[Lab] Homemade Capacitor

Emily Daniels emily.daniels at gmail.com
Fri Oct 28 12:09:54 EDT 2011

@Andrew- way ahead of that. Already grew and tested piezo crystals at home
from cream of tarter and washing soda. The problem with Rochelle salt is it
is fragile and can crack and fragment easily under pressure. In my salt
mixture I combined Rochelle salt with Epsom salt (Magnesium Sulfate) and
heated it to liquid then poured it into the candy molds. In seawater
Magnesium acts as a sound absorber- meaning it can carry vibrations over a
distance. The piezo crystals suspended in the Magnesium seems to allow a
reverberation to happen, despite it's nearly solid state. Both salts are
highly hydroscopic and suck in moisture from the air, allowing some movement
of ions in the mixture. I channel the electricity generated through a copper
and an aluminum wire spiralled for maximum surface area and inserted an inch
apart in the solidified solution. The copper wire acts as the anode and the
aluminum is the cathode.

@Darcy I saw your homemade hand crank- really neat! In this experiment I was
trying to challenge myself by creating an energy source from common
household items so that a person with limited access to electronic
components could make it without relying on refurbished piezo buzzers and
the like. Seems I have a way to go..


On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 11:36 AM, Andrew Plumb <andrew at plumb.org> wrote:

> Colin's "Homebrew Piezo" blog post may be a good place to start:
> http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2011/03/collins-lab-homebrew-piezo.html
> Andrew.
> On 2011-10-28, at 11:29 AM, Emily Daniels wrote:
> > Hi Folks,
> >
> > I've been working on a design that I thought would be a different type of
> battery but it seems to discharge too quickly for that, but so far it can
> take a charge of 6V DC in 30 sec from a 9V battery and discharge about 3V
> when a load is applied (in my test case a 3V LED) in about a minute. It has
> a resting charge of .6V DC and 1V AC per cell. I have 4 of them wired
> together for the above load tests. It's a type of dry electrolytic cell made
> of a non-toxic salt mixture in a hard sugar candy shell with piezoelectric
> Rochelle salts (yes you could eat it but I don't think you'd want to) and
> I'm wondering if anyone has any experience generating electricity from heat
> or vibrations of Rochelle salts or quartz that they could help me with. I
> already tested the cells on top of a subwoofer and by heating them with a
> hairdryer, which both times there was a .1V fluctuation, but not a build up
> of charge, and I cracked a cell. Thanks!
> >
> > Emily
> >
> > --
> > Emily Daniels | emilydaniels.com | @emdaniels | awesomefoundation.org
> >
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> --
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> William Gibson
> Me: http://clothbot.com/wiki/

Emily Daniels | emilydaniels.com | @emdaniels | awesomefoundation.org
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