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Potato batteries

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Anna Hayes

on 20 February 2014

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Transcript of Potato batteries

How much electricity can a potato make?

There are many types of batteries. Did you know you can even make potato batteries. Batteries are like containers that store energy. There are many different types of batteries but they all work when there is a chemical reaction that makes electricity. A chemical reaction occurs between two pieces of metal that we call electrodes and a liquid or paste called an electrolyte. The flow of electricity is called electrical current, which is measure in a unit called amperes (or amps for short). The symbol for amperes is A. A common analogy used for electrical current is to imagine water flowing through a pipe. The faster the water flows, the more current there is. In order to work, any type of battery needs to have electrodes moving through an electrolyte.
I predict that a potato can act as a battery because the moisture inside a potato can act as the electrolyte that is needed to create electricity.
Potato batteries
by:Evan Simont and Brandon


• Copper electrodes (3)
• Zinc electrodes(3)
• Alligator clip leads (6)
• Digital multimeter with test lead
• Piezoelectric buzzer
• Red light emitting diode (LED)
• Potatoes(3)

potato open circuit voltage short circuit current lights the LED powers the buzzer
1 0.5 0.3 no yes
2 0 0.1 no yes
3 0.2 0.3 no yes
2 potatoes connected makes LED light and same with 3 potatoes

1. Insert the electrodes into the potato
2. Measure the open and short circuit voltage of a single potato
3. Investigate if a single potato can power a buzzer and LED
4. Test two potato batteries in series
5. Test two potato batteries in parallel
6. Test three potato batteries in series
7. Test three potatoes in parallel
8. Analyze your data

We saw that in the potato that each one had a different voltage. The smaller the potato the more voltage there is and the bigger the potato is the less voltage there is. When we put all the potatoes together the voltage was very high. The more moisture there is the more voltage there would be. The hypothesis was correct that the potato would hold voltage because of the moisture. One question we still have is how does the moisture make voltage?
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