The penny battery is a very simple and cheap experiment. Through making a penny battery you are given a chance to learn about chemical reactions and electricity. The penny battery is also a extremely fun experience. The satisfaction of creating your own battery and showing it off to your friends and family will remain with you for a long time. In this tutorial I teach you how to light up a LED but that's not the only thing that you can power using a your penny battery and I think that you will be amazed at the things that you find that you can power with a penny battery that you made.
Step 1: Materials Needed
• 7 Zinc Flat Washers
• 7 pennies
• A LED
• paper towel (optional)
Step 2: Cutting Out Pieces of Cardboard
Use a penny to trace 8 circles on your cardboard with a pen. Your circles should be the same size as a penny or smaller. Once you have 8 circles using your scissors cut them out of the cardboard. I had you make a extra circle just in case you mess up on one. Also you can throw away the cardboard scraps but keep the cardboard circles that you just made.
Step 3: Soaking the Cardboard in Vinegar
Take a bowl and put your pieces of cardboard into it. After you put your cardboard into the bowl fill it with vinegar. You don't have to completely submerge the the cardboard but you do have to fill it enough that the cardboard get soaked in vinegar. After the cardboard is soaked for about 1 minutes you can take it out. You may want to put it down on a paper towel but you don't have to.
Step 4: Stacking the Layers
You are now going to start creating the layers of the battery. You are going to make the layers in this order. The first layer is a penny. Then on top of that penny put one of your vinegar soaked cardboard pieces. Finally place a zinc flat washer on top of the cardboard. Repeat this process 7 times building up on the first layers.
Step 5: Adding a LED
Your penny battery should make around 5 volts which is enough to power A LED light. You should first wrap the side of the your penny battery with tape to work as a insulator and to hold the battery together . The penny at the bottom of your stack is your positive end and the zinc flat washer at the top of the stack is the negative end. On your LED you should have two rods coming out of the bottom. The longer rod should be taped to the positive bottom of the stack and the short rod should be tapped on the negative zinc flat washer top. The LED should turn on if it doesn't try moving the rods around. Just like that you just make your very own battery out of pennies.