APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Water purification
- Water desalinization
- Waste heat storage
- Heat transfer
- No moving parts
- No filters
- Can be solar powered
- Economical materials
Berkeley Lab engineer Leif Steinhour has developed a heat-powered pump that purifies water while moving the fluid. The technology requires no moving parts.
The system is based on water-filled modules (plenums) that are heated on one side by an external source such as a gas flame or concentrated sunlight. An array of angled baffles within each plenum causes vapor bubbles to impart horizontal momentum to both the bubbles and the heated liquid surrounding them. At the top of the chamber, there is an optional phase separator, which allows separation of the steam from the pumped liquid. Sediment, which flows at a lower rate, can be drawn off at the bottom of the plenum, making the pump self-cleaning.
This durable, economical design could provide a potable source of water in lesser-developed regions where clean water is hard to find and operating costs of conventional compressor pumps and filtration systems can be prohibitive. The system could be powered by the sun using linear parabolic concentrators and could be configured to desalinate seawater.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Bench-scale prototype
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2013-053