Hacked Gadgets Forum

April 16, 2006

5 Volt Potato Battery

at 11:06 pm. Filed under Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, What Were They Thinking

Seems people are getting creative when making batteries. We aren’t seeing the typical fruit batteries that everyone has made in high school. An example of a creative battery that you might remember from a few months ago is the penny battery. Well I would have to say this potato battery is a step up in creativity. I wouldn’t have thought you could make a battery out of potatoes, but I guess I am wrong! It isn’t a very efficient battery since it weighs 500 lbs and packs less punch than a small 9 Volt battery.

“Batteries work by allowing electrons to pass from one electrode to another. In this case the potato provides phosphoric acid, which enables a chemical reaction causing electrons flow from copper to zinc. The zinc came from galvanized nails and copper came from small pieces of copper. You don’t have to use potatoes; any acidic medium such as citrus fruit will work. I chose potatoes because they are traditional and cheap.

Each potato generates about 0.5 volts and 0.2 milliamperes. I connected groups of potatoes together in series to increase voltage and then connected these groups together in parallel to increase amperage. The entire 500 lb battery generated around 5 volts and 4 milliamperes.”

via Make