How to Turn Pennies into Batteries!
The first step is to cut thin strips of cardboard into little squares that are just
smaller than the diameterof a penny. This is important because you don’t
want the cardboard to stick out from the sidesotherwise it will interfere with
the conductivity of electricity. Place the cardboard pieces into a small container
once they are cut, and gently pour in some lime juice until they are saturated.
Prepare the pennies as the cardboard is soaking by sanding down the bottom
of each one until they become slightly coarse. This will reveal and activate
the zinc that is one of the key components to making this trick work properly.
Once the pennies have been prepared, place one on the table or surface then
add a square of cardboard, centered on top of the penny. Add another penny,
top side up and repeat the process until you have a four or five penny and
cardboard sandwich. You can always add more pennies to generate more power
as well. Once the pennies have been stacked, you can attach an LED bulb by
placing one of the connecting wires on top and the other on the bottom. Pinch
the whole assembly together with your fingers, and you will notice the bulb light
as soon as the connection has been made. You can get up to three days of power
with this setup, but this will vary based on the quality of the metal and the
concentration of the lime juice.
More Pennies, More Power
To get optimal energy output, consider making a tall stack of about 10 pennies
and taking some electrical tape to secure the setup. Just leave some metal
exposed on either end so you can attach the wires from the LED bulb with some
tape when you are ready to use the battery. These batteries won’t store for a very
long time because the cardboard needs to be moist in order for the conductivity
to take place. One thing to remember is that this trick will not work with other
coins, unless they have a copper and zinc blend. While the light from a single
LED bulb will burn bright enough to act as a flashlight, you will need to add some
type of reflector to magnify and direct the light. You can do this by placing the battery
into a small dish and wrapping one side of it with aluminum foil. This will create a
makeshift candle that will have enough brightness to light a corner of a room.
You can also add some foil and create a cone extending from the top of the battery
outward to serve as a mini-flashlight as well. While this trick won’t produce a lot
of light, it will work in situations where you just need a small glow. It can work
as a nightlight or an easy way to find things in dark corners. Give it a try and see
how easy it is to put this together and create power out of some loose change that
you have in your pocket.