Kw-logo-smaller

How Potato Batteries Work

Find out how this potato could power a small clock!
The Powerful Potato

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 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.

Related Stories:
>
>

readers voted!

Comments

Abhishek226

Abhishek226 wrote:

I want to make this after reading this article
commented: Wed Mar 19, 2014

HershyChocolate
i am actually doing this for my science air project
commented: Mon Jan 13, 2014

cond

cond wrote:

XD i love it ITS FUNNY LOL XD
commented: Sun Jan 12, 2014

there are 113 more comments

Please login or register to add comments


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like!

latest videos

F1092091074203

Fave Potato Dish? Vote!

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

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...

Random in the forums

Cataclysm_Destruct
"hugebear" wrote:"heyitsangel" wrote:lol i mean its the 1st [posts] :devil :D [and ello] :) Darude - Bearstorm
reply 1 minute
Cataclysm_Destruct
Cataclysm.
reply 3 minutes
hugebear
hugebear posted in General:
Its not me thing at all though :p xD and erm mkay and does you mean that he thinks everyone should share all their money equally.  I wants some please if hes the overpaid footballer :D
reply 6 minutes
Boysrock50
Boysrock50 posted in General:
lawl mate, u gotta watch more football!
reply 10 minutes
hugebear
hugebear posted in General:
Who is he? :P
reply 15 minutes

play online games

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

Big_icon_(7)

Have you ever fancied being a ranger like those fantasy characters you love so m...

Big_icon_(4)

You run across the city in a car chase with the police officers.

Big_icon_(6)

The evil master kidnapped all of your friends!

Big_icon_(5)

Tic Tac Toe is back!