Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Make A Battery From An Orange

While we have touched on these projects in previous blogs here is an update on several new uses for orange based generated electricity.

This orange battery was built by photographer Caleb Charland as part of his ongoing alternative energy photographs using fruit, vegetables, and other objects to create light for his long-exposure photographs. The electricity powering the lightbulb inside the orange is generated through a chemical reaction between citric acid and the zinc nails inserted into each wedge. 

I think this is by far the most lovely piece he’s done in the series, but before you start work on a bunch of orange lights to keep on the nightstand, the light generated was so dim this particular photograph required a 14 hour exposure.

A link to his website

As you may know citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and grapefruits, can be used to generate electrical currents. The citric acid in these fruits combines with electrodes, such as copper and zinc, to generate electricity. Acting as a power cell, these fruits can power small devices such as LED lights and basic digital clocks. Creating an orange battery as a science project is a valuable way for your children to gain hands-on experience with how electricity is made and how it functions in a very basic circuit.

What You Need:
1 Orange
1 Copper nail, 2 inches long
1 Galvanized zinc nail, 2 inches long
1 Small light bulb with a 2-inch lead
Electrical tape
Micro Ammeter (optional)
Alligator clips


Squeeze the sides of the orange to loosen the juice inside and prepare it for the experiment.

Insert both the copper and galvanized zinc nails into the orange. The nails should be 2 inches away from one another with the tips in the center of the orange.

Take a small light bulb and remove the insulation from the leads, or bulb wires, which must be at least 2 inches in length; the bare wires must be exposed. An LED holiday light works well for this purpose.

Wrap one of the exposed wires around the galvanized zinc nail that is sticking out of the orange. Secure it with electrical tape if necessary. Repeat with the other end of the wire, wrapping it around the copper nail.

Watch as, once the second wire is attached, the orange generates enough electricity to make the small light bulb light up.

Are you looking for the perfect wholesome and healthy foods to use as gifts for a business associates, family or friends? A quick visit to can solve all of your fresh gift giving adventures. We sell only the finest selections and the freshest citrus you can buy.

Presented By:
Sunburst Oranges
180 South “E” Street
Porterville, CA  93257

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