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Thread: Small Gain Machine using Hydraulic Ram Pumps

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
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    Nov 2013
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    Small Gain Machine using Hydraulic Ram Pumps

    Hi guys,

    I’ve been conducting some research on hydraulic ram pumps and devised a hypothetical design for what I would like to call a ‘small gain machine’ as it could potentially achieve a small gain of potential energy, although I’m unsure with regards to the total amount of electricity to pump the water from the bottom of my proposed machine. Please note I’m not trying to design a ‘perpetual motion machine’ as ram pumps are not immune to frictional forces and require some input energy in the form of a reset to ensure they are at their optimum pumping efficiency.

    Basically my proposed machine (see diagram) works with water running through a central turbine which generates electricity, the ‘waste’ water then runs through two additional hydraulic ram pumps which pump a percentage of this water back up to the main tank, finally the water pools in a tank at the bottom of the device which is pumped via an electric pump powered by the central turbine.

    If we say that the machine turns over 1000 imperial gallons (4.5 litres) per minute and initially falls from a height of say 50 feet to the central turbine, how do I calculate this? And how much electricity would this generate?

    After the central turbine the water would then fall from a height of say 60 feet to ‘Ram Pump A’: based upon V (volume, 1000) X F (fall, 60')/E (elevation, 120') X 0.6 (efficiency) = D (gallons delivered, 300) this would mean 30% of the ‘waste’ water would be recycled. After this the remaining 700 gallons of water would fall say a further 120 feet to ‘Ram Pump B’ which would process the 700 gpm (gallons per minute): 700 X 0.5 (120/240) X 0.6 (efficiency) = 210 (gpm), 30% of the 700 gallons of ‘waste’ water. 510 (just over 50%) of the total 1000 gallons of ‘waste’ water is returned into the main tank using the two ram pumps.

    The remaining 490 gallons would have to be returned to the tank (240 feet above) using electricity generated from the turbine, my question is would I have a small ‘gain’ of electrical energy after all this pumping? Just a tiny amount? Enough to run a kettle of toaster perhaps?
    Would really appreciate any feedback.

    Thanks for reading.

    Simon Bright.
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  2. #2
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    Sounds like you're hoping this is a "perpetual motion device"....

    Successful perpetual motion devices are physically impossible in terms of the current understanding of the laws of physics... So, no to your question...

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