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Falkirk Wheel Presentation

Engineering involved in the development and creation of the Falkirk Wheel
by

Daniel McKinlay

on 4 March 2015

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Transcript of Falkirk Wheel Presentation

The Falkirk Wheel
Context
The Falkirk wheel was created to join the Union Canal and the Forth and Clyde canal as part ot the Millenium link project.
The Union canal is 11 metres higher than the Forth and Clyde canal, so a structure was needed to lift the boats up or down to the other canal.
Engineer's Roles
Mechanical Engineer: the turning mechanism is regulated by a gear system, which stops the gondolas on each side from tipping, and it keeps them perfectly level.
Civil Engineer: Involved in designing and building the wheel. Its rotating structure design makes it the only rotating boat lift in the world.
Engineering Solution
The wheel is 35 metres high and turns mainly due to the weight of the water in each gondola. It is only helped to turn by a low power motor which uses 1.5kWh per turn.
The gearing system keeps the boats level when turning, and regulates the speed.
Economic Impact
The Falkirk wheel cost £17.5 million to build in total.
The wheel was made from 1200 tonnes of steel.
It is a major tourist site in Falkirk and brings money into the local and wider economy. The tourist centre nearby provides jobs. The tourism increase has created jobs for places nearby
Social Impact
The building of the Falkirk wheel has greatly improved the image of the city, and is a major tourist attraction that brings in lots of people to Falkirk. It also means that there is a link between the two canals, and creates a link by boat from Edinburgh to Glasgow.
Environmental Impact
Since the wheel uses very little electricity to turn, there is no problem with greenhouse gas emmisions. The design was also carefully considered so as not to spoil nearby countryside and canals. There was an issue with the original plans, which had a tunnel in the Antonine wall, which was overruled after a petition.
Technologies and Improvements
The wheel was hailed as a feat of engineering, and blends different aspects of engineering in its structure and system. It is the first and only rotating boat lift in the world. I think having water let out of the rising gondola would be good as it could turn using even less electricity.
Sources
http://www.thefalkirkwheel.co.uk/about-the-wheel-/quick-quirky-facts
http://www.thefalkirkwheel.co.uk/
https://www.asme.org/engineering-topics/articles/transportation/symbol-of-the-millennium-the-falkirk-wheel
Full transcript