In my previous video, I showed you how to make a battery out of a potato. The truth however, is that the potato doesn’t make the electricity, the copper and zinc do, and all you really need is an electrolyte between them.

To make a penny battery, you’re going to need zinc washers, copper pennies, a small section of cardboard, electrical tape, a small glass, some white vinegar, and multimeter would be great if you happen to have one.

Step one is to pour some vinegar into a small glass. Then take your piece of cardboard and trace the washers. You’re going to several of these, so trace it a few times and then cut them out. Now put the little cardboard circles into your glass of vinegar and stir them up a bit. These need to soak for at least two minutes.

The aluminum foil strip is optional, but will make it easer to check the voltage. Take a zinc washer, and then blot dry one of our cardboard circles, placing it on top of the washer. Then add one of our pennies. Testing this first cell with the multimeter I got .8V. That’s incredible.

To make it even more powerful, lets add two more cells consisting of a zinc washer, cardboard circle and penny stacked on top. Now it measures 3.4V! I’m super impressed! To keep it all together, I wrapped our penny battery with a couple of strips of electrical tape. Then I gently inserted our blue LED from the potato video and it lights right up!

And that’s how you make a potato battery, without the potato! And amazingly, 24 hours later, its still going strong and I can’t help but wonder, “How long will this thing last?”