Lift Pump

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Machinery & Equipment
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High-Flow Lift Pump

In fighting wildfires, and in many other applications, there is a need to lift water a few feet, say from a creek or river, to fill a header tank or mobile water tender. Particularly in firefighting, turnaround time is what measures success at the end of the day.

The current invention comprises an axial flow impeller pump section located at the inlet end of the transfer hose, a power head at the flex-fitting located near the destination (tank or truck), and a flexible drive shaft running inside the transfer hose. Sections of transfer hose may be daisy-chained, with the internal drive shafts automatically coupling together as the hose is assembled.

Prototypes have been built and successfully operated under test conditions. Flow rates of 500 to 1000 gallons per minute have been achieved at up to 12 feet of head. For one series of tests, the pump and power head were fitted to a Boeing/Vertol helicopter, successfully filling a 1000 gallon drop tank during hover.

In addition to flight applications, this pump shows promise in making quick turnarounds, drawing water from small creeks and ponds with minimal accessibility to fill tender trucks. By linking a number of 20-foot hose sections together, a 5,000 gallon tender could be located on a road up to 1,000 feet from the source, and filled in a matter of a few minutes.

The impeller is made of a custom-molded thermoplastic engineering resin, and is not only highly resistant to wear and trash, but is inexpensive, and easily field-replaceable.

Additional applications are seen in fields such as marine, wastewater treatment, and oil industries.

  • Awards

  • 2010 Machinery & Equipment Category Winner

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Eric Foy
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Profession:
    Engineer/Designer
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
    never
  • Eric's favorite design and analysis tools:
    IronCAD
    Rhino
  • For managing CAD data Eric's company uses:
    custom php
  • Eric's hobbies and activities:
    guitar, photography, aviation
  • Eric belongs to these online communities:
    linkedin
  • Eric is inspired by:
    Advanced materials
    Form following function
    Great architecture
  • Hardware used for this entry:
    Dell Inspiron
    Software used for this entry:
    IronCAD
  • Patent status:
    none