How To Make a 3 Penny Battery


Is there free energy hiding in your spare
change? In this video you’ll learn how to turn a handful of pennies into batteries that
can power some of your small electronic devices. For this project, I’ll need pennies. My neighbor
Trevor gave me these and I’ll begin sorting them by date. I want pennies newer than 1982
because they’re nearly 98% Zinc. Ok I’ve picked out 10 pennies that I think will work, so
I’ll use this 100 grit sandpaper and start sanding one side of the penny. Actually, this
may be too much work, so I’ll try some double sided sticky tape and an orbital sander. This
is working much better to expose the zinc, but the adhesive has melted from the friction,
and left these pennies in a sticky mess. No problem, I’ll just use some adhesive remover
to clean them up, and now they’re looking great! It’s time to build a battery. I’ll
cut some thin cardboard into pieces just bigger than the penny, and throw them in some vinegar.
While those are soaking, I’ll start my battery cell by placing one of the pennies with the
copper side down on a piece of aluminum foil. As you can see, nothing is happening yet,
so I’ll blot dry one of my cardboard pieces, and place it on top. This time when I measure
the voltage, I’m excited to see over half a volt from this one cell! I’ll add another
penny and cardboard, and repeat the process until I’ve stacked up all my pennies. Now
the cells are connected in series, and the electric potential has jumped to nearly 6
volts! Wow. This should be more than enough voltage to drive an LED, so I’ll test it out
with this one. It works perfectly, and I can’t believe how brilliantly this lights up. Just
for fun I’m testing the currant draw and it’s pulling about 170 microamps. I can even light
up two at once. Ok, so it works, and it’s actually really impressive that I’m getting
electricity from pennies, but now I’m curious to know how long this can last? I’ll use some
electrical tape to hold everything in place, and try to fix these cardboard edges because
they shouldn’t be touching. I’ll do my best to make it air tight to prevent the wet cardboard
from drying out too quickly, and then carry it with me for the next couple of hours to
watch when for it dies out. Ok so now it’s more than 2 days later and I really can’t
believe what I’m seeing. The green light is still on, which means these little pennies
are still pumping out juice! This is awesome, so I wanna try another idea. I’ve picked up
a calculator from the dollar store and I’ll remove the screws on the back so I can get
to the battery. Once that’s removed I’ll pull the negative and positive leads out of the
casing. And now I’ll need to make another penny battery. This time I don’t feel like
sanding the pennies, so I’m adding these zinc washers I got from the hardware store for
about 3 cents each. I need around 1.5 volts, so I’ll use 3 pennies, 3 washers, and 3 pieces
of cardboard soaked in vinegar. This time I’ve rounded the cardboard edges so they won’t
be a problem. And I’ll stack them with the washer on the bottom, the cardboard in the
middle, and the penny on top. This is one cell, and I need 3 so I’ll stack up 2 more.
The penny on top is the positive side and the zinc washer on bottom is the negative.
I’m getting just over 2 volts and 700 microamps, so I’ll add wires to the terminals and use
some more electrical tape to hold it together. Time to test it on the calculator. I’ll press
the “on” button, and it’s incredible, the calculator fires right up! I’m testing out
a few functions and everything calculates correctly, so now I just need to clean these
wires up a bit. I’ll chip holes in the casing, and hardwire my pennies into the battery leads,
then tape the penny stack to the back. A penny powered calculator?! I really am impressed
at how well this worked out… …and still patiently waiting for this little green light
to die out. Well there’s an idea that’s worth a few cents. If you like this project perhaps
you’ll like some of my others. Check them out at

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100 thoughts on “How To Make a 3 Penny Battery”

  1. Kace C says:

    Federal offense destroying currency! Be careful;)

  2. ikichullo says:

    Dislikes are from jews.

  3. Adriance Music says:


  4. DanTheCreeper47 says:

    The penny punns are real

  5. Eclipse_ Moon says:

    I did this in science class today

  6. Bones07 K1ll3r2007 says:

    definitely wanna try this out

  7. Christina B. says:

    Can you make a timer clock please

  8. ŽAN ERJAVEC says:

    i just liked and subscribed, this idea is awesome!!!

  9. paul leftwick says:

    how would coupla milion pennys last?with hydroponic vinegar feed

  10. Aadi Desai says:

    When did the green light die out?

  11. 1000gohead says:

    There's easier and simpler ways to produce electricity, but YouTube won't allow those videos to be seen, instead BS like this pop's up in everyone's recommendation list

  12. Gernald Studios says:

    The new Tesla battery

  13. The labeless says:

    that's badass and all but no wonder America's in debt instead of saving our pennies we sand them down for nifty projects

  14. Memory of the Stars says:

    "pennies" hehehehehehe now I understand why they call pit peenus

  15. Krishendat Hemrhaj says:

    I think you should use the pennies to buy a battery😅

  16. EL PAPASH says:

    This ia not real i just tried it and doesnt work

  17. Shantel Guetgen says:

    if you want to know how to make it yourself , just go to Avasva webpage. There you'll find your answers 🙂

  18. Traddy says:

    Penny powered RC car!!!

  19. Abhi Gamer was taken says:

    I saw this on DaveHax

  20. Priya Shukla says:

    Is this only with pennies ❔❔

  21. BearMugs says:

    I wonder if you get enough Pennies, cardboard and vinegar, with long enough wires could you power a phone or an electric car? That would be cool

  22. Gameplay Focus says:

    Your wife : Honey where is all my pennies ?

    you : Oh . i made a batery from it

    Your wife : whattttt%ttttttttttyysjgsg฿﷼θ฿ฯ§´´¥¤Г°]{jyshsudjsjchfngyouYOU

  23. TheBestLettuce says:

    This is kind of silly, but that's just my two cents.

  24. Isaiah Penny says:

    Legend says that light is still on

  25. Daemon Nice says:

    I am curious. Did the light "fizzle" out after 2.5 weeks because the vinegar in the cardboard dried out? If you re-soaked the cardboard would it have relit the light?

  26. Mark Volker says:

    Perhaps I am wrong, but you might have enough electricity to start a fire.

  27. avoca dude says:


  28. cgreen339 says:

    How can you not like that voice

  29. AJK2798 says:

    How many cents make a volt

  30. Peter Smythe says:

    Tried it. Got 0.7 volts/cell. This thing is legit!

  31. Peter Smythe says:

    I strongly suspect this thing is very cost effective when compared to button cells, even if we account for differences in capacity. After all, it literally costs a penny.

  32. Hizon Pastorpili says:

    Could I use a Joule Thief to amplify its voltage ?

  33. Midnight Starwriter says:

    The power of a penny

  34. Noshua Caliel Chau says:

    When I was 8, I got this circuit set, and I noticed that an LED would work at the exact same brightness at 3 volts, 6 volts and 1.5 volts, but I may need to check it again. (seriously, it doesn't sound right)

  35. Nicholas has no surname says:

    Maybe it should be called a "coin cell" xD

  36. Menachem Shapiro says:

    whats the max power you can make?
    another words if you keep adding pennys will you be able to power an air conditioner?

  37. POSM PintOfSam says:


  38. Base Boosted & FX says:

    I I’m late but does it have to be pennies?

  39. ThatOneIrishFriend says:

    dose this work with CENTS?

  40. It's 쌈무 time! says:

  41. Jose Lopez says:

    That’s incredible!

  42. MuaHaBoy1 says:

    How does it work?

  43. Flognop says:

    Worlds largest penny battery?!?

  44. Pro J Dog OK says:

    Did the power ever run out in the Penney's

  45. Captain Soban says:

    this is amazing! i wonder how many of these pennie batteries we would need to power an electric car? I'm sure its in the thousonds lol

  46. NoVaKane says:

    How can you test amps with no load to get current moving?

  47. gaurav solaki says:

    Can any thing else be used instead of penny as I am a Indian I have not penny .

  48. Ahmed Ezzein says:

    7 years later

  49. Gabriel Vitali says:

    If I'm correct, batteries oxidize to produce electrical power, so what happens to the pennies?

  50. FREDERICK says:

    Considering led- acid batteries, can you make a bullet into a battery?

  51. Tilled Wolf says:

    I SMELL PENNIES!!!!!!!!

  52. job3ztah says:

    miss his old bad mic and style vid

  53. Daddy Yo says:

    Got be smarter than theses comments on here that's what separate y'all so another idea would be to magnify the green light to make it brighter and increase the copper and zinc to provide more power ? Let do this next make a makeshift light outta pennies ?

  54. Hans Rozol says:

    May I ask? What type of chemical reaction it undergoes?

  55. Unknown Artist says:


  56. Magic Girl says:

    Does it make a difference if you use Canadian pennies I mean I raided my penny storage and found 12 américain cents 1 from 1967 and even found a Canadian penny from 1963

  57. Robert Jenkins says:

    Can you recharge this penny battery?

  58. Talon Dotts says:

    what does the foil do.

  59. Briggs Price says:

    I was born October 2008

  60. David Nathanael says:


  61. Raymond Lu says:

    Is The Aluminum Foil Necessary? Other Tutorials Doesn’t Include Foil

  62. Jeremy Cornwell says:

    Copper coins are dropped along ever root/trail/road.

  63. Jeremy Cornwell says:

    Keep them wet

  64. John Doe says:

    That doesnt seem right. 98% zinc? A penny 1982 or older is almost pure copper but ones after that werent as pure but still a nice amount of copper. So 1 pound of copper per pound is $2.79 per pound last i checked. 1 pound of copper is 145 ($1.45) pennies that are 1982 or older. Anything newer, you need 180 ($1.80) pennies per pound of copper that has a value of $2.79lbs. I need to look at the most recent value. 1982 or older is about 3.10 grams each and newer ones are 2.5 grams each.

  65. Armen Mkrtchyan says:

    how many pennies do i need to start a car? I'm stuck at the supermarket. Just brainstorming

  66. TheExecutionator says:


  67. Online Gamer120 says:

    Legend has it the green light is still on today

  68. OllieRG525 computer pro says:

    When I did it nothing happens I used 4 cells to power a 2.4 volt .7 amp flashlight bulb. What gives.

    Edit: i am using led powerd by 4 pennys nothing the led is powerd by a button battery

  69. Isak Loves Potatoes says:

    Wait so is the battery infinite?

  70. QUEBO MTB says:

    I used salt and water mixture and from one that cell I have 0,5V, so from 8cell I will get 9V. VINEGAR IS USELESS


    What alternative I can use instead of pennies? Can I use zinc plate?

  72. Raj P. says:

    If you use a paper towel circles instead of the cardboard, then you get a stronger current. Though it dies a bit quicker.

  73. joshua louthan says:

    its trevor mothe !"£$$£" philips

  74. Rena Skanson Home says:

    What happens
    I’m so sorry

  75. Joey Macaroni says:


  76. V.O MAWBY says:


  77. BIG BOI ELi Eli the fortnite pro og bitch says:


  78. alone sheep says:

    When did the light die out, or is it still lit to this day

  79. Johnathan Delossantos says:


  80. OP 2316 says:

    RIP king of Random this was my favorite vid 🙁

  81. yes no says:

    I miss him😔

  82. TheHappyGoLuckies says:

    I smell pennies

  83. ehcnjq says:

    how many pennies do I need to power my electric car … ?

  84. Godzilla Airsoft says:


  85. Hamilton Pfaff says:

    I’m going to do this for my science fair

  86. Planarian 17 says:

    Those things powered small electronics. But you powered the world.

  87. tonya stites says:

    R.I.P to a true legend

  88. Matt Clay says:

    We are getting ripped off on battery prices.

  89. Delfino Garza says:

    Haha this worked perfectly !!!

  90. The Guy says:


  91. your average introvert says:

    why am i getting TKOR’s older videos in my recommended page right after grants death?

  92. Jay G says:

    Who's here from 2019?

  93. Eric McGinnis says:

    Pennie power wow!

  94. Eric McGinnis says:

    Would lemon juice work better?

  95. Nathan Strack says:

    This is the first video i ever seen of his

  96. Nathan Strack says:


  97. Albedo D. Overlord says:

    legend says that the green light is still on!!!

  98. Tertsie Specs_1 says:

    Now power a 2008 Ford Escape Limited with penny batteries replacing the car battery.

  99. EnochPlays says:


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