Category Archives: Salt Battery

This device has multiple names: Earth battery, salt battery, salt cell, crystal battery, and crystal cells.

Tripenny with ground loops (8-Feb-2012) – ^.^

Updated 8 Feb 2012 to include results of Test 3.

Updated 7 Feb 2012 to include experiments using salt cells with 3 different substrates.

The Tripenny is an expansion of Lidmotor’s Penny, ibpointless2’s Super Penny and the RF Charge Pump.  This circuit is still experimental and may undergo some alterations as I complete more tests on it.  The penny oscillators are stacked in series with each oscillator having its own salt cells.  Having multiple antennas transceiving local RF noise (radiant energy), and multiple signal grounds being held at different DC potentials, this expandable oscillator will hopefully prove to be a functional way of extracting free energy.   The Salt cells primarily began with the use of Alum to mimic  the effect of “Earth Batteries”.  Earth batteries were primarily used to power telegraph stations, the salt cells do differ from an Earth battery slightly.  The current intent of the Salt cells is to form a crystal structure inside the cell which allows energy production through piezoelectricity (pressure to electricity) and pyroelectricity (heat to electricity).

I have decided to use this circuit to gauge the power of crystal battery substrates.  There is an advantage to testing 3 cells at the same time: production variations can be averaged out to some extent.  I will be re-building the cells with different substrates as I go along but will save “the best” cell of each test to see how it reacts over time.

The Schematic:


The nodes of the schematic have been color coded for easy understanding.

C1 – C3 are 1uF DC blocking capacitors.

C4 – C6 are 1000uF polarized DC storage capacitors.

C7 – C9 are 1uF capacitors that set the oscillator frequencies.

C10 is a 4700uF polarized DC storage capacitors.

D1 – D6 are 1N34A germanium diodes for RF receiving.

D7-D9 are 3V green LEDs, these are primarily indicators but also act as output limiters.

D10 – D12 are UF4002 Schottky diodes that block reverse DC.

B1 – B3 are Copper-Magnesium salt cells.  They are primarily used to bias the transistors, but also act as the primary current input of the system.

R1 – R3 are 1Mohm resistors that initiate the oscillations.  The larger these resistors are the better.

R4 is the load resistor, 1Mohm is currently being used for testing purposes.

Q1 – Q3 are MPS2222 transistors which are comparable to 2N2222 transistors.

ANT 1 and ANT 2 are UHF/FM rabbit ear antennas.

L1 – L6 are 65 foot (15 meter) rolls of steel twist tie wire, they have an average inductance of 975uH (+/- 15%) and an average resistance of 204 ohms of resistance (+/- 20%).  Values were measured at a frequency of 10khz.

Fun with ground loops:

The Green Wire node is connected to Earth ground via the ground plug of a wall socket.  The Black Wire node is connected to the aluminum back plate of the breadboard.  These two grounds should be at different potentials because of B2 and oscillations will occur in the middle oscillator as a result.  The oscillations will provide power to the other 2 oscillators via induction.

Initial testing- magnesium copper pipe cap cell: finding the most powerful substrate mixture.

I’ve confirmed that I do have the ground loop configured properly, because if I reverse the Earth ground and the aluminum backplate the power drops significantly.  The LEDs are needed to sync the pulses together; removal of the  LEDs reduces output power.  It is definitely a good start and I’m eager to see how the results pan out.

Please note that in the test results: voltages are given “open” and the currents are given “shorted”, please do not try to multiply them to calculate power.

First test substrate results:

Composition: equal parts Epsom, “Sifto” Potassium Chloride (with anti-caking agent), Borax, and Alum.  The cells were also doped with galena and iron pyrite and were heated to melt the crystal together.  Water was added several times to re-achive peak performance.  It was found that too much water in the cell reduced performance and performance will increase as the water evaporates.  Once the peak is achieved, it lasts around 6 hours (which can likely be extended by sealing the cell).

Input(Red to Blue)  Output(Yellow to Blue)
 3.2V  4.22V

Maximum operational DC output power during peak (found by reducing the resistance of R4): around 100uW.

Cells appear to be primarily galvanic and seem to lack solid, lasting crystal structure.  This may be due to the anti-caking agent in the Potassium Chloride.



Second test substrate results:

Composition: equal parts Epsom, Activated carbon, Borax, and Alum.  The cells were also doped with galena and iron pyrite and were heated to melt the crystal together.  Results so far with this substrate are not encouraging as cell voltage seems to be VERY low (around 0.25V each).  The cells are still able to source around 5ma just after production, but that seems to have dropped very quickly.

Input(Red to Blue) Output(Yellow to Blue)
 1.25V (with quite a bit of variation, an indication of low sourcing potential)  1.8V
 138uA  110uA

Maximum operational DC output power during peak (found by reducing the resistance of R4): *not found since that is not enough power for it to be accurately measured.


Third test substrate results:

Composition: equal parts Epsom, “No Salt” Potassium Chloride (with fumaric acid, a potential coagulant), Borax, and Alum.  The cells were also doped with galena and iron pyrite and were heated to melt the crystal together.  Less heat was used on this cell than in test 1 so the I’ll have to repeat test one with the new configuration.

Input(Red to Blue) Output(Yellow to Blue)
 3.79V  4.57V

I’ve decided to run the tests from this point on without the addition of more water.  This test ran for several weeks without the addition of water reaching a final input voltage of 0.64V.  Once the voltage is too low in any of the cells to run its oscillator, the cell continues to source as a  DC voltage.  The point at which the oscillations stop (meaning that no LEDs flash, and no clicking can be heard on the AM radio) is at an input voltage of around 1.5V, which would be below the 0.5V per oscillator specification.  I will bag the Test 3 Cells, and re-test them after Test 4 to see their recovery voltage.



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Carbon rod capacitor salt cells – NickZ

My small capacitor cells made with just wood carbon and carbon rods, are only 1/4″ by 3/4″, and can give almost a volt (0.93v, and 2 mA).  I can place 8 of those cells into a 4 AA battery size plastic holder, and obtain about 7 volts, but hardly no current. This should be enough to run an oscillator, but it will not run my Hartleys, as they need and use more mAs, to work properly, usually about 50 mA, or more. The Hartleys work fine on AA batteries, but not on the carbon capacitor can cells.  So, I’ll have to make a more efficient oscillator that can work with no mA, just voltage, if possible. My idea is not to make a penny type oscillator that will blink on low current power, as blinking led devices are not a useful device, as far as I’m concerned. But, any other ideas on oscillators to power leds on low current cells is welcome. I see that some guys are getting an led to light BRIGHTLY on just ONE mA. That would work for me…

The cells mentioned above are non galvanic, they use no water, salts, heat, or anything else. So, they can last forever, but due to the less than ideal type of carbon (beach wood carbon), they have only fair voltages (up to 1.2volts) on my best quartz/carbon cells, but with little current output.  I’m still looking for the ideal mix to dope the carbon with for additional output levels.

Hot dog on a stick type cell (last picture), using 1/4″ brass rod, aluminum wire, and cloth electrolyte covered with table salt and white glue gives 20 mA, and 0.62 volts. Down from 0.78 volts and 50 mAs originally two months ago. It finally finished dripping water out of it. This is a Galvanic Cell, but needs no additional water added (in two months). It is now sealed with glue, as well as I could get it, as it blows holes to vent the electrolysis action, right through the glue. It would be better to seal this type of cell with 5 minute epoxy or or quick setting resin, instead of the glue, to avoid the electrolysis from the all the water that’s in the glue which takes a quite a while to dry out. Maybe just soaking the cloth in a Epsom/salt substitute mix and applied dry would work better, like Ib2 does.

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Salt Battery — NEW — Step-by-Step Video added

The basics:

Salts are ionic compounds that are the result of an acid and base mixing to become neutral.  They have positive and negative ions which balance to a neutral net charge.   The salts we are interested in for this project are crystalline, which is why these objects are also sometimes called “crystal cells”.

Crystals are a series of linking ionic bonds that always arrange themselves into the same pattern.  If we apply electricity to a crystal, the energy can only travel along the ions that have the same polarity of charge.  This ends up forming many “one way streets” for electricity along the grain of the crystal.  This property is called semi-conductivity and is in use in just about every electronic device you’ve ever seen.  A diode is a man-made semi-conductor that has been designed to only carry electricity one way.

If two different metals contact a linked section of crystal, electrons will flow from the more negative metal to the positive metal.  The reason this happens is exactly the same as that of a battery, however the method it employs is different because of the crystal.  The best way to understand how they work is to compare them to the working of standard electronic components.  We need to remember however that these cells have three states they can be in based on their moisture content: wet cell, dry cell and semi-dry cell.

Wet Cell:
Visible liquid acting as an electrolyte –
Galvanic battery (a wet cell should have no other properties besides those of a battery):

  • Electrodes will degrade if you draw current.
  • Source power output will drop in a linear way when current is drawn.
  • Cell will not self-recharge when power is depleted.

Dry cell:
Solid white, rough, crystalline and brittle –
Galvanic battery:

  • Current is limited because of the dielectric’s high impedance.  Current will only flow when the voltage of the cell is lower than the galvanic voltage of the metals, and then will only recharge the cell to its galvanic voltage.
  • A complete circuit is prevented from forming when shorted, because of the high impedance of the crystal. The circuit will appear “open” and prevent galvanic draw.  This is in contrast to a regular battery that produces more current when shorted and makes the crystal more like a capacitor.


  • Discharges at the rate of a capacitor.
  • Recovers charge when not loaded using the charge curve of a capacitor.
  • Dissipates stored energy when shorted, which prevents energy from being stored.


  • Shorting will temporarily increase output current.  More inductance should provide a higher current spike.
  • Local, moving magnetic fields will effect output.

“Field Effect” (low signal) Diode:

  • Output voltage will not swing negative naturally (rectification).
  • Galvanic/inductive current is allowed to pass while maintaining a large dielectric impedance (the galvanic effect prevents a direct measure of dielectric resistance)
  • High reverse leakage current tends to occur with extremely low forward voltage.  There are “one way streets” that go each way.

Crystal Transducer (to transducer is to change from one form of energy to another):

  • Crystals under stress produces an E field (static electricity), and E fields will cause crystal stress.  This effect is quite pronounced during thunderstorms.
  • Heat causes stress.
  • Pressure (both linear pressure and sound waves) causes stress.

Semi-dry Cell:
The crystal appears as a “waxy solid”, sometimes with a bit of a shine on the surface and is the state they are in just after production –

  •  Acts as a dry cell with increased galvanic current proportional to moisture.
  •  Acts as a diode with increased forward and reverse currrent.

What they’re made of:

The most common recipe for salt cells at the moment, and the person credited for discovery of the ingredient with regard to these cell:

  • Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) – John Hutchison
  • “Salt substitute” (potassium chloride) – ibpointless2
  • Borax (sodium tetraborate decahydrate) – ibpointless2, suggested by b_rad of Energetic Forums
  • Alum (hydrated potassium aluminum sulfate) – John Bedini

Other recipes include:

  • Epsom, Zinc Oxide, Calcium Carbonate, dry ground Silica gel  – diveflyfish (has several very interesting types of these cells)

There have also been several different compounds used to dope that combination.  When doping, only a very small amount is added.  It only takes a little to change the properties of the cell:

  • Iron Pyrite – John Hutchison – used to be used as a detector in radio communications.
  • Galena – John Hutchison – used to be used as a detector in radio communications.
  • (more coming soon)

The voltage and power output of the cell are based primarily on which metals are chosen for the bias.  Power can be increased by having as little space between the two electrodes as possible without shorting:

  • Copper – Aluminum
  • Copper – Galvanized Iron (Zinc)
  • Copper – Magnesium
  • Carbon – Magnesium
  • Carbon – Zinc
  • Aluminum – Doped Aluminum (accomplished by electrolysis)

Construction methods

Basic copper – magnesium cell:

You will need:

  1. A magnesium sacrificial anode for a water heater.  This can be purchased at any pluming supply store.  The standard dimensions of this bar are 32″ long, 3/4″ diameter.
  2. A 3/4″ copper pipe cap.
  3. A hacksaw
  4. Sand paper
  5. 1/8 each of a teaspoon of: Epsom salt; Borax; “Salt substitute” (potassium chloride); and Alum.
  6. 4 non-conductive, heat-resistant splints about 1mm thick.  I used flat toothpicks that I shaved with an razor.  Spacer under the magnesium is an X made from a broken toothpick.
  7. A small pot and range or hot plate.


  1. Place a copper pipe cap on the  end of the magnesium rod so it the rod touches the bottom.  Mark the rod about 1/4″ above the end of the cap and cut it off using the hacksaw.
  2. Break 2 peices of the toothpick and place them to for an X in the bottom of the pipe cap; mix the substrate ingredients and pour them into copper pipe cap.
  3. Sand the oxidization off the section of magnesium rod you cut off.  The entire  surface of the rod should appear with the same luster as the freshly cut portion.  There is extra magnesium on the rod, so if the cell doesn’t work, or when it dies you can always sand the outside off and use it again.
  4. Preheat your pot to med-high on the range.
  5. Place the magnesium bar into the copper cap on top of the mixed crystals and splint it into place so that it does not contact the copper.  This can be checked using a resistance meter which should read as an open circuit.
  6. Set the unheated cell in the pre-heated pan.  After 30 sec or so you will begin to hear the crystal melting.  The crystal will bubble up into the  space between the two electrodes and likely overflow.  Continue heating until the visible crystal hardens into a white solid.
  7. Allow to cool, remove the splints and check the voltage.  If the cell reads as 0 volts: take a drop of water on your finger and place it on the crystal between the two metals to activate the cell.

A fresh cell of this type should check as being 1 to1.5 volts.  If your cell is not producing voltage, take a drop of water on your finger an place in between the metals where the crystal is.  Additional protection measures can be taken to prevent the magnesium corroding and prevent water from reaching the crystal as that will dissolve the crystal.

(more will be added as we get submitted replications of different ways to make the cells)

Replication request:

In order to pin down the most powerful mix ratios, Let’s Replicate is requesting that replicators submit the following information with their replications:

  1. Mix ratio used including any doping, metals used, and any special things you did for this cell.
  2. The surface area of each electrode that is in contact with the crystal (approximate is fine)
  3. Average distance between electrodes.
  4. Voltage with no load
  5. Voltage with a 1k resistor after a 5-second count.

Pictures of the cells will all be posted with your results if you choose to submit them.  All results will be publicly available.

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Copper / Magnesium Oxide; Epsom / Salt Subsitute / Carbon /Iron Oxide – by Artisan

The cells are made from plastic slipcover sheets (microscope slides) stapled together and bound by electric tape (see images below). When I applied sustained pressure (squeezing) to the cell in a darkened room, I could seen an intensity in brightness from the LED. The question now is how long will this boost be maintained. I have a little portable desk vice and will run your replication tonight.

The electrodes are made of copper foil and oxidized magnesium ribbon.. Both electrodes were lightly brushed with silicone adhesive and I added what I call a p-type salt mix to the copper electrode and an n-type salt mix to the magnesium electrodes. I simply sprinkled the mix on the silicone-coated electrodes and patted them in with my fingers. I then wrapped a thin-craft cloth (that is dry but previously super-saturated with Epsom salt and Salt Substitute) around the magnesium electrode and made a sandwich between the two plastic slip covers. One of these puts out about 1.3-1.45Volts average and two in series will light an LED moderately (depending on how many magnesium ribbons I strap together to make an electrode, increasing surface area). Although, prolonged running of the LED will dim to a minimal brightness after about 8 hrs.(as expected), I think the power of all of these cells though will be in connecting them in vast arrays either in series or in parallel and exposing them to high pressure in a mechanical vice casing of some kind.

IB, in your test the uAmps of your cell increased by 100 fold. Imagine if you had a flat version of this cell and arranged them in arrays 2-D then stacked these arrays on top of one another.

Here are the ingredients for the p-type and n-type:


  • copper oxide powder
  • pulverized: Epsom salt, salt substitute (potassium chloride), activated charcoal, red iron oxide and black iron oxide.


  • zinc oxide powder
  • pulverized: Epsom salt, salt substitute, activated charcoal, red iron oxide and black iron oxide



Anyway, IB excellent work, some pics of my cells are shown below. Now back to some more cell making. I want to get to a 40V stack by New Years



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Black Copper Oxide/Red Copper Oxide;Epsom/Rochelle Cell by Dave Cahoon

Taking advice from John Bedini, I managed to form a thin black oxide layer on copper, and red oxide on another piece of copper. Then I pasted them into an Epsom and Rochelle salts cell.

After a few weeks, the only output is from the ambient heat and light in the room. If I shine light into the cell, the power can double and if I heat the cell lightly, I can get 3 to 6x the power.  I haven’t pushed it too far on the heat side as I don’t want the salts to melt and cause the cell to reset. The cell can also be charged with low voltage from a nearly dead battery and it will hold for some time at a current above the ambient heat level of output–like a cap of sorts. Freezing it to -38F left the cell output at zero, BUT it would still produce power if illuminated.

I brazed a strip of copper to a small cap and re-tried the experiment in water.  I used steam distilled drinking water: PH 7.8-8.0.  The exact same effect was seen.  Although, the cell was more sensitive to light using the far more transparent water. The water did not become murky and the metals and oxides were not attacked in any way that I could notice. The response to heating was the same as the salty dry cell.  The Wet cells worked best, because they did not slowly degrade like the Epsom and Rochell salts cell, which slowly stopped working for me in this experiment. They just had to be constantly topped off with water because of evaporation, which could be fixed by enclosure.

How to make a copper-copper cell:

  • I used 2 copper pipe caps: one is 1/2″ the other is 3/4″.  On the small cap, drill a few holes into the end.  The nail points up in both P and N fabrication.  I used a simple propane torch for heating the copper caps and Oxy-Propane and hi temp braze to connect the copper electrodes together for the wet cell.
  • For my salmon color P+ oxide layer:  Use a pair of vice grips to hold a 3-4inch nail upright. On the nail place the 1/2″ cap.  Heat with a blow torch until bright Orange in temp. Then quickly drop it into 3-4 inches of water. To quench it suddenly.
  • For my black oxide N layer: on the inside of the larger cap (3/4″) set the vice grips with nail on the bench. set the cap on the nail. Heat with blow torch until it just starts to uniformly turn red. Stop and let the cap cool down slowly; we want a thin layer of black oxide that’s not prone to flake off.
  • Place the 3/4 black N cap on a hot plate. Fill with Epsom and Rochelle-salt mix and heat slowly.
  • When molten I inserted the smaller red cap into the 3/4″ cap with 0.8V DC across it until it was cold.
  • Making connection to the outer cap: Use a grinder or wire wheel to grind down the outside diameter oxide back to the bare copper. Then solder or use a hose clamp to make the connection.

If the power could be increased significantly this might work well in a solar water heater to provide power for some system part, maybe a pump.

Thanks John Bedini, because of you, I made a semiconductor power cell that’s easy and very repeatable. Though it produced a very low power output, the physics is most interesting.

If anyone can improve on this please LET ME KNOW.

I’m thinking about trying Ibpointless2’s mix in one of these.

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