How-To: Make your own Montgolfier ram

Energy & Sustainability Science
How-To: Make your own Montgolfier ram
clemson hydraulic ram.jpg

A Montgolfier ram, also called a “hydraulic ram pump” or “hydram,” is an arrangement of valves and reservoirs that can, without the addition of external power, raise downward flowing water to a point higher than its source. It does so, essentially, by dividing the flow into two streams, the larger of which gives power to raise the smaller. It is, in effect, a hydraulic transformer, and can be extremely useful in situations where a large flow of water is available, but at an inconvenient location. Clemson University hosts an excellent tutorial on making your own from hardware store parts.


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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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