxville in Tennessee. Credit: Jenny Woodbery/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

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 Jason Richards/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy An ORNL-led team developed a variable control mechanism to enable precision de-icing on urban roads, using roadway data from the City of Knoxville in Tennessee. Credit: Jason Richards/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy (hi-res image)

December 4, 2017 – A precision approach to treating snow- and ice-covered roads, developed by an Oak Ridge National Laboratory-led research team, aims to help cities effectively allocate resources and expand coverage on roadways. The combined software and hardware technology analyzes existing city data and uses high-resolution modeling to identify areas most vulnerable to drivers during hazardous weather conditions. The novel approach features a variable control mechanism designed for the spreader on salt trucks to optimize the amount of melting, or de-icing, agent applied to roads, which minimizes waste and increases the number of roads treated. “Across the United States, cities are collectively spending about $1.5 billion on winter road maintenance,” ORNL’s Olufemi (Femi) Omitaomu said. “Our goal is to give cities an intelligent approach to managing their resources effectively.”

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