AUTOCHARGE. An instructional automotive charging system called "Autocharge," shown to students in this undated photo, is now open for commercialization, says its inventor Rene Chavez on Monday (June 20, 2022). The Autocharge equipment houses an electrical system identical to actual car charging systems, which can be used in institutions offering automotive courses. (Photo courtesy of Rene Chavez)

MANILA – A locally-made instructional automotive charging system is now open for commercialization, offering a cheaper alternative to imported products.

"The 'Trainer Model for Instructional Automotive Charging System with Automatic Voltage Regulator and Integrated Circuits' or Autocharge is an equipment that houses an electrical system identical to actual car charging systems," said inventor Rene Chavez in an interview with the Philippine News Agency Monday afternoon.

"Through this instructional equipment, the students can perform hands-on activities relating to installation and troubleshooting, without the presence of an actual car in their automotive class," he added.

Chavez claimed the equipment is easy to analyze because of its built-in "exploded view" of the parts of alternator, and a cutaway view of the circuits. Instructors will be able to facilitate hands-on learning, while students will immediately see the application by using this equipment, he said.

An instructor at the Bukidnon State University, Chavez said an exploded view of the parts of alternator refers to the view where individual parts are shown separately from its actual position.

He said companies abroad are selling the same type of equipment from PHP270,000 to PHP450,000. A company or fabricator will only need to spend PHP150,000 for a unit of his invention, he said.

"We are looking for a licensee who will purchase this technology. It can be a fabricator or manufacturer. Our target markets are the [Department of Education] and (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority)-accredited schools because they offer automotive servicing (courses)," Chavez said.

Meanwhile, Chavez said the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will guide the Autocharge team in the necessary steps for intellectual property (IP) protection. The DOST will also help them in applying for funding assistance and training, as well as connect them with industry partners.

The Autocharge contains an integrated circuit and an automatic voltage regulator circuit. Other components include a power supply, alternator, ammeter, volt meter, and light indicators indicating the ignition key switch state.

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña earlier reported that the Autocharge team was open to partnerships with industry players, especially with educational institutions that offer automotive courses.

The team was among the winners of the 2019 Regional Invention Contest and Exhibit (RICE) of DOST in Northern Mindanao. This made the team qualify for the technopreneurship training entitled, “Transforming R&D Outputs into Innovations through Technopreneurship and Customer Validation,” which seeks to help RICE winners protect, transfer, and commercialize their inventions. (PNA)