Voltaic Potato Pi(le)

I know it sounds like a stressful and electric visit to the bathroom, but I swear it’s not.  It’s my new approach to get around the power issue with the Potato Pi.

dealing with voltaic piles
dealing with voltaic piles

So, from my previous posts you may remember that I wanted to create a Raspberry Pi powered by potatoes for a terrible pun.  You may also remember that one of the issues was the result of some tests which basically equated to a BUTT LOAD of potatoes.  In a previous post I’ve addressed the issue of how much power was needed and tried to remediate that with a little strategy borrowed from NASA, but it still worked out to 200kg of potatoes as calculated by a fellow nerdling.  Now I love chips, but not that much and certainly not when they’ve been anodised.  So what can I do?

Voltaic piles are the answer.  The same tests revealed that the distance between the anode and cathode (the copper and zinc) required for the potato battery didn’t really affect the voltage and current much.  We can have the 2 pretty close together.  So what if we wafer slice the potato at minimum optimal depth and then separate it with insulate material.  This would turn each potato into a multi-cell battery.  Otherwise known as a voltaic pile!


If the 200kg of potatoes required stands true and we can divide each potato into 5 cells or so, then we’d only need 40kg of potatoes.  Now it’s really starting to sound reasonable.  Slowly, slowly, we’re making it into the realms of sanity.  A few of these strung together with some creative series/parallel wiring and a little intelligent conversion starts making this look easier.

Still half baked, but the egg timer is counting down.  To be continued…


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