Ann Makosinski is a 15-year-old from Victoria, British Columbia, who has created a flashlight that runs solely on the heat of the human hand. The Hollow Flashlight was a submission for the Google Science Fair and has secured her a spot as one of 15 finalists.
She designed a flashlight that provides bright light without batteries or moving parts. It uses four Peltier tiles, which produce electricity if one side is heated and the other is cooled. The design is ergonomic, thermodynamically efficient, and only needs a five degree temperature difference to work and produce up to 5.4 mW at 5 foot candles of brightness.
The final design included mounting the Peltiers on a hollow aluminum tube which was inserted in a larger PVC pipe with an opening that allowed ambient air to cool the tube. The palm wrapped around a cutout in the PVC pipe and warmed the tiles.
Makosinski will travel to Mountain View, California in September where winners will be selected from three age groups. A grand prize winner will also receive a $50,000 scholarship from Google and a trip to the Galapagos Islands. You can check out Makosinski summarizing her project in the video below: