Pumpkin Power! - Battery Made From Pumpkins





Introduction: Pumpkin Power! - Battery Made From Pumpkins

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I would expand on the idea of fruit and vegetable batteries and make a battery out of pumpkins! This is a very quick and easy Instructable, so let's get started.

Step 1: Materials

Note: This can be done with just one pumpkin. The more pumpkins you use though, the more power you get! That being said, I used two pumpkins connected in series to get more voltage.

Here is a list of everything you will need to make this battery.

  • Pumpkins
  • Galvanized screws or nails
    • Galvanized just means it has been coated with zinc, any thing zinc-coated should work.
  • Something copper, like nails or segments of wire
  • Wires

I got two galvanized screws and 2 pieces of a thick copper wire at the hardware store for less than a dollar. Any other zinc and copper items should work.

If you have alligator clips, that will make connecting everything together easier. These can be purchased in packages of 4-6 for a few dollars.

Step 2: Place the Galvanized Material

Put one galvanized screw (or whatever other item you are using) in each pumpkin. Leave a little bit of the screws sticking out to connect to the wires later on.

Step 3: Place the Copper

Put a piece of your copper material in each pumpkin as well. Place the copper near the galvanized material but make sure they are not touching inside or outside of the pumpkin.

Step 4: Connect the Pumpkins

Connect the galvanized material in one of the pumpkins with the copper material of the other pumpkin using one of your wires. This will connect the pumpkins in series which will yield a higher voltage at the end result.

Step 5: Connect Power Wires to the Pumpkins

  1. Connect a wire to the unconnected piece of copper on one of the pumpkins. I used a red wire because there will be a positive voltage at this part of the battery. (See the pumpkin on the right.)
  2. Also connect a wire to the unconnected galvanized material of the other pumpkin. I used a black wire because this is the negative terminal. (See the pumpkin on the left.)

Note: You may have noticed I have different screws. I just wanted to try a different type of screw to test it out. I got the same results with both of the different kinds of screws.

Step 6: Pumpkin Power!

Now there is a voltage between the other ends of the red and black wires we just connected. I connected these to a digital multimeter and measured 1.613V. Not bad for some pumpkins!

You may get a different voltage depending on the exact zinc/copper items you use and your pumpkins. Note: For my design that I just demonstrated I have two pumpkins connected in series. This increases the overall voltage that I am getting. Each of the pumpkins I used provided about 0.8V. Putting the pumpkins in series combined to give me the 1.6V. Adding more pumpkins in series would increase the voltage even further. If you want to increase current, connect additional pumpkins in parallel.

Thanks for reading my Instructable, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions!



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    thanks for the idea....I would like to try to light an LED bulb but finding I don't have enough AMPs. Any thoughts on how to achieve this?

    Hello. There are several comments below that discuss ways to get more power out of this system. Check those out.

    This is very interesting sir!

    If I had pumpkins growing instead of watermelons I would definitely do this!

    Actually, watermelons might work too! I have seen this work with potatoes and apples before, so I think just about any fruit or vegetable will produce at least some voltage.

    Man I want some spaghetti squash with some sauce on top.

    I am trying this for my technology project do u think it is a good idea??

    try boiling the pumpkin and then mashing it between zinc and copper plates in a series. works for potato by rupturing the cells and allowing electrolytes to flow more freely, thereby lowering the vegetable's internal resistance.

    How much current do you get from this?
    Will it run a joule thief?

    The current is dependent on ohms law, Voltage = current*resistance
    or Current = Voltage / resistance in this case. Increasing the surface area of
    the Cathode and anode will indeed aid in the reaction processes and thus
    increase the induced voltage, though possible only slightly. You should
    consider using different Cathodes and anodes that might be more receptive to
    Electron transfer. Increasing the size of the pumpkin would really only help
    limit the Acids from becoming too diluted with ions and slowing the reaction.
    This wouldn’t likely be an issue unless you were using a very small pumpkin. To
    lengthen the life of your pumpkin battery, you would want to keep your pumpkin fresh and use a larger ratio of Cathode/anode material to a smaller surface area. To increase the voltage you could also try using a different Fruit with Stronger acids. From my understanding Lemons are an excellent source of power for these kind of things.