A few things that can go very wrong when you put steam in a pipe. We talked about the damaging effects of water hammer, but there’s another state of H2O equally if not more dangerous when put in pipes. In this episode, we’re talking about steam hammer and differential shock.
This video gives a brief overview of this ingenious method of compressing air using only the power of water. The way a trompe harnesses the power of water to generate compressed air with no moving parts is fascinating and its use is seeing a small revival in modern days. A trompe can be useful in off-grid aquaponics and hydroponic systems that need aeration of the water. And, in fact, the inspiration for this video came from the late Bruce Leavitt, a mining engineer who pioneered the use of small trompes for aeration and treatment of mining water in remote locations without access to electricity.
This video shows a demonstration and brief explanation of air lock in fluid pipelines. If you assume that gasses don’t get into pipes or that they can’t constrict the flow, you might design a pipeline that doesn’t work. Luckily for engineers, this is a well-known phenomenon in pipe systems. It’s just one of the complexities that come with the job and we’ve come up a with a lot of creative ways to overcome it.