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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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

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 ?
(1) The current spins the water wheel, which powers a conveyor belt.
"There is now an exciting project under way to repair the water wheel pit and to install a replica waterwheel.
More than 2000 years ago, the Greeks were arguably the first humans to utilize water turbines (water wheels) by grinding wheat into flour (US DOE, 2015).
The city's Board of Estimates will vote on whether to fund removing and disposing trash collected by the water wheel, a charge the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore Inc.
"The water wheel is an attraction that will make a visit even more worthwhile."
He made a water wheel operated by draught animals when he was seven.
At the same time, Rumsey was abandoning his idea of a water wheel propelled pole boat and turning to an ingenious application of the Newcomen engine.
The 75-foot-long float, "Family Outing" featured a colorful country scene with a quaint country inn nestled alongside a stream accented by a water wheel, stone bridge and archway.
On which UK island can tourists visit a water wheel called the Laxey Wheel?