2005-06 SENIOR DESIGN PROJECTS

Hydraulic Ram Pump

Brian Mathews, Nathanael Van Ee, and Elizabeth Van Haaften

The availability and transportability of water is essential for communities in developing areas of the world. In such regions, utilities such as electricity or natural gas are often not available and are sometimes unreliable. In such remote regions, the use of a hydraulic ram pump could enable the pumping of water without the use of an electric motor or other engine. A hydraulic ram pump allows the user to transport water to a higher elevation, using only the energy stored in the water reservoir. This relatively simple mechanical device utilizes the physical phenomena of “water hammer”, initiated by the rapid closure of a valve, to gradually lift the water to a higher elevation. The student team designed and built a working hydraulic ram pump prototype that was appropriate for a developing region of the world.

See the Hydraulic ram Pump in action (7.7 MB Windows Media File)

Testing the project. Closeup of the pump in action.
Group with their project. The complete Hydraulic Ram Pump system.