Survival School: It’s Electrifying By RC Murphy

Sometimes, sneaking into The Oracle‘s office yields gems of knowledge I can pass onto you, brave ZSC brigadiers. Other times, I’m chased out by a snarling beast that’s hitched a ride back to the Command Center during LK’s latest trip out to test her misbehaving flux capacitor.

Today’s Survival School lesson is more of a science experiment—how to safely create your own hydroelectric generator. The plans we’ve located are designed to be easily made by someone with a little skill and appropriate tools. All the supplies, mostly PVC pipe and a 5 gallon plastic bucket, are reasonably priced. The idea behind the generator’s design is to provide small-scale clean energy for developing countries at a moderate cost. Everything needed to make the generator is in the PDF file from, including a full supply list, tools needed, and a step-by-step guide with color photos.

How to Build a 5 Gallon Hydroelectric Generator

How much power can it provide? Well, you won’t be running an air conditioner off a plastic barrel, that’s for sure. However, with the right water flow, this generator can hit about 90 watts—enough to power 80 1-watt LED lights, or 3 30W UV water treatment systems.

I’ll be honest, my skill is with words, not engineering. But this generator—or any similar design—seems like it’d come in handy if the apocalypse does indeed take out the electric grid or we’re forced to take refuge in the wild for long. It’d certainly save us from using all our fuel on gas-powered generators