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efficient batteries.. help!

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by tom odwen, May 26, 2016.

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  1. tom odwen

    tom odwen

    May 26, 2016
    Hi i am experimenting with batteries i need to make an efficient battery. It needs to have the highest possible voltage, it must be safe, the materials must be abundant and it must not cost too much. It needs to be made with any of the following combinations of 2 metals; zinc, copper, aluminum, magnesium and lead.
  2. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    What kind of chemistry experience do you have?
  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Hi i am experimenting with cars i need to make a fuel efficient car. It needs to have the highest possible top speed, it must be safe, the materials must be abundant and it must not cost too much. It needs to be made with any of the following materials; leather, steel, liver, fairy floss, and ginger beer.
    Arouse1973, Alec_t and hexreader like this.
  4. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    Do you have any witchcraft experience?
    Arouse1973, hexreader and (*steve*) like this.
  5. Alec_t


    Jul 7, 2015
    Welcome to EP, Tom!
    You do realise an entire battery-building industry has been attempting that task for decades? We can't design the battery for you, or do the years of research necessary. Come back here if you have a specific question we can help with. Best of luck.
  6. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    I'm kind of thinking this is some type of homework issue. Maybe the professor is trying to get ideas from sharp students to get his own patent on whatever you come up with. Lord knows the battery industry would sure like to develop this.
    Arouse1973 likes this.
  7. BobK


    Jan 5, 2010
    Seeing as Lithium batteries are by far the most efficient that are practical today, the limits you have placed on materials makes your project impossible. Now, if you lived in Victorian times, you might have been on to something.

  8. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    I've got another source for you...

    Anyway... what you are asking requires quite a bit of chemistry and|or physics knowledge... This has also been the goal for *many* people for a *long* time... You won't get an easy answer on here, and the answers you get will probably be sufficient for you to make your own fruit or vegetable based battery. If you are lukcy and skilled enough, maybe you can make a water battery xD
    (Water is both an abundant and a very limited resource... so perhaps this is what you need)
  9. ChosunOne


    Jun 20, 2010
    Tom, I'm not clear on what you mean by "efficient". That term is usually applied to rechargeable batteries, not home-built primary cells. What factors are you using to measure "efficient"?
    By "highest possible voltage", I assume you mean cell voltage rather than battery voltage. By "stacking" cells, you can make a battery of hundreds of volts, limited only by how high you can get it before you reach the threshold of your insulation, which would have passed the limit for "safety" anyway---but anyway, if you really mean you really need the highest possible voltage per cell, that limits your choice of metals to use.
    I can google up the potential between different metals in an electrolyte, but so can you.
    You haven't mentioned anything about the electrolyte. I assume it's open to anything you can find an abundance of.

    The one thing where I might be able to help is the "abundant" materials: I have to assume you mean abundant for the home experimenter, which is totally different than abundant for commercial concerns.

    If you haunt a construction site, you can sometimes find scrap electrical wire in dumpsters. That's 100% pure copper. Sometimes you can find aluminum wire too, also 100% pure. Soda cans are aluminum, but an alloy, but still suitable for making batteries. The tabs on the soda cans are pure aluminum. American pennies (more properly called "cents") are zinc with a thin copper coating that can be brushed off with a wire brush. Check out gas stations where they work on cars and you'll find lead wheel weights lying around. May take some searching, but they're there. I'm pretty sure it's a lead alloy.
    Off the top of my head, I can't think of a scrap source of magnesium. I might come up with something later.
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