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trompe: 16th-century tech may revolutionize mine drainage treatment  RSS feed

 
duane hennon
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trompes were discussed by Mollison in his "Design Manual" page 466, as a method of aerating ponds and streams

an adaption of this latest design could help improve aeration in a stream with inexpensive materials

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/state/16th-century-method-may-ease-mine-drainage-692917/
A 16th-century method may revolutionize mine drainage treatment

A technology dating to the 16th century and built with PVC piping available at any Home Depot or Lowe's soon will be used to enhance and possibly revolutionize the treatment of abandoned mine drainage, still Pennsylvania's biggest water quality problem.

The technology, called "trompe," an old French word meaning trumpet, is a water-powered air compressor with no moving parts. It has been adapted and developed by Bruce Leavitt, a mining hydrologist and professor of mining engineering at West Virginia University, to provide enhanced aeration of polluted mine water, which speeds the cleanup process.


 
cen rees
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TROMPE, trompe, trompe, trompe, trompe!!!
Its the future!!! or atleast could have been.
From the romans (maybe) but definitely used by the Catalans for metal forging, chicargo compressed air car company, Paris, London, to mining today in Canada.
The oil/car industry removed all the knowledge base and left us with myth it seems.
The water wheel is 96% efficient - with TROMPE technology we go even further.
Tools, cars, cooling (chilling vodka - thanks Bill M) so many things.
There is a little on wiki - and I hope we can encourage Paul and the gang to go further and challenge them to undertake a system or atleast a podcast!!!
Wonderful stuff and im sorry if im the last one to know about this tech. Its worth shouting from the roof tops me thinks!!!
TROMPE - cool word too.
The trompe towers, Donald would be proud.
 
allen lumley
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Bump! - take a peak in The ' Hydro Forum Thread' - Nathan Funke wants to talk with you !

Duane- yes this will work,if aeration is your goal- so will the equally ancient Japanese Water Garden
' I think ' that this should be reposted in Hydro - or very legitimately in Alternate energy !Big Al !
 
Nick Raaum
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I'm not exactly seeing the revolutionary nature of this tech. Its definitely a simple and efficient way to compress air with hydro if you have the right site for it, but even if fully deployed hydro would still not make much of a dent in our energy needs. IMO we must figure out simple solar to energy tech.
 
Nick Raaum
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Just reread my comment and realized I sound like a naysayer and a downer. I guess what I should have said was that sometimes I feel like people overstate simple tech and its potential and then it in turn has a harder time gaining traction amongst the tech crowd on the edge of seeing the permaculture light, so yeah its a very cool tech but don't expect it to be running transportation infrastructure anytime soon.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I've done some searching on this one. About 60% efficiency if the power can be used as compressed air. That's fine if you want to run a sawmill or aerate a pond. You can't sell air to the grid. Useful pressure for most uses comes when head is 50 ft, or more.

Most articles on the net concern a huge facility in Ontario Canada. This location is perfect for such a unit. The compressed air is used to operate mining equipment. Huge volumes of compressed, cool air pour out of the machines. So, the mechanical power provides the ventilation that the mine needs. Deep mines can be very hot. The air is cold after decompression. More total power could be realized by generating electricity, but that would increase machine costs and increase risk of explosion. Cooling and ventilation would not be passively provided.

For home systems where electricity is the goal, a pelton wheel and generator would probably be best suited to most hydro resources. If low head water can be harnessed to aerate ponds for cold water fish, you get aeration and refrigeration from the same air stream and a trompe would accomplish this very cheaply.

Most of my pond aeration needs will happen during summer when my stream is dry. I could see milling logs with compressed air, but since electricity is so versatile and salable, a pelton wheel probably makes the most sense for me. So, although my neighbor and I share a stream that dumps 53 acre feet per day into a valley during peak flow, we probably won't build a large trompe. We may build something small to run air tools off of.
 
allen lumley
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Dale : You can glean a little more information by going to www.biomost.com/products/ and watching the video - its captioned, there is no audio ! Big Al !
 
Matthew Spaar
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I've been playing with a idea about a tromp fed vortex tube that the cold air potion would be refrigerator and the hot air to a hot water heater. My only hang up is my stream is small.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Matthew Spaar wrote:I've been playing with a idea about a tromp fed vortex tube that the cold air potion would be refrigerator and the hot air to a hot water heater. My only hang up is my stream is small.


It's not the size of the stream, it's how ....

There was no heat component in any of the models that I looked at. It's not like a regular air compressor. Heat is produced upon compression but it's absorbed by the water. The effluent water is slightly warmer than before it descended. It absorbs heat from the air. The heat capacity of the air is quite low, compared to the water. No usable heat produced. As the air expands, it absorbs heat. It's quite dry air, which now has even less heat capacity than when it was compressed.
 
Matthew Spaar
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Dale, that is where the vortex tube comes in. sorry I should have provided a link in my first post.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_tube
 
Dale Hodgins
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Matthew Spaar wrote:Dale, that is where the vortex tube comes in. sorry I should have provided a link in my first post.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_tube


I've wandered around a few dozen engineering forums where they talk about cooling efficiency. The highest number claimed by anybody who actually conducted a test was 20%. Others doubted whether this could be achieved.

Another site had a PDF for sale which claimed to boost efficiency by 80%. Members called it nonsense.

Nothing close to consensus was achieved, but 10-15% efficiency was the most common guesstimate tossed around.

It was generally agreed that standard refrigeration equipment is vastly more efficient. Some heat pumps are in the range of 300% efficient. This would make them 30 times better than a vortex that achieves 10% efficiency.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Makers of commercially available units don't seem to be marketing based on efficiency. They are concerned with size and configuration. Spot cooling of expensive blades and bits during machining processes are the primary uses. Machine shops are energy intensive by nature. They don't mind spending a dime worth of compressed air to get a penny worth of cooling if it can save expensive tools from overheating. The cold air blast also clears away milling debris. The jet of air is useful at any temperature, but it works better when it's colder. -----------

If the water in the stream is cold, there's your refrigeration. A trompe powered air lift pump could move the water to a radiator system. This is achievable with only basic plumbing skills and as little as 2 ft. of head.
 
William Hiers
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Bill Mollison seemed to think that this technology was buried, but he also seemed to think that it was possible to get enough power out of. Is there any book on the matter? Something like that would have to be passed by word of mouth because google is being misleading...
 
Seth Wetmore
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Has anyone built a Trompe? Do you have working model? Are there diagrams other than wikipedia?
 
allen lumley
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Seth Wetmore : For the rest of this year we are asking people to update the information with their name to include a general address and their Climate Zone # if known !
look at your name, and L@@K at mine, this will help other members find you, and answer your future questions better!

Goto> the Permies Toolbox near the top of this page, find and click on the MY Profile Button and from the next page follow the clues to enter that information !

From the Permies tool box you can also clickon> Search and then do a Permies wide Search by entering in Trompe in the search field, and selecting to do a google search
within Permies !

Also sometimes useful, whenever Anyone creates a new thread, our computer looks for common 'Tag Words' and creates a list of "Similar Threads'' posted at the bottom
of this page ! It is usually worth a glance ! For the Craft ! Big AL
 
Seth Wetmore
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Thanks Big Al.
 
allen lumley
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BUMP - Big AL
 
Augustus Clark
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Long-time lurker here.

Two things: one, the revolutionary thing about simple tech is not the competitiveness with modern or fossil-based methods. It's the fact that once the system is in place, it is harvesting free energy. If appropriately sited and well-built, it should reap rewards many times greater than the cost of its construction.

The idea is not to replace fossil with something else; at the current scale of usage, that's impossible. The idea is to chip away at fossil with various renewable techs (and there are dozens), and reduce consumption. That is the only solution that makes sense to me.

Furthermore, eliminating energy conversions by reapplying the age-old technique of harnessing mechanical energy to do mechanical work needs to be a key element in a solution. Nothing makes me crazier than burning coal to make steam to generate electricity, sending it on lossy wires a hundred miles, then converting that into heat through resistance coils. Or, say, wind turbines generating electricity that is sent to a home to run a washing machine. Insanity.

Secondly, I am a mining engineering student at West Virginia University. Just a quick shout out: LET'S GOOOO MOUNTAINEERS!!
 
allen lumley
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Matthew Clark : I think it will be very productive to have a Student Mining Engineer in the Energy Forums, and adding extensions onto this thread!

This is kinda Abandoned Craft, and can be treated like it is held for the common good. I hope Iam pleasantly surprised and this is still covered w/in
the W.V.U. Mining Engineers Curriculum, but I rather suspect that even to your instructors* this has been relegated to semi-interesting trivia ! This
is one of the reasons that University libraries are still called 'Repositories of Knowledge'.

By now you will have found the wikipedia article, hopefully this will be the start of a large, rich vein which you can mine and mill, and then share with
us ! Good hunting, May you never misplace your rock pick ! Big AL !


* I bet your instructors Like reading your essays !

 
Nick Kitchener
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Interesting innovation combines the ram pump principle to the trompe to increase pressure:
 
Nick Kitchener
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Here it is generating 25 psi from a 3 ft drop:

 
allen lumley
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Bjump !
 
incandescent light gives off an efficient form of heat. You must be THIS smart to ride this ride. Tiny ad:
Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards-Paul-Wheaton
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