Generate your own electricity for free with this DIY screw generator
Make your own energy on the go with your DIY hydrogenerator.
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If you want to be able to charge your small electronics in the wild then you might consider making your own small hydro generator?
If so, follow this quick guide to find out how.
As you can imagine, you will need some tools and materials before you begin.
Materials and equipment needed
Step 1: make the main screw
The first step is to take your plastic tarp and cut it into a set of evenly sized squares. Then take a pair of compasses and draw a donut shape on one of them.
Cut the donut as shown. Rinse and repeat to make a total of four donuts of equal size. Make a single cut through each of the donuts as shown.
Lightly heat the plastic donuts / rings to make them soft and shape them into a corkscrew shape. Then take your uPVC pipe and mark the shape of the main generator corkscrew.
Glue the “blades” of the plastic corkscrew in place as needed. With that done, seal the corkscrew blades to the main tube using epoxy.
Heat seal the blades and epoxy using a heat gun and adjust the blades as needed.
Then take your plastic caps and drill a hole in the center of each one. Glue a few lengths of metal rod into the holes. Seal with epoxy as before.
Glue the lids and metal rods to the top and bottom of the main corkscrew as shown in the video. Once done, paint the entire color of your choice – in this case blue.
Step 2: make the frame
Then take your scrap wood, cut and shape as needed to make the frame for the main device. Screw the pieces of wood together to make an elongated box large enough to hold the main screw and electronics.
Add cross members to the frame for extra strength, if needed. Once done, take your larger PVC tubing and cut it in half lengthwise.
Take one of the halves and nail it into place in the main wood frame as shown. With that done, take a short length of wood and cut a hole large enough for one of your ball bearings.
Insert it into the wooden piece and secure it to the frame to insert one end of the main corkscrew into the frame. Rinse and repeat for the other end of the device.
With that done, insert the main corkscrew into the pair of ball bearings.
Step 3: add electronics
With that done, take your miniature dynamo and mount it in place at one end of the main corkscrew. Connect the corkscrew shaft to the dynamo main shaft as needed.
Secure the dynamo in place on the frame, also using lengths of lumber as needed. Using other pieces of plastic, place parts of the frame as needed.
With that done, take your switch and other electronic components and put them together as needed. Connect to the main dynamo and step onto the frame as shown in the video.
Test the generator by turning the corkscrew by hand. This should light up a small LED light strip. Otherwise, adjust the electronics as needed.
With that done, your hydroelectric generator is now practically finished. You can now test it in a real river or build an artificial one and let your generator do its magic.
If you enjoyed this project, you might be interested in raising the bar a bit by building a miniature hydroelectric dam?
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