Home > Green Tech > How to... >

How to Build a Small-Scale Hydroelectric Generator

micro hidro turbine1 300x226 How to Build a Small Scale Hydroelectric GeneratorWe all know that scientists are in a constant search for alternative energy sources and this happens because in recent years conventional energy sources have started to decrease significantly.

They have developed various systems that convert the energy from nature in electricity and many of these systems could be built at home, on a smaller scale, in order to reduce electricity consumption.  After we saw how to produce electricity using magnets or wind power, it is time to talk about those people who live near a river.

In this case, the best way to produce electricity is represented by a small-scale hydroelectric generator made at home. Often called as a low-impact hydro, micro-hydro or run-of-stream hydro generator, this system is not very hard to build.

To build such a micro-hydro generator you must follow these steps:

A. Preparing Disks

micro hidro turbine stator rotor How to Build a Small Scale Hydroelectric Generator

Our generator will consist of two main parts:
-The stator (this part is not moving and it is equipped with coils of wire to collect electricity)
-The rotor (the rotor is the part that moves and has some powerful magnets that will induce electricity in the coils)
First you need some templates and a cardboard. The two templates that contain the rotor and stator scheme must be cut and attached to the front and back of the cardboard. After these templates are well glued to cardboard make a hole (1 cm) at the center of the stator disk.

B. Attaching the Stator

Now, you have to make 4 coils that will be attached on the cardboard. This requires you to use a cardboard with an oval section. Then, start winding the wires on this cardboard to form a tight coil (200 turns). Remove carefully the coil from the oval section and then, repeat this procedure to make three more coils.

Arrange the coils on the cardboard according to the template scheme (their windings have to alternate between clockwise and counter clockwise). You must be sure that an electron would follow the path shown by the arrows in the template, begining from the left counterclockwise coil.

Connect the ends of coils and use insulation tape to prevent any errors. Use a multi-meter to cehck electrical resistance (ohms). If the wires are properly connected the meter should produce a reading of about 10 ohms.

C. Attaching the Rotor

At this stage you need 4 strong magnets to be attached on the stator template. Check the magnets, mark the south pole on two of them and the north pole of the remaining two. The magnets should be arranged on the template so that their polarity alternates (N-S-N-S).

Then you need a cork and 8 plastic spoons. You have to shorten the spoons so that the handle will not measure more than 1cm. Look at the rotor template and insert the spoons into the cork (1cm depth).

D. The Turbine

Make a 6mm hole through the cork (make sure the hole is centered), fix again the geometrical position of the spoons and add some hot glue to each spoon to secure it.

 

micro hidro generator2 How to Build a Small Scale Hydroelectric Generator

E. Generator body and Final Assembly

Find a plastic tank or a bottle to attach the rotor, the stator and the small turbine. After you find the center of the tank, make a hole in that place (6mm) and fix the stator with its coils just above the hole. Then, attach on the same shaft the turbine and rotor (the spoons have to face the neck of the bottle and the magnets should be close to the coils (3mm between the coils and magnets)).

It seems that our micro-hydro generator is almost ready to use. All we need now is a stream of water so that the turbine to spin continuously as long as there is water to drive it. If the turbine is properly connected to the generator this stream should produce enough electricity to power our utilities or charging batteries.

Update: Youtube user TheDamHeroes, inspired by the designed shown in this article, posted a working hydroelectric generator. Watch it in action below:


Share it


Like our Facebook page

About the author

Comments

38 comments
Taylor888
Taylor888

Do you have a parts list??????

pradeep n
pradeep n

how much volt is produced by this small scale hydro generator because i did this recently it produces only 325milli volt how can i increse it ?

dav
dav

what gauge wire for low head / water flow, a/c or d/c output


PFJtechjunior
PFJtechjunior

how do you buy wires for 10 ohms ? i live canada if that matter ? 

i want to test this.

panikos
panikos

does the wire has to be enameled wire? and what mm? how strong and big do the magnets have to be?

Maheshwari Deepesh
Maheshwari Deepesh

can you tell me that what are the ratings of magnets if i have produce 12watt? and what is the size of that disk on which the coil is wounded.?

Lutisha Alvoen
Lutisha Alvoen

good advice but it would be good if it had a video

Katie
Katie

what are the materials you need?

Ridz garg
Ridz garg

Can u make it more clear?I wanna make a model ,something like this only!

ogundipe omolara
ogundipe omolara

I need help so as to generate the hydro electricity in our home

scorpion
scorpion

pls explain in detail how the copper coils are winded and attached to the stator part wit pics.. I need to do this water turbine at the earliest., the only doubt s wit the stator part which s not clear,,

Highly Eager Student
Highly Eager Student

Could you explain in detail, the stator and the rotor part. im a grade 9 student thinking of making this project, but not clear regarding the mentioned parts

JonDanil
JonDanil

Save money by installing your own "water power" system, discover the astonishing DIY technology that wipe out your dependence on greedy energy companies and expensive alternative energy sources, check this link : http://power-water.tk/

Science Nerd Wanna Be
Science Nerd Wanna Be

If you want more voltage try adding more copper coils and magnets that should do the tick if it doesn't i've got no idea cause what i said worked for me

RJ2012
RJ2012

We build this generator for our science project but it is not generating enough voltage. Can anybody tell me how much voltage you got?

I-Want-A-Good-Note
I-Want-A-Good-Note

Should I do this for a science experiment? I'm in grade 8 and we have to do a construction/experiment. Please respond because I need an idea for 11/4/2011 (Friday) thanks :)

varunpr97
varunpr97

Neodymium disk shaped magnets will be optimal and stator u can use enamel wires of about 30 gauge....

Nitish
Nitish

ya this is really fantastic..............................

andrew
andrew

i have worked on a prototype for a electricity source with the ability to power my house using no fuel or any outside help it works finally but i can not find a way to stop it before it destroys its self it works allot like the Hydroelectric Generator shown above but different in ways i will not say over the past year i have not seen any other creation like it on the market and was wondering if any 1 else has because this last bug in the prototype i can not fix and was hopping some 1 else has fingered it out please post and offer help

darco
darco

Fantastic idea, great way of energy sourcing .. .. i have bought it from one of our local Generator Sets manufacturers, and its working pretty good.. :)

Designer Radiators
Designer Radiators

Oh without the scientist and the explorer for truth we would still be in the cave. Well done to those who continue to challenge and take our life to other levels, good and bad.

Artesian Well Owner
Artesian Well Owner

I have an artesian well that produces a small stream (about a gallon a minute) -- can this be used successfully for usable power?

superman
superman

can you attach the coil with super glue.

upvc door
upvc door

This would make a really fun high school science project! Of course if you wanted to employ it in real, daily use, it would have to be more solidly constructed, but as a tool for teaching basic principles it’s fantastic!

Katrina
Katrina

Where is the template for the cork?

paul ross
paul ross

could this be used to powered the pump on a water feature i am about to create in my back garden

mahen
mahen

i do love this topic..so nice..thanks

UPVC Windows
UPVC Windows

Actually, this could be a fabulous additive to the community wind power. Any back up or alternative support for your energy needs is positive for the individual and communities. Any excess energy available from wind power can be fed into the grid. Now this is savings, real savings.

Radiators
Radiators

This appears functional and reasonable, however there is a lot of development occurring with community wind power. Does this not conflict with a whole approach rather than individuals? I am not suggesting we as individuals don't consider this as an option, but for the longer term community wind power is favored.

AznHustler
AznHustler

I was wondering, what kind of magnets are you using? Also what are all the materials you used for the stator?

pradeep n
pradeep n

@dav  i used for this project is 24 gauge


pradeep n
pradeep n

@RJ2012 i got only 325milli volts


Ovidiu Sandru
Ovidiu Sandru

I guess, if you can charge a battery with it...

Trackbacks

  1. [...] There is some interesting reading here: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Hydro/hydro.htm http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2010/…/#.UGrCXpZN86A If I helped you, please click the "Helped Me" button. Please do not PM me with [...]

Tweet