How to Make a Battery From Quarters

The best type of battery you can make is an alkaline battery, but it’s not easy to find a source of alkalines. You could first use silicon or zinc and nickel strips as one terminal. Start by cutting off two pieces of the strip with scissors or your knife

The “how to make a battery with a potato” is an easy and cheap way to make your own battery. All you need is a potato, some coins, and some wire. Plug the wires into the coin slots and then plug them into each other.

We thought it would be fun to give a weekly craft/project idea you can work on together to help pass the time when most of the globe is under quarantine of some kind, and frequently isolated with children who are longing for something to do. If you create the project, please post it using the hashtag #aomkidcraft on social media. 

Electricity is difficult to get by. When you ask your pals how it works, you’ll discover that the great majority of us have no clue what happens when we turn on a light or put a couple batteries in our flashlight. But we can certainly learn to comprehend electricity, and what better way to do so than to make it ourselves. 

Making a battery is an excellent way to learn about some of the fundamental concepts of electricity. Electricity is a sort of energy that originates from the movement of electrons at its most fundamental level. Because they have an anode, a cathode, and an electrolyte, batteries possess all of the components required to produce this flow of electrons. Electrolyte is an ionic compound that electrons like to travel across like a highway. Anodes give out electrons, cathodes absorb them, and electrolyte is an ionic compound that electrons prefer to travel across like a highway. 

While current batteries’ cathodes and anodes are made of sophisticated alloys, you probably have plenty of cathodes and anodes at home. We’ll make our battery using aluminum foil as the anode and copper from quarters as the cathode. A blend of vinegar and salt works well as an electrolyte. Why? Because every acid acts as an electrolyte. Adding salt raises the electrolyte’s overall power by increasing the quantity of positive and negative ions. 

A battery may be made by stacking aluminum, copper, and electrolyte. Adding more layers to your battery boosts its capacity. If you stack enough layers together, you can generate enough current to power a tiny LED light. 

Before you begin, take in mind that this battery’s effectiveness is a little temperamental. I went through a lot of testing and modifying to get it to operate more consistently, and as a consequence, I came up with certain procedures to help you succeed. Along the process, keep an eye out for these “expert suggestions” and follow their advice as you construct your battery. You’ll get there with a little practice and patience. 

How to Make a Coin-Based Battery

You’ll need the following items:

  • a piece of paper (standard 8.5 x 11 printer paper is fine)
  • Foil made of aluminum
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Scissors
  • ten-quarters
  • 2 tiny wire strands
  • Tape for masking
  • LED light bulb, small

Step 1: Prepare the electrolyte solution

Mixture of vinegar and salt being added to a bowl.

Mix a spoonful of salt with half a cup of vinegar until the salt is completely dissolved. Don’t bother about precise proportions since the measurements are extremely generic. 

Step 2: Prepare the Paper Discs

Making quarter on paper with the help of pen and quarter.

Make ten quarter-size discs out of paper. You may expedite the procedure by folding your paper many times and then tracing a quarter on the folded paper. You’ll have multiple discs of the same size when you’re done cutting.

 

Quarter shaped papers placed on table.

Pro tip: To make discs slightly bigger than a quarter, cut just beyond your outlined circle. Larger discs assist keep the layer separate and avoid short-circuiting of your battery.

Cut Foil Discs in Step 3

Quarter shaped foils placed on table along with pen.

To make 10 discs, repeat Step 2 using aluminum foil. 

Cut just within the drawn line for the aluminum so that your foil pieces are somewhat smaller than the diameter of a quarter. Another precaution against short-circuiting is this.

Step 4: Prepare the Paper Discs by soaking them in water.

Soaking paper discs in a bowl of mixture.

Soak your paper discs in the electrolyte mixture for 30 minutes after stirring them around a little. Once you begin creating the battery, the paper functions as a barrier to keep the electrolyte in place.

Wires must be stripped and taped in step 5.

Striping and taping wires by hand.

Remove roughly a quarter of an inch of bare wire from each ends of your lines. Use masking tape to secure the end of one wire to a quarter.

Strip and Tape Wires with foil.

Tape one of your foil circles to the other wire. 

6th Step: Start Stacking the Batteries

Combination of foil and paper attached to wire placed on ground.

Start with the wire with the foil connected and build your battery stack from there. On top of the foil, place a sheet of electrolyte-soaked paper.

Stacking up the foils placed on ground.

Stacking a quarter on foil.

Then, on top of that, stack a quarter, followed by a piece of aluminum foil. Rep with foil, paper, and quarters (i.e., anode, electrolyte, cathode). Stack the layers until you reach nine, finishing with electrolyte. 

Pro tip: Carefully stack your layers. A short circuit will occur if the foil from one layer meets the quarter from another layer, destroying the battery.

Step 7: Complete the Stack

Stack of quarters and foils attached to the wires from both ends.

You should be left with one more quarter, which you taped to your wire using masking tape. To complete the stack, place the quarter on top.

Connect the Bulb in Step 8

Battery made out of stack is attached with bulb.

Connect the free ends of your wire to the bulb’s terminals.

Small bulb glowing in hands.

Hopefully, you’ll see the bulb turn on! Don’t give up if it doesn’t work the first time. Double-check your stack for clean layers, and make sure your wires are securely taped at both ends. 

This project was inspired by The Dangerous Book for Boys.

Here are some more entertaining and kid-friendly tasks to keep your family occupied:

  • Slingshot Instructions
  • How to Make a Marshmallow Shooter (with Pictures)
  • Slime Making Instructions
  • PVC Blowgun Instructions
  • PVC Archery Bow Instructions
  • How to Make a Catapult with a Pencil
  • How to Make a Periscope Out of Wood

 

 

This is a step-by-step guide on how to make a battery from quarters. The process is easy and you can use the coins to make other items like a flashlight or cell phone charger. Reference: how to make a battery with coins and foil.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make a battery out of a coin?

A: You would use a battery to make electricity and then run that electricity through wires.

How do you make a homemade battery?

A: You need to put a wire across both of the terminals, and then wrap one end with aluminum foil. This is how you create your own battery!

How does the battery coin trick work?

A: The battery coin trick is a method to charge the Xbox One controllers batteries without a power source. This can be done by exposing both of your thumbs and pressing them together for about 5 seconds, then pulling one thumb back slightly as you simultaneously pull the other thumb away from it at an angle. You should feel something click into place on the inside of your controller where your thumbs meet eachother- this is what holds in the second battery!

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