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Basic Electronics » Amperage Multiplyer

April 21, 2011
by RoboBoy
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I am looking for a circuit that will multiply a current from a VERY small amount, (I'm not sure how much,) to an amount that will at least light an LED. I've heard of solar engines, but will they work with such small amperages? The voltage is at about 0.6 V

April 21, 2011
by hevans
(NerdKits Staff)

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Hi RoboBoy,

I'm not really sure what you mean by multiply a current. There is not way to create more energy out of a small amount of energy. If you have something that is creating a small current, and you want to amplify that so you can do something with it (like measure it) then you want to read up on amplifiers. I would suggest starting with our sound meter video where we illustrate a simple one transistor amplifier.


April 21, 2011
by rajabalu21
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Are you looking for increased current/voltage without additional power supply? If so, you may have to use a capacitor to charge over a period of time and then use a circuit like a Joule Thief to boost the voltage to light up the LED. 0.6V cannot directly drive LED. Most LEDs will require at least 2V.

I think solar engines will still require a much higher voltage. May we know how you get 0.6V generated in the first place and what is the current generated?


April 21, 2011
by RoboBoy
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@ hevans: Sorry for not being more specific. I am trying to see if it would be possible to use the electricity generated from my hand and a piece of aluminum foil for anything useful.

@ rajabalu21: Thanks for the link to the joule thief. I might be able to use it to amplify the voltage, but as far as I can tell, it doesn't help with the amperage any. I have been thinking about charging a capacitor and releasing the energy in short bursts, (that's what a solar engine does,) but I'm not sure how to do this.

April 21, 2011
by Ralphxyz
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RoboBoy, you should look into "Power Harvesting" just google that to get started.

Then make sure and let us know what you find out, as that is of particular interest to me, particularly "RF Power Harvesting" .

There are also Buck and Boost ICs that are used in conjunction with Power Harvesting.


April 21, 2011
by Rick_S
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Hijack on:

Welcome Back Ralph!!


Hijack off:

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