DIY Plastic Bucket Hydroelectric Generator

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Since living on a homestead using means that you are off the grid, power even to run your simple appliances and tools can sometimes difficult to procure. I am all for renewable clean energy sources like the diy portable solar charger and the diy old washing machine generator. With that in mind, this diy 5 gallon bucket hydroelectric generator, should also do a great job.

I love that most of the components are made out of PVC, this makes it affordable for most people. Especially since it was designed by Sam Redfield as a small community project that can be undertaken in remote locations. The only item that maybe difficult to find is your motor. If you have any old alternators lying around you can use that.

DIY 5 Gallon Bucket Hydroelectric Generator
Photo credit: fivegallonideas.com
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Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • 5 gallon plastic bucket
  • 5 gallon plastic bucket lids
  • alternator motor
  • PVC pipes
  • PVC couplings
  • PVC cement
  • threaded rod
  • fender washers
  • lock washers
  • washers and nuts
  • pop riverts
  • silicone caulk
  • drill press
  • hand drill
  • table saw
  • mitre saw
  • hacksaw
  • hole saw
  • utility knife
  • marker
  • ruler
  • compass
  • pencil
  • pop rivet gun
  • sand paper
  • channel locks
  • wrench
  • respirator
  • safety googles
  • ear protection
  • charge controller

Wow, that is a long list of materials and tools. Anywho, first things first you need to identify the motor you will be using for your generator before you can start the project. The cuts for your PVC pipes will be measured around the size and the type of motor being installed. Marking out on lids and putting together your manifold is next.

The motor is attached to the underside of the lid, after which you can construct the pipe stems and other PVC elements. You will also need a splash gaurd, the turbine which is built from PVC pipes. Do not forget to cut out the exit port on the actual bucket and to connect a charge controller to protect your batteries. Download the full 35 page PDF manual here.

You can get more information on the Five Gallon Ideas blog, here…

DIY Plastic Bucket Hydroelectric Generator

You can watch the video below of the diy generator in action…

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