Paper Power

3.7 based on 15 ratings

Updated on Jan 17, 2013


Electrical Engineering

Grade Level

9 & up

Difficulty Level




Safety Issues


Material Availability

All necessary materials are readily available.

Project Time Frame

6-8 weeks.


This project examines a new technology:Batteries made from paper.

The goals of this project are:

  1. To outline the principles and techniques behind paper batteries.
  2. To encourage the development of new uses for these techniques.

  • Computer with internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/craft/hobby supplies (such as paper, pens & poster-board, glue, etc.)

All materials can be found in your home, at local stores, or on ebay.


Out of batteries?That’s OK.Now you can print out fresh ones!Well…maybe not quite yet.For those unfamiliar with this exciting new technology, it’s hard to even imagine a working, rechargeable battery that’s made of ordinary ink and office paper, and functions as well as a conventional battery.In this project we discover the economic and technological potential of this strange new power source.

Research Questions
  1. How is a paper battery made?
  2. What are the practical applications of this design?
  3. What could be the economic impact of mass producing this design?
Terms and Concepts to Start Background Research
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Cellulose
  • Electrodes
  • Nanotechnology
  • Paper battery

  1. Research related materials (see bibliography shown below and terms listed above)
  2. Search and print out images that represent a pictorial history of batteries.
  3. Carefully study modern battery-making techniques found in the bibliography below.
  4. Design your own original paper battery creation, or improve on an existing one.
  5. Sketch your ideas.Show math when necessary.If you’re feeling ambitious, build an actual working paper battery.
  6. Carefully explain your methods in a detailed report.
  7. Include sketches, models and materials in your science fair display.
  8. Show interesting photos taken throughout the course of the project.


Wiki topics:“Nanotubes” and “Paper battery.” (How-to Video) (Detailed info) (About the paper battery) (UK News story December 2009) (More about power storage on thin sheets of paper)

Internet searches of your own choosing:Search for any of the terms listed above (or make up your own phrases to search), and click on any results that interest you.Also, check youtube for relevant videos.Have fun surfing the net!

Judee Shipman is a Bay Area Educational Consultant and professional writer of quality educational materials. Her recent writing credits include (a popular and entertaining website about states), and a book called The Portable Chess Coach (Cardoza, 2006), currently available in stores.

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