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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Off-grid pumping?

A lady over at the Aquaponics Community asked about how it might be possible to pump the water for an aquaponics system in a rural setting - India, I believe.

That got me thinking - seems to me that adding a water tower (of sorts) in addition to the sump and constant-height fish tank is part of the answer. But how to get the water up into the water tower?

Windmills are an obvious answer - kind of. But I'm always about figuring out something elegant from commodity bits. So wildeyeUK's video of his water wheel got me thinking.

What if I drove the wheel with wind energy, rather than a stream? And what if I was drawing water from the fish tank with multiple 'scoops,' so the drag from any individual scoop was low? [Found quite a treatise here at]

Here's another "Perpetual Motion" water wheel that fires the imagination. Bicycle wheels are commodity items that are highly tuned for minimal drag.

Here's a completely different concept:

And here's a new hand pump that could run off wind, once primed (this is the first video of four - watch all four videos if you have time):

But this is the funnest video - Ben (aged 6 years) making a piston pump. Purpose? To have fun.

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