# A different water wheel design?

See the diagram at http://www.nelliott.co.uk/maker/water-wheel.jpg

Would this produce more power than a conventional water wheel?

My theory is as follows:

In the case of a normal wheel each bucket/segment when full of water has the turning power equal to weight of water x length of horizontal line such as the yellow one in the diagram.

That is it's weight exerts a force to turn the wheel according to it's horizontal distance from the centre of the wheel.

If instead of the normal wheel the 3 blue circles represent 3 sprockets.There would be a whole series of buckets attached to the red lines ( which represent a chain ).Water would pour into the buckets as shown, so it would simply propel the buckets vertically down.The turning power of each one of these would be equal to to weight of water x radius of large wheel. So each would have the turning power of the best one such as the line from H to the center of the wheel.

As far as I can see this would mean a large increase in torque over conventional which I hope would easily offset the losses due to the chain drive.

What do you think?

Thanks to all for your input.

Wheelthru said:

"You're exactly right in saying that the turning moment of a bucket on the wheel is much smaller at the top and increases until at the horizontal point it's equal to the contribution of a bucket on the chain. But if you "unwind" the wheel, you can see that while the forces are smaller, the distance the water travels is larger. I believe these cancel each other, resulting in the same amount of work being done with the wheel as with the chain (again except for spillage).

Does that make any sense?"

Perhaps nylon would be lower friction?

Even better I suppose would be something teflon coated.

You can't change the total energy that's available from the stream.

Steve

You'd be better off with a bigger wheel instead, or direct the water through a turbine designed to match the available flow.

Alternatively a turbine would be a reasonable option.

As for the increase in torque, it'd be the same amount of energy from the water, at best efficiency so really gearing a wheel or turbine would be more efficient overall...

Hadn't thought about a turbine.