Leaving hundreds of twinkling Christmas lights on over the festive period adds a hefty chunk to your winter electricity bill. But what if there was an alternate source other than the mains with which to illuminate your tree? What if the lights were juiced by…Brussels sprouts?
It's been done! 1000 of the least-tasty components of a Christmas dinner have been linked together to make a vegetable battery with which to power the lights of a tree standing on London's South Bank. Created by a team from The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair, the system works by putting copper and zinc electrodes between each sprout, creating a small reaction between the electrodes and each sprout's acidic content. The sprouts are then grouped together into five energy-giving cells, harvesting the energy created by the reaction and delivering 63 volts — just enough to light the low power LEDs adorning the tree. Better than eating 'em, right? [Daily Mail]
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