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Using Peltier chips, three Utah teens came up with an air conditioning unit that dispenses with the need for both refrigerant and an engine-driven compressor, increasing fuel-efficiency and doing away with environmentally unfriendly refrigerant chemicals. Run entirely via the vehicle's electrical system, Tyler Lyon, Daniel Winegar and Chad Thornley began work on it as a high-school science project. With Thornley off on a Mormon mission, Lyon and Winegar carried on and walked away with Ricoh's first-ever Sustainable Development award. GM studied the technology in the 1960s and concluded it wouldn't work, but these young Utahns managed to pull it off, scoring a trip to Japan and a $50,000 scholarship in the process.

Really cool invention brings teens awards [Salt Lake Tribune]

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