P13731: Educational Rube Goldberg

Subsystem 6 - Senior Year

Engineering Principles

Hydropower is created from the energy of falling water, which may be harnessed and used for producing electricity. The power available from falling water can be calculated.


•P is power in watts (W)
•D is the density of water in kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m^3)
•Q is the flow in cubic meters per second (m^3/s)
•g is the acceleration due to gravity in meters per second (m/s)
•h is the height difference between inlet and outlet in meters (m)

Waterwheels can draw power from the flow of a body of water without necessarily changing its height.

[1] Our display of Hydropower is through an " Overshot Waterwheel ." Water is pumped up to the top of the subsystem when the ball hits a limit switch while entering the subsystem. This switch then sends a signal to the Arduino which communicates with our power source to send power to the water pump. Once water is pumped to the top it then falls into a bucket which has two exit points. One exit is a smaller diameter tube of _____" while the other tube has a diameter of _____". This will create two different water flows on to the two different water wheels located below.

Our water wheels are constructed of:

* Plastic boxes/lids as the paddles to direct the water
* Tire spokes to mount the paddles
* Rubber stoppers to mount the tire spokes on to the axle
* Aluminum rod as an axle attached to the motor
* Motor to convert mechanical energy caused by the spinning axle into electricity
* PVC Composite Deck Boards (waterproof structural material)

As water flows out of the two tubes it falls on to the paddles of the water wheel causing it to spin. This wheel rotation causes the axle in the center to spin axle within the attached motor. As the motor's axle is rotating it generates an electrical output which is shown by the speed of a fan spinning (for visual purposes).

The trail trace as shown in the photo will then be pumped back up to the top of the subsystem for a continuous cycle.


MSD I MSD II Subsystem Educational Information

Photo Gallery I

Planning & Execution I

Systems Design

Detailed Design

Project Review I

Photo Gallery II

Planning & Execution II

Build, Test, Document

Project Review II

Final Presentation

Technical Paper


Subsystem 1 - Accepted to RIT

Subsystem 2 - Freshman Year

Subsystem 3 - Sophomore Year

Subsystem 4 - Co op Experience

Subsystem 5 - Junior Year

Subsystem 6 - Senior Year

Subsystem 7 - Graduation