William Osman and Mark Rober build a giant lemon battery

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Two big names in the maker community – William Osman and Mark Rober – have teamed up for a collab with a lot of lemons and a bit of electrical engineering.

The pair have created a lemon battery using over 1 000 of the fruits, using the energy it created for a variety of applications.

We suggest starting with Osman’s video has it covers more of the creation of the battery.

The main components, aside from the lemons themselves, are the anodes and cathodes needed to connect everything and make the chemical reaction work.

Osman used large pieces of zinc and copper which were cut into rows with teeth which dig into the lemons. After all of those were joined together, the battery was complete.

The process was obviously a bit more complex than that, working out the optimal way to extract as much electrical juice from the lemons and building some wooden frame to hold everything together.

With that done, however, Osman’s use for the battery was to connect it to a motor with a high-ratio gearbox. This would lift a weight up into the air before dropping it on a cut lemon connected to a juicer.

That’s right: the giant lemon battery was used to make lemonade.

Rober’s plan for the lemon energy was a bit more complex: using it to power an electric racing car.

As you may have guessed even with a thousand of them, lemons don’t provide nearly enough energy to move a car. In fact, Rober estimated that all those lemons only provided around an AA battery’s worth of charge.

To make up more of that required charge for the car Rober created a zipline that would power up a battery. He then invited a group of kids to use the zipline for a day, dumping the power from that battery into one of the car.

While it may not be directly related to the original idea for the videos, the kids did drink lemonade made with all the lemons used for the battery.

Finally, when all of that still wasn’t enough, Rober turned to installing solar panels on his house. No relation to lemons here really, but it is what was needed for the VW to complete an upcoming race.

If you need more of either one of these makers we highly suggest giving them a sub on YouTube. We also suggest giving our interview with Osman a read as part of our YouTube content creator series.


Clinton Matos

Clinton Matos

Clinton has been a programmer, engineering student, project manager, asset controller and even a farrier. Now he handles the maker side of htxt.africa.