From the dim ages of pre-historic times water is used as source of Mechanical Energy. In India about 2200 years back, the hydraulic energy was first converted into mechanical energy by passing the water through water wheels. These water wheels are originally made of wood and can be seen in Technical Museums even today. India is the inventor of water wheels which then taken to Egypt and then to Europe and finally to America.
300 years back Water Wheel is taken as model for systematic design of Water Turbines. After invention of water turbine, lot of research is being conducted all over the world to improve its design and performance. Now a days Turbine is known by each and every Engineering background person. You will come to know about Water Turbine in coming articles, in this post I will try to share as much as knowledge on water wheels.
Types of Water Wheels:-
Depending upon the driving action of the water, the Water Wheels are classified as under,
01) Wheels driven by weight of water02) Wheels partly driven by weight of water and partly driven by impulse of water.03) Wheels totally driven by impulse of water.
Construction of Water Wheels
The construction of water wheel is very simple and anybody can understand it very easily. Generally a water wheel consists of a central hub and a circular wheel. The numbers of buckets or vanes are mounted on the periphery of wheel. The water is delivered to the wheel at some convenient point on its circumference, which fills into the buckets or strikes the vanes. Due to weight or impulse of the water, the wheel starts rotating.In old days Water Wheels are used to lift the water from lower end to higher end for the purpose of irrigation in agriculture. This technology is very rarely used now a days but it was very useful in ancient days. Water Wheels have some advantages and have some disadvantages also.
Advantages of Water Wheel
01) They are simple and strong in construction.02) They are suitable even in low water head.03) Even if the discharge is not constant, they give constant efficiency.04) They are cheap in cost.05) They required very less maintenance.
Disadvantages of Water Wheels
01) The speed of Water Wheel is very slow.02) By comparing their capacity to produce power, they are heavier and bigger03) Their speed can not be easily regulated.04) For high water heads, water wheels are not suitable.
In next article, you will come to know about types of Water Wheels.
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