Some researchers from the University of Granada have patented a new system that uses inflatable hydraulic dams that can be assembled and dismantled very easily. The technique is the first of its kind in the world.
The system enables a hydraulic dam to be assembled and dismantled in only a few hours, with no specialized machinery required. This not only allows for quick assembly but it minimized environmental damage by eliminating the need to install a solid cement floor and it is reusable. The patented invention can be installed in sections of a river that are difficult to reach and be easily transported to emergency zones or developing countries.
The custom inflatable system is made up of a modular foundation. The foundation is made from cuboid blocks that are manufactured using material that is both resistant and heavier than water. Next the blocks are placed on a base on which, using elements that run through the blocks, the inflatable part of the dam that holds the water back.
“With this set-up, we manage to create a horizontal support for the pneumatic element, as well as obtaining an anchorage that is more resistant to the force of the water flow,” explains Fernando Delgado Ramos, one of the authors on the patent.
The prefabricated elements of the dam is built from are low in weight and size, so they can be transported in trucks or even in containers carried by helicopters. This also aids in being able to set up the blocks quickly. There is very little effect on the environment from the set-up.