After seven years of research and development, the Gravitational Energy Corp. of Akron, Ohio, has released a new, hand-operated water pump. Using a gravity-based technology, the pump can provide access to clean water in places where electricity and/or conventional fuels are not readily available. It can also provide an emergency water supply following a natural disaster.
The Feltenberger Pendulum Pump is believed to be the first commercially available gravity-assisted water pump, and its base model costs about $9,000. It’s a general-purpose piston pump capable of performing a number of water-pumping functions. If combined with an optional filtration system, the pump becomes a complete hand-operated water treatment facility capable of producing up to 1,000 gallons of safe drinking water per hour.
At the heart of the new machine is the Feltenberger Pendulum, a unique device that uses the power of gravity to help pump and pressurize water as needed for irrigation or filtration. Operator fatigue is minimal compared with other types of hand-operated devices currently in use, according to Gravitational Energy Corp. president and CEO Bruce Feltenberger, who invented the pump’s technology.
In May 2010, the company donated a unit for use in earthquake-stricken Haiti. The pump has provided safe drinking water for about 4,000 people a day with only three hours of operation, according to Feltenberger. The company is currently processing an order for a location in Africa.
In addition to water for drinking and irrigation purposes, the machine can be fitted with a small generator that uses the flow of the pumped water to simultaneously produce hydroelectricity.