DIY Micro-Hydro Electric Generator

 DIY Micro-Hydro Electric Generator

This video is a great example of making something work out of spare parts and getting free electrical power. If you have a stream or river running through your property; it would be crazy to not build something like this hydro-electric generator. The output on this man’s creation is minimal but you get the idea.

Where I live there's a stream that runs constantly but it's about 8 miles away. If it was closer I'd consider building a micro-hydro electric generator with a portable battery bank. Rotate batteries from the system to your home. Other people could possibly do the same.

Other considerations in the home are;

  • Reduce electrical consumption by limiting the use of electrical appliances.

  • Change home lighting to use LED fixtures.

  • Wire the home with some DC circuits to eliminate the need for an inverter. In my new home I plan to run several DC electrical circuits for lighting and other small appliances. There is some loss of power when using an inverter (converts 12 volts to 120 volts) so bypassing the inverter and running 12 volt lighting and appliances is the most efficient way to go. The inverter is also a point of failure at some point.

  • When choosing an inverter there are two types to consider; A modified sine wave inverter (most common, less expensive, less efficient) , and a pure sine inverter (more expensive, more efficient). In general, because the total harmonic distortion (dirty electricity) is higher in modified sine wave inverters, motors will run hotter (less efficiently, consuming up to 30% more energy than with pure sine wave inverters), and likely not last as long. Some appliances won’t run at all on a modified sine wave inverter. EX: Microwave.  Also consider what you want to run when choosing an inverter. A 1000 watt inverter will likely not run a 1000 watt microwave.

  • Wire size between the controller, batteries, breakers, and the inverter need to be very heavy gauge or they will get hot and power output will be reduced or the appliance will not even work. For instance; I have a 2000 watt pure sine inverter. I was excited to try it when I first installed my solar/wind system only to find out that the microwave wouldn’t work. Everything else was turned off so the power output should have been enough. I called the manufacturer of the inverter and he asked what size wire I was using. I was using 8 gauge, he recommended 2 gauge. That’s a big thick wire. You can see some of the wire sizing I’ve used in the pictures below. The guy in the video here has small wires so I presume he’s not running much off of his system that requires a high draw.

My wind-solar system

I’ll be posting more about my system for those of you that want to try the same. I learned the hard way on some of the components I purchased and had to replace them with better equipment.

Wish I had a stream or river running nearby. Hydroelectric power is much more constant than solar or wind.

Be Prepared - Be Grateful

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