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Thread: Explanation on Homemade Batteries~

  1. #1 Explanation on Homemade Batteries~ 
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    Dec 2010
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    So I made homemade batteries, using copper and zinc as anodes and cathodes...
    And for the conducting solution, I used 7-Up.
    After connecting the conducting wires, the homemade battery generated electricity.

    1) But, does this only work with acid substances?
    Can I replace 7-Up with a neutral or basic substance and still produce electricity?

    2) Can anyone name more substances that will conduct electricity?
    I know that potatoes and lemons would... anything else?

    3) Also, my lab is to build a homemade battery that would give me the most electricity. Should I measure the electric current or volts of the batteries? Or something else?

    Thanks,
    Any help appreciated.


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  3. #2 Re: Explanation on Homemade Batteries~ 
    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blingles
    3) Also, my lab is to build a homemade battery that would give me the most electricity. Should I measure the electric current or volts of the batteries? Or something else?
    For starters, "give me the most electricity" is a very unclearly defined goal. For a kind of science fair project, you'd want to do something spectacular using the electric power you generate. Which may mean operating a small electric motor, or powering an LCD clock, or MP3 player, or almost anything else.

    You may want to make a list of appliances you'd like to run off your battery, then think what voltage and current each of them needs, figure out how big your cells must be to get the current, and how many of them (in series) you need to get the voltage. And figure this out for each of the several types of batteries you can make. Then decide which will give you the greatest wow factor for a reasonable amount of labour.

    I suppose an LCD clock (or watch) would be easiest - they are made to run for years off a tiny cell, so they use very little power and will happily work off a very simple homemade battery. An audio appliance such as a radio, or MP3, or a buzzer, sending its output to a pair of earphones, would be harder. Even harder, but perhaps more impressive, would be powering some kind of lamp.

    In principle, there is no upper limit on the power you can get out of, say, lemons and zinc and copper wires. But if you'd like to power a vacuum cleaner or a dishwasher, you'd need to buy heaps of lemons and wires. And spend a small fortune. Not to mention processing the wasted fruit and metal after you're done with the experiment. So I do suggest sticking to something less power-hungry.

    Good luck, and keep us posted.


    Leszek. Pronounced [LEH-sheck]. The wondering Slav.
    History teaches us that we don't learn from history.
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