I found the K-Tor Generator while looking for a cheap generator for a project I’m designing. You can buy these on Ebay for about $30. In a video, the creator states 60 watts can be produced.. but then states you can’t power a laptop off of it. It has a built in invertor so that 110 Volts AC appliances can be charged.
One of the biggest challenges of micro hydro installations is getting all the plumbing in place.
Here’s an installation of a 4″ HDPE Penstock (pipe). Delivered to site in 20′ lengths. A team works to pull the penstock 20′ at a time. The fusion machine clamps the pipe ends in place, a facer will smooth the surfaces to be fused, then a heating element is inserted that precisely melts the HDPE. Once ready, the heater is removed and the pieces are compressed together and allowed to cool before being released.
This Micro Hydro installation uses Pumps as Turbines and 3 phase Motors as single phase Generators. (yes you can!) There is 210 feet of head (92 PSI) and 550 ft of 8 inch welded steel penstock. We can draw 2500 gal /minute and still maintain about 85 PSI. Currently operating Autonomously (off the Grid) and supplying 4 houses.
20KW, 24/7 10 months of the year.
He does a great job of explaining everything to everyone on his blog. Check it!
Solar Energy International (SEI), based in Carbondale, CO, is one of America’s leading renewable energy education groups, offering comprehensive training in photovoltaics, small wind, micro-hydro, and green building techniques like straw bale construction. It’s expert staff instructors conduct classes near Aspen, Colorado; Guemes Island, WA (San Juan Islands) and several countries in Central America. This video features SEI Executive Director Johnny Weiss with an overview of the company’s recent progress and achievements. Please visit http://www.solarenergy.org, or call 970-963-8855 for more information. This video was produced and directed for SEI by Dave Bowden of the Sustainable Media Network. http://www.sustainablemedia.net
Here’s another typical micro hydro system that can help out around the cottage or small home. He doesn’t mention output in the first video but you do get a good look at the plumbing and mounting of the Harris Hydro Turbine. After a quick look on ebay I found a 2 nozzle harris turbine for cheap!
This video gives you a look at the water intake upstream.
This is pretty small scale but it’s a proof of concept. The idea came from needing a small amount of light for an outhouse. He decided to use a weight that the “user” could lift up a few feet and let gravity do the rest.
His website has a lot of cool info on this project. He was able to light an LED and charge a battery for a few minutes by lifting just over 1 pound of weight up 4 feet.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing watts generated by people. This here is a USB charger capable of harnessing the expansion and contraction of the chest of a breathing geek. It’s a little rough around the edges… but the concept is cool.
I’d love to see one made that attaches a shoe to a person’s belt and charges while walking.