Tiếng Việt


DTU Overcomes Strong Competitors Nationwide in Go Green City 2017

With their “Toilet Mini Generator” project - creating a mini electric generator using the power of water in household supply systems and a battery generating electricity from urine - the two DTU students Nguyen Cong Tin of class K18 EVT of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Nguyen Thi Thanh of K21 UIU outstandingly won the champion’s cup of Go Green City 2017 - Green Solutions for the City - and the 7th national finals on June 16 in HCM city, organized by global energy management and automation group Schneider Electric.
* From experimental project
Danang has many public toilets. During the day, many people use them and flush away large quantities of water. When darkness sets in, however, many public toilets have no lighting systems, which causes difficulties for passers-by who “need to go to the toilets”. This is why the two DTU students Nguyen Cong Tin and Nguyen Thi Thanh have been visiting public toilets and households to study daily wastewater discharge. Their results are that, on average, public toilets use 8 to 9 m³ per month, while households (of 4 people or more) use 12 m³ per month - some use up to 15 m³ per month.
With these water discharge quantities, the two determined it could be used to locally generate some power. This is how the “Toilet Mini Generator” project - creating a mini electric generator using the power of water from household supply systems and a battery generating electricity from urine - came to be.
Nguyen Cong Tin and Nguyen Thi Thanh with a model of their mini generator and urine battery
When the project was accepted by the DTU Board of Provosts and started receiving funding, Nguyen Cong Tin and Nguyen Thi Thanh spent the last four months rapidly researching to realize their mini generator and urine battery, with the passionate advice of Dr Ha Dac Binh and Dr Tran Nhat Tan- hoping to create a local power generator from the treatment of wastewater from households and public toilets, so as to create an environmentally friendly source of electricity.
Nguyen Thi Thanh explained to us that, when they first started working, the main difficulty was to clearly define their idea and to test its effectiveness in practice. The group members came up with a great many approaches, and they determined to create simulation models of mini generators fitted to toilet seats. In addition, the fact that they had to create a practical model and prepare their data and presentations (in English) at the same time caused them some troubles, as they had little time with exams coming up - and so the group ended up staying up late for their project. Nguyen Cong Tin also explained that, for the characteristics and the efficiency of the project, they needed to come up with two devices: the mini generator and the urine battery. For the generator, the idea is to put a rotor with motor in the water pipes, such that the water would make the rotor turn and the motor would generate electricity. The device can be fitted to any water pipe, tap, sink, and so on, and importantly it can be used widely, not only in public toilets. The urine battery is a device using urine as the main material to generate power, in the same way as chemical batteries, except that it can be used immediately and continuously.  As public toilets are in continuous use, the urine will be unceasingly replaced, and the battery will never run out. The electricity these two devices generate can be stored and used for lighting in public toilets without electric lighting. The cost of this invention is much lower than solar energy or other sources of power.
* …to winning the contest
With their “Toilet Mini Generator” solution - a mini electric generator using the power of water from household supply systems and a urine battery, Nguyen Cong Tin and Nguyen Thi Thanh beat five other projects from leading teams from all over the country to win the finals and become the champions of Go Green in the City 17. (In this round, DTU also obtained a Third prize with the e-Smart-Tracker project that aims to increase people’s awareness of electricity use by changing their habits through a smart power tracker, created by Tran Cong Minh of class K21 UIU TPM and Hoang Yen of class K21 UIU QTH, both studying American Degree Programs.) Previously, they already triumphed over many teams from forty of the universities strongest in Science, Technology, and Business administration nationwide to land in the final round, held on June 16 in HCM city.
Schneider Electric Vietnam Chairman Mr Yoon Young Kim (second from right) awarding the champion’s prize to DTU
“Our first feeling was one of utter surprise,” Nguyen Cong Tin admitted, “because all projects in the final round were so good. Then I felt very happy that our idea was recognized and appraised. We have beaten many strong teams from the Foreign Trade University, the University of Technology, of Medicine and Pharmacy, and so on. It is thanks to the conditions the DTU Board of Provosts gave us - and in particular to the professors Ha Dac Binh and Tran Nhat Tan of DTU and Nguyen Nga Viet of the Hanoi University of Science and Technology - that our team has been able to see the issue from so many angles and that we have been so well-prepared for the contest. Go Green in the City has given us a chance to look at energy use and saving from a completely new perspective.”
In addition to a prize of 20 million dong, the DTU champions are to become the only Schneider Electric Vietnam representatives to compete with other teams from East Asian countries in July 2017 for a ticket to the worldwide finals in Paris, France from July 9 to 13. This is the second time DTU enters this contest and excellently captures the first place. (In 2016, DTU was national champion and East Asian runner-up in Go Green City with their solution “Eco-friendly Shrimp Farming with Zero Water Replacement” by Huynh Minh Trang of class K20 PSU of the International School and Nguyen Cong Duc of class K18 of the Faculty of Pharmacy.)
“This year, with their confidence and fluent English presentation skills, their ideas have been selected by Schneider Electric Vietnam as winners of the contest and as competitors for the East Asian regional contest,” says Center of Quality Assurance and Testing Director Dr Tran Nhat Tan. “They are now perfecting their project, increasing the power output, and computing large-scale efficiency. We very much hope their idea will be selected and score big at the coming East Asian regional round.”
In recent years, DTU students have actively taken part in many national and international contests, with very good results. Their achievement at this international contest once more shows the quality of teaching and researching based on international benchmarks like CDIO and PBL at DTU. It also affirms DTU students’ expert skills and the foreign language abilities on an international intellectual battleground.

(Media Center)