Designing Portable Hydroelectric Power Generators for Recreational Use

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Keanu Ammons (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Bora Karayaka


Efficient, portable electronic products are a necessary commodity amid the widespread use of cell phones and smart devices. Unlike residential electronics users, who primarily rely upon wall mount charging devices, hikers, outdoorsman, and camping enthusiasts cannot enjoy the same convenience. Although portable batteries and car-based chargers exist, few products have the capability to generate reliable power outside of the power grid; developing such a product will supply outdoor enthusiasts with the ability to power personal smart devices for extended periods of time.

The Power Flow (PF) design team sought to address the aforementioned needs by developing a sustainable, reliable charging product for outdoor recreational use. The PF design team developed a portable, hydroelectric charger capable of generating electric power for smart devices. Designed for outdoor use, the PF can generate a continuous power output from creeks, rivers, and other flowing bodies of water.

By researching and developing the PF product, the design team was able to understand the customer needs of the target market–hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Additionally, creative solutions were developed to address the practical problems associated with portable power generators. Problems with efficiency and portability were addressed.

The PF (and other similar products) are feasible for recreational use. With additional development efforts, the design team is confident that the developed product may be adapted to mass production and widespread market acceptance.

NRC Grant Number: 31310019M0028

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
Power Flow, hydroelectric, efficiency, portability

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