Pelton's paddle geometry was designed so that when the rim ran at half the speed of the water jet, the water left the wheel with very little speed; thus his design extracted almost all of the water's impulse energywhich allowed for a very efficient turbine. == History == Lester Allan Pelton was born in Vermillion, Ohio in 1829.
In 1850, he traveled overland to take part in the California Gold Rush.
In 1860, he moved to Camptonville, a center of placer mining activity.
A Pelton wheel is an impulse-type water turbine invented by American inventor Lester Allan Pelton in the 1870s.
Pelton worked on a design for a water wheel that would work with the relatively small flow found in these streams. By the mid 1870s, Pelton had developed a wooden prototype of his new wheel.
In 1876, he approached the Miners Foundry in Nevada City, California to build the first commercial models in iron.
The first Pelton Wheel was installed at the Mayflower Mine in Nevada City in 1878.
He patented his invention on 26 October 1880.
By the mid-1880s, the Miners Foundry could not meet the demand, and in 1888, Pelton sold the rights to his name and the patents to his invention to the Pelton Water Wheel Company in San Francisco.
In 1892, the Company added a branch on the east coast at 143 Liberty Street in New York City.
By 1900, over 11,000 turbines were in use.
In 1914, the company moved manufacturing to new, larger premises at 612 Alabama Street in San Francisco.
In 1956, the company was acquired by the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Company, which company ended manufacture of Pelton Wheels. In New Zealand, A & G Price in Thames, New Zealand produced Pelton waterwheels for the local market.
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