Introduction: How to Make a Penny Battery

This is a short Instructable that will demonstrate how to create power for a calculator from common household items. Feel free to do this process for any small electronic device such as a flashlight, battery powered clock, Tamagotchis, etc. Ensure the device in question is low voltage (3V or less), or you may not be successful. Lets get started!

Step 1: Collect Supply

All of the supplies needed should be pretty easy to find:

- Zinc Washers (3)

- Pennies (3)

- Cardboard Circles (penny size)

- Wire (2)

- Tape

- Ziploc Bag

- Water

- Salt

- Device Requiring Power


In this project, we at least needed 1.5 Volts of battery for the calculator to work. Each penny battery is 0.6 Volts. Therefore, we needed three penny batteries.

Step 2: Cardboard Soakin'

In this step, you will need three cardboard circles (the size of a penny) and place them in the Ziploc Bag. Add some water and a good amount of salt to the bag. Let the cardboard soak for a few minutes while you continue on to other steps until these pieces are needed. (This step may take some trial and error)

Step 3: Set Up

In this step, you will need those two wires (preferably different colors) and the object needing battery(calculator). Attach the two wires to the positive and negative side. For me, I connected the white to the positive side and black to the negative side.

Step 4: Taping

You will need to add a piece of tape to the end of the positive side and place the penny on top, making sure the wire and penny are touching.

Step 5: Adding All of the Needed Items

Now stack the little items in the following order until you have no more (I had to do this three times but you may need more or less Volts depending on what you chose to power):

1.Penny(you have already placed)

2.Cardboard (soaked in salt water)


Step 6: The Product

Voila! Your little penny battery should be working and you can use your little gadget for awhile, when it starts fading, repeat Step 2.