Instructables
Picture of Water Powered Flashlight
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Batteries are too mainstream, let's make Water Powered ones! The DIY flashlight never runs out of batteries, water is all around us and will never run out. One of today's causes of pollution is the improper disposal of batteries containing heavy metals such as lead and mercury. The answer, using water as electrolyte!

Imagine, running wall clocks for 6-12 months with water, you'll never need to leave your house just to buy batteries and there's no need to recharge them. What could be more convenient than replenishing your batteries with tap water? :D

The flashlight runs 30mins continuously with tap water and 2 hours with saltwater. Not bad for a single celled prototype :D This thing also works well with calculators, clocks & radios Remember, adding a second cell triples the glow and lighting time! 

How Does It Work?
This is a type of battery called the "Galvanic Cell", having 2 different types of metals and is connected by a salt bridge. It works like your typical battery but uses water as its electrolyte. If you want to read more about how batteries work "click here" The output voltage is pretty faint and isn't enough to run a single LED. By the help our trusty "Joule Thief Circuit", the LEDs would glow even at low voltages.

Is It Really Powered By Water?
Well not really, the water serves as an electrolyte, a replacement for toxic chemicals used in regular batteries, which usually ends up in dumpsites. So why call it water powered? Of course no one would be interested in the title "Galvanic Flashlight" plus that's what easily pops up in people's minds. The Redox reaction takes place in this project.

Practical Uses:
1st.) If you got lost and stranded out in the woods, you can't rely on batteries, eventually they run out. A mini version would save stranded people in the woods. Just go to the nearest river and fill her up! Whala, you have light!
2nd.) School science experiment
3rd.) A fun and educational project for all ages!
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WATER POWERED FLASHLIGHT VIDEO!


A Larger Scale Water Powered Project (a.k.a Galvanic Cell):
 
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Would a 9011 transistor work instead of a 2N3904?
ASCAS (author)  knexpert17001 year ago
Yes it would! :D any general purpose NPNs would work just fine!
xhp261 year ago
Impressionante !
xaviergoby1 year ago
Fantastic :D Love it! Great thinking!
icekid1 year ago
Oh dude thanks for this, voted too! We have an investigatory project for chem class. A project like this would do great. How about: "Testing the feasibility of galvanic batteries" (a.k.a "Water Powered") for the title?
ASCAS (author)  icekid1 year ago
That's a good title :)) Similar to our last year's IP title, about the feasibility of hydroponic planting.
rimar20001 year ago
Brilliant as always, Casimiro!
ASCAS (author)  rimar20001 year ago
Thanks sir rimar!
akasid.46 days ago

what can i use instead of copper and zinc strip? reply quickly please. I really really need an answer.

akasid.46 days ago

what can i use instead of copper and zinc strip? reply quickly please. I really really need an answer.

akasid.46 days ago

what can i use instead of copper and zinc strip? reply quickly please. I really really need an answer.

akasid.46 days ago

what can i use instead of copper and zinc strip? reply quickly please. I really really need an answer.

akasid.46 days ago

what can i use instead of copper and zinc strip? reply quickly please. I really really need an answer.

akasid.46 days ago

what can i use instead of copper and zinc strip? reply quickly please. I really really need an answer.

akasid.46 days ago

what can i use instead of copper and zinc strip? reply quickly please. I really really need an answer.

akasid.46 days ago

what can i use instead of copper and zinc strip? reply quickly please. I really really need an answer.

akasid.46 days ago

what can i use instead of copper and zinc strip? reply quickly please. I really really need an answer.

akasid.46 days ago

what can i use instead of copper and zinc strip? reply quickly please. I really really need an answer.

akasid.46 days ago

what can i use instead of copper and zinc strip? reply quickly please. I really really need an answer.

fake

Excellent work! I've found that potassium or sodium hydroxide works very well as the electrolyte solution in aluminum oxidation. With potassium hydroxide and water producing about 0.75 volts at about 75 mA for at least a week using nickel as the positive electrode and a 1/2 inch dia. by 9 inch long aluminum rod. Quite a bit of hydrogen was produced in the process which could be ran to a fuel cell. Have you tried replacing the copper electrode with a carbon one? You may perhaps get more voltage and amperage as the copper tends to react too although much less than the aluminum Just something to think about.

JayvoneF1 month ago

Can someone tell me how to power a charger using water?

I have personally used the joule thief circuit (modified with no resistor and PNP transistor instead) in conjunction with a transistor (also PNP) wired as a diode to get up to 18 volts at around 2mA max on dead batteries(1 volt to 0.45 volts). I'm sure that a 5.4 volt regulator with a large electrolytic capacitor or small battery would hold enough to charge a phone or something similar. Adding more cells in series would also boost the voltage (a 12 volt battery is actually six 2.5 volt cells wired in series) and also increasing the plate surface area or connecting more of the cells in parallel would increase the amperage.

nheroi2 months ago

Oh and can I have the procedures please? My IP is due this friday, and I need to pass it. Pretty pleasE? Can you give it to me?

nam20023 months ago

could there be a material to use instead of copper and zinc which can be found at home... pls reply quickly i have a school project, so i am using this. awesome instrucable i must say. quickly!!!

interesting
Battlespeed4 months ago

Very neat.

As an aside, this bugs me whenever I see it: "Whala" or "walla" etc. The word is "voila" - a common French word - and I also don't know why so many people think the word starts with "w" because the "v" IS pronounced - as in VWALLAH.

xcien5 months ago

ACSAS, when you say toroidal core/bead , do you mean toroidal bead or just an ordinary bead.

ASCAS (author)  xcien5 months ago

A toroidal bead, not the ordinary bead.

xcien ASCAS5 months ago
Oh ok then... Thanks
CHAMP_135 months ago
I am having trouble wrapping the wire around the core for the joule thief circuit... I have tried 22 and 24 gauge coated wire, but It will only wrap through once. How would I be able to fix this?

Heyy I already made it and it works great..
Great work I must sayy
But I wanna do something with this concept on a larger scale..
Or something that works better and could be more efficiently used..
Any suggestions ?
I would appreciate that :)

ASCAS (author)  garvit sonawala6 months ago

AWESOME! I'm building a version 2.0 for the "Scientific Method Contest". This time I'm going to use a compact 10 cell galvanic setup. I'm thinking of using a 3W LED. If possible you could try to charge a phone with it.

love it!

DanTDM7 months ago

I want to disguise it as a Minecraft torch.

franceserikey8 months ago
It is not working. What's wrong?
Hey ASCAS,
This is a cool build! From checking out your other ibles, it seems that you like to make speakers and water powered things... Why not combine the two? The "Water Powered Speaker!" Could your water cells power a mini Bluetooth speaker? Tell me how you like this idea.
Thanks,
Kyle

franceserikey8 months ago
Can I use copper wire instead of copper strip?
ASCAS (author)  franceserikey8 months ago

Yes

ngowon8 months ago

pls let have more information on how to purchase. thanks

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