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Theory of water wheels

The deep water wheel

The deep water wheel manages without a gradient. Unlike with undershotThere is no backdrop for a waterwheel here. The wheel is driven solely by the flow resistance of the shovel boards. The efficiency of deep water wheels is best when the peripheral speed of the wheel corresponds to half the water speed. However, this water wheel only has an efficiency of 10-15% and only uses the kinetic energy of the water wheel. The advantage is of course the simple construction, in addition, this water wheel does not need a water supply but can be built directly into a stream, which is very useful for water pumping wheels, for example.

Undershot water wheel

With undershot water wheels, the water flows through under the wheel in a goiter. The goiter is a guide that is adapted to the wheel. It prevents water from flowing underneath and to the side of the blades without propelling it. The power is transmitted via the blades, which are either just wooden boards or are specially curved to achieve a higher degree of efficiency. However, paddle wheels should no longer be used with this water wheel. The efficiency is still up to 40% with the main use of the kinetic energy.

Medium-pitched water wheel

The water meets the waterwheel at about the height of the hub. The advantage is that the amount of water can be changed relatively easily, so that the power and speed can be changed. This water wheel also mainly uses the potential energy of the water. The advantage of this water wheel is that not only the potential energy is used but also the kinetic energy of the water. The disadvantage of this water wheel is that the supply of water is not very easy to design, since the water can be brought to the water wheel at shaft height. This water wheel can be built as a cell or a paddle wheel. This water wheel has an efficiency of 75% modern water wheels can achieve an efficiency of up to 85%.

Overshot waterwheel

In the overshot waterwheel, the water flows through a channel, channel or flood on the blades of the waterwheel. The wheel is set in motion by the weight of the absorbed water (impact water). This type of water wheel can achieve an efficiency of up to 80%. This water wheel is particularly useful when water is branched off from a stream or when there is a natural gradient. The disadvantage is of course that a channel has to be built first. This water wheel uses almost exclusively the potential energy of the water. This water bath should only be built as a cell water wheel, otherwise too much energy will be lost and it will splash everywhere.

Paddle wheels

The simplest but worst in terms of efficiency.
Bucket wheels have radially arranged metal sheets or boards (blades) that are open on all sides. In order to increase the efficiency, most of the paddle wheels run in a crop channel.

Paddle wheels with curved shovel

This type of paddle wheel is more efficient because the water is held in the paddle for a short time.

Cell wheels

Cell wheels consist of containers (cells) that are closed at the side and at the bottom, which carry the water with them for a maximum of half a turn. Especially good when the water comes from above and the water wheel brings a lot of power.