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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Yes Teens
Teen’s invention prevents spread of germs on planes

    2017-June-7  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

If it feels like you get sick every time you travel, there’s a scientific reason for that: Planes are prime breeding grounds for germs. With so many passengers sharing the same air for hours, chances are high that one traveler’s bacteria will find its way to someone else. But according to 19-year-old Raymond Wang, this doesn’t have to happen. To prevent people from sniffling through their trips, he’s created a fan that reduces air-sharing — and, consequently, disease-catching — on planes.

Typically, air circulates throughout plane cabins before it leaves. “When we sneeze, the air gets swirled round multiple times before it has a chance to go out through the filter,” Wang explains in a TED talk shared by The Independent. That’s why many disease outbreaks have been linked to air travel. One man with bird flu, for example, once infected 17 people on a flight.

Wang’s idea is to get rid of this issue by filtering air out of the cabin before it has the chance to make the rounds, allowing people “personalized breathing zones.”

Wang started thinking about the problem of disease transmission on airplanes in December 2014, after a steady stream of news about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Ebola is not spread through the air, he learned, but other contagious diseases — including the H1N1 “swine” flu virus and SARS virus — are spread through the air.

Wang said he decided to tackle the problem when he discovered that few people in the airline industry were actively working on ways to improve the quality of airplane air.

He created high-resolution simulations of airflow inside the cabin of a commercial aircraft — a Boeing 737, to be specific. And then he used those simulations to design fin-shaped devices that fit into the airplane’s existing air inlets.

The fins redirect the airflow, creating virtual walls of air around each passenger, creating what Wang calls a “personalized ventilation zone” where sneezes are vanquished, pushed out of the cabin before they can spread in a turbulent burst.

His invention would improve the availability of fresh air in the cabin by 190 percent, he said, and would reduce the concentration of airborne germs by 55 times. Wang estimates that it would cost US$1,000 per airplane and could be installed overnight, making it easy and economical for airlines.

The invention won him the Gordon E. Moore award for the Top Project at the 2015 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair at the age of 17. But this isn’t his first invention. He also invented a device that generates electricity from the impact energy of rain falling on roofs, as well as a self-cleaning outdoor garbage can.

“It’s one thing to be able to come up with these great ideas, but another thing to be able to promote them to the entire world,” he said.

(SD-Agencies)

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