This far exceeds the 3gpm minimum.
So my question... I need to lift water up approximately 90-100ft+
I plan to try this with a stage of 2 plus ram pumps.
Pump #1 is in the river pumping to cistern #1 at its maximum vertical lift.
Pump #2 is switched on from a float valve placed into cistern #1.
Pump #2 pumps to it's maximum vertical lift to cistern #2. Etc etc
This goes on until I reach my house, my animals watering troughs, and my gardens.
Would it be feasible to use ram pump #1 to pump to cistern #1 to give ram pump #2 say 30-50ft of head.
then using the boosted ram pump #2 to blast the water to the top of the hill.
It'll be sporadic, I know, as ram pump#2 will only kick on when cistern #1 is full.
But if I can get 20 gallons a day minimum up to the top of the hill I believe it'll be worth it.
Feel free to tell me why this won't work or that John Doe already does this successfully.
The formula of interest can be found at Mother Earth News:
D = [(S X F)/L] X 2/3
D is the amount of water delivered in gallons per minute (gpm). S is the amount of water supplied to the machine in gallons per minute. F is the fall or vertical distance in height between the supply of water and the ram. L is the lift or vertical distance the water is lifted from the pump to the storage tank. The fraction of 2/3 represents the efficiency of the
Plugging your numbers into the equation...
Let's say you are after 24 gallons per day to make the math simple. That is 1/60th gallon per minute or two ounces per minute... Out in the desert I would be thrilled with that much water!!!
1/60 gallon = [(S * F)/L] * 2/3
==> (L * 3)/(60 *F *2)= S = (100 *3)/(60 * 3 *2) = 0.8 gallons per minute of flow through the ram to get 2 ounces per minute out the top.
So, if you sized your feed pipe to supply 8 gallons per minute, then you could expect 20 ounces per minute out the top, or 240 gallons per day.
It seems to me without actually running any math or building any devices, that a water wheel driving a piston pump would be easier to implement, more reliable, and would supply more water to the top of the hill.
Given the narrowness of the river on my property it has a tendency to flood the banks in the winter and early spring, sometimes to a height of 20+ vertical feet.
In my thinking a ram pump would be a bit more mobile than a 4-5ft diameter water wheel as I would have to move the pump from the river 2-3 times a year to avoid losing it. But I could be wrong.
I would think about building a streamlined solid masonry housing for a waterwheel, dug in as much as feasible, if the scour would not be too extreme. I know about floodwaters; my creek has a bed 20-30 feet wide, but for much of the summer you can find steppingstone routes to cross it without getting wet. I have seen it flood 10 feet deep, flip rectangular boulders weighing several tons, and carry 80' pine trees a half mile down to the river. Granted, those have been in one of the three 500-year floods we have had in the past ten years...
Nothing permanent would last near the river.
in the flood zone nearest the river nothing but wet land bushes, grasses, and some small trees.
The hill slope is between 50-55 degrees so the river rises fast and floods an easy 20' vertical.
The river floods nearly all winter and most of the spring time.
I'll get some videos before and after the floods this year.
For the pump, hydraulic rams that I know of require perfectly level/plumb installation to work correctly. This does not seem compatible with a frequently moved installation. A water wheel would be bulky as you say, but what about a turbine? That depends only on being in flowing water, and might even be able to be designed to sit at the end of a boom and pump in any kind of flow. A streamlined housing that would not snag on debris and is tethered to the bank above flood level might be durable and reliable. If you need as small a flow as suggested above, it could probably be a small, lightweight unit.