Waterlily Turbine Review

Waterlily Turbine Review

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Waterlily USB - Portable Power Generator for Paddlers,...
  • Charges small electronics in the same time as at home
  • Charge day or night in any weather
  • Hand crank available for guaranteed power
  • Can be towed with a canoe, kayak, raft or sailboat
  • Now 20% more power compared to original WaterLily

Have you ever wondered how you could still power your small devices such as phones when outdoors? At times, carrying an entire solar panel or battery pack does not make sense. Why? Well, aside from your already full bag, taking another heavy item would only cause you to tire. Thus, a good recommendation for you would be to go for a compact but reliable way to charge your devices.

Take, for instance, the Waterlily Turbine. What exactly is this? Well, it’s a compact device with a spinning wheel. When you place it inside running water, the wheel spins, and this produces power, which you can use to charge your devices. Yes, that`s right. No more worrying about cold days, when your solar panel is useless, or a battery pack which might die out after a few hours.

It’s a charging resource, which you can use to power your small devices conveniently. More so, it is safe to use and provides clean power for your devices. Furthermore, its compact, which makes it easy to carry around in your already cramped up backpack. 

Some of its key features include:

High-Performance Blade Design

Perhaps the most critical component of this portable charger is that it features a unique blade design. The role of the blade is to spin, and the motion produces power. The blade is highly efficient and will run well in water that has low velocities. Thus, you won't have to struggle to place it moving waters, or perhaps have to worry about it getting swept away. More so, the blade is durable and will provide many years of reliable power supply performance. To back this feature up is the frictionless drive charger. What exactly is this? Well, it’s a mechanism that lets in the water at less than 1mph, or even from strong gusts during windy days.

10 Foot Charge Cable

The maker of this unit has also done well to ensure it can provide clean and safe power each time. How exactly does the charger achieve this? Equipped with a 10-foot charge cable, you are sure of a convenient way to connect your devices to the charger. It helps keep your devices safe while charging for the bests results. Even more, the cable is abrasion resistant and will provide many years of reliable performance. 

You will be pleased to know that this unit can produce up to 15 watts of power in a river, creek, or stream. Once you set it up correctly, it will trickle charge your batteries as you work on other vital issues. What is a trickle charge? It refers to charging a fully charged battery, at a level that is similar to the self-discharge level. Thus, this allows the battery to stay fully charged, and this state comes about when the battery is not fully charged. It occurs this way because trickle charging will not maintain battery charge if the current is produced through a load. 

High-Performance Circuitry

To help provide high quality, reliable, and clean power, this unit also features high-performance circuitry for the best results. In particular, the circuitry is 20% much more powerful than the conventional electrics, which means it pushes more power through the turbine. As such, you can be sure of benefits such as short charging periods. 

What happens when you don’t have water running closeby, or gusty winds? Well, the makes of this unit also have you covered. While you may have to apply some effort, it works. You will have to use the hand crank that is available with this unit, and it’s convenient as well. The inclusion of the Hydroelectric Charge System on this unit is also based on as many as seven years of subsea research. 

Once you set this unit upon the correct position, you just have to connect it to a compatible device. This might include speakers, USB devices, battery banks, and more. It’s the perfect plug outlet for your outdoor escapades. 

Durable Construction

Furthermore, the maker of this unit seem to understand the importance of making a durable unit. You can see it all over the physical design of this turbine. To be specific, the turbine features durable and dustproof housing, which can take almost anything you throw at it. Such a unique design is built to keep the power going through the bumps and bruises when you are outdoors. Thus, you are sure of a power supply unit that guarantees longevity at so many different levels.

As far as installation goes, this unit also has highly convenient options you should consider. For instance, the removable stainless-steel lanyards and mounting options are unique. As such, these flexible lanyards ensure that your turbine sets up conveniently on your chosen surface. You won't have to worry about it running off with high-velocity water when you set up correctly.

The housing is even shockproof and weatherproof rated. It will withstand river conditions, which makes it perfect for everyday use.  

Sealed USB Connectors and High-Quality Power

Thanks to the inclusion of sealed USB connectors of up to 15w, you have a waterproof device, which is easy to store. It also helps ensure the USB ports stay clean and dry during use. The Waterlily can produce well over 360watts of power in one day through these ports. Compare this to a 14W solar panel that will generate 42 hours on a good day. A 1000W panel will produce how much? 300W. 

Rather than fussing with your solar panel through the day, you will find it easy to set up the Waterlily for overnight charging. Thus, you will wake up to full batteries in the morning for the best power supply results. While solar panels require repositioning as the sun moves through the sky, the waterlily will run for days without any maintenance required. 

Product Specifications 

Waterlily Turbine Review

Weight and Dimensions

  • 2.86 lb (1.4 kg)
  • 7" diameter × 3" thick (180mm × 77mm)
  • Water Flow Speed

  • Minimum flow required: 0.8 mph (1.2 km/h, 0.5 kt)
  • Flow for peak power output (15 W): 7.4 mph (11.8 km/h, 6 kt)
  • Maximum water speed: 9.2 mph (17 km/h, 8 kt)
  • Your WaterLily packaging has:

    • WaterLily Turbine
    • 12' (3.6 m) Paracord
    • A Stainless-steel carabiner
    • A Rope tensioner
    • Four 300mm Stainless steel lanyards

    Also read: Best wind power generators for home use.

    Waterlily Turbine Reviews

    The French Pyrenees are packed with many rives, and being able to move around in them conveniently is crucial. I take this system along, and my movement is never compromised. Light in the middle of the night without having to use batteries is exceptional. Always having sufficient charge for my phone, especially during emergencies, is ideal. I am happy with this product and wish for a 12V type soon.

    Remi D

    I was completely amazed by the performance of My Waterlily. I was searching for a device that could supply clean power beyond my solar panel. Not only was this unit the perfect fit, but it also makes up for one of my three-pillar techniques for getting energy in case of an emergency. I use a Goalzero battery generator, and with a bit of customization – the entire setup works perfectly. The charger can power the battery, and it's an absolute game-changer, in my opinion. 

    Teddy B

    We have solar panels installed on our roofs, cars, and even in the backyard. While we would have also loved to own a big wind turbine, we have a small house and yard. However, this little beast has more than surpassed our expectations. It produces clean power, and I can wait to take it outdoors to the water. More so, I also love the solid feel, and it looks like it can take anything I throw at it. Great tool. 

    Cheri H


    There is no perfect way to set up the Waterlily, and you just have to consider a few key installation factors. For instance, you have to install it in such a way that it will safely capture fast-moving wind or water. Also, you have to be creative and determine the best way to catch the most water or wind in the environment. Plus, remember that rivers can be dangerous, and you should always consider your safety first. In this Youtube Channel by the official Waterlily Brand, you will get lots of useful information for your needs.


    Practice caution when you select anchor points, and when choosing suitable knots, particularly around water. A failed knot or anchor point could mean that your device may detach, and get lost in the water. The Waterlily website provides useful images and videos you can use for the installation process. 

    After using the Turbine in saltwater, ensure you rinse it freshwater, to help reduce the occurrence of salt deposits and corrosion issues.

    If anything gets stuck inside the Turbine, you will find it easy to disassemble for cleaning. You may just have to detach the four screws to help remove the cover. Then, you will have to unscrew the nose cone, then remove the rotor for thorough cleaning. 

    Some devices can not accommodate direct charging from the Waterlily Turbine when the wind or water speed is low. This will become clear because the device will change between charging and not charging, as the velocity of the turbine shafts. A good suggestion, in this case, would be to charge a power bank, then use it to charge your devices. 

    Waterlily Turbine FAQ

    Q. So, is it the same one for wind and water, or are they two separate things?

    A Yes, it’s the same, and “NOT” two separate things. It works well in water or wind, which work to rotate the blade. Furthermore, you can also move the blades by using a hand crank. Any method you can use to move the blades is perfect for producing power with this unit. 

    Q. How fast does the wind have to blow for you to get a quality charge going?

    A. You will need water with a high velocity. Check the Betz limit: which has a maximum efficiency with a turbine of 60%. Thus, this powerful turbine can produce an average of 6.75W and by using 20mph wind. Also, real performance turbines are 80% theoretical, so you might expect 5W of power in 20mph wind.

    Q. Is there a maximum speed of wind it can handle? For instance, can it handle sustained highway speeds?

    A. The turbine requires strong wind if you want quality power. That said, it's not practical to use it at highway speeds, as you can charge using the car power supply. The main issue is being able to create a secure holder for the turbine. 

    Q. How long does it take to charge the conventional cell phone?

    A. It depends on various factors, such as the speed of the water. The charger can power a regular USB outlet, and it will take just along to charge from your conventional USB wall charger.

    Q. Where can I get the kind of extension cables to run from the turbine to devices? Also, how much water is lost per run? 

    A. Consider the 12V version. The higher the voltage, the lower the power loss level. For cables, just consider using Google to search for “DC 12V” wire losses. 


    There are many ways through which you can supply your devices with power today. For those who love camping or backpacking, you have many convenient power supply options to consider. When going outdoors, you want a unit that is compact and easy to carry around. Thus, the Waterlily Turbine makes up for an excellent addition to your power supply regimen.

    It is simple to set up, and the high-quality power cable ensures that you receive quality power each time. The makers of this unit have also done well to ensure it's available with high-performance circuitry, for the best power supply results. 

    Ian Mutuli

    About the author

    Ian Mutuli

    Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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