There have been several attempts to estimate the potential power in Bessler’s wheel, but given the paucity of information about the internal workings, we are limited to using the dimensions, speed and a single estimate of the relative mass of one weight. Even the size of the chest of stones proves little, as we don’t know the limit that could be lifted. There is another approach which might give some useful idea of the inherent potential in Bessler’s wheel.
The speed and volume of water and height of its fall affects the power output of a waterwheel, but most can work from minimal amounts of each.
The demonstrations took some organising and were observed by several people at a time. Removing weights, translating the wheel, replacing the weights, making sure that as many people as possible could view the lifting process through the windows, plus of course, Bessler’s own brand of showmanship, would take time. A lift of less than two minutes might even be missed by some and would be received with less interest and requests for several repeats. The use of pulleys would help the demonstration.
In my opinion Bessler’s wheel will prove to have more than enough power to provide useful amounts of electricity.