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Coeur_D_Alene
07:41:45 Wed
Jan 29 2014

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Water Hammer Compressor

My first problem is I got to thinking... but here goes. I am going to set up a gravity dredge operation at the base of a side stream that dumps into the main stream. The side stream is very steep and goes 1000 ft to a mountain lake. I am going to try to power a venturi by the side stream via hose 150 in elevation to the dredge hole. will start out with 21/2 hose to the venturi of a 4 inch dredge nozzle but depending on the power i get from the height and size of my side stream power source the size may be 3 inch...Any ways the side stream could drive a fairly large water hammer, instead of using it to pump water out of a pressure tank up hill I am hoping I could turn the water hammer into a no oil compessor for hooka diving the main stream with my nozzle. I also am going to suck the gravel up and send it in a siphon hose down stream out of the creek over to a lower old channel and let my concentration efforts and apparatus's and water sink into the old channel for return to the stream via underground drainage. Got off track a little LOL but any of you smart fella's toss this around in your head and tell me if I'm wasting my time on a water hammer compressor. Thanks Vance in Idaho.

  
Fleng
17:44:52 Wed
Jan 29 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

How high is your side stream? There is only so much potential energy in your water column. What kind of hose were you thinking of using? The pressure at the lower end
of the hose might exceed the hose burst pressure. Leaks are your enemy. I'll let one of the hydraulic guys compute the numbers but there is a volume of water to run a hammer compressor and this will determine the needed hydraulic radius of the hose.

  
LipCa
18:21:03 Wed
Jan 29 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

I can't help you but to clarify things in my mind, the water coming from the lake is ONLY for the dredging operation?
You want to run the water hammer from the side stream?
How big of a hose/pipe are you running from the lake?
You will have approx. 60 psi from the lake.
Have you thought about a pelton wheel geared down to run a compressor?
Maybe run a second pipe to the power the pelton wheel?

  
micropedes1
18:50:34 Wed
Jan 29 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

Harry's response (Pelton wheel) was my first thought too. Would be a lot simpler construction, imho.

  
overtheedge
20:58:46 Wed
Jan 29 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

By water hammer compressor do you mean a trompe?

Using gravity to power a venturi works as long as you have plenty of drop aka vertical feet. The longer the run, the more you need to increase the diameter of drop pipe to minimize friction loss.

The question you must ask of yourself is, "Is the hassle of installation and tuning worth it?"

Nifty neat stuff is great, but spending weeks or months getting a neat contraption working is lost time mining.

Coming back to the trompe. You will need pretty fair size pipe to keep the trompe charged with plenty of air. Let's consider air demand at 4cfm at 40psi (about the same as a diving compressor). This means a minimum of about 100 feet of vertical drop to get the 40 psi. For the air injector, you would probably need a 1" pipe inside the main which would need to be at least 4" and probably 6" to avoid restricting the drop pipe flow.

Hose is not a good choice for several reasons.
#1 Weight of water. Every lineal foot of 6" hose/pipe carries 12+ pounds of water. 50' hose~600lbs. This means every length must be tied off to good anchorages.

#2 Hose creep. Every minor change in output will cause the hose to move. This moving abrades the hose and substantially reduces the usable lifespan.

#3 Increased friction loss over pipe. Not a serious problem in larger diameters, but larger diameters increase problems #1 and #2.

Trompes work and were used for mine ventilation. However the advent of the steam engine spelled their demise.
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I admit that during the off season my mind is aglow with ponderings of splendid doodads that would impress even the most jaded engineer and utterly delight young children.

Most of the ideas would work, but the utility is marginal and the lost time washing gravel results in much lower paychecks.

If a design is NOT in widespread use, there is usually a real sound reason.
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And yes, I have run a 4" siphon and 2" gravity dredges. Both have serious siting requirements. I have used the 2" as a siphon dredge with small pump assist under far less restrictive siting needs. Even then it required a few 10's of feet of pipe between the 15' of suction hose and the sluice.

I have no experience diving, so dredging requirements for water too deep to long-arm is outside my knowledge base.

Perhaps the initial question should be, "What is the problem you are attempting to solve with this idea?"
-------------
Has anyone suggesting a Pelton turbine ever installed one? These aren't something you wedge between rocks and connect a garden hose to. And if you are going to all the trouble and the permitting required to install a Pelton turbine, why not generate electricity to charge batteries and go all electric? Let's not forget cost-effectiveness.

As a matter of fact, yes I am an old curmudgeon.

eric

  
Coeur_D_Alene
22:06:40 Wed
Jan 29 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

Fleng; the side stream comes from a lake that is 1000 ft in elevation higher than the stream I'm working, I could run 150 ft of 4" pvc and drill and screw the fittings together. The stream from the lake is coming down at a 60 deg angle or more so I figure 150 of pipe angled up the stream would give me 100' of head, all could be anchored in by using aircraft cable and trees for anchors. I don't know what a 100' of 4" that would reduce down to 2 1/2" fire hose to the venturi will give me for pressure at the venturi but I think it would be close to what i need to get the material over the highest part of the lift to send it on down the siphon pipe on to my recovery area. The 4" just siphoning should pull good but the pressure from the side stream should add to that.


OTE I will look up tromp never heard of one. I also planned on hanging my gravity down stream pipe on a strung out small cable and wooden peckerpole tripods to keep the bellys out of the system.

Lipca; The lake is over a 1000 above me I only need a hundred feet at 60 deg drop, I think. I am sure a second pipe would supply a water power to an apparatus, in fact I could plumb in two or more, lots of water and no fishy's to steep for trout to run up it.

All in all its a two mile hump with all the gear but would live at and work the site most of the summer and fall. The actual spot is in Montana and my test pan in this place comes out about 20 colors to the pan. Bedrock is shallow and what I'm really looking for is a nice big crack in bedrock, the old timers tell me they pulled up to 3 oz out of some of the cracks. No gas engine dredges on this stream but gravity is ok. I still think I'll try to figure out a hooka system because I know It will be about 8' to bedrock.

  
adkpros
01:55:56 Thu
Jan 30 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

It may be a bit costly, but a DC powered hooka system is very simple, effective, and maintainence, (labor) free.And a solar panel could recharge the deep cycle battery. Just a thought.

  
LipCa
02:18:47 Thu
Jan 30 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

Not figuring in line loss(friction), 100 feet of vertical drop would give you 43 lbs of pressure..
[1 edits; Last edit by LipCa at 02:19:23 Thu Jan 30 2014]

  
overtheedge
03:27:06 Thu
Jan 30 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

You might wanna recheck the angle again.
A 60 slope is almost waterfall. As an example, the standard angle for a ladder is 75 measured at the base.

An easy way to check is a Brunton Pocket Transit. However this is a tool that is out of my price range. So I used my old Suunto hypsometer until I broke the window and the fluid leaked out. Soo ...,

A hypsometer can be made from a child's protractor, tape, string and a weight. Tape the string at the center of the flat part and put weight on end of string. Stand at base of slope, invert and sight along base to object as high as your eyes but upstream. Pinch string against round part of protractor and read off the angle.

I mention this for several reasons.
1. People tend to over-estimate slope angles.
2. 60 is a serious slope that can get you hurt and stuff busted up. Even a small stream on that much slope can chunk boulders downhill.
3. Which brings up the concept of "angle of repose".
Rubble or dry clay will only hold a 45 slope. Gravel will hold at 40. Add water and the slope holding capacity drops.
4. Then there is the weight of the water. On 60 slopes, the effective weight in the vertical plane is increased due to lower friction against the slope.
5. A 60% slope (about 31) is steeper than a cob. We are talking about a hard climb grabbing anything to help haul yourself up. As an example, a 7% slope on a highway is considered steep enough to demand gearing down quite a bit on a truck.

Not trying to dissuade you. Just pointing out stuff.

A reference to keep handy is "Pocket Ref", Thomas J. Glover, Sequoia Publishing. It is reasonably priced.

eric

  
Rod_Seiad
17:47:47 Thu
Jan 30 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

Coeur,

Water pressure is highly desirable if you can control it. In your mind refer to torque as being water pressure. You should develop high pressure (70 psi) plus high volume.

High pressure is easy when water is stationary. It's difficult when water moves, hence the need for high volume. The top-most reservoir must feed more than the lowest nozzle emits. The top has little pressure with high volume.

If you could create 200' of vertical 6" hard-walled pipe (soft wall collapses from siphon) and connect 2" to the nozzle, you'd have some serious horsepower capable of running all your equipment including some electricity.

Small diameter pipe with high head is the same as fartin' in the wind.



  
Coeur_D_Alene
02:40:40 Fri
Jan 31 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

OTE; Thanks for the link on the tromp I am thinking of using the side steam for my dredge power and a home made tromp made of wood and sheet metal and fed by the little side stream. The side stream if funneled into the tromp I think should supply enough air for a hooka.

Rod; I do believe 4" pvc should put some kick in the operation of the gravity dredge, the area i am prospecting is very rocky and steep and it has 2 more lakes that come in further up stream and they to are 1000' or more above the main stream I am thinking if the beginning and end of a long run should be plastic pipe, (that way maybe it wont collapse) hoping that I can use layflat canvas hose for the lengthy parts. The main stream falls at a good rate that over 100 ft it probably drops 5 to 12 ft in places, which should have a good suction even just using gravity and a 4" hose, Kinda want the power that the vortex rex land dredge has so I could use it to go up an old side stream channel, the side stream moved actually up stream now, and left an old side stream small alluvial delta that juts out into the main modern day stream. I have plans on dry land dredging it up to about 30' from where the stream makes its modern day turn. Found some nice colors there. And to top off this list of "I want to builds" is a Fresnel lens or lens's to heat coils of aluminum tubing and send it to a dive suit to heat it, just as soon as I can figure out how to regulate the heat, may have to just heat a 55 gallon drum to a certain temp and then open the valve...eh? Later fella's and of course all hints and pro's and con's a welcome here.

Thanks "V"

  
Coeur_D_Alene
03:21:04 Fri
Jan 31 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

A local company makes this in 4,6,8" on up and I'm thinking if affordable it would be light and able to make it fit the application of what ever a fella needs, this could be fit with valves and reducers, maybe start out with an 8" and reduce smaller and into a flexible hose to the nozzle. This company is only 6 mi. from my home and I know people who work there and trough discussions it should hold up well and when done with it it can be cut packed out and reused.

http://www.spunstrand.com/commercial-video.htm

http://www.spunstrand.com/interior.asp?pageid=4229

I have also seen trommels made from this stuff.



[3 edits; Last edit by Coeur_D_Alene at 03:27:24 Fri Jan 31 2014]

  
overtheedge
05:16:18 Fri
Jan 31 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

Whatever you use for the plumbing, just remember you have to anchor it solid. This pretty much requires lengths of pipe.

If you have a few lengths of say 4" ABS at the upper end, you can taper to 2-3" for a length and then go to lay-flat hose. As long as there is a restriction on the lower end, hose doesn't and can't collapse. Some of us have actually done this sort of stuff before.
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Now I will tender a bit of education. If you connect lay-flat to a pump with the other end unrestricted aka no appliances whatsoever, then run the pump, does the hose collapse? No it doesn't. You folks are confusing a siphon with a penstock.

In a penstock using hose for part of the run, the weight of the water above the hose is doing the same job as a pump. The restriction at the bottom end is just like when you are using a pump. No restriction, maximum flow with almost no pressure. Full restriction (off), no flow and maximum pressure. It doesn't matter how you charge the line. Head is head and gpm is gpm.
-----------------
Back to the install.
Try to avoid curves or corners in the install. If you have to have one, you must buttress the outside of the curved section. Remember me talking about that creep whenever the flow changed? That creep gets serious at the curves. That is what takes the worse of the wear. Use whatever is handy for the buttress, just make it heavy and solidly in place.

I know I'm beating this point to death, but anchor the snot out of the penstock. Tie off to trees, big boulders and/or dig in a dead-man. If it comes loose, the whole works can snake all the way to the bottom. It is that weight of water issue.

Here is a little formula that works well:
lbs of water = pipe length(feet) x pipe diameter(inches) squared x 0.34

If you wind up tapering, do each diameter separately and then add together. If you don't figure the weight, how will you know the minimum rope size required to keep the install installed? Lest anyone forget, there is a world of difference between static loading and dynamic loading. If one anchorage fails, you just went from static to dynamic. I seem to recall that safety factors for dynamic was static load breaking strength divided by 8. But check for yourself as I'm getting old and suffer from brain clutter. The info is there, I just have to move a few boxes and sort through decades of amazing experiences.

Don't skimp on the rope or anchorages. You are going to be at the bottom of this penstock. A 4" by 20' stick of ABS filled with water is about 500 lbs. 2" x 50' length of lay-flat filled is about 70 lbs. Don't count on outrunning it.
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On the trompe. The air chamber must be air tight with the output at the top. Keep in mind that this chamber is under pressure so it has to have a high enough burst strength plus some safety margin.

And although I don't dive or have any experience diving, I think a reserve tank would be a good idea.

I have not built a trompe and I'd bet very few people world-wide have. The principle is so simple; kind of a "why didn't I think of that" thingy.

Have fun and once you start the install, treat us to some photos.

eric

  
Coeur_D_Alene
06:34:35 Fri
Jan 31 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

OTE; Well I am glad you took the time to tell me how Not to get Impaled with my pipe, for sure the anchorages will have to be installed for a safety reason mostly mine but if there were a USFS team taking notes when all hell broke loose It would make me look like king of "sedimentation" for sure. So if you seen the spunstrand videos? a fella could put metal hooks on the connection points and half way point of each pipe by fiber-glassing them in like how they connect the pipe, thereby giving a fella a lot of rope to rock or tree hooks on the pipe. Fortunately the steep little stream is surrounded by forest and big boulders, no need to dig trenches for deadmen. I also will be opening valves very slow, letting the pipe take the load and opening the venturi end in the same manor and of course I think closing from the top would be better than the bottom. A hose section near the top would have a clamp style pinch to shut it down lever. open slow close slow. About the tromp I'm thinking it could be done easily. I could steal 12 inch pipe full from the steam and the stream would still have twice that running past my intake. probably look like a wooden flume with a "U" in it, a tapped valve in the top side of the bottom part of the "U" in an air catch chamber, that much water mixed with a healthy mix of air and a column of almost equal height as the intake should cause a lot of pressure, and if the air tubes going into the intake take in more air than a fella breaths I would think problem solved.

  
Rod_Seiad
16:55:21 Fri
Jan 31 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

Eric,

You could use some more deep thought before consulting on a 200' head. The calculations are in print and easily obtained. 4"X20' water column weighs 500 lbs?

Your example of a pump pushing pressure into a layflat is an example of not understanding the effects of siphon.

Coeur,

Flex pipe works in a pressure installation. Problem is where does the siphon convert to a penstock. It's a math exercise. The use of a single sized 4" gravity flow water line will create a super siphon near the top that will lower bottom pressure and worse, because it will lower the volume. There's more than friction at work inside the pipe, atmospheric pressure will squeeze the siphon section into a restriction unless you oversize the upper portion.

This topic can run on for pages and pages of customized installation steps. The high head and volume will do a lot of work for you.


  
overtheedge
19:47:15 Fri
Jan 31 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

Rod
You are right. Re-figured and it came up at 108 pounds for 4" x 20'. So re-did the 2" x 50' and got 27 pounds. I must have suffered a brain fart or something. I should have noticed the wrong weight figures after spending almost a decade of laying and recovering miles of 1.5" wajax on the fire-line.
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I'm not gonna argue with you about siphons versus penstocks. I've installed and used each one or more (a few) times. That is why I recommended a couple of sticks of 4" ABS topside to prevent siphon action.

Once in a blue moon, we (wildland fire crew) installed and used a gravity sock to charge a 1.5" wajax line. Installed correctly, it works fine.

Doesn't atmospheric pressure push water into the pipe or hose? Isn't water basically incompressible? Then doesn't the addition of head add to the internal pressure of the hose?

Admittedly. I am not an expert, so it is time for me to withdraw. You obviously understand these applications of hydraulic principles far better than I. Please carry on.

eric

  
Rod_Seiad
21:04:40 Fri
Jan 31 2014

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Re: Water Hammer Compressor

Eric,

You're right, time is better spent closely estimating the ballpark range of numbers rather than nailing it down to a gnat's azz.

We normally forget to calculate atmospheric pressure. Water seeks it's own level even in a vacuum. Gravity rules on most easy water projects.

No we can't compress water. We can pressurize it. And then we can use it's very heavy weight and viscosity to to amp up the equal and opposite reaction we use for work at the emitter.

I've always been dismayed when I notice that I use 6.5 horsepower to get only 30 psi at high enough volume to dredge 8' deep in the river. If I could achieve 70 psi with same volume then I could transfer 4 times the pay material.

Gravity flow water system for mining, if built correctly, will outwork petrol when calculated for $ cost efficiency. Convert it to electricity and well....you get the picture.

Any miner who can harness water power to mine, has made a very good choice.





[1 edits; Last edit by Rod_Seiad at 21:08:11 Fri Jan 31 2014]

  

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