London’s Southbank Center has unveiled its latest holiday decoration: a Christmas tree powered entirely by Brussels sprouts! Each night, the tree’s lights illuminate thanks to a vegetable-powered battery, which was created by scientists from The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair. Over 1,000 of the sprouts keep the tree lit, giving new meaning to the phrase “green energy.”
The eight foot sustainably-powered tree was unveiled Tuesday morning, when kids from the City of London Academy flipped the switch to the incredible Brussels sprouts-packed battery. Five power cells make up the battery system, each containing 200 of the bulbous green heads laced with copper and zinc electrodes that create a chemical reaction with the veggie’s natural elecotrlytes. Together, the five power cells produce 63 volts of electricity, enough to illuminate the strands of LED lights hanging on the tree.
The power produced by the chemical reactions within each Brussels sprout is monitored on a separate display and stored until night fall, when the 100 LED lights are turned on. The fresher the Brussels sprout, the more energy it produces; once the veggie starts to decompose, the battery will slowly die. The battery system could use any fruit or vegetable to create power, but Brussels sprouts were chosen because of their look and because they are not very popular amongst children.
The 1,000 Brussels sprouts are expected to power the tree’s lights for a month, when new sprouts will be added to keep the tree powered through the holidays.
Via Daily Mail