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Waterwheel-driven generating unit

Image Number 4 for United States Patent #5440175.

An electric generator assembly driven by a waterwheel wherein the axial length of the waterwheel is substantially greater than the diameter thereof and contains a speed-increasing device for driving a high speed generator. The assembly is supported from a bridge spanning the full axial length of the waterwheel and the width of the stream and said bridge also supports an adjustable chute extending from the dam crest to the waterwheel. The waterwheel has longitudinal buckets designed to develop maximum energy over a wide range of flow of water and also discharge debris. The buckets are vented as necessary to improve filling and discharge and also minimize vibration. The complete bridge assembly is supported adjacent opposite ends by hydraulic cylinder units connected to and adapted to raise the unitary bridge, chute and waterwheel assembly above increased tailwater levels to reduce drag and rotating friction. By providing either a synchronous or induction generator with a rotating rotor and non-rotatable stator of conventional commercial design, electric power leads are brought out through a non-rotating hollow shaft to a local disconnect switch and transformer that is adapted to increase the voltage, as necessary, for transmission. Retention of water in the buckets until each one reaches the lowest point of travel is provided by an adjustable shroud.

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