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Monday, July 28, 2008

Thermodynamics and Engines

(1) This picture depicts the so called "Zeroth Law" having to do with statistical mechanics of systems in thermal contact, and the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics.

(2) This shows some of the equations having to do with heat transfer into and out of the system (Q=TdS) and work being done on or by the system (W=PdV). The graphs show what the various polytropic processes tend to look like when dual plotted on a work (Pressure vs. Specific Volume) and a heat transfer (Temperature vs. Entropy) graphs. The equation for the compression factor "Z" is given. The change in the internal energy "dU" of the system is assuming the system as a whole doesn't gain or lose any potential or kinetic energy. The value "k" is defined as a constant that is proportional to the constant pressure specific heat to the constant volume specific heat, or the ratio of the specific enthalpy temperature gradient "dh/dT" to the specific heat temperature gradient "du/dT" of the system it is experimentally being heated and compressed, respectively.

(3) This shows the definitions for all of the processes whereby one of the parameters are held constant while the other complimentary parameter is being varied.

(4) Here shows a work (Pressure vs. Specific Volume) and heat transfer (Temperature vs. Specific Entropy) graph corresponding to a Carnot Engine cycle that is undergoing adiabatic (meaning "no-energy-go-through) compression and power strokes, and isothermal (meaning "no-temperature-change") combustion and exhaust strokes. The area in the rhombus on the P-V diagram is equivalent to the work being done per engine cycle and the area of the rectangle in the T-S diagram is the amount of heat that is being consumed by the engine on each cycle. The ratio of the work done by the engine per cycle to the heat being consumed per cycle gives the actual engine efficiency value. The maximum theoretical engine efficiency is given by the formula Eff(%)=(T2-T1)/T2. (5) Here is an animation for a 2-stroke piston engine where the intake and compression occur on the up-stroke, and the ignition (power) and the exhaust occur on the down stroke.
(6) This shows a four stroke piston engine where "1" the intake stroke is down, "2" the compression stroke is up, "3" the ignition or power stroke is down, and "4" the exhaust stroke is up. The valves are operated by cams on the camshaft whereby the intake valve cam lags the exhaust valve cam by an angle of 90 degrees.

(7) This shows a V-8 engine operating with all of the pistons firing in a synchronized pattern, and thereby turning the crankshaft which runs the radiator fan and the the power pulley in the front. The power pulley is belted to a few other pulleys for running the oil and fuel pumps, the radiator pump, and the Alternator. The gear in the back that is powered by the crankshaft runs the camshafts and the transmission connects to that from below for running the drive shaft with different gear ratios (all not shown though).

(8) The Wankel Engine is a kind of rotary engine that runs very smoothly because it doesn't require pistons and it is relatively continuous. Note how the inner gear's diameter is 1/3 that of the outer gear's diameter, meaning that the inner gear has 3 revolutions per every 1 revolution of the outer gear.


Images courtessy of Wikipedia.

Note - People who like this post will also like The Best So Far

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The World Beneath Your Feet and Abiotic Oil Theory

Ocean=> 1.03 g/cm^3 (0-3.3 km)

Crust=> 2.7 g/cm^3 (10 km oceanic - 70 km continental)

Upper Mantle=> 3.0 g/cm^3 (90 km oceanic - 130 km continental ~ beneath crust in lithosphere)
Asthenosphere=> 3.3g/cm^3 (250 km thick)

Mesosphere=> 3.6-4.3-5.7g/cm^3 (2500 km thick)

Outer Core=> 9.7-14 g/cm^3 (2250 km thick)

Inner Core=> 14-16 g/cm^3 (1230 km radius)


According to Abiotic Oil Theory:

(1) Oil is generated at pressures of greater than 30 kilobars in the Earth's Upper Mantle which is located many kilometers below the Oceanic and the Continental Crusts in the lower part of the Lithosphere. It is due to plate tectonic activity such as earthquakes and volcanoes that oil is forced upward some 100 kilometers through the crevices of the upper mantle and the crust until it reaches an impermeable capstone layer where it becomes trapped.
(2) Oil is often times falsely associated with sedimentary rock because sedimentary rock (organic silts and detritus) tends to accumulate in the same crevices that the oil upwells through. On the oil's migration upward, it tends to pick up fossil remnants, leading people to falsely conclude that the sedimentary rock is actually a source rock. Of course, sedimentary rock does not get compressed into diamondoids as is quite typical of the carbon in the temperatures and pressures of the Earth's crust, and there are many other anomalies that can only truly be explained by abiotic origins of the oil deposits that are being found.
(3) The following fluid dynamic model is a simulution from an article in New Scientist of magma rising in a volcano through a gradient of varying densities and viscoscities. According to a hypothesis made by Oil_Is_Mastery in his post Rethinking Mantle Plumes, after the main magma bulb fails to rise quickly enough to escape the surface level of the volcano, and thereby causing it to cool and sink back down, the less dense material that continues to rise to the surface is quite possibly oil.
.. .. .. .. ..
for more information about Abiotic Oil Theory and Magma Plumes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Global Energy: Myths and Realities

Global Energy: Myths and Realities is a good video to watch for learning a few important things about the consumption of energy as it is now, and some of the realities involved in how it might change in the future from oil and coal to natural gas, nuclear, solar, and other alternative energy sources based on some predictions made by Dr. Scott Tinker, one of the guys from big oil.

Sources: US Energy Mix

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chemical Batteries

This demonstrates how a battery operates (the reverse process of this would be called "electroplating"). Basically, there is 2 electrodes of two different electronegativity values in an ionic solution and seperated by a semi-permeable membrane that contains aqueous electrolytes or ionic salt solutions. Based on the differences in electronegativities of the electrodes and the surface area of the electrodes exposed to the ionic electrolytes in the water, the battery will contain a relatively constant voltage potential until some chemical equilibrium is reached in the metal-water solution and then the battery cell is dead. In some batteries, the application of a voltage to the electrodes will recharge the battery by making the chemical process slowly go in reverse, while in others it can causes the battery to overheat and explode.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Nuclear Energy (for educational purposes)

For educational purposes only:

(1a) This demonstrates a nuclear chain reaction of atomic bombs.

(1b) This shows an animation of an old fashioned bomb shell implosion

(1c) shows a nuclear cannon that was tested in the '50s or so. Pretty neat stuff!

(2) This demonstrates a controlled nuclear reactor in a powerplant. The reactor heats up the heavy water and then that heat is exchanged into a water boiler that produces steam which drives a (3) turbine which spins (4) a really strong bar magnet which runs (5a,b) a 60Hz, 3-phase generator which goes through (6) a transformer where the two live wires are reduced down to 120V and sent down the distribution grids.
2. Nuclear Power Generator

3. Steam Turbine

4. Strong magnet

5a. AC-Generator (technically a 4 phaser, while most in modern times are 3 phasers)

5b. 3 phase electrical power

6. Transformer and Electricity Grids (for illustrative purposes, but may not be an entirely accurate representition of the transformers at electricity plant generaters)


A) Google Images

B) USPTO website

Note - People who like this post will also like The Best So Far which lists some of the best of 'The i-Rational Theorist' posts.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008