Super Simple Zinc Battery
As the title above says we are going to learn how to make a simple Zinc battery, this can also be done with aluminium. Just use whichever you have handy. There are tons of youtube videos that show you how to make a zinc-copper battery but they do the simplicity of it a disservice. Unlike everything else in life this project is even easier that they say.
First lets gather a few materials. So go hunt up some electric wire. You shouldn't have to pay for this as you or your neighbors probably have this laying around. Do you have a broken electrical device somewhere. Well just take the power cord or speaker wire or whatever you have laying around and cut a short piece. You don't need much a foot should be enough.
Next strip of some of the rubber coating that covers the wire. Do this at each end of the wire. Maybe an inch or so.
Next drink a coke! haha All you will need is the tab on the top. Most websites will tell you to hunt up a galvanized nail. You can also sand down a 1982 or later penny to expose the zinc. I find the tab from a coke the easiest.
Now you need a plastic cup or glass. All the videos will tell you to fill it with such exotic liquids as vinegar. Yes Vinegar will work but I made my first battery using straight tap water. I used Orange juice for the second battery. I am beginning to think it doesn't matter what liquid you use to get this to work.
Now simply wrap the end of you wire to the can tab or nail or whatever you found handy. Bend the wire into a U shape an place it so that both ends are in your liquid. That is it. A small amount of electricity is flowing through the wire. Of couse you can't tell so let's fix that right now.
Cut the wire in half or if it is to short then simply get another piece of electrical wire. Strip both ends. Place one end in the liquid AND this time place only the tab in of the first wire in the cup of liquid. So now you have two wires sticking out the top of your cup. Take a multimeter and set it to measure DC voltage. Complete the circuit with the prongs on your multimeter and it should read roughly a quarter of a volt.
That isn't much voltage but you can simple add more cups to up the voltage until you have whatever voltage you require.
Now proper voltage is very important for running electrical devices but amps are also important. So you can make a bunch of cells like this and wire them up in series or combination of series and parallel and you still aren't going to power any power tools or anything even remotely demanding. It will however power an led light. The small ones, not the new bulbs for your house that replace the old incandescent bulbs.
So there you have it. A super simple battery that can actually be used to power leds.