Hydro Power Plant Called 'Rotor' Is Made From A Simple Inner Tube
If you live in rural, underdeveloped areas you have to be clever to survive. Many places throughout the world are still without stable power supplies, making the simple things most of us take for granted mere pipe dreams for others. Stuff like refrigeration is almost unheard of in a lot of locations due to a general lack of electricity. When you don’t have the financial resources to correct these issues, it’s time to get creative. That’s what was done in the case of the Rotor, a homemade hydro plant created from an inner tube that generates power from moving water.
When most of us think of power plants, we think of enormous structures on huge swaths of land puffing out streams of big, white plumes resembling fluffy clouds. With the Rotor, that’s just not the case. For starters, the size of it is on a much, much smaller scale. For another thing, the inner tube this is all based on sits tethered in a river with running water providing the energy. In essence, Rotor provides an easy way to generate electricity by using the current of a river. It doesn’t get much simpler or retro than that.
Water as a Source of Energy
Here’s how the device breaks down: A vertical axis water wheel is mounted in the center of a circular tube. Induced by the flow of a river, the wheel turns like a turbine. The rotational energy is transferred by the axis to a wheel where several conventional bicycle dynamos — in the advanced version a specially designed generator — transform the kinetic energy into electricity. The rotor is fixed to the embankment, a bridge or something similar by mooring ropes. The prototype rotor consists of a tractor tire tube, flat bar steel as frame construction, bicycle dynamos and blades made of sheet [metal].
DIY Hydro Power Plant
All of the materials used in the project are readily available as castoffs, so it would just be a matter of picking through local dumps or salvage yards. There is one bittersweet drawback to that, though, and that is almost nothing goes to waste in poor, rural areas. While this is a good thing for the environment, it could create a shortage of usable elements for duplication in the same community, if you wanted to create more than one. That probably won’t stop the enterprising and industrious, but a prefab kit is in the works for creating your own DIY hydro power plant.
Stable Power Sources
Because the Rotor uses low-cost technology, it can be constructed easily. The required components are readily available worldwide and can be substituted (with a focus on recycled products), if need be. In many regions, this is the only way to get access to power besides harnessing the sun. For families or communities living near rivers, the Rotor provides a renewable energy source with a 24-hour output. This output can be used for such things as lights, cooling, battery charging and mobile phones.
In contrast to small solar cells or wind turbines, the river or stream turbine has the advantage of producing energy round the clock without the need for expensive battery storage. The entire project just goes to show that with innovative thinking and a little hands-on scientific know-how, no problem is to great to solve.