We've hesitated to blog some the progressing research at HUG.
Because blogging each of these updates separately would only add to the confusion, we decided to fit it into a mega blog that features a wider range of we're up to at the moment. That way we won't cloud the Celani replication with all the side project updates, yet we may still inform you of what's keeping us so busy. It's a tough job!
So I'm sorry for the length of this blog and for those who want quick and dirty updates. Hunker down with some refreshments at hand; I promise this one's worth the read.
All the thanks to Kapytanhook
Though we haven't talked about the LENRCAM story in a while, we have not left it in the dust. I have been unable to keep up with how much it has progressed. Most the changes have been in software, and we needed approval from the author before we unveiled anything.
Here's a glimpse of how far we've gone. The image above is the BRILLIANT software given to us from follower Kapytanhook. He is developing the video processing software to look at hot objects and gauge their temperature with their emitted IR. Since our initial correspondence, we have gone through 4 beta trials that include image capture, color coding, temperature span and offset scaling, frame cancellation, noise indicators, and cursor-indicated pixel temperature.
We fashioned a black box theater to test all the developments in the software. We decided darkness was the best visible light filter.
Not only is the software cool, but accurate too! We tested the validity of webcam thermal indicators with a thermocouple lashed to the soldering iron. The webcam, thermal camera, and thermocouple varied from each other by only 2°C.
We've been very satisfied with the results, and will turn our attention to a reactor that features this technology in the future (Time is always in short supply).
Thank you so much, Kapytanhook for your prompt response and positive collaboration! Cooperation like this is a rare thing and the project would not be anywhere near as advanced without your support. This is exactly what live open science is all about!
Updates in Concentric Tube Calorimetry
The water jacket CTC is finally here! Though the road has been an arduous one, we finally have a working water flow concentric tube calorimeter. Below is a briefing on the changes made with the newest addition to our calorimetry research.
Wayne's been busy updating documentation on the water jacket concept.
The whole body shot. The thin wall reactor highlighted in our previous blog entry is shown inserted into the calorimeter.
Here is the homemade water well with a heat sink and fan attached. Water has much higher thermal mass than air. The water flows over the heater tube above room temperature (~40C at the moment). It's circulation passes inside this unit for control of the water temperature, monitored by the external thermocouple in black.
Not to worry! The hallmark, cool flashing blue and red LED combo is still an integral part of the body. It really is a smooth and quick way to see what process the calorimeter is performing - heating or idle cooling. However closer speculation reveals the circuit board the LEDs are attached to. Paul designed a compatible circuit board that runs the length of the body just below the outer concentric tube but still inside the clear housing tube. It is SO much tougher and more reliable.
We laugh in the face of danger, running our water flow right past the sensitive HUGnet board. What we see here is the largest delay in the water jacket CTC commissioning. Paul had a heck of a time making sure the outer concentric tube was liquid sealed. We did not accomplish this on the first, or the second, but fourth attempt. It all came down to the wire port. Keeping this small area water tight was a pesky job! Each failed attempt at sealing meant another 48-72 hours of curing only after we applied the next coat of epoxy, not to mention drying the outer tube of the leaked water. Rest assured: we wouldn't pull this stunt unless we were POSITIVE it was fail safe. So far so good. . .(We need an emoticon for crossed fingers for good luck.)
It's also pretty nifty how well the HUGnet board plugs into the integrated circuit board, eliminating virtually all the wires.
The small, bright yellow cord at the top is the separating line to force water flow along the length of the heater tube and back. The heater tube is the same RTD sense wire and heater wire wrapping from the previous design, however the wrapping is sealed with a 50/50 (v/v) mix of acetone and epoxy. Each coat was cured overnight on the same rotiserrie box we used to wrap the wires.
The active insulation piece of the assembly remains largely unchanged. However we soon hope to change the control algorithm used by the active insulation. Just today Paul introduced his idea to add a new self-adjusting control algorithm that is responsive to the ever-changing environment we put our cells through (it's a constant shuffle of reactors from place to place, in case you haven't noticed). This new algorithm promises to be much easier to use than a PID. More to come!
Idle but not forgotten, the air flow CTC rests just behind its younger sibling. These two photos are just to compare the relative size of the new hardware on the block.
With a cradle for the reactor and active insulation, we're sure to have more stable results out of the new design. But the old version has not been obsoleted! We STILL await new pressure transducers to assemble a celani wire thin wall reactor to fit calorimeters in this new smaller format.
Sorry! No updates on the old CTC or powder experiments this time around.
Tired of these megablogs? We're hoping to soon drop a blog outlining our plans for a new website satellite to quantumheat.org. But it isn't your run-of-the-mill blog post; we're presenting it with slightly more formal attire and even proper grammer - so it takes a little longer to get it dressed up to go out. Please be patient!
As always thanks for reading!