Rainwater harvesting project - continued

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Rainwater harvesting project - continued

Postby Thomzo » Sun May 20, 2012 10:08 am

Hi Everyone
Following the wonderful help I've already received on this forum for my Open University project, here is the next stage of my assignment. For this part of the project we have to develop alternative options and get feedback on them.

My project brief is to design a product that allows a water-butt to be filled where there is no suitable downpipe available. The criteria is that it must fill the butt more quickly than if the butt was just left out in the rain with its lid off. I also want this to be attractive to people with little or no DIY or problem solving skills.

I actually have four alternatives, but have dismissed two and am left with solutions A and D which I have attached. There are two sheets of diagrams for Solution A.

If anybody is interested, I would really appreciate some feedback both on the actual idea and the way it is presented. Do you understand what I am trying to show? Do you think it would work? That sort of thing.

Thank you very much for taking an interest.

Zoe

Copyright - I have no interest in developing this further so I am posting these diagrams on an open forum in case any manufacturers out there are interested. If you would like to take this forward, perhaps you would be kind enough to do the decent thing and contact me. I'm not looking to get rich out of this, but some credit would be nice. If you don't contact me and produce a product based on my design, well, the whole world will know who you are!
Attachments
Solution D - funnel.jpg
(178.77 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Solution A - diagram b.jpg
(212.86 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Solution A - guttering connector.jpg
(188.56 KiB) Not downloaded yet
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - continued

Postby sarahkeast » Sun May 20, 2012 11:24 am

I totally love the funnel design. It looks a bit Heath Robinson, especially with the shelf options and laundry ! But on a more practical level, would it harvest enough water with such a small surface/catching area ? If it was similar size to those cheap temporary greenhouse things it would certainly fit into most gardens. Would the stored water have a solar warming/heat storage benefit ? or does that depend on how quickly it is run through the system ? Guess it could also be set up to 'automatically' water the plants inside the curtain, or out. If you need a site to trial one in rainy Lancashire I would love to have it at my place!

Good luck
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - continued

Postby greenorelse » Mon May 21, 2012 1:35 pm

The funnel is a good idea but it's doubtful if much water would be collected. Our garden shed only ever collects enough water to fill a water butt during prolonged wet periods, which are rare enough.

Keep the ideas coming though!
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - continued

Postby Thomzo » Sun May 27, 2012 8:33 pm

Thanks guys. I've also spoken to a couple of friends and they mentioned the same as you, Sarah, about the funnel not really needing all the added bits. I think I'll redraw it without the attachments, it might be simpler.

I think everyone thinks that the guttering attachment is too complicated, they don't like the idea of drilling holes in the guttering either.

Cheers for your suggestions.

Zoe
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - continued

Postby Crickleymal » Mon May 28, 2012 10:35 am

Personally I have no problem with drilling holes in gutters. They can easily be resealed with hot melt adhesive or mastic. What I don't see the need for is an extra bit to go round the gutter where you've drilled the hole. Surely just a hole with a hose fitting inserted into it like the threaded bits in here http://www.inest.co.uk/products/Strata_ ... nector.asp. Use the wedge in your design to provide a bit of a head and you're done. The extra fitting that goes round would also be difficult to fit in a lot of cases as the guttering is often very close to the house and roof.
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - continued

Postby oldjerry » Mon May 28, 2012 11:13 am

I'm probably being seriously stupid here.I like the funnel idea,but I dont think you'll collect much water either.You say its for places where there is no downspout,but making a hole in the guttering is OK,well you can get a T piece of guttering that connects to a down pipe (just cut out the relevant size bit of gutter and slide it in.)If Ive completely missed the point,please ignore this,sorry.
If you cant harvest enough water from your roof,and its gabled, a circular pole extending from both end outwards,extend the gutters by the same ,cover the whole thing with a tarpaulin drawn tightly to each cornerand you will double the amount of water you collect.(and have an awning on each end of your shed.)
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - continued

Postby Thomzo » Mon May 28, 2012 8:35 pm

Thanks guys. Crickley, you have a great idea there. I was worried about designing a component that would fit all the different types of guttering profile so this could be a good alternative.

Oldjerry, one of the main criteria is that this should be suitable for people with no DIY skills. You won't believe the number of people I've spoken to who don't have a water butt because they don't believe that they could cut a piece of plastic downpipe to insert a rainwater diverter!

I am concerned that the funnel won't collect much water but it would still collect more than just putting the water butt out on its own. I used to have an old metal water tank, the sort that used to sit in a loft. It was about twice the surface area of a standard water butt. It did used to fill on its own, slowly but it did fill. The main advantage of this idea is that you don't need to be anywhere near a house with guttering.

Thanks

Zoe
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - continued

Postby Thomzo » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:54 pm

Yipededoodah Yipedeyah - I got 85% in my assignment today!

Thank you all for your help. I bet you can't wait for assignment number 4 :cheers:

Zoe
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - continued

Postby Thomzo » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:54 am

bump
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - continued

Postby Skippy » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:27 am

Thomzo wrote:
Oldjerry, one of the main criteria is that this should be suitable for people with no DIY skills.

Thanks

Zoe


I know it's a bit late but here's my thoughts.
I can see a small problem in that whilist fitting what you describe could be done with little or no DIY skills there comes the need for skills to connect your fitment to tanks , or toilets or whatever plus the dangers or working at heights and drilling holes through gutters and walls.Personally I'd go for something along the lines of an actual fitment that is fitted into the guttering as a convential downpipe fitting is.
Also one other problem is the size of the hole and hose. Being quite small there is a higher likelyhood of it blocking up so filters and more regular maintenance is probably required.
Just my thoughts.


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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - continued

Postby Rainwater Fanatic » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:20 pm

Although this post has long since been dormant, we have designed and are now marketing a product that does exactly what the initial design brief asked.
If anyone is interested in water self sufficiency in the garden please have a look at http://www.rainwaterhub.co.uk
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