Drilling Ideas

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Challenge is for contestants to drill for oil (water)

Bury two tanks of water (plastic containers). Contestants have to build a machine to drill down to the water and a machine to pump the water to the surface. Winner retrieves the most water to the surface.

Great show,

from James (aged 7)

Another idea from Matt (aged 5) build a Tank and then measure who fires the bomb the furthest!

-- Nigel Runnalls (NigelRunnalls@aol.com), October 24, 2000


I think this is a great challenge, and although the researchers say they have all the ideas for the next series, I think this is definitely one worth considering, a real engineering challenge! Bear in mind that to make it really interesting you would have to make sure there were several different layers of soil composition and rock, with even a gas pocket to really make it exciting! I hope the researchers lurk on this list and take notice of great ideas such as this one.

-- Paul Sampson (pauls@mail.falmouth.ac.uk), November 13, 2000.

I like this idea for a challenge. Are there two different ways of doing it, so that the teams could demonstrate different engineering principles?

-- Andy Bell (andy.bell@rdfmedia.com), November 20, 2000.

You could pump by lowering a water pump to the bottom, or by sealing two tubes into the ground and blowing down one to displace the water up the other. You could try sucking the water up using a pump on the surface as long as the water was less than 30 feet down.

-- Steve James (stevejames@btinternet.com), November 20, 2000.

there is the pressure idea, the archemedies screew, or even some kind of pully system if you want to get daft. ask a room full of rugby players how they would get the beer out when the bar is closed! mind you drunken contestants probably would not be a good idea...

-- Trevor Law (trevor.law@jena.co.uk), November 24, 2000.

I'm relatively new to the Junkyard Wars/Scrapheap Challenge scene, but I'm hooked!! Drilling for water was an idea that I thought of when I first started watching Junkyard Wars on TLC last year.

I agree that this would be a unique challenge, and a good one. If you could find a good location with a high water table, you wouldn't need to bury any water containers, just let nature provide!

Glad I'm not the only person crazy enough to think up this unusual challenge.

Brian Rivera

-- Brian Rivera (rivera@chopin.bme.ohio-state.edu), January 30, 2001.

The two drill rigs could easily be different too, with different drilling principles. One could be a hammer or cable rig, and the other a rotary rig. A hammer rig is slower but would take much less time to construct. A rotary rig needs water or a liquid pumped down the drill pipe to wash the cuttings back to the surface around the outside of the pipe, and is a much more complex machine. It would out drill a hammer rig, unless they encountered rock which would make them more or less even. The principles of impact (accelleration of gravity, transfer of impact thru the pipe, ect,) and of drilling ( how much power to turn the drill stem, and friction on the pipe, how the drill bit cuts, ect) could all be demonstrated with this show. The teams would need to be furnished with short (perhaps five ft long) sections of threaded pipe so as to not have to build the machines too tall or big in order to handle standard 20 ft lengths of pipe. Another way to compete would be to see which team would put the most pipe in the ground in a given time.

-- Waddy Thompson (cthomp3851@aol.com), February 02, 2001.

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