Vortex Power Plant : Demo and Solar Panel Direct Drives Bilge Pump (No Battery!)




About: I am a stone mason. My hobby is making new solar cooking and gardening stuff. I have used solar heat to cook soil for a couple of years. In mother earth news in January, i read that their compost expert does...

Unexpected aspects of vortex power!  The water actually goes quicker through it when a turbine is added.  Who would have thought?    Originally I made this to show the integrated fish pass. 
Due to the surprises, I probably will not get that far in this version!
However,  it has been an incredibly fast learning experience!
Combines a 15 watt solar panel (No batteries HURRAH), a 12 volt bilge pump, a storage container and bicycle spokes to make a semi decent model of the thing!




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    7 Discussions

    Just a note that numerous people have now said that using a 15 Watt solar panel to directly run a 600 gph bilge pump will not damage either the panel or the pump. And the pump Will start automatically in the morning, and shut down in the evening. No batteries required! I heard it first from an electrical engineer at makerfaire and then confirmation on instructables, ideas victoria (facebook) CR4 engineering forum and from the company Trac (who make my Bilge pump)
    Thanks Brian


    6 years ago on Introduction

    The rotational speed of the water determines how steep the vortex is.
    When the water's rotational speed is greater, the depth of water in the middle of the container is lower, and the depth of water at the edge of the container is higher.
    When the water's rotational speed is lower, the water's depth in the middle of the container is higher.
    None of this should be at all surprising.
    Adding the turbine slows down the water's rotational speed, which is also not surprising.
    The side effect of the turbine decreasing the water's rotational speed is that it increases the liquid depth in the middle of the container. Still, no surprises here!
    And, of course, water drains out of the container at a rate proportional to the depth of liquid over the hole. I really hope that this does not surprise anyone.
    Thus, the fact that water drains out of the container faster when the turbine is present, than when it is absent, should also not be a surprise.
    Also, when the turbine is absent, the vortex's steepness has another effect -- since the water is more sloped, it doesn't take as much water to overflow the outer edge of the container.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Really awesome. Thanks for the captions, maybe at first you could add an advice "Turn on captions" for those as me, that can read English.

    I think the explanation for this is that the vortex, being centrifugal, obstructs the water output. When you obstruct partially the vortex, the water output increase. But it is only a guess.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Using water, so you could prob enter this in the Water Challenge.

    1 reply

    Thanks, I added the link like they said. I made another one for the makerfaire tomorrow but who knows if it will work as well as or better than the original.
    I have wasted 2 days with this obsession and now another 2 will be used up at the makerfaire.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Please do the following test: click on the red CC button of the video, and choose transcript English, you will see how I can understand your explanations.

    1 reply

    I did a transcript just for you! I didn't realize how bad the automatic transcript is.
    Sorry (but it is much better now!)
    If you make one of these models yourself, it is very interesting how the vortex flows around the "turbines". With some of them, it becomes 2 vortexes acting on either side of the turbine and builds up torque as it does so.
    I think they will work on a very small scale to turn little direct drive machines on farms. Flip your turbine to change from fast drill to heavy duty power drill!