Best way to lift a liquid using heat? (SImple pump designs) Answered
I'm overhauling the design of my solar concentrator and now need a good way of lifting a fluid, so as to pour it into a waterwheel and provide rotation.
I have a little solar concentrator and boiler to generate heat or steam. What's the best configuration to give as high a rate of flow as possible? I'm hoping for something in the range of 500 ml per minute, rising about 30 cm.
I've briefly played around with the attached setup, which is a very basic bubble or airlift pump, The black is my wheel, the blue a reservoir for the fluid (ethanol), the white is the boiler putting out steam (ethanol vapour) and the light blue is a mix of the liquid and bubbles of vapour which rise up the pipe and re-enter the wheel.
It actually works ok, but even optimally only gives a third the rate I'm after.
If necessary I can grab some valves from old bike innertubes, or other basic materials if they'll help.
My previous design was to have the bubbles of steam going directly into the wheel, which was filled with ethanol. This works but requires heating 3 litres of ethanol to just under boiling. Not impossible but a bit of a hassle. I'm hoping lifting a liquid instead will be a bit easier.