Aug 19, 2015

Solar Water Wheel in Baltimore

Baltimore Water Wheel
Check out my feet
On August 16, I went to visit Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Some people go for the fancy restaurants, others go for the Aquarium but I was there for the solar/water powered trash barge. It was glorious.

The trash wheel sits right next to the Pier Six Box Office--it's the tent that you can see in the background. It collects trash from the water of Jones Falls, which is quite a bit. Heck, in May and June of 2014, it was picking up about 3-4 tons of trash a day! To learn more, I'd recommend checking out this EcoWatch article, How a Solar-Powered Water Wheel Can Clean 50,000 Pounds of Trash Per Day From Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

As you can see from the photo, the wheel has a few key components.
  • The solar panels (30 of them total that can generate 30 kwh of electricity on a sunny day)
  • The floating dumpster, which can be detached and transported elsewhere
  • Conveyor belt that lifts the trash to the bin
  • The water wheel, which provides power to the conveyor belt
  • The canvas covering, which protects the batteries and gears from foul weather
  • The orange buoy lines, which direct the trash toward the conveyor belt
If you're having a tough time picking this out in the photo, please see my detailed drawing below.

Finally, I would highly recommend interacting with the wheel on Twitter, @MrTrashWheel. It's highly informative and pretty amusing. Every time I've tweeted at them, I get a quick response.

Andrew's Trash Wheel Drawing
If this isn't detailed enough, please email me at This drawing is an homage to

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