A thermoelectric chair developed by two high school students in İzmir province can turn body heat into electricity.
By figuring out a way to passively produce electricity, the two youths hope to provide enough energy for their classroom's lights with the electricity produced by the chairs during lessons.
Cevat Ata Kabaağaçlı and Alperen Ovak, two students at İzmir Atatürk High School, prepared a thermoelectric chair project with the guidance of their adviser and teacher, Benal Hepsöğütlü. With the project, they hope that clean electricity can be produced at a low cost.
Using a Peltier module, or a thermoelectric cooler, in their project, the students placed it between two aluminum plates.
The high school students, who cool the chair with the aluminum plates, turned the temperature difference when someone sits on the chair into electricity thanks to the Peltier effect - the production or absorption of heat at the junction of two metals on the passage of a current.
A junior at the school, Kabaağaçlı told Anadolu Agency (AA) that there is a spike in temperature on the seats of chairs when people sit on them and they took advantage of this temperature difference for their project.
He explained that when the Peltier module, which hosts numerous conductors, is exposed to heat, electrons move and create electricity.
Stressing that they utilized the heat exchange on the chairs' seats, Kabaağaçlı said: "There are two thermometers that measure the ambient and surface temperature in the chair. Since aluminum is a great conductor, we decided to use it for the project. The chair costs around TL 100 [$17] to make. We will continue to try and increase its energy efficiency. We can produce a volt of electricity from one chair. Our first aim is using it in classrooms. We have 30-35 students in our class. When we sit, we transfer our body heat to the chair, which is then made into electricity. We can provide lighting for the classroom with this energy, reducing the school's electric bill. The chairs can be used in workplaces or in public service vehicles. Most of our day is spent sitting. The energy that we can produce by just sitting is too much to ignore."
Alperen Ovak, a sophomore at the school, remarked that they aim to increase the amount of electricity that will be produced.
İzmir Atatürk High School's assistant manager and adviser for the project, Hepsöğütlü, reported that the project ranked second in the world in the field of energy at the 2018 International Science Project Olympiad (INSPO).