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Taiwanese Engineers Invent Power Bank Energised by Water

Image source: National Taiwan University of Science and Technology

Taiwanese engineers have invented a bendable water-enabled portable power bank — a device that generates power from a few drops of water. A team from the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology said that the gadget utilises membrane technology to generate electricity from water.

As water drops vaporise, the membrane of the device makes use of capillary action to move the water molecules and ions. The gadget produces 0.8 volts of electricity for four hours from a few droplets of water, enough to recharge a calculator, LED lights and other low-power electronic devices. The membrane also has other applications, such as powering filters and anti-bacterial devices in masks or other textiles.

The technology was inspired by the circulatory system and the growth rings of trees. The technology could function as a backup energy source for life-saving illumination devices or detectors by utilising water, or even sweat.

– Yeh Li-hsien, Professor of Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science & Technology

The new gadget is bendable, can be repeatedly used, immediately generates power, is environmentally friendly, highly efficient and capable of continued output over a long duration, as well as being inexpensive and simple to produce.

One of the team members said that the most significant challenge in making the device was quality control, which is essential for stable power generation. The team hopes the gadget could be incorporated into wearable devices.

This technological innovation is aligned with the vision of the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology also known as Taiwan Tech, to be an international applied research university producing high-tech and management personnel with the ability to compete on a global level, thus supporting the future growth of our nation and society.

Taiwan Tech’s overall goals are to employ multifaceted excellence, innovative expertise, technology integration, and holistic education on the platforms of intelligent green building technology and creative design while recruiting internationally renowned professors to help us achieve cutting-edge breakthroughs in all aspects of our teaching and research. This will inspire the development of the entire university, neighbouring academic and research institutions, and local industry in the upgrading of our national ability to compete on a global stage.

Taiwan Tech also has The Technology Transfer Center (TTC) to promote the research achievement developed by the faculty and students to the industries and, through the continuous interaction with the industries, to enhance the nation’s competitiveness and technology development.

The TTC has three major functions including (a) providing services to the faculty and students regarding various intellectual property protection and promotion issues, (b) managing the University’s various intellectual properties such as know-how, patents, copyrights, trademarks, and finally (c) bridging the University and the industries by acting as a single contact window and platform.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, another Taiwanese University, National Chengchi University (NCCU) has received approval from Taiwan’s Ministry of Education (MOE) to establish the College of Informatics. The Department of Computer Science, the Digital Content and Technologies (DCT) Programme and the Taiwan International Graduate Program (TIGP), which are now housed in the College of Science, will shift towards the College of Informatics. In the digital era, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data have become global trends. As a result, cross-domain learning and application are now imperative.

The College of Informatics is devoted to providing interdisciplinary courses for students with non-IT backgrounds and cultivating a new generation who is able to apply information technology knowledge and cross-domain expertise at the same time. It also aims to promote interdisciplinary research and integration among teachers, allowing the knowledge assets in the fields of humanities and social sciences to adapt in the digital era. The College of Informatics is looking forward to leading the university to realise the vision of digital brainpower and a knowledge economy on a long-term basis.

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