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Pump Water With Trees

Use natural plants to lift water
  [vote for,

If only we had a clean, green, renewable source of water 30 feet above the ground! Without pesky issues like destroying ecosystems and needing to locate a waterfall or at least a natural river.

But wait- maybe we do have a way to do this.

Use trees, grass, weeds, etc. to lift water. Forget evaporation, instead breed for guttation and picture large ponds ringed with terraces planted with groomed plants. Each terrace is a ring around the pond, full of water (like a moat). The plants lean inward, each plant moving water up a few feet to the next terrace. Number of plants around the pond (size of pond) linearly effects water volume.

Then generate electricity, use the pond as a gravity-feed reservoir, use this to pump sewage for treatment, etc.

Result: Generate electricity from a new, artificial, semi-natural area; easily made into a public park.

Bcrosby, Aug 22 2008

Wikipedia: Guttation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guttation
[Thanks for the clarification!] [jutta, Aug 22 2008]

Smaller 120vac Hydro Generators http://www.nooutage...urbine%20Generators
About $2500, 30' head and 100gpm -> 200 Watts [Bcrosby, Aug 23 2008]


       > Use trees, grass, weeds, etc. to lift water.   


       I understand that plants lift water out of the ground for their own consumption, but how do you get it out of the plant?
jutta, Aug 22 2008

       //how do you get it out//   

       The idea is to use guttation, where droplets form on the leaves. Some large trees produce their own fog, and even "rain" -- for the benefit of the tree. But you're gonna need some very drippy plants to fill terraces.
Amos Kito, Aug 22 2008

       I hadn't heard the term before, but guttation does not produce pure water, it produces sap with a high organic concentration. This would flow relatively poorly and tend to gum up generators. Also, although I don't have data, I suspect gutation tends to occur only in fairly short plants, as it depends on root pressure rather than evaporative.   

       That being said, using transpiration to evaporate water in a greenhouse environment, collecting it on a condensing surface, and using that to generate power might have some promise, although I suspect the volumes would be fairly low.
MechE, Aug 22 2008

       My nieghbour down the street has an old weeping willow on his property that spontaineously rains. It's a bloody tall tree.   

       I wonder if that's why they're called weeping?   

       I am from Minnesota and we have our share of weeping willows- never heard of one raining though.   

       Because guttation is not a commonly-measured property of plants, let alone a desired and bred trait, I see vast potential.   

       If a plant takes 1' of pond shore line, and can move 1 gallon of water to the next terrace (say 10 terraces for 30' rise, each plant lifting about 4'), 1 gallon of water per day-- then--   

       a 1 acre (240' dia) circular pond with circumference 740' moves 740' / (24h*60m)= 0.5 [gallons per minute], or an expensive aquarium pump's worth   

       a 10 acres circular pond gives 2300' / (24h*60m)= 1.5gpm, still unimpressive   

       The sad truth: with 30' of head, I'd need 100gpm, or a circular pond 144000' circumference, 46,000' feet across, some 38,000 acres, for a small house... maybe circular isn't the right idea? :- (   

       For Hydro Generators about this size, see the link.
Bcrosby, Aug 23 2008

       Its raining trees. Hallelujah!
pashute, Nov 15 2012


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