Powering an LED light with a potato?

Cataract

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
4,095
Location
Montreal
Re: Powering an LED light with a potatoe?

They used to power a flashlight bulb by sticking copper and zinc electrodes in a raw potatoe. Worked even better with a lemon... the only thing that's different for an LED is you need a minimum voltage for the gate to work, so why not ?

You'll get some electricity going by sticking a copper and a zinc electrode in anything that's even somewhat acidic, if you keep them close enough. That's how batteries used to be made. The stronger the acid and the larger the electrodes, the more "juice" you get out of it.... because, quite simply, as you use up the stored energy, the acid is neutralised and becomes more neutral, so you get less and less power. And fruits and veggies ripen up with time and become less acidic too.
 

drmaxx

Enlightened
Joined
Jun 16, 2005
Messages
546
Location
Home of chocolate and chalets
Re: Powering an LED light with a potatoe?

It's not a potato battery - it is a zinc-copper battery. It's fun, but a very inefficient battery set-up and probably the worst use of food.
And you need more then 1 to power a LED (If you're lucky you get 1.0 - 1.1 V out of a "potatoe-battery").
 

Ray_of_Light

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 11, 2003
Messages
1,145
Location
West Midlands, U.K.
Re: Powering an LED light with a potatoe?

Using a lemon and two metal strips of copper and zinc makes a very low power battery, able to power a CMOS clock or similar low power devices, requiring a voltage less of 0.7 V and few uA of current draw.

After awhile, hydrogen ions will stick to the copper strip and stop the flow of current in the battery, since the lack of any depolarizing agent.

It is possible to reactivate the lemon "battery" with physical rather than chemical means, by using sandpaper on the copper strip. Battery will behave "like new".

Potatoes are less acidic and makes a "battery" with much higher internal resistance.

Anthony
 

ama230

Enlightened
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Messages
417
Location
Mesa, Arizona
Re: Powering an LED light with a potatoe?

These are what they call EARTH BATTERIES. Again you do not have to use different electrodes with different materials. As long as you have a decent conducting material, works a little better with two different materials. When using similar materials they will have a buildup of the same rate and die quicker. Using the earths fields it naturally designates the poles(anode/cathode), i think from south to north or the other way around and your POV.

Also here is a cool fact is that the Egyptians were using these.

Then a alum/salt water battery has a higher energy density than present day lithium batteries but the materials wear out faster. Its crazy how simple electricity can be made.

What I want to see is a bunch of people wearing socks on super fluffy carpet drag their feet and hold hands and see how much voltage can be made. I would guess that dozen people can easily generate 50W.
 

daimleramg

Banned
Joined
Jun 17, 2007
Messages
465
Location
Toronto, Canada
Re: Powering an LED light with a potatoe?

What I want to see is a bunch of people wearing socks on super fluffy carpet drag their feet and hold hands and see how much voltage can be made. I would guess that dozen people can easily generate 50W.


Does it involve sticking probs into these people?...lol
 

John_Galt

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
1,708
Location
SW, PA
Re: Powering an LED light with a potatoe?

It must have been a slow news day... And why, oh why, did these scientists and this reporter seem surprised by these results...
 

Cataract

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
4,095
Location
Montreal
Re: Powering an LED light with a potatoe?

It must have been a slow news day... And why, oh why, did these scientists and this reporter seem surprised by these results...

They probably never paid attention in class... I think I first heard about that in 1st or 2nd year of high school... then again, maybe it's just because I was in the advanced program and they where obviously not...
 

RSW

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
25
Re: Powering an LED light with a potatoe?

Dan Quayle is a CPF member?:lolsign:
 

[email protected]

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
1,760
Location
Sunraysia, Australia
Re: Powering an LED light with a potatoe?

They probably never paid attention in class... I think I first heard about that in 1st or 2nd year of high school... then again, maybe it's just because I was in the advanced program and they where obviously not...

This is high end primary school science (if you've got a decent science orientated teacher), maybe some people "ditched" science class? being a nation of beer lovers I came across beer power radios many years ago LOL :ohgeez:
 
Last edited:

divine

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Joined
Sep 30, 2007
Messages
1,826
Location
Virginia
Re: Powering an LED light with a potatoe?

You ever see the video about charging your iphone with oranges? It takes like 1000 oranges or something.
 

ama230

Enlightened
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Messages
417
Location
Mesa, Arizona
Re: Powering an LED light with a potatoe?

You ever see the video about charging your iphone with oranges? It takes like 1000 oranges or something.

I would honestly say that it would take around a dozen in parallel, because six lemons in parallel will definitely work. Then it would at least cost 2.99 from the app store to get the phone to download an orange driver. Then another 19 bucks for a charger cable and then splice it and put the pos/neg to the oranges to the phone. Then tie the two data lines in between the pos/neg together and bam. Why does apple have to make an orange so difficult? Steve jobs can suck it!!!!!!!:crackup:
 

bluepilgrim

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
342
Location
illinois
Re: Powering an LED light with a potatoe?

I think the chemistry would say that the most acid fruit would generate the most electricity -- and that woul be lime. So you could have a 'lime light'. :ohgeez:
 

Cataract

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
4,095
Location
Montreal
Very interesting... Looks like I need something else in my SHTF setup! :twothumbs

Hmmm...

You'll need some sort of modified cocktail belt to make it portable...

A portable Lime Light that can also be powered by beer... next time the power goes out, rather than being looked at like you're a total geek, you'll be the coolest guy in town! I think we're on to something here :devil:
 
Top