A wet cell battery is usually a container of liquid electrolyte with two metal rods in it. One rod is copper, and the other is made of zinc. The rods connect to a load (a load is something that converts electrical energy into another form of energy, ex: a light bulb) and power it. Wet cell batteries are often used in cars and other motor vehicles.
Believe it or not, you can make your own wet cell battery at home, without the use of harsh chemicals! You will need the following supplies:
- Various fruits and vegetables (If you want your battery to actually power something, you will need quite a few food items)
- Alligator clips (Useful for connecting your batteries together/to a load)
- Pennies or other copper object
- Galvanized screws/nails
- A voltmeter
- A small LED or other load (optional)
- A kitchen knife
- Paper towels
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Put It All Together
Take your knife and cut two small slits on the top of your produce, about 2-3 inches apart. Put the penny in one slit and the nail/screw in the other. You may want to keep paper towels nearby if you are using a juicy fruit.
Step 2: Measure the Volts
Turn on your voltmeter, and set the dial to volts or millivolts. This is usually in the upper left hand corner and is labeled DC V. Hold the red lead (+) to the penny, and the black lead (-) to the screw. Look at the screen and record how many volts your food has. Estimate the number of volts in other fruits and veg and test them out!
The potato had 92 millivolts, and the orange had 1.01 volts. I would like to try lemons and maybe tomatoes, but I only had fresh ones and I feel bad wasting perfectly good food.
You can try connecting lots of 'batteries' together (using copper wire or alligator clips), to power something such as an LED. Have fun experimenting!
*Please leave a comment if I made a mistake with any information. Thanks!