Autonomous Power Generation for Bodies of Water




About: The BCAMRL is a Mechatronics Research Lab, founded in 2014 on the campus of Bergen County Academies, a magnet high school within the Bergen County Technical School District. Students create innovations base...


When someone is off the grid in terms of power, there are few practical ways to obtain electricity to either charge a phone or power an LED. Our innovation has the solution: it utilizes two methods to convert kinetic and solar energy into stored energy. Our innovation has solar panels on the top of it, a water turbine on the bottom, and remains buoyant on the water. To maximize the rate of obtaining energy, our innovation should be placed in running water with as much sunlight as possible. The turbines spin, because of the waterflow, which in turn spins the generator. The generator uses electromagnetic induction to convert the mechanical energy into electrical energy, stored in the batteries. Furthermore, our innovation also uses solar panels to generate electricity. The solar panels remain on top of the product and are water-proofed as to prevent damage.

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Step 1: Parts List


  1. 10’’ diameter tube
  2. 3.7 Volt Battery
  3. Waterproof Electronics Box
  4. Voltmeter
  5. Hydroelectric Generator
  6. 3 Waterproof Mini-solar panels
  7. L-Brackets, self tapping screws, bolts and nuts
  8. Acylic Plastic Cutting Board
  9. 3D Printed water wheel
  10. Foam Tubing
  11. Electronics:
    1. Wiring
    2. Double Input Modified PPT
    3. USB Charger output module
  12. Chain End

Step 2: Design

Designed and printed water turbine wheel using CAD and 3D printer

Height: 2''

Diameter: 4''

Step 3: Solar Panels and Frame

  1. Made supports for solar panels out of metal L-brackets
  2. Installed solar panels in supports and attached to roof of electrical box (Purchased New)

Step 4: Hydro-electric Generator

  1. Cut a hole in the electronic box and installed the hydro-electric generator (Screwed Down)
  2. Added the printable turbine attachment to the hydro-electric generator

Step 5: Electronics

  1. Attached circuitry to solar panels (Series Circuit)
  2. Cut another hole at top of electric box to insert wires from the solar panels Wired circuitry from solar panels and hydro-electric generator to battery charger: the wires first go through a modified PPT electronic, the battery is linked

Step 6: Additions

  1. Added green foam tubes to outside of the electronic box (for buoyancy)
  2. Added voltmeter on the outside of the box to easily measure the charge of the battery Made a water direction mechanism into the generator out of plastic cutting boards (Directs water into turbine on one side)
  3. Added a connector to attach string to the prototype for an anchor.

Step 7: Supporting Documentation



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    2 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Nifty combo! I'm thinking if there is water nearby like a large lake which doesn't have flowing water, you could add a vertical wind turbine, or a weighted pendulum with a geared engagement mechanism to harness wave power. A regular windmill could be combined with the solar power for land use.


    Question 1 year ago on Step 7

    where might i find a double input modified ppt?