Friday, August 17, 2018

Pumping pressurized fluids to high altitude for the space tower and for fighting forest fires, Page 2: high volume, high head, single pump solution.

Copyright 2018 Robert Clark
(patents pending)

 In the blog post "Pumping pressurized fluids to high altitude for the space tower and for fighting forest fires," I mentioned high volume pumps such as used on fireboats to send kilometers-long water streams from lakes or rivers to fight wildfires.

 However, the water turrets on fireboats would not have the "head", i.e., altitude capability, to send the water streams kilometers in the air on their own. In fact, I didn't think such pumps existed. So instead I suggested adding an additional pump that would trade flow rate for altitude. A pump that could do it would be the famous ram or hydraulic ram pump.

 I was surprised though after doing a web search that there do exist pumps that do have both high volume and high head. These are so-called "mud pumps" that are used for dredging the sea floor and for pumping out mud and debris deep within mines. In addition to the high volume for dredging and mining purposes, they need the high head since they will also be pumping up mud and rocks, which are denser, so heavier, than just water.

 One is the 14-P-220 mud pump. It is capable of 7,500 psi at 375 gpm.

  Another thing I didn't realize is such pumps themselves have the capability to vary their psi vs. flow rate values, i.e., they are already able to trade flow rate for head. See for example the table here:

   But there is a limit to which a pump's pressure values can be varied. Going beyond that limits the pumps lifetime or can damage it. A psi value of 7,500 psi is 500 bar. This corresponds to a vertical head of 5,000 m. Using the analogy of the ball thrown at a 45 degree angle, the horizontal distance possible would be twice that or 10,000 m, 10 km. It's likely the pump's head can be increased beyond the rated value somewhat at the cost of reduced lifetime, but in any case we can still use the ram pump or other methods to further trade flow rate for distance.

 Note, actually for a ball or a water stream, because of air drag or frictional drag in a pipe, the angle for maximum horizontal distance will actually be less than 45 degrees and the distance will be less than twice the vertical height.

 In a correspondence, Giottis Motsanos suggested I look into laminar flow to maximize distance. This is when the water flow is in a uniform, parallel stream. I had been assuming the flow had to be within a pipe to maximize distance. But some remarkable instances of laminar flow raise the possibility we can achieve these long distances without using a pipe:

Making a Laminar Flow Nozzle.

AMAZING Under $300.00 Home Made Laminar Water Jet.

 And this video specifically mentions laminar flow allows longer water streams for firefighting:

Digitally Controlled laminar Fountain in Burj Al Arab Building

 If so, this would eliminate the problem of how to support the weight of the pipe over kilometers-long distances.

  Bob Clark

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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