Segner wheel

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Segner-wheel: A – water inlet, B – vertical tube with rotor, C – rotor with nozzles (side view), D – rotor with nozzles ("top" view), E – hole in the ground, F – belt-pulley transmission, G – powered device

Segner wheel or Segner turbine is a type of water turbine invented by Johann Andreas Segner in the 18th century.[1] It uses the same principle as Hero's aeolipile.

The device is placed in a suitable hole in the ground (or at the slope of a hill). The water is delivered to a top of a vertical cylinder at the bottom of which there is a rotor with specially bent pipes with nozzles (see image). Due to the hydrostatic pressure the water is ejected from the nozzles causing the rotation of the rotor. The useful torque is transferred to a powered device through a belt and pulley system.

Nowadays the Segner wheel principle is used in irrigation sprinklers.


  1. ^ F. Leyman, A practical hero, Mechanical Engineering, Magazine Online

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