This year at Google Science Fair, a 15 year old teenager demonstrated a flashlight that operates on your own body heat.
At the annual Google Science Fair, a 15-year old teenager made it to the top 15 finalists with her ambitious project that allows to run a flashlight using our own body heat. Ann Makosinski, and 14 others, will be whisked away to Mountain View, California in September to compete for the grand (1st) prize in the science fair.
Ann utilized the property of ‘Peltier Tiles’ to create an energy source for her flashlight project. In layman terms, the ‘Peltier Tiles’ generates electricity if two sides of the tile are at different temperature. A temperature difference of at least 5°C is required to power the LED lights. After months of researching on her own, Ann ultimately went ahead and bought the transformer that would step up the voltage just enough to power the flashlight, eliminating the biggest chunk of her problems.
The temperature difference is between the user’s body temperature and the ambient air temperature. The flashlight is designed such that it has enough cuts to allow the users hand to directly touch the Peltier Tiles. More the surface area in contact, more electricity can be generated (of course, temperature difference has to be above minimum requirement as well).
While Ann’s project cost her a measly $26, winning the Science Fair would ensure that she receives a huge $50,000 scholarship which she can put to good use. Oh, in addition, the winner of Google’s science fair will be flown to Galapagos Islands for 10 whole days.