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# Sponge Pump 3

or capillarpillar
 (+1, -3) [vote for, against]

A sponge will draw a certain volume of water upwards. If a basin touching the sponge slightly below this line has a slight downward taper then water will drain from the sponge onto an elevated collection plate where the next sponge will draw a set volume of water upwards. If a basin touching the sponge slightly below this line has a slight downward taper then water will drain from the sponge onto an elevated collection plate where the next sponge will draw a set volume of water upwards. If a basin touching the sponge slightly below this line has a slight downward taper then water will drain from the sponge onto an elevated collection plate where the next sponge will draw a set volume of water upwards...
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 13 2010

Perpetual Motion Machine Perpetual_20Motion_20Machine
[bungston, Apr 13 2010]

The mere placement of said basin is going to affect the height of the 'line'. Namely, I think the new line will be at or below the basin, making the pump impossible.
 — daseva, Apr 13 2010

BOOOOOOO-YHA!
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 13 2010

Are you sure [daseva]? Capillary action should raise water high enough that, even without a tilt, horizontal wicks could draw water to the next sponge to be raised again. I think evaporation would be more of a problem but that could be used to aid the process.
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 13 2010

the same force (i.e. surface tension) that pulls water up the sponge or wick, will prevent liquid water from escaping on the uphill side, unless it is by evaporation
 — afinehowdoyoudo, Apr 13 2010

Oh dear oh dear oh dear, 2 fries. Perpetual motion, then? [afine] put it exactly right.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 13 2010

In this house we obey the laws of physics!
 — Voice, Apr 13 2010

there is a law of conservation of sponges though: the height that you suck the water up to is proportional to the force necessary to squeez the sponge and get the water out.
 — FlyingToaster, Apr 13 2010

 The capillarity perpetual motion machine is one of my all time favorites and one which I have spent some hours trying to bake. I found that water in a capillary tube behaves differently.

 For example: a candy cane capillary tube can be used as a self starting siphon: hook the tube over the edge of a vessel of water and the water will rise up, turn the corner, go down and drip out provided the tube tip is below the level in the vessel.

 But: if one has a large capillary tube with a water level near the top, it is not the same as a vessel: a very tiny candy cane capillary tube hooked into your big cap tube will self start and fill as above but it will not drip out. You cannot siphon out of the top of a cap tube.

An absorbent sponge might wet itself but no water will come out at a higher level, unless that level is itself some absorbent fabric with capillarity properties.
 — bungston, Apr 13 2010

 Yikes. I didn't realise I was trying to violate the laws of the universe or anything.

 I thought that something touching the sponge, at a spot slightly lower than that sponge will draw water, would break surface tension and allow some to trickle to a raised collection pan in the same way that the walls of a canvas tent will keep out water until something touches the fabric.

 I never thought of it as a perpetual motion machine, just a way to move miniscule amounts of water uphill.

Sorry guys, but you realise of course that I have to try this out now.
Are salinity variations allowed?
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 14 2010

I like it.... I'm going to try it. (goes out to buy a hundred sponges and a load of scaffolding).
 — xenzag, Apr 14 2010

 //Are salinity variations allowed?//

 This depends on local regulations.

Physics-wise, you can probably raise water if you use salinity changes and/or evaporation and/or temperature gradients, but one way or another you will have to put energy into the system to lift water.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 14 2010

 That's the spirit [xenzag].I've got twenty bucks Canadian, (if you hurry, that's like twenty two fifty US right now ...if you really hurry), that says I can raise one ounce of water one foot using nothing but sponges, surface tension breaking wicking materials, and gravity faster'n'you.

 It must be reproducable and salinity is up to your own discretion. No hyperbaric chambers or devices to change pressure like blowing air over the top of a straw will be allowed.

 .

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand GO!
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 15 2010

Anything yet? Are you flooded out?
 — gnomethang, Apr 15 2010

<mutter grumble curse stomping frazzle>
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Aug 01 2010

It's not pm if it's partially solar powered eg. evaporation.
 — rcarty, Aug 01 2010

I tried to vote for this again... can I not have another vote please?
 — xenzag, Aug 01 2010

 [rcarty] //solar powered eg. evaporatio// The problem with that is don't get to keep any of the water you pump up to the top: sequoias are only interested in the solutes transported by the flowing water.

Suppose, though, you had a forest, in sunlight, transpiring like crazy, and downwind from the canopy, a wind-collector, shaded, hence at lower temperature, condensing some of the moisture into a tank. No perpetual motion here: it's all fusion-powered.
 — mouseposture, Aug 01 2010

 How about evaporation/condensation in a enclosed unit?

Solar rays cause water in sponge to evaporate, it is collected on sloped glass causing it to run away from the sponge so as not to precipitate back down, causing it to collect in a bsin to be absorbed by the next sponge.
 — rcarty, Aug 01 2010

// sequoias are only interested in the solutes transported by the flowing water.//
sequoias have and external energy source.
 — gnomethang, Aug 01 2010

[gnomethang] As I said: they're fusion-powered.
 — mouseposture, Aug 01 2010

this idea didn't suck....enough
 — WcW, Aug 02 2010

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