(Editor?s Note: This is the second set of 10 inventions featured in this section. The first set appeared in the Dec. 14 issue of Talk of the Town. The devices, materials and concoctions were among the 97 inventions exhibited at the National Inventors? Week sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology on Nov. 17-21, 2008.)
A former fisherman, Virgilio M. Sangutan experienced the terrible effects of red tide. After doing extensive research, he began concocting a formula to remove bacteria, extract heavy metals and eliminate foul odor from waste water.
From natural ingredients such as fruit extracts, activated carbon and seaweeds, he came up with the Virsantech waste water treatment solution. The solution is very economical. The ratios of treatment application are 0.35 to 1 percent for residential waste water, 1 to 1.85 percent for commercial-establishment waste waster, and 1.85 to 3.5 percent for industrial waste water.
The product is easy to apply?just spray on top of the waste water in a drum, tank or chamber and then stir. The treatment can be completed in two to three hours.
Invented by three third-year students at Olongapo City National High School, the device is installed at the water inlet inside a water tank.
As it flows, the water goes up and pushes the float and lever until the rubber shutter completely blocks and automatically shuts water off the inlet to prevent water from spilling over. Watcon is made up of PVC pipes, rubber shutter and floater. For the exhibit, the total value of the prototype was about P150 to P350.
Ceramic filters integrated into the design convert rainwater collected in storage tanks or cisterns into clean, drinkable water.
The filters are developed from local materials and the use of a flexible-flare piping system ensures tight connection.
A ceramic filter that costs P500 can be attached to an ordinary water container while a complete stainless steel catchment system, enough to support the basic water consumption of a household, costs about P80,000 to P100,000.
The device is installed like a conventional centralized water heater. Instead of using electricity to heat the water, solar panels are installed on the roof of a house or a building. Radiation from the sun heats the water stored in tanks.
Ultrasun has two piping lines?the first is connected to the main water source and is directed to the storage tanks. The second is interconnected to the piping system of the house to distribute hot water. Dennis Mercader says his invention costs at least P40,000.
Coin-operated shoe polisher
With a five-peso coin, one can enjoy the benefits of an automated shoe polisher. Just insert the coin in a slot and the machine will run for a good couple of minutes. One will just have to place each foot with his or her leather shoe on between the swiveling brush to give those kickers the much-needed buffing.
The idea behind the invention is similar to the gaming machines found in any arcade. Eight students from the Eulogio ?Amang? Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology in Manila invented the machine.
Narrow side streets and alleyways, not to mention heavy vehicular buildup, are a challenge to firefighters in Metro Manila. Antonio Andes Sr. came up with the ?Barangay Firebuster??a 150-cc three-wheel motorcycle with a mounted tank?to address these problems.
It has a stainless steel tank and comes with accessories such as a ladder, blinker, fire alarm, microphone, axe, suction and replenishing hose. It is powered by a 6.5-horsepower high pressure engine with a spray range of at least 30 meters using a 50-foot standard fire hose.
The firebuster can negotiate an alley about five feet wide. It is probably the most affordable fire truck on the market, according to the inventor.
Right after graduation, Michael Poblete and his friends started their own company to pursue their passion for inventing. One of their many inventions is the Custos Aerial Reconnaissance Drone, a compact, hand-launched and satellite-controlled airplane meant to aid rescuers by flying over inaccessible disaster areas. It can provide visual information that will help search teams locate survivors.
Custos gathers data by directing a mounted video camera to a target area and by transmitting the footage to the operator?s console. The console stores the video and allows the operator to view the footage later. The unit can also be used to observe agricultural growth in wide fields and vehicular traffic, and to monitor the environment and the weather.
Developed by four students from Adamson University, the wireless device can communicate up to 26.2 meters for line-of-sight operation (LOS) and 17 meters for non-LOS operation.
The machine has two remote sensors, programmed to automatically connect and disconnect one at a time with a master station via Bluetooth. The accelerometer measures ground motion and the microprocessor in each remote station acts as a programmable calculator that converts raw data from the sensor into a normalized value.
As the sensor measures ground motion, the microprocessors translate the values, and activate the Bluetooth, which in turn sends the measurements to the base station. The base or the master station consists of Bluetooth, encore microprocessor and an LCD screen.
Air-chamber hub windmill
After retiring in 2003, Macario Tagum spent most of his time inventing energy-saving and renewable-energy devices. One of his inventions is the air-chamber hub windmill, a vertical-axis windmill that converts wind energy into mechanical energy with low speed and high-torque output.
When the wind exerts sufficient pressure on the concave surface of one blade, the wind on the convex surface of another blade produces low pressure so the whole blade assembly rotates in a clockwise direction, creating mechanical energy.
The invention is aimed at reducing electric-energy and fossil-fuel consumption by harnessing wind energy. It can be used in windy coastal areas for ice-making or cold-storage plants.
Invented by Teodorico Badua of La Union, it can recycle engine oil and other combustible-liquid waste into fuel. It converts used oil and other combustible-liquid waste into flammable gas.
Badua claims the device helps save fuel consumption by up to 30 percent as it generates fuel vapor that can be used for gasoline-based engines. It enhances fuel combustion, reducing hydrocarbon and carbon-monoxide emissions while increasing engine power, torque and speed to achieve a higher mileage. He says it also helps prolong engine life by reducing friction and heat between pistons and cylinders.