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Department of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty of Engineering

Coursework Report
Session 2011/2012


Course Code : KMEM 2110

Course Title : Elemental Design of Mechanical Design

Group Members : Mohammad Danish bin Mohammad Ali KEM 100027

Mohammad Kamal Hariz bin Che Azih KEM 100028
Mohammad Baqir bin Ali KEM 100032
Muhammad Faiz bin Jasni KEM 100033
Muhammad Firdaus bin Zarmani KEM 100035

Lecturer : Dr Mohd Faizul bin Mohd Sabri

Deadline : 20/12/2011

In the name of Allah, first and foremost, we would like to thank Dr Mohd Faizul bin

Mohd Sabri for his guidance and support during the time we were working to complete this

project and prepare the report throughout this semester and also not to forget Miss Nurul our

beloved tutor which continuously give us support to complete the task. Besides that, we also

would like to thank our friends that help us throughout the process of this project. We are hoping

that all of you will put best consideration and evaluate this project with your entire heart.


1.1 Abstract
1.2 Objective
1.3 Problem Statement
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Brief history
2.3 Working principle of hydraulic ram pump
2.4 Theory on hydraulic ramp pump (Hydram)
2.4.1 Energy
2.4.2 Water Hammer Effect
2.5 Applications and limitations of hydraulic ram pumps
3.1 Considerations in hydraulic ram pump system design
3.2 Maintenance and service life considerations
3.3 General considerations
3.4 Basic part of a hydram system
3.5 Pipe consideration
3.6 Snifter valve
5 DESIGN 25 - 39
5.1 Suggestion for the future


This project report is about designing a hydraulic ram pump to transfer water from a river into a

water tank with given dimensions and conditions. The hydraulic ram pump designed is believed

to be the most suitable and efficient for the given conditions based on the calculations performed.

For the first step of designing, all the related problems are listed and understand. Then, the

specifications, criteria and evaluation of the solutions are developed. This including choosing the

most suitable operational working principals for the hydraulic ram pump (hydram), outline of the

theoretical background behind the operation and its details calculations, which are being referred

to the concept and theory entitles to Fluid Mechanics. This is followed by the details drawing of

the hydraulic ram pump by using the SOLIDWORKS software. From the calculations

performed, the hydraulic ram pump designed with radius of 0.1m and length of 0.5m has high

and reasonable efficiency. Its flowrate to the delivery tank is determined to be 0.00069m3/s and

required about 20 days and 3 hours to fill completely the tank at a height of 20m from river



1. To design a Hydraulic Ram Pump which is able to fill a water tank at height of 20m from

river flow.


In this project, we are required to design a hydraulic ram pump to fill a water tank at a height of
20m from river flow. The conditions are as follows:

River Water (source): Depth = 0.5m Wide = 1.5m Flowrate = 120 l /sec

Tank (to be filled): Volume = 1200m3

V =1200m3
Water Tank


River 0.5m


Q=120 l /sec

Figure 1: The basic idea of the project.


2.1 Introduction

A hydraulic ram pump (also called hydram) is a pump that uses energy from a falling
quantity of water to pump some of it to an elevation much higher than the original level at the
source. No other energy is required and as long as there is a continuous flow of falling water, the
pump will work continuously and automatically. Provision of adequate domestic water supply
for scattered rural populations is a major problem in many developing countries. Fuel and
maintenance costs to operate conventional pumping systems are becoming prohibitive. The
hydraulic ram pump (hydram) is an alternative pumping device that is relatively simple
technology that uses renewable energy, and is durable. The hydram has only two moving parts;
these are impulse valve and delivery valve which can be easily maintained.

Ram Pumps have been used for over two centuries in many parts of the world. Their
simplicity and reliability made them commercially successful, particularly in Europe, in the days
before electrical power and the internal combustion engine become widely available. As
technology advanced and become increasingly reliant on sources of power derived from fossil
fuels, the ram pump was neglected. It was felt to have no relevance in an age of national
electricity grids and large - scale water supplies. Big had become beautiful and small-scale ram
pump technology was unfashionable.

In recent years an increased interest in renewable energy devices and an awareness of the
technological needs of a particular market in developing countries have prompted a reappraisal
of ram pumps. In hilly areas with springs and streams, the potential for a simple and reliable

pumping device is large. Although there are some examples of successful ram pump installation
in developing countries, their use to date has merely scratched at the surface of their potential.
The main reason for this being, lack of wide spread local knowledge in the design and
manufacture of ram pumps. Hence, the wide spread use of ram pumps will only occur if there is
a local manufacturer to deliver quickly; give assistance in system design, installation, and
provide an after-sales service.
2.2 Brief History

In 1772 John Whitehurst of Cheshire in the United Kingdom invented a manually

controlled precursor of the hydraulic ram called the "pulsation engine". The first one he installed,
in 1772 at Oulton, Cheshire, and raised water to a height of 16 ft (4.9 m). He installed another in
an Irish property in 1783. He did not patent it, and details are obscure, but it is known to have
had an air vessel.

The first self-acting ram pump was invented by the Frenchman Joseph Michel
Montgolfier (best known as a co-inventor of the hot air balloon) in 1796 for raising water in
his paper mill at Voiron. His friend Matthew Boulton took out a British patent on his behalf in
1797. The sons of Montgolfier obtained an English patent for an improved version in 1816, and
this was acquired, together with Whitehurst's design, in 1820 by Josiah Easton, a Somerset-born
engineer who had just moved to London.

Easton's firm, inherited by his son James (17961871), grew during the nineteenth
century to become one of the more important engineering manufacturers in the United Kingdom,
with a large works at Erith, Kent. They specialized in water supply and sewerage systems world-
wide, as well as land drainage projects. Eastons had a good business supplying rams for water
supply purposes to large country houses, and also to farms and village communities, and a
number of their installations still survived as of 2004.

The firm was eventually closed in 1909, but the ram business was continued by James R
Easton. In 1929 it was acquired by Green & Carter, of Winchester, Hampshire, who were
engaged in the manufacturing and installation of the well-known Vulcan and Vacher Rams.

The first US patent was issued to J. Cerneau and S.S. Hallet in 1809. US interest in hydraulic
rams picked up around 1840, as further patents were issued and domestic companies started
offering rams for sale. Toward the end of the 19th Century, interest waned as electricity and
electric pumps became widely available.

By the end of the twentieth century interest in hydraulic rams has revived, due to the
needs of sustainable technology in developing countries, and energy conservation in developed
ones. A good example is AID Foundation International in the Philippines, who won an Ashden
Award for their work developing ram pumps that could be easily maintained for use in remote
villages. The hydraulic ram principle has been used in some proposals for exploiting wave
power, one of which was discussed as long ago as 1931 by Hanns Gnther in his book in hundert

2.3 Working Principle of Hydraulic Ram Pump

Although hydraulic ram pumps come in a variety of shapes and sizes, they all have the same
basic components as shown in Fig. 2. The main parts of a ram pump are hydram body, waste
valve, delivery valve, snifter valve, air chamber and relief valve. Ram Pumps have a cyclic
pumping action that produces their characteristic beat during operation. The cycle can be divided
into three phases; acceleration, delivery and recoil.

No Pressure

High Velocity

Acceleration - WhenFigure 2: Showing

the waste valve isthe flow
open as of waterininfigure
shown the hydram
2, waterbody.
accelerates down the
drive pipe and discharges through the open valve. As the flow increases it reaches a speed where
the drag force is sufficient to start closing the valve. Once it has begun to move, the valve closes
very quickly.

Delivery - As the waste valve slams shut as shown in figure 3, it stops the flow of water through
it. The water that has been flowing in the drive pipe has considerable momentum which has to be
dissipated. For a fraction of a second, the water in the body of the pump is compressed causing a
large surge in pressure. This type of pressure rise is known as water hammer. As the pressure
rises higher than that in the air chamber, it forces water through the delivery valve (a non-return
valve).The delivery valve stays open until the water in the drive pipe has almost completely
slowed and the pressure in the pump body drops below the delivery pressure. The delivery valve
then closes, stopping any back flow from the air vessel into the pump and drive pipe.

Recoil - The remaining flow in the drive pipe recoils against the closed delivery valve - rather
like a ball bouncing back. This causes the pressure in the body of the pump to drop low enough
for the waste valve to reopen. The recoil also sucks a small amount of air in through the snifter

valve. The air sits under the delivery valve until the next cycle when it is pumped with the
delivery water into the air vessel. This ensures that the air vessel stays full of air. When the recoil
energy is finished, water begins to accelerate down the drive pipe and out through the open waste
valve, starting the cycle again. Throughout the cycle the pressure in the air vessel steadily forces
water up the delivery pipe. The air vessel smoothes the pulsing in flow through the delivery
valve into an even outflow up the delivery pipe. The pumping cycle happens very quickly,
typically 40 to 120 times per minute. During each pumping cycle only a very small amount of
water is pumped. However, with cycle after cycle continuing over 24 hours, a significant amount
of water can be lifted. While the ram pump is operating, the water flowing out the waste valve
splashes onto the floor or the pump house and is considered' waste' water. The term' waste' water
needs to be understood. Although waste water is not delivered by the ram pump, it is the energy
of this water that pumps the water which is delivered.

Very High Pressure

No Velocity

Figure 3: Flow of water when waste valve is closed.

2.4 Theory on Hydraulic Ramp (Hydram) Pump

2.4.1 Energy
Cars, airplanes, light bulb, water pumps, computers, the human body have all something in
common: they need energy to work. This energy can come from many sources such as electricity,
fuel, manpower, food. Different technologies are used to transform one source of energy to
another. For example, car engines transform the chemical energy of the fuel into mechanical
energy allowing wheels to rotate. Another example related to water supply projects is electric
pumps: they use electricity to transform electrical energy into potential energy of the lifted water.
The potential energy is the energy of every object due to its altitude. The object needs another
source of energy to be lifted and will lose its potential energy if it falls. Hydrams are designed to
lift water (i.e. give potential energy to the water) from a low cost source of energy. Avoiding
using fuel and electricity, the water hammer effect has shown to be efficient and is the principle
of hydrams.
2.4.2 Water Hammer Effect

The water hammer effect is a phenomenon that increases the pressure of water in a pipe over a
short period of time.

Figure 4: Water hammer effect.

If the velocity of the water in a pipe is high enough, a fast closure of the pipe will cause a water
hammer effect as shown in Figure 4. The water flowing will be compressed to the valve which
has been closed suddenly. As a comparison, if a hundred people run very fast in a corridor and
suddenly, they face a closed door, the space between them will be reduced, everybody will touch
each other. In the same way, with velocity, water has kinetic energy. By closing quickly the pipe,
this kinetic energy will be transformed into pressure. This effect is characterized by a loud noise
that is similar to a hammer banging a metal component.

2.5 Applications and limitations of hydraulic ram pumps

For any particular site, there are usually a number of potential water lifting options. Choosing
between them involves consideration of many different factors. Ram pumps in certain conditions
have many advantages over other forms of water-lifting, but in others, it can be completely
inappropriate. The main advantages of ram pumps are:

Use of a renewable energy source ensuring low running cost
Pumping only a small proportion of the available flow has little environmental impact.
Simplicity and reliability give a low maintenance requirement
Automatic, continuous operation requires no supervision or human input.

The main limitations are:

They are limited in hilly areas with a year-round water sources
They pump only a small fraction of the available flow and therefore require source flows
larger than actual water delivered
Can have a high capital cost in relation to other technologies
Are limited to small-scale applications, usually up to 1KW, but this requires economical and
other considerations.

Specific situations in which other technologies may prove more appropriate are:
In terrain where streams are falling very rapidly, it may be possible to extract water at a point
above the village or irrigation site and feed it undergravity. If the water requirement is large
and there is a large source of falling water (head and flow rate) nearby, turbine-pump sets can
provide the best solution. Many ram pumps could be used in parallel to give the required
output but at powers over 2KW, turbine-pump systems are normally cheaper.
In small-scale domestic water supply, the choice can often be between using a ram pump on a
stream or using cleaner groundwater. Surface water will often need to be filtered or treated
for human consumption, increasing the cost of a system and requiring regular filter
maintenance. Under these conditions, to select a hydram pump, economical considerations
compared to other technologies have to be looked at.


3.1 Considerations in hydraulic ram pump system design

The following factors need to be considered in hydraulic Ram pump system design.
Area suitability (head and flow rate)
Flow rate and head requirement

Intake design
Drive system
Pump house location
Delivery pipes routing
Distribution system

3.2 Maintenance and service life considerations:

The critical parts that require frequent maintenance are bolts, studs and nuts. Therefore, it is
usually preferable to have stainless steel bolts, studs and nuts, even though they are costly and
difficult to source.

3.3 General considerations

Shape of hydram has little effect on performance
Valve design considerations. The correct design of valves is a critical factor in the overall
performance of ram pumps. Hence, this needs special consideration.
Strength considerations. This determines thickness of hydram body and air chamber.

3.4 Basic Part of a Hydram system

From the figure it shows a typical hydraulic ram installation that comprises


Supply pipe (drive pipe)

Impulse valve/ waste valve/snifter valve

Delivery valve

Air chamber

Delivery pipe

Figure 5: Sketch on basic part of hydram.

3.5 Pipe consideration

For all pipes being used and the hydram body, the material that we suggested is commercial
steel pipe based on the following reason:
Strength and flexibility

high resistance to direct heat
Resistant to very high pressures
Easy to install, maintain, operate and connect
Perfect for the extension work in pumping stations, riverbanks, steep sloping crossings
and reservoirs
Feature of withstanding traffic vibrations and shocks

Specifically, the types of steel pipe we suggest to use is Galvanized steel since this type of steel
is coated with zinc layer to protect steel pipes from corroding. This form of steel provides
resistance to corrosion and rust thereby making it highly preferred to make pipes. This also helps
in increasing the overall life term of the pipe fittings as well.

3.6 Snifter valve

It is a device to allow the air to enter the air vessel located above delivery valve but below
delivery pipe. Is it very important for air to enter because air in the air vessel mixes with water
while hydram is running. As a result, the volume of air in the air vessel decreases and this will
bring about the reduction in the pumps efficiency, thus it is important to have snifter valve. In
short, snifter valve enable the maintenance of a necessary air level inside the air vessel.

Specification of the hydram pump
Description Details
Available Flow rate (Q) 120 l/s
Supply Head (h) 4m
Hd 1. From the given condition, we know
Expected Lift from river (
) that the flowrate, and the area,
Height of Tank from pump (H) 24m
d Ar of the river is given as below,
Diameter of supply pipe ( s ) 0.1 m
dd Qr 120 l/s
Diameter of delivery pipe ( Flowrate of river, =
) 0.12 m3 /s
Length of supply pipe ( ) 20m
Ld Area of river, =
Length of delivery pipe ( ) 30m
0.5 m 1.5 m

= 0.75 m

2. Using the information earlier we can find the velocity, of the river using continuity


Q r= A r v r

0.12 m3 / s=( 0.75 m2 ) v r

v =0.16 m/s

Qr 3
= flowrate of the river ( m /s
Ar 2
= cross sectional area of the river ( m

= velocity of the river (m/s)

vs vr
3. We also know that the velocity, entering the supply is same with the velocity, of

river. From that, we can use continuity equation to find the flowrate in the supply pipe.

v s=v r =0.16 m/s

d s =0.1 m

Q s= A s v s

Qs= ( 0.1 )2 ( 0.16 )

Qs=1.257 103 m3 / s

3 3
Supply flow rate, Qs=1.257 10 m / s just 1% from river flowrate

vs v
and r = velocity in supply pipe and in river respectively ( m/s )
= diameter of supply pipe ( m )
flowrate in the supply pipe

4. Next we are going to find the number of beats in the process. Number of beats is the frequency
of closing and opening of valve. We assume that both waste and delivery valve has the same
frequency i.e. they both open and close at the same amount of time.

Figure 6: The velocity-time relationship in the driveline of a hydram.
v max
But first we need calculate the max velocity of water in hydram,

v max =
2 g hs

= height of supply tank (river) from hydram, 4m

M = head loss coefficient, 0.104

g = acceleration due to gravity, 9.81 m/s2

v max =
2 ( 9.81 ) ( 4 )

v max =27.47 m/s

v max
t 1 =L1 x
( H d h ) g

based on the empirical relation between head of supply and the length of supply, it is suggested

that = 2.5 H

= 2.5m x 4 = 10m

t 1 =10 x
( 204 ) 9.81

= 1.75 s

v max
t 2 =L2 x
( H d h ) g

t 2 =0.5 x
( 204 ) 9.81

= 0.18 s

= length of supply based on empirical head and the length of supply

= length of hydram

= time take for impulse valve to close or delivery valve to open

= time taken for delivery valve to close

= height of tank from river

h = supply head
v max
= maximum velocity

t1 t2
One beat is equal to +

1 beat = 1.75 s + 0.18 s

= 1.92 s
Since n is the number of beat per minute

n = 30 beats

5. We then calculate the flowrate of the water flowing at waste valve.

2 n
Qw = r L

= flowrate of waste water

r= the radius of waste valve

L= The length of hydram

n= Number of beat

r=0.026 m

L=0.5 m


2 30
Qw = ( 0.026 ) ( 0.5 )

Qw =0.0005 m3 /s

6. Next we calculate the head loss coefficient.
L v2
M =f
d 2g

M = head loss coefficient

f = Darcy-Weibach Formula friction factor

L= length of supply pipe line

d= diameter of supply pipe

v = velocity in supply pipe

g= acceleration due to gravity, 9.81 m/s

We have decided to use commercial steel pipe for both supply and delivery pipe. From that we

(m). Thus with 0.1 m

find that the commercial steel has sand roughness, e=4.5 10

diameter of supply pipe and sand roughness of the pipe, we get

e 4.5 x 10
= =4.5 x 104
d 0.1

Then we calculate the Reynoldss Number,


Re = Reynoldss number (dimensionless number)
= density of the fluid (kg/m)

v = mean velocity (m/s)

d= diameter of pipe (m)

= dynamic viscosity of the fluid (kg/ms)

Here we have,
= 1000 kg/m

v = 0.16 m/s

d= 0.1m

= 0.000798 kg/ms for water at 30oc


1000 x 0.16 x 0.1


Re = 20050

So using the value obtained, we then find the friction factor for the pipe by referring the value of
Re and the ratio of sand roughness to diameter of pipe in moodys diagram and we find that f in
this case to be 0.4.

Finally we can now calculate head loss coefficient, M.

L v2
M =f
d 2g

f =0.4

Ls=20 m

d s =0.1 m

vs = 0.16 m/s
g = 9.81 m/s

[ ]
20 ( 0.16 )
M =( 0.4 )
0.1 2 ( 9.81 )

M =0.104

7. Next, we will find volume of waste water ( Vol )w

Ls A s 1
( Vol )w =
M ( )

We have,
= height of delivery tank from water source (river), 20m

Ld =
length of delivery pipe from hydram, 30m

d d =
diameter of delivery pipe, 0.06 m

= length of supply pipe, 20m

= diameter of supply pipe, 0.1m

v max
= 27.47 m/s

M = head loss coefficient, 0.104

M v max2
2 gH d

( 0.104 )( 27.47 )2
2 ( 9.81 )( 20 )


( 20 ) ( 4 ( 0.1) ) log

( Vol )w =
0.104 ( 10.2 )
( Vol )w =0.146 m3

8. Then we calculate the volume of delivered water ( Vol )d ,

Ld A d
( Vol )d= ln ( 1+ )

M v max2
2 g Hd

( 0.104 ) ( 27.47 )2
2 ( 9.81 ) ( 20 )


( Vol )d=
( 30 ) ( 4 ( 0.06 ) ) ln ( 1+0.2)


( Vol )d=0.202m3

9. The delivery flowrate can be calculated as below,

Q w ( Vol )d
Qd =
( Vol )w

Qd 3
= delivery flowrate ( m /s

Qw 3 3
= waste flowrate ( m /s obtained earlier, 0.0005 m /s

( 0.0005 )( 0.202 )
Qd =

Qd =0.00069 m3 / s

10. The efficiency of hydram can be defined as below using DRankine formula,
E ( Rankine ) =
( Q+Q w ) ( H )

Q=Qd =0.00069 m3 /s

Qw =0.0005 m3 /s


hd hs
H=( + ) = (20 +4) = 24m

( 0.00069+0.0005 )( 24 )

E = 0.483
Therefore the efficiency of hydram is 48.3 %.

Size of Tank = 1200 m

1200 m 3
Pumping rate = 0.00069m 3 / s

= 1739130.435 s

= 20 days3 hours6 minutes


When we design a water system using ram pumps, we like to know before we build it,
how much water it will deliver to how much head and with what efficiency manually
manipulating these parameters using design methodology for different input parameters. After
that, we then design the hydram using SOLIDWORKS software which a CAD (computer aided
design) software as below.

Figure 7: Isometric view of the hydraulic ram pump

Figure 8: Side view of the hydraulic ram pump

Figure 9: Cross-sectional view of the hydraulic ram pump

Figure 10 (a): Sectional view of delivery valve

Figure 10 (b): Sectional view of delivery valve

Figure 11: Outer view of delivery valve

Figure 12: Cross-sectional view of waste valve

Figure 13 (a): Sectional view of waste valve

Figure 13 (b): Sectional view of waste valve

Figure 13(c): Outer view of waste valve

Parts Descriptions Quantity

Formed Hex Screw 1) Length : 100 mm

3 Pieces
ANSI B18.2.3.2M
2) Length : 80 mm
M10 4 Pieces
3) Length : 70 mm
10 Pieces
4) Length : 35 mm
1 Piece

Total : 18 Pieces

Hex Jam Nut 23 Pieces

ANSI B18.2.3.5M

Total : 23 Pieces

Narrow Flat Washer 38 Pieces

ANSI B18.22M

Total : 38 Pieces

Parts Material Quantity

Rubber 2 Pieces

Total : 2 Pieces

Rubber 2 Pieces

Total : 2 Pieces

Rubber 2 Pieces

Total : 2 Pieces

Rubber 2 Pieces

Total : 2 Pieces

Steel 2 Pieces

Total : 2 Pieces


One of the suggestion that can be apply is to use a bigger supply pipe to obtain a large
amount of water so that more water can be delivered to tank. In this report we use supply pipe
3 3
with diameter of 0.1m, and we get only about 1.257 10 m /s flowrate and it is just about

1% of compared to the rivers flowrate. Bigger supply pipe will increase the flowrate, but we
also need to increase size of hydram to cope with bigger force that the water carries. It is not
necessary to increase the delivery pipe because referring to continuity equation, the flowrate
across a pipe is same. Since we already increase the flowrate of water by increasing the diameter
of supply pipe, thus with the same diameter of delivery pipe we can get achieve a higher velocity
of water flowing to the tank. But if we increase the diameter of supply pipe tremendously we
may also need to increase the delivery pipe diameter so that more water can be delivered with
high velocity.

We can also try to build a tank near the river to store the water collected from river. This
is for us manipulate the velocity of water flowing since we cannot do anything to the river. We
know from continuity equation that the property that is shared between the river, and water
flowing to supply pipe is the velocity. So if we find any solution to increase the velocity, we
could increase the flowrate in the pipe thus increasing the pumping rate of the hydram.

For the most optimum performance of the hydram is to apply both of the suggestion but
we need first to consider the necessity of such high pumping rate according to usage of the water

delivered. If we were able to deliver a lot of water to the tank, but later we will only just use
some of it, then it will be a waste and will cost us high. Thus we first need to identify the
necessary amount of water needed. From there we try to adjust so that we can fulfill the demand
with the minimum cost.


From the objective stated, we have come out the solutions from the study of our hydraulic ramp
pump (hydram), the modifications and assumptions made were counted and the calculations give
the exact answers for this project.
From the results obtained, we have found out that:-
a) The best design for our hydram is as shown above in the report.

b) In order to obtain the best efficiency for this hydram, the optimum supply head and
delivery and supply pipe length is chosen. The efficiency of the hydram is about 48.3%.

c) By theory we found that the pumping rate has been found out that is to be
0.00069 m /s .

d) And finally, the time taken for the whole tank to be filled is estimated to be 20 days, 3
hours, and 6 minutes.


1) DTU Ram pumps program publication published by university of Warwick.

2) Phyo Min Than, 2008, GMSARN International Conference on Sustainable Development:
Issues and Prospects for the GMS, Construction and Performance Testing of the
Hydraulic Ram Pump.
3) Prof. Ma Chi of zhejiang University of Technology and Dipl. Eng. Peter Diemer of
Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association, 2002, Hydraulic Ram
4) David, J.P. and Edward, H.W., 1985, Schaum's Outline of Theory and Problems of Fluid
Mechanics and Hydraulics, SI (Metric) Edition, McGraw-Hill Book Company,