This little machine generates DC power from a source such a stream running down a hillside. Some water is channeled into a pipeline that is long enough to build up sufficient pressure. It can also be used with water systems that are under pressure like the water in city supplies. The water then passes through a small nozzle where it gives up pressure for velocity. The water then passes through the turbine runner which converts the energy in the water into shaft power and spins the generator. In the generator there are magnets that move past coils of wire where the electricity is generated. This electric power is first alternating current (AC) that is converted into direct current (DC) with a device called a rectifier. The power then goes to the output terminals (binding posts) where it is available to charge batteries or use directly with suitable appliances.
The two binding posts are colored red for the positive (+) connection and black for the negative (-). If these are connected incorrectly, the rectifier will likely be destroyed. For this reason, all connections to a battery must have fuses or circuit breakers to prevent further damage (like a fire!!). The switch on the side of the cover changes the internal connections and gives the machine a high and low range. One position will give a higher output than the other. You will need an ammeter to monitor how much power you are generating. A digital multi meter can also be used to check volts and amps using the binding posts.
Brass nozzles are supplied with the machine in sizes from 3-7 mm. A range of sizes is provided so that you can match the flow rate (l/s or gpm) of your source. Higher head (pressure) sources can use smaller nozzles and pass the same flow as larger nozzles at a lower head. The wheel has a pitch diameter of 2” or 50mm. The brass fitting on the machine is made to have the nozzles on the inside end and the inlet pipe connection on the outer end. This fitting has ½” pipe threads on the outer end for use with threaded type plumbing, and a plastic adapter is supplied that fits ¾” plastic pipe if you wish to use that.
The machines can have 1 to 4 nozzles. There is a 12/24 volt version and a 48/120 volt version. Access to the inner end of this fitting can be gained by loosening the wing nut and then swinging the retention plate upward. The allows the adapter to be pulled outward for nozzle changes.
Flexible lines work best to make the connection at the machine. One arrangement is to install a stop valve upstream of the flex line and then a pressure gauge upstream of that. This enables you to determine the pressure when there is no flow (static or gross head) and when the machine is operating and the stop valve is open (net or dynamic head).
These readings can also tell you when there are problems with the water supply.
A lower than usual pressure with the valve closed tells you that there is air in the pipeline and you are running out of water or the intake is clogged. If the pressure is lower than normal when the valve is open it indicates that the problem is upstream. If it is higher, the problem is downstream and is usually a clogged nozzle. Many water sources wash down leaves, twigs, grit and other things that conspire to keep you alert. The intake box of the pipeline should be constructed with mesh to filter the water and prevent debris in the water line.
Weighs 8 lb (3.7kg) – Size 6” (15cm) wide – 8” (20cm) high – 12/24 or 48/120 versions – 1 to 4 nozzles – Up to 200 watts – Starting at $695 x 1 nozzle – $745 x 2 nozzles.
Watter Buddy accessories in a $50 kit The kit includes a Fuse holder; your choice of ATC or ATG style, banana plugs and a digital multimeter
Fuses will protect your wiring,banana plugs make temporary installation easy, and a digital multimeter can be used to check output current and other electrical measurements.
Garden style brass hose adaptors female $6.50 male $5.50
Watch a video of the Watter Buddy running off a test pump