Introduction: Make a Water Bottle Capacitor

Do you have loads of water or soda or frizzy bottles everywhere in your house and want to use them for something good?

Well, here is one good use of them, make a High Voltage Water Bottle Capacitor! The bottle capacitor is very similar to the Water Leyden Jar I made a while ago, but the only difference is it uses a bottle, not a jar.

Disclaimer:
The bottle capacitor is a high voltage capacitor, high voltage capacitors are one of the most dangerous things you could ever use in electronics. A large charged bottle capacitor is potentially lethal if you touch its live terminals, and a small charged bottle capacitor can cause injury and it still be lethal in some ways.
So, I am not responsible what ever you do with this information and bottle capacitor.

Step 1: What You Will Need...

What you will need are:

  • A bottle of any kind
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Stainless steel nail
  • Aluminum foil (or even better, use AL foil tape if you have any!)
  • Tape (you won't need it if you are going to use foil tape

Step 2: And the Tools...

Not much tools is needed to make a bottle capacitor.

  • Hammer
  • Hot glue (or anything to seal up the container to prevent water coming out)

I think that is just about it.

Step 3: Take the Sticky Stuff Off!

Before we start making a bottle capacitor, take all of that sticky stuff off! It can reduce the performance of the bottle capacitor, or even cause problems if you don't take the sticky tags off!

Step 4: Fill It Up!

Fill the bottle with warm water.

Step 5: Add in the Salt...

Add a few teaspoons of table salt, and stir well! After that, put the cap of the bottle back on.

Step 6: Hammer in the Nail!

Hammer in the nail in the center of the cap, and leave the head of the nail about a centimeter away from the cap.

Step 7: Seal It.

After that, put some hot glue around the nail and the cap to stop the water coming out.

Step 8: Wrap the Bottle With Foil...

Cut out a sheet a foil that will wrap nicely around the bottle. Then wrap the foil around the bottle, I used tape to hold the foil onto the bottle. You can use glue if you want, but don't use flammable glue because of sparks, it is likely to catch on fire, or maybe even explode... Then I soothed the foil down onto the bottle to increase the efficiency of the bottle capacitor.

You can use something much much better than foil if you have, use foil tape. You can just simply tape around the bottle and not have a hard time wrapping the bottle with foil and tape (or glue).

Step 9: Attach the Wire to the Foil...

Attach a piece wire to the foil of the bottle - that would be the negative terminal of the capacitor, the nail on the top is the positive terminal,

Step 10: Completed!

There! You made a bottle capacitor!

I also added a magnet and a ball to give it a "Leyden Jar" like.

I measured the capacitance of my bottle capacitor and my meter reads 1842pF (1.8nF)! That is very high for a cheap high voltage capacitor!

Step 11: What to Use It For.

If you want to electrostaticly charge your bottle capacitor, read this site, it will show you how to make a simplest charger you can ever make.

Or even far more dangerous, treat it as a normal high voltage capacitor, you can use it as a capacitor bank for the tesla coil, or something like that.
I tested my bottle capacitor with high voltage power supply to see if it works. Never ever try that, unless you have good experiences with high voltage.

Well, I hoped you enjoyed this instructable!
If you have any questions, or need help, or found an error, or anything, make a comment! I like comments! :)

Comments

author
NowAds made it!(author)2016-07-17

hello dude , I wanna make About 100 KV Super Capacitor to use it for Strong Coil Gun , is this battle Capacitor can help or no ?

author
BrendenK2 made it!(author)2016-12-02

i am wondering how many you would need to make to use for a coilgun (gaussgun). i would be shooting ball bearings and am hoping for an effective range of at least 30 ft.

author
LasseT4 made it!(author)2016-06-18

Vittu mitä paskaa?

author
pr0cesor made it!(author)2016-05-04

7 years ago risking life for 100 bucks. Huahuahauahau try that again now.

author
Thelonelysandwitch made it!(author)2008-10-21

These aren't 100% lethal, but they can really hurt (and make you 100 bucks :) ) There is a way to charge these by turning on the tv with it near the screen, but me and my best friends did this but like 100 times with the tv. I got dared to touch the screw for 100 bucks. I did it, and I fell directly to the ground twitching from like 500,000 volts (tested it with a special tester) going through my chest. I couldn't feel my entire body for like 20 min. and couldn't walk or move for that matter for almost 5 min. but I still got 100 bucks.

author
Plasmana made it!(author)2008-11-16

WTF!?! You nearly killed your self just to get $100!

author
Thelonelysandwitch made it!(author)2008-11-16

yep

author
Kaiven made it!(author)2008-11-19

Niiiiiiiiice Man!

author
Thelonelysandwitch made it!(author)2008-11-19

; P

author
imrobot made it!(author)2009-01-24

mmmmmm.... 100 bucks.... yummmmm

author
beehard44 made it!(author)2010-04-07

seriously, that much voltage from a CRT?!?!
i made leyden jars before, but i never thought that mch voltage thru a CRT...

author
static made it!(author)2016-02-24

Plenty of tall tales can be found on the internet, right ? :)

author
Betelgeus3 made it!(author)2010-12-20

A CRT is basically a giant capacitor. When a TV says WARNING, it means it. Be careful with teles.

author
beehard44 made it!(author)2010-12-21

but 100 bucks > risk of touching a fully loaded leyden jar

author
ender_scythe made it!(author)2015-11-22

Nah his experience was almost all volts, he just got tazed.

author
sora made it!(author)2009-08-26

wow what has this world come to almost dying just for money ...

author
static made it!(author)2016-02-24

charged to 5000,000 volts by merely placing it is close proximity to a CRT? Not likely, even if it was a color CRT, that operates at higher voltages.

author
Dilitritho made it!(author)2016-01-26

Can you use gatorade instead of salt water?

author
EvanJ6 made it!(author)2016-01-25

Just to make sure, how long would it take to charge this w/ 6 9v's?

author
TheVividYoshi made it!(author)2015-12-26

I build one from an old pill bottle I had. Am I correct in thinking that if I charge it with my TV and touch it, it would just feel like getting shocked by somebody?

author
ghest1138 made it!(author)2013-05-11

I'm trying to make a mini one out of an aprox. 2*0.5 plastic cylinder w/ one closed end that I got out of a pen. I've filled it w/ salt water, wrapped it with foil, attached the - wire, and to seal the top, I first put electrical tape over it, then I inserted a small nail, then I put clear Gorilla Glue around it to seal it. I was wondering if this would work, and if it did, how much voltage might it put out? Enough to light an LED?

author
CestarianI made it!(author)2015-12-15

More like enough to blow up an LED. I guess you found out by now the hard way.

author
CestarianI made it!(author)2015-12-15

Are these reusable?

author
robot1398 made it!(author)2010-12-28

can i use a very! very! very! small bottle

author
ender_scythe made it!(author)2015-11-22

Duh, use the same instructions but smaller.

author
ender_scythe made it!(author)2015-11-22

The website that had the directions for the electrostatic charging instructions didn't link properly. I'm not very experienced with capacitors, so what is the maximum voltage, and what is the maximum amperage (power and "battery length")?

author
Yonatan24 made it!(author)2015-07-28

If there is one nail, where are the negative and positive connections?

author
MaransC made it!(author)2015-08-17

The foil is the other terminal.

author
zain_de made it!(author)2015-06-18

Hi Mr.Plasmana,

I made my water bottle capacitor and its rating is 1.3uf that's cool and cheap capacitor i ever made; but how to recharge it? Plzzz help me.

author
MaryP6 made it!(author)2015-04-03

what is this good for? What specific application would someone use this on?

thanks

author
Doctor90250+ made it!(author)2015-03-21

to slaserj: this is normal . it simply means that the salt and the top electrode created a reaction, taking metal from the nail or wire and drawing it into the solution. look up simple metal plating and youll understand that a little better. if you put copper on the neg of a battery and a quarter on the positive and submerged the 2 in vinegar, youd eventually copper plate the quarter and copper ions were drawn from the copper, through the vinegar and adhere to the positively charged quarter, and youd be left with a solution of copper chloride.

author
Juan-PabloG made it!(author)2015-01-13

This is great! have you seen any build up of sodium in the bottle's inner surface?

author
nschreiber0813 made it!(author)2014-09-29

Dear: Plamana

I am hoping to build my own capacitor but I have to ask you this. You see I am trying to build my own Ionocraft but there are a few problems. Ionocrafts need powerful capacitors but how powerful. So what I am trying to ask you is what is the break down voltage, resistance, watts, volts, amps, and farads of your capacitor. Also how would you determine it with a different capacitor.

Thanks :)

From: Noah

author
nikisuryawanshi27 made it!(author)2014-07-14

can you tell me how much high voltage you give the capacitor

author
Sarthak31 made it!(author)2014-05-31

Will this capacitor work with ac current and can i charge it with a flyback transformer

author
Mighty+T+H+O+R made it!(author)2014-03-24

hello,
I read about caps replacing batts. hOW DO WE do this?
can you come up with an instructable about this ?
thanks

author
this+is+my+user+name made it!(author)2014-03-12

i completed this project but the method but the PVC method is more of a exercise than a way to generate static

author
candrewneal made it!(author)2014-01-30

Thanks for posting this. I built mine and checked my multimeter for capacitance and it's 2.1nF. Cool project!

author
ewcrew made it!(author)2013-12-18

would it be possible to use this to make an EMP?
(Not that I am thinking of making one I am just wondering)

author
HenryJonesVictor made it!(author)2013-10-31

You'll have to use around 8-10 of them.

author
j_herzog made it!(author)2013-10-24

I hooked three of these in a parallel sequence and got a HUGE discharge

author
sgfidlin made it!(author)2013-09-28

How long will it keep a charge for? Also, how could i disable it if i didn't want it any more?

author
highvoltagedude made it!(author)2013-03-25

Hi I built this and it does nothing. Can you help me?

author
my+wookie made it!(author)2013-07-26

what are you charging it with?

author
Jesse+Jarrett made it!(author)2013-04-28

I still think its a neat concept though

author
Jesse+Jarrett made it!(author)2013-04-28

This does nothing. I even hooked it up to an AC four wheeler charger.

author
bswt made it!(author)2012-07-16

if you heat the water in a pan then add the salt you could add more

author
iTixle made it!(author)2013-04-04

This extra salt will only stay dissolved when the water is hot. Once the water cools down the solubility of the salt in the water will go down and the salt will precipitate out of solution.

author
Blad2011 made it!(author)2013-02-27

how do you do step 11

author
hilo890 made it!(author)2009-06-25

how should I charge the leyden jar? I ran it across a tv and it did nothing. I don't have any PVC pipe either.

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