The Pressures That Were Rome

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

The Pressures That Were Rome

Engineering was among the skills that allowed the Romans to expand and maintain their vast empire: the roads that led to Rome, Hadrian’s Wall that divided Britannia, the Coliseum, the Pantheon and aqueducts, the plumbing that brought water to the Seven Hills.

The Aqua Claudia, one of 11 aqueducts of Rome, channeled fresh water 46 miles into Rome (Unearthed: S7 E12, Seven Wonders of Rome) based on gravity alone without any additional pressure. To maintain a consistent gradient with minimal deterioration of the channel, the water flowed due to a drop of only 9 inches (0.3 psi) in 30 feet.

Roman Aqueducts - Aqua ClaudiaA mountain channel and portion of Aqua Claudia
Source: http://www.romanaqueducts.info/aquasite/romaclaudia/

According to legend, one of the more amazing water pressure feats in Rome was the flooding of the Coliseum to hold simulated sea battles. Archeologists believe a three-foot-wide tunnel running between the walls of the Coliseum may lead to a labyrinth of circular channels that flooded the floor in the center of the arena. The hydraulic system would have required significant pressure and produced a rapid flow of water to flood the arena to a depth of around 1 ½ meters with 3 ½ million gallons of water within a few hours. Water flowing directly from the aqueducts could not have produced these results.

Discovering the ruins of a monumental fountain uphill from the Coliseum, archeologists speculate that water from an aqueduct fed the fountain and was stored 6 meters (almost 20 feet) above the Coliseum. With a sufficiently steep grade, the hydraulic pressure from this height (8.7 psi) may have been enough to accomplish the flooding. After the sea spectacle, four huge drainage channels opened to flush the water away so the more well-known gladiator competitions could be held.

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Pressure for Dancing Waters

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Pressure for Dancing Waters

Dancing waters, waltzing waters or other terms for describing the combination of colors and the motion of water in a fountain with several spouts rely on changes in and controlling the pressure for a defined time at each point in a water grid.

The computer-controlled systems consist of water, holding tanks, pumps to create pressure, solenoid operated valves, lighting and quite a few cleaver design tricks. For one of world’s most famous fountains, the one at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, uses only white lights. The number of sprayers and the height more than make up for the lack of color, especially with the majestic hotel in the background.

The fountain has over 1,200 sprayers that include 16 super jets that launch water 460 feet in finales. Called shooters by Wet Design that constructed the system, four different types of shooters are identified:

      • Programmable oarsman make the water dance up to 77 feet
      • Minishooters reach 100 feet
      • Supershooters achieve 240 feet and
      • Extreme-shooters can propel water up to 460 feet

Design aspects of each type vary but the SuperShooter has a 12-ft high holding tank, 1 foot in diameter that contains about 765 gallons. When air stored at 200 psi in 60-gallon receivers is released into the tank, the water climbs up to 240 feet. In contrast, smaller shooters with smaller tanks only require a few psi of air pressure to send water 10 to 12 ft into the air.

A water display on board a cruise ship A water display at sea on a cruise ship provides an interesting variation to moving water.

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Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
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Pressure Washing

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Pressure Washing

If you had your house painted recently by a good painter, you probably saw, or at least heard, the gas pressure washer used to get the dirt and loose paint off during the prep phase. For do it yourselfers, power washers are either gas or electric powered. Gas-powered models typically have 2,000 to 3,000 psi of pressure compared with 1,000 to 1,800 psi for electric models. If the home owner is cleaning decks, siding or other large areas, the gas-powered unit is recommended. However, the higher pressure from the gas-powered unit comes with higher noise level of 85 decibels (dBA) versus around 78 dBA for an electric model. To address different applications, many units have different nozzles but, in some cases, units may also have an unloader valve for pressure adjustment. Similar to other products that do not have a pressure gauge or a pressure sensor in a control circuit, the manufacture still has to use pressure sensing in the design qualification and quality control aspects of the product.

NorthStar Cold Water Pressure Washer

Image courtesy of NorthStar
https://www.amazon.com/NorthStar-Cold-Water-Pressure-Washer/dp/B00BINVIHC

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Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
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Water Pistol Pressure

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Water Pistol Pressure

Q. How do you elevate the basic water pistol experience?

A. By giving it more pressure.

Operating similar to the opposite of a hydraulic jack, a common water pistol employs Pascal’s Principle for a fluid at rest in a closed container: a pressure change in one part is transmitted without loss to every portion of the fluid and to the walls of the container. In equation form, it’s:

P1=F1/A1=P2=F2/A2

For the pressure to remain constant, if A1=n*A2, then F1=n*F2.

SuperSoaker water pressure

To take the water pistol to the next level, NASA engineer Lonnie Johnson conceived of the idea of a pressurized water gun with a pressure reservoir that became the Super Soaker. The ultimate Super Soaker used a constant pressure system (CPS) with a separate compression chamber that contained a thick-walled rubber balloon.

While the difference in the length and amount of the output (flow) of a standard water pistol vs. the Super Soaker vs. the CPS 2000 Mark1 Super Soaker is discussed in several blogs, the pressure in each is not. Those interested in pressure will just have to make their own measurements. All Sensors’ SPM 401 Series or CPM 602 Series pressure sensors with media isolation could provide those measurements.

Comments/Questions?
Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
Email us at info@allsensors.com