Skip to main content

World's Most Largest Lemon Battery in 2020

I was challenged to create electricity to support this beast It's Volkswagens carbon-fiber dual-engine Faster than a Formula one electric supercar For the upcoming infamous 12 and 1/2 mile Pikes Peak race to the top of a high mountain in Colorado And they gave me no further instructions on how they wanted it done So I thought how cool to be to charge it up using one of those science fair lemon batteries And since I'm pretty sure using only one lemon isn't going to cut it I plan to build the Guinness world record World's largest lemon battery and when it comes to making ridiculous things no one is better at that than fellow YouTube engineer William P. Osman. The first video I saw of yours was when you bio hacked your dog. 

How did that work? Not well we tried to dangle a hot dog in front of a dog's face on a Mechanical backpack and then you can steer the hot dog To try to get the dog to change directions and what he ended up doing was sitting down and eating him So we've estimated this should take about three days for us to build and yet I've only allotted Two minutes for this in the video. So you know what that means you plan on your videos We didn't want our battery setup to just be a mangled mess of wires So William had the brilliant idea to waterjet out a bunch of copper and zinc strips, which we can then assemble into racks Who are the first half of the racks to be in parallel and that was in series with the second half of the racks Which were also all in parallel and then at that point all we had to do was impale some lemons Speaking of which in addition to harvesting from my backyard I visited some local farms and got their class two lemons Which means they couldn't be sold in stores because they were either overripe miss shapen or too small and when one finds oneself in possession of 1232 lemons, turns out you can't do this So here we have the world's largest Lemon battery and now is the moment of truth to see just how much power this could make for us But to understand the results, 

let's first review how a lemon can even make power in the first place The trick is picking the right metals to stick into the lemon, in this case, Zinc wants to get rid of electrons and then copper wants to collect them But they can't do that unless they're connected by some kind of electrolyte and that's the lemon juice once that happens an electrochemical reaction occurs the bass and the electrons can now move and moving electrons is the very definition of Electricity it's sort of like how the water up high in the full cup naturally wants to flow to the empty cup lower down But it can't do that until you connect the two with the straw which allows the water to flow So in this case, obviously the higher cup is the zinc The lower cup is the copper and the straw is the lemon and so then the flowing water represents our electricity or power and so with that, we were measuring just under five volts and the short-circuit current is Not great, Mark. Our lemon battery is awful. Yeah like it's impressive No, the fact that it works as well as it does is cool. 

But as well as it works is not Well, does that make any sense? It makes no sense whatever you just said And to quantify the suckiness better you can listen to a motor running off our 1,200 lemons Versus a single double-a battery So what was looking good for the car But we weren't about to let three days of work go down the drain So because the battery produces so little power we use a tiny tiny High gear ratio motor fifteen hundred to one to charge up our potential energy Which is more lemon so it should take about 15 minutes to lift this bag and then we can release that all at once to activate our lemon juicing mechanism, basically Like all of these guys are working together to like drain the lifeblood from one of their brethren. Maybe this is too dark Okay, William moment of truth. I am so excited. 

Give me some of that. Cheers. Cheers Wow refreshing organic not worth 10 hours amazing 12 hours worth it This is the most expensive glass of lemonade you will ever have. Yes, that is a fact. It's a win in my book I'm gonna finish this. I'm not So we let the lemons trickle charge for a couple of days And after that, the total power we harvested for the Volkswagen Racing team was the equivalent of a single double-a battery and I should mention that since the race team is busy getting the car ready For the race in Colorado. They have sent me this monstrous 48-kilowatt hour battery that can drive itself So the plan is I will add any power we generate here in California to this battery and then get this to them in time for the race in, Colorado So the measly lemon power is now inside, but clearly, I need to think of a plan B Luckily I had an idea Which is to take some pulleys and a skateboard wheel and a brushless motor then some custom machined aluminum plates and a steel Cable to make a zipline with regenerative braking to charge a drill battery And it seems to be working. 

All I needed now was a party with some family friends and their kids This is how much energy is in the battery. We need to get it from empty up to the full That's where I need you guys because what happens is as you go down on this zipline It charges the battery The worst part about a zipline is when you have to go down and then drag it back up the hill But I've got a little remote control here watch this Is that cool? Do you guys want to ride that? Are you ready? The mechanical advantage of the sloped Hill disguises it well But the amount of energy they are adding to our zipline system here by running up the hill just one time is the same energy used for the world record deadlift And to provide power to their leg muscles we repurposed our lemon battery lemons into fresh lemonade and Everyone had to take a drink before running up the hill because as they say when life gives you 1200 lemons make lemonade Then force kids to drink it to power your regenerative zipline So the zipline was awesome And we ended up charging up one of these portable drill batteries plus a little more. 

Now for those of you keeping track at home Here's how I'm doing so far the limits have enough power to move the supercar about this far on a soccer field and then with the lemonade and the kid's muscles in the zipline, it can now travel an additional two soccer fields The problem is the race is 200 soccer fields long, which means if we were to try and charge the car We'd be 198 soccer fields short. So clearly that kind of power will not be breaking any records So I've got to come up with a plan C and to do that I'm gonna harness the power of the Sun and in hindsight, I probably should have started here because if you think about it all the energy sources we use are solar-powered. Oil and coal and natural gas It's just old decayed plants and swamps that originally got their power from the Sun using their leaves and photosynthesis Even things like wind turbines are solar powered because the wind blows when the Sun heats the atmosphere unevenly in the case of hydroelectric dams the water got to the lake on the high side because of rain from the clouds and clouds a result of water that Has been evaporated by you guessed it, the Sun. 

As humans, We are even solar power because we get our energy from plants or animals that ate plants Which again get their power from the Sun so if I was looking for some energy to fill up a battery instead of indirectly and Inefficiently going through a bunch of different energy sources and losing a bunch at every step along the way it makes way more sense to just go directly to the source And so with that in mind I busted out the power tools and put twenty-four 100 watt solar panels over our garage But there was a problem with this. When NASA sent the solar power twin Rovers to Mars in 2004 It didn't take long until the solar panels were Totally covered in dust which effectively crippled the rover because they couldn't get as much energy from the Sun and this was a huge issue But then we got lucky and a mini tornado came by and cleaned them off restoring the power It turns out these mini-tornadoes are pretty common on Mars which is why she is still driving around today Nearly more than 14 years later. This is also in part why on the next Rover we sent to Mars We just killed the issue altogether and slapped a nuclear reactor on the back and while California isn't Mars It does get pretty dusty here. 

So to ensure that wouldn't happen to me I invited over some really smart future engineers scientists and creators and after explaining the problem and demonstrating how severely it limits the power output from the panels I challenged them to come up with and build a solution And because our brains use up 20% of all the energy our body produces. I made them drink more lemonade to ensure I got an optimal solution and so after pitching each other their ideas, they settled on one and got to work Personally I thought it was brilliant and it worked extremely well and after they left I hooked it up to my lawn sprinkler system So they go off for a few minutes once a week now and so after a few days of being bombarded by photons from space We finally had the battery all charged up to full capacity So in the end I learned a lot and we actually pulled it off And now if you'll excuse me. 

Comments