Best Hydroelectric Generators

5 Best Hydroelectric Generators – Eco-Friendly Power

21 Models Considered
51 Hours of Research
8 Experts Interviewed
201 Reviews Analyzed

As fossil fuels get depleted, we certainly need to find alternative sources of power, don’t we? If you want clean, reliable power, then the best hydroelectric generator might be exactly what you need. Using water as a source of power is nothing new, and humans have used it for many years. Several ancient civilizations have records of using water bodies to create power and today, focus is shifting to creating cleaner, easier forms of energy. With the advent of technology, you can also join the movement, so to speak, and have your own hydroelectric generator.

There are quite a number of these generators on the market and it can be a tad cumbersome finding the option that would fit your requirements. Well, in this post, we reviewed five of the best options. In making this list, we considered important factors like voltage, watts, dimensions and weight, output, pressure resistance, and water pressure. We will discuss the importance of these factors in the buying guide. In the meantime, let’s consider our best picks.

Editor’s Choice

This unit is great for homeowners:

  • Durable build
  • Low maintenance
  • Reliable power production
Read Our Review
9.9
WiseScoreTM
?
WiseScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Value

It is a compact unit that is affordable and is for anyone that wants an eco-friendly generator:

  • Compact
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
Read Our Review
9.8
WiseScoreTM
?
WiseScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Budget Pick

This is an affordable option that is excellent for all types of people:

  • Highly durable
  • Good design
  • Portable
Read Our Review
9.7
WiseScoreTM
?
WiseScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Lightweight Model

This unit is an in-pipe model that offers plenty of features:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to maintain
  • Easy installation
Read Our Review
9.6
WiseScoreTM
?
WiseScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Angle

This is a 3.5W hydroelectric generator with an in-pipe design:

  • Highly versatile
  • Low cost option
  • Useful for different water pressures
Read Our Review
9.5
WiseScoreTM
?
WiseScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

Top 5 Hydroelectric Generators Review 2020

Features
  • Voltage: 0~80V, 5V
  • Watt: 10W
  • Size: 3.39 x 1.85 x 1.18 inch
  • Weight: 3.31oz
  • Maximum output voltage: 80V (1.2Mpa)
  • Maximum output current: ≥ 220mA (12V)
  • Outlet closed highest pressure resistance: 0.6Mpa
  • Outlet opening max. pressure resistance: 1.2Mpa
  • Start water pressure: 0.05Mpa

The Yosoo Micro Hydroelectric Power Generator comes with excellent points that make it one of the best hydroelectric generators that you can find today. Yosoo is a brand that makes some of the best appliances in this category on the market. As an average homeowner that desires clean, reliable energy, the options from this manufacturer are some of the best on the market. Although they are a tad costly, the features makes it worth the price.

When compared to the other models from rival manufacturers, these are somewhat costly. However, this relatively high price is due to several factors, including the construction. The Yosoo Micro Hydroelectric Power Generator is made out of high grade materials that ensure that the generator will last despite water pressure. Aside from durability, these units are also designed to be easily used by even the novice.

One of the nice things about this generator is that it comes with the necessary batteries and inverters that will ensure safe, reliable power for as long as you require it.  Right out of the package, it is clear that this is a high grade option. Included in the package is all that you need to start generating your power. Therefore, if you are just starting out, you will certainly find this to be a good option.

While compiling this article, we considered what other users say about its overall performance. Well, from our research, most of the people that used it report nothing but good things. Like us, they are in love with the ease of use and installation. Even if this is your first hydroelectric generator, you only need a little knowledge to be able to set this up in your closest water body. Another highlight of the generator is that you do not have to do a lot of maintenance throughout its lifetime. During testing, we noticed that the model can work even in conditions of low head.

The generator is rated at 10W and has voltage of 5V. This is little power, but should be sufficient for your basic needs.

Noise levels are reduced on this model. The generator has just two moving parts and each of these works quietly to give you the power you need.

What we liked: As we have pointed out, these are pretty easy and straightforward to install. They are durable as well and do not need plenty of maintenance.

What could be better: This generator is somewhat expensive. The 10W of power is also for basic needs and will not completely power the home.

Pros
  • Durable build
  • Low maintenance
  • Good, reliable power production
Cons
  • Costly
  • Relatively low power

Features
  • Voltage: 0~80V, 5V
  • Watt: 10W
  • Size: 3.14 x 2.28 x 1.18 inches
  • Weight: 3.53oz
  • Maximum output voltage: 80V (1.2Mpa)
  • Maximum output current: ≥ 220mA (12V)
  • Outlet closed highest pressure resistance: 0.6Mpa
  • Outlet opening max. pressure resistance: 1.2Mpa
  • Start water pressure: 0.05Mpa

Up next is the Pmsanzay Micro Hydroelectric Generator.  Just like the first option on our roundup, and indeed most of the other generators on this list, it is a 10W hydroelectric generator. The design is an in-pipe option, which means that it isn’t installed like your regular generator.

This model is made to be set up in the pipeline of the house’s plumbing system. If you don’t want that, you can set it up anywhere with the correct pipe sizing. Anyway, it is very simple to use and has a simple working mechanism. Once connected to the pipe, the water running through the pipe enters to the turbine and spins it to produce the electricity that you require. Since this is a 10W unit, chances are that it will not meet all the demands of the home. However, it is great because of the energy recovery and interesting design. Additionally, it is one of the most affordable options that you will find on the market right now. And like our top pick, it is very easy to set up for whoever needs an eco-friendly source of power in the home.

Most of the people, including us, agree that this compact unit serves its purpose really well. It offers good power. And it is a simple and effective way of getting power. For the best performance, it is good to connect it to high-flow pipes. When connected to a fast moving flow, it can serve to help charge a battery unit. Although it will not power the home of its own, it can be an important component in charging a bigger battery.

The pipes to use are common around the home which improves the versatility of this unit. You can connect it to your shower lines, irrigation lines, and other similar pipes. Overall, it is an excellent option that we are sure will only get more popular in the future.

What we liked: This model is a cheap option that offers you one of the simplest installations that you can imagine. It is very versatile as well and can be connected with different pipes. Additionally, it is a good, eco-friendly way of charging a bigger battery.

What could be better: Well, this compact, small unit produces a similar amount of power. We certainly wish that we could get more power from the unit.

Pros
  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Small energy production

Features
  • Voltage: 0~80V, 5V
  • Watt: 10W
  • Size: 4.65 x 2.99 x 1.46 inches
  • Weight: 3.91oz
  • Maximum output voltage: 80V (1.2Mpa)
  • Maximum output current: ≥ 220mA (12V)
  • Outlet closed highest pressure resistance: 0.6Mpa
  • Outlet opening max. pressure resistance: 1.2Mpa
  • Start water pressure: 0.05Mpa

The ApplianPar Yellow Micro Hydroelectric Generator is a good option that comes as a 10W hydroelectric generator. Unlike several other models on the market, this unit comes with plenty of useful features that you will enjoy using. As a 10W model, it certainly does not offer sufficient power for the home. However, if you want a unit that will help to charge a battery or similar stuff, you will certainly find it helpful. One of our favorite things about this model is the compact design and portability. Because of this small size, you can actually use it in camping or similar uses. It is a hydroelectric turbine that will certainly need a moving body of water to work. You can also connect it to the piping system of your home. When it starts running, you can connect it to the battery. As it is designed for outdoors use, it is cool that it can even charge your devices. According to the maker, it can give you up to 80V of power. Therefore, it is as good as some solar panels, If you are often outdoors and have a running water body, then you will have this model to give you electricity all night and day. The design of the ApplianPar Yellow Micro Hydroelectric Generator is sturdy and will last for a long time. From our testing and reviews from users, the ApplianPar Yellow Micro Hydroelectric Generator is excellent for the design and the ability to use it instead of a heavy battery.

The main thing we love about this model is the sheer portability and how easy it is to install and use. With this model, the hardest thing would certainly be finding a body of water that runs fast enough to generate the power that you need. To that end, it is a cool option to have if you are camping or hiking in a place with several running water bodies. To ensure safekeeping, the model comes with a carrying bag. You can get this product as an 80V option.

What we liked: Well, many have praised this model for the ease of use. It is also very compact and easy to carry around. You will find it to be pretty easy to install as well.

What could be better: This unit requires a fast moving body of water for maximum effectiveness. If you do not have this type of water body around, then it would be next to impossible to generate any power from the unit.

Pros
  • Highly durable
  • Good design
  • Portable
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • Not for slow moving water
4.

Tinsay Hydroelectric GeneratorBest Lightweight Model

Features
  • Voltage: 0~80V, 5V
  • Watt: 10W
  • Size: 6.69 x 5.12 x 1.73 inches
  • Weight: 3.17oz
  • Maximum output voltage: 12V
  • Maximum output current: ≥ 220mA (12V)
  • Outlet closed highest pressure resistance: 0.6Mpa
  • Outlet opening max. pressure resistance: 1.2Mpa
  • Start water pressure: 0.05Mpa

The Tinsay Hydroelectric Generator is a 10W generator that comes with an in-pipe design. It is a very lightweight option and is the best lightweight unit on this list. The Tinsay Hydroelectric Generatoris meant to be added to the pipeline of your home’s plumbing system, exactly like our first and second picks on this list. We love the cheap availability and the ease of installation that it offers.  If you are camping, you can certainly take this along with you. However, you certainly must find pipes that would fit the size if you want to have any success in using it. The mechanism of operation is simple and straightforward. Once you connect it to the plumbing system or the pipe, the water that passes through powers the generator to create some electricity.

Since this is just 10W, you certainly shouldn’t expect it to give you enough power for your entire home needs. However, this small generator offer impressive energy recovery, especially from a handy source like water. It is a cheap product too that will be so easy to set up with very little experience. All the things that you need for set up and installation are included in the package. Therefore, if you are looking for a reliable source of electricity that is still friendly on the environment, then you should certainly consider getting this model.

What we liked: The Tinsay Hydroelectric Generator is a compact, lightweight option that is affordable and easy to set up.  It allows you to set up a battery unit in the house and charge the battery without using more energy.

What could be better: The energy or electricity produced is quite low. Thus, it will not cater to all the needs of your home.

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to maintain and install
Cons
  • Low power production

5.

KEENSO HYDROELECTRIC GENERATORBest Angle

Features
  • Voltage: n/a
  • Watt: 3.5W
  • Size: 3.36 x 3.18 x 1.65 inches
  • Weight: 4.6oz
  • Maximum output voltage: 8.8~15VDC/ 0.1K load
  • Maximum output current: ≥ 260mA
  • Outlet closed highest pressure resistance: 0.55Mpa
  • Outlet opening max. pressure resistance: 1.6Mpa
  • Start water pressure: 0.05Mpa

In this post, we have focused on micro hydroelectric generators. These produce little power but offer impressive handiness. Well, the KEENSO HYDROELECTRIC GENERATOR is a micro generator that gives just 3.5W, which is the lowest energy generation on this roundup. However, despite the low power that it generates, it offers plenty of useful features that make it one of the best hydroelectric generators in this category. The in-pipe design means that it is easy to set up. The build is durable and will last for a long time despite constant water pressure.

This simple option allows you to attach any type of pipe system in the home. As long as water moves through, t will help you to generate small amounts of electricity. With this unit, you can get power from the waterways on your property. Since the model is very compact, you will find it easy to handle and capable of getting power from small water bodies and pipes.

It is a low-cost option that will make good use of the water that you have in the home. It is cheap but will offer you good returns on your purchase. One of the best things about the model is that it can handle plenty of pressures, even better than several others on the market. It should be noted though, that these are a bit bulkier than the regular models in this category. Therefore, it can be somewhat harder to fit them into small spaces. Thus, before installing it, you must ensure that there is enough space to fit it in.

What we liked: The KEENSO HYDROELECTRIC GENERATOR is an excellent model that will deliver power from the waterbodies on your property. It is affordable, lightweight, durable and useful for different water pressures.

What could be better: This model is somewhat bigger than your regular micro generator. Thus, you must have enough space for installation.

Pros
  • Highly versatile
  • Low cost option
  • Durable
Cons
  • Bulky
  • Low power generation

Buying Guide

In the section above, we reviewed five of the best hydroelectric generators that you can find right now. These units are excellent for generating small amounts of power in and around the home. The five options help to narrow your options. We promised to discuss the factors that affected our roundup, and in this section, we will look at these factors. Knowing about these will certainly assist you in choosing the right options on the market.

How Hydroelectric Generators Work

The working principle behind these generators is rather simple. They capture the energy of moving, falling or pressurized water to create electricity. They often have some type of turbine inside that converts the kinetic energy of the water intro mechanical energy, and this energy is then transformed into electrical energy. Water has been used for several centuries as a source of energy.

Should you use a hydroelectric generator?

5 Best Hydroelectric Generators - Eco-Friendly Power

Before you head over to the market, you must be sure that you have the facilities to engage in such type of generation. The generator itself is just a minute part of the process. The most important factor that will determine whether you should invest in a hydroelectric generator is the accessibility to water. After all, if there isn’t a water source, it would be pointless getting the generator.

Therefore, consider the following questions: would you be camping near a river or a stream? Do you have running water on your property, in the form of lakes or streams? How much water runs through the pipes of your home, and what is the pressure?

The answers to these questions will go a long way in determining whether you should have a hydroelectric generator installed.

In the event that you don’t have these water bodies on the property, you can still manage to have a hydroelectric generator in the home. In this case, mini or micro generators like those we have considered on this roundup will come in pretty handy. These can be set up and connected to your plumbing system.
Examples include the Yosoo Micro Hydroelectric Power Generator and KEENSO HYDROELECTRIC GENERATOR.

Features to consider

Before buying a hydroelectric generator please consider the following first:

Water Source

One of the important things that will affect the option you choose is the type of body of water that you have available. If you are looking to generate plenty of electricity, you must consider the head and the flow of the water. Let’s see what these are.

The head refers to the vertical distance the water falls. The higher the distance, the more the pressure that will be generated. With more pressures comes more power.  If the head is not up to two feet, then using a hydroelectric generator would be pointless.

The flow is the amount of water that, well, flows through the water body, and it is essential to the amount of power that you can generate.

Power

Another important feature to consider when buying a hydroelectric generator is the amount of power that you plan to produce. As with other types of generators on the market, hydroelectric generators generate different amounts of power. Some offer high watts output, while others are lower. The total amount of power is often indicated on the generator. The models that we have reviewed above offer around 10W. An example is the Pmsanzay Micro Hydroelectric Generator.

Installation

It is also important to consider the ease of installation. If you have a large hydroelectric generator, you will likely have to call on the help of a professional before you can set it up. The same thing goes for medium-sized models. If you don’t have sufficient DIY skills, it would be nearly impossible to install it yourself. And part of installation involves ensuring that you have the right conditions for setting up a hydroelectric generator.

If you do not have a lot of experience, then it would be better to choose a mini or micro hydroelectric generator. One of the advantages of these units is the ease of set up. Most of the options on the market, and all of the options reviewed in our roundup offer easy installation. They are often small and uncomplicated.
An example is the Tinsay Hydroelectric Generator.

 

Type

There are five major types of hydroelectric generators. These are the cross-flow turbine, in-pipe micro, pelton wheel, portable, and multi-use. Most of the options that we have considered above are in-pipe options. These are connected to the piping system of the home and use the water from your showers and similar installations. The ApplianPar Yellow Micro Hydroelectric Generator is an example of an in-pipe hydroelectric generator.

FAQ

Hydroelectricty is a renewable energy source that can go on for a long time. However, the generators used to create the power have their lifespan. The lifespan depends on different factors including the frequency of use, level of maintenance, the manufacturer, and others. If the model is from a reputable company, the generator can last for more than five years.

The noise level often depends on the size of the machine. Dams, which are a form of hydroelectric generators can produce sound of up to 120 decibels. However, smaller machines like the micro hydroelectric generators are usually very quiet.

Check out the terms and conditions of the machine. Whether a warranty is provided or not depends on the manufacturer. When making a buying choice, though, it is better to go for an option with a lengthy warranty period. That way you can make repairs or replace the machine at no additional costs.

Our Verdict

The top pick is the Yosoo Micro Hydroelectric Power Generator. This unit is an excellent option that offers excellent build and features and is great for homeowners. It has a 10W generation and will be sufficient for your basic requirements. Our value pick is the Pmsanzay Micro Hydroelectric Generator. This model is a 10W rated unit that is designed to be used in the home to produce electricity. It is a compact unit that is affordable and is for anyone that wants an eco-friendly generator.  The budget pick is ApplianPar Yellow Micro Hydroelectric Generator. This is an affordable option that is excellent for all types of people, including those that enjoy camping outdoors but still need some power. It is a durable option as well that will give you years of eco-friendly performance. Go through the five models we have considered and choose the one that most suits your requirements. It will certainly be the best hydroelectric generator you will buy!

9.9/10 Total Score
Yosoo Micro Hydroelectric Power Generator - Editor's Choice
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