-
x

Meet New Friends!

Recommended friends are based on your interests. Make sure they are up to date.

Friends
Kidzworld Logo

How Potato Batteries Work

Potatoes are great mashed, roasted, baked or in clocks. That's right, potatoes are nature's tastiest battery. Check out the 411 on the science behind this powerfully delicious snack.

How to Make a Potato Battery

Making a clock run on potato power is easier that you might think. This project is easy, bizarre and makes a sweet science fair project or chemistry experiment. Who knew potatoes could be so empowering?

What You Need:

  • Two Potatoes
  • Two short pieces of heavy copper wire
  • Two common galvanized nails
  • Three alligator clip/wire units (alligator clips connected to each other with wire)
  • One simple low-voltage LED clock that functions from a 1- to 2-volt button-type battery

Steps:

  1. Remove the battery from the battery compartment of the clock.
  2. Make a note of which way around the positive (+) and a negative (-) points of the battery went.
  3. Number the potatoes as one and two.
  4. Insert one nail in each potato.
  5. Insert one short piece of the copper wire into each potato as far away from the nail as possible.
  6. Use one alligator clip to connect the copper wire in potato number one to the positive (+) terminal in the clock's battery compartment.
  7. Use one alligator clip to connect the nail in potato number two to the negative (-) terminal in the clock's battery compartment.
  8. Use the third alligator clip to connect the nail in potato one to the copper wire in potato two and set the clock!

How Potato Batteries Work
 

How the Potato Clock works

A potato battery is an electrochemical battery, otherwise known as an electrochemical cell. An electrochemical cell is a cell in which chemical energy is converted to electric energy by a spontaneous electron transfer. In the case of the potato, the zinc in the nail reacts with the copper wire. The potato acts as a sort of buffer between the zinc ions and the copper ions. The zinc and copper ions would still react if they touched within the potato but they would only generate heat. Since the potato keeps them apart, the electron transfer has to take place over the copper wires of the circuit, which channels the energy into the clock. Presto! You have potato power.

How Potato Batteries Work
 
Related Stories:
127 Comments

Related Stories

Micro_a mic
There is a new car company in Japan making cars that run completely on water! The strange thing i...
Micro_micro_geyser
What’s better than soda, candy and explosions? What about soda, candy and explosions all at the s...
Micro_kevin temmer_micro
Kevin Temmer loves to draw. In high school, Kevin decided to create an animated short to teach st...
Micro_science fair - micro
Looking for a really cool science experiment? Clear the house and then check out some of these sc...
F1092091074203

Fave Potato Dish? Vote!

  • Mmmmm... Mashed.
  • Yes I would like fries with that.
  • It's all about chips.
  • Roasted to perfection.

Random In The Forums

unicornsrule626
 [s:p/1nrv]
reply about 1 hour
the_moon
the_moon posted in Say Anything:
 [s:p/10ew]
reply about 1 hour
unicornsrule626
That's great! I'm glad he recovered fully :) Omg that ramp was a amazing idea for him. He is SOOO CUTE!!
reply about 3 hours
Pink_Cool_Girl
Pink_Cool_Girl posted in General:
His surgery was about 1-2 months ago. He acts like he doesn't have a small metal pin in his knee at all...And he actually walks up and down the ramp and barks at people from his bed by the window as you can see xD
reply about 3 hours
unicornsrule626
AWWW HE IS SOOO CUTE!!!! that ramp is awesome! How is he?
reply about 3 hours