The initial testing of the elevation control hydraulics of our 7.5 kW prototype Poncelet waterwheel. The wheel is 3 meters in diameter, and 1 meter wide. It employs a 5:1 speed increasing belt drive. The PM generator produces maximum power at 50 RPM.
image/text credit: Nering Industries
Water wheels have been used for thousands of years to pump water, forge iron, grind grain, saw wood and many other applications. The most ancient water wheels exploited the kinetic energy of flowing water and were called stream water wheels.
Water wheels that used the potential energy of water were introduced later and were called gravity water wheels (the water exerts a pressure on the blades due to its weight). Water wheels were in widespread use until the end of 19th century, when large hydropower plants replaced them.
Small scale hydropower is one of the renewable energy source of energy which has vast potential. Hydrokinetic turbines are suitable to tap this potential and the technology is recent which produces electricity from flowing water. Hydrokinetic turbines are more suitable to convert kinetic energy in the river and marine current.