Dr. SeungYeon Kang Gives Seminar over Advanced Laser-Materials-Processing Techniques for Nanofabrication of Functional Materials and Energy Harvesting Devices

SeungYeon Kang, Ph.D. presented a seminar Friday, March 6, over, “Advanced Laser-Materials-Processing Techniques for Nanofabrication of Functional Materials and Energy Harvesting Devices.” Dr. Kang is a Program Manager for NSF’s SHAP3D additive manufacturing center at the University of Connecticut.

Abstract: Increasing number of novel materials, structures and device are being designed every day to revolutionize our future. Accordingly, new fabrication methods to complement the designs must be developed for actual realization of the devices. In this talk I’ll start by discussing the use of ultrafast lasers for advanced materials processing techniques and the significance of developing new nanofabrication methods for cost-effective manufacturing and rapid prototyping with high accuracy. The focus of my talk will be on a novel direct laser writing technique that enables fabrication of 3D metal-dielectric nanocomposite structures of tunable dimensions ranging from hundreds of nanometers to micrometers. This true 3D patterning technique utilizes nonlinear optical interactions between chemical precursors and femtosecond pulses to go beyond the limitations of conventional fabrication techniques that require multiple postprocessing steps and/or are restricted to fabrication in two dimensions. The first part of the talk will end with a further discussion on possible applications including metamaterials, graphene-based devices and etc. In the shorter second part of the talk, I’ll introduce a relatively new material of research interest called piezoelectrochemical materials and another advanced laser-materials-processing technique that utilizes laser induced forward transfer (LIFT). I’ll end with a discussion on how one can use these two research areas to develop energy harvesting devices that convert ambient mechanical energy into electrochemical energy.

Biography: Dr. SeungYeon Kang is currently the program manager for NSF’s SHAP3D additive manufacturing center at University of Connecticut. Her research interests are focused on advanced laser materials processing techniques, fundamental principles and application of light-matter interaction, nanofabrication and energy technology. She obtained her B.A. degree from Cornell University in chemical engineering and received her Ph.D. degree in applied physics from Harvard University, where she focused on ultrafast laser processing of materials and developed a novel 3D nanofabrication technique. After her graduate studies, she worked at Samsung SDI as a senior research engineer on lithium ion batteries and at Princeton University as a postdoctoral research associate. Her various research resulted in several patents and she is the recipient of Samsung SDI Scholarship, Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE) research Fellowship and Princeton Postdoctoral Fellowship in scientific writing.

Dr. Guru Dinda Gives Seminar over Accelerated Discovery of New Ni-based Superalloys Via Additive Manufacturing for Advanced Turbine Engines

On Monday, March 2, Dr. Guru Dinda gave a seminar over, “Accelerated Discovery of New Ni-based Superalloys Via Additive Manufacturing for Advanced Turbine Engines.” Dr. Dinda is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Wayne State University.

Abstract: Due to the ever-increasing demands for energy efficiency in gas turbines for power plants and aircraft engines, new Ni-based superalloys remain under development. Our current level of theoretical and empirical understanding does not usually permit one to predict the structures and resulting properties of these multicomponent materials. Consequently, the discovery and optimization of many materials comprise trial-and-error experiments. Given the vast universe of potential alloys that can be created by combining various elements from the periodic table, the conventional method of synthesizing and testing samples one at a time is too slow for exploring the broad range of novel materials. Here I disclose a high-throughput alloy development procedure based on the direct laser metal deposition principle coupled with CALPHAD-based solidification modeling that will expedite the alloy discovery process by 100 to 1000 times compared to the current one at a time alloy development practice. In the current alloy development research, the testing of the mechanical properties of the new alloys comes at the later part of the alloy development process. Tensile testing of thousands of conventional test specimen requires a long time and adequate resources. This limits the exploration of a very large set of alloy library. Here I propose a sample fabrication and testing methodology of thousands of miniaturized tensile test samples in a few days at the early stage of the alloy development. It is expected that the proposed high-throughput alloy development technique will be used extensively to explore various alloy libraries to discover many new high-performance materials for structural and functional applications.

Biography: Dr. Guru Dinda is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Wayne State University (WSU). Dr. Dinda’s research interest is directed toward fundamental understanding of the additive manufacturing processes to reduce lead-time for concept-to-product manufacturing for government and industries. Dr. Dinda has developed a laser additive manufacturing (LAM) facility at WSU that combines laser cladding with rapid prototyping into a solid freeform fabrication process. Dr. Dinda led the development of various LAM processes for manufacturing and remanufacturing of a variety of high-value components made of 4340 steel, Al 4047, Al 7050, Al 7075, Cu-30Ni, Cu-38Ni, Inconel 625, Inconel 718, Inconel 738, Rene 108, Haynes 282, Ti-6Al-4V, GRCop 84, Bi2Se3 and Bi2Te3
using LAM technology. He earned a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Saarland, Saarbrucken, Germany in 2006. Dr. Dinda has published 37 journal articles that have been cited more than 1600 times. He also serves as an associate editor for Advances in Materials Science and Engineering Journal, and International Journal of Material Science and Research.

Dr. Sergey Averkin Gives Seminar Over Kinetic Simulations of Non-equilibrium Phenomena in Partially Ionized Plasmas

Sergey Averkin, Ph.D., a Research Scientist from Tech-X Corporation, gave a seminar Friday, February 28. He spoke about, “Kinetic Simulations of Non-equilibrium Phenomena in Partially Ionized Plasmas.”

Abstract: Partially ionized plasmas have many applications in science and engineering. The examples of applications include space propulsion, material processing including production of nanomaterials, ion sources, display panels, medicine. Modeling and simulation of non-equilibrium chemically reacting plasmas is a challenging problem owing to the presence of complicated plasma chemistry and coupling between volume, surface, and transport non-equilibrium processes. Simulation approaches span from volume averaged global models that incorporate thousands of chemical reactions and include simplified assumptions regarding transport to computationally expensive kinetic simulation methods that allow to calculate detailed information of plasma transport and usually employ simplified chemical models to speedup simulations.

The first part of the talk presents a Global Enhanced Vibrational Kinetic (GEVKM) model and its application to the simulation of an RF discharge chamber of a new High Current Negative Hydrogen Ion Source developed by Busek Co. Inc. and WPI. The GEVKM is supplemented by a comprehensive set of surface and volumetric chemical processes (22 species and more than 1000 chemical reactions) governing vibrational and ionization kinetics of hydrogen plasmas. The model is computationally efficient. It was used in parametric studies with thousands of points in parameter space.

The second part of the talk outlines new developments in the Particle-in-Cell and Direct Simulation Monte Carlo methods (PIC/DSMC) that are used to model partially ionized plasmas and rarefied gases that are described by kinetic equations coupled with the Poisson equation. The PIC/DSMC method can provide detailed information of the distribution functions of plasma components in complicated geometries. The applications of the PIC/DSMC method to simulations of flows inside nanonozzles and around CubeSat are presented. In addition, novel simulations of plasma assisted growth of nanoparticles using PIC/DSMC method are discussed.

Biography: Dr. Sergey N. Averkin received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in applied mathematics and physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Moscow, Russia, in 2007 and 2009, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in aerospace engineering from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Worcester, MA,  in 2015. From 2015 to 2016, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow and an Adjunct Teaching Professor at WPI. In 2018 Dr. Averkin was a Research Associate at the University of Colorado Boulder. Currently he is a Research Scientist at the Tech-X Corporation, Boulder, CO, USA. His current research interests include advanced numerical simulations of nonequilibrium phenomena in chemically reacting rarefied gases and plasmas. Applications of such simulations include space propulsion, mass and heat transport at micro and nano scales, ion sources, plasma processing. Dr. Averkin is a member of the American Physical Society (APS) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Dr. Cheng Huang Gives Seminar over Data-Driven and Reduced Order Modeling of Combustion Dynamics in Propulsion Systems

On Monday, February 24, Dr. Cheng Huang gave a seminar over, “Data-Driven and Reduced Order Modeling of Combustion Dynamics in Propulsion Systems.” Dr. Huang is an Assistant Research Scientist in Aerospace Engineering at The University of Michigan.

Abstract: Combustion dynamics is characterized by the coupling between flow dynamics, chemistry, and acoustics. In propulsion systems, this complex coupling can lead to combustion instabilities and cause devastating engine failures. Even though modern computational capabilities have moved beyond the empirically-based design analyses of the past, high-fidelity (e.g. Large Eddy) simulations of full-scale engines remain out of reach for day-to-day engineering design applications. This drives the motivation to develop accurate and low-cost model to simulate dynamics in complex propulsion systems, especially for the space exploration initiatives. This talk will present recent work on computational modeling of turbulent reacting flow for engineering applications with emphasis on progress in Data-Driven and Reduced Order Modeling framework development for reacting flow problems to enable efficient prediction of combustion dynamics in liquid fueled rocket combustion systems. Specific topics include 1) high-fidelity (e.g. Large Eddy) simulations of turbulent reacting flow for engineering applications; 2) development and successful demonstration of Multi-fidelity Modeling Framework for design applications of large scale combustion devices and 3) advancement in the state-of-art in Data-Driven and Reduced Order Modeling for complex dynamical systems to produce orders of magnitudes accelerated accurate models from high-fidelity data.

Biography: Dr. Cheng Huang is currently an Assistant Research Scientist in Aerospace Engineering at University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Before that he worked as a PostDoctoral Research Assistant in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University. Dr. Huang received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 2015, his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 2012. He completed his undergraduate education in Mechanical Engineering from Shanghai Jiaotong University in 2011. He specializes in computational modeling of turbulent reacting flows in complex combustion systems (e.g. rocket and gas turbine engines). His work primarily focuses on high-fidelity Large Eddy Simulation (LES), Data-Driven and Reduced Order Modeling (ROM) of combustion dynamics in aerospace propulsion systems.

Dr. Woong-Yeol Joe Gives Seminar Over Design and Control of a Camber Morphing Wing Aircraft

On Friday, February 21, Woong-Yeol Joe, Ph.D. gave a seminar over, “Design and Control of a Camber Morphing Wing Aircraft.” Dr. Joe is an Associate Professor from the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Tennessee State University.

Abstract: Wing morphing technologies in general aim to optimize aircraft’ efficiency by changing and adjusting the shape of wings in compliance to corresponding flight conditions. Among many types of wing morphing, suggested variable camber compliant morphing in airfoil morphing enables aircraft to have seamless, conformal, and energy and noise effective change of wing geometry that significantly reduces drag force or lift-drag ratio. Unlike typical approaches of using smart materials or partial morphing of trailing-edge, mechanism-driven camber morphing wing via linear actuators enables fixed wing aircraft wing to adjust camber rates conformally, dynamically, and firmly along the wing span. For realization of actual flight and control of camber morphing wing aircraft, it is of interest (1) to investigate the nature of structural and aerodynamical behaviors of camber morphing wings while flight, (2) to study difference and similarity between the conventional wing and the camber morphing wings in control aspects, (3) to design and implement the skin structure of camber morphing wings along with characteristics of 3D printed structure. This presentation covers overview of morphing technologies, motivation and benefits of camber morphing, design of control allocation aspect of camber morphing wings, and design and implementation of skin structure for camber morphing wings with perspectives of 3D/4D printing.

Biography: Dr. Woong Yeol Joe is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Tennessee State University (TSU), Nashville TN. Currently, he is doing his first sabbatical year at ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Knoxville TN focused on 3D/4D manufacturing technology. Before he joined it in fall 2014 at TSU, he was working as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University during 2011-2014 and Florida State University as Research Associate during 2010-2011. His main research interests are 1) design and control of morphorous structures (4D printing), 2) design of flight control systems, and 3) dynamics/kinematics and mechanism design of mechanical systems in the applications of aerospace, mechanical, and robotic systems. He earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, NY in 2010, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from New York University, NY in 2006, and B.S in Electrical Engineering from Hong-iK University in 2003.

Dr. Heydari Gives Seminar Over Theory of Reinforcement Learning and Its Practice in Robotics and Autonomous Systems

Ali Heydari, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at Southern Methodist University, gave a seminar on Monday, February 17th. He spoke about, “Theory of Reinforcement Learning and Its Practice in Robotics and Autonomous Systems.”

Abstract: Ali Heydari received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Sharif University of Technology, Iran, in 2005 and 2008, respectively, and his Ph.D. degree from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri, in 2013. He is currently an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. His research is mainly focused on Adaptive Dynamic Programming and on applications of this machine learning scheme in robotics and autonomous systems. He serves on the editorial boards of IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems and IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology.

Biography: Control plays the role of enabler in mechanisms in which, a parameter “changes”. For decades, a controller design was deemed successful, when the desired motion/change was achieved. However, today, the standards are much higher. “Qualities” including low energy consumption for a better range, human friendliness for safe and efficient interactions, high accuracy and productivity, high robustness to uncertainties and imperfections, and small footprint on environment are important “requirements” now.

Adaptive Dynamic Programming (ADP), also called Reinforcement Learning (RL), has a great potential to win in these new domains. The reason is, ADP/RL is motivated by nature, that is, the perfect way humans learn to operate machinery and control mechanisms. As an “intelligent control” tool, however, ADP/RL has been subject to shortcomings both in terms of its “rigor” (guarantees of desired performance) and its “scalability” (possibility of extension to challenging problems, beyond toy examples). An overview of my past and future research activities on resolving these two deficiencies will be presented in the seminar. Moreover, applications of the developed methods in challenging problems of autonomous systems and robotics will be discussed, including human-machine interaction and co-design of mechanisms and their controllers.

Oklahoma Aerospace Engineering Students Kickoff Design Project to Support International Space Station Resupply Missions

OU students travelled to Louisville, Colorado to meet with engineers at Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), and kickoff their capstone project work of designing ground support equipment for SNC’s Dream Chaser International Space Station resupply mission. Sierra Nevada Corporation is under contract with NASA to supply and recover payloads from the space station in support of NASA’s science and human spaceflight missions. Seven OU students from the Gallogly College of Engineering will spend their spring semester designing hardware to encapsulate and protect the Shooting Star cargo module of the Dream Chaser as it is prepared for flight.

Pictured from left to right: Chris Raatz (SNC), Brayden Cole, Alix Caudill, Sebastian Medina, Chandler Ziegler, Blake Mattioda, Patrick Turner, Abdelwahab Makhlouf, and Maggie Mueller (SNC)

This press release was written by Dr. Thomas Hays.

Dr. Jeongmoo Huh Gives Presentation Over Micro Propulsion Systems for the Next Generation Space Missions

On Friday, February 14th, Dr. Jeongmoo Huh gave a presentation over, “Micro Propulsion Systems for the Next Generation Space Missions.” Dr. Huh currently works in the Space Engineering Department in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology as a visiting researcher.

Abstract: Many miniaturized satellites have recently been launched and proved the feasibility of distributed space systems in space missions with improved revisit time, the time elapsed between observations by satellites, at an extremely low cost. Most preliminary small-scale satellites such as CubeSat and PocketQube, however, were either not equipped with a micro-propulsion system for its altitude/orbit control or not ready for various space missions due to inherent theoretical performance limitations of space propulsion systems that currently exist as well as limited performance achievement of micro propulsion systems. Not only normal operation of miniaturized satellites but also the next generation space mission using CubeSat/PocketQube will not be feasible without successful downsizing of space propulsion systems and their performance improvement.

The seminar will start with general principles of several chemical rockets and difficulties of downsizing of chemical rockets, and report how a chemical rocket was successfully miniaturized including a photolithography process, a MEMS (Micro-electro-mechanical Systems) based fabrication technology, and catalyst manufacturing process as well. Performance of thruster generation and propellant decomposition efficiency of 50 mN class MEMS-based monopropellant micro thrusters will be discussed based on experimental data showing how much performance was improved by using a blended propellant and regenerative micro cooling channels in micro scale thruster systems.

This will be followed by an introduction to electrospray micro colloid propulsion, one of space electric propulsion systems, which has arguably the highest specific impulse performance, up to a range of 1,500-7,000 s depending on electric power supplied. The different nature of the working principle of the system and its performance characteristics compared with chemical one will be identified. Pros and cons of chemical and electric propulsion systems will be discussed with inherent performance limitation of both propulsion systems, and a new system configuration for space micro propulsion will be suggested to meet the performance requirement of miniaturized propulsion systems for the next generation space missions, an interplanetary mission of miniaturized satellites.

Biography: Dr. Jeongmoo Huh currently works in Space Engineering Department in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands as a visiting researcher starting from July 2019. In Delft, He’s working on high energetic gel phase novel propellant development for space propulsion applications. Before joining the group, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL), in the UK from April 2017 to June 2019 participating in an electric propulsion project funded by the EU. The project was about high-performance low-cost disruptive propulsion technology using electrospray colloid propulsion for small-scale satellite applications. There was a consortium for the project and it was composed of a university, QMUL, and three different space-related companies, AirBus in the UK, NanoSpace in Sweden, and SystematIC in the Netherlands. The successful outcome is now on its way to commercialization. Dr. Huh stayed in Daejeon, South Korea for about 5 years from Feb 2012, for his graduate course and one year of postdoc experience. He received an M.S./Ph.D. degree in the Department of Aerospace Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon in Feb 2016. For his Bachelor’s degree, he studied in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at Korea Aerospace University, Goyang, South Korea, from March 2008 to Feb 2012. His research topic in graduate school was about micro-scale chemical space propulsion for Nano-satellite applications, for which a MEMS(Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) fabrication process was designed and employed, validating successful manufacturing and operation of 50 mN class monopropellant thrusters with the suggested development procedure. As a postdoctoral researcher at KAIST, he also experienced classical size monopropellant, bipropellant, and hybrid propellant rockets and had hands-on experience on its application to sounding rockets, sounding rocket flight testing, and numerical code development for propulsion performance and flight performance estimation. One of his journal papers related to the micro chemical propulsion was selected as the best paper in Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering at 2013 and 2014, and several conference papers related to micro propulsion, sounding rockets, and micro reactors were the best paper awarded and selected for further manuscript work at several international conferences held in the UK, France, Korea, and the US. Overall, chemical and electric space propulsion, sounding rocket systems, MEMS-based combustion and propulsion, and new energetic materials and novel propellants are what he has experienced and where his expertise lies in.

 

Dr. Kazempoor Receives $1.8 M+ Grant for Natural Gas Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In January, Dr. Pejman Kazempoor received a grant to start work on his natural gas project titled, “Low-Cost Retrofit Kit for Integral Reciprocating Compressors (IRCs) to Reduce Emissions and Enhance Efficiency.” This new retrofit technology—consisting of a combustion optimizer integrated sensors, and a cloud-connected control system—will significantly reduce emissions (i.e., methane and volatile organic compounds), improve operating efficiency, and reduce operating costs for existing IRCs used in production, gathering, transmission, and processing sections of the natural gas industry. This project received a DOE Funding of $1,488,391 plus $394,751 of Non-DOE Funding; and will be done over the course of 3 years.

Dr. Pejman Kazempoor, Dr. Hamid Shabgard, and Dr. Ramkumar Parthasarathy are the three professors involved in the project from the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Sridhar Radhakrishnan, a professor from the School of Computer Science, is also involved in the project. Industry partners include WAGO Automation and Mid-Continent Rental.

According to Kazempoor and his research team, they, “expect to decrease emissions significantly from the production sector of the oil and gas industry.” The production sector accounts for 72% of the total methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industry (EPA, 2017).

Dr. Kazempoor will be collaborating with Dr. Radhakrishnan and WAGO automation to create a cloud-connected remote monitoring tool. Since the parameters to reduce emissions constitute true evidence of the IRC’s healthy operation, the cloud-connected feature facilitates remote monitoring of the IRC for preventative and predictive maintenance as an additional benefit to operators.

Dr. Kazempoor will be working on the project in his Energy Sustainability Center here at OU. He said, “The oil and natural gas industry has a direct economic impact on the state of Oklahoma. It’s a great opportunity to help our state and nation by solving the oil and natural gas industry problems, in this case, emissions.” Dr. Kazempoor said an aspect of this project he really enjoys is that they’re using advanced techniques, such as artificial intelligence, to modernize and enhance the safety and efficiency of the Nation’s natural gas infrastructure.

Three graduate students, who will use parts of the project work in their doctoral dissertations/master’s theses, will assist the principal investigators. “They are helping us to modernize what we have now in the field to the current standards. For example, a modern car has many sophisticated technologies. IRCs have been utilized in the oil and gas industry for 130 years, so they ‘re trying to integrate new technology into those old engines to make them more efficient.”

One graduate student will work on the Computational Fluid Dynamics, another on sensors, and the third graduate student will work on monitoring tools. Two undergraduate students will assist graduate students. Additionally, a technician will be hired to work on the retrofit kit manufacture and installation in the field.

 

Dr. Song collaborates with OG&E to bring you smarter HVAC systems

The following article was released by OG&E in a recent newsletter. Are you smarter than your HVAC? In the near future, it may be a toss-up

If University of Oklahoma College of Engineering professor Li Song and OG&E Supervisor of Customer Support Jessica King have their way, your HVAC system soon will be smarter than you are – at least when it comes to energy management.

Song, an associate professor in the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, and her colleague Choon Yik Tang, with the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, have been working for the last five years to create a “smart” heating and cooling system that helps customers be more informed about their energy consumption and ultimately their energy bill.

Much of the success they’ve had so far is due to the partnership between OU and OG&E – and the relationship the two women have formed during the project.

Song’s original intention was to design for large, commercial buildings and reached out to Pat Saxton, Expert Account Manager for OG&E, who was working with Tinker Air Force Base. Song discovered the model for commercial buildings was “too cumbersome” to test outside of the lab and decided to use it for homeowners instead.

“Pat introduced me to Jessica, who gave me a perspective on what OG&E was doing with its SmartHours program and the company’s interest in helping make customers smarter energy consumers,” Song said.

Song is also working with Ecobee to put the smart HVAC technology in their thermostats. OG&E also is working with Ecobee to pilot their thermostats in 700 test homes, using the existing thermostat technology.

The new technology goes beyond the typical SmartTemp thermostats currently used in the SmartHours program in that it learns factors, such as humidity and air flow, within the home, customer energy consumption preferences and the performance of the HVAC system. It also takes into account outside factors such as temperature, wind speed, sunlight, weather forecasting and the cost of electricity during certain times of the day.

The technology also provides ahead-of-time forecasting so that customers know what their costs will be if they adjust their thermostat up or down.

Customers can control and monitor their thermostats using a smart phone app.

“We envision that customers in the future will receive personalized information about their home, their energy costs and their own energy consumption and will know it ahead of time or in real time,” King said. “In other words, they won’t be left in the dark about what their end bill will be.”

King assisted Song by writing letters in support of the project that were included in the application to get funding from the Department of Energy.

“After the success of SmartHours, we were asking ourselves ‘what’s next?’” King said. “And here was this great opportunity to support our local university and further our vision of being a trusted energy advisor for our customers.”

Song and her research team are now undertaking a two-year program to test the technology in an unoccupied home on the OU campus.

“We want complete control in these initial tests but will simulate the moisture, heat and other factors created by residents.”

In the third year, OG&E will recruit about 10 customers to participate as occupied test homes and, following this pilot, will expand the program to more homes.

Both women’s eyes light up when they talk about the technology and what it can do for OG&E customers.

“We envision expanding the technology to eventually all smart thermostats to give people more knowledge about how they use energy, what it costs and how small changes can impact their end bill,” Song said. “As well as helping predict the bill, the system will improve HVAC operations, detect AC problems earlier and possibly have an environmental impact as well.”

“The possibilities are endless,” King added. “We could work with home builders to create a true Positive Energy Home, and we’ve already formed a partnership with Ideal Homes to explore this possibility. Plus the data we get from the thermostats could help us target customers for energy efficiency programs, helping us provide energy assistance to those who need it most.”