Ball bearings in the bubble pump

Thinking of ways to reduce the number of small diameter tubes, I am considering adding ball bearings to the fluid. These would be nearly the diameter of the hyperbolic tubes, which must then have uniform circular cross-section. Bubbles would be injected after every other ball bearing. Making the bearings out of tungsten or depleted uranium would increase the hydrostatic pressure possible in a given height. Tubes could be considerably larger diameter without risk of fluid (i.e., the bearings) leaking between slugs of air or air leaking between slugs of fluid and bearings. The fluid would be some kind of oil, which serves as sealant and lubricant, and if a layer of oil on the tube surface flows slowly or not at all, it doesn't matter because it doesn't weigh much.

Still working on the previous post, calculating gas flow rates, heat flow rates, and volumes. I hope using ball bearings will improve the situation considerably. It does mean we can't claim no solid moving parts, but that was just a slogan.

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3 Responses to “Ball bearings in the bubble pump”

  1. 0xff Says:

    Why everyother, I suppose hat’s related to the ‘small diameter tube’ so the surface tenision of the liquid will keep the fluid slug from evaporting or dispersing?

    It seems like this is on a slippery slope away from the goal of ultra simple, just works.

    I might suggest that solving for the maximum diameter tubing without ball bearings might be a valueable piece of information.

    BTW, perhaps a nuclear cooling tower is a great heat source.

  2. tom Says:

    information on bearings and list of suppliers

  3. archimerged Says:

    > Why every other, I suppose hat’s related to the ‘small diameter tube’ so the surface tenision of the liquid will keep the fluid slug from evaporting or dispersing?

    A bubble between every ball might work, but by having a slug of fluid between two balls, we ensure that the walls of the tube stay wet so the seal won’t fail. Also we need enough weight to hold the expansion in check. More balls and less gas means the (so called) hydrostatic pressure stays more nearly constant at any given height.

    > It seems like this is on a slippery slope away from the goal of ultra simple, just works.

    No doubt, but the ball bearings might work nicely. It’s another thing to try. It would require more careful construction of the tubing, but because of operating

    > I might suggest that solving for the maximum diameter tubing without ball bearings might be a valueable piece of information.

    It is an empirical result and I doubt there is any theory that can predict it exactly, because it depends on actual properties of real materials.

    > BTW, perhaps a nuclear cooling tower is a great heat source.

    Yes, it is. Actually, the input to the cooling tower is the heat source and the cooling tower is the cold source.

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