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The Light is Green



The best possible thermodynamic conversion cycle has it's limits defined by the area inside the rectangle. 

  And who can argue with this?  Let's see, Otto, Diesel, Brayton/Joule, and others...  On the agreeing side are Stirling, Rankine, Ericsson, and their followers...

  Why the "Who's Who" of thermodynamics?  Because they were the pioneers, So were Lewis & Clark, But how many of us travel by "expedition party" today if we want to see the Pacific Ocean?

  Carnot described a cycle, and that's great for analyzing the theoretical performance of a device.  But one of the problems we face today, is caused by the fact that our society operates these machines in a way that is not cyclical.  If we obeyed the rules of the "cycle" your car wouldn't have a tailpipe, you'd empty a tank of dirty soda water when you filled up with gasoline (or bio-diesel); but we don't.

  We're not calling for a value judgment here, just asking that you understand a basic truth.  Carnot was and is right, we may not be able to play outside the box, but we can think outside the box.  Perhaps we can fold it a little; maybe even cut a section out of the middle and push-n-pull it to the edge.

  Has anyone mentioned here actually beat Carnot?  Nope.  Will we?  Nope (gasp can I admit that without scaring folks away?).  So what's the point?  We can achieve a significant fraction of the area inside the box, and not dump any CO2 or other undesirables into the air.




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Updated: 09/11/10 19:32