Hydraulic ram pumps are mechanical devices that employ the water hammer effect to pump water without using any engine, neither electric or combustion.
The University of Warwick in the UK developed a series of ram pump models that can be built with materials commonly used in any workshop. They are basically pieces used in irrigation systems. Here in Rovies, they were building one to gradually introduce more sustainable systems in the olive production. I joined the team that was doing the work, and here is the result.
Keep reading to know more…
The construction of the bomb was made following the design in the University of Warwick blue prints (Warwick ram pumps documentation), specifically the model M8 or DTU S2.
The first task was to prepare all necessary parts as described in the blue prints. The simplest option is to use 2″ galvanized iron pipe and metallic discs for connecting the pipe sections.
Some parts have to be drilled, welded, cut, etc., and, therefore, is necessary to have column drill, cutting iron machine, electric welding, lathe and other tools to do the job yourself.
The construction was performed in a few days working on it and the pump was ready to be tested.
We raised some water tanks and used a PVC pipe to connect to the pump inlet. It would have been better to use a metal pipe, since the relative flexibility of PVC influences the hammer effect, and the testing could not worked. Indeed, was difficult to start it at the first attempt.
With about 3 meters head, the system began to pump water about 10 meters high, which was the high we could set for the test.
The characteristics of this model allow it to pump between 40 and 120 liters of water per minute at a height of 100 meters providing a head between 2 and 15 meters. With these operating margins, the possibilities of use are quite a lot.
In our case, the first situation was to irrigate a field away from the electrical pumping installation. The strategy was to locate in the field a 7,000 liters tank to be filled up with the pump. Subsequently, a drip irrigation system lead water to each of the sections of the plantation.
After various tests changing the length of the drive pipe and finally using a metallic one, the results were very satisfactory: 23 liters per minute, at a height of 19 meters, with a drive pipe 12 meters long and 2 meters drop from the supply tank.
Video about the ram pump construcción and operation:
You can visit too the full photo album: