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My alternative energy / appropriate tech stuff.  RSS feed

 
Brian White
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In about 1987 I made the first "pulser pump"  Model no. 3 made in 88 is still in use today. It has no moving parts and uses a combination of tromp and airlift pump to pump water.  People have been extremely sceptical. Finally last year Mat in Cornwall England put up video of his working model and since then another couple of people have posted videos that show it does work. Initial research took place this year in Queens university Ontario. (Basically just proof of concept)
Pulser pumps do not pump high but what they could be good for is using large flows of low head power.  (Where the water falls only 2 or 3 ft)  So perhaps irrigation beside rivers.  Any other method of using that power would cost a lot more. (Thats why this type of power is left unused).
http://www.appropedia.org/Pulser_pump
Anyway, I have been working on a way of doing solar concentration on "equatorial mount" where basically you use a frame and mount a half parabolic dish on it to follow the sun and cook or heat stuff.  It is at model stage for me and I do not have time to make it big. Perhaps one of you do?
It is at http://www.appropedia.org/Dual_Parabolic_Dishes_on_Equatorial_mount ;
Anyone brave enough to try to make one?  The opinions I have got so far (one from a mathematician) is that it should work. Most people are so unsure of themselves that they are afraid to even offer an opinion.
Anyway, take a look and tell us what you think.
Brian
 
                                                                    
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Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
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I like the Scheffler Kitchen
http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Scheffler_Community_Kitchen
This would work well in some villages I know of.


The Pulsar pump is an interesting concept.  My creekbed is entirely made of rock.

Is there a video on the dual parabolic cooker concept?
I don't quite understand how it works.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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I think this would be a good method to drive an aquaponics system.

I only skimmed the appropedia article, but you don't seem to explore the idea of separating the water which supplies energy from the water being pumped. I think this could be done quite effectively using a deeper air reservoir (as for a traditional trompe) and an S-shaped trap of the sort used to stop sewer gas in drain pipes (albeit a trap many times as high, reaching from the free surface of the reservoir to be pumped, down to the gas reservoir of the trompe). In that case, wave & tidal power could be harnessed to pump fresh water.

It also seems that a trompe could be integrated very easily into systems of the sort that sepp holzer builds, due to the "monk" he builds in a typical pond.
 
Brian White
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I did explore the separation of pumping water and pumped water with the pulser pump. It has advantages but it is a bit hard to explain without muddying the concept.

  There are a couple of reasons for not going deep.  One, it is hard work and a bit dangerous too!  Second one is that if you go deep, nitrogen supersaturates the exit water and (This is true!) fish can get the bends from water that is supersaturated with nitrogen.  Nobody ever told me where the borderline is for danger to fish so I just play it safe.  I only went 10 ft which is plenty deep enough.
Now, the main difference between pulser pumps and airlift pumps is plug flow and slug flow.  Plug and slug flow is how the pulser pump moves the water.  (kinda like "waves"  in a pipe).  I could go into detail but the physics of 2 phase flow is really complicated. (One of the reasons that scientists stay away from it).
Airlift pumps make a column of bubbly water and the bubbles lower its specific gravity and the column gets higher in relation to water that does not have bubbles in it.  So it is a very different thing.  Plug flow works under a fairly wide range of air speeds so you just have to size your pipes right and it will work.  If a pulser pump had to do the bubbly water thing, it might only lift the water 2 or 3 ft.  Figures are printed in old engineering books that basically  say you need great "submergance" but they never tested anything with very slow air movement  like the pulser pump.

I think the monk might work great with low pressure tromps.    You can just send the air back up to the pond to aerate it and to "stir" the water. 
My youtube name is gaiatechnician and if you find gaiatechnician's channel you can find the dual dish stuff and pulser pump stuff on video.  The dual dish should work great near the equator but as you go north and south, you might be better served with one dish and a counter rotating counterweight.
(I have also done a bunch of low tech trackers for it. I call them dripper trackers and they are on solarcooking.org on their tracker page.
All of my stuff is community commons licensed and I am not great at making stuff so it is on hold until someone with good brain hand co ordination comes along and takes it further.
The liquid piston tracker will probably be built at UVIC University of Victoria in the fall or winter by students as part of a course.
Basically the paid research community only do work on stuff that the funding committees give money towards.  Low tech solar and water power is useful to really poor people but they are way way way down on the priority lists of the funding committees.
I am not exactly happy with solarcooking.org either.  They get something like $800 000  per year in donations and grants and do not seem to spend a cent on research and development.
So, the dual dish awaits independent testing (forever) as does the dripper trackers, and the solar design t-square and clam shaped solar cookers. 
Clam shaped solar cookers might be (probably are)  a better alternative to cookits for Haiti and Dafur but if they are too lazy to test and compare, nobody will ever find out!
Even the "mechanical mathematician" which is really bluddy simple has not been tested.  (It is for making clay molds for parabolic dishes with extremely simple tools).  Anyways, enough with the rant.
Brian
 
                                
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the logic of the pulsar pump escapes me - am i wrong in thinking there needs to be some place lower than the streambed for the water transiting the pump to go to ?
if this is the case, how often does such a physical situation exist adjacent to the streambed ?  normally the streambed will surely be the lowest place around in the immediate vicinity, won't it ?
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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joan from zone 6 wrote:
the logic of the pulsar pump escapes me - am i wrong in thinking there needs to be some place lower than the streambed for the water transiting the pump to go to ?
if this is the case, how often does such a physical situation exist adjacent to the streambed ?  normally the streambed will surely be the lowest place around in the immediate vicinity, won't it ?


The intake would be from a little ways upstream, and the effluent would drain to someplace a little ways downstream. After all, water in any one part of the streambed tends to find someplace lower to go: otherwise, it would be a pond. If the stream runs very quickly, or you site the pump near an existing waterfall, you may not need very much pipe to get an appreciable drop.
 
                                
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
The intake would be from a little ways upstream, and the effluent would drain to someplace a little ways downstream. .


i'll buy that - BUT, if you have the option of taking the inlet far enough upstream, you might not need any pump at all ?
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Location: Oakland, CA
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joan from zone 6 wrote:if you have the option of taking the inlet far enough upstream, you might not need any pump at all ?


Yes.

This pump, like a ram pump, is only appropriate where there is a large flow with a low fall, and a small amount of water is needed at a higher elevation than the source of that flow.

For example, often a creek is at the lowest part of a person's property, along the entire length of it that they have access to, and they would like to irrigate or build a house higher up.
 
J D Gomez
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Firstly I really like all of the above technologies.
secondly do you think the pump/trompe invention is more efficient than the ram pump and can it pump higher in proportion to height of orignal drop than the ram pump. You see i am trying to understand what other qualities it has that the ram does not.

Also about trompes, do you know if a 10 m fall is sufficient to acheve air compresion in the tank, with enough psi to run, say air power tools? you see we have a 10 m water fall just up the valley from us and a trompe seems a good way to power the workshop, and create refrigation.

 
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