Staff Writer, with CNA, / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
A Taiwanese delegation won 40 gold medals and seven special prizes at the Invention and New Product Exposition (INPEX) held in the US city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Friday.
Taiwan also won 28 silvers at the fair, and received an Ambassador Award for excellent performances and active participation in the fair over the years.
The country this year submitted 89 inventions to the US’ largest invention fair, but it was an invention by a National Chin-Yi University of Technology (NCUT) research team that stood out from the rest to clinch the INPEX Grand Prix-First Runner-up prize and Best Invention of the Far East award.
An energy-saving device invented by an NCUT Institute of Innovation Technology and Information Management research team led by Weng Kuo-liang (翁國亮), an associate professor, was the first from Taiwan to win the runner-up award.
The team’s two-way energy conversion device caught the judges’ attention for its ability to save energy in air conditioners and heaters by increasing humidity.
The device can reduce air conditioner energy consumption by up to 10 percent by boosting humidity during the shut-down procedure, said Weng.
Normally, air conditioners extract humidity, which wastes energy and dehydrates the human body, Weng said.
In addition, Weng said, the device can produce energy savings of about 20 to 30 percent for heaters by keeping air from becoming too dry in winter.
The design concept of the device was to create more comfortable living through low energy usage, Weng added.
Weng said it took the team about two years to develop the product and estimated that the device will go into mass production later this year.