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Author Topic: calling Maxwell's Daemon  (Read 49344 times)

Offline Omnibus

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #60 on: January 11, 2011, 01:21:01 PM »
@nul-points,

Whether or not there's anomalous temperature dependence can be established sooner by placing attached and unattached cell in a thermostat and have the voltages measured when thermostat is set at different temperatures. I would do that first. More tedious is to study the long term behavior of both cells at constant temperature. Of course, combined effect of time and random temperature change may be th e reason for what you observe so long time comparison of the behavior of the two types of battery should be performed, independent of the above studies. Both temperature and time anomaly, if they are real, would be quite interesting. So, like I said, the reality of either effect is to be guaranteed and that comparison study seems to be a way to do it. It may reveal also some unexpected behavior of the particular cell you're using, attached or not.

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #60 on: January 11, 2011, 01:21:01 PM »

Offline nul-points

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #61 on: January 11, 2011, 03:08:53 PM »
Whether or not there's anomalous temperature dependence can be established sooner by placing attached and unattached cell in a thermostat and have the voltages measured when thermostat is set at different temperatures...{{SNIP}}
    More tedious is to study the long term behavior of both cells at constant temperature.
Of course, combined effect of time and random temperature change may be the reason for what you observe so long time comparison of the behavior of the two types of battery should be performed, independent of the above studies.

yes, not quite sure what you're intending to say here...
    the present tests aren't at a constant temperature

as you can see from the graph in the first posts, they're cycling slowly with room temperature (presently between approx 15 degC and 22 degC,), so the voltages are already being measured at different temperatures
  i agree that tests will still need to be carried out at different constant temperatures

the ambient test results which i've described above are the second round of thermal response tests i've run with this system configuration

my very first test, run immediately after cell construction, used a USB driven heater to provide an operating-environment temperature for the cells around 30+degC - the intention of the test being to determine whether the system could self-sustain operation with the input of heat additional to ambient

i could see that the voltage-time trend was steadily increasing - and in fact, it was approaching the limit of my highest resolution datalogging channel (2V +/-0.25%), and i had to keep dropping the excess heat input

so, as a result of the emerging behaviour which i observed in that first round of tests, i decided to re-order the tests so that i could check how the system responded just to ambient temperatures - the object being, of course, to see if the system gave any indication that it could self-sustain operation for an indefinite period of time

this test, although 'tedious', does have the benefit of reducing the options for people to argue whether the system operation is truly self-sustaining

when i move on from the present stage of cyclic ambient heat input, i can setup a thermostat-controlled operation for the heater so that i can observe the steady-state operation of the attached & unattached cells
 

Offline Omnibus

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #62 on: January 12, 2011, 05:18:41 PM »
@nul-points,

I'm waiting with interest the results of your studies so that we can continue the discussion in more concrete terms. Good luck.

Offline nul-points

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #63 on: January 12, 2011, 09:28:56 PM »
I'm waiting with interest the results of your studies so that we can continue the discussion in more concrete terms. Good luck.

thanks - the good news is that the DIY cell driving an LED flasher circuit is still showing a net increase in charge, with the present on-load terminal voltage trend >1.9V and rising

the experiment has been running non-stop for over 550 hours now (including a week when it was re-located from South UK to a log cabin in the 'frozen' North!)

the 'not-so-good' news is that the more recent secondary test of an unattached cell is not, at present, giving a consistent outcome:

the first few readings showed a clear correlation with the ambient temperature cycle in the room, then after i accidentally disturbed the cell the correlation has become very tenuous

so it's not clear at the moment if its a type a) or type b) outcome (as in the list i defined earlier)

however, the voltage-time trend is not rising, in fact it appears to decrease slightly compared to the trend of ambient temperature

i'm going to give this 'sidebar' test a full week to see if the outcome becomes more clear, but i don't intend to spend more time on it than that

i'm attaching a preliminary snapshot of the unattached cell data so you can see what i mean


i mentioned previously that, in any case, a test on an unattached cell would be of limited value since the useful internal behaviour of a cell is so intimitely bound up with the external electrical activity - and that test is already in progress with the DIY cell driving the LED circuit

there will also be things to learn from my recently-started control test of some commercial re-chargeables connected to a similar circuit load as in my DIY cell test - at least that new test appears to be proceeding without any issues
 

Offline nul-points

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #64 on: January 13, 2011, 02:32:00 PM »
 
correction - the experiment has been running non-stop for nearly 900 hours now (cells first connected to circuit just after midnight of 8th Dec 2010)

 

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #64 on: January 13, 2011, 02:32:00 PM »
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Offline nul-points

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #65 on: January 16, 2011, 12:02:33 AM »
the DIY cells which are driving an LED Flasher circuit continue to both power the circuit and increase in charge, as they've done throughout the lifetime of the 2 cells so far

the voltage/temperature graph for the period following the additional heat input run, up to present date, is shown below

the excess electrical energy which is charging the cells, even as they power the circuit, appears to be converted from ambient heat by the electrochemical activity within the cells, since the system is completely disconnected from any other electrical equipment, it's contained in a steel case and it's located in a darkened room


i'm also now posting the voltage/temperature data for an unattached DIY cell below

there appears to be a slight temperature dependence but the unattached cell does not show a voltage-time trend which increases

this 'sidebar' test is now ended


a 'control' experiment has recently been started, using two discharged 1000mAh NiMH cells to power a similar circuit to the main experiment

it's too early yet to see long-term cell behaviour, as we can now with the main DIY cell results, but it's evident that the commercial cells also have some temperature dependence, although not as great as the DIY cell

the NiMH circuit test also showed an on-load terminal voltage trend which was increasing initially, but it appears to have peaked and may now be starting to decrease

i'll post the voltage/temperature graph for the NiMH cct test as more data becomes available
 

Offline Omnibus

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #66 on: January 16, 2011, 01:02:29 AM »
Very interesting. So, unattached cell shows the expected behavior. There is something going on when the described schematic is attached to the cell.

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #66 on: January 16, 2011, 01:02:29 AM »
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Offline nul-points

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #67 on: January 17, 2011, 08:30:23 AM »
Very interesting. So, unattached cell shows the expected behavior. There is something going on when the described schematic is attached to the cell.

yes, an external circuit is important and necessary - but we can't read too much into that wrt the present circuit, at this stage

as i mentioned earlier, a battery has an almost 'symbiotic' relationship with its external load, in terms of enabling the battery's internal ion transport processes to function

so any load at all will differentiate very strongly between the behaviour of these loaded cells - self-sustaining/charging on-load for 900 hours now since construction - and that unattached cell of the same construction and build date which, by contrast, has just decreased in terminal voltage in the same period

a key feature of this particular load is that the load cycle is asymmetric:
 - there is a slow, relatively low-level discharge from the cells, followed by a sharp peaked pulse of recharge, fed back to the ballast capacitor, which gets smoothed by C1 and L1 before helping to maintain charge on the battery

cheers
sandy

Offline Omnibus

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #68 on: January 17, 2011, 12:02:42 PM »
This almost sounds like homeopathy. Microamps of current is practically zero current. I don't see how this can affect the ion transport such that the latter would spontaneously turn lower energy components into components of higher energy state. Related to this is the asymmetry of the load cycle -- have you actually measured these low level currents and their asymmetry or it's just a supposition based on the functionality of the schematic?

Of course, an experimental fact when it is firmly established has the priority. I find it highly significant that the unattached battery demonstrates the expected behavior unlike the attached. I think this experiment should be tested independently and if the effect is confirmed we may need to change probably some of our understanding on some fundamental level as to how the electrochemical systems really function.

Offline nul-points

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #69 on: January 17, 2011, 02:54:25 PM »
This almost sounds like homeopathy. Microamps of current is practically zero current.

hardly

microamps are certainly not going to turn your auto starter motor - but they are the necessary level of current to power an LCD timer on your CH boiler, drive your pacemaker, or power your PC real-time clock chip - any EE will tell you that microamps are a legitimate and useful level of current in the correct application areas

microamps will quite happily discharge any value of capacitor - it's just a matter of time

so let's not fool ourselves into thinking that 'microamps' effectively  means zero amps!


there are three major states for ANY voltage cell:

  a) externally supplied voltage is greater than inherent cell voltage
    this is the 'electrolysis' state when electrical energy is taken from the external supply and converted to 'chemical' energy within the cell

  b) cell voltage exactly = any external circuit voltage
     no energy in or out of cell - resting state of system - equilibrium

  c) cell voltage greater than that of an external circuit
     this is the regular 'galvanic' cell action - internal 'chemical' energy in the cell is converted into electrical energy due to external flow of electrons between the electrodes causing an equal flow of ions, within the cell, between the electrodes

these states are true regardless of whether the current is amps or picoamps (and, as we know, picoamps are 1000000 times smaller than microamps)


yes, i have measured the asymmetry of the load cycle - the load & buffer voltage profiles, as seen on a scope, are as i described above


this self-sustaining/charging action of cells is not unique to my DIY cells - as i mentioned above, several threads on OU.com have also described similar behaviour

this leads me to believe that we're observing something independent of these cells particular characteristics, and instead what we're seeing is a more fundamental thermo-electrochemical behaviour driven by the difference in 'work-function' of dissimilar metals (or similar metals, but in different 'concentration) driving ion transport between the electrodes with reduced electrode corrosion and with significant energy contribution being made to the usual electrochemical activity by ambient heat

my guess is that this possibility is initially most likely to be observed exactly down at the low-current area of operation

it's happening - the data shows it - voltage cells (mine & other peoples') are self-sustaining/charging with a continual electrical load

our response now should be to see if & how we can start to recreate this phenomenon further and further away from the equilibrium state of the cells

interesting times!
sandy
 

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #69 on: January 17, 2011, 02:54:25 PM »
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Offline Omnibus

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #70 on: January 17, 2011, 03:23:44 PM »
I know we're splitting hairs here since the points you make are correct but there's a quantitative side in terms of chemical conversion to the flow of charges. Milliamps of current flowing correspond to negligible quantity of moles of substance being converted. And substances have to be converted into other substances in order for a battery to be recharged. In the case at hand we're practically at equillibrium and yet the battery is being charged. Indeed it would be even more amazing if energy is dissipated from the battery and yet it would still keep on charging, that is, when the battery is away from equilibrium (working as a galvanic cell) and still being charged.

As for your explanation that "what we're seeing is a more fundamental thermo-electrochemical behaviour driven by the difference in 'work-function' of dissimilar metals (or similar metals, but in different 'concentration) driving ion transport between the electrodes with reduced electrode corrosion and with significant energy contribution being made to the usual electrochemical activity by ambient heat" there needs to be a temperature gradient for that, working opposite to the way the temperature gradient normally works, correct? Otherwise, I don't see how the metal work functions will behave in the new way you're describing.

Offline Omnibus

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #71 on: January 17, 2011, 03:40:15 PM »
As a matter of fact, I'm observing something similar to having a galvanic cell dissipating energy and yet being chagrged but in a different context. And that has apparently been missed in the very standard theory of electricity. You may want to take a look at the data which I posted here: http://www.overunity.com/index.php?topic=10177.0 . From these data it is seen that not only the output energy, when a simple RC filter is powered at certain conditions, is greater than the input power but there isn't any input power per se because all of it is returned back to the source (the input power is negative). And that is a purely theoretical analysis, independent of any experiment. In addition, experiment also shows such discrepancy. So, the excess energy in this case is due to the saving from the input. This is a violation of the first law, not of the second law. I wonder if there could be any connection with what you're observing.

Offline nul-points

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #72 on: January 18, 2011, 08:14:08 AM »
i understand what you're saying, Omni, but the truth is that only *exactly* at equilibrium, state b), is a cell truly at rest
[a cell's major states a), b) & c) as defined above]

the *slightest* voltage disparity (positive OR negative) between the cell and an external circuit will start the process for state a) or state c)

in fact, the definition for a reversible thermodynamic reaction is that an infinitesimal change (positive or negative) will drive the reaction out of equilibrium in the associated direction

the no. of available ions in the electrolyte at any time will limit the maximum current which can flow (for either charging or discharging)

but the charging, or discharging, current can be as low as you like (ignoring quantum effects here) - because arranging for the current to vary continuously from +ve to -ve (ie. from any starting values of discharge to charge) WILL pass through 0 Amps (=0 mA = 0 uA = 0 pA, etc)

on the way you'll have passed thro' smaller and smaller +ve currents then, after equilibrium,  increasing through tiny to larger -ve currents

=========

temperature gradients are required by heat pumps but not by galvanic/electrolysis action:

the Nernst equation, for half-cell reactions, combines the standard reduction potential from the Gibbs Free energy & the reaction quotient, Q, to determine the voltage driving the reaction

it relies on only one temperature:

E(volts) = Estandard - (RT/nF)lnQ

where T is an absolute temperature (ie. not a temp difference)
(R & F are constants, n is no. electrons in the half-cell equation)

=========

Interesting study you did with the RC circuit - and the experimental data backed up the theory?

i'm not discounting the possibility, but i don't see how my DIY cell's self-sustaining behaviour might map onto the 'saving from the input' mechanism you see in the RC circuit analysis

however, i'm wondering if the paper:

"Recycled Noise Rectification: A Dumb Maxwell’s Daemon" by M. Borromeo, et al
(Google for the PDF)

  might be a closer fit to your own studies?  the paper proves that it's possible to create a Maxwell's Demon by a 1D combination of delayed 'noise' (random or periodic) signal and the original signal on say, a charged Brownian particle, to cause a net current

so - is it possible that the RC circuit is providing just such a delay?  see what you think

===========

finally - the 'sidebar' experiment is back on (all bets recalled)!

for some reason, my subconscious told me to go back & check the unattached cell i'd been testing... sure enough i'd been using an earlier Zn Ni cell, not the Zn Cu cell (as used in my ongoing self-sustaining/charging DIY cell experiment

so - watch this space - more unattached cell data to follow in due course

don't expect too much difference tho' because i see that the off-load voltage is still ~0.88V, similar to its initial construction value, so it hasn't increased with time like the on-load versions in the experiment

anyhow, i'll redo a week's worth of voltage/temp measurements and report back


cheers
sandy

 

Offline exnihiloest

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2011, 09:03:41 AM »
...
=========

temperature gradients are required by heat pumps but not by galvanic/electrolysis action:

the Nernst equation, for half-cell reactions, combines the standard reduction potential from the Gibbs Free energy & the reaction quotient, Q, to determine the voltage driving the reaction

it relies on only one temperature:

E(volts) = Estandard - (RT/nF)lnQ

where T is an absolute temperature (ie. not a temp difference)
(R & F are constants, n is no. electrons in the half-cell equation)

=========
...

Thanks for the equation. It is a very interesting point that opens a way for a theoretical explanation of Karpen's battery, which is the object of an another thread (see http://www.overunity.com/index.php?topic=10208.0).
The principle is: if we choose electrodes that do not react with the electrolyte, we still have a potential difference. If a current is drawn, as there is no chemical reaction, the electrical energy comes only from the environment heat, the solution cools down (then the cell polarizes and we must open the circuit before restarting a cycle later when it will have recovered its voltage).



Offline nul-points

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2011, 09:29:08 AM »
or, as i said above:

this leads me to believe that we're observing something independent of these cells particular characteristics, and instead what we're seeing is a more fundamental thermo-electrochemical behaviour driven by the difference in 'work-function' of dissimilar metals (or similar metals, but in different 'concentration) driving ion transport between the electrodes with reduced electrode corrosion and with significant energy contribution being made to the usual electrochemical activity by ambient heat
[...]
it's happening - the data shows it - voltage cells (mine & other peoples') are self-sustaining/charging with a continual electrical load

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Re: calling Maxwell's Daemon
« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2011, 09:29:08 AM »

 

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