Compress Air with No Moving Parts! - Trompe
A brief overview of this ingenious method of compressing air using only the power of water.
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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.
Writing/Editing/Production: Grady Hillhouse
Director: Wesley Crump
This video is sponsored by Skillshare.

  • Practical Engineering
    Practical Engineering

    Make sure you never miss a Practical Engineering video and keep up with all my other projects:

    • charlie brownau
      charlie brownau

      Gday Please upload your content in 2020 to BITCHUTE and LBRY Mainsteam social media platforms such as Twatter + Fakebook + Google/YT is going thou heavy censorship and shady anti consumer practices

    • Alejandro de jesus Rodriguez Quezada
      Alejandro de jesus Rodriguez Quezada

      With not moving part? But the water is Moving

    • David Aspinall
      David Aspinall

      Using it to blow up balloons, and you have a way to teach kids. ...just a thought.

    • Systems Planet
      Systems Planet

      Why doesn't the water shoot out the holes in the 1st chamber? Can

  • woodworker Royer
    woodworker Royer

    This is so cool! I may build one for my fish tank using a tiny ram pump to power it! It may be enough to run my air stones and is WAY cooler than using a dedicated air pump. Louder though.....

  • Bling Status
    Bling Status

    I didn't know you lived in San Antonio.... I'm just a few minutes north in Austin!

  • JasonVladimir

    Pretty cool, thanks for sharing!

  • Obi1kenobi10

    Would introducing a vortex into the "intake " side have any effect?

  • Samuel S
    Samuel S

    Grady, this isn't a critique i just wanted to let you know that I love your videos. Being able to use your videos to explain things to my friends is something I love to do. Keep up the inquisitive attitude and the phenomenal video quality considering your budget. I've been watching your videos since your garduino video and it makes my day when I see a new video from you recommended to me by youtube.

  • DerLars

    Practical Engenireering: "No moving parts!!!" Also practical engeneering: "moving water through a pipe..." I think you missed one moving part XD

  • eng

    Name of song at 5:00 thanks

  • Dheeraj Hebbar
    Dheeraj Hebbar

    y can't we run the air compressor directly with energy of the falling water

  • rynzler117

    Would it make it more efficient to have the first shaft shorter?

  • Skela Tonne
    Skela Tonne

    You should get rid of that NOsoft button from the's tacky..

  • Justin Pyle
    Justin Pyle

    We love what you do. Thanks for all the cool ideas

  • GodOfReality

    Another fantastic and informative video. I greatly enjoy your channel, thanks for all your hard work.

  • J.R. 48
    J.R. 48

    Okay , so why don't use this system at all rivers ?

  • Dude STOP
    Dude STOP

    i cant understand how an air compressor became president

  • r2dxhate

    Trompe 2020

  • B M
    B M

    this is Stefan when he grows up and loses all his curly hair.

  • MaQuGo119

    You can't stompe the trompe!

  • smashed_

    Trompe 2020

  • DRFR

    Can you explain how the vibrating conveyor works?

  • Charlie Clabbers
    Charlie Clabbers

    Only works if you have a source of large moving water and a dam or large drop in elevation

  • joao paulo sanfelice
    joao paulo sanfelice

    In sugar production in Brazil they use a similar design to create vacuum, that is a important step to the sugar crystallization.

  • TechnoDelta

    wait. that power plant at 1:50. Isn't that Helper's (now gone) Coal plant!?

  • BlindDude

    How many gallons of water did you waste? Lol I love climate change.

  • My Name
    My Name

    No moving parts except all those used to create the pieces.

  • Dino Nucci
    Dino Nucci

    Is there a reason you are okay with an echo in your audio?

  • VeRrUeCkTeR_IWAN

    could you also create low air preassure (vacuum) on the "air intake" side?

  • steelbarz

    My home town is Cobalt Ontario, I have been to whats left of Ragged Chutes many times buy never got to see it vent. Some Kids burned down the pump house when I was a kid and the video that you show in your intro hasn't happened since the 60's to my knowledge.. So thank you I always wondered what it looked like and now you showed me video in your intro. Cobalt is an amazing town. We would explore the old mines and tunnels as a kid and the pipes from ragged chutes are everywhere in the bush all grown over from a 100 years ago the main lines are over 12 in in diameter. So much power was always amazing to me..

  • bledlbledlbledl

    1:17 which is why you don't see airlines strung on poles - that makes a weird mental picture, all those jumbo jets all strung up on poles :P

  • Saeglopur89

    3:00 maaan, it's hard to ignore that hemp plant in background :D

  • Captain Keyes
    Captain Keyes

    Ok dumb idea what if you use the water hammer pump with this and use the air to supply O2 for the fire (I'm not sure where I'm going with this but i will be keeping this in mind

  • paul smith
    paul smith

    So would it be feasible to cool a building with a trompe that drew warm humid air from the building and mixed it with a hydraulic RAM pumped liquid desiccant,CaCl (road salt) +water solution,circulated from a reservoir buried below the frost line and releasing the dehumidified compressed/chilled air back into the building? All plumbing,reservoirs,and pressure tanks being non-corrosive PVC or PEX?

  • Brian A
    Brian A

    I would have liked you to have included the math used in this and some of the information of how high the PSI was able to be obtained by this system. Also would have been nice to be included, was the cubic volume that was made per hour at some of these plants. Great video.

  • helperbot 2000
    helperbot 2000

    this channel is basicly: youtube at 3am

  • Mehedi Hasan
    Mehedi Hasan

    For a moment, I have mistaken it for "Trump".

  • SeeSoftware

    b bbut water is a moving part!

  • mw10259


  • jms mrc
    jms mrc

    considering you have water running through it wouldn't that be a moving part

  • Macam2macam

    Thank you sir for sharing this technology.

  • Brian Plays
    Brian Plays

    why cant you reuse the water?

  • Pedrinho Paquiderme
    Pedrinho Paquiderme

    Wrong title. Water IS a moving part. No air - and no fluid at all - can be compressed without a moving part and an energy source (in this case, gravity). The correct title should be "compress air without artificial moving parts". Or sort of...

  • Jaisimha Allalghatta Gundurao
    Jaisimha Allalghatta Gundurao

    Nice Video and I got to learn something new. thanks

  • joe woodchuck
    joe woodchuck

    I worked on a vacuum pump one time that rings a bell here. It didn't compress air but the vacuum on the intake side was useful in the lab. It worked ok but not great.

  • denvera1g1

    You should take a look at the mercury powered vacuum pump

  • Mugi Raharjo
    Mugi Raharjo

    It seems like ejector, but how much efficient it is ?

  • Ryan Hustler
    Ryan Hustler

    Ive never heard or seen this before, thanks!

  • Xeuz AK
    Xeuz AK

    Next step is find a way to connect the output water to its input. Waste less water! (If only that would work for infinite perpetual energy :P)

  • المخترع : عودة الكاطع
    المخترع : عودة الكاطع

    thanks for all efforts you do.

  • kaffepause

    love this. it's quite hard to see the pressure gauge, but do you have an estimate on lengths and pipe size you would need to say, fill a bike tire at roughly 7 bars?

  • einzeller85

    so water isn't a "part" then i guess?

  • solomon mallela
    solomon mallela

    I have a doubt, why can't we compress the air like a turbocharger , using water instead of exhaust gas It will be so much powerful I guess ! Then let the same water cool it down through exchanger I've seen a lot or water flow off for a very little compression.

  • Big Broccoli
    Big Broccoli

    are those cannabis plants in the background?

  • shng sam
    shng sam

    this is fascinating! the first part of the trompe, is just like reverse of sponge filter we have in aquarium, where the trompe use water to move air and aquarium sponge filter use air to move water

  • NaimaKKa

    3:52 I thought I broke my phone, I was scared shitless

  • Finally Home
    Finally Home

    5:03, is that hemp in the background? I'm curious as to an unbiased assessment of hempcrete.

  • Ronnie Wall
    Ronnie Wall

    I can see a bong made like this

  • Neal Jag
    Neal Jag

    That is so cool

  • benjamin jacobsen
    benjamin jacobsen

    Theoretically ancient Egypt could have had working air tools ( chisels, hammers, etc) if they built one of these.

  • hobbified

    This is very cool - it reminds me of the Sprengel vacuum pump, which is exactly the same (except exactly opposite, and also full of mercury). And indeed the Wikipedia page on the Sprengel pump says that it's a modification of the trompe.

  • hobbified

    3:46 what's up with the ladder line in this shot? Looks like ye olde 600 ohm stuff.