How efficient would hydropower be at pumping water upward? Waterwheels are the cornerstone of unmanned power and are basically gravity powered (solar too if you count the water cycle,) which is very weird. Down is easy and up is hard.
Over the course of history there have been many inventions to pump water upward; the pump being the most obvious example and the Archimedes screw being one of my favourites. However I wanted to get a little original.
Here's my version:
Water spins a waterwheel which in turn spins millstones over water-filled bellows. The subsequent pressure sends water upward through tubes. Springs in the bellows expand them in between rotations to suck in water and the stones pass over them again. To prevent backflow between the stones rotations a series of valves like those of veins open and close across segments of the tubes. The valves consist of three petals that are pushed up (open) when water rises and pressed down (closed) when water drops down. To sum it up: water spins rocks and water goes up. Simple enough.
However, as I'm sure you are aware, I am no engineer and probably got something wrong along the way. Putting aside the considerable infrastructure and construction costs, how efficient would this method actually be? At least compared to other methods. I should also clarify that by "up" I actually mean uphill not necessarily vertically.
I expect it to be slower but require no energy (not manned energy anyway.) Starting up the stones will take some time and energy but once the momentum gets going the rest is easy. Feel free to propose improvements to my baby if you come up with a good idea (but don't replace her as it would hurt her feelings.)