The constant degradation of some particles might suggest that matter eventually returns to its natural state, energy. We clever humans have learned to take advantage of this constant, to make one hell of a bomb, but there are many less deadly and equally as cool uses. Uses that you can build yourself in your very own shed.
Making a nuclear battery may not be the first DIY project that jumps into everyone’s mind but it is actually 100% real and easy to do. Tritium is the key ingredient of the battery and one of the safer radioactive elements used for power generation. In many ways Tritium could have been the correct answer to the worlds energy problems in the 70’s, but that’s a whole other story.
The battery consists of as many Tritium gas glow tubes as you can get your hands on along with a solar panel or two. Combining the glowing tubes with the solar panel produces a Radioisotope Photovoltaic Generator, a nuclear battery to you and me. The glow sticks themselves are a clever piece of engineering, converting Tritium’s beta-particle radiation into light like a nuclear fluorescent tube.
The completed battery is not going to be killing off Lithium any time soon with the tiny amounts of power it produces, millivolts and nano-amps at best. What it does have however is longevity, the Tritium glow sticks have a 10 year life span so someone might need a new mascot, bunny. In fact, many commercial Tritium batteries will generate large amounts of power consistently for 30 years or more, no chemical leaks, recharging and or replacing.
Presented for your viewing pleasure are the DIY projects that will bring out the mad scientist in everyone. Duct taping radioactive gas to spare parts has never made more sense. Sit back relax and prepare to feel the urge to head out to the shed and make stuff.