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2020/03/25

New Technology from Academia Joins to Fight The Epidemic Rapid Set-up of Negative Pressure Isolation Wards

One of TRUST-U projects offering new air conditioning technology is working with a medical institution in disease prevention.
Ministry of Science and Technology mobilizes new technology to support disease prevention. Professor Kuo-Liang Weng from National Chin-Yi University of Technology and his team introduce their “Full external gas introduction cycle heat exchange health energy-saving air conditioning system”. Its unique heat exchanger employs the pressure difference of water molecules and water two-phase energy conversion, and reduces a sizable amount of energy consumption and set-up cost. The team works together with Show Chwan Memorial Hospital to create “negative pressure isolation wards” and “micro-negative examination station.” The former is scheduled to complete in early April while the latter is now ready to operate as a micro-negative environment. Such collaboration shows how new technology from academia can support front-line medical institutions in preventing diseases.

The new air conditioning technology with full external air exchanger cuts down the cost and power consumption of negative pressure isolation wards.
Professor Weng explains how the new system works: the pressure difference between indoor and outdoor water vapor molecules is utilized. Cold energy is recovered and produced, and, as a result, heat emission could be reduced with energy saving achieved. To effectively prevent the risk of airborne cross-contaminations, the system is also featured with the separation of intake and exhaust air flows, and sterilization and disinfection functions. That is to say an indoor space can be converted to a micro-negative environment by installing this system, which is in the process of patent application in multiple countries. In addition to negative pressure isolation wards and inspection stations, this new technology can help create a safer indoor isolation environment in hotels and community centers.

Dr. Wayne Shih-Wei Huang, Director, IRCAD-Taiwan/ AITS addresses that negative pressure isolation wards play a crucial part in disease prevention. A micro-negative examination station can provide fresh air ventilation, and protect medical staff, patients and care-givers. As examination stations in hospitals, clinical institutions, and local communities are considered as high-risk places, they are required to equip with a micro-negative environment. With the help from Professor Weng and his team, it is feasible to quickly convert these spaces at an affordable cost. Also, its energy-saving feature is another important factor in this collaboration.

New technology plays a crucial role in supporting disease prevention.
As we can see from the worldwide disease prevention measures, new technology plays an important role in controlling diseases, says Chen Liang-gee, Minister of Science and Technology. The Ministry has been evaluating the resources from academia which can contribute to disease prevention and fight against COVID-19. The TRUST-U Project led by Professor Weng is one great example, demonstrating how new technology can support disease prevention by way of collaboration with medical institutions.

TRUST-U aims to put sail potential research projects from academia to industry. Till today, a total of 19 projects has turned to start-ups, raised more than NT$1.89 billion, and been valued as much as NT$4.77 billion. Turning new technology to feasible business is an unremitting undertaking. Ministry of Science and Technology shall continue to fight together with our nationals while having a strong support from a wide range of new technologies.