Author Topic: Trompe?  (Read 630 times)

Offline Cantclimbtom

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Trompe?
« on: June 15, 2021, 09:13:01 am »
No not a former US President or dialect for fart, but a way of using moving water to generate compressed air to blow a forge, or in French Canada... using a head of water to power compressed air mining machinery.

In my ignorance... I've not heard of this being used in the UK which is odd as we seem "blessed" with water in and around our mines and hills. The one person I'd have assumed to want to import something exotic would have been Moses Kellow, but he was obsessed with water powered (directly) mining machinery (e.g. Kelldrill) so air generation may not have captured his interest

Are there any examples of Trompes in UK?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trompe

A good clear explanation of how this works
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Offline Wayland Smith

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Re: Trompe?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2021, 09:29:27 am »
Brewery shaft at Nenthead?

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Trompe?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2021, 09:33:46 am »
Brewery shaft at Nenthead?

I was just about to suggest that. Not sure whether it is the same type of system, but it certainly generated compressed air from water.

The other one that springs to mind is the winding engine in Sir Francis Level, but I think that used the direct water pressure rather than generating compressed air.  :shrug:

Offline Speleofish

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Re: Trompe?
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2021, 09:35:39 am »
I really enjoyed that! Some of his other videos look interesting too...

Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Trompe?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2021, 10:25:09 am »
Brewery shaft at Nenthead?
Unfortunately I've not been to Nenthead (but I'd love to go!), looking at https://www.wildplacesphotography.co.uk/reportage-1/brewery-shaft/  I see the remains of Pelton wheel and what might be air compressors etc, so I *assume* they used more conventional means, by using a head of water to run a pelton to in turn drive compressors or generators. That wild places photography has amazing pics - is Chris Howes a regular here?

This Trompe thing is more exotic. Whilst it is possibly one of the least efficient ways to generate compressed air you could dream up, it has a potential advantage that it requires no moving parts no compressors no turbines near zero maintenance, just some funky pipework. So if you have heaps of water so efficiency isn't a concern, you set it up, and it runs for as long as you have water and pipes.
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Offline PeteHall

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Re: Trompe?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2021, 11:01:48 am »
Having now watched the video, I'm pretty sure this is exactly what was used in Brewery Shaft. It certainly matches how the system has been described to me, by people who seemed to know what they were talking about.

Offline Jim MacPherson

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Re: Trompe?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2021, 11:11:30 am »
I think the term "trompe" may be a bit misleading as it's use in France and parts of northern Italy relates to the process of generating the air blast for furnaces by whatever means.  More specifically I was offered a grant to do some research on such a site in Northern Italy when I was at Ironbridge Institute in the mid-80's, didn't pan out so I can't supply better details.

Jim

Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Trompe?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2021, 12:56:42 pm »
...Brewery Shaft. It certainly matches how the system has been described to me, by people who seemed to know what they were talking about.
Thanks, very interesting!

... France and parts of northern Italy relates to the process of generating the air blast for furnaces by whatever means...
Thanks also,  "hit" or "blast" would certainly explain the choice of the term "trompe"

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Offline davel

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Re: Trompe?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2021, 01:21:31 pm »
For a full description of the compressed air system at Brewery Shaft see:

Paul Thorne, 'The Use of Water Power for Compressed Air Generation, at Brewery Shaft, Nenthead' in Water Power in Mining (Proceedings of the 2002 NAMHO Conference ed. Peter Claughton), PDMHS 2004, pp. 27-32

Dave

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Trompe?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2021, 01:41:44 pm »
For a full description of the compressed air system at Brewery Shaft see:

Paul Thorne, 'The Use of Water Power for Compressed Air Generation, at Brewery Shaft, Nenthead' in Water Power in Mining (Proceedings of the 2002 NAMHO Conference ed. Peter Claughton), PDMHS 2004, pp. 27-32

Dave

Thanks for the heads up Dave.

The publication is available here: https://pdmhs.co.uk/MiningHistory/Bulletin%2015-4&5%20-%20The%20Use%20of%20Water%20Power%20at%20Brewery%20Shaft,%20Nenthead.pdf

Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Trompe?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2021, 02:02:20 pm »
Thanks Dave/Pete, interesting reading. Not only answered my question but an example that is a big-daddy of the world of Trompes!
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Offline PeteHall

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Re: Trompe?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2021, 02:39:40 pm »
If you want some more reading, there are several related articles on water power in the same bulletin.

I'm not too familiar with the index and search system on the PDMHS website, but if you search "bulletin 15", you should pull up all entries, including several on water power (including the Hydraulic Engine and compressed air systems at Sir Francis Level that I mentioned before, though these are not the same type of system as Brewery Shaft).

Offline rjw

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Re: Trompe?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2021, 10:06:59 pm »
Some of the mines in the Greenhow area used what they called a water blast to move air to the forehead. Sounds like the same principle, water coming down a shaft, then using a separator to split the air from the water. The difference being that the compressed air was sent along the levels, rather than being used to power tools.

I don't know if they were used up to the point when compressed air tools became the norm for mining.
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Offline Jim MacPherson

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Re: Trompe?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2021, 07:02:16 am »
Some of the mines in the Greenhow area used what they called a water blast to move air to the forehead. Sounds like the same principle, water coming down a shaft, then using a separator to split the air from the water. The difference being that the compressed air was sent along the levels, rather than being used to power tools.

I don't know if they were used up to the point when compressed air tools became the norm for mining.

Additionally there is High Waterblast shaft in Smallcleugh and at least one air shaft along the vein in Troutbeck mine on the upper Tees called Waterblast shaft, as rjw says they serve a similar purpose to compress air to enhance air flow but lack the storage/air receiver system of the device in the video.

Jim

 

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