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Stop power outages - a new way to keep ice off power lines

Invention Number: 
It’s a low cost solution to de-ice power lines when it matters most, in cold climates and ice storms.

This novel technology enables electricity network providers in cold climate locations globally to provide safer, more reliable power.

During a cold winter in China during 2008, USD 20 billion worth of damage was caused to the transmission line network leaving more than 25 million families without power for one week.

This scenario is repeated every year in cold climate nations around the world. These disasters can be averted through implementing the breakthroughs made by UNSW researchers from the School of Materials Science and Engineering.

The invention achieves this through the use of unique, self-heating of magnetocaloric materials coupled with AC current resulting in smart de-icing transmission line conductors vastly superior to conventional de-icing methods used to date.

Key Benefits

  • Safer overhead power lines
  • Fewer brownouts and blackouts
  • Lower overall maintenance costs
  • Lower investment costs over asset lifetime
  • Drastically more energy efficient
  • Simpler to install and operate than alternative de-icing methods.


  • Electricity grids (poles and wires) in cold climates
  • Oil platforms, mining, shipping
  • Other extreme environment applications where exposed high voltage transmission cabling is exposed to the elements.

The Opportunity

UNSW is seeking a partner to work with the researchers on further developing this technology for additional applications.