Monday, September 23, 2013

Build a battery out of pennies

This is one of those cool ''so-that's-how-it-works'' projects that is an easy weekend activity to teach yourself (or your kids) the basics of how a battery operates.

These are all the things you will need. I will include my list as well as some substitutes that I've seen.

5-7 Pennies they have to be 1982 or older 
Paper towels (I used shop towels, but I've seen everything from cardboard to cloth)
Lemon juice (salt or vinegar works too)
Sand paper

Step 2: Sand pennies

Take the sand paper and sand one side of each penny down til the copper is off that side and the zinc core is showing. Best method is to use your finger to move the penny on the sandpaper as far as I know.

Step 3: Make lemon juice solution
So, from what I can tell others have used salt water, vinegar water, well I'm gunna use lemon water. Lemons are more acidic than vinegar so I'm hoping it'll work better. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. But I will use 3/4 lemon juice, and maybe put some salt in for good measure.

Step 4: Soak paper towels

Cut your paper towels or whatever you use into pieces about the size of a penny, you don't want the pieces to touch. I'd just soak them for about 5-10 minutes.

Step 5: Stack your battery

Start with a battery zinc side up, then put a piece of paper towel, then another penny same way as the first. It should alternate like this until you use all the penny's you want. 6 is the average I've seen, but I'm gunna try 7 just to see if I can maximize power. Or kill the LED for extra fun. The picture is showing how it works as a battery.

Step 6: Tape and Finish.

You did it!! You have made your own penny battery. And it hardly cost you a dime (BAD JOKE) Just tape it up if you wish to keep it together. You can also add an LED to make a flashlight,  use a multimeter to see how much voltage you get, or see if you can power a mini fan in the summer. Also, if you want to power something bigger or just see if you can make it better, try adding more pennies, it should create more voltage if it's an efficient design. 

God bless. Levi

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