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I've seen one of those systems in east Texas many years ago. I find it hard to believe that with all the friction involved they could be all that efficient. Most oil field pumping units are driven by relatively small motors, since when properly adjusted the counter weights pretty much balance the rod load for each individual well on modern systems. (Part of my research involves numerically modeling oil pumping systems.)
On the other hand, the wells in those days were relatively shallow. I doubt they would work on most wells these day, aside from being a mile or more deep, you'd also have to make sure that safety regulations are met and that cos, etc. don't mess with them.
Still, it's interesting to see how much ingenuity was involved in figuring out how to solve problems in eras gone by. I saw a primitive system in Indonesia where they lowered a cable into a well and pulled it up by hand to get the (thick) oil that stuck to it. Hardly efficient but labor was cheap and the market for the oil was for local cooking, etc. Ingenious technique with limited resources when you think about it.
CQ de W5ALT
Walt Fair, Jr., P. E. Comport Computing Specializing in Technical Engineering Software
A restaurant near here uses a similar system for its ceiling fans, there's one motor and the rest are connected by a series of pulleys. It's interesting to see alternative ways of accomplishing things we take for granted.
It reminded me of a commercial for Kayak.com where one guy was sitting on the couch with two dummies on either side of him. They are all connected by wooden rods, and typing on their own computers to to "search multiple sites for the best travel deals..."
Debugging is twice as hard a writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.
--Brian W. Kernighan
Last Visit: 31-Dec-99 19:00 Last Update: 21-Jan-18 10:28