How to Make a Water Turbine Generator

Water is a very powerful way to create energy that is kinetic. This energy can be used to power everyday devices. Water is used to generate the turbine, which in turn, creates electricity in much the same way that a gas turbine does. Of course, there are several advantages to using water instead of gas. Gas costs money to use and even a medium-sized home can produce costly monthly bills. The other benefit of using a water turbine generator is the effects on the environment.

For those of us who are lucky enough to have access to a natural body of moving water, creating a cheap and effective turbine using water and a small generator can be very beneficial to our wallets and our environment.

These turbines are fairly simple to build and require just a minimal set of materials. They can be constructed pretty quickly, usually in a day or two. There are several different ways to build your own water turbine generator, depending on the size you want and the materials you have access to. This turbine uses an old bicycle and cups or balls made of plastic.

What you will need:

  • Bicycle, preferably old and out of use
  • Cups (plastic) or hollow balls (plastic). The plastic balls will be able to handle more water than the plastic cups
  • Screws (small)
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Generator or alternator of a car. Make sure either of these items is never fully submerged in the water.
  • Saw
  • Welder

The first step is to remove the front bike tire from the bike and take off the chain from the pedals. Fire up your welder, and weld the generator or alternator underneath the pedals. The chain should wrap around the pulley of the generator or alternator. Make sure to double check that the contact points are not slipping. The chain should be wrapped around the sprocket of the alternator or generator and this will ensure that the rear wheel is being turned.

Next, the bike’s seat should be raised all the way up. Take several of the sawed-in-half plastic balls or in-tact plastic cups and screw them to the rear tire. They should be spaced about 2-inches apart. The balls or cups should go in the same direction as the alternator.

The last step, and most exciting step, is to place your new generator into the nearest moving water source. The current of the water will push the cups or the balls forward and move the wheel. When the water is strong it can create electricity at 12-volts. This electricity can be wired directly to the equipment you want to power or can be stored by being hooked up to a battery for charging.

This turbine should be able to run for a long time, with a minimal amount of upkeep. Several turbines can be combined to create as much voltage as you need. Follow these steps to create your very own turbine generator using water that is quick to step up and very effective.

Sarah Danielson is a contributing writer for Didrikson – generator controls for Didrikson. On the Didrikson website you can view their gas turbine controls along with a variety of other turbine, generator, and drive system controls.

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How to Make a Water Turbine Generator

Here are a few more ideas we found on YouTube.

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