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Whirlpool Waterslide

Like flushing yourself down a giant toilet
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I love swimming, but I'm petrified of whirlpools (water vortices, not appliances). There is something about being overpowered and dragged down to a watery death that horrifies me to the point that a large majority of my more unpleasant dreams incorporate this.

Last night, however, I was consumed, not by a dark, oceanic vortex plunging my hypoxic corpse into some deep abyss, but instead; a well lit, chlorinated vortex positioned conveniently in the middle of a swimming pool.

This, coupled with the ability to swim back to the surface, made for much less horrific experience. One could say, enjoyable, even.

Of course, physical science precludes the possibility of having a survivable vortex in the middle of a single pool.

Now if there where two pools ...

One (the vortex pool) which was shaped somewhat like an inverted parabola whose inferior most portion transitions into a smooth funnel that transverses a distance, laterally beneath the two pools, to eject into the bottom of an adjacent pool.

The second (the adjacent, ejection pool), cylindrical in shape with a smoothed ejection port, centered at the bottom of the pool.

The experience could be recreated with tolerable risks.

The pick-up for the water pump would collect towards the top of the ejection pool, (submerged to the least, functional degree) and would pump the water to many nozzles positioned around the top of the vortex pool parallel to the walls and angled to stimulate vortex genesis.

For safety, the ladder for egress of the ejection pool would be positioned over the water pump pick-up to help prevent people from getting stuck to the pick-up.

Once built, everyone can experience the ultimate swirly.

MikeD, May 11 2009

Whirpool surfing Whirlpool_20Surfing
I found this old posting looking for this idea. [gen1000, Jun 02 2009]


       Abswirlutely vortacular.   

       how about adding some giant inflatable turds?
simonj, May 12 2009

       It would probably be possible (even simpler, maybe) to create a pool with a single drain chute. The ride is sucked through the chute and spit out below and to one side of the pool. At this point the water would drain off to be pumped back up to refill the vortex.
MechE, May 12 2009

       Sounds fun. Maybe the pump in the ejection pool should not be so strong as to create the vortex single handedly, i guess wherever the inlet would be positioned, it would suck the swimmer in.   

       Better have a rather slow pump and let the vortex be created by rotating the walls of the funnel.
loonquawl, May 12 2009

       I've been a waterpark ride called the whirlpool, which consisted of you being dumped into a series of pools at high speed, with the whirling effect coming from the high speed, off-centre water plume that delivers the riders.   

       There was no disappearing down a hole in the bottom but instead you grabbed a rope to pull yourself into the next high-speed water chute that lead to the next whirlpool.   

       You rode it on giant rubber rings.
Aristotle, May 12 2009

       I think you could easily have a bowl shaped upper pool with angled jets that simulated a real vortex draining into a central hole large enough to never be completely filled with water which would drain through a J into a second pool that acted as the sump for the "swirler. The centripetal action of the swirler could be assisted by the rotation of the upper pool so the actual rate of drainage was very low.
WcW, May 12 2009

       These are all excellent ideas. I am looking for the most similar experience to being sucked down a true water vortex (without the drowning bit). That being said, I think [MechE] simplified* the idea beyond reproach.   

MikeD, May 12 2009

       I'm not sure the market is large enough to support that.
WcW, May 12 2009

       There was a swimming pool I used to go to which had a whirlpool ride, it wasn't much like the real thing though. Just a giant plastic bowl with a funnel at the bottom, you slide into it and go around a few times before spiralling down the hole and landing in another swimming pool. Unfortunately, probably for safety, there was never enough water in the bowl to make it feel like a real whirlpool.
mitxela, May 13 2009

       Riding down a whirlpool might be cool, but I'm not sure how one would have a remotely-safe egress at the bottom without having to use a really incredibly huge amount of power to keep things in motion. It may be possible to have a safe whirlpool slide which dumps the rider through a hole in the bottom, falling free into another pool, but the amount of water that would have to fall continually would be pretty huge. Even if the total distance from the top of the slide to the surface of the pool below was only 15 feet, and even if the pumps were 100% efficient, every gallon per second of water would require 160 watts to pump.
supercat, Jun 03 2009


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