Okay, so I've looked around for an idea for an instructable. And I found one that I want to do my own rendition of, the penny battery. So this idea is not completely original, I'm not claiming it as mine. I'm just using the materials and methods that I think will be the most effective. My hope is to power and LED light or a small fan if possible. But if I make the led die, then I have sufficiently surpassed my expectations. Let's get started.
Step 1: Materials
These are all the things you will need. I will include my list as well as some substitutes that I've seen.
Paper towels (I used shop towels, but I've seen everything from cardboard to cloth)
Lemon juice (salt or vinegar works too)
Step 2: Sand Pennies
Take the sand paper and sand one side of each penny down til the copper is off that side and the zinc core is showing. Best method is to use your finger to move the penny on the sandpaper as far as I know. (Technically defacing currency is a federal offense or something like that, but I'm sure you won't get arrested over 6 cents. Besides, it's recycling so shut up.)
Step 3: Make Lemon Juice Solution
So, from what I can tell others have used salt water, vinegar water, well I'm gunna use lemon water. Lemons are more acidic than vinegar so I'm hoping it'll work better. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. But I will use 3/4 lemon juice, and maybe put some salt in for good measure.
Step 4: Soak Paper Towels
Cut your paper towels or whatever you use into pieces about the size of a penny, you don't want the pieces to touch. I'd just soak them for about 5-10 minutes.
Step 5: Stack Your Battery
Start with a battery zinc side up, then put a piece of paper towel, then another penny same way as the first. It should alternate like this until you use all the pennys you want. 6 is the average I've seen, but I'm gunna try 7 just to see if I can maximize power. Or kill the LED for extra fun. The picture is showing how it works as a battery.
Step 6: Tape and Finish.
You did it!! You have made your own penny battery. And it hardly cost you a dime (BAD JOKE) Just tape it up if you wish to keep it together. You can also add an LED to make a flashlight, use a multimeter to see how much voltage you get, or see if you can power a mini fan in the summer. Also, if you want to power something bigger or just see if you can make it better, try adding more pennies, it should create more voltage if it's an efficient design.