Well actually copper-coated zinc coins, to be honest. Because if pennies were solid copper, they would cost more than their value, and Dad might have to pay more tax. Other versions of this experiment call for the copper coating to be sanded off to reveal the zinc core on one side. We are going to be smarter and use aluminum foil instead. Besides, we can power a TV remote this way, not just an LED with a dim glow.
Materials You Need
- 10 shiny new pennies – if tarnished clean with salt and vinegar
- A few sheets of dry kitchen towel borrowed from Mum’s kitchen
- A roll of transparent ‘sellotape’ just like ones that you use at school
- A piece of fresh cardboard with 9 penny-size circles cut out
- A bowl of vinegar large enough to soak the cardboard circles
- A piece of folded kitchen foil with 9 penny-size circles cut out
- A multi meter set to read DC current less than ten volts
- An LED light bulb, plus two cables with crocodile clips on one end
- Any TV remote control with the battery cells removed
Now watch this cool video that shows how to power a TV remote with these everyday materials.
You Just Repeated History
You have just reproduced the original battery. Check this link out to a description of Alessandro Volta’s voltaic pile. But you used copper and kitchen foil as the electrodes instead, and vinegar-soaked cardboard for the electrolyte.
This is really cool stuff and it looks so simple. However, it did not come easy for Alessandro Volta in 1799. He had to work this out all by himself. We hope we inspired you to invent something new yourself. You already know how to power a TV remote when the batteries are flat, or gone missing because you borrowed them for a toy you forgot somewhere
Preview Image: Universal Remote
Video Share Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIHfUJu3aKo