The Five Gallon Bucket Hydroelectric Generator is a pico hydroelectric generator housed in a five-gallon bucket. Developed by Sam Redfield to address the lack of commercially available small-scale hydroelectric power in developing countries, the generator is a low-cost, appropriate-technology solution to the problem of supplying electricity to those at the bottom of the economic ladder.


How To Build A Bucket Hydroelectric Generator

The generator is easy to build and easy to maintain. By design, the materials from which the generator is constructed are extremely common. Most of the components used in the generator are readily available just about anywhere in the world. The Five Gallon Bucket Hydroelectric Generator can be manufactured and maintained locally by artisans with limited resources and skills. The generator is made with a modified Toyota alternator and readily available hardware and PVC pipe.


The system is more economical than comparably sized photovoltaic, hydroelectric and wind generation systems.



The Five Gallon Bucket Hydroelectric Generator has been successfully built and installed in Peru and Guatemala. The generators function as charging stations for small clusters of homes.


Used in conjunction with rechargeable batteries, personal headlamps, radios and cell phones, there are no power runs to individual homes. The generator requires very little infrastructure. The energy is used as it is produced, eliminating the need for expensive banks of deep-cycle batteries typically found in solar and wind-turbine installations. The system generates electricity twenty-four hours a day.