Potato Powered Light BUlb

Topics: Battery, Zinc, Cathode Pages: 3 (632 words) Published: September 21, 2013
Making a Potato Powered Light Bulb

A large potato
Two pennies
Two zinc-plated nails or screws
Three pieces of copper wire
A very small light bulb or LED light
1)  Get a potato and cut it in half.  Then make a small slit in each half just big enough to put a penny into.

2)  Cut two pieces of copper wire and wrap one around one of the pennies a few times, and wrap the other one around the other penny a few times as well.


3)  Take a third piece of copper wire, and wrap it around one of the zinc-plated nails or screws, and then place the nail or screw into one of the potatoes.

4)  Now take the wire attached to the penny in the potato that also contains the nail or screw, and wrap it around the second nail or screw.  Then take that second nail or screw and place it into the other potato half.

5)  Now here is the fun part:  Attached the two loose ends of copper wire to the LED light bulb, and…Let there be light!  
 Usually a penny & a galvanized nail are used for this 'battery'. Copper & zinc are REQUIRED for this process, but not a penny & a nail per se. A potato works well, but a tomato, lemon or other citrus fruit can be substituted. The zinc and the copper are the anode and cathode terminals of your potato battery. Using ordinary hook-up electrical wire, you can use the potato to create a voltaic cell, which will power a VERY small bulb. A light emitting diode (LED) will work fine.  A side note here about voltage & current. This process will produce less than 1.5 volts DC (AA/AAA battery). However, producing 1.5 volts does not necessarily produce enough current to make the lamp actually power up to full use. Voltage is only the POTENTIAL to do work. (See Ohm’s law: V = I x R) This kind of battery generally produces only a few milliamps. Even multiple potatoes may not generate enough amperage. Most assuredly, it will NOT power a household light, but a small flashlight lamp will GLOW. 

Cut the potato in...
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