Positively brimming with excitement over the relative success of the everlasting battery, we’ve been working on ways to improve it further. These have included making it repeatable to see don’t have to rely on scrap parts, and also making it better. This ‘better’ includes ways to improve the voltage and current output, and also investigating a better way of mounting it all.
You may recall that the previous incarnations were made in old glass jars of different sizes and shapes. A trip to The Bay Of E provided uniform-sized clean glass jars, red and black terminal posts to help with the mounting, and also some two millimetres thick un-enameled copper wire.
We decided to put a threaded hole in one end of the magnesium rod. We did this by drilling a 3mm hole, then widening it with a 3.3mm bit to allow us to make an M4 thread in the soft metal. This M4 threaded hole will then screw directly into the bottom of a black terminal, which in turn is sat in the centre of the black lid of the jar, as shown to the right here:-
Again, we used the clean dust sheet as an insulating medium to prevent the magnesium from touching the copper, and again used black plastic tie-wraps to secure it to the rod.
We think this looks much neater, and is certainly more portable than the previous incarnation.
Not content with just the one new jar, we went ahead and make a second, this time with thicker dust sheet insulation and a longer length of copper wire, and it is this battery that is showing the most promise.
And here you can see it in all its glory, showing the voltage given out.
Note that this 1.365 nominal output voltage is just that: nominal. This is under no load (apart from a nano-amp or two for the multimeter), so when it is placed in circuit in series with three others, the voltage drops down to just over a volt at about 10mA. Again, not a Big Lot, but remember that these batteries don’t ‘wear out’.
We’ve had this set-up running the LED for over two weeks, and so far, there has been no significant degradation in either voltage or current.
Over the next few days, if the weather doesn’t improve (…to enable us to go ‘Plotting’…), we’ll work on this again, making more batteries and testing further.
Further updates in due course…