How to Build a Hydro Generator

Required Materials

  • 4L plastic jug
  • 10 plastic spoons
  • 120M copper enamel wire
  • cork – 1-5cm long
  • corrugated cardboard
  • wood dowel – 1’4″, 20cm long
  • 4 rare earth magnets and washers
  • ¼” diameter 6cm long clear tubing
  • 4 brass fasteners
  • electrical tape
  • glue sticks
  • white glue
  • bolt meter

Required Tools

  • scissor
  • wire snips
  • coping saw
  • glue gun
  • pencil sharpener
  • utility knife
  • black marker
  • magnetic compass
  • emery board


Constructing the Rotor and Stator

Cut two 6 cm circles out of piece of cardboard. Mark them in the center using twp pencils and a compass. They should measure 90 degrees. Pierce a 1 cm hole in the center of each circle.

Constructing the Coils

Fold a piece of corrugated cardboard into a 3cm x 16cm jig. Make four coils of 200 wraps around your jig out of enamel wire. Leave a 3 inch excess of each end. Slowly remove a coil at a time and place electrical tape on each coil to retain the shape. Remove 1 cm of enamel from the wire using an emery board. All the enamel must be filed off the 1 cm area.

Attaching the Coils

Put the coils on the cardboard discs. Center them with the lines made before and alternate them counterclockwise and then clockwise for electron flow. Attach the coils to each other. Test with a voltmeter. You want 10 ohms or less on the voltmeter. Glue the coils to the cardboard. Cut four slits in the cardboard between coils for the brass tabs.

Attaching the Magnets

On the second cardboard disc (the rotor), mark the center. Punch an equal hole in the center at the first. Use washers to secure the magnets to the cardboard . Use the compass to make alternating north and south polarities.

Shaft and Turbine

Use a pencil sharpener to sharpen the end of the dowel. Then cut eight evenly spaced and angled slots in the cork. Cut the handles off the spoons, but leave 1cm of the handle. Insert the spoon handle into the cork. Everything should be in the same direction.

The Container

Remove the bottom of a 4L container. Find and punch a hole into the center of both sides of the container with a nail. Use the stator to mark slits on the container Cut identical slits into the container and attach the stator with brass pins.


Cut two plastic tubing sections 1cm long each. Use the dowel as a pole guide to assemble the generator. Assemble in this order: rotor, tubing, stator, container, tubing, turbine and container.

Filed Under: Computers & Technology


About the Author: Justin Belden is a freelance web & graphic designer with over 15 years' experience. He is also an Avid member of the Design/Development community and a Serial Blogger who loves to help people by sharing interesting and informative tips and trick related to computer and technology.

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