Ideas‎ > ‎

Lifting 380 tons

how to lift 380 tons 10 cm
- Using only a Greek god called Archimedes


Monday (14th march) I finally completed a task, that has been nagging me for long. 
- Removing most of the water from below the deck of illutron - Drying the bilge.

When I started friday, the water level was about 30 cm. 
The water was under the entire engine room at illutron. The engine room is approximately 90 square meters. 

Math * math * Archimedes = 27 tons of water!
27 tons of water down below - 7% of the mass of the entire ship.

Why didn't we remove this long time ago? 

Well, the water was not exactly unicorn tears or refreshing spring water. 
40 years of engine room leaves a lot of oil residues in the water.
We couldn't just pump the water in the harbour.

Oil - water separator

Oil has a lower density that water. It will settle on top of the water.
Our friend Tommy Byskov have created an ingenious oil-water separator, that does the trick. 
  • Oil+water enter through the yellow hose. 
  • Oil exit from the green hose. 
  • Clean water exit from the big black pipe.

Pumping it up

As always, the big problem on illutron is finding a pump that works. Because crappy stuff that breaks sadly still get bought in Harald Nyborg.   

We had a normal centrifugal pump around. But centrifugal pumps suffer from the problem of only working when they have water in them. 
With two valves and a vacuum cleaner, priming the pump became easy.
ash sucker
The vacuum cleaner got a little angry when I accidently sucked water through it, but it survived... 
The brighter kids would probably have used a water-vacuum-cleaner, but I didn't have such a fancy thing. :-) 
  • Open top valve
  • Close exit valve
  • Start sucking at the top
  • When water has filled the pump house, close the top valve
  • Open exit valve and start the pump
  • Using a non-return valve on the sucktion line made sure the pump house stayed filled when the pump was stopped

The oily water ended up here to be sent to the recycling plant

She has risen!

After 3 days of pumping it is clearly visible on the ship how it has risen (the grey line)

Try to ignore the floating junk - Someone had forgotten to sweep the harbour that day 

Inside - Clearly visible how the water level has dropped. 27 cm!
low level

Now is just left to put back the floor plates
floor open
.. and maybe later suck out all the sludge that was left after the water was gone.