How to Build a Hydro Generator

Hydro generators are built to provide green energy. You can use the generator for small amounts of energy for practical purposes, or use the project for a science fair or demonstration of hydro energy. The generator allows you to use kinetic energy from water, which means you have your own energy source without paying your local energy company for your supply.

Building your own hydro generator is not a complicated process, but it will take some time and require a number of supplies. Start by gathering the materials you need to make the generator. Several things are regular household items that you probably have on hand. These include white glue, sandpaper, hot glue sticks and a glue gun, cardboard, a utility knife, a felt pen, and eight plastic spoons. In addition to these common items you will also need four 25 meter 24 gauge enameled magnet wires, electrical tape, four rare earth magnets, a magnetic compass, cork, a drill with bits, an oil jug, a wooden dowel four brass paper fasteners, and one inch of vinyl tubing.

Choosing a Template

Templates for building your hydro generator are available online. These templates can be sized and cut to the appropriate dimensions. Once you have the template sized, cut a hole a half inch in diameter in the center of the rotor disk. Next, wrap the coils and secure them to the template with electrical tape. The coils should be wrapped until the 25 meters of wire runs out, but leave a lead of about five inches. Sand the end of the lead until the wire is bared from under the enamel coating. Twist the bare ends together and then cover their bond with electric tape.

Test the Connection

Once the wires are taped, connect the loose leads to the multi-meter. This allows you to check the connection. Correct attachments will read below 10 ohms. If you get a reading higher than 10, you will need to repeat the first part of the process. If you get a reading below 10, hot glue the coils in place and cut four deep slits into it. You have now created a stator disk.

Once your wires are connected, use the compass to locate the south and north ends of each of the magnets. Mark the directions with the pen and hot glue them to the rotor disk. You should use the washers between the magnets and the disk.  Next, drill a hole in the cork the size of your dowel. Mark the cork in accordance with the template and cut slits in the cork on each of the marks. Now cut the handles off of each of the plastic spoons. Push the handles of each spoon into the cork so the spoons are all facing the same direction. Once they are in the cork, glue them in place. You have created a turbine.

Assemble the Remaining Parts of the Generator

Next, cut the bottom from the gallon oil jug. Drill a hole through the center of the widest sides of the jug and make four slits that line up with the slits in the stator disk. Fasten the disk to the jug with the metal fasteners. Now, cut the tubing in half. Place the turbine in the jug so the spoons face upward. Push the dowel through the side of the jug and place the cork over the end. Slide it through a piece of the tubing and out the other side of the jug through the hole in the disk. The other piece of tubing should be placed onto the dowel on the outside of the disk and the disk should be connected to the rotor disk on the dowel with the magnets facing the wrapped coils. The magnets should not come into contact with the coils when the disk is spinning. Once it is connected hot glue the dowel to the outside of the disk. You can now run water through the neck of the jug and measure the power on the multi-meter. If you do not have a meter, you can use LED lights to test the generator.