4.1 Key Findings:
Our results indicate that all potato halves generate at least 0.880 V of power, with one potato half generating more than 1 volt of power (Potato B1A). Theoretically, 4 potato halves of each type of potato combination should generate at least 3.52 V of electricity. However, results show that potato batch type A1, C2 and D2 produce less than 3 volts of power but more than 2.7 volts of power when all 4 potato halves are wired together. In spite of that, all potato batches could still power an LED bulb, albeit potato batch type A1, C2 and D2 weakly.
Presence of skin and the size of the potato seem to have no effect on the amount of power generated - only whether it is boiled or raw affects the amount of power generated. Raw potatoes overall generally generates more power than boiled potatoes.
Being dry or mouldy doesn’t affect the power output of a potato.
4.2 Explanation of Key Findings:
These results were contrary to the expected outcomes as raw potatoes fared better than boiled potatoes, skinning the potato made no difference and the size of the potato did not affect the voltage output.
Internet user Skoorbmax asked on a PriusChat thread whether the size of the potato mattered in their voltage output. Internet user Tom (2012) replied that it was the electronegativity of the electrodes that determines the voltage of the cell e.g. the galvanized nails and copper foil (Tom, 2012).
Tom (2012) also mentioned that spacing of the electrodes affect the internal resistance of a potato battery - if the electrodes were spaced further apart, the potato battey’s resistance would increase and vice versa (Tom, 2012). 0
4.3 Evaluation of Hypothesis:
The hypotheses created for this experiment was wrong.
The original hypotheses was these:
- If a larger and boiled potato is used for a potato battery, then that potato battery will produce more electricity than the other potato batteries.
However, results show that boiled potatoes generally produced less electricity than their raw counterparts and that a small potato batch type B1 generated more power than the rest of the other potato type batches.
4.4 Areas for improvements:
The boiling time stated in the procedures can be improved to be 10 minutes, as stated in Jonathan Kalan’s article above in the ‘Selected Solutions’ section.
The time allocated for the voltage reading on the multimeter to tabilize can be improved, allowing the reading to settle before taking down the result for a greatert degree of accuracy.
A voltmeter can be used in place of a multimeter, as this will allow for a greater degree of accuracy.
It is also recommended for this experiment that the potatoes used are the same, there is sufficient time to boil the potato effectively and that potato sized in measured for a greater degree of accuracy.