I really love DIY projects and proof of concepts with electricity and radio so when I saw this little project using soda cans, cardboard, copper wire, sand, and saltwater to build a battery, I was all over it.
(video from rumble.com, an alternative to YouTube’s increasingly anti-free speech platform)
- Cut the tops off of old soda cans carefully and deburr the can edges.
- Draw circles around the bottoms of the cans on a sheet of cardboard to create the bottom insulators.
- Cut out the circles, and place each one inside the cans at the bottom.
- Cut out rectangles of cardboard to just slightly under the height of the cans and wide enough to form a tube inside the can. These will be your insulators for the sides of the can battery cells.
- Insert the cardboard tubes into the cans.
- Create a coil out of copper wire for each can with about an inch of the wire sticking above the can top.
- Place the coils inside the cans and center. Fill the cans with play sand around the coils nearly to the top.
- Add 2T of salt to 16.9oz of water, and mix well.
- Fill the cans with the saltwater mix until the sand is completely saturated.
- Check the voltage and amps of each cell by clipping tester leads to the center copper wire and the can top edge.
- Use hot glue to fasten the cans down in place to a piece of foamcore board or plastic. Leave a little space between each cell to avoid shorting out across the cells.
- Wire the cells in series, from center conductor of one cell to side of the next cell. (The side of the can is negative, the center conductor is positive.)