Hydroelectric Generator

This is by far the most technically advanced innovation I’ve found for a five gallon bucket so far. Sam Redfield developed this design to provide a source of electricity that can be built cheap and hooked up to any source of flowing water – including irrigation systems, creeks and streams, or even sewage systems.

If you are very mechanically capable, you can download the full 35 page design manual and attempt to build your own five gallon hydroelectric power plant.

The following video shows some of the assembly, as well as the generator in action.

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14 thoughts on “Hydroelectric Generator

    • I would be extremely impressed! Please make sure to get back to me with results and I’ll update the article with your project.

    • Your plumbing “manifold” is sized incorrectly on top of the bucket. What you need to do is start from the nozzles and work backwards, you could probably use 1/2′ nozzles, why 3/4″? Assuming 3/4″ is needed:
      2) 3/4″ pipes need a 1” supply
      2) 1″ pipes need a 1-1/4″ supply

      So the main supply line should be 1-1/4″ (for four 3/4″ nozzles):
      Split with 1-1/4″ supply line with a 1-1/14″ tee and reduce each side to 1″ and then on each 1″ is split with a 1′ tee reduced on each side to 3/4″ or simple stated
      1-1/4′ split to two 1″ and two 1′ split to two 3/4″ for four 3/4″ nozzles
      Start with a 1″ supply split to two 3/4″ and then split the two 3/4″ into four 1/2″-nozzles.

      Nice McGuivering,

      Jerry Smith

  1. Pingback: Hydroelectric Generator – Download The Full 35 Page Design Manual » The Homestead Survival

  2. Reading the DIY seems really cool but you must have “26 gallons per minute” to reach 12 volt charging. I feel you can reach this by have a gear system which will crank the generator faster. We did this in Costa Rica – Not this project – by adding gears which allowed a wheel to spin then multiply that which made the generator go faster.

    • Chris, I would be interested to know how to do that. I need a portable hydroelectric generator that is flexible to operate in a variety of water sources.

  3. On the series “Mountain Men” Eustace built on of these in a 55 gallon drum, fed by a stream on his property that was capable of running his sawmill!

  4. I have been studying these for a while. Pretty simple to make. Use a permanent magnet alternator and it will generate at a lower rpm. You can play around with the nozzle sizes until you get optimal performance. 26 gpm is a bit extreme. You can power an entire house with the right configuration on 3.5 gpm.

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