How to Generate Alternative Offgrid Power by building a Homemade Waterwheel Hydro Electric System

    This project goes into the build of a homemade alternative offgrid power generation system using a water wheel and flowing water source like a stream or creek. In order to catch the water from your spring or creek , the first step is to build a small dam. This enables us to produce maximum power from the running water wheel .

    First, We use a 4 inch pipe to divert the water before starting the construction of the dam. With a solid concrete foundation ,we aim to make a 42 inch dam with 30 inch of head . A six inch 36 inches long PVC drain pipe is installed on the high water side .The dam is constructed using four layer of hollow blocks and quickrete blended mason mix .Try raising the water higher to see how much higher it needs to go before it overflow through the sides.

    The dam board gates made of deck boards are installed in the middle .The back board and the front boards are spaced apart an inch and three quarters. The dam stop gate made of plywood with dimensions of one and half is inserted between the boards . To get a tight seal a half inch rubber tube is stuffed between these boards.

    With a 13 and half inch treated plywood and couple of 2X6 plywood side boards, the flume is built. The side boards are glued to the plywood base using adhesive sealant and screwed with exterior grade screws.

    To resist twisting and to keep the width of the plywood steady , four cross spacers are installed on the flume board. To divert the water without having to drain the dam, we make a small trap door in the flume near the opening . The trap door is made seven inches back from the face of the dam. The door is supported by a flange around the back and a stainless steel hinge.

    The flume is installed on the creek with the help of rebars and supporting deck boards. The rebars are attached to the boards using u-bolts and drill bit. Three more subsequent flumes are attached to each other. The gap between the flumes are sealed with poly foam caulk rope.

    The waterwheel is made out of a section of 55 gallon HDPE drum . The blades are made of 4 inch PVC drain pipe. The blades are curved so that it retains most of the water making it more energy efficient. 24 blades are attached to the drum using 16th by half aluminum angle pieces.

    A three quarter inch jack shaft from an old go-kart is used as the drive shaft. This is supported at both ends of the wheel with a help of pillow block bearings. Two 28 inch Circular end pieces made of plywood is bolted along both sides of the barrel using a 6 ten inch long half by thirteen carriage bolts to make the wheel build complete.

    Two square collar blocks are mounted on to shaft to center them. The holes are larger than the shaft so that the wheel can be adjusted to get the runouts reduced.To center the waterwheel and to adjust the runout of the center shaft , we use four blocks and adjustment bolts around the center block like a four jaw chuck .

    To install the water wheel securely, a support structure made of 2×4 boards are installed near the end of the flume. The water wheel is secured on these support boards with the help of couple of swivel block bearings.

    We use an adjustable Unistrut to mount the bearings,sprockets and the motor. This can be adjusted for chain tension as well. The Unistrut will stand vertically on top of the cross support that is under the flume.The Unistrut’s are mounted onto the wheel on both the sides with help of bearings and T-nuts. A Number 35 sprocket with 72 tooth is mounted onto the center wheel shaft.

    This sprocket is connected to a half shaft with 11 tooth sprocket with the help of a size 35 go kart roller chain. A Permanent Magnet Brushed DC motor mounted on 2×4 board is further connected to this shaft via another sprocket. This gear system has a ratio of 30.86:1

    Using unistruct angled brackets, the wheel is mounted onto the support board near the flume. The wheel is positioned near the flume in such a way that the water where it meets the wheel is exactly at the top.

    The charging system consists of a 12V DC emergency standby battery, MPPT charge controller, 300W sine wave inverter . The connection from the water wheel DC motor goes to the charge controller.The charge controller is also connected to the battery.

    Finally the inverter is connected to the battery which is further connected to a load. To make this charging system secure, make sure to make fuse connection between the components. All these components are mounted on a temporary wooden board.



    RECENT POSTS YOU MIGHT LIKE
    • DIY Video:How To Turn Your Old Fan Into An Airconditioner AC for cheap.
      This project shows you how can take an old table fan and convert it into a simple ,cheap and easy to make homemade AC . The materials needed for the this project are a table fan, 75 gallon per hour fountain pump with valve to control the water flow, multi purpose zip ties ,two 3/8th inch transparent PVC Pipe tube, 15 foot quarter inch copper tube,two hose clamps. Unhook the locks if any and remove the screen of the fan. Take the copper coil and wind them across the rims of the fan .Secure them tight on the screen using multi purpose ties. Add the screen back to the fan body and then adjust the two ends of the copper coil by bending them to face the back of the fan and secure them using ties. Two 3/8 transparent vinyl PVC pipes are connected to the copper tube ends using hose clamps. We attach the fountain pump to the end of the vinyl PVC tube that goes straight into our cooler. The recirculated water coming from the other end of the tube goes straight back into the cooler bag. The cooler bag is filled with ice packs and water. The water pump is submerged into the bottom of the bag with ice and water over it. The water which is pumped with the help of the fountain pump gets recycled through the vinyl and the copper pipe and moves back into the bag, so you dont need to add more water .Both the pump and fan can be connected to solar generator in case if you want to make the system portable . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NuvzWaBulw
    • Cool DIY Video: How to build a Window Attached Solar heater that gives “FREE HEAT” all winter and acts as Solar Oven as Well !
      Solar heaters are gaining popularity and with good reason- they provide heat. This design uses solar fans to move the heat into the room so its totally off grid and will work during a power outage. Because it is attached to the window it can also be closed by shutting the window and keep the heat inside the unit for off grid solar cooking. This design also allows the unit to be attached all year for ease of use and can keep the heat from entering the home when its not needed. Solar cook all summer, heat all winter; Save money all year!

      Watch Window Box Solar Heater build video

    • How to convert an Old Ceiling Fan Motor into a 70W Efficient Single Phase Alternator Generator
      This project goes over the conversion of an old ceiling fan motor into an single phase alternator .You can't take your standard AC electric motor and spin it and get an electrical current out of it unless you modify it. The ceiling fan motor used here will produce about 70 volts at one amp which is roughly 70 watts. Through a bridge rectifier we can get about 70 watts of power out of it. We start by pulling the cover of the fan. Inside we have a squirrel cage rotor in the middle and 6 coil windings around it. The coil windings are placed in clockwise and anti-clock wise directions inside the stator. Next we remove the circular rotor from the threaded shaft which is attached to it with help of a vice. We attach the shaft with the rotor through it within a vice. With the help of an extra piece of pipe to give leverage, we press them against the rotor and push it away from the rod and pop it off. We are replacing the rotor that we have detached from the shaft with a two inch hex steel bar . It has six sides that matches with the six coils from the stator. With the help of one eighth inch drill bit we cut a hole in the center of our hex bar. We put the hex bar through the shaft and fit them snugly around the threaded area. We take six one half inch neodymium or rare earth magnets and place them along the the 6 sides of the hex bar. We place them in such a manner that the poles of the magnets are opposing each other. For permanent usage, wrap this with a little bit of tape or glue so that they are held in place securely. We place our modified rotor in the middle of the stator and align them such that they fit in tightly. The outer screen is bolted back onto the motor. We can also add second set of magnets to increase the magnetic field of the rotor .This will also bring it closer to the coils on the outside and increase the overall voltage. To convert the alternating current generated by our ceiling fan alternator to direct current, we use a bridge rectifier. It has 4 poles, 2 for connecting our alternating current, the other plus and negative for DC power. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-4IbLOZwnA