Tuesday, 15 March 2011

DIY Voltage Cell #1

the first of these Copper/Zinc voltage cells (Cell type #1) was constructed 8th Dec 2010

each cell was formed from 1 layer of copper foil (Cu) and 1 layer of Zinc sheet (Zn), each approx 10cms square

a sheet of non-coloured, acid-free tissue paper was glued to the Zinc sheet using starch glue (eg. sold as 'Pritt Stick', in the UK)

a layer of non-coloured cotton was used as an additional separator; it was impregnated with approx. 0.5 cc of a 50:50 mix of honey and tap-water

two cells were used, connected in series by a small piece of folder copper foil held between the centre of the two cells

the initial o/c voltage of this cell-stack was 1.6V

two 10mm x 10mm diam rod Neodymium magnets were located adjacent to the outer flat surface of the top cell, with both fields aligned in the same sense, across the surface

the cells were connected to a very low-powered LED flasher circuit which drew a current of a few uA

the cells were heated (in circuit) for over a week at around 35 deg. C; then the heat was removed and the complete system was contained inside a mild-steel case with a lid

for a period of over 1 month the in-circuit terminal voltage of the cell-stack rose from 1.6V to 1.9V, showing a daily variation which corresponded with the changes in ambient temperature 

an unused cell, made at the same time with the same materials, showed a steady self-discharge and little or no correlation with the ambient temperature

an additional load was then added to the cell-stack + LED flasher: an LCD clock module was connected across the buffer capacitor C1

this extra load caused a steady decrease in terminal voltage of the cell-stack until the clock stopped operating and displaying correctly at around 1V, and later the LED stopped flashing around 0.85V

towards the end of operation of Cell #1, a second cell-stack (Cell type #2) was made with slight differences of construction and preparation (details to follow soon, in the next entry)

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