- If any of you are involved in or are considering a free energy project that
has to do with heat energy then
this following information may be of help to you.
MISCONCEPTIONS IN THERMODYNAMICS
by Boyd Cantrell
To boil an egg we waste a lot of thermal energy by continuously transfering
new heat through the water and egg when we could actually just get it all up
to a good boil and then put it into a thermos bottle to retard the loss of
heat and let it cook by using the same thermal energy continuously as long as
Now you know that would work. We insulate our homes and wear thick clothing
to retain and make use of the same thermal energy as long as possible.
No other form of energy can be used that way. You can't put light photons
into a mirrored box in order to see by them while saving them. You can't
store an electrical potential in a capacitor or battery and make use of it at
the same time. You can't store mechanical energy and make use of it at the
same time. No other form of energy can be used this way. So this puts
thermal energy in a class all by itself and I say that it is the least
understood energy in our lives.
As a result of studying Thermodynamics for eighteen years and making some
expeariments of my own design I have found that the books are correct in some
areas and incorrect in others. This fiction mixed with fact leads to many
wrong conclusions. In this discourse I will expose many of the early
statements that were made by men like Carnot, Clausius, Kelvin and Planck.
The statements are the cornerstones in the foundations of Thermodynamics and
are still being taught today by the educational establishment. I
intend to show that the field of thermodynamics is still in it's dark ages.
I'm sure that you have seen the illustrations of Joule's pressure vessels
under water in the so-called closed system expeariment. Many modern books
today still use it to try to prove somthing that is not true. They state that
after the valve is opened and after the gas has expanded and has come to rest
then the internal energy is the same as it was before because the gas did not
decrease in temperature. I only ask that you realize that yesterday someone
did work on that gas to put it all into the one vessel. Now today they open
the valve, loose all of that work and claim no loss.
I also see that the one pressurized vessel was the closed system, not both
vessels. Then he allowed the gas to leave that closed system and enter
another. But if that don't help you understand then just know that Joule's
himself finally realized that the density of the water was so great compaired
to that of the air ( and I say, not to mention that the specific heat of the
water was four times that of the air ) that if the gas had decreased in
temperature upon expansion (which it did ) it would have gone undetected. So
if your book is still using that illustration you would be better off if you
just mark that part wrong.
As I said, Joules himself realized that said expeariment was no good so they
devised the Porous-plug expeariment. Now that is not free expansion as the
gas is doing work on that second piston, which leads to even more confusion.
The books will have you believe that if a gas does work during expansion then
it gives up internal energy, but if it expands freely then it don't. So you
are expected to believe that the gas has the intelligence to know wheather or
not it's expansion is being taken advantage of.
Now latter in the book they still can't get away from believing that if a gas
expands freely then the internal energy remains the same. It will get said
one way or another several times before it's over, like stating that they make
a gas do work as it expands because it gives more cooling effect than a free
expansion. Thats where they talk about a process for the liquefaction of
air. It's obvious that they have forgotten that they believe in the law of
conservation of energy. Like I said, Yesterday someone invested energy to
compress a gas and today they let it expand freely and claim no loss. So
let's compress it again and let it go again and do it again and again and
again. Now! where has all of our work of compression gone to ? They all
believe that energy must be conserved but they forget that. I'm not saying
that I believe that energy must be conserved. I'm saying that they do.
The subject of Thermodynamics would have been less confusing if they had never
dreamed up this Ideal gas. It does not exist. If it did it could not have an
inversion point like a real gas and it could not condense like a real gas so
there is no point in make-believe. Just know what real gases do and you won't
get confused. Let me put it this way, If you were to charge up your
Refrigeration unit with Ideal gas it would not give a good Coefficient of
Performance like the real gases do that go through a phase change. Or if you
tryed to power a steam engine with Ideal gas it couldn't boil because it was
never in a liquid state to start with and it could'nt condense in the
Condenser and create the high vacuums that increase the efficiencys, Or even
be recirculated by the liquid feed pump.
It says that you can't take heat from a single reservoir and convert it
completly into work ( because there is no cooler reservoir for the heat to
flow down hill into. ) I say that when you ignite the Afterburner of a jet
aircraft the engine up front is now exhausting into a hotter reservoir than
before but it still works. No I do not say that it works as well as it did
before, but it still works. Let me say it this way, the plane is not flying
on Afterburner alone. I have one other thing to say about the Kelvin-Planck
statement. That is that even if it were true there is somthing that most
people don't really see in that statement, It is the word COMPLETLY, I don't
expect COMPLETE conversion of heat into work, Do you? That word is always
there. Some books say COMPLETLY. Some books say HAVE NO OTHER EFFECT THAN.
Some books say AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF WORK. But it is there.
With the Heat engine formula, the closer T1 is to T2 the less work you get
for your heat right up to the point where they are the same temperature and
you get nothing. On the other hand with the refrigeration formula and the
heat pump formula, the closer T1 is to T2 the more heat you get for your work
but when they are the same and you would get the maximum in the real world the
formula says zero output. I guess one formula working out of three is good
enough for most people but not for me. Somthing is wrong there.
Back to the Engine formula, The books continually use this upper limit
equation for Condenser equipped steam engines. I say that once the vapor has
become liquid in the Condenser then you can no longer use a linear equation
because once it is a liquid then further cooling can not cause further
It states that the efficiency of all engines operating between the same two
temperatures is the same and no irreversible engine working between the same
two temperatures can have a greater efficiency than this. By the way, Later
on Clausius and Kelvin backed him up on that statement.
That statement is wrong and has thrown people off track for many generations.
We all know that a steam Turbine is far more efficient than Carnot's old
reciprocating engines that he would have us use in reverse as in a
refrigeration cycle. Now while a steam Turbine is the most efficient steam
engine it would not be that efficient if used it as a compressor in a
refrigeration cycle. Oh it would compress but it makes a better Engine than
it does a Compressor!
Or to use a refrigerator in reverse as an Engine would not qualify as a cyclic
device because there is no Feed Pump.
I would think that the Authors of the books would at least realize that the
second law itself prohibits an exact reversible process because of friction.
In the forward mode some of the work is lost through friction, so in reverse
those frictional losses would have to become mechanical energy, but Entropy
won't allow that to happen. There is just no way to get around the fact that
the Carnot Theorem is wrong. It should be obvious to any one that an
Irreversible engine is the most efficient engine, Not the Reversible one as
still stated today by the educational establishment.
The books all say that the efficiency of a reversible engine is independent of
the working substance, so let's use the most efficient heat engine on this
planet which is the Diesel. Now let's turn it backwards and
see if it can compress those exhaust gases back to that high temperature from
which they came. Tumning that engine backwards and using it as a compressor
would be a pathetic situation. It would be a poor compressor unless you
changed the valve timing and if you did that then it would no longer have that
best efficiency when operated in the forward mode as an engine. Or to say, (
It just ain't reversible! )
I think I can make you see it if I say it this way. In Carnot's
illustration he has the Refrigerator and Engine coupled togather in between
the hot and cold reservoir. Now let's see those reservoirs as the terminals
of a battery. And in between those terminals are an electric motor and
Generator with their shafts coupled togather. Now large electric motors and
Generators are about 92% efficient. So the motor
takes one horsepower ( 746 watts ) from the battery and puts 92% of it into
the Generator which in turn
puts 92% of 92% ( 631 watts ) back into the battery. Now for this to keep
the battery charged the Motor or Generator or both would have to be more than
100% efficient. Can you see now that Carnot's illustration has only proved
that no Engine or Refrigerator can be more than 100% efficient.
OK, Carnot stated his theorem, Clausius and Kelvin swallowed it. The blind
leading the blind. But that was a long time ago. They didn't have the Steam
turbins, Diesel engines, Afterburners and many other things that we have today
so they can be excused but we can't. People are still swallowing it in
colleges all over the world today.
HEAT ENGINES CONVERT HEAT INTO WORK. and
REFRIGERATORS CONVERT THE WORK OF COMPRESSION INTO HEAT.
Both of those statements are wrong. A Heat engine converts Pressure into
work. While it is true that the pressure was caused by the heat, it's not a
conversion of heat into work. All of the heat is still there after the work
is done, it is all spread out and at a lower temperature but still there. A
good example is the Hydroelectric plant, the pressure of the water has been
converted into work but the water itself is all still
there at the base of the Dam.
It's the same with the heat comming out of an Engine. It's all still there
but spread out. We could compress it to concentrate it just like we could do
work to lift the water back to the top of the Dam. It would be fruitless of
course, but I'm just trying to get the point across that the heat is all still
the pressure that is gone. I say that once thermal energy exist it can not be
converted into other forms of energy or done away with in any manner. Thermal
energy is not in the same class with the others. Thats why heat engine
efficiencys seem so low compaired to electric motors, hydraulic motors etc.
Efficiency is the wrong word for it because a Heat engine does not convert the
heat, It simply takes advantage of it's passing.
I have made several expeariments with thermal energy over the years. The one
I will explain now was the one that proves that Heat engines do not convert
the heat. they convert the pressure. I used a two horsepower gasoline
engine. I enclosed the flywheel and magneto, sealed it and the entire engine
so that it would run under water. I removed the carburetor so that I could
run it on natural gas. The rate of gas flow was controlled by a regulator and
meter. I bolted the engine down inside of a wooden box. I let the output
shaft protrude out of the box by using a rotary seal. With belt and pulleys I
connected the shaft to the shaft of a one horsepower induction motor which I
mounted on the outside of the box.
I then routed the engine exhaust through a heat exchanger on it's way through
the water to the atmosphere. I filled the box with water and maintained a
slow flow of water through the box during the entire expeariment. I installed
a wooden top on the box with a pyrometer to show the temperature of the water
at all times. I used the induction motor to start the engine. I let the
engine work very hard in trying to turn the induction motor faster than 1860
rpm. This four pole induction motor when under load will slip from line
frequency of 1800 rpm to1740 rpm. By the same physics you can make it slip
upward to 1860 rpm by turning it faster than line frequency, but you can't
turn it faster than 1860. At this point the electric motor was working as an
Alternator and pushing energy back into the main grid. As a motor it was
labeled 12 ampers at 120 volts so I adjusted the engine speed to make the
Ammeter show 12 ampers so as to not burn up the motor. ( By the way, I was
an electric motor rewinder, trouble shooter, repairman etc. for 25 years so I
learned early on that you could use an induction motor as an Alternator. )
As I said I let the engine work very hard in trying to drive the motor faster
than 1860 rpm untill the increasing water temperature stabilized at 118
degrees fahrenheit. Then I unpluged the motor from the power line allowing
the engine to run freely with out doing the work anymore. It was still
burning the same volume of fuel but now all of the energy could go into
heating of the water. I let the engine run freely this way for over an hour
in many tests but the water temperature did not increase. This tells me that
heat engines do not convert heat into work. By the way, if anyone wants to
recreate that expeariment, I advise you to go ahead and spend the money for a
Generator so you can power some light bulbs because if you just show some one
that you are creating a load on the engine by using an induction like I did
they may not understand. So don't give them that chance. Even a used
automobile Alternator and some headlights will do the job.
Now the flip side of that is a Refrigerator or Heat pump. They tell you that
when you do work to extract heat from the cool reservoir that you get to add
the work that you did to the heat that you extracted. I
say that you can't have your cake and eat it too. I challenge them to take
their Heat pump to Alaska when it's forty degrees below zero ( fahrenheit or
centigrade ) and make it deliver an amount of heat that is equal to their work
When we do work on a gas to compress it we exchange our work for pressure. If
that gas had a lot of thermal energy in it then we can squeeze out a lot but
if it had very little thermal energy then we can squeeze out only a little.
Please don't let them make you believe that you get to add your work of
compression as heat. There is no other field of physics where they say that
you get to add your work on top of what you exchanged your work for. And I
say not this field either. You can convert all of the work you want into heat
by friction but not by compressing a gas or a spring.
THE FIRST LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS
It is merely a restatement of the law of conservation of energy. Rudolph
Clausis said it this way, "The energy of the universe is constant. " But I
say not true! Let me create a picture in your mind of the pistons and rods in
a reciprocating engine. I say that energy is used up in stopping those
pistons and rods
and accelerating them in the other direction many times per second. After all
it's not like storing energy in a flywheel that can be used later or lifting a
weight to a higher elevation where it can pay you back tomorrow. In the real
world energy is conserved some times but not every time.
THE SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS
That second law ( even though they admit that they can't prove it ) I
believe will stand forever , though the Authors of the books sometimes try to
use it to prove something that it don't.
The educational establishment just continues to restate the same old
statements that were in the books that they learned from. Forty eight years
ago my high school science teacher said that every time we discover or invent
somthing new it is our duty to look back and see if all that we thought we
knew still fits.
Thermodynamics is the one subject where all concerned have failed to do just