The Falkirk boat wheel in Scotland is the world's first and connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. "With a diameter of 35-meters, it boasts two axe-shaped arms and water-filled caissons boasting an 80,000-gallon capacity, capable of lifting 600-tons (combined)." The thing cost almost $35 million to build, but only needs 22.5kW to run its motors. Pretty neat, I think it's got some potential. Potential for a role in an action movie that is. I'm thinking a boat chase, and this thing going maybe 20 to 30 times faster than it normally does, and then the bad guys getting chopped up and all bloody in it. Yeah! Then the scene ends with a dolphin humping a sea otter. Someone notify the Academy Awards, I want a trophy.
A couple more pictures and a 10-second time-lapse video after the jump (the process normally takes around 7 minutes).
The World's First and Only Rotating Boat Wheel [techeblog]