Our USA team has spent a great deal of our time last week supporting Mathieu's tests with the Euro Cell last week. In between configuring, graphing, and writing, we have managed to make progress in other areas.
We have a new borosilicate cell assembled. This is Pyrex brand borosilicate, which is still different from the Duran-Schott tubing used by Celani and by Mathieu in the Euro Cell. This new cell is using Macor ceramic for the wire supports. Both wires are NiCr.
We did a pressure sweep with hydrogen from 8 bar to 1 bar and graphed the indicating temperatures again. This is to continue to exploring the apparent change of temperature we observed in our first cell.
For the next test, we added some mineral wool insulation on each end of the cell to cut off most of the heat path to the flanges. We expect this will make the T_GlassOut more constant over pressure.
The insulation is held in place by a wrap of copper wire. We did a run over the weekend, but we are re-running it today because the power ended up at 47 W instead of 48 W. Keep watching.
This has a new electrical pass through design. We detected a leak with one of them and then fortified it again. It is testing now and appears to be our tightest cell, yet. It was losing 0.003 Bar per hour at 4 Bar (absolute) internal pressure. Here you can see the long pass-throughs. The length should keep the seal from seeing high temperatures and allows for several sealing layers within it.
The Air Flow Calorimeter has been wired, instrumented and is just starting to be characterized for thermal stability. Here are a few pictures.
After we get comfortable that we are measuring and controlling correctly, the next step with that calorimeter is to test it with a control load and see what we measure. We will definitely share that data as soon as we have it.
Anybody wanna volunteer to come play in the shop and help build other calorimeters and apparatus? We have the inclination, but we need more man power. Qualified volunteers will get free lodging, lunches, and a really cool prototyping shop to help manifest their ideas into reality. To qualify, you need really strong shop skills, mechanical design and CAD skills, and an ability to tolerate Minnesota in the winter.
Update: The Euro Team was on the Smart Scarecrow Alternative Energy Hour show. Here is the video (link to youtube)