Making your own coke can battery is often seen as extremely unnecessary and not at all cost effective, simply because of the availability of energy storage technologies on the market.
But if you have some spare soda cans, and want to turn them into power generators, here is the coolest and most simple tutorial.
Materials and Tools
All you need to make the simplest coke can battery is:
- 1 cola can
- 1 copper coin
- 1 can opener
- 1 glass or a cup
- Crocodile clips
- Wire wool
- Metal stick, screwdriver, spade or an electric drill
In case you would like to give the set-up a boost, and be able to produce enough power to light up a small LED, you will need 6 times the above mentioned materials (except for the can opener), and table salt. And for even more power, you will need some standard commercially sold drain cleaner.
Step 1. Prepare the coke can.
Open the can, pour the coke in the glass and put to the side. Cut off the top of the can using the can opener, and clean the can thoroughly on the inside.
Step 2. Remove coke can’s plastic coating.
Every can has a plastic coating on the inside, which you will have to remove before making the battery set up. For the purpose, take the wire wool and with the help of the metal stick/ screwdriver/spade scrub the insides of the can.
If you want to guarantee a great job, use a drill instead of the stick. The job will be done much better and faster. Do not apply too much pressure, so that you avoid damaging the can. Once the plastic coating is removed, make sure you have no wire pieces remaining inside the can.
Step 3. Simple coke can battery setup.
Pour the coke back into the can. Attach one of the crocodile clips to the copper coin and dip it into the can. Take another crocodile clip and attach it to the opening of the can. And tadaa, this set up produces 0.6 volts power.
Step 4. Boost the voltage.
In order to generate a sufficient amount of power to be able to light up a small LED light, for example, you will need a few additional bits. Take the cooking salt and add a pinch to the coke (be careful not to let the coke content overflow). This will bring the voltage from one can up. Then, take another five cans, repeat the procedure and connect them in series as shown on the picture. This guarantees you a generation of 2.6 volts.========== ===========
Step 5. Boost the voltage even more.
There is also a way to produce around 2 volts of power using only one cola can. For that purpose you will need to replace the coke with drain cleaner. Needless to say, if you connect more cans filled with cleaner in series, then you will have quite a powerful power generator, that can easily charge your essential electronic device in case of emergency.
A few extra remarks here:
- Drink the coke, do not waste it.
- Be careful with the chlorine and hydrogen-rich fumes that are released when the aluminum can reacts with the contents of the drain cleaner. Make sure that you have well ventilated room, or better, the set up is placed out in the open.
What makes this DIY home-made coke can battery super cool is that it can be as effective as you want it to be. If you would like to watch a video on how to do it, you can follow this link. What has to be remembered, however, is that the more complicated it becomes, and the more chemicals are involved, the more potentially dangerous it is.
OK, it is not as bad as in the case of How to make your own AA battery, but still. Do put safety first, read carefully the list of content on the bottles of the cleaners that you use, and remember to handle and dispose of the coke can battery correctly when you no longer feel like using it.