Penny and Nickel Battery





Introduction: Penny and Nickel Battery

This instructable is a battery made of pennies, salt water, and nickels. It produces voltage much like a battery, but you use pennies and nickels instead. It is a fun project for those pennies and nickels you don't wish to use anymore. Most of us don't usually go to the coinstars, and our change just piles up, so make a battery out of them!

Go to the next step for Items you need.

Step 1: What Do I Need?

Here are the items you will need:

For about 1 volt, you will need:

(6)Pieces of paper towel cut to a size smaller than the nickel
(1)Glass of water with 2 Tablespoons of salt dissolved in it

Optional: Multimeter to measure the amount of voltage you have prodced.

Step 2: Mix Solution/Add Paper

Step 1Pour two tablespoons of salt into a glass of water and try to keep it mixed with the water.

Step 2Put in the pieces of paper towel that were cut to the size of the nickel. A little bit smaller will do the trick

We do not want the pieces of salt paper touching eachother

Moisten the pieces of paper with the salt, and put them onto each nickel.

Go to next step for more details

Step 3: Time to Stack!

Step 3Once you have each piece of salt moistened paper placed on the nickel, place a penny on top of each nickel.

Step 4Now stack all of the coins. The sequence should be:

(The Nickel, is the bottom)

Step 4: Test With a Multimeter

Step 5Now it is time to test your battery with a Multimeter. The multimeter measures how much voltage is coming from the coin battery.

Please note, you can continue to add more coin sequences to the top of the other coins to get more voltage. I just happened to run out, so I could not get enough to light an LED.

For the Multimeter: Turn it to the number "20" for voltage, to get an accurate reading.

Step 5: Troubleshooting

If your battery does not make any voltage, check the following:

1)Make sure the coins are stacked in an orderly fashion. Make it as upright as possible.
2)If your multimeter does not show any number, do #1, and also try switching the multimeter leads around.
3)Taste the paper to make sure it is quite salty.
4)Make sure the pieces of paper are not touching eachother.
5)Add more coins! If you don't see much voltage, just add ore and more coins to get it to a good amount of voltage.

Step 6: How Does This Work?!?!?!

Well, its quite simple you see this is a single cell of a battery, so the zinc nickel and copper penny are called electrodes. The salt is called the electrolyte. As we know, all batteries have a "+" and a "-" terminal. Electric current is a part of current using electrons. Certain materials called conductors allow the electrons to flow through them. The two metals are good conductors, and so the current will flow from the "-" terminal through a conductor(salt mixture) to the "+" positive terminal.

If you don't get it, ask.



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    102 Discussions

    if your doing this in america, this is illegal. while it is legal for the distruction of pennies, you cannot legaly destroy nickles or any other form of currency.

    14 replies

    Where am I destroying or defacing any piece of coinage? This experiment is far from illegal.

    zinc deteriorates as it is used with acids and copper. This means your are literaly destroying the money. give it time and you will see the damage. I backed this up when i made a lemon juice battery, and the zince rod flaked apart in the juice and disinagrated. and that would be defacing or destroying government property, which with the exception of pennies, is illegal.

    Get A Life. How about if you don't like the experiment move along. We all like it, we think it is interesting. Besides show me one official who would take the time to come after someone using 15 cents of nickels and 3 cents of pennies. Do you have any idea what it would cost the FBI to even listen to your stupid compliant. I wish you would call someone so they can laugh in your face as hard as we did.

    Look up your facts-PENNIES and NICKLES are (were) illegal to melt for metal content because the metal content value exceeded the face value FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. Copper prices are down, so it's no longer illegal because the mint would make money now where they would have lost money when metal values were higher.

    Negative. Otherwise those penny presses at Disneyland (the ones that press pennies flat and then engrave a copy of Sleeping Beauty's Castle in to it) would be illegal. Who wants to raid Disneyland?

    No, it's illegal to MELT DOWN COINS (specifically pennies and nickles) FOR THEIR METAL CONTENT in batches of more than $5. Art projects involving coils are ok. Look it up on the US Mint website.

    no, a law passed states that specifically pennies can be melted ONLY for their metal content. And i've been to that website. It isn't completely accurate. Also, this isn't an art project, it's a science project. Nickles can't be melted at all.

    Just shut up and admit you where wrong. Besides no-one cats what you think is illegal or legal. Move along little little girl.

    btw there are nickle presses at Disneyland too... and at sea world...... and the San Diego zoo. plus its the US MINT website...... if anyone knows whats illegal to do with US currency. its them. maybe your other source is false.

    As opposed to melting them for???? If you can show me the federal code, I'll believe that the US Mint's guidelines are wrong. Until then, I'll believe that the US Mint knows about US coins : ) And nickles melt at about 2700F : )

    The exportation, melting, and treatment of 5-cent and one-cent coins are prohibited, except for educational,amusement, novelty, jewelry, and similar purposes as long as the volumes treated and the nature of the treatment make it clear that such treatment is not intended as a means by which to profit solely from the value of the metal content of the coins. See for details.

    Thank you. The post is scheduled to post on Feb 15 at 4am. Check back for it then. :)