This water pump is definitely in beta stage. All the components work, but the design is highly inefficient and requires considerable wind to pump water out of our pond. In the video below I act out the part of a gale to give you a visual of how the pump works. The last step in this instructable will discuss the bugs in the current design and how they can be improved for a more efficient use of wind power.
SEE FINAL STEP FOR A COMPLETE RE-DESIGN AND VIDEO OF WORKING PUMP.
Step 1: Wheels and Gears
I'm also not sure what the best order is for putting this wind pump together, so I'll just rattle off what I did.
1. Added small bolts into every other hole in one of the "gears." For the top (horizontal) gear I used shorter bolts; longer ones for the vertical one. I left the top bolts as is and put nylon spacers over the vertical gear "teeth," securing them with Teflon tape.
2. Attached the horizontal gear to the axle of a mountain bicycle wheel.
3. Attached a second bicycle wheel rim to the first using three metal brackets (mine ended up shorter than shown in this picture due to a change in plans).
4. Found a way to secure a 1" PVC tee to the top of a tripod.
5. Installed the bicycle wheel contraption into the top of the PVC tee. I used a couple wooden circular pieces drilled out of a piece of 1x2. The hole in the center of the wooden pieces held the axle rod firmly in place. I used a couple odd pieces as spacers to elevate the horizontal gear to the spot where it would catch the vertical gear.
6. Installed the vertical gear into the horizontal part of the PVC. The gear must sit on a ball bearing so it can rotate freely. I used part of an axle that had a bearing inside. Use whatever you can find to "stuff" the gear into place and keep it from wobbling.
I had to do a lot of shimming and shaving to get things to fit. I shimmed with toilet paper cardboard and shaved with a dremmel or sandpaper. You do what you gotta do.
Step 2: Making the Wind Foils
I don't know what this plastic is called. I was using it as a light diffuser in photography, as it's semi-opaque and lightweight. Hopefully someone will know what it's called and where to buy it.
For the foils, I divided what I had into five. I wanted the largest possible foils, given what I had to work with. Then I bought a silk scarf at a thrift store and cut that into five (a little bigger than the foils).
I sanded the dull side of the plastic and painted it with polyurethane for adhesive (because that's what I had on hand).
After gluing the silk to the plastic sheets, I trimmed off the excess silk and punched holes for the spokes that would hold them to the bicycle wheel rims.
Step 3: Installing the Wind Foils
Step 4: The Wind-Pump Connector
Step 5: PVC Water Pump
And here also is the video of how I put it together.
Step 6: Assembling the Wind-Powered Water Pump
The project is complete. It really is a thing of beauty...
Step 7: Bug Report
1. Use a sturdier tripod.
2. Use a bicycle rim that isn't warped. The bottom rim in this project is badly bent from some bike accident, and the motion it makes wastes wind energy.
3. Use tin or PVC for the wind foils and attach them directly to the bicycle wheel rims. My deer deterrent has smaller foils, but they are more efficient than the ones on this water pump system. A lot of wind energy is lost with the shaking of the bicycle spokes.
4. Use a heavier rod driven into the ground to hold the water pump. Or install the whole thing onto a 4x4 post to eliminate unwanted movement (again, like my deer deterrent).
5. Make all parts as light as possible--especially the connecting arm between the gear and the pump piston. The more weight the gear has to lift, the more wind will be required to lift it.
6. Find a better solution for the gasket part of the piston. The harder it is to push and pull the piston, the more wind energy is needed to pump water. I used 3M oil to lubricate the rubber part of the plunger, but I think mine isn't as efficient as it could be.
Any solutions to the above would be appreciated.
Step 8: WORKING water pump from bicycle parts
Let's see if I can list them:
* Substituted a single hollow metal pipe for the backbone of the entire wind turbine/pump system (was a tripod before).
* Lowered the valve system to the ground so the pump wouldn't have to raise the water as far.
* Removed the nylon tip from the outlet end to reduce pressure requirement.
* Changed out the PVC piston for a bicycle shock (after removing the spring and sawing off the tip).
* Changed out the PVC arm for the inner part of a bicycle shock.
* Inserted CDs at a 45 degree angle into the top bicycle rim (not sure this had much effect)
* Reduced wind drag on the sails by unhooking the lower part of each sail from the bottom spoke while leaving the spoke in place to hold the sail in "attack mode" yet allow it to swing out of the way in "drag mode." This was the SINGLE MOST EFFECTIVE change to the wind pump!
Thank you everyone for you input!