I’ve been researching Salt Water Batteries for the past week or so. Im rained in now, so might as well learn how to build a prototype today.
I have a one month plan to:
Light an LED
Run a small motor
Charge a mobile.
Charge a laptop.
Run a medium sized fan.
Run a 10 watt Marshall amplifier.
Using a salt water battery setup.
I made a scrappy research document here:
I will make the first electrodes out of aluminium and copper, but hope to graduate to graphite and magnesium.
If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.
NOTE: 1) I understand that Salt Water batteries are not as efficient as lithium, and may end up ten times the size of a regular battery. However, there are many, many benefits. They’re being produced by many companies now.
Tons of good videos on youtube, from DIY set ups, to commercial rigs.
Regarding charging; From what I’ve seen, salt water batteries seem to get a small voltage from the materials themselves.
You can get 0.5 volts from most materials. Graphite plus magnesium (the best combination) gets you nearly 2 volts. Easily enough to run a light or (closer to 5 volts) charge a mobile phone. There are many videos on youtube.
Charging a phone is just a cool gimmick. I’d like to make something bigger.
Once you link a few cells together in series, you can get higher voltages, and charge a laptop, or a small fan. Yes, the batteries are 10x bigger, but they are environmentally friendly, and liberating on many practical levels.
People are powering their farms from huge, commercial units. There are many vids in the doc I linked.
Your Shovel Guitar is the talk of the town, BTW. People are almost queuing up to see it. I have many stories. Looking forward to making an upgrade next time I have some spare cash.
If you talk me through the practicalities of making a salt water battery display, the HHC roadshow will get even better. I hope to power lights and a fan within a month.
Do you know where I could buy magnesium or graphite rods/electrodes?
I know I can get graphite from pencils.
This guy has a fairly solid design. He’s using dirt, not salt. And just nails and copper as Cathode/Anode pairs. You couldn’t charge more than an LCD device with a battery his size… but what he built can be scaled. Multiple racks of ice-trays hooked in series could be good.
There are people getting well over 100 volts in some videos.
Having thought about it, his design is one of the best out there. It also dispenses with the issues of sloshing water, and other salt water issues.
Imagine powering a small marshall amp from something like this.
Electricity is induced when two dissimilar alloys are in the presence of an electrolyte. You would improve upon this model by having a copper rod, your zinc coated bolts (galvanized) in each of the cells (cubes) then connecting them in series until the desired voltage is reached (may have to increase the number of cells under a load) then connect the same about in parallel to increase the amp hour rating of each earth battery so that is can power useful things (chargers ect.) You might also introduce a bit of salt water (an electrolyte) to improve conductivity and the electrolysis process.
So metal blends touching something that has electrolytes (or heat)?
You may consider looking up “the Seebeck effect”. Fascinating stuff