Make a Water Bottle Capacitor




About: ––––––––––––––––––––––– "Energy cannot be created nor destroy...

Do you have loads of water or soda or frizzy bottles everywhere in your house and want to use them for something good?

Well, here is one good use of them, make a High Voltage Water Bottle Capacitor! The bottle capacitor is very similar to the Water Leyden Jar I made a while ago, but the only difference is it uses a bottle, not a jar.

The bottle capacitor is a high voltage capacitor, high voltage capacitors are one of the most dangerous things you could ever use in electronics. A large charged bottle capacitor is potentially lethal if you touch its live terminals, and a small charged bottle capacitor can cause injury and it still be lethal in some ways.
So, I am not responsible what ever you do with this information and bottle capacitor.

Step 1: What You Will Need...

What you will need are:

  • A bottle of any kind
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Stainless steel nail
  • Aluminum foil (or even better, use AL foil tape if you have any!)
  • Tape (you won't need it if you are going to use foil tape

Step 2: And the Tools...

Not much tools is needed to make a bottle capacitor.

  • Hammer
  • Hot glue (or anything to seal up the container to prevent water coming out)

I think that is just about it.

Step 3: Take the Sticky Stuff Off!

Before we start making a bottle capacitor, take all of that sticky stuff off! It can reduce the performance of the bottle capacitor, or even cause problems if you don't take the sticky tags off!

Step 4: Fill It Up!

Fill the bottle with warm water.

Step 5: Add in the Salt...

Add a few teaspoons of table salt, and stir well! After that, put the cap of the bottle back on.

Step 6: Hammer in the Nail!

Hammer in the nail in the center of the cap, and leave the head of the nail about a centimeter away from the cap.

Step 7: Seal It.

After that, put some hot glue around the nail and the cap to stop the water coming out.

Step 8: Wrap the Bottle With Foil...

Cut out a sheet a foil that will wrap nicely around the bottle. Then wrap the foil around the bottle, I used tape to hold the foil onto the bottle. You can use glue if you want, but don't use flammable glue because of sparks, it is likely to catch on fire, or maybe even explode... Then I soothed the foil down onto the bottle to increase the efficiency of the bottle capacitor.

You can use something much much better than foil if you have, use foil tape. You can just simply tape around the bottle and not have a hard time wrapping the bottle with foil and tape (or glue).

Step 9: Attach the Wire to the Foil...

Attach a piece wire to the foil of the bottle - that would be the negative terminal of the capacitor, the nail on the top is the positive terminal,

Step 10: Completed!

There! You made a bottle capacitor!

I also added a magnet and a ball to give it a "Leyden Jar" like.

I measured the capacitance of my bottle capacitor and my meter reads 1842pF (1.8nF)! That is very high for a cheap high voltage capacitor!

Step 11: What to Use It For.

If you want to electrostaticly charge your bottle capacitor, read this site, it will show you how to make a simplest charger you can ever make.

Or even far more dangerous, treat it as a normal high voltage capacitor, you can use it as a capacitor bank for the tesla coil, or something like that.
I tested my bottle capacitor with high voltage power supply to see if it works. Never ever try that, unless you have good experiences with high voltage.

Well, I hoped you enjoyed this instructable!
If you have any questions, or need help, or found an error, or anything, make a comment! I like comments! :)



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    166 Discussions


    Question 2 months ago

    Can I use a glass jar that has a metal cap? Shouldn,t we put oil after the salt to isolate the top of the capacitor?


    2 years ago

    hello dude , I wanna make About 100 KV Super Capacitor to use it for Strong Coil Gun , is this battle Capacitor can help or no ?

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    a coil gun uses powerful magnetic coils to fire projectiles. You need amps for magnetism, not high volts. You need capacitors with higher capacity, lower voltage ratings. And you need lots of them in parallel. 100KV at 1 amp will have the same magnetic force as 12v at 1 amp. Magnetic forces can be measured for a particular coil in amp/turns. This is the amps x the number of turns in the coil. You need as many turns as possible, and as high an amperage as possible.


    Reply 2 years ago

    i am wondering how many you would need to make to use for a coilgun (gaussgun). i would be shooting ball bearings and am hoping for an effective range of at least 30 ft.


    1 year ago

    Hello, I made a Lidden salt water (Potassium chloride salt) aluminum foil capacitor out of glass bottle, etc and got a beautiful orange flame! However, it was attached to a 12 kV 35 mA SOLID STATE TRANSFORMER. It ended up burning out the transformer.

    Any suggestions within series? I am not sure if it worth investing 90 dollars US again.


    2 years ago

    Vittu mitä paskaa?


    3 years ago

    7 years ago risking life for 100 bucks. Huahuahauahau try that again now.

    These aren't 100% lethal, but they can really hurt (and make you 100 bucks :) ) There is a way to charge these by turning on the tv with it near the screen, but me and my best friends did this but like 100 times with the tv. I got dared to touch the screw for 100 bucks. I did it, and I fell directly to the ground twitching from like 500,000 volts (tested it with a special tester) going through my chest. I couldn't feel my entire body for like 20 min. and couldn't walk or move for that matter for almost 5 min. but I still got 100 bucks.

    12 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    seriously, that much voltage from a CRT?!?!
    i made leyden jars before, but i never thought that mch voltage thru a CRT...


    Reply 3 years ago

    Plenty of tall tales can be found on the internet, right ? :)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    A CRT is basically a giant capacitor. When a TV says WARNING, it means it. Be careful with teles.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Nah his experience was almost all volts, he just got tazed.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    wow what has this world come to almost dying just for money ...


    Reply 3 years ago

    charged to 5000,000 volts by merely placing it is close proximity to a CRT? Not likely, even if it was a color CRT, that operates at higher voltages.