Air Chamber

Numerous parts will get a job done, but which works best? Discuss here.
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Rich Palmisano
Posts: 34
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 18:38
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Air Chamber

Post by Rich Palmisano » 23 Aug 2018, 17:20

Since I'm one of those guys with ideas, here's one.

The Air Chamber requires a good deal of work. Holes in the uplift pipe are a given, you need to move air into the uplift pipe. The chamber made of PVC is where I have an idea. There are rubber couplers (yes they are more expensive than pipe I understand this) for PVC pipe (Fernco Couplers for example available at supply stores for aproximately $10 (US) for a 6") that have stainless pipe clamps on both ends. A fitting could be run through the side of the coupler for air input. This would eliminate the need for PVC bushings on the top and bottom, gluing and would allow for removal of the rubber coupler to inspect and clean the chamber on a routine maintenance level.

It's rubber, it will expand under pressure allowing air flow into the 1mm (3/64") air delivery holes. Just an idea...maybe one I'll test soon with my build.

Rich Palmisano
Posts: 34
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 18:38
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Re: Air Chamber

Post by Rich Palmisano » 26 Aug 2018, 01:10

https://photos.app.goo.gl/zse9mkGNpb6nr6hSA" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://photos.app.goo.gl/LxTdJRoVG8g13yfG9" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here's the concept. Need to add the air inlet. Likely a threaded barb fitting with rubber washers on both sides...

The first link also incudes a standard 3" build with a pvc chamber.

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Pssymon
Posts: 135
Joined: 11 Dec 2015, 00:12
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Air Chamber

Post by Pssymon » 27 Aug 2018, 21:26

Looks interesting! I like the airlift you already built. I realise the materials are a bit different in the United States and can be more difficult to come by in the same measurements we use. I think this is the first similar build I've seen from the USA.
Your idea could work, I like your input.
If you're going to test your findings will be much appreciated.

Rich Palmisano
Posts: 34
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 18:38
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Re: Air Chamber

Post by Rich Palmisano » 28 Aug 2018, 01:30

https://photos.app.goo.gl/frpSVzxmm2ndtnc37" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here's a video of the standard air chamber built with 3" pipe. I have a new to me 40w pump (eBay is so good) and at the level shown, approx 4" above water level I was running 10 gallons a minute (3600 gallons an hour). That's crazy! I don't need that much flow for my aquaponic system but I'll take it!

Rich Palmisano
Posts: 34
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 18:38
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Re: Air Chamber

Post by Rich Palmisano » 28 Aug 2018, 01:34

Math:
10 gallons per minute x 60 is 600 gallons an hour.

Still more than enough flow for my needs.

Rich Palmisano
Posts: 34
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 18:38
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Re: Air Chamber

Post by Rich Palmisano » 28 Aug 2018, 01:36

Math:
10 gallons per minute x 60 is 600 gallons an hour.

Still more than enough flow for my needs.

Rich Palmisano
Posts: 34
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 18:38
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Re: Air Chamber

Post by Rich Palmisano » 28 Aug 2018, 01:38

I botched the air inlet on the rubber sleeve. Need to get a new one to run tests.

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Pssymon
Posts: 135
Joined: 11 Dec 2015, 00:12
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Air Chamber

Post by Pssymon » 28 Aug 2018, 17:49

Rich Palmisano wrote:https://photos.app.goo.gl/frpSVzxmm2ndtnc37

Here's a video of the standard air chamber built with 3" pipe. I have a new to me 40w pump (eBay is so good) and at the level shown, approx 4" above water level I was running 10 gallons a minute (3600 gallons an hour). That's crazy! I don't need that much flow for my aquaponic system but I'll take it!
Nice video!
Have you seen our test results? There is more to gain, if you use 4 inch piping at +- 145cm or at 170cm long, you can get a yield of 20.000 litres an hour. With your pump even more is possible. Have a look at the results:

viewtopic.php?f=118&t=15803" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Pssymon
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Air Chamber

Post by Pssymon » 28 Aug 2018, 17:50

Rich Palmisano wrote:I botched the air inlet on the rubber sleeve. Need to get a new one to run tests.
Are the rubber sleeves expensive? It may take some practice to get it right.

Rich Palmisano
Posts: 34
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 18:38
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Re: Air Chamber

Post by Rich Palmisano » 29 Aug 2018, 04:16

The 2" sleeve is a,coupler and they can be had for about 4 dollars (US).

Rich Palmisano
Posts: 34
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 18:38
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Re: Air Chamber

Post by Rich Palmisano » 03 Sep 2018, 01:16

https://photos.app.goo.gl/WvQipPm4aFBdck9AA" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Overall this is a 2" (50 mm) dia. 2' (60 cm) tall lift pump, using the same 40 lpm (10 gpm), 2.9 psi (17.2 kPa) air pump tested out of a 35 gallon (140 liter) trash can. I realize that overall performance can be enhanced with a longer tube and deeper sump.

Pictures of the construction method (poor attempt) and the test with the 2" (50 mm) pipe with the rubber chamber. It was leaky (air leak) so I still haven't found a suitable product to get a really good connection. This is using a 1/2" (12 mm) threaded male coupling with a cut end of a female coupling with O-rings on each side. It was not a good solution. It ran at about 5 gallons (20 liters) every 30 seconds timed from the video at approximately 4" (10 cm) of head, but it was emptying the barrell I use as a "test pond" resulting in less water depth and lessening performance. The flow, as you can see in the video, slows as the water level drops.

Next test will be 4" (100 mm) with the standard air chamber using, you guessed it, 40 lpm.

I'm starting to think that even with the flow generated, I'm going to need more lift. My goal was to use this on an aquaponics system with both float and flood and drain beds. Not sure that I can achieve the lift needed. It would require the entire system to be in equilibrium and outflow to my solid filter would be extremely rapid. This would be able to be done but, not necessarily the best option for me. Still having fun experimenting. I see this as an extremely viable option for a mineralization tank where solids can be digested providing nutrified water for plants. (Aquaponics talk there...) :wink:

Rich Palmisano
Posts: 34
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 18:38
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Re: Air Chamber

Post by Rich Palmisano » 03 Oct 2018, 15:04

Update:

As nice as the idea was, I find the rubber connector to be difficult to work with and not as cost effective when you consider time spent. There may be a better way, but I am not willing to invest the time to make this work.

Therefore, I don't recommend my current attempts. Maybe there's a better method of securing and air-proofing the connection to the rubber connector, but it eludes me. The proven method of chamber building is slightly more expensive (parts for parts) and more labor intensive (slightly) but it works, it's proven and I have built three test models using the preferred method without any loss of air pressure or performance.

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Pssymon
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Air Chamber

Post by Pssymon » 10 Oct 2018, 22:01

Hello Rich,

First of all, I am impressed with your contributions and ideas. Nice images and videos as well!
Trying new things important and it's how this system started out in the pond application.

I would like to type a detailed big reply but I'm having issues reaching the site on my pc. So for now I am limited to replying on my phone.
I will discuss the issue with Marc and I will post some large overdue updates on the forum after that.

About your aquaphonic system, I think you need to build a smaller diameter Airlift. Try 40mm or even 30mm. As far as I know this is the only way to maximise discharge head. If you need even more discharge head, you have to brute force it by using a stronger air pump.

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