The Hydraulic Ram and Its Uses

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Today in Australia we are facing water shortages, and so the need to conserve our supplies has become an imperative. Moving water from one place to another is more important now than ever, and there are a variety of methods available to do so. One of the most common that you may have heard of is the hydraulic ram. This is a pump that doesn’t require any kind of external source of power to operate beyond gravity, the force behind hydropower, which in this case is the energy generated by low head water pressure to move water from a lower height to a greater one. The water enters at one ‘hydraulic head’ (the pressure level) and the pressure lifts it to a destination at a higher elevation than its source.

This amazing effect is particularly useful in situations like a remote station where power sources aren’t readily available to run electric pumps. All you need for a hydraulic ram is the kinetic energy of running water. Despite its few moving parts, there will still be times when hydraulic ram repair becomes necessary, and there are dependable repair services available to keep your water pumping when you need it most.

The many advantages of this system are:

  • No need for an electric or fossil fuel power source.
  • Very affordable price.
  • Ease of installation.
  • A simple design with only two moving parts, a spring or weight-loaded “waste” valve called the “clack” valve and a “delivery” check valve.
  • A ‘green’ solution that is pollution free.
  • Works quietly, pumping with little or no noise over long periods of time.
  • Very low maintenance.
  • The pump is fully automatic as long as it has a water supply.
  • The hydraulic ram has been known to operate non-stop reliably for many years at a time.
  • Highly efficient, typical energy efficiency is 60%, but up to 80% is often possible.

Some of the very few disadvantages are:

  • There needs to be a continuous water source at a minimum height of one meter.
  • Thick, viscous fluids will not work, the system runs on water alone and is usually intended for moving potable drinking water.
  • The pump may be damaged by winter freezing or lack of air in the pressure vessel causing excess stress, problems that may require welding and replacement parts.

So, if you need to move water in remote locations it would be highly recommended to look into solutions that utilise hydraulic rams.

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