The design and testing of a secure surface tension driven water pump

Fraser, J. ; Dobson, Robert Thomas (2015)


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Water pumping is essential for life as we know it. The drive for alternative energies together with the need for water pumping has inspired the construction of a surface tension driven water pump (STDWP). The goal of this study was to construct and test a passive water pump inspired by tree water transport mechanisms. Here various experimental tests were done to determine the STDWP’s performance and behaviour under various environmental conditions and pumping heads. Theoretical mass transfer relations were used to model the evaporative rate from the “leaf” surface and compared to the experimentally measured results. It was found that the developed pump could pump water at a rate of nearly 400 mL/hr.m2, reaching pumping heads of 1.8 m, with a maximum functional lifespan of 13 days. The STDWP’s water collection efficiency was found to be 98% on average. The mechanistic causes of pump failure are addressed with recommendations for the STDWP improvement.

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