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Old 09-13-2018, 07:03 PM   #106
dogpatch
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The second law of thermodynamics applies to a closed system. An air conditioner or refrigerator is not a closed system, but is designed specifically to transfer heat energy out of the closed refrigerator or building. Using this transfer of heat energy is not a violation of the 2nd law.

Turns out the engineers are already busily working on this concept, and making it more practical. See this page.

When I was in grade school, they said it would be impossible to build a rocket powerful enough to escape earth's gravity. Never say never.
 
Old 09-13-2018, 07:55 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogpatch View Post
The second law of thermodynamics applies to a closed system.
You can consider the refrigerator+room or building+surrounding air as a closed system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogpatch View Post
An air conditioner or refrigerator is not a closed system, but is designed specifically to transfer heat energy out of the closed refrigerator or building. Using this transfer of heat energy is not a violation of the 2nd law.
According to the 2nd law, you can't extract energy from the transfer, unless the air outside the fridge/building is colder than the inside (in which case you don't actually have a functioning fridge/AC).

Quote:
Turns out the engineers are already busily working on this concept, and making it more practical. See this page.
Read past the clickbait headline:

Quote:
Originally Posted by phys.org (emphasis added)
Now researchers centered at Japan's University of Tsukuba have developed a new kind of thermoelectric system that can harness small energy differences at low temperatures.
Note that this is not a zero energy difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogpatch View Post
When I was in grade school, they said it would be impossible to build a rocket powerful enough to escape earth's gravity. Never say never.
I didn't say never, I said you misunderstood the laws of thermodynamics.
 
Old 09-15-2018, 04:00 PM   #108
dogpatch
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I ought to have referred to the law of Conservation of Energy, and not to the laws of thermodynamics. Nevertheless, the principle is valid.

Nor would the refrigerator (for example) have to use more electrical energy to transfer more heat. Heat pumps already operate at more than 100% efficiency - up to 300% efficiency. That is, a heat pump can transfer heat from a relatively colder area to a warmer one up to 3 times the energy value of the electricity used. This is not a violation of the law of conservation of energy, since the cold environment becomes even colder as energy is transferred from the colder place to the warmer one. The net energy remains static.

Therefore: an energy-generating refrigerator remains a potentially reachable goal. The heat energy transferred from the interior to the exterior of the refrigerator can exceed the electrical energy used to do the transfer. The surplus heat energy can itself be used to generate more electricity. When the engineering becomes efficient enough, there could be a net gain of electrical energy, and a corresponding net loss of heat energy, well within the laws of physics.

From refrigerators to air conditioning systems to large energy farms, located probably in tropical places like Nicaragua. Such farms might use the surplus electrical energy to produce liquid hydrogen from water, then export this clean fuel (liquid energy) to other parts of the world. It's mostly a matter of engineering. And of choosing to hope, not despair.

In the meantime, while waiting for the brilliant young engineers to come through, i completely concur with others who have posted here, that we ought to be conserving much more, and conscientiously moving away from dependence upon fossil and nuclear fuels. Give those engineers a little more time to work on this.
 
Old 09-16-2018, 01:19 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogpatch View Post
I ought to have referred to the law of Conservation of Energy, and not to the laws of thermodynamics. Nevertheless, the principle is valid.

Nor would the refrigerator (for example) have to use more electrical energy to transfer more heat. Heat pumps already operate at more than 100% efficiency - up to 300% efficiency. That is, a heat pump can transfer heat from a relatively colder area to a warmer one up to 3 times the energy value of the electricity used.
You are probably thinking of Coefficient of performance. But it's not the same as efficiency of an energy conversion process.

Quote:
This is not a violation of the law of conservation of energy, since the cold environment becomes even colder as energy is transferred from the colder place to the warmer one. The net energy remains static.

Therefore: an energy-generating refrigerator remains a potentially reachable goal.
It doesn't violate Conservation of Energy, true. However, it does violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion:
Quote:
A perpetual motion machine of the second kind is a machine which spontaneously converts thermal energy into mechanical work.

Last edited by ntubski; 09-16-2018 at 09:17 PM. Reason: fix url
 
Old 09-16-2018, 02:39 PM   #110
dogpatch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntubski View Post
Quote:
A perpetual motion machine of the second kind is a machine which spontaneously converts thermal energy into mechanical work.
So. . . a steam turbine (for example) is a miraculous defiance of natural laws???

Whatever the full context of that quote, it doesn't apply here, does it?

Heat and electricity are merely two different forms of energy, and can be interchanged. It's a matter of engineering.
 
Old 09-16-2018, 09:02 PM   #111
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Regarding so-called perpetual motion machines in general and thermal to electrical conversion in particular, it might be wise to think in terms of your bank account but in a bank that charges you 50 cents on every dollar you transfer from your account to someone else's. Add to that you can only deposit a dollar a day. Obviously it won't be long before your checks bounce "Account Overdrawn". Outputs require Inputs and such systems always operate with losses, even heat pumps. There is no immovable Object, Unstoppable Force, nor Inexhaustible Energy. There are only losses one can live with and afford for a time.

Incidentally Dogpatch, I never heard anyone say that "it would be impossible to build a rocket powerful enough to escape earth's gravity" and certainly no such statement would ever come from a person of any serious knowledge and experience in Math or Science. Even Archimedes realized that "given a lever long enough and a fulcrum one could move the Earth" BUT no such lever could possibly exist, no stable fulcrum could be found or made, and a human wouldn't live long enough to move far enough to move the Earth a noticeable distance. I did have a 7th Grade teacher who had literally no business teaching Science respond to my question "If all the planets of our solar system move at different rates but in the same plane, do they ever come into alignment?" with "No! That could never happen or the world would come to an end!" but then she obviously had less understanding of Probability, let alone the nature of orbital systems or even the relative mass of our Sun, than this 7th grader. Some things are so Improbable that they are effectively Impossible or to quote Wayne "Yuhhh! and later monkeys might fly out my butt"
 
Old 09-16-2018, 11:21 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogpatch View Post
So. . . a steam turbine (for example) is a miraculous defiance of natural laws???
The steam turbine can only work with a source of air/water colder than the fire which drives it.

Quote:
Whatever the full context of that quote, it doesn't apply here, does it?
I gave the link, you can read the rest yourself. I have to admit it's not a very clear and simple explanation of the principle though; I just haven't been able to find a really good one.

But do you see that if you had an electricity-generating refrigerator, you could use it to build a perpetual motion machine?

Quote:
Heat and electricity are merely two different forms of energy, and can be interchanged. It's a matter of engineering.
I suggest you ask any engineer about this.
 
Old 09-17-2018, 05:19 AM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
I did have a 7th Grade teacher who had literally no business teaching Science respond to my question "If all the planets of our solar system move at different rates but in the same plane, do they ever come into alignment?" with "No! That could never happen or the world would come to an end!" but then she obviously had less understanding of Probability, let alone the nature of orbital systems or even the relative mass of our Sun, than this 7th grader. Some things are so Improbable that they are effectively Impossible or to quote Wayne "Yuhhh! and later monkeys might fly out my butt"
Actually we did have a partial planetary alignment some years ago and there really were some people who thought that the world was about to end. I can still remember the scare.
 
Old 09-17-2018, 06:37 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by hazel View Post
What we now need to do is stop all the sentimental talk about saving the earth and concentrate on how we need to change our lifestyles if we are to save ourselves.
While I completely agree with your opinion -especially the part about changing our lifestyles- I also believe that the intertwinement made up by the political and economic elites (the establishment) has little or no interest at all in this topic and there's a lot they can do to change things. In fact, I believe they are the ones with more possibilities and resources to change things and tackle the global warming, but the economic interests always prevail.

In regards to those who claim that this is a "natural" phase of the planet, it is true that the planet was warmer before, but there is also clear evidence that the CO2 released by fossil fuels retains heat in the atmosphere causing an obvious rise in temperatures globally, so denying this is just choosing ignorance... Like those "flat earthers" (which is unbelievable at this point of History in human knowledge).

Last edited by Hungry ghost; 09-17-2018 at 08:56 AM.
 
Old 09-17-2018, 01:16 PM   #115
enorbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
Actually we did have a partial planetary alignment some years ago and there really were some people who thought that the world was about to end. I can still remember the scare.
Just to be clear the Improbability, at least in my mind, was not that the planets could or would ever align since I figured they would at some point and probably many times over billions of years... I just wanted to know if there was any record they already had. What I saw as Impossible was any major effect whatsoever from that alignment since I had been into Astronomy since I was 6 years old, had numerous books on the subject and understood the scale of our Solar system. By the time I was in the 7th Grade I was beginning to grasp how both Newton and Einstein viewed Gravity and knew there would be no upset let alone "the end of the world".
 
Old 09-17-2018, 01:37 PM   #116
enorbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hungry ghost View Post
While I completely agree with your opinion -especially the part about changing our lifestyles- I also believe that the intertwinement made up by the political and economic elites (the establishment) has little or no interest at all in this topic and there's a lot they can do to change things. In fact, I believe they are the ones with more possibilities and resources to change things and tackle the global warming, but the economic interests always prevail.

In regards to those who claim that this is a "natural" phase of the planet, it is true that the planet was warmer before, but there is also clear evidence that the CO2 released by fossil fuels retains heat in the atmosphere causing an obvious rise in temperatures globally, so denying this is just choosing ignorance... Like those "flat earthers" (which is unbelievable at this point of History in human knowledge).
Like you, I, and many others, scientists too are aghast at just how crazy some conspiracy beliefs get any traction at all and can last so long even in the face of overwhelming evidence so the process is under study. There is more than one cause but they appear to be linked together.

The first major common denominator seems tied up in Religion especially those that view existence as "everything happens for a reason" usually according to "God's Master Plan". Here's a decent review of such studies --- What Conspiracy Beliefs Have in Common ---

The most recent study gives considerable support to a truly basic fundamental in all of us and formally addressed as old as Pavlov's Dogs - Reinforcement. here's a good article on that more universal cause --- Why Conspiracy Beliefs Resist Evidence ---

I submit there is also a void created by the proliferation of such concepts as "fake news" and similar methods that isolate people since they come to believe that nothing is trustworthy excepting what they see with their own eyes. When nothing is reliable, anything can be seen as equally possible, probable, then even True and often indisputable. In this way what is considered Open Mindedness actually becomes Closed.
 
Old 09-17-2018, 02:27 PM   #117
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Interesting video:
LFTRs in 5 minutes - Thorium Reactors
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK367T7h6ZY&app=desktop
 
Old 09-18-2018, 01:32 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
I submit there is also a void created by the proliferation of such concepts as "fake news" and similar methods that isolate people since they come to believe that nothing is trustworthy excepting what they see with their own eyes. When nothing is reliable, anything can be seen as equally possible, probable, then even True and often indisputable. In this way what is considered Open Mindedness actually becomes Closed.
Well, I do believe it is important to take everything posted on the media (even "serious" media) with a pinch of salt. Often times, I've read an article in a particular and seemingly "serious" news media stating that certain medication (for instance, statins) are bad for your health and later I read another article in another seemingly "serious" news media stating that the same medication is fine. I wonder whether these differences in points of view are actually influenced by ongoing, non conclusive research or whether big pharma is influencing them in some way... Not to mention news about politics where the bias is usually overt and gross.

So, in general, I think it is important to develop a critical way of reading the news, read between (and beyond) the lines, and know who write them, what media post them (and their political trends), what interests are behind, check facts and make your own judgment rather than passively believing everything they publish. After all, media corporations, as any other business, have their own economic interests, so the content they publish generally is not impartial or unbiased in any way (especially when it comes to politics or when big economic interests are involved).

(Sorry for the little off-topic comment).
 
Old 09-18-2018, 04:22 AM   #119
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Absolutely agreed Hungry Ghost and it is nothing new since it is utterly human to have a point of view, even an agenda.

From the parable of the blind men and the elephant.. so far, traced back to some time around 1000 BCE.....

[quote = Ancient Parable]The parable of the blind men and an elephant originated in the ancient Indian subcontinent, from where it has been widely diffused. However the meaning of the popular proverb differs in other countries. It is a story of a group of blind men, who have never come across an elephant before and who learn and conceptualize what the elephant is like by touching it. Each blind man feels a different part of the elephant's body, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then describe the elephant based on their limited experience and their descriptions of the elephant are different from each other. In some versions, they come to suspect that the other person is dishonest and they come to blows. The moral of the parable is that humans have a tendency to claim absolute truth based on their limited, subjective experience as they ignore other people's limited, subjective experiences which may be equally true. [/quote]

No apology is needed since while this is a tangent (not actually OT) it lies under and directly affects this exact topic.
 
Old 09-18-2018, 08:57 AM   #120
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Taking my baby steps at living eco friendly but I aint perfect.

Bicycles are built and functional.
Solar still is giving me 5 gallons of distilled water daily.
Shop is built out of highly reflective steel in desert hot conditions. It reflects sunlight back to the sky.
My electricity is supplied by Wind Turbines and solar panels.

My gas foot print is small when I commute on my motorcycle.

The I aint perfect part is when I turn down the thermostat on a 115F day on my 3 phase central a/c unit.
I use 60 inch floor fan in the shop while working in 156F ambient temps. I am a human swamp cooler.

So personal comfort is a weakness I can afford to support. Being lucky to be born and raised like I was.
Something other members on the planet < mostly rural but also urban > have a hard time supporting that weakness.

Hard part of all of this. Ya gotta burn something to push something.
But. I got skills that can turn a skate board into a street wind surfer.
Problem with that.
All the cars and trucks.
 
  


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