I am trying to find a cheaper way to heat the 75 gallon aquaponics system in the basement. It's really running closer to 125 gallons of water with a LOT of surface area. This bleeds heat quite quickly, so the electric submersion heaters are expensive to run and I simply don't have enough to keep up with the cold basement sucking the heat out of my tanks.
So, I did something stupid. I rigged up a water line to the furnace and water heater flue. This involved running about 25 feet of 1/4 inch tubing because that's all I had on hand that would go the distance. There are issues with copper being toxic to fish, and cooling the flue, causing Carbon Monoxide to fill the house. So this is not something you want to do yourself.
I needed more water flow. A 3/4 inch pond pump forced down to 1/4 hose just doesn't work very well. Too much restriction to get good flow.
I had to make a water tipper to help my grow bed siphon start and stop. This just fills up with water slowly and then dumps the water at once into the bed. The small water pulse surge is often enough to trigger a slow siphon.
This is fine and dandy, but I have a 3d printer. So I spent some time with a Fluid Dynamics textbook and openscad and came up with an adapter for running multiple hoses out of my pump – http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:54029
I think it's a first. I haven't found anybody else who made a laminar flow reducer for a pond pump. This thing induces laminar water flow through a series of small honeycomb shaped features inside the adapter.
It was very challenging for me to make, as my math skills aren't up to par. I kinda had to trial and error it instead of solving the problem with math.
In the end, it's designed to be printed, with a center support column running up the center to make the upper section easy to print.
The best part is that the goofy thing works!. I get the same water flow out of the heater line as before PLUS I get 2 additional water lines that are providing a significant additional water flow. I'd expect it to work poorly do to all the plastic that's in the water flow, but it seems to be efficient enough to overcome all the extra gunk in the way.
I broke the first print in half to verify that it printed the way I wanted it to. (It’s my story, let me tell it the way I want to)