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Ryan Powers

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since Jun 06, 2012
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Recent posts by Ryan Powers

First, hello to everyone, I've been lurking for a while. What brings me out of hiding is a problem I am having with a Ram pumping system I am working on. For anyone here who is better at math and engineering than myself, or anyone familiar with ram systems, here is my problem.

My property is 28.5 acres in the Ozarks in NW Arkansas, where we have had 2 years running of drought. The only running water on my property is a seasonal trickle in a valley at the very lowest point on the property (see diagram), which is outlined in black on the map I drew up. I had a small dam pushed into the valley to create a pond for a hydram pump, and installed a 2" home-built ram. I have 12.5' of head pressure (6-6.5psi) on the ram, with a 65' drive pipe. I have anchored the pump to a concrete pad so it cannot move with the impulses, and everything in the pump system is galvanized steel or brass, except for the expansion/air tube (4" sch40 pvc) and the 2" drive pipe (sch40 pvc). The drive pipe has been anchored so that it doesn't move. Now, all of the rough formulas I have found online show this system to be capable of delivery to 10x the head, or over 120', yet I am only able to build an output pressure of 40-42psi, or about an 85' lift. as you can see from the topo map, to get the output to my lowest useful point, which is the pond which feeds the garden, I need a 100-105' lift from the pump location. What can I do to increase the output of my little system? Here are the options I am looking at:

1) cast a lead plug to bolt onto the swing check valve to increase the required velocity to shut the waste valve (which is a standard 2" brass swing-check)
2) buy galvanized sch80 pipe for the driveline to assure rigidity, which would be crazy expensive.
3) increase the upstream length of the drive pipe, thus possibly entraining more momentum in the system and increasing my KE impinging on the output valve.

This is where I'm not sure about my math. I know that the check valve is requiring "X" escape velocity to be closed, regardless of how much water is in the pipe, however, if my drive pipe is longer, then my understanding is that the overall mass hitting that valve at the same velocity would increase with the volume of moving water, and thus my KE would increase. Is this a correct assumption? The idea that a 20-car train at 10mph has more impact energy than a 2-car train at 10mph. This option would not increase the head elevation, as the dam is already at max height for the location, I was just considering lengthening my drive pipe upstream in the pond on the assumption that the pipe contains the shock impulse within itself for the whole pipe length. Anyway, I'm not hydrodynamist, but I'm just trying to brainstorm up a solution that will give me another 10psi on the system without having to drop $2k on a Rife. That would be ideal, but I'm a poor hillbilly, so it isn't an option.

Thanks for any help.

Ryan Powers
6 years ago
Hello all,

My first post here at Permies.

I live in NW Arkansas, and built a rainwater catchment system that gravity feeds my house. Due to drought here, the two 1500gal tanks were really low this month (only a foot or so of water left) and it was in the low 90s for temperatures. The past week the water coming to the house (I ran underground pipe) has turned slightly hazy, and smells of hydrogen sulfide rather badly. The tanks are set 30" into the soil to help prevent freezing, and are covered from direct sunlight by the same roof that fills them. Has anyone had this problem with rainwater cisterns? What caused this, and what can we do to remedy and prevent it? My thought is that the low water levels warmed too much and had an algae/bacterial overbloom. I don't mind chlorinating to fix the current issue, but don't want to have ongoing chlorination of my rainwater. I just added a better roof-washer system to hopefully remove more dust/pollen from the system in the future. Thanks for any ideas,
Ryan
6 years ago