Since the founding of this blog several intrepid souls have run public experiments. May I say: Bravo. And Bravo again. Well done gentlemen.
I have a candidate for a public experiment here at nicomlicom.
During an experiment we measure things. We like to think we know what a given trend in a measurement means. Sometimes we are wrong. The image above will help explain an experiment that may clarify what we see inspecting temperatures measured by thermocouples in our reactor explorations.
The image is a cross-section, a schematic, of a testbed. A capped tube is suspended inside a second capped tube. Inside the innermost tube, the smaller diameter tube, lies four things:
2. A thermocouple in the air
3. A thermcouple on the inner surface of the tube
4. A heat source
The heat source is not depicted – it will be a incandescent light bulb. Perhaps a halogen bulb.
Inside the outermost tube, the larger diameter tube, lies five things:
1. The smaller diameter tube
3. A thermocouple on the outer surface of the smaller diameter tube
4. A thermocouple on the inner surface of the larger diameter tube
5. A heat source – again not depicted.
Outside the outermost tube, the larger diameter tube, lies two things:
2. A thermocouple on the outer surface of the tube
Whew. That took a while to make unambiguous. So why do it? To model reactor behavior at low cost, in relative safety, quickly.
We imagine that when a LENR reactor, like Alexander Parkhomov’s Thermogenerator, begins to operate that the core begins to produce heat. The innermost tube in the image above represents that core. When we turn on the light bulb inside the tube we simulate what we hope will happen in our reactors.
The five thermocouples allow us to clearly see what the trends of temperature are when excess heat is present in the innermost tube. The second light bulb, inside the outer tube, simulates the heating wire in our real reactors.
Instead of spending hard-earned cash on destroying alumina, quartz, or stainless steel tubes we use PVC pipe and caps. Keep in mind that we do not want to go to high temperatures with this plastic analog of a reactor. That could case fumes we do not want to inhale. Instead we focus on the trends of temperature seen when the heat sources turn on and off.
No more guessing what excess heat in a core will do to temperatures read from various positions using thermocouples. We have an easily managed real-world example that we can manipulate. To
simulate the real reactor experiment we begin by turning on the light bulb which lies in the space between tubes. We can use a dimmer. No need for a PID controller. Then we can turn on the light bulb between the inner and outer tubes. The trends in temperature we measure should be similar to a real reactor.
For those motivated to make an even better version: Use oversize glass or ceramic tubes – large enough to easily locate the innermost light bulb. Wind heating wire around the outer tube.
Reactor analogs like the PVC model described have no time consuming coatings and no gas leakage issues. They simplify the study of the heat flux we hope to explore when we build real reactors. They contain no reactants.
If any reader cannot afford real reactor parts, cannot locate reactants, or cannot tolerate the high heat or other dangers of a real reactor, then they can still do experiments useful to the community by building a plastic reactor and carefully observing and recording the five sensors. An even more low cost experiment could be done using temperature sensors other then thermocouples. You could buy ten thermistors here for $1.60 USD delivery included. For the outer capped tube you could use a 16 ounce soda bottle or a peanut butter container.
For the inner capped tube: a 2 ounce energy shot bottle. You can find both discarded at gasoline stations. Instead of five sensors you could opt for fewer. Say one inside the small tube and one on the outer surface of the large tube.
The absolute minimum? With only one sensor, two light automobile turn signal bulbs (or domelight bulbs), two potentiometers, two discarded plastic containers, and an Arduino you could also simulate Alexander Parkhomov’s first publicized experiment.
Many variations on the ideas above can be constructed and used in instructive experiments of your own design. Use glass bottles if you prefer. If you need help with the Arduino see here.
Be neither a skeptic, nor a believer. Be an experimenter.