Teens invent self-sanitizing door handle that harness kinetic energy from door movement
Two Hong Kong teens made a buzz at this year’s Intel Society for Science and the Public event with their self-sanitizing door handle. This handle generates all the energy it needs from movement of door energy.
This invention came from Sun Ming Wong (17), tenth graders from Tam Lee Lai Fun Memorial Secondary School in Tuen Mun, China, and his schoolmate King Pong Li (18).
The concept is simple. Any common door is exposed to a number of people everyday, and this number is higher for commercial and official buildings. People with infections can leave germs or bacteria on door handles that can transfer to healthy ones.
So, to prevent this, these students created a self-sanitizing door handle. Titanium oxide is considered the best bacteria killer, so the duo used a coating of the same mineral with UV exposure. Titanium dioxide is more efficient when exposed to UV rays.
For continuous supply of UV, the handle bar was designed in the shapeof long cylinder of clear glass. This cylinder is held on both ends by brackets, and in one of these brackets lays an LED that emits UV light.
To power this LED, the door features a gearbox that harness the kinetic energy or movement of the door. The door handle is thicker than normal size, but it glows.
In lab tests, the system was about to be 99.8 percent efficient in killing germs. That’s more than enough, we guess. The invention is not costly. The cost of creating a single unit will cost about $13. It’s not a high price to make sure that everytime a human hand touches door handle, it gets sanitized immediately by itself.