Updated on December 31, 2023


Created on August 27, 2015

Mobile Hydro Rotor

Upcoming Update

The Mobile Hydro Rotor is a small hydro power plant designed to use river currents to generate electricity.

Developed By
  1. Mobile Hydro
Tested By
  • Mobile Hydro
  • TUM School of Engineering and Design, Technische Universität München
Content Partners
  1. Siemens | Stiftung


Product Description

The Mobile Hydro Rotor is designed by Mobile Hydro to be an inexpensive, low maintenance, and modular hydropower system to generate electricity.

Target SDGs

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Household, Community, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Mobile Hydro is creating an online Do-It-Yourself manual to allow use of different materials available locally. Additionally, Mobile Hydro is also developing an affordable pre-fabricated construction kit that includes important parts, such as tire tube, blade profiles, canvas cover and a generator.  

Competitive Landscape

Manufacturing/Building Method

This product is currently in the prototyping phase and not yet manufactured at scale.  

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Product is still in prototyping stage but users can contact Mobile Hydro for open source information to build a personal hydro turbine.

Distributions to Date Status


Output voltage: (VAC)


Power output, min (kW at head, flow rate)

0.001 kW,  300 L/s

Power output, max (kW at head, flow rate)

0.703 kW, 2500 L/s

Output frequency (Hz)


Minimum required head (m)


Minimum required flow rate (L/s)

300 L/s

Number of nozzles


Weight (kg)

60 kg



Design Specifications

The Mobile Hydro Rotor is a modular kinetic hydro power plant designed to be low cost by allowing the use of recycled materials and standard components that can be built and assembled by the user. It is designed to be user friendly, with the system allowing for plug-and-play installation on site. It is a floating vertical axis pico turbine for economic performance at even low water flow velocities. The H-Darrieus rotor used in this product has a diameter of 1.4 m and a height of 1 m.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Provided by the manufacturer  

Replacement Components

Replacement components are available



Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

The turbine is designed to provide 1 W of power at a river flow rate of 0.3 m/s, and up to 703 W at 2.5 m/s. The product is expected to produce 100-500 W on average.

Vetted Performance Status

Testing performed by the manufacturer confirmed functionality and electricity production of up to 2 kW depending on water flow velocity.


The turbine must not be placed in water bodies that people frequent.

Complementary Technical Systems

An energy storage system could work in conjunction with the turbine.

Academic Research and References

Zeiner-Gundersen, D.H., 2015, A novel flexible foil vertical axis turbine for river, ocean, and tidal applications, Applied Energy, 151:60-66.

General information on hydropower:

Cada, G., et al., 2011, Potential impacts of hydrokinetic and wave energy conversion technologies on aquatic environmentsFisheries, 32(4):174-181.

Robb, D., 2011, Hydro’s fish-friendly turbines, Renewable Energy Focus. 12(2):16-17.

Ortega-Achury, S.L., McAnally, W.H., Davis, T.E., Martin, J.L., 2010, Hydrokinetic power review, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS.

ROTOR – River Power Plant. n.d. www.techxlab.org.

Rotor. 2011. vimeo.com.

Mobile Hydro. n.d. facebook.com.


Compliance with regulations


Evaluation methods

Testing was conducted at the TUM Hydromechanics Lab for different blade shape forms and flow velocities and a prototype’s performance at the river Loisach.

Other Information


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