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Open AccessArticle

Functional Analysis of Piedmont (Italy) Ancient Water Mills Aimed at Their Recovery or Reconversion

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Politecnico di Torino, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering- DIMEAS, 10129 Torino, Italy
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Politecnico di Torino, Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering- DIATI, 10129 Torino, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extension version of the conference paper: “Power Transmission and Mechanisms of an Old Water Mill”; Walter Franco, Carlo Ferraresi, and Roberto Revelli in Proceedings of the Second International Conference of IFToMM Italy, Cassino, Italy, 29–30 November 2018.
Machines 2019, 7(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7020032
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 9 May 2019 / Accepted: 10 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Italian Machine Design)
Since ancient times and for hundreds of years, grain mills, hammers, sawmills, spinning mills, and hemp rollers have been powered by water wheels. In the nineteenth century there were hundreds of thousands of mills in all of Europe. It is an enormous historical and cultural heritage of inestimable value, which is for the most part, abandoned today. Recently, there is a renewed interest in their reuse, both for their widespread diffusion in the territory and for the excellent environmental integration and intrinsic sustainability. Even when, for economic reasons, their recovery for the original tasks is not suitable, the conversion into mini plants for the production of electricity can be advantageous. In the paper, analyzing some typical examples of the old water mill of the Piemonte region, in North-West of Italy, the mechanical architecture of old water mill, from water wheels to millstones, is described and the functional details of various mechanisms are provided. In fact, by knowing only the specifics of the ancient mills, it is possible to enhance their potential and restore them from the perspective of a renewed high quality production, or reconvert them in mini-plants for the production of electricity. View Full-Text
Keywords: water wheel; grain water mill; wooden teeth gear; history of mechanism and machine science; micro-hydro; renewable energy water wheel; grain water mill; wooden teeth gear; history of mechanism and machine science; micro-hydro; renewable energy
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Franco, W.; Ferraresi, C.; Revelli, R. Functional Analysis of Piedmont (Italy) Ancient Water Mills Aimed at Their Recovery or Reconversion. Machines 2019, 7, 32.

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