Saturday, November 24, 2012

DIY Wind-Powered Water Pump Built of Used Bike Components

As a do it yourself project we are building a water pump that uses wind power to work. The best part of it is that you do not need to buy any components, cause you can get them from your used, worn out bike. Also you should test the device yourself for optimal results. It will not work perfectly from the moment you installed it, give it some time, and think of how you may improve the structure and make it more efficient.

Step number 1 is about the used components, and setting up such a water pump. Also if you don' have a used bike, you can easily get the components from an old bicycle dumpster.

- now first of all you have to put some bolts into the holes you can find on the gears. Use short bolts for the horizontal gear, that is on the top, and longer bolts for the vertical gear. You can also add some spacers made out of nylon over the teeth of the vertical gear and be sure to secure them with Teflon tape,
- the horizontal gear has to be attached on the axle of the mountain bike wheel,
- by using three metal brackets attach a rim from the second bike wheel,
- you can also put a tee made out of PVC and with measurements of 1 inch on the top part of your tripod,
- the contraption from the bike wheel has to be fixed on the PVC tee that lays on top of the device,
- take a wood piece of 1x2 and drill out some pieces from it. The hole formed in the middle of the wooden pieces will hold the axle rod nicely in its place. Also if the vertical gear does not connect with the horizontal one, than you can add some spacers to elevate the horizontal gear.
- the vertical gear has to be fixed into the horizontal part of the PVC structure, and also you have to put the gear on a ball, so it can move and rotate freely. Here you can also use an axle that still has bearing on the inside. Take care of the gear so it will stay firmly in its place and use anything you can find to stuff around it so it will not move in unwanted directions. For this you can use the cardboard from toilet paper for example.

Step number 2 is designing and putting together the wind foils. The wind foils have to be big enough, so they can catch the wind power properly, but also you should think about the weight, they have to be light enough, so the whole device will work flawlessly. Tin is a good material, but watch out for your hands, or you might get cut. You can use silk for building the foils and you can also coat them with polyurethane. Do not look for aesthetics here, make it work, also you can use some plastic to make this structure more steady. The used plastic is the same one that they use as a light diffuser in photography.
The foils should be large, so first of all, the dull side of the plastic has to be sanded and you can use polyurethane as an adhesive. The silk has to be glued to the plastic, and after that you can cut out the silk that is in excess, and drill some holes. These holes are for the spokes that will hold the foils to the rims.

Step 3 tells us how to install the wind foils. The holes that you drill have to be wide enough so the bike spoke will get through them easily, both in the rim and the bike wheel as well. You have to start from the inside of the rim with the spokes and use some epoxy used by plumbers to secure them in their place. Also you can fix them with spoke nuts at the ends so the foils will not be falling off, once you start your device.

Step 4 tells us about the wind pump collector and how it should be made. One of the most important parts of this component is the bearing. This attaches the water pump and the windmill and makes it possible to transfer the horizontal force from the wind and translate it into up and down movement in the water pump. One bearing, a small red ball, is attached to a gear tooth on the backside of the vertical gear mechanism. The other bearing is attached to the piston of the water pump. The rod that connects this two devices together can be a PVC one.

Step 5 tells us how to build the PVC water pump. You can get the picture from the drawing above, or the embedded video, on how it really works.

At step 6 we are talking of how to assemble the wind powered water pump. First of all take a metal rod and with the use of a hammer put it in the ground. Than you take the outer part of the pump and with two screws connect it to the rod. For the windmill part has to be placed right over the pump, you have to set up the connection arm, so it can reach high enough and also contract without braking, buckling or folding. The connecting arm has to be placed on the two red ball bearings, the first one goes on the horizontal gear, the second one on the pump piston.

Step 7 is about debugging the water pump. Now it is all together, and it might even work, but you should check on the mechanism, is it really working properly. By using the above mentioned components, the water pump might loose a lot of wind power by the components moving in unwanted directions at their connection points. These problems can be eliminated if you:

- use a real steady tripod,
- the used bicycle rim has to be intact, else ways the whole structure will loose a lot of energy,
- by using PVC or tin, you can attach the wind foils directly onto the bicycle rim and save some more of the wasted wind power, which is lost by the way when the bike spokes begin to shake.
- the rod plunged into the ground has to be a steady one and a thick one. Use a 4x4 post to get rid of the unwanted movement,
Also you can make some improvements, as you may think, by using a single metal pipe, instead of a tripod. This is the backbone of the entire structure, so use proper material.
You can put the valve system on ground level, so the pump will easily raise the water, without having to pump it up high.


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