The electric battery is an important step to large-scale electricity generation and storage. The first voltaic pile was invented in 1800, and has fathered a large expanse of mobile power sources.

A battery produces power by a chemical reaction that shifts around positive and negative ions.

How to make a simple battery[1]Edit

You will require a fresh, juicy lemon, a bar of iron covered in zinc (like a galvanized nail) and a bar of copper (copper coins, for example). Push the zinc-covered iron into one side of the lemon, and the copper into the other. They must NOT touch! The zinc will then become the negative and the copper will be the positive end of the battery. A single lemon battery will produce less than a single volt of energy, usually around 0.9 volts. The more pure the metal pieces are, the more effective the current generation.

By chaining multiple lemon batteries together, the charge can be increased. Always connect in series, which is the positive from one lemon should connect to the negative of the next.

Battery improvementsEdit

The Daniell cell[2]

Pre-battery batteriesEdit

There has been evidence of possible batteries before the "official" invention of batteries. Dated between 250 BC and 220 AD, the Baghdad Battery[3] was one such advanced technologies found in the ruins of Mesopotamia.

To make a Bagdad battery, you will need

  • sheet of copper
  • piece of (pure) iron with an Fe3O4 coating
  • glass or ceramic (non-reactive) jar
  • a rubber stopper (or other insulation material, such as asphalt)

First, get the iron bar to rust (red rust). For a quick rust, dip the iron in hydocloric acid (30%). Then dip the iron into a jar full of bleach. Allow the iron to dry, and you will have a rust-coated iron bar. To convert the rust (Fe2O3) into Fe3O4, place the rusty iron bar in boiling water, and leave it there until the red rust has turned evenly black.

Put the now blackened iron through the rubber stopper, leaving an inch or so protruding from the top. Wrap the copper sheet around the stopper (do not touch the iron.


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