Ann Makosinski was just another teenager with another science project when she joined her local science fair in Victoria, Canada, last year. Her invention, a flashlight that is powered solely from hand heat, also took home an award at the 2013 Google Science Fair. Ann’s parents are both HAM radio operators and like to fiddle with electronics and were satisfied with that result. It’s essentially a flashlight that shines for as long as you hold onto it. No more scrambling for and chucking away AA batteries. It could have an immediate impact on more than 1.2 billion people — one-fifth of the world’s population – who, according to the World Bank, lack regular access to electricity. Continue reading for a video and more information.
Believe it or not, nobody on record has thought to use thermoelectric technology to power a flashlight. But for Ann, peltier tiles, which produce an electrical current when opposite sides are heated and cooled at the same time, were a convenient solution to a friend’s study problem.