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hydro coupled with a hydraulic ram  RSS feed

 
Johnnie Diddles
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So...being a complete newb and this being my first post on the topic(hi); I'm wondering if a closed loop system is possible with a hydraulic ram http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_ram coupled to your micro hydro system. From what I understand " it functions as a hydraulic transformer that takes in water at one "hydraulic head" (pressure) and flow rate, and outputs water at a higher hydraulic head and lower flow rate. " In the scenario, you would have the hydraulic pump filling the higher reservoir at slower rate than the lower rate was filling...so you would have on/off periods where the microhydro turbine was shut off until the upper reservoir was filled.

Thoughts?

Comments?

I am not trying to confuse this with a typical closed loop theory. I understand thermodynamics. I'm curious if anyone feels that this is within the realm of possibility. If the ram is not efficient, then perhaps another source to pump...something cheap and effective...The hydraulic pump just happens to fit the bill.
 
Dave Turpin
Posts: 112
Location: Groton, CT
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Firstly, what sort of water feature do you have?

What is the flow rate of this water feature, and how much slope is usuable?

If you wanted to use a ram pump to increase the head, you are going to need a lot of water to begin with. Ram pumps convert flow rate to head in roughly a linear relationship (in the metric system), where the slope of the line is efficiency.

A commercially-engineered ramp pump is about 60% efficient. A homemade number is usually more like 30%. So if you have 1m of head and 10 l/s of flow, you can expect to raise 0.3 l/s of water to a height of 10m.

Probably a better idea, however, would be to simply use a turbine engineered for high flow/low head, like the Powerspout LH or equivalent.
 
laura sharpe
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Of course you could do that if you managed to find a 100 percent efficient water ram....

Are you not simply trying to make a perpetual motion machine?

 
Matt Grantham
Posts: 78
Location: Napa CA
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coincidentally i have just come to this same question. we have a spring producing 2.5 gallons per minute at the base of hill at the level of the creek at the bottom of said hill. I have been told that if we create an artificially created fall drive pipe for the spring that we could move water up the hill. I do not think our scenario would be worth the trouble but I am curious about situations where greater amounts of spring water were being introduced and perhaps where there was an already naturally occurring greater vertical drop to power the ram pump. It does seem like the law of thermodynamics would prevent any free energy so to speak, but some of the details of this do puzzle me

I would like to throw out an additional question in terms of trying to move some of the spring water uphill in a closed chimney or well around the spring. In other words if you had a case/box type thing for the spring, couldn't you encase that box in a chimney or tube that would slowly filll uphill. much in the same way a dam slowly moves the water level uphill in that situation?
 
laura sharpe
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with a ram the energy from a larger amount of falling water produces the energy to raise a smaller amount of water much higher than the source of this water. The ram will let much of the water fall through it but use the energy to move some of it.

I am sorry i thought you wanted to use the same water to move it back to the top and start again.

I am not particularly sure what your question is. I think i answered it though.

I just found this wonderful websight...

http://www.clemson.edu/irrig/equip/ram4.htm

It says 8 gallons of water fall to pump one gallon, i had no idea it was that efficient ...i think that is really dependant on how fast the water is moving and how high you are pumping the water.

This sight has diagram on how to build one.

 
Matt Grantham
Posts: 78
Location: Napa CA
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Thanks for the reply- I am going to pass on replying to the question of the ram for the moment because I believe the issue is related to the second part of my question which I either did not explain well enough or is simply not possible. So again if you are able to isolate your spring in a collection box of some sort, and then you encase that spring inside of vertically rising container shouldn't that container fill and move up the hill? Or at least fill upward if not directly up the hill
 
randall gabriell
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Location: Athens Ohio
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I have had the same thought my idea was to create a system that hydrolic ram pump filled a water storage 200 gal plus 40 feet or so high. have a float regulated valve to release the water through a many micro hydros in series.

the other idea was so have a hydrolic ram in series with our spring to fill the tanks that would supply water to the house. i then put a micro hydro in the main going to the house water and one in the spill over. so we would recieve power wether it was suppling water to the house or the excess. something similar for the rain runoff storage and spill over as well.

so ya critiques welcome
ram-pump-micro-hydro.png
[Thumbnail for ram-pump-micro-hydro.png]
 
Dave Turpin
Posts: 112
Location: Groton, CT
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Again, yes, it will work, but you are already losing 70% of your energy just to power the ram pump, and you are doing that just to convert flow to head.

Instead of altering the flow characteristic, just use a micro-hydro that is designed to use the water source you already have.

As for the question of building a chamber around the spring and using that to lift the water, this will work dependant on what "drives" the spring. Springs are (usually) underground aquifers which leak out to atmosphere through cracks in the rock. There are, however, some springs that come out of the ground at tremendous pressure (think Artesian), where you could allow the spring's pressure to push water upwards (or simply tap into the pressurrized water coming out of the ground). If you have a "trickler", however, I doubt you could get anything out of it.
 
Nick Kitchener
Posts: 478
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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It seems that the position of your spring means that there is little head for a traditional micro hydro system.

Your other options are a water wheel, or a vortex turbine system.
 
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