The large 2inch water-powered RAM pump is able to drive water up to more than 100 meters altitude, while it needs a flow of between 2 and 10 meters level to run. Best operation: delivery less than 10 times altitude of flow. Delivery output volume approximately 10% of flow through Ram. For more info on Ram pumps, go to the WOT homepages: WOT - Working group on Development Technology.
Breur has also developed a small ram pump, so easy to assemble and understand, that the main principle of operation should be clear to anyone that has assembled one. Furthermore, it uses standard "garden" materials except for some pressure tube. Bill of material should be less than $50 even with high-quality materials. I have put up a shopping list below (translated from Dutch, so I hope you understand). Below are the pictures of the assembled pump with numbers, to get an idea. I have made "exploded-view" photos, see further below. I hope they allow you to assemble the parts more easily.
The Breur low-cost 3/4inch Ram pump
The bottom picture shows the ram (A) and the delivery (B). Make sure the delivery is situated LOWER than the RAM, because the tube in between must stay partially filled with air for correct (smooth & efficient) operation.
1. Clamp-connection SIMPLAST WISA 25 x 3/4inch thread
2. T-joint brass 3/4 inch inside thread
3. Brass reducing coupling 1 inch to 3/4 inch outside thread
4. Foot valve brass 1 inch inside thread (ball shape and used in reverse direction)
5. O-ring nitrilrubber 6.0 mm x 1.5 mm (to regulate pump frequency)
6. Brass reducing coupling 1 inch to 3/4 inch outside thread
7. Spring-loaded check valve brass 1 inch inside thread "EUROPA"
8. (optional) brass quick-connect coupling "GEKA" 1 inch outside thread
9. (optional) Hose quick-connect brass coupling "GEKA" 1 1/4 inch
8+9 may be replaced by brass converter from 1 inch thread to 1 1/4 inch hose coupling.
10. Pressure tube TRICOFLEX 1 1/4 inch x 150 cm (more than 10 bar)
11. Hose clamp "JUBILEE" stainless steel 30-40 mm
12. Hose quick-connect brass coupling "GEKA" 1 1/4 inch
13. Hose clamp "JUBILEE" stainless steel 30-40 mm
14. Hose quick-connect brass coupling "GEKA" 1/2 inch
Not numbered items: Enflontape 12 mm x 0.1 mm or fibre "WURTH" (like for central heating installations)
Further the drive-pipe is not specified, this is either a rigid (metal!) pipe or (easier and therefore preferred) tylene tube, also used in drinking water installations. The diameter must be at least as much as the ram, so 3/4 inch. The length is expected to be several meters, from water-supply to ram.
NOTE that the drive pipe water inlet) is not shown above, it should be connected to the open end of the T-joint. A self-wound spring for the waste-valve is shown on the photo, this is necessary when this valve doesn't point upward.
Considerations: If the water comes out the dilivery in sharp pulses, then there is no air in the thick pressure tube. Disconnect it and fill it with air, the ram will run more efficient and smooth.
The drive heigth should be at least half a meter, but the ram cannot pump up high in that case. No more than 10 meter supply is recommended, or the pressure might get too high when the delivery is blocked.
If the ram doesn't start when water runs through it or it doesn't seem to be very efficient, the O-ring on the stem of the waste valve might be changed (taken away or one more added). Another reason can be that the waste-valve must point upward, or you must spring-load it. Otherwise the valve doesn't open itself. Some experimenting is required to get the best operation.
Multiple rams might be connected parallel (each have its own drive pipe and a common delivery, connected at B) and this will increase both delivery and reliability. Also when the amount of input flow decreases (season), some rams can be shut down while still some water is delivered by the others. One big ram will completely stop. Another important factor: maintenance can be done one ram at a time.
WARNING! If the ram is used to pump more than 20 meters high, the thin delivery tube must also be able to withstand this pressure! Be careful when disconnecting the delivery output, because the full pressure is present even when the ram has stopped! Drain the delivery tube or make (add) a pressure release valve that can be opened safely.
Ram with a shadow of fertility. Water means life and growth.
Pictures above can be downloaded as zipped bitmaps: ram.zip (warning: 1331 kB!)
Last update: Feb 24, 2000
Webmaster: Cor van de Water
The information on this page is presented in good faith of its usefulness and applicability, however no guarantees can be given that the information is correct and no responsibility is assumed in case the use of it results in damage. The applicant should treat the information with care, because it serves as illustration and description only.
The information is free of copyrights and fees (as far as we know) and can be used for private as well as commercial use. A notification of successful ram installation is appreciated.
The WOT has set up a mailing list to share knowledge about ram-technology. Please indicate in your mail if you want to be included in the mailing list.
By the way: my Dutch family name "van de Water" already suggests you'd find HydroPower at these pages! Maybe I'll add some more pages to give more info on a project I'm involved in (the Breur ram pump - see pictures above) but unfortunately The Netherlands are too flat to apply Hydro power myself, while Solar IS effective in my backyard. More important: Solar has my interest and I already bought the panels, so the choice is easy! (Sure, wind is another alternative, but the "Not In My BackYard" feeling is quite strong in the suburbs.)
(In other countries the Dutch name "van de Water" is usually concatenated to VandeWater. Original meaning: 'coming from the water'.)