Pumpkins are definitely a staple of fall. We use them to bake, decorate, and carve. However, pumpkins can also serve as an energy source.
In Oakland, California, the East Bay Municipal Utility District recycles the carved pumpkin waste from the area to produce electricity. In fact, digesting 100 tons of food waste through anaerobic digesters can generate enough electricity to power 1,000 homes!
You can see the energy potential inside a pumpkin of your own by following these 5 steps to turn a pumpkin into a battery.
Materials Needed to Turn a Pumpkin into a Battery
- 2 pumpkins
- Galvanized or zinc-coated nails or screws
- Copper materials (i.e. nails, wire)
- 12 or 14 gauge copper wire
- Digital Multimeter
Instructions to Generate Power from a Pumpkin
Step 1: Place one galvanized screw or nail into each pumpkin. Make sure to leave at least half of the screw sticking out of the pumpkin.
Step 2: Place the copper material nearby the galvanized screw in each pumpkin. Make sure they do not touch.
Step 3: Using one strip of copper wire, connect the galvanized screw of one pumpkin to the copper material of the other pumpkin.
Step 4: Connect a second strip of copper wire to the copper material on the first pumpkin. Then, connect a third strip of wire to the galvanized screw on the second pumpkin.
Step 5: Connect the loose ends of the second and third strips of wire to the digital multimeter to measure the voltage from your pumpkins.
Check out the original experiment at The Green Optimistic.
For more information about Southwire Tools, visit southwiretools.com.