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  • Results 1 to 17 of 17

    Thread: Someone's Playing with Airlifts Again...

    1. #1
      Zac Penn's Avatar
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      Someone's Playing with Airlifts Again...

      I have been itching to play with new ideas in airlift manifolds and I wanted to run one of my DracoDrum Solum25 RDFs with a rectangular airlift at the Orlando Koi Show. I am sure the design will change quite a bit in the future but I just wanted to fill it up with water and see what happened today.

      The setup is a little weird but I needed to make it very small so I can use it in my display booth without taking up too much space. The airlift is powered by two Hakko 40L air pumps and they feed a custom rectangular air diffuser that I made. The airlift then pumps water into the RDF for polishing and then it gravity flows into a new Aerated Rio Media Filter that I have been designing for a while. This filter breaks up the incoming water into 6 individual water currents and flows through each block of Rio Media at an incredibly slow speed to achieve maximum dwell time. After the first pass the water then goes through another section of Rio Media to finish off any nitrification that is needed. The water then exits the filter and goes back into the airlift.

      The airlift riser tube is 15" x 4" inside dimensions so it is roughly the internal space of five 4" airlift riser tubes. I thought this massive inside volume would be a little starved for air at only 80 LPM but it appears to be flowing quite a bit of water at about 2.5" of lift. How much water is a complete mystery but it certainly looks cool. I will update next week on the setup. I only had 5 minutes to play with it today before I had to go home.

      The important thing is that airlifts are being played with again.
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    2. #2
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    3. #3
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      This should be fun to see close up in a few weeks.



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    4. #4
      Zac Penn's Avatar
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      I was having some fun with iMovie today. Enjoy...



      Make sure you select HD so you can really enjoy the bubbles

      40 LPM is on the left side of the screen and 80 LPM is on the right side of the screen
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    5. #5
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      Slow Motion starts at around 15 seconds...


      40 LPM is on the left side of the screen and 80 LPM is on the right side of the screen
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    6. #6
      ricshaw is offline Supporting Member
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      member

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      I can't wait to see it!

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      Surely you have a guesstimate on how much water each is flowing!! Give us a hint!!!
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    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by GloriaL View Post
      Surely you have a guesstimate on how much water each is flowing!! Give us a hint!!!
      Honestly there is no way to tell right now, but at 80 LPM I would guess it to be somewhere in the 5000+ gph range based on how crazy those bubble tornados are spinning. The water appears to be coming into the airlifts quite fast, but I haven't been able to hook it up to the ultrasonic flow meters yet.
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    10. #10
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      Wheeeeeeee! Go airlifts!!
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    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Zac Penn View Post
      Honestly there is no way to tell right now, but at 80 LPM I would guess it to be somewhere in the 5000+ gph range based on how crazy those bubble tornados are spinning. The water appears to be coming into the airlifts quite fast, but I haven't been able to hook it up to the ultrasonic flow meters yet.
      Guestimates don't count man, lol



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    12. #12
      hp is online now Supporting Member
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      Can we estimate the flow based on gravity flow calculation between the RDF and reservoir tank? we should know the connection pipe diameter and elevation different, yeh?

      hp.

      Quote Originally Posted by Zac Penn View Post
      Honestly there is no way to tell right now, but at 80 LPM I would guess it to be somewhere in the 5000+ gph range based on how crazy those bubble tornados are spinning. The water appears to be coming into the airlifts quite fast, but I haven't been able to hook it up to the ultrasonic flow meters yet.

    13. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by jimfish98 View Post
      Guestimates don't count man, lol
      Why can't I play the false advertising game????

      Quote Originally Posted by hp View Post
      Can we estimate the flow based on gravity flow calculation between the RDF and reservoir tank? we should know the connection pipe diameter and elevation different, yeh?

      hp.

      There would be a huge variant on the flow rate with even a 1/16" inaccuracy in the measurement with two 4" pipes that are only 4" long total. Plus, I don't really think any of the charts/calculators would be super accurate anyways.

      I went back and looked at a previous Super Secret Bio-Filter test that had water elevation marks on it and it was hooked up to the flow meters at 6600 GPH. There was a 7/16" difference between two of the chambers at 6600 GPH, and there is only a 1/4" difference when I measured it today. I would say we are closer to 4000-4500 GPH right now at 80 LPM, which is CRAZY BAD efficiency compared to other airlifts that I have made. I kind of figured it would not perform very well because the cross sectional area of the airlift riser tube is 15" x 4" = 45 sq/in. In the past I was using between 20-35 LPM in a 3" riser tube which is a cross-sectional area of 7.06 sq/in. 45 / 7.06 = 6.37 times the area. That should be fed with between 127-223 LPM of air to have the same density as my old airlifts.

      The problem with that in this setup is fitting the inlet pipes into that space and it would flow around 15,000 GPH based on previous setups so that wouldn't work with this demonstration. I really just wanted to make this clear riser tube for fun and to grab peoples attention at show.
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    14. #14
      Zac Penn's Avatar
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      Here are a couple teaser pictures of a new airlift manifold I am tinkering with...
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      These will be a replacement to my original Funnel Shaped airlift manifolds that were amazing at pumping water, but they were near impossible to manufacture in house. I had to use 2-part resins and rubber molds, and it was a disaster most of the time. Once i get the shape worked out I am going to make them out of clear PVC so you can see what is going on inside of them.
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    15. #15
      Zac Penn's Avatar
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      You guys are killing me. I can't believe the teaser pics haven't struck up a conversation yet. I hope to have something more finalized on display in Orlando but I was hoping for at least a little encouragement to move the airlift conversation forward.

      On another note...Just for fun I removed my rectangular air diffuser in the clear riser tube display and instead of having it sit flat on the bottom of the riser tube so that it was 4" x 15", I rotated it 90 degrees to simulate a horizontal pipe with a bunch of holes drilled in it, to see what would happen. The total water flow through the system dropped at least in half because there was just too much open area for the bubbles to move around. Half of the bubbles were going up and half were going down due to all the turbulence. If a rectangular riser tube was going to be used then you need to make it super thin in order to keep those air bubbles moving upward instead of going around in circles. I would venture a guess and say that the riser tube would need to be 15" x 2" to get back to the same water flow as the horizontal diffuser with a 15" x 4" riser tube. This all goes back to my constant reminder that bubble distribution is EXTREMELY important in a well designed airlift manifold. Think about that the next time watch a video of the Yamabuki airlift manifold where all the air bubbles are released around the perimeter of the riser tube. The center 3" diameter of the pipe is just solid water at the injection site so there is a ton of turbulence right away.
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    16. #16
      audioenvy is offline Supporting Member
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      Zac, I don't even know enough about air lifts to even know what to say. I'm just going to hope I can figure it out after visiting your booth.

    17. #17
      Zac Penn's Avatar
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      No promises my friend!!!!! Airlifts are VERY simple things, but optimization is quite complicated and deeply debated. I am one of the most vocally opinionated people when it comes to optimization so maybe I can teach you some things or maybe I can confuse you even more

      Either way I can't wait to meet you in person!
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