A Garden Swing Powered Water Pump





Introduction: A Garden Swing Powered Water Pump

Pump water using a regular garden swing.

This is a first proof of concept and it's a scale model; there's lots of room for improvement... pumping around 3 liters a minute at the moment.

For details of how to build this and to see more videos, see this Instructable... the link is to a construction diary, step 10 - build a swing from bamboo - the earlier steps describe how to build the pump.

Download the videos

Would you like a shower?

Kids playing... 1

Kids playing... 2

Rob Rushworth
Aziza's Place




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    caliber of information that you're offering is merely wonderful.
    href="http://www.clearwaterarizona.com">Clear Water

    Very very cool, This would be awesome in so many places. I have also heard about a Playground style merry-go-round pump for 3rd world countries.

    I went to India and saw tons of pumps on the streets and of course I had to try it out, They are quite labor intensive, and I was probably double the size of most of the kids there pumping, but if kids could have fun, or people could relax while doing it that would be great .

    we need these kinds of awesome inventions more.

    Thanks, crashaire.

    We're trying to keep away from associating with the merry-go-round pump idea, and are not going to be placing this in school playgrounds, nor expecting kids to do the work.
    Their project failed for various reasons... areas we will be keeping well away from or watching very carefully - lessons learned!

    If kids want to use the swing for a bit of fun, then maybe we can fit an intermittent shower/fountain for them to play with on the hotter days, but this pump is primarily aimed at making mom and dad's life a good deal easier in fetching water home from a communal pond (and possibly a dug well).

    this is awesome! I saw something similar at Maker Faire in Detroit. It was the perfect this on a warm day!

    Morning, zazenergy. Thanks!

    Since I started this, I've found 2 swingsets that are used to do work.

    One is the guy from Maker Faire, he generates electricity with his swingset. It's much more heavily engineered than ours, and I'm not sure it would be possible to build it in rural locations here.

    Another is a guy in Africa. His swingset pumps water, but does it in a different way. Again, it's fairly heavy engineering that's shipped in to rural communities.

    Ours was made with simplicity of build and availability of materials in mind such that a rural community could build one, with anyone basically mechanically minded that has access to a small parts market being able to put it together in a week or two.
    Our total cost so far is a lot less than $100, and would have been cheaper without the inevitable development of the idea.
    I'll be putting together a costing and parts list when we make the full Instructable for the swing, which will be after a little more research and development.

    ...and here's another one mentioned in The Times of India in 2009 - no details or pictures of the pump, though...


    *edit, found some pictures - same idea, but not the same pump - hopefully ours will look as good when it's all finished!




    Why are they wasting all that water?

    There's no water shortage here at the moment, gonzalezchica - in fact an awful lot of the region is flooded.
    There are 2 seasons here, the wet and the dry.
    In the 4 or 5 month wet season an incredible amount of rain falls here, but for the rest of the year there's almost no rain at all. Water captured and stored during the wet season in ponds and lakes is used for the rest of the year by rural communities... this pump is designed to make small scale management and transportation of that water resource much easier.
    This pump is a scale model, but I've heard rumour that coil and spiral pumps can pump water up to a mile away from source - if we can get a full sized version up and running, we'd like to test that rumour out, ala "Mythbusters".