Young Filipina inventor presents new environmentally-friendly AC

The world, especially the still-developing part, is expected to face an explosion in air-conditioning. Now, a Filipina, think she has a cost-effective and more environmentally-friendly solution.

The former student at the Philippine Science High School has invented an AC without a refrigerant, with a working model. For her dream solution to happen — as in mass manufacturing of her AirDisc — she wants $3 million from “angel investors” for a start-up.

And she wants the first mass-manufacturing factory in her native Bicol province, in the Philippines.

“I want to build it in Partido (Camarines Sur),” Maria Yzabell Angel Palma, 20, told a local TV show. Camarines Sur (land area: 5,497 sq km), a Philippine province bigger than Dubai (4,114 sqkm), is about 10 hours by car from Manila, and forms part of the volcanic and gold-rich Bicol region.

That money, she thinks, could propel her dream of cooling the world without using refrigerant with her AirDisc invention.

When does she want the factory built? “As soon as possible, maybe 2020, if time permits,” she said.

A Switzerland-based inventors’ group, and other industrial partners, have recognized Filipina student’s AirDisc AC.

There were 10 other institutions from Korea, China, Taiwan, Britian and America that conferred her awards, including the James Dyson Foundation, the charitable arm of British inventor and industrial designer Sir James Dyson

‘Perfect synchronisation’

“There are a lot of investors emailing me and setting up appointments with me,” Palma told a Manila Business TV show.

“Right now, we’re setting appointments in the Philippines. But I’m meeting foreign investors. We have to find, you know, the perfect synchronisation with the investors, manufacturers…to find a perfect team and collaborators to make AirDisc happen.”

“I hope not,” Palma told ANC HD, a Manila TV channel when the host commented: “The air-conditioning industry is threatened by your work now.”

The 20-year-old has earned distinctions from international groups for inventing her AirDisc air-conditioner, which works on low power — and without a refrigerant.

Filipina student Maria Yzabell Angel Palma
Filipina student Maria Yzabell Angel Palma shows her AirDisc AC, a cooling machine that uses on refrigerant. Her potentially revolution contraption was recognized by the James Dyson Foundation, among other institutions around the world.Image Credit: Facebook

AirDisc Cooling could potentially replace more than century-old technology which ties humans as dependent victims of chemical refrigerants. It uses only air — with 10% per cent energy use only than conventional ACs, according to Palma.

The young Filipina is a government scholar who went to the Philippine Science High School system. Her invention has been recognised by Korean, Chinese and Taiwanese groups, too.

She claims that, with the help of her father, she had filed patent applications for AirDisc both in the US and the Philippines.

Prototype Maria Yzabell Angel V. Palma
A working prototype reportedly invented by Filipina student Maria Yzabell Angel V. Palma, called “AirDisc” AirDisc. The The invention comes amid recent efforts to transition the country’s air conditioning sector towards the use of more environmentally sustainable refrigerants.Image Credit: DOST / File

Yza and her father, Bernardo Palma, a mechanical engineer, have a commercial prototype.

The first modern electrical air conditioning unit was invented by Willis Haviland Carrier in Buffalo in 1902.

High school invention

Philippine media reports state that the 20-year-old from Naga City, 408km south of Manila, was a Grade 10 student at the elite Philippine Science High School (PSHS) Bicol campus in 2016 when she “accidentally” came up with her revolutionary AC invention that uses a disc-shaped compressor.

PSHS has 14 other campuses around the country.

HOW IT WORKS

Current air-conditioning systems use piston or rotary compressors to pump with the harmful hydrofluorocarbons.

Instead of using a cooling medium, Palma’s AC uses low compression and a high volume of air molecules as refrigerant replacement.

Palma has earlier been recognised for her feat by the International Federation of Inventors’ Association (IFIA). He did not attend the awarding in Switzerland because she was then graduating.

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Maria Yzabell Palma (left) explains her AirDisc invention to Philippine Science High School (PSHS) officials.Image Credit: Business Mirror

IFIA learnt about Palma after 10 foreign organizations, including Asean awards bodies, recognised her for the AirDisc Air Conditioning Technology.

Palma said she and her father had already completed the application with the Virginia-based US Patent and Trademarks Office.

Palma is understood to have enrolled at De La Salle University (DLSU) taking up mechanical engineering in Manila.