Small Pelton Wheel

small pelton wheel
    pelton wheel
  • The Pelton wheel is among the most efficient types of water turbines. It was invented by Lester Allan Pelton in the 1870s. The Pelton wheel extracts energy from the impulse (momentum) of moving water, as opposed to its weight like traditional overshot water wheel.
  • A common impulse turbine runner—the wheel that receives the water, changing the pressure and flow of the water to circular motion to drive an alternator, generator, or machine. Pelton wheels (named after inventor Lester Pelton) are made with a series of cups or “buckets” cast onto a hub.
  • Advanced form of water wheel
  • Small items of clothing, esp. underwear
  • on a small scale; "think small"
  • limited or below average in number or quantity or magnitude or extent; "a little dining room"; "a little house"; "a small car"; "a little (or small) group"
  • the slender part of the back

Under the shade of an oak.
Under the shade of an oak.
Wilder Ranch was originally the rancho which provided for the Santa Cruz Mission. It later became a successful and innovative dairy ranch. Wilder himself is originally from Connecticut. Born in West Hartland in 1826, the farmer's son came to California in 1853. He tried mining in Placer County, but found himself starting a chicken and dairy ranch in Marin County in 1859 on leased land, with $200 capital. He married a Mrs. Miranda Finch, while living there, and continued to expand his dairy business until 1871. They moved to Santa Cruz and formed a parnership with L. K. Baldwin, with whom they continued dairy ranching, and acquired a reputation for making the best butter. This partnership lasted until 1885, and the ranch was split into upper and lower portions, for the choice of which the men bid. Wilder acquired the lower portion, consisting of 2,330 acres, plus just over half the livestock, for $32,000. This was an excellent move for Wilder, as this land contained the ranch house, as well as numerous springs and streams. The ranch house is a sizable and quite soundly built structure of 20 rooms, and still stands today. The property also contained (partly due to Wilder's diligence) a horse barn, a cow barn with room for over 200 head, wagon houses, a blacksmith shop, a machine shop, two granaries, a dairy house, and quarters for the ranchmen. In short, everything necessary for the complete operation of the ranch. The ranch sustained 500 head of cattle, and turned out milk, cream, and butter, primarily the latter. What made the operation of the ranch special is that the ranch was driven by water power. Wilder build a dam across the main creek, 9,000 feet from his house, in 1896. An eight inch diameter pipe dropped 216 feet and led into a pelton wheel at the rear of the dairy house. This wheel could supposedly generate 100 horsepower, but only 20 was used. It was connected both to a Thompson-Houston dynamo, which put out 110 volts used to light all of the buildings, and to three arc lamps which provided an "artificial sunrise" intended to wake the cattle up earlier. This practice actually led some people to accuse Wilder of cruelty to animals. Wilder's son, M. D. Wilder, was the electrician, and devised ways to power the house's sewing machine, the forge, and other small devices via electric power, as well as rigging up a smaller and ostensibly quieter dynamo for nighttime use. The pelton wheel was also attached to a shaft which ran into the dairy house and drove the cream separators, and a churn to speed milk production, as well as continuing on to drive lathes, a barley crusher, several saws, a bone grinder, a planer, an emery wheel and grindstones, a hay and feed cutter, a pumpkin grinder, a fanning mill, and last but certainly not least, a coffee mill - all running off of a 20HP water turbine. Also providing for the ranch was a 250psi water line out of Eagle Canon, which crossed the property. In exchange for the right of way, Wilder was given use of the pipeline, which he connected to fire hoses, many of which are still in their original places on the property today. The Wilder family actually sold the property to the Moroto Investment Company around 1969. In 1972 Motoro announced its intent to build between nine and ten thousand housing units on the property (The entire county houses about 25,000 people in 2002) but environmental groups campaigned against the plan, and in 1973 the state of California laid down US$6M to purchase the land, and make it a state park, which opened in the late 1980s.
Pelton Wheel Mount
Pelton Wheel Mount
This concrete structure was the mount for a Pelton Wheel (one of two) that serviced the mine. A “Pelton Wheel” used water pressure - supplied by rivers, streams, and lakes high above the site - to turn a shaft connected to pieces of machinery. In this case a dynamo for electricity (lights in the mine and buildings) and to power air compressors (for rock drills in the mine).

small pelton wheel