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Bucket-Wheel Water Pump

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Captain_JEK's Avatar Captain_JEK
Level 87 : Elite Deity


this is a "water pump" I built for Wellandel Studios.
It is used to transport water from a river to nearby wheat fields.

How the water transportation works:

Water is first transported in buckets attached to a belt upwards. At the top they are emptied the same way buckets of a bucket wheel excavator are emptied.
The water falls into a funnel which is halfway built inside the top wheel. It has to be inside the wheel to catch all of the water pouring out of the buckets when they tip. That also is the reason why the top wheel only has a one sided suspension unlike the bottom wheel.
Connected to the funnel inside the top wheel is a channel that transfers water to water tanks. Water is only filled into the first of the six tanks because each tank is connected to a tank next to it. Therefore the water fills the tanks one after the other.
Another advantage of this design is that you only need one "faucet" which is built into the last tank.

A few words to the structural engineering:

The lower wheel has a bothsided suspension. Each side has an inclined boom that holds the wheel as well as a hydraulic arm used to raise or lower the wheel to remain the necessary tension in the bucket belt. This tension is needed so that the belt sticks to the wheels and doesn't just slip over them. As a little reminder: the side with water filled buckets is heavier than the side with empty buckets.
The upper wheel has an only one sided suspension because on the other side has to be a funnel inside the wheel to collect downfalling water.
This incident made it necessary to make the top wheel more sturdy on the one side where it is connected to its only suspension.
Furthermore the suspension itself has to be a lot more sturdy than the one of the lower wheel because it is applied with a one-sided load.
The two booms form an A shape to direct forces straight into the ground.
The footings of each boom sit horizontally on the ground because the load is applied straight onto them. They only have to withstand vertical forces.
This is not the case for the footings of the lower suspension. They have to withstand horizontal forces and a torque generated by the horizontal and vertical forces. That is because both the boom that holds the wheel and the hydraulic arm act as levers. Plus the load is applied off-centered.
Therefore the design of the lower wheel's footings has to be different. They have to have a heavy rear end (front points to the wheel) to balance out the wheel's downwards directed force.

To make sure that the footings of the upper wheel's suspension only have vertical load applied there is a horizontal bar between the two 45° booms.

The water channel transferring water from the funnel at the top wheel to the tanks doesn't have a big inclination and also is not very heavy. Therefore it only needs these small poles to hold it up as almost only vertical forces are applied to it (from its own weight and the water flowing through it).

More technical details:

The bucket belt is pulled up by the upper wheel. It is the only wheel that is actively turned. The lower wheel is spinning passively.
Power for turning the upper wheel comes from a directly attached hybrid electric-combustion engine. I simply wanted both an exhaust pipe and an electric cable connected to the motor.
Fun fact: carbon (as graphite) is a good electrical conductor. So I built the power cable with coal blocks.
The lantern rope between the water channel poles is not without purpose: it is an indicator for airship pilots that they cannot fly through there. From far away you may see the thin poles and the small water channel only with difficulty (unlike the giant structure that holds up the top wheel) and may think that there is free space to fly through. That's why there are the lanterns.

Operated is this whole water pumping station from a small operating platform at the bottom so that the operator always has a good view on how much water is extracted and if the hydraulic arms are functioning.


If you are interested in the Wellandel Project here is the link:
Progress100% complete

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08/02/2018 5:27 pm
Level 46 : Master Musician
CVerse's Avatar
This looks really cool
08/02/2018 6:56 pm
Level 87 : Elite Deity
Captain_JEK's Avatar
Thank you very much!
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