A worker connects a light bulb with a plug to a socket that is submerged in water.[Photo by HUANG ZHILING/CHINA DAILY]
Zhou Gang turned on the shower and aimed the stream of water at an electrical outlet connected to a water heater in a simulated bathroom. The heater kept working, and he didn"t get a shock.
Near the bathroom, a woman connected a light bulb with a plug to a socket that had been submerged in a cylinder of water. No short circuit resulted. The bulb stayed on. And she wasn"t shocked, even when she reached into the water to disconnect the bulb.
The demonstrations took place during a recent visit to a showroom at Chengdu ArGangle Technology, in Chengdu, Sichuan province.
Zhou, 32, is the chairman of ArGangle, which focuses on the research and development of insulated electrical technology.
A native of Chengdu, Zhou suffered from an electric shock as a child. Because of his interest in electricity, he suspended his studies at the Nanchang Institute of Technology in Jiangxi province after one year and returned to Sichuan to set up his company 10 years ago.
The company has now developed an electrical concept known as an "insulated electricity connection", which can connect to an outlet in water without causing an electric shock or shorting out.
The secret? There is an insulating material in each socket. Zhou said they will be sold for 85 yuan ($13) apiece when they appear on the market at the end of this year.
Zhou patented the insulated connection in China, South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States. He obtained additional patent protection from 95 national signatories to the patent cooperation treaty.
Wang Zhongcheng, deputy Party chief of Pidu district in Chengdu, said the district government has signed an agreement with ArGangle to jointly build an insulated electricity connection base.
A plant for manufacturing outlets using the insulated connection has been built on 5 hectares in Pidu.
"When the plant starts production at the end of this year, it is expected to produce up to 20 million socket outlets a year," Wang said.