Coin Battery – Science Fair 2012

It is possible to create a battery out of coins! Follow these directions to make your own coin battery.


List of materials:

— One kind of coin (4)

— A different kind of coin (4)

— Dish soap

— ¼ of a cup of vinegar

— 1 Tbsp. of salt

— Small bowl

— Small plate (not paper or metal)

— Digital multimeter (that reads mV)

— Paper towel

— Scissors

— LEDs (optional)

Firstly, we did not buy anything (except the LEDs); it was completely homemade. The experiment was the first thing we did on our project.

How to do the experiment:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar and the salt.

  1. Cut the paper towel into small squares, about the size of a nickel.

  1. Place the small squares to soak in the bowl of salt-vinegar solution, and set them aside.

  1. Gather the pennies and nickels and wash with the dish soap (this should take at least 30 minutes), then dry them. This is a step to remove dirt from the coins.

  1. Start building a battery on the plate. Put down a penny first, then place a square of a soaked paper towel square on top, and then add a nickel. Keep repeating the layers until you have a stack of coins, making sure you end with a nickel on top and no paper towel in between cells (e.g. Penny Paper Nickel Penny Paper Nickel Penny Paper Nickel).

  1. Attach the leads of the multimeter to the two ends of the battery by touching one lead to the penny on the bottom and the other to the nickel on the top. Measure the voltage produced by the battery.

  1. Record your data in a chart. And repeat using different coins (quarters, dimes).

The Results of Our Experiment

COINS Five Ten
Pennies and Nickels 0.280 0.912
Pennies and Dimes 0.397 1.620
Dimes and Nickels 0.261 0.220

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