A wheel with paddles designed to extract power from flowing water.
Undershot waterwheel

The water runs left to right and is controlled by the sluice gate. The wheel turns counter-clockwise.

The power equals around 40% of the value of the water-fall flowing under the control gate.

Breast waterwheel

The water arrives at the wheel at roughly axle height and turns the wheel counter-clockwise.

Breast waterwheel.

In the picture of the breast waterwheel the water enters from the right and flows to a lower level at the left of the picture.

This waterwheel is at Warwick Castle and was originally used to generate electricity to power the lighting in the castle.

The efficiency is around 40%.

Close up of the waterwheel.

The close up image shows the paddle has a scoop shape so as to absorb as much power as possible from the water.

End plates and dividers to form buckets would increase the efficiency and hence power output for a given installation.

Overshot waterwheel

The water arrives over the top of the wheel and turns the wheel clockwise.

Depending on construction method and arrangement an overshot waterwheel is between 60 and 75% efficient.

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Subjects: Mechanical Engineering