Talk about renewable energy. A flashlight powered just from the heat from a human hand, and designed by a 15-year-old-girl from Victoria, Canada, has been chosen for the finals of the Google Science Fair.
Ann Makosinski is one of 15, out of thousands, of inventive school students from all over the world chosen for the finals of the Google Science Fair at Google’s headquarters at Mountain View, Silicon Valley. There are three age categories to the competition, but only one entry will win the grand prize, which involves a trip to the Galapagos Islands, and a $50,000 scholarship from Google.
As the inventor of the body heat-powered device explains in the video below, she became interested in the idea of harvesting surplus energy that surrounds us all the time. She then discovered Peltier tiles a few years ago while researching alternative energy. As she describes, these are tiles that create electricity when heated on one side and cooled on the other side.
After experimenting, she thought of a way they might be able to be used to harvest thermal energy from the body – and voila (well, not that easily!), a flashlight powered by heat from the user’s own hand was invented.
Even more impressively, all the materials for the flashlight only cost about $26, and Ann has said that she thinks it could be manufactured from much less than that. Nice job, Ann!