Why the name TruePico? What is special about our concept? The approach we took when designing the TruePico unit is different from conventional large hydropower plants in many details. Our approach is tailored to the small size of the TruePico and thus avoids many significant disadvantages of large and hence also small hydropower plants. In other words, we did not just scale down a large hydropower plant but created a truly pico hydropower unit – TruePico.

TruePico hydropower unit is from the beginning designed for the electrification of off-grid communities in developing countries. Its advantages make it an unrivaled choice among its competitors.

Advantages of TruePico unit


A poverty-stricken off-grid community can hardly afford to build a small hydropower plant without applying for a loan or grant, which is a difficult and lengthy process. TruePico is made specifically for such communities and its price reflects that.


The rule of thumb with small hydropower plants says, that the planning and design stage usually takes months. The modularity of our unit reduces the planning period significantly.


TruePico units are meant for places that are yet out of reach of infrastructure, including electrical grid and roads. That is why they are designed so that they fit onto a bed of a pick-up truck, and can be moved by two men only.


It typically takes up to several months to build a small hydropower plant and concrete and machinery are inherent elements in that process. Truepico needs none of those. All the necessary adjustments to the river bed can be done with hand tools and locally available materials.


The only thing that needs to be built is a weir, that creates the necessary step in the water levels. Unlike dams, this weir has negligible influence on the ecosystem of the river, fish migration, methane emissions, or sediment regime of the river. After all, it just mimics what beavers have been doing for millions of years.

Existing barriers

TruePico unit offers a convenient solution that can be effortlessly installed beneath most of the weirs or water barriers found in rivers. With an approximate count of nearly one million barriers scattered across water streams globally, there is an abundance of potential sites for our waterwheel units. Almost any barrier measuring at least 1 meter in height can be utilized effectively and make use of existing barriers.

No diversion

Many hydropower plants don’t just build a dam but also divert the water from the original river bed to create the necessary head for the turbine. TruePico does no such thing and therefore avoids drying out bypassed parts of the river, construction of artificial waterways, and bureaucracy related to the environmental impact of diversion.

Environmentally friendly

The best way to deal with negative effects is to avoid creating them. TruePico concept follows this to the letter. There is no need for fish ladders if the unit does not pose an obstacle for them. No need for environmental flow if none is taken away in a bypass. No need for sediment handling. No need for trash racks since the wheel is robust enough to withstand them. The list goes on.

Operation and maintenance

Common sense and elementary technical knowledge are sufficient qualifications to operate a TruePico unit – thanks to its self-cleaning properties and simple and robust design. And if it gets damaged in a flood or another event? Any mechanic with basic tools and a welding machine can fix it.


We believe that whatever is built in nature must not spoil the scenery. Including hydropower plants. The TruePico waterwheel complements the river with its nostalgia-evoking design.

Educational Value

The open mechanism of the TruePico water wheel arouses interest and curiosity across generations. Combined with being the means of electrification of remote communities, TruePico has the potential to kindle the interest of the local kids in technology and mechanics.

We also aim to develop another version of the TruePico unit – a design intended for developed countries. Its different parameters will reflect the different needs and possibilities that arise from its use in developed countries.

The third aim of our research is to offer modernization of existing waterwheels so that they keep their cultural value, allowing or increasing their electricity production.

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A design draft of the TruePico Water Wheel