Tenth grader creates body heat powered flashlight
Gadgets powered with hand-cranked motion are in the heat these days but to come across a flashlight that is functional by the heat of your hand is simply amazing. Created by Ann Makosinski, a 15-year old tenth grade student girl from Victoria who managed to make her way through the pool of thousands of bright kids from more than 100 countries into the 15 finalist grid of Google Science Fair speaks volumes for this project. Ann’s Hollow Thermoelectric Flashlight is completely powered by heat of human hand and has been ergonomically designed to work on five degrees of temperature difference to produce 5.4 mW for 5 foot candles of brightness. Apparently the winner of Google Science Fair will win a scholarship of $50,000 and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.
# According to Makosinski
I’m really interested in harvesting surplus energy, energy that surrounds but we never really use. This took quite awhile ’cause I had to do it during the school year as well and I had homework, plays, whatever that I was also doing.
Makosinski had to dig hard in order to figure out the method to harvest heat energy variant into electric energy and finally managed to built a transformer and circuit that would permit such kind of functionality.
She made two different kind of flashlights, one from aluminum tube to transfer cooler temperatures of air to one side of Peltier tiles and another out of PVC tube. According to her the flashlight costs only $26 and probably the reason why we should expect to see it in our hands in the coming years or so once it is mass produced.