# Bicycle Powered Sump Pump?

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• posted on August 4, 2004, 11:14 pm
Is there a bicycle powered water pump available? A simple way to keep the basement dry when the power goes off, if so.
I can't find any. It ought to be simple though.
A regular bike rider can easily put out 250w for hours, which ought to keep ahead of a flood with lots of room for breaks.
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Ron Hardin
snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com

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• posted on August 5, 2004, 12:28 am
Ron Hardin wrote:

Got to be real fun doing that all night. ;-)
It also means you must be home at the time.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math

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• posted on August 5, 2004, 2:05 pm
Joseph Meehan wrote:

It's more fruitful than bike riding, and people do that for hours; going for 100 mile rides both Saturday and Sunday, for instnace.
Look at the motivation when the water's gaining on you.
Some people are home most of the time, and there's a fine water alarm in the sump hole.
The thing about human powered is that it outlasts the power outage easily, and gives you something to do in the dark. No fumes, no stale gasoline running out, no dead batteries.
It's not as if you'd have to do it continuously, just when the alarm tells you the water has risen again; then pump it dry again. There's lots of water storage under the floor before the well is full again.
--
Ron Hardin
snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com

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• posted on August 5, 2004, 12:53 am
Ron Hardin writes:

Consider the horsepower it takes to lift a given volume of water a given height in a given time. A man isn't good for much, bicycle or no. This was well known to the 19th century navies of the world wrt bilge pumps and to firefighting before the era of portable steam engines.
Reminds me of a friend who thought we would fly on bicycles some day, it was just a matter of improving the mechanical efficiency. That he couldn't run up a few flights of stairs without being exhausted didn't seem to be a problem.

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• posted on August 5, 2004, 2:06 am
Richard J Kinch wrote:

Likewise those who think the country can be run by sunbeams. There's only 700 watts/sq meter of sunlight falling on the surface of the earth. At the equator. At noon. With no clouds. The ONLY way to increase that number is to move the orbit of the earth closer to the sun.

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• posted on August 5, 2004, 2:17 am
JerryMouse wrote:

Or you could employ a really BIG lens or mirror. <G>
Jeff
--

Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"As long as there are exams in public schools there will be prayer in

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• posted on August 6, 2004, 1:06 am
Jeff Wisnia wrote:

10 sq meters of a mirror or 10 sq meters of photovolactic cells. Same area.
If you do all the computations, you'll find that a solar collector farm the size of the Los Angeles basin (1200 sq miles) would be sufficient to power California. All the people remaining in Los Angeles would, unfortunately, be in the dark.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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• posted on August 6, 2004, 3:49 pm
JerryMouse wrote:

You missed my point...A lens or curved mirror in space which was a few times larger in diameter than the earth would be ANOTHER way to "increase that number".....
It was a joke, son....ergo the <G> I added.
Jeff

--
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"As long as there are final exams, there will be prayer in public

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• posted on August 6, 2004, 12:33 am

to
There are a lot of square meters on a roof top. The problem is conversion efficiency and the cost of the equipment. Energy would have to be stored for night and cloudy days (batteries). John

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• posted on August 6, 2004, 8:49 pm
says...

[snip]
There *have* been a few flights of such aircraft already, you know.

Not as far-fetched as it might seem, actually.
Electricity consumption in the United States is on the order of 4 trillion KwH annually. There are somewhat over 4000 hours of daylight in a year (12 hr/day avg. * 365 days), so supplying this demand would require the generation of roughly one billion Kw per hour of daylight.
Now suppose that 100 watts/sq meter of the incident sunlight could actually be converted to electricity, on a year-round average. A big supposition, perhaps, but bear with me.
To generate one billion Kw (one trillion watts) at 100 watts/sq meter requires a collector array with an area of 10 billion square meters.
That's actually not as big as it sounds like at first, just square 100 Km on a side.
Furthermore...
The total land area of the United States is approximately 9 *trillion* square meters; thus, a collector array comprising only about one tenth of one percent of the nation's land area could be sufficient to supply all of its electricity needs.

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• posted on August 7, 2004, 5:21 am
Doug Miller writes:

Lean athletes in an agony of exertion pedaled around a track in a fragile contraption. I suppose you too believe this will be perfected into a flying bicycle for grandma someday?

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• posted on August 7, 2004, 1:06 pm
it will..as soon as granny lives on the moon, or MAYBE mars.
--

Mikey S.
http://www.mike721.com

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• posted on August 7, 2004, 2:13 pm

I don't think so.... human-powered aircraft won't work very well on Mars, where the atmosphere is too thin to provide much lift.
And of course aircraft of any type won't work *at*all* on the Moon, where there is *no* atmosphere. DUH!

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• posted on August 7, 2004, 2:16 pm

Not likely, I admit -- but such machines *do* exist, and it's perhaps a bit presumptive to suppose that we've already explored and exploited the limits of such technology. It's still less than a century since heavier-than-air flight was "known" to be impossible. :-)

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• posted on August 7, 2004, 6:30 pm
Doug Miller writes:

This is the bubble-headedness I speak of, that muscle power can do anything, if we just have the right machines.

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• posted on August 7, 2004, 7:10 pm
I think I missed something. Bicycle powered sump pump incase of power failure. So the power goes out and the alarm goes off, so you run down stairs and pedal your but off. Hey !! wait a minute . The power went off ,whats powering the alarm. Maybe you could rig up some kind of generator powered by one of those hampster wheeles to power the alarm.
Bill

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• posted on August 9, 2004, 5:16 am

Of course if my grocery store and drug store and all the other stores down town and in malls weren't FULLY LIT with 6 tube fluorescents on 24x7 and if houses didn't have a standing draw of 1kw or more even when everything is "off" (see wall warts, fast-on TVs, computers that turn on from a keyboard button push, etc, etc), then maybe we'd pull a tad less power.
Working at a giant data center and wth billions of desktops, I'd love to start to see computers come out for new users that weren't necessarily FASTER (do we really need 3GHz desktops?), but more efficient.
We hire people and give them 600-1GHz desktops, but it's just 2002 tech.
The cost of a CRT vs. an LCD is equal when you count the costs of AC and the extra power over a couple years.
Having worked on trading floors, money/square foot savings are also huge.
Stick a WattsUP meter on your TVs and other appliances and see what it costs for them to be "off" for a month.
Hell, throw 4 PV panels on your roof with an 800 watt inverter, it will reduce your power bill and pay for itself in around 8 years at the outside.

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• posted on August 5, 2004, 2:08 am
Ron Hardin wrote:

Build your own: 1 pump 1 bicycle 1 belt 2 pulleys
250 watts = 1/3 horsepower. Maybe it would work.

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• posted on August 5, 2004, 6:29 am
wrote:

I think you are joking. This is just too funny........ Of course, if you are serious, why the bike? Just lay on your back in the water and blow real hard thru the pipe. this forcing the water up the pipe. Be sure to stop to breath.....
On a more practical note, have you ever heard of a gas powered generator? They also make battery powered sump pumps that use a 12 volt car or marine battery.

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• posted on August 5, 2004, 7:23 am
just suck it through a straw and spit it out the door.
randy