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Home Water turbine power plant... Mini HELP!! Answered

Hey all! Just thought I would try and save myself some time, by inquiring with you fine folk first.. I am attempting to build a mini turbine system to generate power from a home standard incoming water supply... The PSI is easily high enough to run a mini power gerenating system without a significan/noticable drop in water pressure of the home.. So anyway, this is the prototype that I just knocked up to give you the jist of it.. Any comments on improving the design would be appreciated.. eg.. flow, restrictions etc. The turbines will drive a belt connected to a dynamo... Thanks for your time.... LftnDbt



3 years ago

has there been any other progress on this thread in the past couple years?


9 years ago

I've been pondering this for years, my thought, would 1 inch water pump for a car or maybe the electric water pumps they make for racing motorcycles work and be a good out of the box solution. for the car water pump you would need to connect it to a car alternator with a belt which would be real easy, you could do the project for less then 20 bucks before batteries and an inverter if you went to a junk yard. The electric water pumps for racing motorcycles are expensive but would make electricity if you ran them backwards I think. anyone know how many PSI a car waterpump can handle.

Good idea of using var wash pump of 300 psi, if a flywheel of 30kg, dia 1 m is rotated with this 300 psi and A alternator is rotated with flywheel,it would help in generating electricity.

I seen this for sale http://www.shopatron.com/product/product_id=HGW10650/208.0 and thought how interesting that is and it doesnt need battery's working off of an internal turbine. That drove my search via google for water turbine and this post was one of the top searches. It would be neat to see an application made for boats that have backup battery powered engines to keep them charged and offset the drain maybe during operation.

Car pump could easily hold well over 300PSI. I have one sitting in my garage and was also pondering that idea. It works fine yet the block seal was leaking . I had to buy a new unit to get the seal. The pump I took off would work great yet, they require a fair amount of torque to generate a sifnificant amount of power via an alternator. I still think a 12 inline pond pump is your best option. Simply Plug and Play. Thanks for your comment. It still delights me that people are commenting to this topic still. It is over a year old... May I ask how did you find this topic? Search engine or I'bles search? I would very much like to know whom is referring all these views. Maybe my key words just hit well.. Over 7000 views for a forum topic is massive by any means.

I was just surfing the instructables when it popped up in the question area, but that was the first comment I ever made on this site, have you connected led lights to you phone line yet. It is a common thought process amongst thinkers, I have thought a bought getting a tread mill for my lab that generates electricity, or making a backpack for the dog that holds batteries and letting her drag a wheel connected to a generator behind her, but the extra weight would equate to needing more dog food so not sure if it would be cost effective, but it would keep her from jumping my 6 fence.

The thought of your dog trying to jump the fence whilst hooked to your device is very amusing indeed. ;)

Thank you so much you cannot believe how stuck I was with a school project and this came up.

Hi all. I've been reading this thread with interest for the last few months as I have just bought a piece of land with a spring on it. The spring pumps out at least 20 litres a minute and I would like to use some of that to generate 12v dc power. I will only be using a laptop and a couple of lights so I dont need much power. I'm not very technically minded so please keep the answers simple but the posts about using a 12v pond pump in reverse seemed like the simplest solution. Can someone please expand on that idea and tell me what I need to do exactly?

Here's what I was thinking. It seems to me that if you power a battery bank off of solar panels, how many 12v batteries would it take to power a pool pump? Now then, how long can the pump run on x number of batteries? So, you have a loop of pipe going in and going out of the pump, with as many water turbines as you want in the line, each turbine generating power. How long will the pump run on say a bank of 6 or 8 batteries, and how much power can be produced in that time? Can you produce enough to offset your power baseline during the night?

The sun, wind, and water have been providing megawatts of power for what.... 6 billion years, and we're just figuring it out. It's like magic.

My water pump unit ran for three weeks non- stop before burn out, battery life stayed at 10.5 volts most of the time on pump alt under heavy load gen work great when needed. pump heat ran around 100* burn-out 140*to 190*
Battery were deep cycle . two wire for alt two for gen . this is a two alt and one gen unit.

I done some power research with 12 volt and 24 volt DC pumps . They work great run with a water turbine running a alt. or small gen. or Both .Alt. charges battery that run pumps, gen power lights or small power tools, or like I do a TV and two small 40 watt bulbs. Down fall pump burn up if not cooled right use a water cooled pump will hepl in-prove running life of pumps

This is an interesting take on an upcoming project I was reading about in Japan this year.
Over in Japan they are planning a community where there is no power lines, just a high pressure water system. Phones, TV, and internet are all wireless from a central tower, and the homes all use heat pumps for heating/cooling, solar panels for lighting, and turbines on the water mains for power so the whole community using water generates power for all the houses.
It looks like the cost of all the power savings/maintenance outpaces the cost of not running power lines so it's probably not going to have much future until the cost of low power appliances, solar panels, batteries, etc come down a lot.
Still it'd be a great place to go fly a kite! ;)

Great thread. A topic I have researched heavily. I do believe that a super efficient turbine with the correct hydro dynamics, turbine design, air bearings for
Minimum resistance would offer MINIMUM resistance to flow. Although no resistance is impossible, it is possible to minimize the resistance to flow through design. This would therefore make it practical to place inline, pre or post pump in agriculture type scenarios or on household pools etc. You could also add a small airline and create a venturi effect just before the turbine to increase flow (havnt looked into this much yet). Thoughts?


Sure, they are that it is interesting ppl still find and comment on this thread 3 years after its creation.
I found the little project interesting at the time, never went through with anything.
I still believe their are many possibilities to explore, though many draw from the source. The power has to come from somewhere, I believe the key is using excess generated power which is wasted in a system.

kenmneth - it's PERPETUAL MOTION ! If you can't spell it correctly, how could you understand it. By definition it is impossible, First law of Thermodynamics !!

Hi all, I am a newbie .
I have devised a Free Energy unit suitable for New Build or Existing Property.
The unit provides 240v (constant) with a switch over system to Existing Suppliers( if required .)
I propose to make units easily accessable to 3rd World Economies and my total aim is to make Nuculear power stations redundant along with Thousands of Wind Turbine's draped around our shores.
Subterain installed or Housed this unit will carry insurance for servicing and maintenance making it's initial cost and insurance payments its only costs .

Watch this Space ! or Come on Power Giants get your Cheuqe Books out !.

Happy New Year to All .

very cool, keep it up.

cool BD.


8 years ago

After more thought,  and watching a video about home power generation in cuba i had an idea,

Get a 55 gallon drum between the water main and the house,  put a high pressure nozzle into the top of the drum  focusing the jet of water onto a paddle wheel in the top of the sealed drum.  Place the water outlet  at the bottom of the drum,      the drum would need to be air tight so that the the top half of the drum could hold air,  this would allow a small generator to turn very fast ( say a car windshield wiper moter for a generator already at 12 volts only $5 at a junk yard)    having the air space would reduse friction in the jet of water making the generator turn faster.

This would also act as a storage tank  for water pressure you would have great water pressure when you first turned on the water but the pressure would decrease as the pressure in the tank decreased do to the restriction of water pressure caused by the small water jet.   you would need a tire valve on the drum so you could get the air volume and pressure right.

you concept is on the edge of something   BIG  so don't stop there go for the   GOLD  and make it work by itself   (propetual motion)  i have done this at my home and wonder if you want the key to unlock the door to (propetual motion)  ? ? ?   if so please e-mail me with kokoko

Please don't steal from or take advantage of people, based on there ignorance to the basic laws of motion and energy. 


Here is what i've been thinking about. I have a 13000 gal pool that runs year round. Can a water turbine be added on the outlet side of the pump filter? The pump pumps 85 gal a min. on the 120 volt side and 185 on the 220 volt side. Would like do someting like this to get off the grid.   thanks for any info..

That would actually increase your electricity  use,  the turbine on the other side of the outlet would slow the water coming from the outlet putting more load on the electric engine that runs the water pump requiring more electricity  to be used by the water pump.    

Now if you feel your water pump is providing excess power beyond what is needed to keep your pool in good health you could get a smaller water pump that uses less electricity,  Or maybe put you current pump one on a timer so that maybe it only runs every other hour or so.

A simple way to understand this, 
picture a peddle bicycle, now imagine adding anouther back wheel behind the normal back wheel on the bicycle.  put a sprocket on the second back wheel and connect that via a bicycle chain to the normal back wheel,   when you peddle the bike the chain running from the pedals is going to the origional back wheel making the tire spin,  now energry from the original back wheel is sent via a chain to make the additional back wheel spin.    Is this bike going to go twice as fast as a normal bike using the same amount of pedaling  because of the added wheel and chain?   Or is the bike going to be harder to pedal because of the added friction of the aditional moving parts and the added weight?

Water and electricity is no different then a bicycle chain, it is just a means to store and transfer energy.  When there is added friction and moving parts energy is lost not gained

The Idea of the water turbine connected to the city main is just a way to divert some  energy that was stored  as water pressure and convert that energy into electricity,   there will be a loss in water pressure but the idea here is that most houses have more water pressure then they need anyway with the added benefit that lowering your water pressure would potentially lower your water consumption.

what if you could run the pumps off of 20 gallons of water and never refuel that is what i've done

forgot to add that the water line going back to the pool is 2 inch line.

 I'm building a cob house.  Probably mostly candles and wood heat, but collecting rainwater off the roof into a series of overflow rainbarrels, one run with a DC pump on solar paneling through a solar thermal grid to heat the water there (only need to pump the water through the piping to minimize overheating when sun's out, so only need DC, the theory is).  Had a brainstorm recently.

I'm combining two tiered roofs to get this to work - a green roof there the top two tanks sit and a higher A-framISH roof to collect off one side of - a few inches of rain collected into a barrel can FLASH fill 55 gallons fast, and I don't know I want to work so hard to get the rain off the other side of the roof.  SO I've got free, gravity pushed water coming down about 14', probably through a gutter.  I *was* thinking a nice water chain... then I realized!

I was considering one of those led-turbine combos you can buy off thinkgeek and other places.  All of a sudden, I thought: can I run a few soft leds on a switch through a separate wiring circuit connected to water turbines IN THE GUTTERS!?  Free lights on rainy nights.  Thoughts?!

 I'm replying to my own damn self.  

What about a water tanks under the gutter to store potential energy then use a water valve switch to turn on a more constant dc power (vs. that produced by variable rain power) for overhead led lighting of the house?  I'm gonna do it.


9 years ago

I have been toying with the idea of a very similar thing, built to fit inside the toilet cistern and so everytime you flush, when the tank fills, it spins the rotor, which - when coupled to a basic magnet/conductor electric generator, generates a current which could be stored in a battery, hidden behind the toilet. This smaller battery could then feed into a larger one which can be used to draw current off of to power items around the house. I am very glad to see so many ppl taking an interest in this line of energy generation.

Most definatley. The interest has been great. Cisterns seem to be a viable option. Someone else commented about placing an imapct sprinkler to generate said energy inside the cistern. That seems like a good idea.

SO how is this really working out - what type of output are you getting?

With the unit pictured I am able to run a low powered LeD. But only just. The turbine is not efficient by any means. Although it was just a proof of concept. I would like to spend more time with this idea.

a place good for a higher efficiency turbine is the toilet flush tank you can add a tip that makes good jet to the end of the fill tube and place an open turbine there the jet of water spins the turbine in high RPM and then the water just goes to fill the tank no need to seal at all since its allready in the tank - gives more freedom in the construction of the turbine so you can make it more efficient you may also try to modify any cheap impact sprinkler to create electricity

Hmmm, interesting indeed. I had never thought of that available source, of high pressure at you toilet... It is nice to see people, still commenting after 10 months. Thanks. Tel me more about these "impact sprinklers" I don't follow... (I sell sprinklers too. LoL!)

the most common garden sprinkler with arm that beats itself is called impact sprinkler if you attach magnets and coils to it you may get energy of it as well you may use the sprinkler as garden sprinkler or inside a closed tank you wanna fill (where you dont mind water splashing in all directions) you can also add turbine in front of the water jet so it spins when the arm is away (may be good when you need short range of irrigation and dont mind destroying the jet) you can mount rechargeable garden light right on top of the sprinkler and eliminate some wires (that could bend over in full circle sprinkler) you can prevent the sprinkler from spinning without disabling the motion of the arm (mess up the direction selecting clips to stuck it or use a zip)

LoL, apparently not known as "impact" in Australia... That was the type I was thinking you were meaning. I will have to check them out when I return to work. (lunch break at the moment)

I applaude your effort - but if I understand this - you built the Turbine and the innerds! You know that you could have gotten something much more efficient by purchasing it. I am looking for something much more commercially viable.

Well duh!!! In-line pond pump 12v, go figure. I didn't want to go the shops. This was just an excercise. It took me all of 10min to through that lil' unit together.


9 years ago

Have you thought about using compressed air in conjunction with the water to increase the pressure into the turbine thus creating higher voltage?

Tesla Blender

Hmmm, not sure how feasible that would be. The idea would be to create power without having to use external means, compressed air.

I was personally considering a setup sortof like this in-line with a new shower i want to install, my thought was, maybe a tesla turbine like this but obviously built-up more. i reckon the only place i would lose pressure is in the shower, esp. if i put the turbine between the on-valves and the showerhead, then i would have hefty magnets on the disks, and a series of coils right outside. what do you think?

I think your idea is very similar to mine... The comment I have recieved thus far would indicate that not much energy would be created in the 3 mins of a shower. That information has made me think an inline filter at the highest pressure point would work best. Therefore I have determined that maximum energy manufacture would be produced at the first point on your side of the main. Great idea! Keep working on it!!

the main reason I was considering the shower is to reduce the possibility of pressure drop, i was planning on using the system in collaboration with a windmill to charge a 12 volt system to run the lighting in said bathroom, i figured that the two working together would probably create the electricity i need.

I'd make something like in the img Its a curved strip of plexi with magnets on it placed on a stretched thread inside a pipe Problem there is that when working it screws up the thread so you need to change water direction all the time or use something else like magnetics or hardware inside the pipe


that's pretty cool, what if, instead of a thread, you used a rod with the magnets set up almost like propeller blades? the rod could have pivots at either end, letting it spin freely, make it out of aluminum and corrosion stops being a problem,

I think I get where you are going with that. Would the idea be to produce power due to the movements of the magnets? I think possible, scrath the string Idea. Fix 3 inline turbine and away you go... That was my fist idea, yet I do not have the tools to manufacture inline turbines with precision. Thanks for you comment. It pleases me to see people still commenting on this along time after it was posted... It was originally posted as just an idea I was working on, but it seem that many are interested in this potential mean of energy production..

I've played with this idea on paper myself (great minds think alike i gather-that and it's an obvious approach) and concluded that the time/effort that one would put into this plus the equipment needed isn't worth the small amount of power generated. Also..with the laws of physics energy is neither created nor destroyed, essentially you're "stealing" power from the water main, or taking away the effectiveness of your home water system-whichever you prefer. If this catches on to the community, the price of water will just go up due to the added amount of energy the company has to put into the water system. In which case the community would be spending more money and resources on power due to the 1st law of thermodynamics of converting energy fuel-mech-elec-h20-elec-home, rather than the current method of fuel-mech-elec-home. With the gravitational potential energy logic, that's good, but in order for it to be effective in producing MORE energy is to just build a dam in your backyard and use hydrostatic forces towards a real mini turbine; there you will have production of continuous electrical flow, powering your house. But then you have to get a permit from the gov'met to build a dam in your backyard because then you're interfereing with the collection of reservoir to support drinking water, wastewater, and power generation...and it goes on and on and on So my conclusion was...pay your $150/month electric bill... I applaud your project and thinking, however, because again..great minds think alike :)

If the mains pressure is 70 psi, and the house in question does not have two aboveground stories, I see no negative effect on water supply to the house. A mains pressure of around 40 psi is more than plenty to supply water to my house. Assuming the power generation only happened when water was flowing somewhere in the house anyway (perhaps set up just past the master valve?), the ony person you'd affect is yourself. Just my $0.02

I am currently doing a project on this and hope to have success