Monday, March 9, 2009

Falkirk Wheel

I found this construction interesting.

The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal in central Scotland. The world's only rotating boat lift.

These caissons always weigh the same whether or not they are carrying their combined capacity of 600 tonnes (590 LT; 660 ST) of floating canal barges as, according to Archimedes' principle, floating objects displace their own weight in water, so when the boat enters, the amount of water leaving the caisson weighs exactly the same as the boat. This keeps the wheel balanced and so, despite its enormous mass, it rotates through 180° in five and a half minutes while using very little power. It takes just 22.5 kilowatts (30.2 hp) to power the electric motors, which consume just 1.5 kilowatt-hours (5.4 MJ) of energy in four minutes, roughly the same as boiling eight kettles of water.

More on Wikipedia.

The Official Falkirk Wheel website

I found about this via Eric Lippert's Blog


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