Fukui University of Technology exhibited a very unique hydroelectric power generator during the 2015 Eco Products. They used the wheel of a bicycle and attached wing-like blades which would generate electricity through water current. It seemed like an ultra-small version of a water wheel.
“We have already put up 17 units in the former Kamiajimi Village in Fukui Prefecture, and due to the decreasing number of people in the village who could be of help, all the villagers worked together for this technology,” says a student of Fukui University of Technology.
The former Kajimiami Village is located in mountainous areas, and it is extremely abundant with water. As they observed the behavior of the water, they were able to devise a small hydroelectric power generator using bicycle wheels as a key to revitalizing their village’s resources. It can generate power equivalent to three watts, just enough to illuminate LED lights; they actually lit the LED lights in the venue by spinning the water wheel.
“The production cost was very cheap. It did not even reach 10,000 yen. It is even more affordable if you use wheels of bicycles that are no longer used. The villagers are very happy about it. We want to promote the use of this hydroelectric power generator,” said the student cheerfully. Currently, the hydroelectric generator is still being used to illuminate the gate lamp near the assembly hall entrance.
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)