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Enquiry Title: Setting up pressure test to measure total head of treadle pumps

Enquirer: lsherry

Status: Mailed-out

Skills: Environmental, Chemical, Automotive, Agricultural, Aeronautical, Filtration, High Vacuum Systems, Industrial, Manufacturing & Production, Instrumentation, Mechanical, Renewable Energy, Test, Water & Wastewater Process.

Volunteers: 7 Volunteered, 0 Requested.


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I am working with a non-profit organization in Cambodia who's mission is to Innovate, improve and market small-scale, low-cost irrigation systems for small holder farmers in rural communities in Cambodia. Recently, we set up manufacturing of pressure treadle pumps at a local metal shop. In order to test the pumps, we measure the flow rate by recording the amount of time it takes to fill a bucket at a certain height, however, the process is time-consuming.

In order to simplify the test, we want to create a test set up that will easily ensure each pump meets the performance requirement. We believe this can be done by fitting a vacuum gauge to the inlet and pressure gauge to the outlet, as shown in the photo attached. The pump is lifted only about a 1m high, with the outlet pipe bringing the water back down to the water source. Currently, the pressure treadle pump can lift from a depth of 7m and push water up to 7m vertically or 200m horizontally at a flow rate of around 40L/s. We want to make sure the pump can achieve 14m of head. Due to the variable flow rate, we are also only reading the peak pressure.

We would like assistance on evaluating whether this test procedure is valid for determining the performance of the pump and how we can set it up so that we are testing the pump at its maximum capacity (14m head). Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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