Home Brew Hydro:

A small hydroelectric project.

Home Brew Hydro Saga

MK I: Early turbine and generator

MK II & III: New alternator and couplers

MK IV: shaft bearing and real world use

Coanda Effect water intake (New Rain Update!)

New Penstock and Nozzles WOW

Home Brew Hydro Video

Bob's Water Wheel Project

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The Source

The Destination (100 feet down the hill)

For several years I've been thinking about building a micro-hydro electric generator for supplementing my energy needs here in the boonies of Oregon. Solar panels are well and good for the summer months, but for much of the year the sky is dark and well, its Oregon, so it rains. It rains a LOT.

I looked into making a wind turbine but there aren't any good spots to make a tower where I live, and I was concerned about building a structure that could withstand the high winds we get each year. Its one thing to make a turbine that works in 30 MPH winds, but its another all together to build one that can last through 130 MPH winds.

Looking at the various out of the box turbines like the Hydroelectric Systems and Stream Engine I couldn't justify plopping down two grand on something that looked like I could build myself.


The result! 90 watts at 36PSI from a 1-1/2 inch pipe with roughly 100 feet of head using the fantastic WindBlue Power PM Alternator Not too bad!!


UPDATE: New Wye and turbine feeder plumbing

new wye
new wye shot 2
After a rather disasterious freeze I had to replumb so I went for an over the top configuration. Besides having shorter feeders to the nozzles, this one drains completely out when you shut things down (like when it might freeze hard DOH!). We had a very unusual 2 week freeze this year that fubared just about everyone's plumbing. I managed to find a pvc true wye rather than the old Tee at flexpvc.com. It's the first one I've ever seen after searching and searching. Should help keep velocity up


NEW! Bob's Water Wheel Micro-Hydro Project - Pretty dang cool Bob!

** New Penstock & Nozzles Yields Big Improvement & See the Video ***

Here is an account of the various stages the beast went through starting with

MK I: Early turbine and generator

MK II & III: New alternator and couplers

MK IV: shaft bearing and real world use

Coanda Water Intake WOOHOO

Bob's Water Wheel Project

Discussions from alt.energy.homepower Without these guys I'd never have got it going.