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Thermoelectricity

Electronics

Powered by body heat, Lumen flashlight never needs batteries

Whether it be for everyday carry, outdoor adventure, or disaster preparation, flashlights tend to be found towards the top of must-have items. But one common aspect of these luminescent devices is that they're only as good as the batteries inside. If you've ever switched on a flashlight only to experience a flood of frustrated disappointment, you might appreciate owning an "eternal flashlight." Lumen is designed to be powered by body heat, never needing batteries.Read More

Good Thinking

Cleaner-burning cookstove creates its own flame-fanning electricity

While many of us may enjoy grilling food over an open fire, the fact is that cooking fires are a major source of health problems for millions of people in developing nations, who use them on a daily basis. The main problem is the smoke, which causes respiratory problems – not to mention air pollution. In an effort to address the problem, research group RTI International has developed a cook stove that burns cleaner … and that powers gadgets.Read More

Automotive

Goodyear BHO3 concept tire generates electricity

One of the biggest hurdles that electric cars face in going mainstream is range anxiety – that dreadful realization that you're in the middle of nowhere and your car might not reach the next charging station. To help combat this, Goodyear came up with its BHO3 concept tire, which generates electricity by converting heat and motion into current as the tire rolls ... and even when it's standing still. Read More

Science

Could Earth's infrared emissions be a new renewable energy source?

Could it one day be possible to generate electricity from the loss of heat from Earth to outer space? A group of Harvard engineers believe so and have theorized something of a reverse photovoltaic cell to do just this. The key is using the flow of energy away from our planet to generate voltage, rather than using incoming energy as in existing solar technologies.Read More

Outdoors

FlameStower uses fire to charge devices

We're constantly seeing inventors attempt to create new and interesting ways to charge our cell phones. VOTO is one product we've seen that uses fire to charge our smart devices, and now a new take on the idea is hitting the scene. Called FlameStower, it utilizes very similar technology, but with a few twists. Read More

Good Thinking

Canadian schoolgirl creates Hollow Flashlight powered by body heat

At the tender age of 15, Canadian high school student Ann Makosinski has designed and built a flashlight powered by body heat. Her Hollow Flashlight secured her a finalist slot in the 15-16 age group of the Google Science Fair ahead of thousands of entries from more than 100 countries. My science project in tenth grade was a volcano that only worked about half the time, so I think she has me beat.Read More

Environment

Printed thermoelectric generators could capture energy from waste heat

Thermoelectric materials, putting it simply, are able to generate electricity via differences in temperature. If thermoelectric felt were used to make a jacket, for instance, it could generate a current using the temperature gradient between the warm interior and cold exterior of the garment. Like many such promising technologies, however, the cost of thermoelectrics is something of an issue ... although thanks to a new process developed at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology, that might not be the case for much longer.Read More

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