Did you ever think that you could use vegetables as a battery? Batteries produce electricity by passing electrons back and forth between two metal plates. What if you don't have a battery, but have a potato on hand? Potatoes contain phosphoric acid, which can serve as a chemical solution needed to transfer electrons back and forth between two metal plates. You can make a drum kit with the help of a potato and some household objects.
Method 1 of 2: Make a Single Potato Battery
Step 1. Gather the necessary supplies
To make a battery out of a potato, you need a galvanized nail, a copper coin, two lead wires with alligator clips on both ends, and a voltmeter.
- Galvanized nails are normal nails coated with a layer of zinc. You can buy them at any hardware or DIY store.
- Use a fresh potato because your experiment depends on the juices inside.
Step 2. Drive the galvanized nail into the center of the potato
Then press the nail inward until it almost goes through the other side. Do not worry if you go through the potato, you can withdraw it a little so that it does not protrude from the other end.
- During this step, a little juice will come out of the potato. Don't worry, this is normal.
- Cover your work area with a piece of plastic or newspaper to avoid dirtying it.
Step 3. Insert the copper coin 1 inch (2.5 cm) away from the galvanized nail
Repeat the previous step with the copper coin. Make sure both nails are not touching on the inside of the potato. If they do, the circuit won't complete and your battery won't produce any voltage.
- If the nails touch, just move them so they don't.
- The distance between the two nails should not be exactly 2.5 cm (1 inch), but the nails should be close.
Step 4. Connect one clamp to the copper coin and the other to a terminal on the voltmeter
The voltmeter has two terminals: one red and one black. Connect the copper coin to the red terminal of the voltmeter using the alligator clip.
Some voltmeters have black and yellow terminals instead of black and red. In this case, use the yellow terminal
Step 5. Connect the other clamp to the galvanized nail and to the other terminal of the voltmeter
The galvanized nail must be connected to the black terminal of the voltmeter.
Make sure the alligator clip is securely attached to both nails and the terminals
Step 6. Check the reading on the voltmeter
If done correctly, you will see a small increase in the voltage displayed on the voltmeter. Possibly show a negative value. If that's the case, just change the clamps on the terminals and the voltage will change to positive.
If the voltage is low, bring the nails a little closer. However, make sure they don't collide inside the potato
Method 2 of 2: Running a Clock with Multiple Batteries Made from Potatoes
Step 1. Gather all the necessary supplies
To make a battery of potatoes, you will need two galvanized nails, two copper coins, two potatoes, three connecting wires with alligator clips on both ends, and a small clock.
- Galvanized nails are normal nails coated with a layer of zinc. They are necessary for this experiment and can be purchased at any hardware or DIY store.
- If necessary, you can purchase the copper coins at any hardware or DIY store.
- The color of the alligator clip does not matter, as long as they have clips on both ends.
- Use a fresh, raw, firm potato. The liquid inside the potato is necessary for this experiment. Therefore, using dried potatoes will not do.
- Remove the battery from the clock before starting.
Step 2. Drive a galvanized nail in the middle of each potato
Drive the nail firmly through the other side. Do not worry if you go through the potato completely, you can withdraw it a little so that it does not stick out at the other end.
- During this step, a little juice will come out of the potato. Don't worry, this is normal and will not affect your experiment.
- To make cleaning easier, cover your work area with a piece of plastic or newspaper.
Step 3. Insert a copper coin into each potato about 1 inch (2.5 cm) away from the galvanized nails
Repeat the previous step with the copper coin and make sure it does not collide with the galvanized bald.
- At this point, you should have driven a galvanized nail and a copper coin 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart.
- The distance does not need to be exact, but they should be close without colliding with each other.
Step 4. Connect the two potatoes by means of a cable with an alligator clip
Attach one alligator clip to the galvanized nail of the first potato and the other clip to the copper coin of the other potato. This will complete the battery circuit.
- At the end of this step, both potatoes should be attached to each other and to the clock.
- Make sure the clamps are securely attached.
Step 5. Connect one alligator clip wire to the copper coin and the other to the positive terminal in the battery compartment
Check the compartment and identify the (+) sign on one of the terminals. Connect one end of the wire to the positive terminal of the behavior. Then, take the other end of the wire and connect it to the copper coin of the first potato.
- Secure the clamp to the nail and to the battery compartment.
- This step constitutes the first connection of the battery circuit.
Step 6. Connect the second alligator clip wire to the galvanized nail inside the second potato and to the negative terminal in the battery compartment
This terminal has the sign (-). Connect a new wire to the negative terminal. Then, connect the other end of this to the galvanized nail in the second potato.
- Secure the cables well.
- At this point, each potato should be connected to the clock, but not to each other. One wire must be connected to the copper nail of one potato and the second wire must be connected to the galvanized nail of the second.
Step 7. Check if the clock works
At this point, the second hand on the watch should be moving. Ready, your watch runs on the battery made of potatoes. If the clock does not work, make sure you have connected the connecting cables to the battery compartment well. The copper coin should be on the positive terminal and the galvanized nail on the negative terminal.
- If the watch still doesn't work, reverse the clamps.
- Make sure to use fresh potatoes.
- When you're done, remove the wires attached to the potatoes and put the battery back in the clock.