Teen Invents Flashlight That Could Change The World

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poltergeisty

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Teen Invents Flashlight That Could Change The World

Think about that for a moment: 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.
 

mmckenna

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Interesting idea, but saying it will "change the world" is taking things a bit too far.

It only works when someone is holding it, or does it have a large capacitor or other storage to keep it running when you put it down? You know, those times you need both hands free?

Solar works really well, although rechargeable batteries eventually fail. Then again, very few things last forever.

It's pretty amazing this young girl invented this, but to say it will change the world is taking it a bit far. There are already companies that have developed low cost solar/rechargeable lights for use in developing countries.
 

br0adband

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It's powered by the Peltier Effect aka thermoelectric effect, which you can read about from either link:

Peltier effect (physics) -- Encyclopedia Britannica

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_effect

Basically when you hold it your body heat literally provides the thermal energy which gets converted into electrical current to drive the lamp/bulb/LED.

While the solar ones you referred to are nice, and rechargeable ones are nice too, when the sun goes down - which is PRECISELY when having a flashlight really tends to come in quite handy indeed - a solar powered flashlight becomes completely useless. And even if you had a solar charged flashlight that did get charged up during the time the sun is up, it'll still probably "die" at some point because it's constantly discharging.

This one, of course, works as long as it has a heat source so, whether you're holding it in a hand, tucking it in between your legs, laying on it, stuffing it into an armpit (which is a very good source of heat, actually), or potentially even using a fire or flame of some kind (given that could potentially damage it I suppose) this is a truly awesome invention and yes it could make a big difference in a huge variety of situations worldwide.

Of course, the cost at first would be somewhat prohibitive like any new device or technology, but that would come down over time. Besides, it's a one time expense - doesn't need batteries. ;)

And... this could lead to a lot of other possibilities in terms of power. Wouldn't be it be awesome to give your cell phone a little bit of a boost in terms of battery/power life every time you hold it? I'd like to think so, and this is just the beginning.
 

pinballwiz86

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Would give new meaning to working QRP.

Imagine..as you hold the morse code key/paddle your heat provides the milliwatt of energy to send the signal.

Yup, you heard it here first folks. lol.
 

mmckenna

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I agree about the batteries, always a limitation.

I'd be curious to see how well it performs in either very hot weather or very cold weather. Since it relies on the temperature differential, how well would it work in these environments.
 

AZScanner

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That's pretty cool I guess, but what I have is more practical and easier to use since you don't have to constantly hold it. I have an LED flashlight with a crank on the side of it. Wind it up for 10 seconds and you can use it at least a couple of hours if not more. It will never need batteries and thanks to my younger 2 kids who think it's the neatest thing ever, I probably will never have to wind it again either. ;)

-AZ
 
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