Introduction: Trompe and Airlift Pump Model for Schools

The trompe is an old technology to compress air. The compressed air was used for all sorts of things, to blow air into forges, to run pneumatic machinery in mines and to build alpine tunnels and to aerate mines too. It was used from the 15th century to the 19th century in Europe and North America. Then with the invention of hydro-electricity, the trompe became obsolete. Water wheels to drive flour mills still survived. They had been used for over 2000 years! The initial cost of hydro-electricity on small sites was too much for the small amount of electricity they produced and the cost of connecting them to the grid. But then in the mid 20 th century, they also became obsolete because electricity (now coal fired too) became so cheap and reliable that it out competed them. So now we are left with millions of unused water power sites that have substantial amounts of power but which cost too much money to develop. My suggestion is to give trompes a try instead. They are super simple to make and to operate and they could be integrated with hydroponic or aquaponic growing systems pretty easily. A "pneumatic grid" can easily be made to distribute the pressurized air to things that need it.

Step 1: Take a 2 Liter Pop Bottle...........

This model is really simple, It is just a pop bottle with some pipes and tubes connected to it. In mine there is a fairly rigid 3/8 inch down pipe about 20 inches long stuck through a hole near the bottom of the pop bottle. About 4 holes closer to the bottom and the pop bottle has gravel in the bottom too. This is to keep the bottom down as the bottle fills with air.