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I'm throwing this out there for discussion, spawned by a recent blog, but something on my mind since first being interested in AP.  NO PUMPS. Can it happen, and how?

Why? Well, 'cause if we didn't need pumps or electricity we probably wouldn't use them, and AP might truly join the ranks as a sustainable food production method, and applicable to feeding the poor, saving the world, yada yada...and at the heart of it all, I'm cheap and lazy. I find personal victory in reaching the end goal faster, smarter, easier, cheaper than "how it normally done".

The only thing that comes to mind is a wicking bed of some sort. And I need to consult my book of wild ideas before I open my mouth.

Now I won't be a stickler about including some pumps using waste energy, or some low-tech mechanics, or human power, but try to avoid solar PV and windmill electricity (not that they are not excellent, but they are being done and discussed elsewhere).

link to blog: http://community.theaquaponicsource.com/profiles/blogs/a-no-pump-sy...

Pics, sketches, links, etc are always nice. Happy brainstorming.

Jon

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One either understands a) gravity, b) a simple turbine, and c) Archimedes screw (or pipe) or they don't understand.

 

The most assistance I will offer is this:

 

1) Visualize a small turbine at the bottom end of the screw spun by the water falling on to it.  Can you see the water now spinning upward within the screw or pipe to the grow bed?

2) Visualize wiring the turbine to capture additional energy.  Or, visualize added turbines stacked within the downward fall or water at the two possible sites> capture more energy. (This of course is an added bonus, but not necessary.  Rechargeable battery packs easily plugged in/removed when full could be useful.)

3) Google terms and devices you have trouble visualizing.

 

Lastly, as a thank you for whatever genius you will credit me, please provide me a completed set up with specs scaled to my desired system size. 

 

:)

Okay, I will add two more pieces of assistance:

1)  Don't forget the energy is there; the question is how to capture and harness it.  The gravitational force and flow is energy. The turbine captures it. The screw re-directs the water.

2) I really like the idea of a copper Archimedes pipe.  a) it is easy enough to find copper coil and to bend it (I like the freeze technique) to the desired form and b) I like the patina copper develops.  It could really be visually stunning and interesting and a great way to demonstrate to kids simple physics.  :)

 

*cracks the whip*

Okay...now visualize the strangely stunning spectacle of all of your fish  gasping at the surface, swimming erratically...eyes frozen wide in disorientated twitching horror as they succumb to copper toxicity...

KlaHaYa Gardens said:

2) I really like the idea of a copper Archimedes pipe.  a) it is easy enough to find copper coil and to bend it (I like the freeze technique) to the desired form and b) I like the patina copper develops.  It could really be visually stunning and interesting and a great way to demonstrate to kids simple physics. 

 

*cracks the whip*

Uh, nice visual there, Vlad...

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Okay...now visualize the strangely stunning spectacle of all of your fish  gasping at the surface, swimming erratically...eyes frozen wide in disorientated twitching horror as they succumb to copper toxicity...

KlaHaYa Gardens said:

2) I really like the idea of a copper Archimedes pipe.  a) it is easy enough to find copper coil and to bend it (I like the freeze technique) to the desired form and b) I like the patina copper develops.  It could really be visually stunning and interesting and a great way to demonstrate to kids simple physics. 

 

*cracks the whip*

Hey!  No dissin' on the copper beauty!  Work with it, man!  Beauty of copper patina--well worth accommodations. Rubber fish are fine! :p

 

*cracks whip*

 

(Psst. Copper outer does not dictate copper inner.  Perty can happen!)

I'm definitely not dissin'. Copper certainly is a beautiful material (as is most any metal, wood, or stone really). I happen to live down the road from the oldest copper mine in Europe [at least 5,500B.C] and have quite an affinity for this fascinating material. The discovery of which probably changed the coarse of human history and human technological advancement more so than any other material...until perhaps quite "relatively" recent times. But, copper was the game changing 'spark' that got the process really rolling...Anyways...

Just sayin'...it might be wise (or at least very prudent) for your lacky to distress the copper first, before putting it to use in the AP system. 

Vlad,

In all seriousness, the type of material used for the screw can vary, of course.  Creating the screw, a functional small scale test model is more important.  Stainless screw, plastic (yikes, and ugly, and would probably work better as a screw than a pipe), copper tube treated or lined or with a charcoal filter post tube/pre plants--this is almost secondary to creating the mechanics given that this isn't something one would buy in a store.

My point about copper is really more directed at this bothersome observation and question: "Why are so many folks creating ugly systems?"  Really, plants, fish, containers...these can all be gorgeous creations of many shapes, sizes, materials for various environments.

 

My challenge: engage the brain. get off traditional (electric) energy sources. make it perty!

PS, Vlad, feel free to be a (my) lackey. ;)

Well, there are some folks building and designing with at least a modicum of aesthetics taken into consideration. Certainly not what I imagine that you are proposing...but still.

I suppose that to a degree it's because AP is still in 'it's infancy'(or perhaps more akin to approaching puberty) as an 'industry', that and most "tinkerers" have been more preoccupied with functionality as opposed to aesthetics. I think that up until now, probably the wives (and/or HOA's) of those tinkerers have been the driving force behind much of the aesthetics exhibited thus far. (Even then it seems more an afterthought rather than a part of any integrated, holistic design principles...i.e people simply using wood paneling to cover up plastic tubs and the like...not that I'm knocking any of those systems or anything. Heck, my GH system is aesthetically akin to an industrial accident. But then the point was for it to be highly productive and adaptable to some of my "research" curiousities, not perty)...

Interesting challenge to be sure. Hopefully their will be some takers...

Thanks for the offer, but I'm all whored out at the moment

I completely agree, have considered the points you mentioned.  Function, then form.  ;)

I have seen some ideas that are inspiring and make evident...phone rings, thought is lost...*flop*

 

Well, anyway, so much for you being my whore lackey.

The old perpetual motion discussion is coming to mind here. LOSSES, man losses. You will never win this battle. A good flowing stream beats all else as far as tapping a free source of power. Wind and sun have been a total bust here in the mountains this summer but our stream has been pounding out a delightful tune 24/7. Now if only I had the time to pursue tapping into it. Someday soon I hope. It is on the list and mini turbines are getting very cheap on Ebay.

???

Jim Fisk,

You are over thinking...

Flowing stream = water from the growing bed and water from the fish bin.  Gravity.

Turbine. Forget buying one.  MAKE one.  VERY simple.  *resorts to silly language*  Fan blade thingy dingy to receive the striking water. Fan blade thingy dingy connected to a rubber band type thingy dingy to turn the Archimedes screw thingy dingy--you'll need a sprocket/winch thingy dingy.

 

Tap the damn energy within this closed system. 

 

MAKE your parts.  Don't buy them.

 

Impress me.  Send part pics.  No, I don't want to see any thingy dingys, just beautiful engineering.  ;)

Wow, several replies to build the better mouse trap. Perhaps you could place the fish tank and grow bed on a pendulum. Have the fish tank gravity feed to the grow bed. as the grow bed's weight increases it will lower. Once full, a tack will poke a mule in the rear, which is harnessed to a pulley system to raise the bed higher than the fish tank, thus returning the water to tank. Your welcome.

[warning, post may contain incoherence and unpredictable snark]

http://xkcd.com/1166/ Heheheheh. Anyway, I think if you look back in the thread you'll see that permaculture solved this problem years ago. Use a lake/pond. Seriously. Scaling down an ecosystem is extraordinarily complex. The fact that aquaponics itself works at all, and beautifully I might add, is an amazing achievement of modern science. This kind of science gets me all emotional in fact*...I'm such a nerd.  Anyway, one guy proved you can do it without a pump, but you need to stand there all day and move the water yourself!  He also had the most annoying white savior attitude ever, but whatever. In any case, you could use a Archimedes' Screw  in theory, but it'd be horribly inefficient compared to something designed to that job, such as, um, a water pump. In theory, you could use wind power, water power, or another kinetic energy source to do work--displacing water at a higher elevation, but that seems awfully hit and miss. Anyway, it's not that much electricity, so you really don't need to worry all that much. Aquaponics is more than carbon-dioxide neutral, chill. Ha, get it? No, bad joke, uh, bye... 

*That's what happens when you watch too much Cosmos, by Carl Sagan. I swear, he's like a drug or something. 

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