Senior Theses

Publication Date


Document Type

Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Physics



Faculty Advisor(s)

Tianbao Xie (Thesis Advisor)
Joelle Murray & Bill Mackie (Committee Members)

Subject Categories

Applied Mechanics | Civil Engineering | Energy Systems | Engineering Physics | Physics | Structural Engineering


As Earth`s expendable resources dwindle, the need for alternative, renewable energy sources grows. Out of this need, an old favorite source is rising in popularity: small water turbines. Water-driven turbines first began as a means for turning mills and eventually evolved into massive dams that can power whole regions. This project focused on the construction of, and testing the properties of, a small pico-hydro power turbine. By using compressed air to drive the turbine, a representation of the peak power output was measured, serving as a basis for determining the value of pico-power systems in regards to the world`s current energy production.