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  • Ram pumps anyone?

    Is there people on this board that have made a hydraulic ram pump for themselves or for a friend? I've been wanting to build one for ages and finally it is on my next-projects-list I do not have a creek or a river or similar, this is just for fun and learning, because the time I find a place that has a natural water source, I'll bolt this kind of thing there to supply me with water 24/7.

    I just love watching and listening to the slow kachunk --- kachunk --- kachunk sound and seeing a pump operate without electricity or fuel and the fact that it has two moving parts.

    I recently went to this website and that was my deal breaker there, the waste valve design that the AIDFI ram pumps also use. I'm planning on making something like the AIDFI demo ram pump, so the body will be something like 60 mm wide or so.

    I think I'll go and find me a stainless steel door hinge with a suitable size or if I can't find one, then its back to the machine shop to make some other hinge idea.

    Materials I'll be needing are probably some heavy wall 60 x 60 tubing, some angle iron for the feet, stainless steel plate or cut-off from a bar for the valves, piece of inner tire or a rubber sheet, some round pipe, some round pipe or the like to make the flanges and then a handful of nuts and bolts to fudge it together But first, let me take a self..err...make a CAD drawing to figure out the needed sizes.
    Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

  • #2
    Ram pumps, eyeball candy-



    Watched last weekend, at Vista antique engine and farm equipment show, this ka-chunk, ka-chunk, ka-chunk hydraulic ram pump at work. Never was able to convince wife how the thing works, or why.

    A first for me, but always fascinated by the simplicity.

    --G

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    • #3
      Just earlier today I got off the phone with The Finnish Safety and Chemical Agency that monitors things like product safety, work safety and such and one thing they also monitor is pressurised containers and systems. I was asking what regulations there are and what tests do I have to do in order to be able to manufacture such a pump and/or sell one to another individual. Usually products in the EU have to be CE marked, but in this particular case I'm not allowed to do so, as the pressure container is "too small" for anyone to care about it, as long as "good machine shop practice" is followed and end user is provided with complete instructions for use & maintenance But I still have to check if I have to stamp the CE on the pump body itself, as it is technically a machine and there are some directives that specify what sort of safety systems a machine has to have or needs. All in all, it is good that there are specialists that you can call for free to ask advice and can rely on that information to be correct in the eyes of the law.

      Haven't yet started drawing the model for this, but I found some nice 60 x 60 mm thin wall (2 mm) tubing that I will probably use for this small model. Also I think there is some suitable size pipe in the storage rack at work to make the air chamber. I'm not sure if I have any suitable sized plate of stainless for the valves, so I might have to make a scrap yard run for that. Gasket material I have, door hinge I didn't go looking for yet as the hardware store is already closed, but nuts & bolts I do have as well as material for the flanges.

      The test setting will be 1 meter fall from a bucket or something and I'll attach a pressure gauge to the air chamber to see how much pressure I will get to determine the maximum lift height. Drive pipe will be probably around 30-40 mm in diameter, have to check what I have.

      So in short this is starting to look like a project that might actually succeed
      Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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      • #4
        Suckers really work.

        My dad and I bought an old farm that had a ram pump in the creek. It was plugged with sand but we cleaned it up and doctored the valves. We ran a steel ram pipe (important; the pipe wall has to be rigid) It kept a stock tank full of water at our picnic site for 20 years. We had maybe 3 ft of fall in 200 feet or so and it pumped maybe 40 ft uphill to the stock tank. I'm guessing a gallon a minute delivery. Clink - clink - clink; all day and all night. Absolutely unattended. No power, no bucket brigade, no nothing but clever ancient art.

        Look here:

        http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FS...2p2_041913.pdf.

        Our pump had a 3" inlet for the ram pipe and a 3/4" discharge. We used 1 1/2 IPS ram pipe because that's what we had. It didn't want to cycle on the 1 1/2" ram pipe but we jiggered the discharge valve so it worked. Getting the pump running was strictly a Saturday afternoon project mandated by Mom so she didn't have to go to the creek to wash dishes. 6 hours of work fetched 20 years of convenience. This is yet another example of how SWMBO's complaint galvanized mankind's advances.
        Last edited by Forrest Addy; 07-07-2014, 04:44 PM.

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        • #5
          http://www.clemson.edu/irrig/equip/ram.htm is an example with everything already worked out and doesn't use any expensive or hard to find parts.

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          • #6
            Indeed those rams are fascinating old technology!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jlevie View Post
              http://www.clemson.edu/irrig/equip/ram.htm is an example with everything already worked out and doesn't use any expensive or hard to find parts.
              Have run in to that several times, but the thing is that it isn't good, it requires parts that are not easily available everywhere and it is not easy to scale up, as the bigger fittings are either not available or cost more than a truck. Also it will have lots of internal drag and added turbulent flow due to multiple junctions and the waste valve isn't easily tuned.

              But for someone just needing a quick ram of that size it works
              Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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              • #8
                I have for several years contemplated building two of these pumps to supply water to two pastures I have that have creeks close by but not in the pasture. There is more than enough fall available. It will be interesting Jaakko to see what you come up with.
                How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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                • #9
                  It's as much the length of pipe as it is the fall. Essentially they use "water hammer" as the power source, so you need a mass of moving water.

                  Don't forget the "snifter" valve to keep the air chamber full.
                  1601

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                    It's as much the length of pipe as it is the fall. Essentially they use "water hammer" as the power source, so you need a mass of moving water.

                    Don't forget the "snifter" valve to keep the air chamber full.
                    Yup, the optimum drive pipe length is 150 - 1000 times the inside diameter, so it isn't very exact but is recommended to be between those numbers for the shock wave to act correctly. The fall mainly dictates your maximum output to a certain lifting height, as in if you have Q as your drive pipe flow, e as your lifting height, f for your fall and assume 0.6 efficiency, then the output flow will be 0.6 * Q * f / e.

                    Oh yeah, good point, I'll either add a very small hole or make a ball bearing snifter, though last option would be to use a bicycle tire or similar. I'm aiming for the simple hole, as it is atomatic and doesn't need any additional parts to the design

                    I'll try to get some drawings here later today, have to run some errands first.
                    Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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                    • #11
                      Had to find a video. Very interesting and neat stuff! I'll be watching progress and stuff.

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9W0zx2D7aU
                      Andy

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                      • #12
                        Quick sketching as a 3D model, but shows the main parts without the waste valve and its flange.

                        Purple is the end plate / drive pipe connector that is welded to the main body. Main body consist of 60 x 60 tube. On top of the tube is welded another pipe flange for attaching the air chamber and valve. The brown disc is the valve plate, it is just a plate full of small'ish holes and one center hole, where there will be a a bolt that attaches a piece of round rubber over the holes to act as a one-way valve. Then the light blue is the air chamber, nothing special in it except it is missing the delivery pipe connection. The red plate is welded to the main body and accepts a similar plate on it that will stop the wste valve. The waste valve will be a piece of flat stock that will be hinged to the bottom of the main body with a stainless door hinge. There will be a bolt going through the waste valve plate to act as a tuner, so I can change the angle of the plate in relation to the passing water.

                        Not pictured is the small hole that acts as a sniffer, it will be just below the one-way valve on the thin portion of the pipe flange. Also some installation feet or some such are missing and all the rubber seals I omitted from this design stage.



                        Now to bed and maybe continuing tomorrow
                        Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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                        • #13
                          Jaakko, the principle name in hydraulic rams in Britain is Blake, while in the US it is Rife. I believe that they are both now out of business, but the Blake units were on display in dealer's shops in 1980, (at least in Kenya.) Also about that time there was a "How To" paper, produced by one of the aid foundations, that gave detailed design plans. Everything was made using standard threaded fittings, except the clack valve. I THINK that I have a copy, and I will try and find it. I also have, hidden in the same place, a copy of a Rife technical bulletin.
                          FWIW the ram pipe should be about 50 feet long, give or take, and it is Best if metal. Plastic is a very sorry second choice. If the delivery line must be longer than the magic 50 feet, any pipe-shaped stuff will do. Also, a CO2 bottle makes a great chamber.
                          With a decent operating fall, these units will "beat" at 50-60 BPM, so they will be heard!
                          Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Duffy View Post
                            Jaakko, the principle name in hydraulic rams in Britain is Blake, while in the US it is Rife. I believe that they are both now out of business, but the Blake units were on display in dealer's shops in 1980, (at least in Kenya.) Also about that time there was a "How To" paper, produced by one of the aid foundations, that gave detailed design plans. Everything was made using standard threaded fittings, except the clack valve. I THINK that I have a copy, and I will try and find it. I also have, hidden in the same place, a copy of a Rife technical bulletin.
                            FWIW the ram pipe should be about 50 feet long, give or take, and it is Best if metal. Plastic is a very sorry second choice. If the delivery line must be longer than the magic 50 feet, any pipe-shaped stuff will do. Also, a CO2 bottle makes a great chamber.
                            With a decent operating fall, these units will "beat" at 50-60 BPM, so they will be heard!
                            Let me know if you find it, would be interesting to see another persons ideas

                            What comes to the pipe length, it depends on its diameter only and the 50 feet you quoted is not any magical number.

                            And I thought about using a ready made chamber like a CO2 bottle or similar, but it falls yet again in the category of "not available readily everywhere". Pipe and flange materials are available everywhere, so that's still my main goal in the design to use such materials.
                            Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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                            • #15
                              Wouldn't it be a good idea to have a bent elbow come off the valve to help promote flow to the tank instead of just a strait 90 degree fitting?
                              Andy

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