Instructables

Step 7: Bug Report

Picture of Bug Report
The biggest problem with this wind-powered water pump design is that every single part of the assembly is a bit wobbly, and all the wobble eats up a lot of the wind energy that should instead go into pumping water. To solve this problem in the next version, I would:
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.
 
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