How to Turn Separate Cups of Hot and Cold Water into Electricity!

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Teachable Topics
  • Electric Currents
  • Electrons
  • Work and Energy


In this experiment, the current required to power the turbine (fan) is produced by the Seebeck effect. The Seebeck effect is when two dissimilar metals with junctions at two different temperatures produce an electric current. The electrons in the metal in the hot water are excited by the high temperature and become free to move. They start to flow through a converter, which changes the thermal energy into work, which turns the fan.


  • Thermoelectric Converter
  • Two beakers
  • Boiling water
  • Ice water


  • Pour the hot water into one beaker and the ice water into the other.
  • Place the thermoelectric converter into the beakers, with one leg in each.
  • Observe. 

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