Newby’s Minimum Fluid
Inventor John Newby wanted to find the plant irrigation system which would use the least possible amounts of energy and water. Newby developed several patented water delivery systems which he once demonstrated to the author in person, and he sent several models to the author over the last few years of his life.
In the compressed-air-powered pump on the right, there are three containers which can be long tubes, for instance. The upper one can hold planters, fish, or both. The middle one is for overflow water and is connected to each of the other containers by tubes (the connection to the lower container has a one-way valve).
The lower container receives the compressed air. As the air pushes out the water (which goes up the tube on the far right), the small bucket attached to a flexible hose empties of water, and air goes up the tube. When that happens, the pressure lowers in the container, and water flows down the siphon tube, which connects the top and bottom containers and is shown on the left.
The Minimum Fluid Technique (MFT) is an offshoot of the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT). The basic concept of the NFT system was first developed by Dr. Allen Cooper in 1970, in England. One advantage of the MFT system is that it can be turned off with no liquid flow for hours. The NFT system must run constantly.
While experimenting with incorporating his basic water pump into the NFT system, Newby conceived of the idea of supporting the stems of the plant by inserting the plant between water-filled tubes, and thus also reducing evaporation around the roots. The idea worked, resulting in a simple, reliable, inexpensive, easily-maintained, low-pressure, air-operated hydroponic pumping system. The system can be solar-powered without the need for batteries.
John C. Newby, was a retired U.S. Navy veteran and held patents for the basic pump (#5662459, 1977) and for an adaptation (#5813839, 1998) which runs on steam generated within the pump assembly (as a heat engine requiring only water and fire to run). Another patent (#5860247, 1999) covers the basic pump incorporated into an ebb and flow system, as animated on the previous screen.
In addition, Mr. Newby had patents applied for, for NFT and MFT hydroponics systems and for several diaphragm pumps and pump/valve combinations.
One of the main advantages of the Peristaltic Pump is cleanliness. It also utilizes another advantage: Fragile blood cells are not damaged by this pump.
The flexible tube (in this drawing its edges are blue and yellow for clarity) is connected on the inlet side to the patient’s artery, and on the outlet side to the patient’s vein.
In this example three rollers on rotating arms pinch the tube against an arc and move the fluid along. There are usually three or four sets of rollers.
Peristaltic pumps have a variety of medical applications. They can be used to add nutrients to blood, to force blood through filters to clean it, or to move blood through the body and lungs during open heart surgery.
The basic Piston Pump is very simple having just two valves and one stuffing box.
In this example the reciprocating piston is driven back and forth by a rotating mechanism.
This piston pump uses suction to raise water into the chamber. The lower valve can be placed below water level.
The piston must be within about 25 feet of the water level, but the water can then be raised quite high.
Progressive Cavity Pump
Progressive (or Progressing) Cavity pumps, a type of Single Screw pump, are used for highly viscous liquids such as peanut butter or glue, and also for liquids with significant amounts of solids such as cement or sand slurry.
Fuild proceeds from the entrance, at the top on the right side here, to the left. The rotor revolves inside the stator.
The stator is a twisted cavity with an oval-shaped cross-section. It is usually made of natural or synthetic rubber, steel, or plastic. The rotor is usually steel.
For a given diameter and shape of the rotor, doubling the number of stages (the length) will double the output pressure.
The area of the cross-section of the rotor determines the backpressure the pump must withstand
This is similar to other impeller pumps, but the fluid being pumped is not sent in a circular path. Rather, it proceeds more or less in a straight direction up to the discharge elbow.
Shown is a vertical propeller pump (horizontal and angled versions also exist). Here, the motor sits above the discharge shaft. The distance to the propeller is usually well under 100 feet and often between 10 and 20 feet.
The propeller can be placed below the surface of the liquid, where it will always be primed.
Propeller pumps are generally high-speed but with low heads. They can be quite large, measuring over a dozen feet in diameter and moving over 50,000 gallons per minute. Some have adjustable-pitch blades.