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Heat exchange technique

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Publication number
US20050022974A1
US20050022974A1 US10742022 US74202203A US20050022974A1 US 20050022974 A1 US20050022974 A1 US 20050022974A1 US 10742022 US10742022 US 10742022 US 74202203 A US74202203 A US 74202203A US 20050022974 A1 US20050022974 A1 US 20050022974A1
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Prior art keywords
molecules
gas
blades
surface
transfer
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US10742022
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Scott Davis
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Forced Physics LLC
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Forced Physics Corp
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F28HEAT EXCHANGE IN GENERAL
    • F28FDETAILS OF HEAT-EXCHANGE AND HEAT-TRANSFER APPARATUS, OF GENERAL APPLICATION
    • F28F13/00Arrangements for modifying heat-transfer, e.g. increasing, decreasing
    • F28F13/02Arrangements for modifying heat-transfer, e.g. increasing, decreasing by influencing fluid boundary
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B82NANOTECHNOLOGY
    • B82YSPECIFIC USES OR APPLICATIONS OF NANOSTRUCTURES; MEASUREMENT OR ANALYSIS OF NANOSTRUCTURES; MANUFACTURE OR TREATMENT OF NANOSTRUCTURES
    • B82Y15/00Nanotechnology for interacting, sensing or actuating, e.g. quantum dots as markers in protein assays or molecular motors
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01DNON-POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, e.g. STEAM TURBINES
    • F01D1/00Non-positive-displacement machines or engines, e.g. steam turbines
    • F01D1/34Non-positive-displacement machines or engines, e.g. steam turbines characterised by non-bladed rotor, e.g. with drilled holes
    • F01D1/36Non-positive-displacement machines or engines, e.g. steam turbines characterised by non-bladed rotor, e.g. with drilled holes using fluid friction
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04DNON-POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT PUMPS
    • F04D19/00Axial-flow pumps
    • F04D19/02Multi-stage pumps
    • F04D19/04Multi-stage pumps specially adapted to the production of a high vacuum, e.g. molecular pumps
    • F04D19/042Turbomolecular vacuum pumps
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04DNON-POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT PUMPS
    • F04D29/00Details, component parts, or accessories
    • F04D29/58Cooling; Heating; Diminishing heat transfer
    • F04D29/582Cooling; Heating; Diminishing heat transfer specially adapted for elastic fluid pumps
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04DNON-POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT PUMPS
    • F04D33/00Non-positive-displacement pumps with other than pure rotation, e.g. of oscillating type
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F28HEAT EXCHANGE IN GENERAL
    • F28FDETAILS OF HEAT-EXCHANGE AND HEAT-TRANSFER APPARATUS, OF GENERAL APPLICATION
    • F28F13/00Arrangements for modifying heat-transfer, e.g. increasing, decreasing
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F05INDEXING SCHEMES RELATING TO ENGINES OR PUMPS IN VARIOUS SUBCLASSES OF CLASSES F01-F04
    • F05DINDEXING SCHEME FOR ASPECTS RELATING TO NON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, GAS-TURBINES OR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F05D2250/00Geometry
    • F05D2250/80Size or power range of the machines
    • F05D2250/82Micromachines
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F05INDEXING SCHEMES RELATING TO ENGINES OR PUMPS IN VARIOUS SUBCLASSES OF CLASSES F01-F04
    • F05DINDEXING SCHEME FOR ASPECTS RELATING TO NON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, GAS-TURBINES OR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F05D2250/00Geometry
    • F05D2250/80Size or power range of the machines
    • F05D2250/84Nanomachines

Abstract

A method and device that transfers heat to or from a gas. The method includes the steps of moving a surface with sufficient speed to disrupt a velocity boundary layer for molecules of the gas in contact with the surface, and cooling or heating the surface. The surface can be a heteroscopic structure that selects molecules from the gas. Cooling results in a transfer of energy from the molecules to the surface, whereas heating results in a transfer of energy from the surface to the molecules.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority from Provisional Application No. 60/434852, “Air Flow, Heat Exchange, and Molecular Selection Systems,” filed Dec. 19, 2002, in the name of inventors Scott Davis and Art Williams; from Provisional Application No. 60/499,066, “Molecular Speed Selection, Flow Generation, Adiabatic Cooling, and Other Heteroscopic Technologies,” filed Aug. 29, 2003, in the name of inventors Scott Davis and Art Williams; from U.S. patent application No. Ser. 10/693,635, “Heteroscopic Turbine,” filed Oct. 24, 2003, in the name of inventor Scott Davis; and from U.S. patent application No. Ser. ______, “Molecular Speed and Direction Selection,” filed Dec. 16, 2003, in the name of inventor Scott Davis, Express Mail Label No. EL 768 962 519 US. These applications are incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    This invention relates to exchanging heat with a gas. In particular, the invention relates to transferring heat to or from the gas, for example through forced conduction.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0005]
    One prevalent device in modern technology is a device that exchanges heat with air or other gaseous matter. Examples of such devices include cooling units for computers, radiators for cars, air conditioners, refrigerators, heaters, industrial cooling units for large machinery, and innumerable other devices.
  • [0006]
    Prior art techniques for exchanging heat with air involve forced convection. In forced convention, air is forced to flow over or through some heating or cooling element. For example, air can be blown over or through a heated or cooled substrate, duct or grille. The purpose of these arrangements can be to heat or cool either the air or the substrate, duct or grille.
  • [0007]
    In all of these prior art arrangements, a boundary layer forms over the surface of the substrate, duct or grille. In particular, air molecules in contact with the surface tend to “stick” to the surface. These air molecules in turn impede the motion of adjacent air molecules in the air flow, which in turn impede other air molecules. Thus, a region of slow-moving air molecules forms over the surface. This region is known as a velocity boundary layer.
  • [0008]
    The velocity boundary layer limits the number of air molecules that come into contact with the surface. Actual heat transfer only occurs at this surface. As a result, once heat is transferred to or from the molecules in the boundary layer, further transfer of heat is largely blocked. More heat can only be transferred once the molecules in the boundary layer are dragged away from the surface by the viscosity of the air, which is an intrinsically inefficient process. Molecular collisions also can drive the molecules away from the surface, but this is an even more inefficient process. As a result, the velocity boundary layer is accompanied by a thermal boundary layer.
  • [0009]
    The thermal boundary layer greatly impedes the transfer of heat between the forced air and the substrate, duct or grille. In addition, the forcing elements (e.g., fans) for conventional heat transfer devices must be powerful enough to overcome the viscosity of the air. Otherwise, little heat transfer will occur. Because of these factors, heating and cooling units tend to be fairly large devices with large footprints. These large footprints are the limiting design factors in many modern devices.
  • [0010]
    One alternative technique that has been explored with little success is heating or cooling the blades of fans that force (i.e., blow) air. However, in this approach, a thermal boundary layer forms on the blades. As a result, this approach is no more efficient than forcing air over or through a substrate, duct or grille. All of these problems also exist when transferring heat to or from any other gas or gas mixture besides air.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0011]
    What is needed is a device or technique that permits heat exchange to or from air (or other gaseous matter) substantially without creation of velocity and thermal boundary layers.
  • [0012]
    Accordingly, one aspect of the invention is a method of transferring heat to or from a gas. The method includes the steps of moving a surface with sufficient speed to disrupt a velocity boundary layer for molecules of the gas in contact with the surface, and cooling or heating the surface. Preferably, the moving step and the heating or cooling step occur simultaneously. Cooling results in a transfer of energy from the molecules to the surface, whereas heating results in a transfer of energy from the surface to the molecules.
  • [0013]
    Another aspect of the invention is also a method of transferring heat to or from a gas. This method includes the steps of selecting molecules from the gas using a heteroscopic structure, and heating or cooling at least part of the heteroscopic structure that comes into contact with the selected molecules. Cooling results in a transfer of energy from the molecules to the heteroscopic structure, whereas heating results in a transfer of energy from the heteroscopic structure to the molecules.
  • [0014]
    An embodiment of the invention can perform one or both of these methods. In particular, a velocity boundary layer is unlikely to form on a heteroscopic structure that is moved sufficiently fast to selects molecules from a gas.
  • [0015]
    The gas can be air, and the molecules can be selected from the gas at higher than near-vacuum pressure such as atmospheric pressure.
  • [0016]
    Preferably, the heteroscopic structure includes microscopic or nanoscopic turbine blades moving at a speed comparable to a mean thermal velocity of the gas. These turbine blades can feed into microscopic or nanoscopic ducts that are cooled or heated.
  • [0017]
    In heteroscopic turbine embodiments, the turbine blades can be mounted on or in a rotating structure. Alternatively, the turbine blades can be mounted on or in a linearly moving structure, for example a component such as a radiator of a vehicle that moves through the gas.
  • [0018]
    Additional aspects of the invention include devices that implement the foregoing methods, as well as other embodiments and features discussed below.
  • [0019]
    This brief summary has been provided so that the nature of the invention may be understood quickly. A more complete understanding of the invention may be obtained by reference to the following description of the preferred embodiments thereof in connection with the attached drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0020]
    FIG. 1 shows transfer of heat to a gas from a surface with an attenuated or absent velocity boundary layer according to one aspect of the invention.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 2 shows transfer of heat from a gas to a surface with an attenuated or absent velocity boundary layer according to one aspect of the invention.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 3 shows a rotational embodiment of one aspect of the invention.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 4 shows a linearly moving embodiment of one aspect of the invention.
  • [0024]
    FIGS. 5 to 8 show embodiments of aspects of the invention that work in conjunction with selection of molecules from a gas, for example by a heteroscopic turbine.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 9 illustrates transfer of heat to or from a gas in a duct according to an aspect of the invention.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 10 illustrates some possible mounting arrangements for blades for a turbine that can be used in conjunction with aspects of the invention.
  • [0027]
    FIGS. 11 to 35 illustrate various blade and ducting arrangements that can be used in conjunction with aspects of the invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [heading-0028]
    Lexicography
  • [0029]
    Nanoscopic: Having lengths or dimensions less than or equal to a billionth of a meter.
  • [0030]
    Microscopic: Having lengths or dimensions less than or equal to one millimeter.
  • [0031]
    Macroscopic: Having lengths or dimensions greater than or equal to one millimeter, and numbers greater than about one hundred.
  • [0032]
    Heteroscopic: Characterized by use of microscopic or nanoscopic principles to generate macroscopic effects.
  • [0033]
    Transport speed: The mean speed of an flow of gaseous matter moving in bulk. Also called bulk speed.
  • [0034]
    Mean thermal velocity: The speed of molecules in gaseous matter.
  • [0035]
    Mean free path distance: The average distance that molecules in gaseous matter travel between collisions with other molecules in the gaseous matter.
  • [0036]
    Hotter molecules: In reference to a given gas, hotter molecules consist of an aggregation of molecules selected from the gas that have a mean thermal velocity faster than the mean thermal velocity of the gas. In reference to individual molecules, a so-called hotter molecule is expected, on average, to be faster and therefore hotter than a so-called cooler molecule, but exceptions can occur.
  • [0037]
    Cooler molecules: In reference to a given gas, cooler molecules consist of an aggregation of molecules selected from the gas that have a mean thermal velocity slower than the mean thermal velocity of the gas. In reference to individual molecules, a so-called cooler molecule is expected, on average, to be slower and therefore cooler than a so-called hotter molecule, but exceptions can occur.
  • [0038]
    Near vacuum conditions: Pressures less than or equal to 0.001 atmospheres.
  • [0039]
    Blade: Broadly, any edge that is moved through air. This term encompasses both flat blades and tops of holes in a moving surface.
  • [0040]
    Comparable: In this application, speeds and distances are comparable if they are within an order of magnitude of each other. For example, if air molecules have a mean thermal velocity of 500 meters per second, blades moving at 50 to 5,000 meters per second would be moving at speeds comparable to the mean thermal velocity of the air molecules. Throughout this disclosure, the term “on an order of” is synonymous to “comparable to.”
  • [heading-0041]
    Boundary Layer Attenuation
  • [0042]
    FIG. 1 shows transfer of heat to a gas from a surface with an attenuated or absent velocity boundary layer according to one aspect of the invention.
  • [0043]
    In FIG. 1, substrate 1 is being heated by heating element 2, which can be below, within, otherwise in contact with, or part of substrate 1. This element is shown as a coil, but could be any other type of heating element.
  • [0044]
    A surface of substrate 1 is in contact with a gas. The gas could be but is not limited to air. The invention preferably can operate at higher than near-vacuum pressure, including at atmospheric pressure.
  • [0045]
    The arrow in FIG. 1 indicates movement of substrate 1. If this movement is sufficiently fast, velocity and thermal boundary layer 4 will be attenuated or even eliminated.
  • [0046]
    Thermal motion of molecule 5 can bring the molecule into contact with the surface more easily than would be possible if a significant boundary layer was present. Applicant refers to this process as “forced conduction.”
  • [0047]
    In FIG. 1, the molecule comes into contact with the surface at energy transfer point 6. Because substrate 1 is heated, the speed (i.e., thermal velocity) of molecule 5 is increased by the contact. After this energy transfer, the molecule has a significant chance of flying off to or even through transport layer 7 for the gas at the surface.
  • [0048]
    In the absence of a strong boundary layer, a great many molecules can undergo the process described above for molecule 5. As a result, highly efficient transfer of heat from substrate 1 to the gas is facilitated, thereby heating the gas.
  • [0049]
    FIG. 2 shows transfer of heat from a gas to a surface with an attenuated or absent velocity boundary layer according to one aspect of the invention.
  • [0050]
    In FIG. 2, substrate 9 is being cooled by cooling element 10, which can be below, within, otherwise in contact with, or part of substrate 9. This element is shown as a coil, but could be any other type of cooling element.
  • [0051]
    A surface of substrate 9 is in contact with a gas. The gas could be but is not limited to air. The invention preferably can operate at higher than near-vacuum pressure, including at atmospheric pressure.
  • [0052]
    The arrow in FIG. 2 indicates movement of substrate 9. If this movement is sufficiently fast, velocity and thermal boundary layer 12 will be attenuated or even eliminated.
  • [0053]
    Thermal motion of molecule 13 can bring the molecule into contact with the surface more easily than would be possible if a significant boundary layer was present. Applicant refers to this process as “forced conduction.”
  • [0054]
    In FIG. 2, the molecule comes into contact with the surface at energy transfer point 14. Because substrate 9 is cooled, the speed (i.e., thermal velocity) of molecule 13 is decreased by the contact. Despite being slowed, the molecule has a significant chance of flying off to or even through transport layer 15 for the gas at the surface after the energy transfer.
  • [0055]
    In the absence of a strong boundary layer, a great many molecules can undergo the process described above for molecule 13. As a result, highly efficient transfer of heat from the gas to substrate 9 is facilitated, thereby cooling the gas.
  • [0056]
    FIG. 3 shows a rotational embodiment of one aspect of the invention. In FIG. 3, a substrate is formed into a rotational surface. Such surfaces include, but are not limited to, disks, annular airfoils, and the like. Preferably, the surface is rotated such that it moves at a speed comparable to a mean thermal velocity of a gas in which the embodiment is intended to operate.
  • [0057]
    Heating or cooling elements are disposed across the surface, as illustrated by the dashed lines. Thus, energy transfer as described above can occur throughout the surface.
  • [0058]
    In an alternative embodiment, heating or cooling elements are preferentially disposed near the outside circumference of the surface to take advantage of higher radial velocities. These higher velocities tend to help attenuate or eliminate the boundary layer.
  • [0059]
    FIG. 4 shows a linearly moving embodiment of one aspect of the invention.
  • [0060]
    Preferably, the surface moves at a speed comparable to a mean thermal velocity of a gas in which the embodiment is intended to operate.
  • [0061]
    In FIG. 4, heating or cooling elements are disposed across the surface of a substrate, as illustrated by the dashed lines. Thus, energy transfer as described above can occur throughout the surface.
  • [0062]
    In some embodiments, the substrate in FIG. 4 could be a component such as a radiator of a vehicle that moves through the gas. Other settings exist in which the linearly moving embodiment could be useful.
  • [heading-0063]
    Additional Structures
  • [0064]
    In each of the situations described above, disruption of the boundary layer can be facilitated by the addition of structures onto the surface of the substrate. Preferably, the structures are microscopic or nanoscopic, and a large number of the structures are used. For example, in some embodiments, well over a trillion such structures could be situated on the surface of a substrate according to the invention. More or less such structures could be used in different embodiments.
  • [heading-0065]
    Heteroscopic Devices and Effects
  • [0066]
    One class of devices that embodies such microscopic or nanoscopic structures includes heteroscopic turbines. These devices use blades to segregate molecules from a gas. A bulk flow is then created from those molecules.
  • [0067]
    In more detail, heteroscopic devices operate on two different scales. First, the devices select molecules from a gas on a microscopic or nanoscopic scale. In particular, the structures that select the molecules have dimensions comparable with the mean free path distance of the molecules for a gas at a pressure at which the turbine is intended to operate. In normal operating conditions, for example regular atmospheric pressure, these dimensions are somewhere between microscopic and nanoscopic. The invention is not limited to such operating conditions.
  • [0068]
    Second, the devices generate macroscopic effects. For example, the segregated molecules converge or are directed to generate a bulk flow. The bulk flow can be created from the segregated molecules by the arrangement of the segregating structures, by use of macroscopic structures such as flow ducts, by some combination of these arrangements, or by some other structures or techniques.
  • [0069]
    On an output side, a bulk flow generated by the aggregation of the selected molecules serves to push other ambient molecules out of the way. In systems that do not generate such bulk flows, “infidel” molecules entering from the output side can force the systems to do significant extra work. In the invention, the momentum of molecules comprising the bulk flow pushes would-be infidels away from the output side, thereby helping to prevent those molecules from colliding with the structures.
  • [0070]
    The action of the heteroscopic turbine leads to an attenuated or absent boundary layer at an interface between a gas and the turbine blades. As a result, a great many molecules can come into contact with the structures of the turbine and therefore can be selected and aggregated into a bulk flow. Preferably, the molecules can be heated or cooled as they are selected, while being aggregated in the bulk flow, or both, thereby facilitating efficient heating or cooling of those molecules.
  • [0071]
    The invention is also applicable to heteroscopic devices other than turbines. For example, blades as described for the turbine could be disposed across a linearly moving surface such as the one illustrated in FIG. 4.
  • [0072]
    With the heteroscopic devices, heating or cooling elements can be used to heat or cool the blades, the substrates on which the blades are mounted or otherwise disposed, any ducting for directing molecular or aggregated (i.e., bulk) flow, and any other parts of the devices. When molecules contact these heated or cooled surfaces, a transfer of energy alters the thermal velocity of the molecules, heating or cooling the gas comprised of the molecules. In the case of the blades, ducting for molecular flow, and some other parts of the devices, the molecular nature of the interaction results in an attenuated or an eliminated boundary layer, permitting more molecules to interact and thereby helping to improve efficiency.
  • [0073]
    FIGS. 5 to 8 show embodiments of aspects of the invention that work in conjunction with selection of molecules from a gas, for example by a heteroscopic turbine.
  • [0074]
    FIG. 5 shows an example in which molecules of a gas are heated. In FIG. 5, blades 20 are mounted on or in substrate 21. Heat is being applied to blades 20, for example through substrate 21. The height and spacing of the blades are preferably comparable to a mean free path distance for the gas in which the device is intended to operate. In one embodiment, the blades are angled in a direction of expected motion, represented by an arrow in FIG. 5.
  • [0075]
    When blades 20 are in motion, the tops of the blades form direction selection plane 23. When thermal motion of molecules brings them across the direction selection plane, blades 20 will whisk them away. Molecules that do not cross direction selection plane 23 do not “stick” to the plane, so little or not boundary layer forms.
  • [0076]
    Molecule 24 is an example of a molecule that crosses direction selection plane 23. The molecule strikes one of blades 20 at energy transfer point 25. Any point in the device could be such an energy transfer point.
  • [0077]
    Because the blade is heated, the thermal velocity of molecule 24 is increased at energy transfer point 25. In other words, energy is transferred from the blade to the molecule. Additional energy transfers could occur. The molecule then passes through an opening or duct (not shown) in substrate 21 to contribute to flow 27.
  • [0078]
    In the absence of a strong boundary layer, a great many molecules can undergo the process described above for molecule 24. As a result, highly efficient transfer of heat from the device to the gas is facilitated, thereby heating the gas.
  • [0079]
    FIG. 6 shows an example in which molecules of a gas are cooled. In FIG. 6, blades 30 are mounted on or in substrate 31. Cool is being applied to blades 30, for example through substrate 31. The height and spacing of the blades are preferably comparable to a mean free path distance for the gas in which the device is intended to operate. In one embodiment, the blades are angled in a direction of expected motion, represented by an arrow in FIG. 6.
  • [0080]
    When blades 30 are in motion, the tops of the blades form direction selection plane 33. When thermal motion of molecules brings them across the direction selection plane, blades 30 will whisk them away. Molecules that do not cross direction selection plane 33 do not “stick” to the plane, so little or not boundary layer forms.
  • [0081]
    Molecule 34 is an example of a molecule that crosses direction selection plane 33. The molecule strikes one of blades 20 at energy transfer point 35. Any point in the device could be such an energy transfer point.
  • [0082]
    Because the blade is cooled, the thermal velocity of molecule 34 is decreased. In other words, energy is transferred from the molecule to the blade. Additional energy transfers could occur. The molecule then passes through an opening or duct (not shown) in substrate 31 to contribute to flow 37.
  • [0083]
    In the absence of a strong boundary layer, a great many molecules can undergo the process described above for molecule 34. As a result, highly efficient transfer of heat from the gas to the device is facilitated, thereby cooling the gas.
  • [0084]
    FIG. 7 shows an example in which molecules of a gas are heated. This embodiment is akin to the one shown in FIG. 5, except that blades with different heights are used. Some of the blades are shorter than other blades.
  • [0085]
    The shorter blades form speed selection plane 40. Only molecules with a sufficiently high thermal velocity (i.e., moving sufficiently fast) will cross the speed selection plane before a shorter blade passes. Thus, the shorter blades tend to capture a hotter subset of molecules.
  • [0086]
    In FIG. 7, molecule 41 is a hotter molecule that crosses both the direction selection and the speed selection planes before being captured by a shorter blade. The molecule strikes one of the blades at energy transfer point 43. Any point in the device could be such an energy transfer point.
  • [0087]
    Because the blade is heated, the thermal velocity of molecule 41 is increased at energy transfer point 43. In other words, energy is transferred from the blade to the molecule. Additional energy transfers could occur. The molecule then passes through an opening or duct (not shown) in the substrate to contribute to flow 44.
  • [0088]
    Cooler molecules could cross the speed selection plane but not be captured by a shorter blade. Such molecules also could be heated. However, because these molecules start out cooler, heating the molecules might be less effective. In some embodiments, such molecules are shunted toward a cool exhaust, for example through some form of ducting.
  • [0089]
    FIG. 8 shows an example in which molecules of a gas are cooled. This embodiment is akin to the one shown in FIG. 6, except that blades with different heights are used. Some of the blades are shorter than other blades.
  • [0090]
    The shorter blades form speed selection plane 50. Only molecules with a sufficiently high thermal velocity (i.e., moving sufficiently fast) will cross the speed selection plane before a shorter blade passes. Thus, the shorter blades tend to capture a hotter subset of molecules.
  • [0091]
    In FIG. 8, molecule 51 is a cooler molecule that does not cross the speed selection plane in time to be captured by a shorter blade. The molecule strikes one of the blades at energy transfer point 53. Any point in the device could be such an energy transfer point.
  • [0092]
    Because the blade is cooled, the thermal velocity of molecule 51 is decreased at energy transfer point 53. In other words, energy is transferred from the molecule to the blade. Additional energy transfers could occur. The molecule then passes through an opening or duct (not shown) in the substrate to contribute to flow 54.
  • [0093]
    Hotter molecules could cross both the direction selection and the speed selection planes before being captured by a shorter blade. Such molecules also could be cooled. However, because these molecules start out hotter, cooling the molecules might be less effective. In some embodiments, such molecules are shunted toward a hot exhaust, for example through some form of ducting.
  • [0094]
    FIG. 9 illustrates transfer of heat to or from a gas in a duct according to an aspect of the invention. Ducting can be used to transport molecules that have been selected by blades such as those illustrated herein.
  • [0095]
    The ducting could be small enough (e.g., on an order of a mean from path distance) so that only molecular flow occurs within it. In such a case, little or not boundary layer can form on the sides of the duct. Thus, molecules that pass through the duct can easily strike the sides of the duct, for example at energy transfer point 60. When a molecule strikes the duct, energy could be transferred to for from the molecule, depending on if the duct is heated or cooled.
  • [0096]
    Alternatively, the duct could be a macroscopic duct. In such a case, a boundary layer could form on the sides of the duct. Alternatively, if the flow through the duct is sufficiently fast, the boundary layer could be absent or attenuated. In either case, energy transfers to molecules that collide with the sides of the duct could occur, although more are likely to occur if the boundary layer is absent or attenuated.
  • [0097]
    FIG. 10 illustrates some possible mounting arrangements for blades for a turbine that can be used in conjunction with aspects of the invention. FIG. 10 shows an annulus with two different mounting arrangements. These arrangements could be used separately, in conjunction, or in conjunction with other mounting arrangements.
  • [0098]
    One arrangement is illustrated with dashed curved lines 62. These lines represent blades mounted all over the surface of the edge of the annulus. The advantage of this arrangement is that a great many blades can be packed onto the surface with little wasted space.
  • [0099]
    The other arrangement is illustrated with small circles 64. These circles represent chips manufactured with the blades. The advantage of this arrangement is that the smaller chips can be easier to manufacture. In addition, a manufacturing defect in a chip ruins only that chip, which preferably can be replaced.
  • [0100]
    Preferably, the annulus rotates such that the mounted blades move at a speed comparable to a mean thermal velocity of a gas in which the embodiment is intended to operate.
  • [0101]
    One possible embodiment of the annulus has a circumference of 4 meters and rotates at 7,500 RPM. Somewhere on the order of 1.75E+13 such blades could easily by placed on the annulus, which could be heated or cooled as desired. This would result in a significant flow of heated or cooled gas exiting the annulus. Of course, the invention is not limited in any way to these particular numerical examples.
  • [0102]
    FIG. 10 also illustrates conventions for “radial view” and “tangential view” that are used in some of the illustrations in FIGS. 11 to 35. Even where these conventions are noted in those figures, the structures shown in FIGS. 11 to 35 are equally applicable to linearly moving embodiments of the invention.
  • [0103]
    FIGS. 11 to 35 illustrate various blade and ducting arrangements that can be used in conjunction with aspects of the invention. Each of these structures can be used with the devices and techniques described above.
  • [heading-0104]
    Alternative Embodiments
  • [0105]
    Although preferred embodiments of the invention are disclosed herein, many variations are possible which remain within the content, scope and spirit of the invention, and these variations would become clear to those skilled in the art after perusal of this application.

Claims (28)

1. A method of transferring heat to or from a gas, comprising the steps of:
moving a rotating surface with sufficient speed to disrupt a velocity boundary layer for molecules of the gas in contact with the surface; and
cooling or heating the surface;
wherein cooling results in a transfer of energy from the molecules to the surface, and heating results in a transfer of energy from the surface to the molecules.
2. A method as in claim 1, wherein the moving step and the heating or cooling step occur simultaneously.
3. A method as in claim 1, wherein the gas is air.
4. A method as in claim 1, wherein at least part of the rotating surface moves at a speed comparable to a mean thermal velocity of the gas.
5. A method of transferring heat to or from a gas, comprising the steps of:
selecting molecules from the gas using a heteroscopic structure; and
heating or cooling at least part of the heteroscopic structure that comes into contact with the selected molecules;
wherein cooling results in a transfer of energy from the molecules to the heteroscopic structure, and heating results in a transfer of energy from the heteroscopic structure to the molecules.
6. A method as in claim 5, wherein the selecting step and the heating or cooling step occur simultaneously.
7. A method as in claim 5, wherein the gas is air.
8. A method as in claim 5, wherein the molecules are selected from the gas at higher than near-vacuum pressure.
9. A method as in claim 8, wherein the molecules are selected from the gas at atmospheric pressure.
10. A method as in claim 5, wherein the heteroscopic structure includes microscopic or nanoscopic turbine blades moving at a speed comparable to a mean thermal velocity of the gas.
11. A method as in claim 10, wherein the turbine blades feed into microscopic or nanoscopic ducts that are cooled or heated.
12. A method as in claim 10, wherein the turbine blades are mounted on or in a rotating structure.
13. A method as in claim 10, wherein the turbine blades are mounted on or in a linearly moving structure.
14. A method as in claim 13, wherein the linearly moving structure is a component of a vehicle that moves through the gas.
15. A method as in claim 14, wherein the component is a radiator.
16. A device that transfers heat to or from a gas, comprising:
a rotating surface moved with sufficient speed to disrupt a velocity boundary layer for molecules of the gas in contact with the surface; and
cooling or heating elements that cool or heat the surface;
wherein cooling results in a transfer of energy from the molecules to the surface, and heating results in a transfer of energy from the surface to the molecules.
17. A device as in claim 16, wherein the gas is air.
18. A device as in claim 16, wherein at least part of the rotating surface moves at a speed comparable to a mean thermal velocity of the gas.
19. A device that transfers heat to or from a gas, comprising:
a heteroscopic structure that selects molecules from the gas; and
cooling or heating elements that cool or heat at least part of the heteroscopic structure that comes into contact with the selected molecules;
wherein cooling results in a transfer of energy from the molecules to the heteroscopic structure, and heating results in a transfer of energy from the heteroscopic structure to the molecules.
20. A device as in claim 19, wherein the gas is air.
21. A device as in claim 19, wherein the molecules are selected from the gas at higher than near-vacuum pressure.
22. A device as in claim 21, wherein the molecules are selected from the gas at atmospheric pressure.
23. A device as in claim 19, wherein the heteroscopic structure includes microscopic or nanoscopic turbine blades moving at a speed comparable to a mean thermal velocity of the gas.
24. A device as in claim 23, wherein the turbine blades feed into microscopic or nanoscopic ducts that are cooled or heated.
25. A device as in claim 23, wherein the turbine blades are mounted on or in a rotating structure.
26. A device as in claim 23, wherein the turbine blades are mounted on or in a linearly moving structure.
27. A device as in claim 26, wherein the linearly moving structure is a component of a vehicle that moves through the gas.
28. A device as in claim 27, wherein the component is a radiator.
US10742022 2002-12-19 2003-12-19 Heat exchange technique Abandoned US20050022974A1 (en)

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US49906603 true 2003-08-29 2003-08-29
US10693635 US6932564B2 (en) 2002-12-19 2003-10-24 Heteroscopic turbine
US10742022 US20050022974A1 (en) 2002-12-19 2003-12-19 Heat exchange technique

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US10742022 US20050022974A1 (en) 2002-12-19 2003-12-19 Heat exchange technique
PCT/US2004/028204 WO2005021146A3 (en) 2003-08-29 2004-08-30 Single-molecule systems

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US10737535 Active 2024-03-28 US7008176B2 (en) 2002-12-19 2003-12-16 Molecular speed and direction selection
US10742022 Abandoned US20050022974A1 (en) 2002-12-19 2003-12-19 Heat exchange technique
US11231536 Abandoned US20070243059A1 (en) 2002-12-19 2005-09-20 Techniques for movement through gas or liquid or liquid without a velocity boundary layer

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CN102254704A (en) * 2011-05-06 2011-11-23 海南科技职业学院 Dye sensitized noble metal deposited titanium dioxide light anode and preparation method thereof

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JP2006511758A (en) 2006-04-06 application
WO2004059147A2 (en) 2004-07-15 application
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US20050002776A1 (en) 2005-01-06 application
EP1581742B1 (en) 2014-02-12 grant
WO2004059265A2 (en) 2004-07-15 application
US7008176B2 (en) 2006-03-07 grant
US20070243059A1 (en) 2007-10-18 application
EP1618299A2 (en) 2006-01-25 application
US6932564B2 (en) 2005-08-23 grant
US20050135919A1 (en) 2005-06-23 application
WO2004059265A3 (en) 2004-11-04 application
EP1581742A2 (en) 2005-10-05 application
EP1581742A4 (en) 2007-05-09 application
WO2004057260A3 (en) 2005-08-25 application
EP1618299A4 (en) 2009-04-22 application

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