Powerless pump pushes water uphill

Otago Polytechnic bachelor of engineering technology student Pat Wall adjusts his hydraulic ram water pump. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Otago Polytechnic bachelor of engineering technology student Pat Wall adjusts his hydraulic ram water pump. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
The laws of gravity dictate water flows downhill, but Otago Polytechnic student Pat Wall's self-built hydraulic ram water pump defies those laws.

The pump can move water uphill without any electricity, by using flowing water to develop pressure that can push water to a point higher than where it originally started.

The bachelor of engineering technology (power/electrical) student said the pump could move 1500 litres-2000 litres of water a day, up to 8m up a hill.

''It's a small trickle coming through.

''But in terms of the use of energy, it's fantastic because you're not paying for any electricity. It's free,'' Mr Wall said.

He planned to use the hydraulic ram pump on his remote West Coast property, to move water from a stream to his garden, which was situated on hilly ground.

His pump was one of many mechanical, electrical and civil engineering projects on display at the Otago Polytechnic Future Engineers' Showcase yesterday.

The display aims to show the public that Otago Polytechnic engineering students are well-equipped to address real-world engineering challenges.

Other projects included a safety circuit designed to eliminate the risk of electrical oven fires, a 55m wind tower and a solar air heating system.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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