Instructables
Picture of Electricity from your yard
After following some links around the net that peaked my curiosity I came upon something that all my schooling and instincts said "no way". So naturally I decided to try it and the results were simply amazing. You can get electricity from your yard, and almost anything in it.
so here's what I did, try it, you will be amazed too, and begin to wonder what else is not as we were taught.
 
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Step 1: Tools

Picture of tools
you will need a voltmeter, scraps of wire, some water and paper towels.
some stiffer wire, roll of wire, PVC tubing, brass and steel rods later if you decide to follow up with phase 2 and 3
daveand5 (author) 2 years ago
Yesterday, while in my basement, I noticed (I knew this) that my basement walls were cement block. A ha, can I get power here? yes, did get readings, and some power. But I realized quickly that keeping a basement wall wet is not smart. So now, its is there another way to induce a good connection other than something like water that will deteriorate the wall over time? And soaking the ground outside the wall would again only work when its not winter here. Ground rods? in the wall protruding into the backfill? E gads, that picture of a hundred metal rods protruding from the wall, wiring running all over, pc boards spread randomly among the wires, and a stargate ring protruding from the floor, lol, the horror of it all, lol
crtn22 years ago
do you remember the website where you found this
daveand5 (author)  crtn22 years ago
there were so many pages that day, and it didn't sink in till later what I had read, and the possible uses for it. I get off track so many times when I'm browsing, sometimes it's hard to remember what I originally was looking for, lol, maybe its old age. Maybe it's the shear amount of info available now, compared to when I was in school and college, that I get sidetracked easy as I find things that are interesting, then try to sort the bull out and digest the real deal.
shipto2 years ago
I have heard of this before, do a search for "earth battery" there is loads about them on the web.
geckomage2 years ago
i'd say your best bet would be to use a set of transistors to get it to flop back and forth. basically it acts as an electronic switch. then you'd use the other battery as a switch, if that makes sense (this is a very basic thought) (also not sure if it is NPN or PNP) where the battery that is off would allow the other battery to discharge. then when the second battery is charged, it'd shut off current flow from the first and allow it to charge. if that makes sense. also you cant convert DC to AC. (not that im aware of anyways, please correct me if im wrong) but you can make pulsating DC and use that to power a transformer which would output AC unless your rectify it ;D
daveand5 (author)  geckomage2 years ago
I get the idea of the switching, its the actual wiring and parts that throw me, lol, getting old I think.
as far as converting to AC from DC, its done all the time with inverters, I have 3 which I power the furnace, some lights, and TV during Minnesota's famous snow storms. Hmm, did I say 'famous', we get 6 feet of snow, and a note in the weather forecast, east coast or the south gets 3 inch's, they get a weeks coverage, and FEMA help, go figure.
haha. well basically you have two pins on a transistor that allow current to flow through them. and a third controller pin that acts as the switch. NPN or PNP determines whether its an "open" or "closed" switch. basically how it works is like on NPN for example (havent done much research on PNP but i know its just flipped) the two negative terminals going to the positive act as diodes. not allowing current to pass either way, when a charge is applied to the p (positive) it overrides the secondary diode (from the second outlet pin) and lets current flow through it that way. thats how they work. someone correct me if im wrong? this is very very interesting though. i might have to give it a try xD i've heard of people stringing big wires through their yard and having it be enough to power a small radio. and it makes sense since electrons are on all atoms. i might take that up as my next project after i finish my plasma speaker and audio modulated tesla coil :D if i come up with anything awesome, ill be sure to let you know ;D
Interesting. Thanks for sharing this. I ran into something similar a few years back when I was changing the main electrical breaker panel on a house a friend was remodeling. The electric company had completely disconnected their wires from the house. I had a bare copper wire hooked to the new breaker box and the other end was bonded to a metal water pipe in the crawl space under the house. I had driven a new 8 foot ground rod into the ground about 30 feet from where the water pipe went into the ground. I ran another bare copper wire from the ground wire to the new breaker box. When I touched the wire to the terminal in the breaker box I got a spark. I don't mean a little spark. I mean a spark that was plainly visible in full sun. A spark so strong that you could actually hear it pop. I checked the voltage between the two grounds with a meter and got over 20 volts. I did not measure the current but wish I had. When the men from the power company came the next day to install the new wires from the pole to the breaker box I told them what had happened The told me that there is always an electrical potential between any two grounds. I had never heard of such a thing. They then went on to tell me about a local man that, due to a leak, had changed his underground water pipe from metal to plastic but had left the ground wire from the main panel bonded to the metal pile above the ground under his house. They said that every time the man tried to take a shower that the water coming out of the shower would give him a mild shock. They explained that the ground from the electrical panel was feeding from the metal water pipe in his shower to the metal drain pipe in the tub thus completing the circuit through him. I was amazed and have often wondered if there was some way to use the voltage produced between two grounds. One could use two 8 foot ground rods some distance apart and maybe charge a cell phone with it using a voltage regulator. I would not want to try it using the electrical system ground rod but I see no reason why a separate ground system would not work safely. I tried to google this several years ago but found nothing. I am curious to know if anyone else ever had any experience with something like this?
rimar20002 years ago
This is awesome!
daveand5 (author) 2 years ago
granted the later steps are using dissimilar metals and sand, but the other phases use only the concrete blocks, nothing dissimilar there. And I realize the amps required for a cooling fan are small, but by putting the 'cells' in parallel and series circuits the amperage can be built up. How far I'm not sure yet, but winter and freezing temps are fast approaching here in Minnesota, so my testing will end up on hold till spring, unless my wife allows me to dump a load of sand in the basement, lol, and I think that isn't gonna happen.
So I'm kinda depending on you inventors and curios folk that live in southern states.
Try adding a capacitor and then a joule thief feeding another capacitor and then feed some of the output back into the start capacitor. Not a perfect solution but should enable you to get some more run time
HarveyH442 years ago
It's easy to find the voltage, pretty much anything moist, and two dissimilar metal electrodes. Unfortunately, you need current to do any work, from the voltage you read on the meter, and is greatly lacking in most cases...