Fruit Power: A Study of Alternative Energy

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Author: Maxine Levaren

The energy crisis is always on everyone’s mind, including students thinking about their science projects. Laura Franke decided to find out whether the energy stored in fruits could be a possible source of electrical power.


I believe that I can generate enough electric power from acid- or starch-based fruits to power a light bulb and a buzzer.

Independent variables

Type of fruit

Dependent variables

Amount of voltage produced


Wire, scale, and voltmeter, an instrument that measures the difference between two points, in volts

Experimental groups

  • Grapefruits
  • Oranges
  • Limes
  • Potatoes


  • Three grapefruits
  • Three oranges
  • Three limes
  • Seven lemons
  • Two potatoes
  • Buzzer
  • Light bulbs
  • Copper wire
  • Zinc metal alloy wire


  1. In each fruit, place a 2-inch piece of copper wire and zinc alloy wire.
  2. Weigh the fruit.
  3. Touch wire to tongue to detect current.
  4. For 10 days, do the following two tests:
    • Attach Christmas tree bulb to fruit, observe whether the bulb lights, and measure current with voltmeter.
    • Attach buzzer to fruit, observe whether the buzzer operates, and measure current with voltmeter.


Each fruit sample generated enough current to power a light bulb and a buzzer.


My hypothesis was correct, because I was able to generate enough electric power to power a light bulb and a buzzer from acid- or starch-based fruits.

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