Aqua Mystique

Since retiring, I have developed a dynamic water display that features the best characteristics that can be found among water features. Dynamic Aqua Art will supply the hydraulic components that make up the art feature. We will also provide the structurtal specifications the encasement must meet to meet earthquake codes, etc.

Your role will be to design and build an artistic encasement for the hydraulic components.

The device consists of clear, acrylic or glass vertical tubes (any number and any size and configuration are possible) where mesmerizing and changing bubble patterns are viewed as the water playfully progresses through a fill/empty cycle in each tube.

For a standard-sized unit, which measures approximately 36-inches wide, 30-inches deep, and 7.5-feet high, a 35 gallon tank that can be purchased at a farm supply store is required at the bottom of the feature. A small pump is submerged in this tank, which supplies water to a 30 gallon tank located at the top of the device through a 2-inch diameter PVC return line.

Control valves and a simple control system direct water into the various compartments of the top tank. A gate allows water to exit each compartment at a variable rate, which depends on the instantaneous depth of water in the compartment. Water from each gate enters a tapered and sloping chute, which is fabricated using aluminum sheets. Each chute introduces water tangentially to each vertical viewing tube, which produces spiral flow that clings to the tube walls as it descends. Each compartment, one for each drop tube, is carefully sized to produce the most exciting display.

A gradual 90-degree bend occurs at the bottom of each drop tube. Near the downstream end of each bend, a small wedge-shaped insert is placed in the top of each tube. The wedge's purpose is to encourage bubble formation downstream of the wedge. When the bubble's size becomes large enough, it breaks free and ascends up the tube in an eye-catching and distinct way:

* Like an artillery shell, which ascends rapidly and violently.

* Like a butterfly, rising slowly and gently wafting back and forth.

* Like a salmon climbing a fish ladder.

A valve near the downstream end of each 90-degree bend produces energy loss that is suffuicient at higher flow rates to cause water that occupies the entire tube cross-section to rise. Where this full-pipe interface collides with the spiraling flow coming from the tube's top, a bubbly mixture forms. However, beneath the bubble zone, the water's rotation resumes and a tornado-like pattern appears. It then collapses, rather suddenly, into a fine, snake-like string. Coupled with the blowback bubbles, the display is absolutely mesmerizing.

* It is a dynamic art display, not a static or steady-state display.

- Static displays don't move. Examples are paintings, photographs, and sculptures.

- The media in steady-state displays moves but does not change with time. Waterfalls and waterwalls are examples.

- A dynamic display both moves and changes with time. Examples are a flickering fire and rolling ocean waves. Dynamic displays tend to capture one's attention at least 15 times longer than steady-state displays.

* Very small footprint - since the display is generally vertical, it doesn't require much floor space.

* Scalable - it can be scaled to fit small (podium-sized) to large (big hotel lobby or stadium-front) settings.

* Almost maintenance free - you need to add a gallon of water weekly.

* Adjustable and soothing sounds of running water.

* Beautiful LED lighting with changing colors.

* Easy installation - for normal sizes, just wheel it in, fill it with water, plug it into a standard wall outlet, and flip the switch. It takes about 15-minutes, and no electrical or structural work is required.

* Recirculating water is continuously purified with a UV lamp, thus eliminating concerns about water-borne diseases.

* Environmentally friendly - in fact, it is patterned after a working hydraulic structure whose purpose is to keep our surface waters (lakes and streams) free from untreated wastewater discharges.

* It is highly educational with rich ties to mathematics, science, engineering, and computer simulation.

In short, it is an exceptional device awaiting your artistic touch for encasement.

Water tubes can be arrayed using any number or configuration. Therefore, encasements must generally be custom designed.

* Hardwood cabinets

* Contemporary materials, such as brushed stainless steel, copper, or fabric.

* Plastic or metal framework with a climbing floral display or attached laminant tiles (perhaps changeable)

* Brick, stone, etc.

This is a great opportunity to couple your artistic skills with an exciting and mesmerizing water feature suitable for both indoor and outdoor settings.

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