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New Battery systems => Other new battery systems => Topic started by: Poit on September 16, 2010, 08:38:26 AM

Title: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: Poit 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.
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: Poit 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
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads 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
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: jeanna 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
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: the_big_m_in_ok 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
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: jeanna 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
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: the_big_m_in_ok 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
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads 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?
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: the_big_m_in_ok 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
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: jeanna 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

Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads 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.
 :)
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: the_big_m_in_ok 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
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: the_big_m_in_ok 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
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads 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
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: the_big_m_in_ok 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
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: jeanna on September 22, 2010, 03:12:21 AM
@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.
Nice,
I am glad you did this.
They are handsome too.
In the plant battery experiments I learned that I could increase the mA a surprising amount by adding a longer length of copper.
This means the sacrificial metal is kept to a minimum.
At 7 cents this is not a problem as you say. ( ;D)
-----
Quote
  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.
Go to the joule thief 101 thread started by resonanceman.
If you copy/paste my several entries, you will get my suggestions for how to get going on a joule thief etc. (Of course, it is my take on it.)

Great stuff.
Thank you,

jeanna
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on September 22, 2010, 09:28:32 PM
@the_big_m_in_ok
I certainly understand how space and money constraints can impede participation in the many directions being explored here at overunity.  Never underestimate the value you give to a newbie like me when you exchange ideas, experience, and suggestions as you have.  Kudos to you!
Thanks – Brad S
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on September 22, 2010, 09:29:51 PM
@jeanna
Thank you for sharing your plant battery experience with me.  This information validates a statement made in reply #7 – “A small anode (zinc) and a large cathode (copper) will result in high current density in the zinc, hence a high rate of corrosion.”  More test cells need to be constructed and monitored.
I will definitely take you advice and start with the joule thief 101 thread.  Since you were one of the pioneers of this technology – I will gladly follow your “take” on this subject.
Thanks – Brad S
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on September 22, 2010, 09:33:03 PM
@all
Perhaps some of you need a good laugh today at the expense of a newbie.  I humbly offer myself to you.  I want to make certain that any results posted on these galvanic cells have been performed correctly.  Attached is what I think should be the correct measuring method with my multimeter.  Would a kind member please confirm or reject this?
Thanks – Brad S
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: the_big_m_in_ok on September 22, 2010, 09:42:13 PM
@the_big_m_in_ok
I certainly understand how space and money constraints can impede participation in the many directions being explored here at overunity.  Never underestimate the value you give to a newbie like me when you exchange ideas, experience, and suggestions as you have.  Kudos to you!
Thanks – Brad S
You betcha, and thanks to you.  Let's all learn something while we're here.

--Lee
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: the_big_m_in_ok on September 22, 2010, 09:58:33 PM
@all
Perhaps some of you need a good laugh today at the expense of a newbie.  I humbly offer myself to you.  I want to make certain that any results posted on these galvanic cells have been performed correctly.  Attached is what I think should be the correct measuring method with my multimeter.  Would a kind member please confirm or reject this?
Thanks – Brad S
Your drawings are correct by my electronics training:  Measure parallel for voltage and in series for current.

We all start somewhere as beginners; no need to be embarrassed.

--Lee
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: Linearfashion on September 22, 2010, 10:00:32 PM
I believe old water heaters have a sacrificial anode made from magnesium, that woul be a good find. I have an old one at kicking around perhaps I'll give it a try! Forgive my ignorance but aren't pencils made from graphite?
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: jeanna on September 23, 2010, 03:59:05 AM
I believe old water heaters have a sacrificial anode made from magnesium, that woul be a good find. I have an old one at kicking around perhaps I'll give it a try! Forgive my ignorance but aren't pencils made from graphite?
Yes, linearfashion, this would be correct.
Bill uses a magnesium water heater anode for the negative electrode for his earth battery.
Pencil leads are graphite. My hardware store gave me a plumber's pencil with a fat and flat carbon lead.

This is a copper zinc thread.

Lasersaber opened a magnesium/carbon thread which he called air battery.
It is getting confusing around here with all of us cross-posting different metals on different threads. (me included  ;) )

So, have a look at the air battery and join in the fun.

thank you,

jeanna
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: Poit on September 23, 2010, 06:57:40 AM
Yes, linearfashion, this would be correct.
Bill uses a magnesium water heater anode for the negative electrode for his earth battery.
Pencil leads are graphite. My hardware store gave me a plumber's pencil with a fat and flat carbon lead.

This is a copper zinc thread.

Lasersaber opened a magnesium/carbon thread which he called air battery.
It is getting confusing around here with all of us cross-posting different metals on different threads. (me included  ;) )

So, have a look at the air battery and join in the fun.

thank you,

jeanna

hi all, a little update.... very little (if any) corrosion has occurred on my setup (see very first post)...... i got a little distracted with making a lead battery hehe..... ill post some update pictures of my original copper zinc setup later today.
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: Hope on September 24, 2010, 09:43:37 AM
KK NP  waiting,  (kinda like my pix when  found the kids hijacked my camera batteries
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: wattsup on September 24, 2010, 02:21:33 PM
If any of you are interested in zinc/copper powder, we use this in our water treatment systems since many many years to neutralize chlorine and many other elements. It is known as KDF powder.

http://www.kdfft.com

It is available from any local water treatment dealer or wholesaler. I wonder if this powder was used to mold some toroidal cores or plates, if there maybe an advantage for making some coupling devices or used as a non-gaped spark gap where power can transfer between the metals fines in minuscule but multiple sparking while a coil wrapped over it can catch the radiant side.

Anyways just thought I would mention it and sorry if this may be off topic.
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on September 24, 2010, 06:49:09 PM
Quote
If any of you are interested in zinc/copper powder,
This raises interesting possibilities.  @jeanna has me thinking about ways to increase surface area of the copper cathode.  Zinc powder is very inexpensive, pure copper powder might be harder to come by.  Using a conductive glue to make your own cathode and anode might lead to some very creative builds and greatly increased surface areas to work with.  I will be thinking about this!
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on October 05, 2010, 08:21:51 PM
@All – Looking for ideas on how to exploit this small power output.  Experience with these cells shows constant output for 3+ months 24/7.  1st thought – possibly capture the energy in a cap for short term power supply (like the little solar accent lights).  Any ideas?
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: the_big_m_in_ok on October 12, 2010, 10:21:41 PM
@All – Looking for ideas on how to exploit this small power output. ...
One set in series with the other?  Voltage and current combined.  Several set added gives you proportionally more power to work with.
Quote
...  Experience with these cells shows constant output for 3+ months 24/7.
Are these units functioning continously for all that time?  I have the experience my cells hold a charge for months.
Quote
1st thought – possibly capture the energy in a cap for short term power supply (like the little solar accent lights).  Any ideas?
Other Members implied that a super cap will take forever to charge with one earth battery.  Your cell gives similar power output?  You would need a lot of these cells connected together to shorten the time period.

--Lee
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on October 13, 2010, 06:22:25 PM
@the_big_m_in_ok
1.  I totally agree that by adding cells parallel and in series would increase power.  I am still searching for the best way to recover the energy created from the galvanic interaction.
2.  Once I add water to the cells, I have connected red led’s and leave them on.  This way the cells are under a constant load.
3.  I have just started exploring the mysteries of the joule thief circuit and have found that torroids vary tremendously.  I have built 3 basic circuits and all 3 behave differently.  The one with a small ferrite bead from a cfl outperforms the other two by a significant margin with these cells.
BTW: Have you made the move to your new abode yet? 

Update:  I have discovered 40g copper foil.  Replacing the copper wire cathode with the copper foil has increased the power output over 100% from the galvanic wire and copper wire cells and over 40% from the copper wire and conduit cells.  I think I am making progress here. 
Brad S
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: shylo on October 14, 2010, 01:24:20 AM
To All,..this is very interesting stuff,..........b-rads,...did you just wrap the copper foil around the galvanic?...shylo
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on October 14, 2010, 05:31:28 PM
b-rads,...did you just wrap the copper foil around the galvanic?...shylo
@shylo
Welcome and thank you for your interest.  While the power output is very small, the cells are so easy to make and as @the_big_m_in_ok posted earlier “One set in series with the other?  Voltage and current combined.  Several set added gives you proportionally more power to work with.” 
I believe it was @jeanna who indicated in another thread that developing circuits using a small power source challenges the builder to make efficient circuits.
The cell shown in the picture below is my best performing zinc and copper cell to date.  The design is so simple – many can be built in a very short time.  The copper cost me 50cents per cell and the conduit is less than 7cents per cell. 
Do not let the copper and zinc come into contact with each other.  I hope this answers your question.
Brad S
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: the_big_m_in_ok on October 15, 2010, 08:52:10 PM
@the_big_m_in_ok
1.  I totally agree that by adding cells parallel and in series would increase power.  I am still searching for the best way to recover the energy created from the galvanic interaction. ...
Well, chemical physics is what it is.  The idea for me is to build water cells cheaply.  And have enough room to amass quite a few cells for reasonable power output.
Quote
2.  Once I add water to the cells, I have connected red led’s and leave them on.  This way the cells are under a constant load.
Right. I see.  They last how long with either resistors or LED's?
Quote
3.  I have just started exploring the mysteries of the joule thief circuit and have found that torroids vary tremendously.  I have built 3 basic circuits and all 3 behave differently.  The one with a small ferrite bead from a cfl outperforms the other two by a significant margin with these cells.
Oh, yeah.  Toroids can be made from a wide variety of materials.  Commercially, they're usually the least expensive available that'll actually do the job.
Quote
BTW: Have you made the move to your new abode yet? 
No, but that's okay.  The place I had in mind was a *dump*, figuratively.  Too much money for what I got in return.  I'm still at the same place with the same restrictions of freedom to experiment.
Quote
Update:  I have discovered 40g copper foil.  Replacing the copper wire cathode with the copper foil has increased the power output over 100% from the galvanic wire and copper wire cells and over 40% from the copper wire and conduit cells.  I think I am making progress here. 
Brad S
Sounds like you're right.  With me, as with others, money is an issue.  I know a couple of  places(hardware stores) that might sell copper sheet---and shears to cut it with---but until I look, I speculate the price may give me "sticker shock".

I can check on that later, I guess.

--Lee
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on November 18, 2010, 04:16:11 PM
Status Report:

I have constructed an 18 cell configuration putting 6 cells together for 3 groups.  The initial readings are 1.87v and 2.97ma.  My experience with these batteries indicates that the voltage will remain stable and the current will drop in the first 24hours before reaching stability.  After 24hours the joule thief is still lighting the 2 leds, although not quite as bright.  I am very encouraged.   ;D

I will try different cell configurations after the cells have fully stabilized to see if I can drop the voltage and increase the current for more lights than I am currently running.  This is the same as connecting solar panels together (series and parallel) for the desired output.

I did increase the size of the conduit to ¾ inch from ½ inch and this places the zinc much closer to the copper.  The voltage results in a very slight increase, but the current increased significantly. 
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: The Observer on November 20, 2010, 03:50:07 PM
B-Rad,

Way to go.
I appreciate your setup and look forward to your updates.

Best Regards,
                     The Observer
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 10, 2011, 10:02:56 PM
Can someone please explain this to me.  Using the batteries shown in www.overunity.com/index.php?topic=9752.10 I tried the following experiment.  I connected a 12v Lawn & Garden battery as shown in the picture below.  Logic tells me I should expect the water batteries to gain a little boost and the L&G battery to drain.  When I first connected the L&G to water batteries the Voltage read 9.97 and the Amps with meter set on 10A at 0.09.  One hour later the meter read 10.23Volts and 0.09Amps.  Two hours after starting the meter reads 10.37Volts, and Ten hours after beginning the meter reads 10.31Volts.  I failed to get a standing voltage of the L&G battery prior to starting the experiment however, two hours after disconnecting the setup the L&G battery reads 10.71Volts.  The water batteries started out at 1.64V and the amperage was negligible.  When disconnected, the water batteries read 1.85Volts and with the meter on 20mv it reads 2.12.  The next time I try this experiment I will get the standing voltage of the L&G battery before starting. 
If someone knows what is going on here – could they explain it to me?
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: WilbyInebriated on February 10, 2011, 10:11:05 PM
Can someone please explain this to me.  Using the batteries shown in www.overunity.com/index.php?topic=9752.10 I tried the following experiment.  I connected a 12v Lawn & Garden battery as shown in the picture below.  Logic tells me I should expect the water batteries to gain a little boost and the L&G battery to drain.  When I first connected the L&G to water batteries the Voltage read 9.97 and the Amps with meter set on 10A at 0.09.  One hour later the meter read 10.23Volts and 0.09Amps.  Two hours after starting the meter reads 10.37Volts, and Ten hours after beginning the meter reads 10.31Volts.  I failed to get a standing voltage of the L&G battery prior to starting the experiment however, two hours after disconnecting the setup the L&G battery reads 10.71Volts.  The water batteries started out at 1.64V and the amperage was negligible.  When disconnected, the water batteries read 1.85Volts and with the meter on 20mv it reads 2.12.  The next time I try this experiment I will get the standing voltage of the L&G battery before starting. 
If someone knows what is going on here – could they explain it to me?
so actual voltage of the l&g 12v is unknown and you were using it to charge a bank of 3 copper/zinc cells that were approx. 1.6v each making a bank of approx. 5v?  and no diode used between the l&g 12v and the 5v bank?
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 10, 2011, 10:18:47 PM
@wilby
The 3 cells were connected to increase the voltage for a combined voltage of 1.64 and you are correct, there was no diode.
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 10, 2011, 10:26:21 PM
Oops - I failed to mention, I changed the configuration to:
Pos L&G to POS batt1 to Pos batt2 to Pos batt3
Neg L&G to Neg batt3 to Neg batt2 to Neg batt1
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: WilbyInebriated on February 10, 2011, 10:31:59 PM
@wilby
The 3 cells were connected to increase the voltage for a combined voltage of 1.64 and you are correct, there was no diode.
ah my misunderstanding. i thought each cell was 1.64v
yeah, seems strange. i have no explanation with the available data, sorry.
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: wattsup on February 11, 2011, 01:05:05 AM
@b_rads

Nice going with your small voltages.

A while back I made an animation of what I call a Voltage Grabber Circuit that only needs a small voltage input to accumulate it into large pulses.

I put it in my OU FTP site located here;
http://purco.qc.ca/ftp/Wattsups%27%20stuff/voltage-grabber-circuit-VGC/
Just click on the gif file and it will open up.

This is only to give you some ideas on how to harvest that energy that seems frivolous when you first look at it but which is in fact a tremendous amount of energy if it can be harvested in mill-second intervals.

I am not saying you should do it like in the animation, but think many smalls, to mids to high uF capacitors. You can start off with three or four 5vdc capacitors, that load individually, then you put into series to discharge into a a larger set of caps individually, one by one, then the larger are put in series to discharge into another larger set of caps.

It does not have to be electronic. Think maybe a small wind fan that turns with little wind and can turn a connected set of contacts to which you connect capacitors. The contacts are arranged something like an old player piano that have all those reeds being plucked by a turning drum with protrusions placed at the right position and interval. Such a system could control the opening and closing of capacitors. There are low cost micro contacts that require almost null force to activate and they have N/O, N/C and Common terminals to give you some connecting flexibility.

So let's say this is working with wind and you are producing constant energy output. Then you put a small dc motor instead of the fan and see if you can loop the action and have it work without the aid of the wind. Just a small battery to start it up.

There are many ways to go about this and I only wanted to give you some ideas on how to maybe move forward.

wattsup

Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 11, 2011, 06:59:54 PM
@wattsup
I went to your link and looked at the GIF; it took a little while before the lights turned on.  I need to digest this some more, but thinking out loud – the copper/zinc water battery is sort of like a turtle,  keeps running at pretty much the same speed until it dies of old age.  The track I am currently on came about when I connected 4AA batteries to the water batteries for a few seconds and almost instantly the water battery jumped way up in amperage and lit the LED nicely for over 6 hours.  When I say a few seconds – I mean no more than 15 seconds.  Now, taking liberties with what you have presented to me – could excess energy from the water battery be stored and dumped back into the water battery to extend the life.

Back to weird recharging results – I replicated the test and the results were different.  I will wait until the water battery is nearly dead before repeating this test again.  I have tried to summarize the test a little better as shown below.
Brad S
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 14, 2011, 06:48:19 PM
While these new cells constructed this past weekend proved to be disappointing – an important observation was made.  As for the disappointment – I can only conclude that the threaded rod is not as good a source for zinc as conduit.  The observation worth noting is as follows:
Green Cell – Control cell – 20” copper pipe, 5/16” threaded rod, and tap water.
   Output 0.94v
White Cell – 20” copper pipe, 5/16” threaded rod, activated carbon, and tap water.
   Output 1.00v
Yellow Cell - 20” copper pipe, 5/16” threaded rod, activated carbon, and Alum.
   Output 1.14v
Conclusion – Voltage increased .2v by adding activated carbon and Alum electrolyte.
Brad S
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: dasimpson on February 14, 2011, 07:01:20 PM
what was the ampage range of each cell and would a shorter zinc rod change that when i messed with earth battery i noticed the further in i moved the zinc nail the more the ampage changed
 
While these new cells constructed this past weekend proved to be disappointing – an important observation was made.  As for the disappointment – I can only conclude that the threaded rod is not as good a source for zinc as conduit.  The observation worth noting is as follows:
Green Cell – Control cell – 20” copper pipe, 5/16” threaded rod, and tap water.
   Output 0.94v
White Cell – 20” copper pipe, 5/16” threaded rod, activated carbon, and tap water.
   Output 1.00v
Yellow Cell - 20” copper pipe, 5/16” threaded rod, activated carbon, and Alum.
   Output 1.14v
Conclusion – Voltage increased .2v by adding activated carbon and Alum electrolyte.
Brad S
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 14, 2011, 08:32:58 PM
what was the ampage range of each cell and would a shorter zinc rod change that when i messed with earth battery i noticed the further in i moved the zinc nail the more the ampage changed
 
I know this is going to sound goofy to anyone who reads this reply.  I purposefully try to keep the amperage low on these cells to extend to life of the battery.  Currently, my cells run 3 months and better before they die.  An LED can be lit with a fraction of a milliamp as long as it has enough voltage.   I am trying to get as much voltage in as small of a space as possible.  Also of note is the Alum electrolyte.  With this electrolyte, the amperage stays low – however, it provides a neat recharging effect not seen with plain tap water.  I have cells that appeared to be dead and after recharging, continued to run for weeks afterward.  They can then be recharged again.
Brad S
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: dasimpson on February 15, 2011, 08:46:55 PM
i would understand low voltage but as much current as possible but not the other way round
from looking at the image you must have over 3 volts and at least 25ma
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 15, 2011, 11:18:08 PM
@dasimpson
First let me say that I really do enjoy interacting with you and all the people on this forum.  This dialog encourages thought and since you dealing with a true “newbie” here, it is good to sort fact from fiction.  I started these experiments with many preconceived notions to ultimately prove my own thoughts to be in error.  With that said, these are my thoughts on why I responded earlier the way I did.  Any output less than about 2 volts will not light that LED regardless of the amperage unless you put it on a Joule Thief circuit, which I have done.  My objective is to stress these cells as little as possible to facilitate their longevity.  A more destructive electrolyte (drano, KOH) will pump up these cells like a bodybuilder on steroids, but they don’t last very long.  The reason I am disappointed, in the conduit tests I have performed, I get approx. ½ volt for every 4” of conduit exposed to the copper.  With that formula, each cell should have produced about 2 ¼ volts.  But they only produced around 1 volt.  By the way, you are very close on the output, 3 cells configured for max volts produced about 2 ½ volts and approx 20ma while lighting the LED. 
Thanks, Brad S
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: dasimpson on February 16, 2011, 12:34:20 AM
i had a feeling i would be the leds i have used start about 2.5v 20ma
as far as i know the more metal in contact makes more amperage not voltage now if you use carben and zinc i feel you would get higher voltage after all that what batterys are made of

i dont think using thors 2 metals you will get more of a running voltage then about 0.80v if i remeber right
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 16, 2011, 04:25:44 PM
@dasimpson
The information in your last post is invaluable and totally blows up my linear way of thinking about these cells.  To prove your statement I looked at wikipedia and found this.

“The more electrolyte and electrode material there is in the cell, the greater the capacity of the cell. Thus a small cell has less capacity than a larger cell, given the same chemistry, though they develop the same open-circuit voltage.”

I found this statement to be equally important.
“In practical batteries, internal energy losses, and limited rate of diffusion of ions through the electrolyte, cause the efficiency of a battery to vary at different discharge rates. When discharging at low rate, the battery's energy is delivered more efficiently than at higher discharge rates, but if the rate is too low, it will self-discharge during the long time of operation, again lowering its efficiency.”
Again, so much to learn – back to the workbench for more testing – lol.
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: dasimpson on February 16, 2011, 09:10:32 PM
yeah the energy loss over time is a pain more so in rechargable batteries.
thats why they best used in something with high power demand rather then something with low power like clocks or remotes
i will give you an example i have a wireless doorbell i was using the rechargables in it but found that most the time the doorbell had stoped working
 it wouldent see the month out i then had an idea to add a 2.5v solar panel and diode to it the problem stoped then winter hit so had to rethink so i went and got some cheap alkaline batterys been on for 2 month now and no problems when they run flat ill use them in my tourch so no biggy
now i did see somthing on google that was interesting about a water battery what they had done is use rain water when the unit no longer made power they just emptyed the old water and put new in maybe somthing like this would be good
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 21, 2011, 04:02:41 PM
Weekend Build:
This is to show that real power can be produced from these little cells.  Galvanized conduit, activated carbon, and alum electrolyte.  As the amperage drops off - there will probably not be enough power to drive this little motor, but it should run for a day so. Then LED's can be used for an extended period of time.
@Bizzy credited with cell design.
Charles Caleb Colton Quotes - "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"
Brad S
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 21, 2011, 04:14:13 PM
Weekend Build #2:
Same concept as obove except using post 1982 US pennies.  34 pennies per cell.  The copper plating has been brushed off the edge of the penny.
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: Bizzy on February 21, 2011, 04:15:38 PM
Weekend Build:
This is to show that real power can be produced from these little cells.  Galvanized conduit, activated carbon, and alum electrolyte.  As the amperage drops off - there will probably not be enough power to drive this little motor, but it should run for a day so. Then LED's can be used for an extended period of time.
@Bizzy credited with cell design.
Charles Caleb Colton Quotes - "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"
Brad S
Hi Brad a nice compact design. what kind of  voltage are you getting with it?
Bizzy
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: Bizzy on February 21, 2011, 04:17:08 PM
Weekend Build #2:
Same concept as obove except using post 1982 US pennies.  34 pennies per cell.  The copper plating has been brushed off the edge of the penny.
Hi agian Brad
Could you draw us a diagram of your design?
Thanks
Bizzy
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 21, 2011, 04:37:30 PM
what kind of voltage are you getting with it?
When I first connected the fan right after the build the meter read 2.65V and 1/4 Amp.  Of course, with these batteries the amperage will drop before leveling off.
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 21, 2011, 04:40:11 PM
Could you draw us a diagram of your design?
It might be later today before I get a chance, but will be happy to post design.  Thanks for asking.
Brad S
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 21, 2011, 06:16:26 PM
Could you draw us a diagram of your design?
Here is the design as promised.  If any part of this is unclear, please ask.
Thanks
Brad S
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: Bizzy on February 21, 2011, 06:24:44 PM
Here is the design as promised.  If any part of this is unclear, please ask.
Thanks
Brad S
Hi Brad
 A very compact and easy design. You have two batteries above are these oenny batteries the ones you got 2.65V and 1/4 Amp?
Thanks
Bizzy
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 21, 2011, 06:38:13 PM
You have two batteries above are these oenny batteries the ones you got 2.65V and 1/4 Amp?
No - the galvanized conduit cells are the ones I was referencing.  I love conduit, just cut off a chunk and build - so fast, easy, and cheap (the six cells running the fan have 35 cents worth of conduit).  The penny batteries have so much more zinc - I will be watching to see how they perform.
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: dasimpson on February 21, 2011, 08:37:43 PM
from the looks of this unit you are easy producing about 3 volts and over 225mah well done that some power for home made battery
Weekend Build #2:
Same concept as obove except using post 1982 US pennies.  34 pennies per cell.  The copper plating has been brushed off the edge of the penny.
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 21, 2011, 09:43:30 PM
from the looks of this unit you are easy producing about 3 volts and over 225mah well done that some power for home made battery
Thank you - I will monitor these cells and report back.  This is the first time I have used pennies. 

I posted the Penny Cell Construction and should have include the Conduit Cell Construction at the same time. Sorry!
Brad S
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: dasimpson on February 21, 2011, 09:57:01 PM
have you tried using the conduit for the outside of the unti and carben for a center elctrode seem to me you are very much copying how batterys work also why do you rap the conduit?

when you was talking about haveing very little ampage the way this would be done is by haveing the positive electrode as small as you can for the givern ampage

basicly what i mean is the less electrode they is the less current will flow from the battery this is how they do it with normal batterys
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 21, 2011, 10:03:57 PM
have you tried using the conduit for the outside of the unti and carben for a center elctrode seem to me you are very much copying how batterys work also why do you rap the conduit?
If I am not mistaken, the conduit only has the zinc coating on the outside - I do not mind giving this a try.  I will report tomorrow on that.  My thinking would be if any voltage does show - then it would be the galvanic effect of the steel in the conduit and not the zinc.  Output levels should tell us.  The coffee filter is used to prevent the cathode (carbon) and anode (zinc) from shorting.
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: Bizzy on February 21, 2011, 10:10:27 PM
If I am not mistaken, the conduit only has the zinc coating on the outside - I do not mind giving this a try.  I will report tomorrow on that.  My thinking would be if any voltage does show - then it would be the galvanic effect of the steel in the conduit and not the zinc.  Output levels should tell us.  The coffee filter is used to prevent the cathode (carbon) and anode (zinc) from shorting.
Hi Brad
Yes you are correct they only galvinize the outside.
Bizzy
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: dasimpson on February 21, 2011, 10:13:26 PM
ok that kind of kills that idea
 
i got to say doing reserch brings up some very strange things i wonted to find images of inside a abttery but instead got a page explaining how femal  toys go wrong and how they can be fixed internet strange place
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 21, 2011, 10:22:10 PM
i got to say doing reserch brings up some very strange things i wonted to find images of inside a abttery but instead got a page explaining how femal  toys go wrong and how they can be fixed internet strange place
Way too funny! 
I was searching for images once (Big Mac).  I understand how embarrasing it can be.
HaHa
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: dasimpson on February 21, 2011, 10:23:40 PM
big mac i dont ethern wont to attemp that search
Way too funny! 
I was searching for images once (Big Mac).  I understand how embarrasing it can be.
HaHa
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: dasimpson on February 21, 2011, 10:26:50 PM
im serching images of copper zinc battery and well no new radical ideas as of yet

zinc and copper plates seem to be the most used idea

the idea goes a long way back because of Baghdad-Batteries but when they were about was befor lightbulbs etc so what the hell were they used for
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: b_rads on February 22, 2011, 09:07:26 PM
the idea goes a long way back because of Baghdad-Batteries but when they were about was befor lightbulbs etc so what the hell were they used for
Probably using them to power their ipod - ?????

In the for what it's worth catagory
From: www.corrosionist.com
The Area Effect
The relative area of the anode and cathode has a pronounced effect upon the amount of corrosion that occurs due to Galvanic Corrosion. A small anode (the less noble metal, such as aluminium) joined to a large cathode (the more noble metal, such as stainless steel) will result in a high current density on the aluminium, and hence a high rate of corrosion.
In an electrochemical cell, the anode is the site where electrons are produced through the chemical activity of the metal. The anode is the area where metal loss occurs
The cathode in an electrochemical cell is the site where electrons are consumed. For each electron that is produced at an anodic site, an electron must be consumed at a cathodic site.

Q.  In order to have high current, do we overkill on the cathode side of the battery?
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: dasimpson on February 22, 2011, 11:16:01 PM
i would say they would be best equal but i guess you would have to experement.
 i know from batterys the smaller the cathode the less current the battery will supply but capacity stays the same
 
thats how i understand it anyway

compare to a battery the zinc anode has for more area then the cathoide
Title: Re: Copper Zinc Tap Water Fuel Cell
Post by: dasimpson on February 22, 2011, 11:28:09 PM
thinking about this now i may know why my earth battery and water battery did not do so well i had more copper then zinc now maybe if i had more zinc then copper i may get better results