Rural Hacker De-Crufts And Rebuilds Hydroelectric Generator

YouTuber [Linguoer] has a knack, and it’s one that we don’t often see on the pages of Hackaday: rewinding and rebuilding dilapidated motors and generators. In the video below, you’ll see [Lin] take a hydroelectric turbine and generator that looks like it’s been sitting at the bottom of a lake, and turn it into a working unit, all while wearing her trademark blue and yellow denim jumpsuit.

Where as most makers would have used a MIG or TIG welder, [Linguoer] uses a simple (probably A/C) stick welder. Generator windings are calculated and wound by hand, and the carcass of what used to be the generator is sandblasted out in the open. Missing parts are fabricated from scratch using nothing more than an angle grinder. “Simple” is the order of the day.

[Linguoer] often refers to herself as “Village Girl”. Whatever specialty tools she uses, they are elementary. And whatever methods she uses, they are manual. You will get the idea very quickly that [Linguoer] isn’t just a person with a skill, but a person with a passion for getting things done no matter the circumstances. [Linguoer] is a hacker if there ever was one!

If hydroelectric hacks spin your pelton wheel, give this Impressive Off-Grid Hydroelectric Plant a whirl.

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Rainwater Storing Gojo Is A Stroke Of Genius

A traditional Ethiopian Gojo. Image courtesy of easterntravelandtour.com

The traditional Ethiopian Gojo is a circular domed dwelling constructed from a central vertical beam, and a surrounding structure of curved beams made from wood or bamboo. A covering of dried grass and mud completes the outer structure. These buildings are found everywhere in rural areas, due to their ease of construction, and availability of cheap materials. One major problem living in rural areas in developing countries is access to water. Ethiopian inventor [Anteneh Gashaw] knows a thing or two about the practicalities of living in a developing nation, and has come up with an ingenious take on the traditional Gojo. The idea is to replace the outer structure with pipes capable of storing rainwater. A collector plate on the top of the roof directs rain water into the pipes — with some small balancing tubes connecting them at the bottom — distributing the stored water evenly. A tap at the bottom of structure allows the pipes to be emptied on demand. Another interesting point about this design, is that the water adds some extra weight, for free, which gives the structure much improved stability in high winds, increasing safety.

{Anteneh] notes that proper water infrastructure is incredibly expensive, and just simply won’t happen. Well digging, installation of underground water tanks, and other such stop gap measures are great, but still need significant investment, and he believes that his modified Gojo idea will help reduce the problem of storing water during the rainy season, and reduce the pressure on centralised wells and other such community-orientated solutions. What’s more, it should be cheap. We shall watch with interest where this goes.

We’ve seen a few hacks from Africa nations, not many, just a few, but they are interesting ones. Like this DIY Helicopter that didn’t quite get to fly, and this e-waste 3D printer. We’ll keep our eye peeled for more!