The Bio-Battery - Power for the future. (So easy a 10 year old can do it.)

Picture of The Bio-Battery - Power for the future. (So easy a 10 year old can do it.)
Follow and learn how a 10 year old girl builds her first serious science project, "The Bio-Battery."

See how this young lady, my daughter, astounds her 5th grade class with her project constructed from simple parts from a local electronics store, some instruction from her father, and some house hold edibles and powers a light with it all. Warning! You may become enlightened.

Submitted to the "Science Fair Contest" which is sponsored by AMAZON.COM You will see some AMAZON.COM promotions that I put in. This is part of the requirement for the contest and a thank you to Amazon for supporting it. Thanks for reading. Enjoy.
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Step 1: Consumable Materials

Picture of Consumable Materials
led holder.jpg
The follow materials were used to complete this project.

(1) Plastic Project box Purchase on
(1) Momentary Push Switch Purchase on
4 Copper Pennies
4 Lemons (or other citrus)
4 Potatoes
(4) Galvanized( Zinc) Cotter pinsPurchase on
A length of 18 Gauge telephone wire Purchase on
(1) 3 volt 5mm Blue L.E.D. light (Light Emitting Diode) Purchase on
(1) 5mm L.E.D. light mount/holder Purchase it here (Sorry Amazon)
(2) 2 Inch x 4 inch PVC pipe coupling or PVC pipe -----(Purchase at local hardware store)
(1) Acid brush Purchase on
(1) Project board (plywood or even cardboard)
Small amount of Bernzomatic Rosin Core Solder Purchase on
Small amount of "Elmer's Blue Bull Polly Glue" Purchase on

See all of the pictures below.

Step 2: Required Tools

Picture of Required Tools
scrrew driver.jpg
H:\Documents and Settings\Craig\Desktop\wirestripper.jpg
The following is a list of tool that were used to complete this project.

Safety Glasses Purchase on
Hot Glue gun Purchase on
Drill (14.4volt Ryobi) Purchase on
Drill bits Purchase on
Phillips screwdriver Purchase on
Spring loaded center punch Purchase on
Soldering gun Purchase on
Multi-Meter Purchase on
Hacksaw Purchase on
Wire strippers Purchase it on

See all of the pictures below.

Step 3: Hypothesis

Picture of Hypothesis

Will 4 lemons have enough current (moving force) to light a L.E.D. light?

With the lemons connected together, using a metal wire attached to electrodes on each side of the lemons, an average of about 3 volts should be registered on a multi-meter. This is enough power that the light to come on.
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PrzemysławM5 months ago

1 diode must have 1,5 v ,but how many mA must have this diode ? :D volta baterry and organic baterry dont have many mA :/ maby if you take 10 lemon parallel... chip faker :)

PrzemysławM5 months ago

1 diode must have 1,5 v ,but how many mA must have this diode ? :D volta baterry and organic baterry dont have many mA :/ maby if you take 10 lemon parallel... chip faker :)

EEETBLOG7 months ago

For batteries working, Configration and Wiring totrials, Check this

EEETBLOG7 months ago

Nice formation about Batteries. For Batteries Configuration and Wiring diagram, Check our Tutorials

dave.lucas27 months ago

Nice Post, That's What i was search for in Google. by the way nice and good information about <a href="">Bio Batteries</a>

_Scratch_5 years ago
don't underestimate those 10 year olds. =P
im ten
thanks :}
metal-matt6 years ago
uhh call me unsafe, but i dont realy think that you NEED safety glasses when soldering, i dont...when you useing drills,dremels,sanders,routers,jigsaw ECT ECT yes you should use them then but gawd, soldering??? anyway good instructible very well writen, only thing is mayby you should "make" a battery out off it, like get a pvc pipe of something and make it look like a battery, becaust i dont think that many people would carry lemons around, like not many people would carry battery acid around with them......hmm meyby i should make a lemon flavord (and that works) battery lol.....that got me think'n.....MUAHAHAHA!
if you havent had solder 'spit' at you (especially when cleaning the tip on a slightly wet sponge/steelwool right before making a new solderjoint) then you havent soldered much. i worry about one hitting my eye one day and have considered starting to wear glasses when soldering, but yeah in the past year i have been hit by at least 5-10 solder 'spits' usually on the hand or forearm. but now i use steel wool not a wet sponge so the chances are drastically lessened.
Yes, you should. Although, a respirator would make a lot more sense....
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you are more likely to get struck by lightning than that happening. And you are more likely to die of a falling coconut than getting struck by lightning
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Did I Ever Say that anything will kill you, Other than The less than likely coconut?
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Ok then
ReCreate5 years ago
Maybe Building a joule thief would have been a bit better, and it would require less lemons, Well i don't know, Its probably a bit too late now XD
cybercorfu6 years ago
The moving force is called Current and we measured it with Amperes... Volts is the strength of that current.
My understanding is that voltage (which is AKA EMF or electro-motive force) is the "moving force". Current is the flow of electrical charge.
OK lets say we have 1V and 200A with this source we can melt an electrode of 5mm and in reverse we have a source of 200V and 1A what we do with that? just a spark well now, what in this two sources is the one with the more force?
let's assume it's water... voltage is the pressure at any given time. and Current is the amount of water in at any given time you can fill a bucket (capacitor) hour glass shaped pipe (resistor) transistor or vacuum tube or a switch (valve) fountain (antenna) a overhead tank (power supply) a sea wave could be (AC current) hydro pump/motor/tubine piston as a (solonoid)
Nice approach!
The ability to melt an electrode is not the definition of force. In your example, you're helping show why voltage used to be called EMF. In a 1V/200A scenario, the voltage will not arc noticeably because there isn't enough "moving force" or "pressure" to jump gaps. Voltage is required to push through resistances.

Notice also that the same amount of power exists in both cases. (When I studied EE in college, we used the formula p = i e where p is power, i is current, and e is EMF (voltage).)

insomartin's water analogies describe it well, though it might be easier to think of current as the flow rate.
Reading all the comments, no one mentioned the use of the scientific method. # Ask a Question # Do Background Research # Construct a Hypothesis # Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment # Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion # Communicate Your Results I couldn't quite see all your display board to see all the steps, but it look svery well done. As a home school parent and 4-H leader, Good job!
ReCreate6 years ago
"So easy even a caveman can do it" it just comes to mind
very interesting. great experiment! one of the coolest experiments I have ever seen. 5/5
Mr. Rig It (author)  pindalanderz6 years ago
What a compliment. Thank you!
twenglish16 years ago
hey great instuctible, and why is your penny silver??
coll like really. good job. hope u get many more good ideas
Big jermini6 years ago
good work on the project. im into alternative fuels my self. did you know a can of pop can have some voltage output? quick idea for your next science fair project. Reading the voltage produced by light! i believe there is an instructable onhow to do this, but it would be fun to get creative with. Basic thought. rig an led to the leads on your multimeter. tape up the cord so you have a hand free from holding it. Set the multimeter to the lowest voltage possible. start going up to lights and seeing how much voltage you read. use your free hand to cover up the led to make comparisons. try it out sometime! although not practical for alternative fuel may be able to help recharge small batteries. this is also what a photo diode is based off of. only tweaked out a little more. keep up the good work and for the love of all that is good and great don't smoke, drink or even attempt to think about trying or getting hooked on drugs!!!!! have a nice day!
Mr. Rig It (author)  Big jermini6 years ago
Thank you. Those are cool projects you mentioned I will have to try them out, byt not the drugs of course.
Great instructable, and a good experiment. I have to ask though, doesn't smaller diameter wire have higher resistance than larger? If you think about a pipe full of water, (using the water analogy), it is easier for water to flow through a larger pipe than a narrower one. Isn't that why larger gaged wire is used for higher power applications? I think the phone wire is perfect for this experiment, but I would stop short of saying it had less resistance than thick wire. Just sayin'
Actually, larger wire is used for higher power so the power lines don't burst into flames due to the huge amperage. larger wires (smaller guage) are needed to carry higher current.
Actually, the power company cheats this by sending the power at an extremely high voltage, then using a transformer to convert it to 115v. The extremely voltage gives you the same power as your home voltage, but 20,000v @ 1 amp will be the same as 173 amps at 115 vac. If they transported the power at 115 v on all the power lines, the wires would have to be 6 times bigger to avoid bursting into flames. Now I hope life starts throwing me lemons.
Exactly right. But my original comment was aimed at the assertion that smaller wire has less resistance. Not an entirely accurate statement.
Mr. Rig It (author)  Poppa Chubby7 years ago
Hey Poppa thanks for the comments. I used phone wire because it is a solid core instead of a wrapped core. I have always been told this provides better flow. It was used for efficiency, the lemons only produce so much power so to balance out power to resistance I used the solid core wire. Perhaps next time I will look into it further. Thank you for the info.
CameronSS7 years ago
I'm not sure, so do your own research, but it might be illegal to drill the holes in the pennies. It's defacement of currency, and carries a fine. I know there are exceptions, and this may well be one of them, but just a head's up. Does anyone who knows more than I do have any further information? Either way, great Instructable!
Mr. Rig It (author)  CameronSS7 years ago
Cameron, You are correct you are not supposed to deface currancy. I think pennies are so useless as money though, they cost more to make than they are worth and I find them more valuable as science material :) Thank you for the positive comments.
Yes! It costs 180 million to produce 80 million worth of pennies. It's a useless coin and they need to stop producing them.
I remember watching a video from the Make Magazine blog about making rings from coins... it said that it is legal to deface currency as long as you are not trying to defraud the government in doing so (like melting coins to find out the different amounts of various metals inside them).
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