Electromagnetic Plasma Pump that Transports Liquids More Efficiently

Technology #14521

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Researchers
Subrata Roy
Pengfei Zhao
Managed By
Lenny Terry
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending US-2015-0337815-A1

Pump Design Lifts Liquids from Inaccessible Locations, Eliminates Mechanical Failure and Reduces Leakage Issues

This electromagnetic plasma device mitigates leaks and mechanical failures while pumping liquid in inaccessible, often long-distance, locations more efficiently than mechanical pumps. Pumps operate by some mechanism (typically reciprocating or rotary) via an energy source to extract fluids or slurries in a wide range of applications. Because mechanical pump failure is so common, the preface to the 2006 Pump User’s Handbook examines the “mean time between failures.” Failure of mechanical seals and moving components cause downtime as pumps undergo costly repairs (which averaged $12,000 in 2008). Researchers at the University of Florida have proposed an electromagnetic plasma pump that will help eliminate both leaks and mechanical failures while lifting liquid with reasonable power at a higher recovery rate. Additionally, this pump can clean scale deposit from the pipe wall.

Application

A cost-effective electromagnetic plasma device that effectively and reliably pumps liquids

Advantages

  • Small, thin device can be installed inside a pipe, eliminating leakage issues and potential environmental harm
  • Pump operates with no mechanically moving parts, increasing reliability
  • Plasma device offers efficient means for lifting liquid with reasonable power and recovery rate, reducing costs compared to mechanical pumps

Technology

The electromagnetic plasma device pumps liquid in small pipes by creating sparks between pairs of electrodes, generating plasma. The energy of the plasma causes vaporization of the water or other liquid, ultimately resulting in a shockwave positioned to push the liquid in a specified direction. The pump operates without mechanically moving parts, increasing reliability, and is thin so that the electrodes that create the pumping can be installed inside the piping of the pump, reducing or eliminating sealing or leakage problems. The shockwave generated cleans the pipe, eliminating buildup that could hinder liquid flow. The simple design makes it easy to build multistage pumping systems for long-distance applications.