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Author Topic: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell  (Read 52202 times)

Offline Poit

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Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« on: September 16, 2010, 08:38:26 AM »
My aim:
to make an extremely large battery with either free or extremely cheap components. The pictures below is a prototype (first attempt).

Ingredients:
         Copper wire = Cat5 network cable with the plastic burnt off. There is no doubt cheaper copper available, but consider the abundance of cat5 cable! plus, for every length you have, its 8 times! (8 solid core copper wires). So for about $5 you can get 10metres of the stuff.. thats 80metres of copper!!
         Galvanized Tent Peg: Any zinc coated material would work just the same. I just happen to have this laying around.
         Cotton tape: Its not sticky, just cotton on a reel, I got it from my local super market for $2
         Ordinary Tap Water: I know that salt water and vinegar etc etc etc etc would be better electrolytes, BUT! my aim is also to have a very long lasting cell/s. The copper will erode much slower with just plain tap water.

Thats it!!!! I used a single strand out of a 3 metre cable that costs $2.5 (so $2.5 / 8 =  31cents) plus maybe 2cents of water! so 33cents + the cotton, which I used half of the roll, so thats $1..... SO all up = $1.33 for .89volt @ 39mA of power.....

If I was to buy everything in bulk that would bring the cost down to around 60 to 80 cents I reckon say 70 cents on average... so in theory, for $700 investment I could get 12Volt @ 2Amps (for argument sakes, lets say it takes 17 of these to get 12volts, so 1000 cell's divided by 17 = 58.82 times 39mA = 2.2Amps)

As you can see from the pictures, its powering a red led. Since I have part of the cotton dipped in a glass of water it should in theory keep the cell nice and damp for weeks if not months to come, and hopefully sustain the voltage and amperage its currently giving off.

Open circuit measurement of volts = .89
Closed circuit measurement of amps = 39mA
Obviously enough to power the JT and red LED.

Oh and if your wondering why there is copper attached to the cotton in the glass, this has no purpose other than keeping the cotton straight down, stopping it from floating up to the surface.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 09:07:38 AM by Poit »

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy

Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« on: September 16, 2010, 08:38:26 AM »

Offline Poit

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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2010, 11:39:29 AM »
Update: It's been a little under 4 hours now and it seems to be as bright as it was when I first started this (its dark outside now)
Started 4pm 16th Sep 2010
Picture taken 7:45pm

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy


Offline b_rads

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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2010, 04:20:39 PM »
@Poit
Thanks for starting this thread.  I have posted this information in another thread, but yours is far more appropriate.  Something to be said for cheap parts and easy builds.  I am using copper, galvanized steel wire, and bottled drinking water.  (About galvanized steel wire) - When steel is submerged in melted zinc, the chemical reaction permanently bonds the zinc to the steel through galvanizing. Therefore, the zinc isn't exactly a sealer, like paint, because it doesn't just coat the steel; it actually permanently becomes a part of it.  I started mine on July 1 and 78 days later it is still running – no joule thief.  I have not added any water to the cells.  What could this setup accomplish with a joule thief?  Have fun!!
Brad S

Offline jeanna

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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2010, 07:09:11 AM »
Good job!

That some tent peg, too.
It will be the tent peg that will corrode and not the copper, so having all the surface area in the copper helps a lot.

39mA will light a super bright white or 4 of them in parallel off the secondary.
I think that is the other direction to go, but you will be doing that soon, I am sure.


@Brads,
wow 75 days and still going. Very nice there too.

jeanna


Offline the_big_m_in_ok

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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2010, 04:30:39 AM »
Good job!
That some tent peg, too.
It will be the tent peg that will corrode and not the copper, so having all the surface area in the copper helps a lot.
Rebar and galvanized electrical conduit are available, too---especially the rebar in short lengths as scrap laying around building construction sites.

--Lee

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy

Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2010, 04:30:39 AM »
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Offline jeanna

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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2010, 04:37:55 AM »
Rebar and galvanized electrical conduit are available, too---especially the rebar in short lengths as scrap laying around building construction sites.

--Lee
Good point, Lee.

I think the galvanized electrical conduit is a great choice.
It is quite cheap, and I bet it is to be found near a new construction.
Maybe in the electrician's truck if you ask nicely. He has to pay the dump to take his trash.

I bought a geodesic dome frame about 5 years ago. It will be a greenhouse soon but has been out in the pacific  NW rain for all these years and there is no even hint of rusting.
I guess they put a really good coat on these because of what they need to withstand in the weather. Keeping the inside wires dry is really important...
Good idea. I like it.

jeanna

Offline the_big_m_in_ok

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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2010, 09:51:15 PM »
I bought a geodesic dome frame about 5 years ago. It will be a greenhouse soon but has been out in the pacific  NW rain for all these years and there is no even hint of rusting.
I guess they put a really good coat on these because of what they need to withstand in the weather. Keeping the inside wires dry is really important...
Good idea. I like it.
jeanna
@jeanna
There's a local mom-and-pop type of hardware/variety store(good sized, for its niche' industry) in the Castro district(urban neighborhood) here in San Francisco.  They have 3/8" rebar for $.79/ft. 1/2", too.  Copper and steel wire as well.  Common hardware, woodworking tools, etc.

Local supply sources can be utilized if one has the money.  I'm glad I found the place.

--Lee

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy

Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2010, 09:51:15 PM »
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Offline b_rads

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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2010, 10:09:08 PM »
Some interesting notes on “Galvanic Corrosion Bimetallic Corrosion” from www.corrosionist.com
   For galvanic corrosion to occur – these conditions must exist.
1.   Metals must be far apart on the galvanic corrosion chart – this has been posted before, see attached.  The “anodic” metals such as magnesium, zinc, and aluminum – are more likely to be attacked by the “cathode” metals such as gold and graphite (in this thread – copper).
2.   The metals must be in electrical contact – I need to verify this and a simple test should prove if this has the potential to create a current.
3.   The metal junction must be bridged by an electrolyte – An electrolyte is simply an electrically conducting fluid, distilled water is an exception.  Low conductivity liquids will be localized to the anode nearest the cathode.  High conductive liquids will attack the anode with a larger area.
The relative area of the anode and cathode has a pronounced effect upon the amount of galvanic corrosion.  A small anode (zinc) and a large cathode (copper) will result in high current density in the zinc, hence a high rate of corrosion.  If the area of the anode is large compared to the cathode, very little galvanic corrosion takes place.  Example – It is common practice to use stainless steel fasteners to fix aluminum sheeting or signs, but don’t use aluminum screws to fix stainless steel as the screws may rapidly corrode.

Any ideas how to use this info to build a better – cheap – galvanic battery?

Offline the_big_m_in_ok

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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2010, 10:33:10 PM »
Some interesting notes on “Galvanic Corrosion Bimetallic Corrosion” from www.corrosionist.com
   For galvanic corrosion to occur – these conditions must exist. ...
2.   The metals must be in electrical contact – I need to verify this and a simple test should prove if this has the potential to create a current.
3.   The metal junction must be bridged by an electrolyte – An electrolyte is simply an electrically conducting fluid, distilled water is an exception. ...
#2 is correct.  That's why oceangoing ships have these:

http://www.economypoint.org/s/sacrificial-anode.html

#3 is also right.  Sea water is the electrolyte.

--Lee
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 03:52:55 AM by the_big_m_in_ok »

Offline jeanna

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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2010, 08:13:24 AM »
@jeanna
There's a local mom-and-pop type of hardware/variety store(good sized, for its niche' industry) in the Castro district(urban neighborhood) here in San Francisco.  They have 3/8" rebar for $.79/ft. 1/2", too.  Copper and steel wire as well.  Common hardware, woodworking tools, etc.

Local supply sources can be utilized if one has the money.  I'm glad I found the place.

--Lee
I am glad you found the place too.

I am just not much of a fan of plain iron to copper galvanic difference. It amounts to about 0.3v so I look for something else.

jeanna


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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2010, 08:13:24 AM »
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Offline b_rads

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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2010, 06:07:17 PM »
@the_big_m_in_ok
@jeanna
I like the electrical conduit idea and gave it a try last night.  I was pleasantly surprised at the short term results.  3 cells exceed the output of 6 cells using galvanized steel wire.  The idea of an easily replaced anode in this setup is exciting.  It will be fun to watch these cells and see how they perform.  Conduit and I are going to become good friends this winter.  Thanks for the suggestion.
 :)

Offline the_big_m_in_ok

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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2010, 08:05:31 PM »
I am just not much of a fan of plain iron to copper galvanic difference. It amounts to about 0.3v so I look for something else.

jeanna
Yeah, that's a point.  However, iron and copper are very, very cheap.  They're everywhere.

Aluminum and stainless steel(wire in both cases) are less common to come by, but should perform better by the chart above.

--Lee


Offline the_big_m_in_ok

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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2010, 08:19:24 PM »
@the_big_m_in_ok
@jeanna
I like the electrical conduit idea and gave it a try last night. ...
Yes, I see the photo; very good.  What were you using with the galvanized wire?  It looks like copper in the picture.
Quote
... The idea of an easily replaced anode in this setup is exciting.  It will be fun to watch these cells and see how they perform. ...
My steel/copper cells held an initial charge with no load for weeks.  You might use that as a guide from my experience.
Quote
... Conduit and I are going to become good friends this winter.  Thanks for the suggestion.
Yep, hardware stores have conduit in industry standard lengths and diameters in greater quantities than anyone but an electrical contractor can afford.  Still, hundreds might be needed to obtain a large amount of power.

--Lee

Offline b_rads

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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2010, 09:14:48 PM »
@the_big_m_in_ok
Each cell used a 4 1/2” x 1/2” galvanized steel triple coated conduit; 4’ of 14g copper wire and bottled drinking water.
Based on my previous build – my hope is this configuration will run for several months.
My local home improvement store has this conduit in 10’ length for $1.89.  This works out to .07 cents per cell.  I think at this price it qualifies as a sacrificial anode (lol).  Yes, you are correct that this will not generate a lot of power.  My hope is to use this as a power source to learn and build a good joule thief.  That thread is so huge, so much to learn.
Brad S

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Offline the_big_m_in_ok

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Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2010, 10:06:14 PM »
@the_big_m_in_ok
Each cell used a 4 1/2” x 1/2” galvanized steel triple coated conduit; 4’ of 14g copper wire and bottled drinking water.  Based on my previous build – my hope is this configuration will run for several months. ...
I haven't had the money or floor space to devote to this low voltage experimentation.  I'm also moving to a permanent, higher-priced room in Oct. that's the same size as the one I have now.  Things might look up eventually for my doing more in this area.
Quote
... My local home improvement store has this conduit in 10’ length for $1.89.  This works out to .07 cents per cell.  I think at this price it qualifies as a sacrificial anode (lol). ...
The only cost for mine was the copper wire if I had none to start with.  Sometime I found it on the street as scrap garbage or co-ax at a recycling center.
Quote
...Yes, you are correct that this will not generate a lot of power.  My hope is to use this as a power source to learn and build a good joule thief.  That thread is so huge, so much to learn. ...
You have you work cut out for you.  It is a lengthy thread, to say the least.  I try and encourage newcomers to try different things; and I'll try to do more in the future myself.

--Lee

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy

Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2010, 10:06:14 PM »

 

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