The gear pictured above is the first experimental wheel for the turbine, made from a recycled 3D printer plastic spool, PVC board (to decrease the rod size on which the gear will spin), threaded rod, and nuts. This particular gear will be one of two gears moving the rope pump to deliver water from the lower to the upper reservoir. The threaded rod will catch the washer disks fixed to the rope and guide them back into the PVC pipe to deliver more water to the upper reservoir. Given that one of these gears will have to be underwater, there will undoubtedly be considerable resistance, although we are not quite sure yet if the effect will be too great against the torque put out by the spinning turbine.
(Note: If you're interested in learning more about how a rope pump functions, check out my previous post on rope pumps)