water wheel

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water wheel,

device for utilizing the power of flowing or falling water. The Norse wheel is the oldest type known. Despite its name it probably originated in the Middle East, where the swift stream required by this type of wheel is common. The Norse wheel has a vertical shaft directly connected at the top to a millstone; the lower end of the shaft, with vanes or paddles attached, dips into the flowing stream. In the 1st cent. B.C. a horizontal shaft came into use; the wheel attached to it had radial vanes around its edge. Among the early forms of this wheel are the overshot wheel, used where water falls from a height, striking the vanes from above; the breast wheel, employed where the height of the water is less than the height of the wheel so that the water strikes the wheel about midway; and the undershot wheel, usable where the water flows more or less on a level but with a swift current and strikes the vanes on the under part of the wheel. One of the first uses of the steam engine was to drive a pump that raised water into a millpond whose spillway drove a water wheel. Today the water wheel has been largely replaced by the turbineturbine,
rotary engine that uses a continuous stream of fluid (gas or liquid) to turn a shaft that can drive machinery.

A water, or hydraulic, turbine is used to drive electric generators in hydroelectric power stations.
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. See hydraulic machinehydraulic machine,
machine that derives its power from the motion or pressure of water or some other liquid. Hydraulic Engines

Water falling from one level to a lower one is used to drive machines like the water wheel and the turbine.
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water wheel

1. a simple water-driven turbine consisting of a wheel having vanes set axially across its rim, used to drive machinery
2. a wheel with buckets attached to its rim for raising water from a stream, pond, etc.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The project envisages restoring the aqueduct and its water wheels, revamping the infrastructures of the area, rehabilitating the residential community and establishing a handicraft hub there.
In medieval Europe, the water wheel was seen as a replacement for manual labor, which had been reduced by disease and natural disasters.
5 Water wheels: Just a few miles away is Thwaite Mills, one of the last remaining examples in Britain of a working water-powered mill, and open to the public to visit.
The Finlays eventually replaced the original water wheels, which were made from oak trees from the Drumlanrig estate, with 50-feet iron wheels that each had 120 buckets and boasting an equivalent of 500 horse power.
The technology for producing electricity from a water wheel is the same as producing it from a windmill, but, as we can count on the streams and rivers flowing which we can't for the wind blowing, they are more cost effective.
In addition to driving the local pumps, the water wheels, by means of a bizarre assortment of levers and bell cranks, provided an oscillating pull to pairs of chains that relayed power up the hill.
He has also called for more members of the public to become involved in the debate which could see giant water wheels on the river generating power.
During the winter they wouldn't work because of the ice on the water wheels. Now with a penstock in the ground and the turbine sheltered, electricity can be generated all year.
They will accept only small hydro units little more than hi-tech water wheels capable of providing only a minuscule amount of the energy needed by the developing countries.
Television programmes on industrial archaeology concentrate on the visually interesting, such as the steam engine and water wheels, but not on the machine tools that made the whole thing possible.
The accident on Friday night happened at a popular tourist attraction, the Assaroe Abbey Water Wheels outside the town.
Below the far side of the pool pathway is the last forge in the country worked by water power and there is the reassuring sound of the two formidable water wheels constantly turning.