God, Hope & Helping Others
Wunderkind: 15-year-old Ann Makosinski created a flashlight powered purely by body heat
This girl's science project really puts your baking soda volcano to shame
A 15-year-old girl in Canada has invented a flashlight that only needs the warmth of the hand to turn on.
Ann Makosinski, a high school junior in Victoria, British Columbia, was trying to think of a way of harvesting untapped energy when she was inspired to make the flashlight.
She realized that the warmth generated by the human body was an overlooked energy source.
Her project objective was to create a flashlight that ran solely off the heat of the hand.
That objective was accomplished when she discovered Peltier tiles, which produce electricity when one side of the tile is heated and the other is cooled.
Makosinski realized she could use these tiles to create energy for her flashlight if she left the device hollow.
Holding the flashlight on the outside would cause the tiles to heat up on one side while the ambient air would cool down the tile on the inside of the flashlight.
The power created by the tiles was enough to power an LED light, but it did not create enough voltage.
To troubleshoot that issue she created a circuit that would allow for transformers, upping the voltage.
It worked! The flashlight does have one issue: it works better in colder temperatures since the inside is better able to cool down comparative to the person's body heat.
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Creator: Makosinski shows off her 'hollow flashlight' which uses Peltier tiles to create energy based on body heat on the outside and cool air on the inside
Testing: Makosinski turns off the light to demonstrate her flashlight. It turns on using the energy created by the heat of her palm, and nothing more
The flashlight has been able to maintain light for over 20 minutes which makes it a handy device in case of emergencies
All in all, the flashlight cost her $26 dollars to make, which is a little pricier than most flashlights but understandable considering it eliminates having to keep buying new batteries.
And she thinks that if her flashlight were mass produced, she could get the price down to even cheaper.
In September Makosinski will be one of fifteen finalists presenting her project at the Google Science Fair in Mountain View, California.
The winner gets a prize of $50,000 and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.