Saturday, December 10, 2011

Solar Air Pump Rejunevation.

For last 2 years, I have being using a solar air pump for oxygenating my tank. It was working great. But as expected, as per reviews from other forums, the solar air pump stopped working last week. It was already showing sign of fatigue from last few months. The bubbles had reduced drastically.

So finally I opened the air pump to see how it was implemented. I was sure that it consist of a motor, but I was unsure how did they use a motor for pumping air.

So here are the pics of the internal structure of the air pump.

DC 12V Motor.

The Shaft consist of a small disc with a small hole sightly away from the centre of the shaft.

The Piston with 3 black rubber membrane.

The small hole in the shaft is for the pushing the piston of the pump. The pump as shown above consist of 3 small black coloured rubber membrane. 

Since the shaft hole is slightly off centred, the piston(which is at the centre) is held at an angle. Due to which, at a time two of the membrane are contracted where as the third membrane is expanded.

As the shaft moves in circular motion, the piston is also rotated causing each and every membrane to contact and expand. This causes the pumping action and thus the air is pumped.

After playing around with this, I came to a conclusion that probably the rubber membrane had toughened over time of 2 years and hence the DC motor, with low torque, could no longer create a pumping action. 

After some searching over the net, I came to know that petroleum Jelly can be used to soften rubber. And viola, my solar air pump got rejuvenated with some petroleum jelly. :)

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