The low pressure backyard pneumatic grid project! Make your own.

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by gaiatechnician, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. gaiatechnician

    gaiatechnician Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have been using a low pressure pneumatic grid to water plants in my "pallet gardens" since August 2012 The air is provided by 2 aquarium bubble pumps and it runs up to 9 pallet gardens. It uses less than 10 watts. Water nutrients oxygen and heat are pumped round the system (usually from a 5 gallon bucket) to the plants and then it drips back into the bucket again. It is continuous or on a timer. It used to need about 1 psi to run it but I have since lowered that to a head of about 18 inches of water. (about 2/3 of a psi). I used t-joint airlift pumps at the start but now I use "airlift in a bucket" instead. Buckets are about 14 inches high and the airlift pump goes into the bucket. If you want to do this without electricity, a pulser pump can provide the air from a little stream. You probably need about 200 lpm water flow in your stream and about half meter head and this would probably give you enough air for about 30 pallet gardens. I am working on a wind powered air compressor too but it will take a while. The goal is to make the grid very low tech and very cheap. The grid air lines are provided with ordinary inexpensive irrigation line that comes on a roll. My grid is about 100 ft long. The reason for trying to integrate different energy options is so that you can balance the production with consumption with minimal energy storage. The hope eventually is to have the grid linked person to person to person. I have done rough demo's of aquaponic ebb and flow using the air too. Brian White [video=youtube;8pI31ZwEL40]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pI31ZwEL40&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PL00C41C26C91A76BB[/video] And here is a link for the pallet garden part of the project https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8poa9rQepc&list=PL00C41C26C91A76BB
     
  2. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,785
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    gardening, reading, etc
    Location:
    near St. Charles, MI, USoA
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    -15C-35C, 10cm rain/mo, clay, full sun, K-G Dfa=x=Dfb
    very interesting idea. do you have pictures up some place instead of video?

    i am curious as to why you wouldn't just use gravity feed if you have a stream with that much fall then you've got all the water you need or a roof tank feeding the drip irrigation? but then i'm not into aquaponics and i'm thinking that is what you mean by pallet gardens. :)
     
  3. gaiatechnician

    gaiatechnician Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't have a stream with a half meter fall right now, that was just for people who had a stream. . In any case, a half meter fall is tiny and most streams are in a stream bed that is usually at least 1 meter below the ground level, hence unusable for gravity feed. I don't have a roof tank. Thanks Brian Some pics at https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/101745701783888611061/albums/5847462242228501649 and on my facebook.
     
  4. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Nice work! Simple, yet very effective.
     
  5. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The goal is to make the grid very low tech and very cheap.
    The reason for trying to integrate different energy options is so that you can balance the production with consumption with minimal energy storage.

    This always fascinates me. Great functional, worthwhile stuff to focus on :)
    I have a creek that absolutely rages when in flood, but doesn't run all year round. If I could find a cheap, effective, & environmentally harmless way to store the energy I'd be very happy.
    Great system you've designed there :)

     
  6. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks!
     
  7. gaiatechnician

    gaiatechnician Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This year I was too busy at work to do much at the grid. I did manage to test some air pumps so that it can now work direct from a solar panel. (without a battery). I trialed 3 different ones. 2 small brushless ones and a big and a small brushed mini air pump. The most reliable were the brushless ones. Anyway, the brush ones were more powerful but I had one running too fast and it burnt its diaphragm chamber. The big one seems not to function now and don't know why. The video shows a little brushless one with a speed control knob. Attached to a 15 watt solar panel. One of my next plans is to make a "universal diaphragm air pump" that will work to compress air from either water wind or solar power as the pump of choice. [video=youtube;bO4UcQ4FFbY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO4UcQ4FFbY[/video]
     
  8. gaiatechnician

    gaiatechnician Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi, Helen, I think gravitational vortex will work for you. But very hard to store the energy. You might be better off using the energy directly when you have it. Brian
     

Share This Page

-->