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Encyclopedia > Water wheel

For water wheels used to drive boats, see paddle wheel. For wheels used solely to lift water see noria. For factories or industries driven by water wheels see watermill. A paddle steamer, paddleboat, or paddlewheeler is a ship driven by one or more paddle wheels driven by a steam engine. ... An overshot water wheel standing 42 feet high powers the Old Mill at Berry College in Rome, Georgia A water wheel (also waterwheel, Norse mill, Persian wheel or noria) is a hydropower system; a system for extracting power from a flow of water. ... Watermill of Braine-le-Château, Belgium (12th century) A watermill is a structure that uses a water wheel or turbine to drive a mechanical process such as flour or lumber production, or metal shaping (rolling, grinding or wire drawing). ...

An overshot water wheel standing 42 feet high powers the Old Mill at Berry College in Rome, Georgia
An overshot water wheel standing 42 feet high powers the Old Mill at Berry College in Rome, Georgia

A water wheel is a hydropower system; a machine for extracting power from the flow of water. Water wheels and hydropower was widely used in the Middle Ages, powering most industry in Europe, along with the windmill. The most common use of the water wheel was to mill flour in gristmills, but other uses included foundry work and machining, and pounding linen for use in paper. Image File history File links Berry_Schools_Old_Mill,_Floyd_County,_Georgia. ... Image File history File links Berry_Schools_Old_Mill,_Floyd_County,_Georgia. ... Berry College, an American private, liberal arts college, is located in the Georgian community of Mount Berry, on the northernmost boundary of Rome, Georgia. ... Aerial view of downtown Rome Location of Rome and major highways Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Rome is the largest city in and the county seat of Floyd County, Georgia, United States. ... Undershot water wheels on the Orontes River in Hama, Syria Saint Anthony Falls Hydropower is the capture of the energy of moving water for some useful purpose. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... A Dutch tower windmill, sporting sails, surrounded by tulips A windmill is an engine powered by the wind to produce energy, often contained in a large building as in traditional post mills, smock mills and tower mills. ... Gristmill with water wheel, Skyline Drive, VA, 1938 A gristmill is a building where grain is ground into flour. ... Torn linen cloth, recovered from the Dead Sea Linen is a material made from the fibers of the flax plant. ... For other uses, see Paper (disambiguation). ...


A water wheel consists of a large wooden or metal wheel, with a number of blades or buckets arranged on the outside rim forming the driving surface. Most commonly, the wheel is mounted vertically on a horizontal axle, but the tub or Norse wheel is mounted horizontally on a vertical shaft. Vertical wheels can transmit power either through the axle or via a ring gear and typically drive belts or gears; horizontal wheels usually directly drive their load. A channel created for the water to follow after leaving the wheel is commonly referred to as a "tailrace."[1] A blade is the flat part of a tool or weapon that normally has a cutting edge and/or pointed end typically made of a metal, most recently, steel intentionally used to cut, stab, slice, throw, thrust, or strike an animate or inainimate object. ... This article is about the physical container. ... An axle is a central shaft for a rotating wheel or gear. ... Scandinavia is a historical and geographical region centered on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe which includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. ... A starter ring gear, sometimes just called starter ring or even ring gear, is a steel ring with teeth that is fitted on the periphery of a flexplate or flywheel of an internal combustion engine, mostly for automotive applications. ...

Contents

History of Water Wheel Technology

Main article: Watermills

A watermill is a machine constructed by connecting a water wheel to a pair of millstones. ...

India

The first use of the water wheel may possibly have occurred in 4th century BC India. According to Terry S. Reynolds, "Joseph Needham noted in 1965 that certain ancient Indian texts from around 350 BC mentioned a cakkavattaka (turning wheel) which commentaries explained as arahatta-ghatĩ-yanta (machine with wheel-pots attached)", on which basis Needham "suggested that the machine in question was a noria and that it was the first water powered prime mover." However Reynolds also writes that "the term used in Indian texts is ambiguous and does not clearly indicate a water-powered device. In fact, as Thorkild Schiøler has noted, it is far more likely that these passages refer to some type of tread- or hand-operated water-lifting device, instead of a water-powered water-lifting wheel."[2] The 4th century BC started the first day of 400 BC and ended the last day of 301 BC. It is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period. ... Joseph Terence Montgomery Needham (December 9, 1900 – March 24, 1995) was a British biochemist and pre-eminent authority on the history of Chinese science. ... Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC - 350s BC - 340s BC 330s BC 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 355 BC 354 BC 353 BC 352 BC 351 BC - 350 BC - 349 BC 348 BC 347... An overshot water wheel standing 42 feet high powers the Old Mill at Berry College in Rome, Georgia A water wheel (also waterwheel, Norse mill, Persian wheel or noria) is a hydropower system; a system for extracting power from a flow of water. ...


Irrigation water for crops was provided by using water raising wheels, some driven by the force of the current in the river from which the water was being raised. This kind of water raising device was used in ancient India.[3] Ancient India may refer to: The ancient History of India, which generally includes the ancient history of the whole Indian subcontinent (South Asia) Indus Valley Civilization — during the Bronze Age Vedic period — the period of Vedic Sanskrit, spanning the late Bronze Age and the earlier Iron Age Mahajanapadas — during the...


Around 1150, the astronomer Bhaskara Achārya observed water-raising wheels and imagined such a wheel lifting enough water to replenish the stream driving it, effectively, a perpetual motion machine.[4] Bhāskara (1114-1185), also called Bhāskara II and Bhāskarācārya (Bhaskara the teacher) was an Indian mathematician. ... This article or section should include material from Parallel Path See also Perpetuum mobile as a musical term Perpetual motion machines (the Latin term perpetuum mobile is not uncommon) are a class of hypothetical machines which would produce useful energy in a way science cannot explain (yet). ...


The construction of water works and aspects of water technology in India is described in Arabic and Persian works. During medieval times, the diffusion of Indian and Persian irrigation technologies gave rise to an advanced irrigation system which bought about economic growth and also helped in the growth of material culture.[5] Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ... “Farsi” redirects here. ...


Greco-Roman Mediterranean

The technology of the water wheel had long been known, but it was not put into widespread use until the Middle Ages when an acute shortage of labor made machines such as the water wheel cost effective. However, the water wheels in ancient Rome and ancient China found many practical uses in powering mills for pounding grain and other substances. The Romans used both fixed and floating water wheels and introduced water power to other countries of the Roman Empire. The Romans were known to use waterwheels extensively in mining projects, with enormous Roman-era waterwheels found in places like modern-day Spain. In the 1st century BC, the Greek epigrammatist Antipater of Thessalonica was the first to make a reference to the waterwheel. He praised it for its use in grinding grain and the reduction of human labor: By the mid 20th century humans had achieved a mastery of technology sufficient to leave the surface of the Earth for the first time and explore space. ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... China is the worlds oldest continuous major civilization, with written records dating back about 3,500 years and with 5,000 years being commonly used by Chinese as the age of their civilization. ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... Chuquicamata, the second largest open pit copper mine in the world, Chile. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 1st century BC started on January 1, 100 BC and ended on December 31, 1 BC. An alternative name for this century is the last century BC. The AD/BC notation does not use a year zero. ... Antipater of Thessalonica was the author of upwards of a hundred epigrams in the Greek Anthology. ...

Cease from grinding, oh you toilers; women slumber still, Even if the crowing rooster calls the morning star. For Demeter has appointed nymphs to turn your mill, And upon the waterwheel alighting here they are. See how quick they twirl the axle whose revolving rays spin heavy rollers quarried overseas. So again we savor the delights of ancient days, Taught to eat the fruits of Mother Earth in ease.

Ancient China

Two types of hydraulic-powered chain pumps from the Tiangong Kaiwu of 1637, written by the Ming Dynasty encyclopedist Song Yingxing (1587-1666).
Two types of hydraulic-powered chain pumps from the Tiangong Kaiwu of 1637, written by the Ming Dynasty encyclopedist Song Yingxing (1587-1666).

By at least the 1st century AD, the Chinese of the Eastern Han Dynasty began to use waterwheels to crush grain in mills and to power the piston-bellows in forging iron ore into cast iron. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 247 × 598 pixelsFull resolution (320 × 775 pixel, file size: 66 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Two illustrations of Chinese hydraulic-powered chain pumps. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 247 × 598 pixelsFull resolution (320 × 775 pixel, file size: 66 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Two illustrations of Chinese hydraulic-powered chain pumps. ... Hydraulics is a branch of science and engineering concerned with the use of liquids to perform mechanical tasks. ... The chain pump is a type of water pump where an endless chain has positioned on it a series of circular discs. ... For other uses, see Ming. ... The term encyclopedist is usually used for a group of French philosophers who collaborated in the 18th century in the production of the Encyclopédie, under the direction of Denis Diderot. ... Song Yingxing (Traditional Chinese:宋應星; Simplified Chinese:宋应星; Wade Giles: Sung Ying-Hsing; 1587-1666 AD) was a Chinese scientist and encyclopedist who lived during the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). ... 1587 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... 1666 is often called Annus Mirabilis. ... The 1st century was that century that lasted from 1 to 100 according the Gregorian calendar. ... The Han Dynasty (Traditional Chinese characters: 漢朝, Simplified Chinese characters: 汉朝, pinyin Hàncháo 202 BC - AD 220) followed the Qin Dynasty and preceded the Three Kingdoms in China. ... A large bellows creates a mushroom cloud at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California. ... This heap of iron ore pellets will be used in steel production. ... Cast iron usually refers to grey cast iron, but can mean any of a group of iron-based alloys containing more than 2% carbon (alloys with less carbon are carbon steel by definition). ...


In the text known as the Xin Lun written by Huan Tan about 20 AD (during the usurpation of Wang Mang), it states that the legendary mythological king known as Fu Xi was the one responsible for the pestle and mortar, which evolved into the tilt-hammer and then trip hammer device (see trip hammer). Although the author speaks of the mythological Fu Xi, a passage of his writing gives hint that the waterwheel was in widespread use by the 1st century AD in China (Wade-Giles spelling): There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Wang Mang (王莽, pinyin: Wáng Măng) (45 BC–October 6, 23), courtesy name Jujun (巨君), was a Han Dynasty official who seized the throne from the Liu family and founded Xin (or Hsin) Dynasty (新朝, meaning new dynasty), ruling AD 8–23. ... An ancient painting of Nuwa and Fuxi unearthed in Xinjiang. ... A triphammer is a massive power hammer, usually raised by a cam and then released to fall under the force of gravity. ... Wade-Giles, sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration) system for the Chinese language based on Mandarin. ...

Fu Hsi invented the pestle and mortar, which is so useful, and later on it was cleverly improved in such a way that the whole weight of the body could be used for treading on the tilt-hammer (tui), thus increasing the efficiency ten times. Afterwards the power of animals—donkeys, mules, oxen, and horses—was applied by means of machinery, and water-power too used for pounding, so that the benefit was increased a hundredfold.[6]

In the year 31 AD, the engineer and Prefect of Nanyang, Du Shi (d. 38), applied a complex use of the waterwheel and machinery to power the bellows of the blast furnace to create cast iron. Du Shi is mentioned briefly in the Book of Later Han (Hou Han Shu) as follows (in Wade-Giles spelling): A prefect (from the Latin praefectus, perfect participle of praeficere: make in front, i. ... Nanyang might be: Nanyang, Henan, (南阳) a city in the Peoples Republic of China. ... Du Shi (Wade-Giles: Tu Shih, active 1st century AD) was a governmental Prefect of Nanyang in 31 AD and a mechanical engineer of the Eastern Han Dynasty in ancient China. ... A large bellows creates a mushroom cloud at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California. ... Blast furnace in Sestao, Spain. ... Cast iron usually refers to grey cast iron, but can mean any of a group of iron-based alloys containing more than 2% carbon (alloys with less carbon are carbon steel by definition). ... The Book of Later Han (Chinese:后汉书) is one of the official Chinese historical works which was compiled by Fan Ye in the 5th century, using a number of earlier histories and documents as sources. ...

In the seventh year of the Chien-Wu reign period (31 AD) Tu Shih was posted to be Prefect of Nanyang. He was a generous man and his policies were peaceful; he destroyed evil-doers and established the dignity (of his office). Good at planning, he loved the common people and wished to save their labor. He invented a water-power reciprocator (shui phai) for the casting of (iron) agricultural implements. Those who smelted and cast already had the push-bellows to blow up their charcoal fires, and now they were instructed to use the rushing of the water (chi shui) to operate it...Thus the people got great benefit for little labor. They found the 'water(-powered) bellows' convenient and adopted it widely.[7]

Waterwheels in China found practical uses such as this, as well as extraordinary use. The inventor Zhang Heng (78139) was the first in history to apply motive power in rotating the astronomical instrument of an armillary sphere, by use of a waterwheel.[8] The mechanical engineer Ma Jun (c. 200265) from Cao Wei once used a waterwheel to power and operate a large mechanical puppet theater for the Emperor Ming of Wei (r. 226-239).[9] For other uses, see Inventor (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Zhang Heng (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see number 78. ... Events Births Deaths Zhang Heng, Chinese mathematician Categories: 139 ... Armillary sphere An armillary sphere (variations known as a spherical astrolabe, armilla, or armil) is a model of the celestial sphere, invented by the ancient Greek Eratosthenes in 255 BC. Its name comes from the Latin armilla (circle, bracelet), since it has a skeleton made of graduated metal circles linking... Look up engineer in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... South Pointing Chariot (replica) Ma Jun (馬鈞, Wade-Giles: Ma Chün; 200 - 265), styled Deheng (徳衡), was a Chinese mechanical engineer and government official during the Three Kingdoms era of China. ... For other uses, see number 200. ... Events Wei Yuandi abdicates, end of the China. ... The territories of Cao Wei (in yellow), AD 262 Capital Luoyang Language(s) Chinese Government Monarchy Emperor  - 220 - 226 Cao Pi  - 226 - 239 Cao Rui  - 239 - 254 Cao Fang  - 254 - 260 Cao Mao  - 260 - 265 Cao Huan Historical era Three Kingdoms  - Cao Pi taking over the throne of the Later... Cao Rui, ch. ... Events: Accession of Wei Mingdi as emperor of the Kingdom of Wei of China. ... Events In the Chinese Kingdom of Wei, Wei Qi Wang succeeds Wei Ming Di Births Deaths Cao Rui (Wei Ming Di), emperor of the Kingdom of Wei Categories: 239 ...


Islamic period

Muslim engineers during the medieval Islamic period employed water wheels as early as the 7th century, excavation of a canal in the Basra region discovered remains of a water wheel dating from this period. Hama in Syria still preserves one of its large wheels, on the river Orontes, although they are no longer in use. [10] The largest had a diameter of about 20 metres and its rim was divided into 120 compartments. A significant number of inventions were produced in the Muslim world, many of them with direct implications for Fiqh related issues. ... Photo taken from medieval manuscript by Qotbeddin Shirazi (1236–1311), a Persian Astronomer. ... The Orontes River and norias in Hama Location of the governorate of Hama Hama (Arabic: حماه, meaning fortress) is a city on the banks of the Orontes river in central Syria. ... The Orontes or ‘Asi is a river of Lebanon and Syria. ...


Another wheel that is still in operation is found at Murcia in Spain, La Nora, and although the original wheel has been replaced by a steel one, the Moorish system during al-Andalus is otherwise virtually unchanged. This article is about the Spanish city. ... For other uses, see moor. ... Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given the Iberian Peninsula by its Muslim conquerors; it refers to both the Caliphate proper and the general period of Muslim rule (711–1492). ...


By the 13th century, what we might call water raising machine technology lifted off with the works of al-Jazari and Taqi al-Din. They both carried out a number of experiments, building fantastic machines, which led to the invention of automated machinery and this has made an enormous impact on civilisation today. Ibn Ismail Ibn al-Razzaz Al-Jazari (1206 AD) wrote notable books about engineering that are consulted in the history of engineering even today. ... Taqi al-Din Muhammad ibn Maruf al-Shami al-Asadi (Arabic: تقي الدين محمد بن معروف الشامي السعدي) (c. ... In the scientific method, an experiment (Latin: ex- periri, of (or from) trying) is a set of observations performed in the context of solving a particular problem or question, to support or falsify a hypothesis or research concerning phenomena. ... This article is about devices that perform tasks. ...


Medieval Europe and Modern

Cistercian monasteries, in particular, made extensive use of water wheels to power watermills of many kinds. An early example of a very large waterwheel is the still extant wheel at the early 13th century Real Monasterio de Nuestra Senora de Rueda, a Cistercian monastery in the Aragon region of Spain. Grist mills (for corn) were undoubtedly the most common, but there were also sawmills, fulling mills and mills to fulfill many other labor-intensive tasks. The water wheel remained competitive with the steam engine well into the Industrial Revolution. The Order of Cistercians (OCist) (Latin Cistercenses), otherwise Gimey or White Monks (from the colour of the habit, over which is worn a black scapular or apron) are a Catholic order of monks. ... Monastery of St. ... A watermill is a machine constructed by connecting a water wheel to a pair of millstones. ... Real Monasterio de Nuestra Senora de Rueda, outer courtyard Real Monasterio de Nuestra Senora de Rueda is an early Cistercian Monastery in the Aragon region of Spain. ... Capital Zaragoza Official language(s) Spanish Area  â€“ Total  â€“ % of Spain Ranked 4th  47,719 km²  9. ... // The term steam engine may also refer to an entire railroad steam locomotive. ... A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ...


The main difficulty of water wheels was their inseparability from water. This meant that mills often needed to be located far from population centers and away from natural resources. Water mills were still in commercial use well into the twentieth century, however.


Overshot & pitchback waterwheels are suitable where there is a small stream with a height difference of more than 2 meters, often in association with a small reservoir. Breastshot and undershot wheels can be used on rivers or high volume flows with large reservoirs.


The most powerful waterwheel built in the United Kingdom was the 100 hp Quarry Bank Mill Waterwheel near Manchester. A high breastshot design, it was retired in 1904 and replaced with several turbines. It has now been restored and is a museum open to the public. Quarry Bank Mill is an historic factory in Cheshire, England, one of the best preserved of the Industrial Revolution and is now a museum of the cotton industry. ...


Modern Hydro-electric dams can be viewed as the descendants of the water wheel as they too take advantage of the movement of water downhill. Hydroelectricity is electricity produced by hydropower. ...


Types

Undershot wheel

Undershot water wheel
Undershot water wheel

A vertically-mounted water wheel that is rotated by water striking paddles or blades at the bottom of the wheel is said to be undershot. This is generally the least efficient, oldest type of wheel (with the exception of the poncelet wheel). It has the advantage of being cheaper and simpler to build, but is less powerful and can only be used where the flow rate is sufficient to provide torque. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


Undershot wheels gain no advantage from head. They are most suited to shallow streams in flat country. As shown in this drawing, the hydrostatic head is the vertical distance between the water level in the reservoir and the turbine that is turned by the flowing water. ...

The Anderson Mill is undershot, backshot, and overshot using two sources of water. This allows the speed of the wheel to be controlled

Undershot wheels are also well suited to installation on floating platforms. The earliest were probably constructed by the Roman general Belisarius during the siege of Rome in 537. Later they were sometimes mounted immediately downstream from bridges where the flow restriction of arched bridge piers increased the speed of the current. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (864 × 648 pixel, file size: 298 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Anderson Mill (reproduction). ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (864 × 648 pixel, file size: 298 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Anderson Mill (reproduction). ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... // Flavius Belisarius (505(?) – 565) was one of the greatest generals of the Byzantine Empire and one of the most acclaimed generals in history. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... This article is about the edifice (including an index to articles on specific bridge types). ... For other uses, see Arch (disambiguation). ...


Breastshot wheel

This is a view inside of the largest water wheel in the UK, situated at the Quarry Bank cotton mill in the UK. It is still working today and powers the looms at Quarry Bank Mill.

A vertically-mounted water wheel that is rotated by falling water striking buckets near the center of the wheel's edge, or just above it, is said to be breastshot. Breastshot wheels are the most common type in the United States of America and are said to have powered the American industrial revolution. Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... For other uses, see Loom (disambiguation). ... Quarry Bank Mill is an historic factory in Cheshire, England, one of the best preserved of the Industrial Revolution and is now a museum of the cotton industry. ... A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ...


Breastshot wheels are less efficient than overshot wheels (see below), more efficient than undershot wheels, and are not backshot (see below). The individual blades of a breastshot wheel are actually buckets, as are those of most overshot wheels, and not simple paddles like those of most undershot wheels (the Poncelet design being a notable exception). A breastshot wheel requires a good trash rake and typically has a masonry "apron" closely conforming to the wheel face, which helps contain the water in the buckets as they progress downwards. Breastshot wheels are preferred for steady, high-volume flows such as are found on the fall line of the North American East Coast. Jean-Victor Poncelet (July 1, 1788 – December 22, 1867) was a mathematician and engineer who did much to revive projective geometry. ... A wooden or metal structure, frequently supported by masonry, that prevents water-borne debris (such as logs, boats, corpses, etc. ... The fall line has meanings in both geographical features and the sport of alpine skiing. ...


Overshot wheel

Overshot water wheel
Overshot water wheel

A vertically-mounted water wheel that is rotated by falling water striking paddles, blades or buckets near the top of the wheel is said to be overshot. In true overshot wheels the water passes over the top of the wheel, but the term is sometimes applied to backshot or pitchback wheels where the water goes down behind the waterwheel. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ...


A typical overshot wheel has the water channeled to the wheel at the top and slightly to one side in the direction of rotation. The water collects in the buckets on that side of the wheel, making it heavier than the other "empty" side. The weight turns the wheel, and the water flows out into the tail-water when the wheel rotates enough to invert the buckets. The overshot design can use all of the water flow for power (unless there is a leak) and does not require rapid flow.


Unlike undershot wheels, overshot wheels gain a double advantage from gravity. Not only is the force of the flowing water partially transferred to the wheel, the weight of the water descending in the wheel's buckets also imparts additional energy. The mechanical power derived from an overshot wheel is determined by the wheel's physical size and the available head, so they are ideally suited to hilly or mountainous country. Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ... As shown in this drawing, the hydrostatic head is the vertical distance between the water level in the reservoir and the turbine that is turned by the flowing water. ...


Overshot wheels demand exact engineering and significant head, which usually means significant investment in constructing a dam, millpond and waterways. Sometimes the final approach of the water to the wheel is along a lengthy flume or penstock.


Backshot wheel

A backshot wheel (also called pitchback) is a variety of overshot wheel where the water is introduced just behind the summit of the wheel. It combines the advantages from breastshot and overshot systems, since the full amount of the potential energy released by the falling water is harnessed as the water descends the back of the wheel. Potential energy is energy stored within a Physical system. ...


A backshot wheel continues to function until the water in the wheel pit rises well above the height of the axle, when any other overshot wheel will be stopped or even destroyed. This makes the technique particularly suitable for streams that experience extreme seasonal variations in flow, and reduces the need for complex sluice and tail race configurations. A backshot wheel may also gain power from the water's current past the bottom of the wheel, and not just the weight of the water falling in the wheel's buckets. Sluice gates near Henley, on the River Thames A small wooden sluice in Magome, Japan, used to power a waterwheel. ...


Materials for construction

Although traditionally water wheels have been made mostly from wood, the use of iron or steel in overshot (and pitchback) wheels allows faster rotation (possibly reducing the need for gearing) without extreme reductions in available torque. A wooden wheel with a wooden axle that can easily turn low-speed, high-torque loads such as a run of millstones cannot necessarily sustain high speeds such as are needed for hydroelectric power generation. For other uses, see Wood (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Iron (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Steel (disambiguation). ... A sphere rotating around its axis. ... In finance, Gearing is defined as the ratio between long-term debt to the shareholders funds on a companys balance sheet. ... Torque applied via an adjustable end wrench Relationship between force, torque, and momentum vectors in a rotating system In physics, torque (or often called a moment) can informally be thought of as rotational force or angular force which causes a change in rotational motion. ... The interior of a functional water mill The basic anatomy of a millstone. ... Undershot water wheels on the Orontes River in Hama, Syria Saint Anthony Falls Hydropower is the capture of the energy of moving water for some useful purpose. ...


Overshot (and particularly backshot) wheels are the most efficient type; a backshot steel wheel can be more efficient than all but the most advanced and well-constructed turbines. Nevertheless, in some situations an overshot wheel is vastly preferable to any turbine.[11] For other uses, see Steel (disambiguation). ... Kaplan turbine and electrical generator cut-away view. ...


See also

Example applications

The following installations use a water wheel as the prime mover: A hydraulic ram that drives a fountain at the Centre for Alternative Technology A hydraulic ram is a water-powered cyclic pump. ... Cable railways are railways with very steep gradients and use stationary engines to haul the wagons up and down the hills. ... Ian Gilmartin is a British inventor from Kendal in the United Kingdom. ...

Water turbines

The use of water power in Britain was at its peak just before the Industrial Revolution. ... Claverton Pumping Station is a pumping station, located at Claverton in the English county of Somerset, which pumps water from the River Avon to the Kennet and Avon Canal using power from the flow of the Avon. ... The Derby Industrial Museum is housed in a former Silk Mill in Derby, England. ... Categories: Stub | Isle of Man ... The Snaefell Wheel (also known as Lady Evelyn) is a waterwheel in Laxey, Isle of Man. ... Kaplan turbine and electrical generator cut-away view. ... Pelton wheel from Walchensee, Germany hydro power station Figure from Peltons original patent (October 1880) Plan view of a Pelton turbine installation (courtesy Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation). ... Banki turbine - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ... Francis turbine (courtsey Voith-Siemens). ... A Bonneville Dam Kaplan turbine after 61 years of service The Kaplan turbine is a propeller-type water turbine that has adjustable blades. ... Turgo turbine and generator The Turgo turbine is an impulse water turbine designed for medium head applications. ... http://www. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Dictionary definition of "tailrace."
  2. ^ Reynolds, p. 14.
  3. ^ Pacey, pp. 10.
  4. ^ Pacey, pp. 36.
  5. ^ Iqtidar Husain Siddiqui, "Water Works and Irrigation System in India during Pre-Mughal Times", Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 29, No. 1 (Feb., 1986), pp. 52–77.
  6. ^ Needham, p. 392.
  7. ^ Needham, p. 370.
  8. ^ Morton, 70.
  9. ^ Needham, Volume 4, Part 2, 158.
  10. ^ al-Hassani, Woodcock and Saoud (2006) Muslim Heritage in Our World, FSTC Publishing, p.115.
  11. ^ For a discussion of the different types of waterwheel, see L. Syson, British Water-mills (Batsford, London, 1965), 76-91.

References

  • Morton, W. Scott and Charlton M. Lewis (2005). China: It's History and Culture. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
  • Needham, Joseph (1986). Science and Civilization in China: Volume 4, Part 2. Taipei: Caves Books, Ltd.
  • Pacey, Arnold, Technology in World Civilization: A Thousand-year History, The MIT Press; Reprint edition (July 1, 1991). ISBN 0262660725.
  • Reynolds, Terry S., Stronger Than a Hundred Men: A History of the Vertical Water Wheel, (1983), Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0801872480.

External links

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Water_wheel (1029 words)
The most common use of the water wheel was to mill flour, where it was known as the watermill, but other uses included foundry work and machining, and pounding linen for use in paper.
Water wheels used shafts driving belts to transmit power from the wheel to machinery.
The technology of the water wheel had long been known, but it was not put into widespread use until the Middle Ages when an acute shortage of labour made machines such as the water wheel cost effective.
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