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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!
stephenmack10 days ago

Awesome project!

Amazing, congrats for the nice and very well documented instructable!

For sure I'll try this one... I just need to find the copper and zinc plates...

Dang that's cool. I'm going to make one when I get the chance.

what i can use instead of zinc ??? and dude tha's not WATER POWERED FLASHLIGHT ... for me that's only WATER SWITCH ...

akasid.46 months ago

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

Tanmayg akasid.42 months ago
Carbon rod from AA battery for + and aluminum foil for -
MaLiKChance123 months ago

Hey! Can I ask where I can buy the toroidal bead, copper and zinc strip, and the led torch? I'm finding it here in the Philippines but I can't find one. Can you please help me? It is due on Friday :( I'm also a begginer so can you please detail the procedures? Thank you!!! :D
It is a BIG BIG BIG Help! :D

stevensrd13 months ago

I power many things on plain water, no salt needed, even started a fund raiser to try to get it out to the people and on the market. even better is that my water batteries supply power for years and years. Just look up stephen dickens on youtube as I have made many videos about this as well.

LanceS3 months ago

where can i buy copper and zinc strips? :) -from the philippines :)

DaVidMaker3 months ago

Amazing bro! :) Nice job on the gif animation in the pics 2

BobB133 months ago

would a 7805CT transistor work? :)

akasid.46 months ago

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

akasid.46 months ago

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

akasid.46 months ago

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

akasid.46 months ago

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

akasid.46 months ago

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

akasid.46 months ago

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

akasid.46 months ago

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

akasid.46 months ago

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

akasid.46 months ago

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

akasid.46 months ago

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

PrzemysławM7 months ago

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.

JayvoneF8 months 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.

nheroi9 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?

nam20029 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!!!

kevanchristian10 months ago
interesting
Battlespeed10 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.

xcien11 months ago

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

ASCAS (author)  xcien11 months ago

A toroidal bead, not the ordinary bead.

xcien ASCAS11 months ago
Oh ok then... Thanks
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