Water Wheel Electrical Generator

Votes: 2
Views: 2354

This is a proposal to use a water wheel floating on a river to generate clean electrical energy. Unlike solar and wind generators, rivers flow 24 hours a day.

A water wheel can be scaled up or down. The surface speed of rivers varies between about 3-8 MPH. Floating water wheels are typically 25-45% efficient, however the pontoons shown are shaped like airfoils to increase the speed of the water between the pontoons under the wheel to increase the efficiency.

The water wheel turns at approximately 15-20 RPM. The water wheel can make use of a new style generator developed for small windmills that can operate as slow as 80 RPM. The required speed increase can be done first with a chain drive and then a belt-and-pulley system shown, or gearbox.

Several floating water wheel generators can be tied in series to multiply the electrical power generated.

A water wheel of this type can be cost effective in remote areas without access to power from a public utility.

Please see https://www.hineslab.com/waterwheel-electrical-generator.


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  • Name:
    Steve Hines
  • Type of entry:
  • Profession:
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
  • Steve's favorite design and analysis tools:
    Oh, I see, this is about your compiling a marketing database so you can sell your software.
  • For managing CAD data Steve's company uses:
    Strata Design 3D CX
  • Steve's hobbies and activities:
    inventing, photography
  • Steve belongs to these online communities:
  • Steve is inspired by:
    I wanted to offer an effective way to provide electrical energy in third-world countries. Rivers run night and day, unlike energy from photovoltaic panels and wind turbines.
  • Software used for this entry:
    MacDraft, and Strata Design 3D CX 8
  • Patent status: