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(mechanical engineering)
A vertical wheel on a horizontal shaft that is made to revolve by the action or weight of water on or in containers attached to the rim.



the simplest hydraulic engine, driven by the power of flowing water. The waterwheel has been used since the most ancient times in the irrigation systems of Egypt, India, China, and other countries, and later for driving water mills, machinery, and devices used in small-scale production. Its major shortcomings are low power, low frequency of rotation, inefficiency, and bulkiness.

References in periodicals archive ?
It is thought the 1832 built Manor Mill at Kirkburton once housed the biggest waterwheel on mainland Britain.
Part of the restoration was the installation of an original waterwheel and an Archimedes' screw.
The famous waterwheels, which are as much a part of the visitor experience as they are a part of the lifeblood of the oasis, were originally introduced by the Ptolemies in the third century BC.
It is not simply a matter of lowering a waterwheel into a fastflowing stream or river.
The complex includes bridges, dams, mills, reservoirs, canals, tunnels, aqueducts, waterwheels and waterfalls.
They were praying like waterwheels as the sails fell limp and sagged, like a man's trousers on a boy, the skipper pronounced as he slapped me on the buttocks.
The Mantra of Efficiency: From Waterwheel to Social Control, by Jennifer Karns Alexander.
Windmills and waterwheels explained; machines that fed the nation.
Walk the Leete pathway and learn about the history of the artificial 'leat' waterway constructed in 1823 to divert water from the Alyn to power waterwheels and machinery for the former Mold Mining Company.
It features working waterwheels as well as machinery.
Water from the Saugus River powered the waterwheels and machinery and, because the Saugus River is tidal, the change in water level allows for larger boats to come and go at certain times.
It's worth stopping in Laxey, where children can engage with Manx folklore and greet the fairies as they cross the fairy bridge and also see the Lady Isabella, one of the biggest waterwheels in the world.