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Thread: Lemon Battery Problems

  1. #1 Lemon Battery Problems 
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    I'm doing an investigation at school involving lemon batteries, and today's pre-trials were a disaster. I couldn't get a reading from the lemon battery using a Voltmeter, Microammeter and Multimeter (electronic ammenter and voltmeter). I also need to substitute the lemon for a lime, grapefruit and orange, and if I can only get a small reading from the lemon then I will be lucky to get any reading from the other fruits.

    I'm fairly sure I did everything right, so this baffles me. Can anybody offer some help?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    1. What did you use for electrodes?

    2. How far apart were they separated?

    3. Did you verify that your meter works?


    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  4. #3  
    Geo
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    When you measure voltage the multimeter is in parallel. To measure current it's in series.

    Make sure you have the dial on the multimeter set to the correct magnitude.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geo
    When you measure voltage the multimeter is in parallel. To measure current it's in series.
    In series with what? Sam hasn't mentioned any load yet. He's struggling to get any indication of electric activity from his battery. I understand he's connecting each meter in turn directly to the electrodes - in a way that, for a more powerful "real" battery, would ruin the microammeter, but which _may_ be right for a very weak power source.
    Leszek. Pronounced [LEH-sheck]. The wondering Slav.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe
    1. What did you use for electrodes?

    2. How far apart were they separated?

    3. Did you verify that your meter works?
    1. Zinc and copper.

    2. A few centimetres - I'm sure that they weren't touching, and from diagrams that I've seen they shouldn't have been too close together.

    3. No. I did get a reading from the multimeter, but if I remembered correctly then it was something like 0.8, and that was measured in 1/200 of a volt. I've done my research, and for the lemon to be producing such a feeble amount of electricity is puzzling.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    If "0.8" means 0.8 volts, then this sounds reasonable.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  8. #7 lemon battery voltage 
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    0.8 volts is spot on. I'd be impressed if you get much more than that.
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  9. #8 Bagdad Battery 
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    Try having a look at the 'bagdad battery'. Google it or on wikipedia. Used by the egyptians 2000 years BC. discovered in Irac. Jar with copper tube with an iron core gave out 1/2 volt when lemon juice used.
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  10. #9 Re: Bagdad Battery 
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    Quote Originally Posted by TarquinTaylor
    Try having a look at the 'bagdad battery'. Google it or on wikipedia. Used by the egyptians 2000 years BC. discovered in Irac. Jar with copper tube with an iron core gave out 1/2 volt when lemon juice used.
    It is very doubtful that the "bagdad battery" was actually a battery. See the wikipedia page for why, I don't particularly feel like copy and pasting it.
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