15-year old Ann Makosinski of Vancouver, British Columbia recently invented a flashlight powered by body heat as battery companies looked on with fear in their eyes.
She’s one of 15 finalists for the Google Science Fair competition’s top prize. Her submission to the competition is a heavily-modified flashlight. It gets its power from the heat generated by the palms of your hands.
Makosinski’s been interested in alternative energy since the sixth grade, she says, and is particularly drawn towards the creation of long-lasting power sources. And what greater source of long-lasting power lies around her than the human body? Curious, Ann began her research.
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. You just kind of have to keep going.
Though her parents never attended college, they are very encouraging of Ann’s pursuits, and were helpful in assisting Ann with whatever she needed, including the various build materials, research, etc. After finding the time to work on the project and gather all the tools necessary, Ann completed her design.
Basically, the flashlight consists of aluminum and PVC pipe, along with electronics wired through the pipe and the light bulb. The combination of aluminum and PVC pipe allow the air to cool one side while the users hand generates heat to the other.
The light works best at 41 degrees Fahrenheit, and still puts out a steady light at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. When Ann arrives at Mountain View, California for the contest, she’ll be vying for the $50,000 grand prize, along with a trip to the Galapagos Islands.
The total cost of her project? A meager $26. Whether Makosinski wins or not, it’s safe to say that her idea will likely hit mass-production in the near future, especially at that kind of price. Bid farewell to clunky batteries, and say hello to the next-generation of tech.
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