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The O.G.

’s Hydraulic Ram Pump
GEEN 1400-020
Adam Lightman Mark Gerber Noah Young Collin Foster Garret Belden

Engineering Analysis The hydraulic ram pump is designed to take water in from a source a certain elevation above it. Hopefully. Challenge Statement Our vision is that a third world community would implement our ram pump and use it to provide itself with much needed water. pumping water from rivers and lakes to elevations much greater then the source. One solution to this is the hydraulic ram pump. 1 . The purpose of our project is to see if we can create a functioning ram pump capable of pumping 100 gallons of water per day to a height at least twice that of the distance from the source to the pump. We also wanted a pump that was easy to manage and capable of being fixed by a local to the community. using materials that are easily accessible to developing communities. the continuous availability of water will stimulate the community allowing it to grow and develop beyond what was previously capable. utilize the mechanical energy of the water during the fall. We wanted to make the pump as practical as possible. but have no way of transporting the water effectively to the people who need it. Many of these communities are located near lakes or rivers. The ram pump uses the energy of moving water to do work. Our team embarked on a mission to build such a device. These pumps can easily provide the water that third world communities need allowing for major growth and development. and pump the water out to a much higher elevation.Abstract The availability of water in third world communities is a growing problem.

requires little maintenance • Easy to fix and maintain by locals Qualitative Requirements • Clean . and water exits into the air chamber (1. Figure 1 2 . the water needs somewhere to go.Design Requirements After researching the capabilities of ram pumps we were able to come up with realistic goals for our ram pump to meet. which connects the river / water source to the pump. The inlet pipe (1. These two parts are connected with small segments (length is irrelevant) of one inch inner diameter PVC pipe. the outlet valve (1.2) and the outlet valve (1. the waste valve shuts. that comprises the system. There are two main parts. and the valves work flawlessly. To understand how the pump goes together. water flows through the waste valve (1.3). Our design requirements are as follows: Functional Requirements • Provide enough water for a community of 60 people • Durable and long lasting. At this point. When the pump is running.5).3) opens. This pipe connects to the body of the pump which is a system of connected parts. the waste valve (1. The dimensions are efficient.4) and out the outlet pipe (1. Once the water has picked up speed.No contamination contribution Quantitative Requirements • 100 gallons / day (10 cups / person + 1 gallons / person for cooking and hygiene) Final Design Description Our final design is a success.2). we’ll start at the top.1). is a 10 foot long PVC pipe with a one inch inner diameter. With momentum behind the water.

the velocity of the water goes quickly to zero. ∆t By definition. The outlet valve. by the amount of time that has elapsed during the change in momentum. the pressure inside the body of the pump increases.81 m / s 2 ). Noting that force = m*a. 1 2 ρ*g Now that we know why the concept of the pump works. also known as a swing valve. In our system. it has a momentum equal to its mass times its velocity. acceleration(‘a’) = ∆v . and potential energy is equal to 2 ρ * g * h . If you divide the change in momentum. There are two main Physics concepts going on here. (2. When the waste valve closes and causes the impulse. opening this outlet valve. The only type of energy that is applicable here is mechanical energy. we can go into detail about the two valves. it is just a tube with a door on a hinge that can swing freely. where ρ is the density of water (1 g/cm3). This door is blocked in the middle so that it can only swing in Figure 2 one direction. We placed the valve so that the back pressure from the water in the outlet pipe will keep the valve closed. v. Mechanical energy is defined as the sum of kinetic energy and potential energy. m * v . and 1. The second concept being used is the conservation of mechanical energy. Therefore we take the equation 1 2 * m * vi + ρ * g * hi = ρ * g * h f and solve for 2 the final height: h f = ρ * g * hi + * m * vi 2 .3) is simple. g is the acceleration due to gravity (9. When an object is moving at some velocity. Then. also known as impulse. when the waste valve closes. when equilibrium is 3 . impulse / time equals a force. let’s do a quick Physics refreshment course. This change in velocity causes a change in momentum equal to m * ∆v . To find the theoretical maximum height the pump can pump to. Kinetic energy is equal to 1 * m * v 2 . The first is momentum and impulse. the energy of the system remains constant. During any type of physical interaction.Before we go into detail about how the valves work. you get: impulse/time = m * ∆v . This force is a ∆t constant that can be used to determine the amount of work that con be done on the system. the final mechanical energy should be all potential energy and no kinetic energy. and h is the height the water is being pumped to.

but we wanted it to do the opposite. but figure 3 is the closest to our final product (4). and it gives added stability to the stopper. When we were designing the pump. With an understanding of the Physics principles and an idea of how the valves work. the one way valve closes and the waste valve opens. except the waste valve. starting a new cycle. but after a trip to a hardware store. it pushes the plunger on the waste valve closed. we machined a valve guide and added a stronger spring to position 2 (4) and a weaker spring to position 1 (4). The second valve. this valve was the toughest part. First. and 4). As it moves through the waste valve it builds up speed / momentum / kinetic energy. We knew we wanted a valve that would normally be open but close whenever the water flowing through it Figure 3 reached a certain velocity. the water creates an impulse and pushes up through the one way valve and out towards its destination. When the water gets going fast enough. With the dual spring configuration. The store bought valve was meant to open with enough pressure. So.reached.2. now let’s look at the big picture. the valve closes and runs another cycle. The valve guide is simply an aluminum barrel that the stopper’s rod slides through. is a little more complicated. We drew up a few different concepts. the waste valve (1. It is fairly well documented how every aspect of a ram pump works. it is much easier to adjust the valve. water enters through the inlet pipe and exits through the waste valve. 4 . Once this built up pressure is released. The moment the waste valve closes. This guide keeps the stopper from Figure 4 swaying from side to side and prevents jamming. Initially we thought we would have to machine the valve from scratch. we realized we could buy a standard ‘check valve’ and modify it.

ID PVC elbow (2) o $1.74 1 way valve o $9.82 Nipple 2 in. At first. As it turned out. coupler (3) o $5. o $2. reducer o $1. The following list shows each of the parts that we used and their prices. ID flex hose o $0.67 Nipple ¾ in.99 Threaded 1 in.67 2 in.89 6 in. o $1. – 3 in.37 3 in. Water Jug o $16. ID T-joints (2) o $3. we could 5 . reducer o $2. when actually 60% of the water was wasted and 40% was pumped to the desired height.67 Spring Popper Valve o $14.65 5 gal.17 45° 1 in. to 1 in.54 Hose Clamps (2) o $1.75 1 in. we thought about eighty percent of the water would be wasted while flowing out of the system.45 3 in.12 The total cost for our ram pump was $80. ID PVC o $6. to 1 in. – 2 in.43. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 15ft – 1 in. End cap o $2. Project Evaluation Our project went above and beyond most of our original expectations. ID PVC o $8. Also the rate at which the water was pumped greatly exceeded our goals.Parts List All of the parts we used to build the ram pump were purchased at McGuckin Hardware in Boulder.82 15 in.

User’s Guide (attached) 6 . This valve regulates the entire system: the output height. pond. the outlet should be at the maximum pumping height. First. Also. in order to get the maximum allowable flow and the least amount of wasted water. or river. This means that at a maximum pumping height. and cooking. the system will be able to achieve the correct height and maximum output flow for any input and output heights. it is best to pump to or near the maximum pumping height. So. This is because the rate of output flow is inversely related to the amount of water that flows out of the system and the maximum pumping height is directly related to the amount of wasted water. In our case this would be 20ft from our 10ft source.not only have supplied water to support a family. Our 10ft source ended up pumping to a height of 22. but we could supply enough water to support a small village of about sixty people. the wasted output that flows through the system. and the rate at which the water flows through the system.5ft with water constantly flowing out of the hose. the system could be adjusted accordingly to achieve the maximum values of output and flow much more precisely. bathing. Our initial goal was to pump water to a height twice that of the initial source. This supplied water includes water for drinking. Recommendations Our project could be altered to maximize flow and output for a given situation. our project was tested on an unnatural situation. We had to test our project using 5gal water jugs as our source when in the real world this system would be tested on an “infinite” source such as a lake. the water flow will be the same at any other allowable pumping height. Adjusting the length of this valve along with the constant of the spring will adjust the flow and maximum output height. The expectations we had for pumping height was almost exactly matched. When the correct adjustments have been made. The valve that regulates how much water flows out of the system can be regulated and adjusted accordingly. Having this almost constant input height.