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I need to build a battery

  1. Oct 22, 2012 #1
    Hi Everyone,

    I need to build a battery for a shoebox-sized vehicle.

    I'm still collecting requirements, but I'm wondering if you have any suggestions beyond a potato battery ;^)

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2012 #2
    What do you call "build" a battery?

    Buy cells, assemble them into a battery, that's feasible.

    Build the cells themselves is very hard. With limited resources and knowledge, you can't make a decent cell. Only obtain very bad power density, energy density and shelf life.
  4. Oct 23, 2012 #3
    This is a science project. Yes, I'm aware that the battery I build won't compare to a store-bought battery. This is a wet-chemistry project. Clearly it's possible to build a battery. My question is how to build the best possible DIY battery.
  5. Oct 23, 2012 #4


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    I suggest you do some research on the chemistry of commercial non-rechargeable cells that have been used over the last 100 years or so, and then build your own version of one of them. Choose a type that doesn't need complicated manufacturing techniques, and doesn't use materials that are too hazardous - no heavy metals especially lead or mercury, no strong acids or alkalis, etc.
  6. Oct 23, 2012 #5
    What about a daniel cell?
  7. Oct 24, 2012 #6
    Zinc or manganese, possibly alkaline (=caustic, depends on how easy you're with chemistry safety), with carbon and manganese dioxide as a depolarizer (no performance without a depolarizer). The purity of the consumed metal defines its shelf life; you could fill the electrolyte at last moment.

    Put many thin electrodes in parallel to get more short-time power.
  8. Oct 25, 2012 #7
    How much power do you need? It sounds to me like you need at least ten watts.

    If you don't need much power you could just use dissimilar metals in an acid bath, in series for more voltage or in parallel for more current, however many you need. You would just need to keep the cells separate from each other but you could use a common vat of acid. Almost any dissimilar metal set would work, copper and aluminum, iron and zinc, some combo like that.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
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