Introduction: Making Electricity From Water - Macgyver Style

About: As a Sith in the galaxy, he plays Soccer and solves Rubik's Cubes :O

In this instructable, I will show you how to make a Kelvin's Water Dropper (also called Kelvin's Thunderstorm) in Macgyver style.

It puts out several thousand volts of electricity (Don't connect an LED because it will burn out!), but because of low amperage, it is not ideal for a power source and you will not get electrocuted.

Kelvin's Thunderstorm doesn't put out constant power, it has to charge up, then it will spark.

This is only a guide, since this is made from various objects (and the creation is pretty tricky to set up correctly) it may not give the results, especially if done in a "Macguver" style.

This is something Macgyver would have done if he had the chance to :)

It is a proven machine, and I will not explain how it works. But, here is the Wikipedia page that explains in further detail:

You may use other materials since this is tricky, but this is the Macgyver challenge.

Let get started!

Step 1: What You Will Need - or Equivalent :)

1 Swiss knife ( " I'll want that back!"- Macgyver)

4 Soup cans

4 Paint cans ( for a stand, you may use something else)

1 Board

1-2 Metal Hangers (used in place of insulated wire)

6 Uncoated Paper clips

7 Duck Tape (of course)

8 A Ice cream or Coffee container

Step 2: Step 1. Set Up the Paint Cans and Make the Reservoir

Make two stacks of paint cans and put the board on top.

Next make two holes in the container furthest apart and set it on the board.

Step 3: Step 2. Make the Inductors

Now take 2 of the 4 soup cans and cut the bottom off. If needed, rubbing a can on concrete is a last resort, but effective.

Step 4: Step 3. Adding the Inductors.

Before adding the inductors (the cans you just worked on) you need to make sure the water tank is working properly.

Add water to the tank, and look closely, the water starts smooth then spreads out.

Actually what looks spread out are individual drops, see the second pic (this was taken at a high shutter speed)

When the can is in place (see third pic) the water going into the can needs to be a steady stream, and needs to be spreaded looking, coming out (see third pic).

Now tape your can to the paint can, keeping in mind what was just said above.

If the water isn't spreading at a low enough height, make the hole bigger in the tank.

Make sure the water is very close (but not touching) the edge of the can, or the machine won't work.

Step 5: Step 4. Add the Other Soup Cans.

Put the last 2 soup cans under the two inductors

If your can has a coating, scrape a little off the bottom, on the inside with a knife.

Make sure the cans are on a non conductive surface (not metal or water) and make sure they don't get wet.

Step 6: Step 5. Making the Wires.

Now take a metal hanger and stretch it out like in the photo. (this will be used to attach the cans to each other).

Two wires will go from each inductor, to the opposite can on the bottom.

Measure the distance, add 1 inch, and cut one. Make one more.

Alligator clips work best, but this is the Macguyver Challenge

Step 7: Step 6. Attaching the Wires

Take the two wires you made, and make a hook on each end but not too big.

We used a fork, you may use a rock to bend it as well.

Put one wire on a paper clip and attach it to the inductor and add duct tape (see photos). Now attach the wire with a paper clip to the opposite can on the bottom using the paper clip method.

Repeat for the remaining two cans.

Add duct tape to make sure the paper clips don't move.

Step 8: Step 7. Making the Spark Wires

Use the remaining wire, and make hooks on them. Then use paper clips to attach them to the top of the lower cans and make sure they are very close.

Make sure the wires are on a non conductive surface (not metal or water) and make sure they don't get wet.

Step 9: Step 8. Fixing

Make sure the wires are in place like the photo. Make sure the wires are bending away from each other (see photo).

Step 10: Step 9. Add Water - and Spark!

Add water to the tank and watch the two wires coming together for the spark. If it fails, look at steps 3,7, and 8.

It may take some adjusting to get it working. If all else fails, maybe youtube or google Kelvin's Thunderstorm, that may help.

Step 11: Thanks for Reading

Thanks for reading and vote if you like :)

Thanks again

MacGyver Challenge

Runner Up in the
MacGyver Challenge