Introduction: Earth Battery.

About: Bytesize articles instead of a trilogy in one post.
Earth batteries have been used for centuries, but it more recent times they were used in the 1800's to power telegraph stations. In this instructable we will try to replicate the earth battery in two forms. First as a single cell and then as multiple cells. How successful will we be? Will it be free electricity?


Note: This project is not for use during a electrical or thunderstorm. If there is lightning, wait for some other time. Also before any digging is done, please check with authorities to make sure you will not endanger yourself, others, or the utility conduits. I will not be responsible for any issues. Practice common sense. If you are not sure, get an expert to help.

Warning: I will not be responsible for any issues from this project. It is up to you to get an expert if you feel uncomfortable in this project. Since you are stringing out wire and pushing posts in the ground, it will be up to you to protect against any safety issues for humans and or animals..

Note:.   Our goal is to power router and low power servers. many people have asked me to give test results. Have not done so as to encourage you to try it yourself. I will say that even just putting the stakes in the grond yeiled a voltage.

Note: Syar Arif did not have my permission to post this article on Scribd.

Step 1: What's Needed.

Backyard, though I suppose several planters could work for part of the experiment.
12 copper spikes (copper tubing was just too expensive and likely to be stolen from the ground. The spikes are easier to disguise and easy to put in the ground.)
12 galvanised nails. (cut up pieces from aluminium oven pans works better. I used the left over edges from our cannoli form making  instructable. (
Umpteen feet copper wire
One long roll aluminium foil
High value capacitors.

Wire cutters/stripper
Extra long measuring tape.  (or if you know your footstep stride length (usually about 2.5 feet) will be close enough.
Compass (for finding which way is north(if you know which way the sun rises and sets, you can do a 90 degree angle to that and be pretty close)

Step 2: Layout 1 - Single Cell.

In a single cell layout you will only have two posts in the ground. One for each electrode type. Depending on where you live, digging in the ground can be dangerous. You need to contact your local utilities for the exact restrictions on digging. If you live on rental property, you may not be allow to dig at all.  For this experiment I probably will not dig more tan two or three inches for safety reasons. Digging at a fence line might be a good thing in most cases. Also less chance of someone tripping over what you have set up.

For this we will only use one copper post, one aluminium post, 30 feet plus stretch of copper wire, and 20 foot plus strectch of aluminium foil. Some sandpaper or the like might me nice to make sure there is no sealer on the copper wire.  Of course you will need a spade to make a ditch for the copper wire and the foil strip.

The two posts should be at least several feet apart.

Note: my first test of this yielded more volts than I expected. I also salted the ground to help with the conductivity.

Running the lines parallel can work also.

Step 3: Layout 2 - Multiple Cells.

With multiple cells there is not really any digging, but you have free wire that can be tripped over. This is definite best for up against a building or next to a fence. Somewhere out of a walking path.  Use extreme caution when setting this up so no human or pet can become endangered.

Plus stakes should be copper and negative stakes should be foil.

Step 4: Testing.

You probably will not be getting more than just a few volts from this project, you can always use what is known as a joule thief and other circuits to boost your output. or use to make an oscillator for various purposes. In most cases to convert from dc to ac.

Step 5: Energy From Underground Power Wires.

This is just a sideline experiment. But I thought since power lines are buried underground, maybe they still can be useful. So I took the spare coat hanger TV antenna I built and wanted to put it to work. I also added a rectifier bridge and a DC meter for voltage level readings. Started with seeing what montitors and tv's put out. Then to the yard to see what I could find. Also wanted to make sure there were no powerlines underground where I wanted to dig for the earth battery.

Step 6: Interesting Application.

The picture is oversimplified, but was thinking of using an earth battery to energixe an HHO generator of which the gas would be used in a BBQ pit. Then if you really wanted to go all the way you could heat a home. You can collect rain as fuel for the unit.

You could go one step further and build a generator that runs on water. Less dependence of foreign energy sources.Convert existing gas turbines to run on hydrogen gas from hho units. powered by earth batteries. No fossil fuels required. HHO generator runs for the most part on good ol water. Earth battery farms would be a great possbility for unusable land.