In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I would expand on the idea of fruit and vegetable batteries and make a battery out of pumpkins! This is a very quick and easy Instructable, so let's get started.
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Step 1: Materials
Note: This can be done with just one pumpkin. The more pumpkins you use though, the more power you get! That being said, I used two pumpkins connected in series to get more voltage.
Here is a list of everything you will need to make this battery.
- Galvanized screws or nails
- Galvanized just means it has been coated with zinc, any thing zinc-coated should work.
- Something copper, like nails or segments of wire
I got two galvanized screws and 2 pieces of a thick copper wire at the hardware store for less than a dollar. Any other zinc and copper items should work.
If you have alligator clips, that will make connecting everything together easier. These can be purchased in packages of 4-6 for a few dollars.
Step 2: Place the Galvanized Material
Put one galvanized screw (or whatever other item you are using) in each pumpkin. Leave a little bit of the screws sticking out to connect to the wires later on.
Step 3: Place the Copper
Put a piece of your copper material in each pumpkin as well. Place the copper near the galvanized material but make sure they are not touching inside or outside of the pumpkin.
Step 4: Connect the Pumpkins
Connect the galvanized material in one of the pumpkins with the copper material of the other pumpkin using one of your wires. This will connect the pumpkins in series which will yield a higher voltage at the end result.
Step 5: Connect Power Wires to the Pumpkins
- Connect a wire to the unconnected piece of copper on one of the pumpkins. I used a red wire because there will be a positive voltage at this part of the battery. (See the pumpkin on the right.)
- Also connect a wire to the unconnected galvanized material of the other pumpkin. I used a black wire because this is the negative terminal. (See the pumpkin on the left.)
Note: You may have noticed I have different screws. I just wanted to try a different type of screw to test it out. I got the same results with both of the different kinds of screws.
Step 6: Pumpkin Power!
Now there is a voltage between the other ends of the red and black wires we just connected. I connected these to a digital multimeter and measured 1.613V. Not bad for some pumpkins!
You may get a different voltage depending on the exact zinc/copper items you use and your pumpkins. Note: For my design that I just demonstrated I have two pumpkins connected in series. This increases the overall voltage that I am getting. Each of the pumpkins I used provided about 0.8V. Putting the pumpkins in series combined to give me the 1.6V. Adding more pumpkins in series would increase the voltage even further. If you want to increase current, connect additional pumpkins in parallel.
Thanks for reading my Instructable, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions!
Participated in the
Halloween Props Contest