Introduction: How to Make a Powerful Water Battery

Picture of How to Make a Powerful Water Battery

In this Instructable I will explain how to make a powerful battery that runs on rain water!

This battery is environmentally friendly because it can run on rain water.It still needs the metals. Distilled water will NOT work, it has to be conductive. Whenever it runs out of power you just have to drain the water and refill it. If more power is needed, you can add a little bit of Clorox Bleach. It also works with other electrolytes, like lemon juice, vinegar, saltwater, or baking soda.

This is my first instructable so i am welcome to any criticism or suggestions.

Disclaimer: Alot of the methods of cutting, drilling, hammering, pummeling, incinerating, and sawing that I describe are dangerous and I strongly suggest you should go about all of the cutting, drilling, hammering, pummeling, incinerating, and sawing in your own manner that is safer than mine. I take no responsibilty for the actions you take concerning this instructable. Have fun! =).

By the way, this battery will only produce about 1 volt but will get a lot of current. For more voltage, hook together alot in a circuit.

PS: Just so you know, I'm only 12.

PPS: For you instructables admins, my dad made the account.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

To make the battery you will need some stuff (obviously).
-2 feet of 3/4" pvc pipe
-2 feet of 1/2" copper pipe
-2 feet of 7/16" zinc plated threaded rod
-2 3/4" pvc endcaps
-1 3/4" pvc coupler
-1 3/4" pvc threaded endcap
-1 what looks like a 3/4" tee with a 1/2" threaded middle thingie
-1 1/2" copper endcap
-measuring tape
-electrical tape
-pvc glue
-multimeter (optional)

Step 2: Getting Your Materials Ready...

Picture of Getting Your Materials Ready...

OK, so first off you're going to have to cut your 2' pvc pipe in half. You also need to cut 3 1/2" off of one of the halves. This is so you can attach the tee. Next, you need to wrap the very edge of your zinc rod in enough electrical tape to fit snugly in the copper pipe. Also wrap it 1 1/2" away from the other edge with the same amount. Wrap the middle too. Now for the copper pipe, starting 3" away from the edge you have to cut a lot of holes for water to be able to get in. I did them evenly spaced but you can do it whatever way you want to. For the last part you need to take one of your endcaps and drill a copper pipe sized hole in it. You also take your other endcap and drill a zinc rod sized hole in it. Also solder the 1/2" endcap onto the copper pipe end without holes.

Step 3: Assembling It...

Picture of Assembling It...

Okay, so now you have to slip the zinc rod through the corresponding endcap. Once you have that done then slip the copper pipe through the corresponding endcap. Finally, pvc glue the zinc rod endcap onto the pvc pipe, side doesn't matter. Also glue the copper pipe endcap to the other side. MAKE SURE YOU SLIDE THE COPPER PIPE OVER THE ZINC ROD AS YOU DO IT.

Step 4: Finish....

Picture of Finish....

So now that you are done you have to water proof it for it not to leak. Just apply silicone sealant to the zinc rod joint and copper pipe joint. Wait for it to dry and you are done!


skynet2010 (author)2010-09-13

I like it but how does it work

It simply works due to the chemical reaction of putting to metals together in water. Using Clorox or coke instead of water works as well but will eat away at the metals faster.

that ishould be "two" not "too"

because of travelling ions from water, u can also use urine in some harsh conditions.

JohnC1105 (author)2017-11-29

your instructions are clear, but stop short of saying how to operate the battery. Please add directions for use.

KipI2 (author)2017-10-24

Bravo! I agree with the person who criticized those "raining on your parade." You should be proud to be interested enough in stuff like this at age 12 to pull this together. Very nice work - keep on chugging!

CaseyF16 (author)2016-09-20

Just wondering, you say this has a high current potential, any idea on the actual current output?

robertlfulton4 (author)2016-06-25

can it be recharged ? as in via solar panel ?

if not then it may be more discribed as a generater

I think since it consumes the electrolyte, you could technically refer to it as a generator. You recharge it by replacing the electrolyte.

GamerGirl2004 (author)2016-08-03

How do you use it?

Triffgits. (author)GamerGirl20042016-09-16

You fill it and then attach wire to the zinc and copper ends, they are the positive and negative terminals of your new removable-electrolyte battery.

swg (author)2012-11-14

Is there any replacement for rain water ?

LallareP (author)swg2016-03-26

Tap water works if you add salt.

12203madman (author)2012-10-31

im only 10

CordellC (author)12203madman2016-01-11

then why are you worried about making a 8Th grade worthy science proj?, I mean that I am making this for my science fair proj!!!

thaReal_Hodge (author)2015-06-07

About how much volt can it hold.

zak.bryant1 (author)2015-01-12

Can you charge this battery to get a higher voltage, or do you have to keep replacing water.

Om_vaghela (author)2014-05-08

from where you get this copper and zink rod?

goodriddance1 (author)2014-03-08

I agree really neat! After reading all the comments, I have to wonder why anybody would need to rain all over a 12 year old's parade by being a know it all. Geez, I hope you have had a chance to get over yourself in the last four years.

palombo5050 (author)2013-05-09

Really neat

graml (author)2013-02-14

it is environmentally everything is environmentally because it all came from there earth at some point and its just going back to the earth so if you think about it there is nothing us humans can do that unnatural because of the fact that you can't make something from nothing

graml (author)graml2013-02-14

i mean >>> it is environmentally friendly everything is environmentally friendly because it all came from there earth at some point and its just going back to the earth so if you think about it there is nothing us humans can do that unnatural because of the fact that you can't make something from nothing

woogwan17 (author)2013-01-27

God dam how do i make it i dont understand but tahnks for telling

12203madman (author)2012-10-31

im going to try to make one smaller.

lemonie (author)2009-04-18

because it can run solely on rain water.
No, it needs the zinc. Which has to be mined as ore and requires a lot of environmentally-unfriendly energy to refine into metal (if the mining weren't enough for ya...)


Gilo (author)lemonie2009-04-18

i am beginning to wonder why you call yourself 'lemonie.' btw, lemons also could be made to put out electricity. also, those prius cars had a lot of stuff mined from somewhere. check out the pc you are using right now; lots of mined stuff there too. if you are using a laptop, i need not say more about the batteries in it. convince me Lemonie that you are without sin. anybody out there without sin who can throw the first battery at this fun build?

lemonie (author)Gilo2009-04-19

The comment was on the false claim "This battery is environmentally friendly because it can run solely on rain water" - I'm not bothered about the rest of it. L

Gilo (author)lemonie2009-04-19

Lemonie, The instructable didn't have to make that claim.If you know just about two cents worth of the chemistry of producing electricity, it goes without saying that there will be other components in the mix besides plain rain water. So I just hope you 'll have fun and enjoy the idea shared to people like us.

ewookie (author)Gilo2012-10-05

wow. everyone seems to agree that lemonie is right except for the 12 year old kid he was trying to educate. yet, everyone admonishes lemonie for trying to educate the 12 year old kid...instead of admonishing the 12 year old kid for arguing with someone that obviously knows more about the subject.

this is how the world gets dumber everyday.

lemonie (author)Gilo2009-04-19

Hi Gilo

It's not environmentally friendly, it can't run solely on rain water. Perhaps you see the statement a fun joke? That being the case our senses of humour must differ, and there's not much fun for either of us to bicker about it.


Gilo (author)lemonie2009-04-19

You have taken the 'fun' word out of context. Let me rephrase it: take the instructional as it is presented and dont lecture everybody about the evils of mining stuff out of the earth. Everybody knows that. Taking you on your point, let me ask you: Are using using anything now that wasn't mined? If you can say yes, I bow to you. and my lips shall be shut forever on this issue. It is a nice today. I hope you are enjoying it.

lemonie (author)Gilo2009-04-19

Yes today is nice, I probably shall enjoy it as I drive to work in my recycled cardboard sports car that runs solely on dewdrops and sunshine... L

KIMBONGCHILL (author)lemonie2010-08-08

what is wrong with you? So you get your jollies by finding instructables then picking them apart , while everyone else wants you to just shut up. Nobody cares if you are bothered by the statement. I read this instructable and he isn't making outrageous claims. Also he is twelve. Every one should appreciate this kid for doing science and sharing his experience. And Lemonie did I mention the kid is twelve. Maybe you should try picking on someone your own age. What kind of adult goes around being a critic of what 12 year old are posting to the net. Lemonie you have mental issues to deal with.

lemonie (author)KIMBONGCHILL2010-08-09

What's wrong with you? Did you not notice the date on this?

(12 shouldn't have been here)

Do you prefer people to be praised for being wrong, being or educated?


My head is in perfect working-order, if your bong-chill regimen isn't working for you try pills instead.

xerxesx20 (author)lemonie2009-04-21

Hahahaha. Classic. :-)

swilus (author)lemonie2010-12-10

If it can't be grown it must be mined!!!!!!!!!

lemonie (author)swilus2010-12-10

Yes (old comment to reply to, did you look at my stuff?)


JimJong (author)lemonie2009-07-10

Actually, if the electrolyte soltution is drained into a container, the dissolved zinc particles can be plated onto another metal so ha.

lemonie (author)JimJong2009-07-11

How would you plate the zinc onto another metal? (Or recycle it) L

JimJong (author)lemonie2009-07-11

I think you put a more reactive (or less) metal into the water and it geets replaced by it or something. Heres something you can do to prove it. Pour some vinegar in a bowl and add a few tbsp of salt. Then drop 6 or 7 pennies in it. wait 30 min then take them out. now drop an ungalvanised iron nail in the solution. wait 30 min and there should be a coat of copper on it. not much but enough to see that it works.

scratchr (author)JimJong2010-06-25

These batteries work by oxidation. the zinc wants to give ions to the copper. You can only reverse it with electricity.

lemonie (author)JimJong2009-07-11

More reactive, see the table here. But you still need fresh metal to do this, so the same energy / environmental issues apply.


JimJong (author)lemonie2009-07-11

but if the plated metal is removed from the more reactive one you can use the more reactive one over and over agen

lemonie (author)JimJong2009-07-12

The energy comes from oxidation of metal, whichever way you do it you still need more metal (of some kind).This is why people developed rechargeable cells. L

JimJong (author)lemonie2009-07-12

why would you need more metal? you start with a rod of metal more reactive than zinc. the battery and a seperate container. when the zinc all oxidises it is re harvested onto the rod and re inserted. its that simple. oh and rechargable cells need ENERGY to charge. and let me ask you this, Where did that energy come from? most likely fossil fuels. I think ive made my point.

DrCoolSanta (author)JimJong2009-11-13

The electrolyte that you collect contains Zinc in the dissolved form (more like an ionic compound).
When you put the more reactive metal in it, it replaces the Zinc in the electrolyte, so the electrolyte now contains the metal in the dissolved form and a layer of Zinc is formed.
So, the metal is actually getting consumed to give you back the Zinc.

In your earlier example, when you put the pennies in the vinegar, it forms copper acetate.
2CH3COOH + Cu -> Cu(CH3COO)2 + H2
Next when you put the iron in, since it is more reactive
Cu(CH3COO)2 + Fe -> Fe(CH3COO)2 + Cu
You see, the copper being formed here leads to that layer of copper, but the iron itself has now become Fe(CH3COO)2 which is basically not Iron.
To get back this Iron, you need to provide energy, and in doing so you will have to provide more energy than you actually produced.

lemonie (author)JimJong2009-07-12

You still don't understand electrochemistry - so I give up trying to explain it to you. (Rechargeables can be recharged from many different sources) L

nicholast (author)lemonie2009-07-07

He said it can run on rainwater, that in itself is environmentally friendly. The parts to build it are not though.

lemonie (author)nicholast2009-07-07

It runs with rainwater, the source of energy is chemical oxidation of the metal. As you observe, apart from the rainwater nothing in this is really environment-friendly.


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