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WaterWeco®: Micro-hydroelectric Power Generation with Breast-shot Wheel Type

WaterWeco®: Micro-hydroelectric Power Generation with Breast-shot Wheel Type


Open-type Turbine That Generates Electricity with High Efficiency Even in Low Head and Low Flow Rate

ELIS CO.,LTD. specializes in clean and ecological generation of electricity as one of group businesses led by a gas corporation, which has 71-year history as a local LPG supplier. While the main business of the group is to provide thermal energy in the form of gas, our goal is to develop new technology, mini hydroelectric power generation, based on solar panel electricity systems using recently developed power-generating technology. Our mini hydroelectric power generation system is trademarked as “WaterWeco®” coined to denote Waterwheel + Ecology + Economy. It has almost no dust prevention countermeasures, has a highly efficient blade shape and the number of blades, and can generate electricity stably against flow rate fluctuations.

                                         Fig. 1 The model of breast-shot water wheel of WaterWeco®

Corporate profile: General Overview of ELIS's Micro Hydropower

Major Features and Advantages

  • Optimized number of blade and blade shape developed by trial and error
  • Stable output against seasonal fluctuations in the actual flow rate of irrigation water
  • Biodiversity-friendly structure
  • Ease of dust prevention

Product video
R&D of water wheel:

②Model of water turbine:

Technology Data

Possible applications

In developing countries where the stability of the electric power infrastructure is low, the number of facility maintenance personnel is insufficient, and the weather conditions fluctuate greatly. WaterWeco® enables to generate electricity with high efficiency according to the amount of water by effectively utilizing the agricultural canals. Compared to large-scale hydropower, the impact of large-scale development on ecosystems can be minimized.
Easy maintenance, fishway, low hurdles for flow conditions and resistant to fluctuations.

Competitive advantage

Ease of dust prevention, ease of maintenance, low manufacturing cost due to simple structure, high efficiency stability because the turbine position can be changed according to the flow rate.
Compared to the conventional breast-shot wheel, WaterWeco® has higher efficiency of power generation by optimizing the shape/angle and number of turbine blades, as well as peripheral velocity.

The transition of impeller optimization is illustrated below.
※Results of a third-party evaluation of the efficiency of the former impeller by the Ministry of the Environment

※Next, we changed the layout to actually reduce the “STAGNATION” of the old impeller, and assumed efficiency and power generation.

※”STAGNATION”is below.

Graph showing that output improved when “STAGNATION” is reduced.

※A photo of a water wheel compared from the side with a high-speed camera (left: conventional impeller, right: new impeller)

※In addition, stable output was shown even if there was a flow rate fluctuation. Plans are underway to install the world’s first irrigation water continuously


WaterWeco® achieved power generation efficiency of 50% or more (joint test with National University Corporation Nagasaki University and West Japan Fluid Engineering Laboratory Co., Ltd.)

Basic specification

  • Diameter of water wheel: 3.15 m
  • The number of blades: 32
  • Minimum head / water flow: 1.0 m / 1.0 m3
  • Power output: 5 – 100 kW (single or three-phase, 50/60Hz)
  • Generation efficiency: 47 – 55%
  • Occupancy rate of about 80%
  • Flexible response to flow fluctuations
  • Since dust can pass between the water wheel and the chest wall, there is no need for garbage removal work and maintenance costs can be reduced.
  • Consideration of biodiversity by securing fish ways

Technical maturity / Past record of introduction

As of June 2021, hydropower generators were installed in Japan. Some generators are prototype, not the same as WaterWeco®.

1. Currently in operation
・Niimi City Takao ELIS Power Generation Facility (2015)

・Tsuyama City Kuwatani Kuroki Campsite Power Generation Facility (2018)  ※ Please refer to the Project Overview

・Water Turbine Power Generation Facility for advertising light of a restaurant, in Okayama City (2009)

2. Discontinued operation
・Okayama City Nishigawa Green Road Renewable Energy Endowment Survey Business in Okayama City, Okayama (2010)
・Gounokawa Canoe Park, Miyoshi City, Hiroshima (2011)
・Roadside Station, Shinjo Village, Okayama (2011)
・Kagamino Town Fish Farm, Okayama (2012)A factory in Yasu City, Shiga (2013)

3. Contracted
・Agricultural aqueduct 10 -11units in Niigata (2021-2022)

Information on patent related to this technology


Company Data

Address 174 Fukuda, Minami-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama, 702-8021 Japan
Capital 13 million JPY (as of June 10, 2021)
Contact person

Tel: +81-86-264-8080 / +81-90-3639-3939
Fax: +81-86-264-8086
Corporate website:

Number of employees 12 (as of May 21, 2021)
Date of company foundation December 10, 2011
The type of business

・Manufacturing, design and construction of micro hydropower generator
・Consulting of renewably energy
・Handling of running water equipment

International operation

Number of employees for international operation 
Overseas offices
City, Country Name of Company
(if applicable)

Modality of business transaction

1: Export parts to a local partner company and outsource assembly and product sales to the partner company. (Including      so-called OEM contracts)
2: The local partner company is used as a sales agent, and the sales of the company’s products are outsourced.

Licensing of patent
Considering the license of the patent for the water turbine owned by our company


Schematic illustration of the technology

Contact Person(s)

Mr. Jun KUWAHARAE-mail:

*Please mention that you saw UNIDO's website when making the first contact with the company.

Registered Category

  • Energy Technologies : Renewable energy