An investigation of the factors affecting the voltage output of a potato battery
Chua Shuei Ray Eusebius (11), Kang Shiqiang (17), Maximilian Oh Yangzhi (23)
School Of Science and Technology, Singapore
1.6 billion people in the world live in the dark without electric lights. Kerosene lamps used instead are health hazardous, environmentally unfriendly and expensive. An alternative power source - renewable, available and accessible - exists: potatoes. This scientific experiment was conducted to find out whether a potato’s size, presence of skin or boiling it would change the voltage output of a potato converted into a battery. 8 potato batches, each composed of 4 halves, were prepared by inserting galvanized nails and copper strips (1 each) into them. Connected to a multimeter, their voltage output was displayed and recorded down. Each batch was then wired in a series circuit with a LED bulb to see whether it lit up. Results indicate that the raw potato halves generated more voltage output than their boilied counterparts and their size and presence of skin have no effect on their voltage output. All batches of potatoes halves managed to light up the LED bulb when wired up together in series. Having recorded down how much voltage each type of potato battery produces, further applications can be looked into such as devices it can power and the most efficient way of utilization.