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Overshot WaterWheel

Overshot waterwheel A vertically-mounted  wheel that is rotated by falling water
striking paddles, blades or buckets near the top of the wheel is said to be
overshot. In true overshot wheels the waters passes over the top of the wheel,
but the term is sometimes applied to backshot or pitchback wheels where the
water goes down behind the waterwheel.

Typical overshot wheels has the water channeled to the wheels at the top and
slightly to one side in the direction of rotation. The waters collects in the buckets
on that side of the wheel, making it heavier than the other "empty" side. The
weight turns the wheels, and the waters flows out into the tail-water when the
wheels rotates enough to invert the buckets. The overshot design can use all of
the waters flow for power (unless there is a leak) and does not require rapid flow.

Unlike undershot  wheels, overshot wheels gain a double advantage from gravity.
Not only is the force of the flowing water partially transferred to the wheel, the
weight of the waters descending in the wheel's buckets also imparts additional
energy. The mechanical power derived from overshot wheels is determined by
the wheel's physical size and the available head, so they are ideally suited to hilly
or mountainous country.

Overshot wheels demand exact engineering and significant head, which usually
means significant investment in constructing a dam, millpond and waterways.
Sometimes the final approach of the wat ers to the wheel is along a lengthy flume
or penstock.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License
Here is a little information on overshot waterwheels,
These is the most popular type we build.
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Our WaterWheel Photo Album
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Sullivan's waterwheels , A small family business, located in the South Carolina Foothills!
We want everyone to be able to own a beautiful relaxing millwheel of their own!  Whether it
be for your garden,pond,or as a beautiful addition to any landscaping, home and garden &
yard large are small. We strive to bring you the best.
So please look over our site, we have lots of photos
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/