Saving power, money and time were behind a humble school teacher designing a new type of dishwasher for the home.
For Mr. Tran Dinh Huan, a teacher in the central highlands province of Kon Tum, the secret to a great invention is that is has a useful purpose in everyday life. And the dishwasher he invented, which uses solar power to boil the water, certainly fits the bill. The invention made its way into the Top 15 at the Invention Competition 2014 organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology in coordination with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Mr. Huan said that dishwashing is a household chore that takes time that is scarce and could be better used on other activities. His dishwasher, which is cheap and handy to use, is great for all households.
While most imported dishwashers in Vietnam use electricity to boil water, his uses the sun’s abundant rays. According to Mr. Huan, Vietnam’s tropical climate means solar power is a constant source of energy just waiting to be tapped, and should be used to create and build useful equipment. His dishwasher is designed with four main parts: a water tank run by solar power, a water pipe with an automatic valve and timer, a dish rack, and a metal body.
He explained that the dishwasher’s operation is based on the principle of using the thrust of the water like a turbine in an engine. Water spurts over the dirty dishes at such a speed that it dissolves oil and waste, and while hot water works best it’s also possible to use water of normal temperature and dishwashing liquid.
The size of Mr. Huan’s new dishwasher is about the same as a washing machine and runs automatically with a timer. It takes 15 to 20 minutes for each washing cycle. Any leftovers on the plates, bowls or pots and pans should be removed, as would be done with an electric dishwasher. The maximum capacity for each load is 30 dishes and other utensils such as spoons and chopsticks, and it consumes 40 to 50 liters of water per cycle. The rack has specially-designed places for bowls and plates.
While the price of an imported dishwasher is around VND20 million ($936), Mr. Huan’s sells for VND6 million ($281). Many households, from Kon Tum to Ho Chi Minh City, have already bought one and Mr. Huan is now working on getting it into mass production.
The WIPO and the Organizing Committee of the Invention Competition 2014 held his invention in high regard. According to Mr. Andrew Michael Ong, WIPO’s Head of Asia Pacific, the dishwasher is useful for everyday life and suitable to the circumstances of most Vietnamese.
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