Found: Science fair project uses Peltier to power battery-free flashlight

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A 15-year-old high school student by the name of Ann Makosinski has invented a flashlight that draws power from the heat generated from the palms of your hands. Dubbed the “hollow flashlight,” it uses the Peltier effect (the same technology that was once the go-to method for extreme overclockers before liquid nitrogen became the norm) to create electricity that is then used to power the flashlight.

If you are unfamiliar, a Pelter is able to generate voltage when there is a different temperature on either side of the “plate.” In the case of the hollow flashlight, the warm side is heated by the user’s palm while the opposite side is cooled by the ambient air and a passive heatsink.

Makosinski was selected as one of 15 finalists to compete in Google’s annual Science Fair, an online science competition open to students around the world between the ages of 13 and 18. The winner will receive a $50,000 scholarship and a free trip to the Galapagos Islands – not too shabby!

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