SSE Talks


The Proell Effect: A Macroscopic Maxwell's Demon
June 10, 2010 at 4:15 PM MST | K. RAUEN


Kenneth M. Rauen


Maxwell’s Demon is a legitimate challenge to the universality of the Second Law of Thermodynamics when the “demon” is executed via the Proell effect. Thermal energy transfer according to the Kinetic Theory of Heat and Statistical Mechanics that takes place over distances greater than the mean free path of the gas circumvents the microscopic randomness that leads to macroscopic irreversibility. No information is required to “sort” the particles, as no sorting occurs.

The Proell effect achieves quasi-spontaneous thermal separation without sorting by the perturbation of a heterogeneous constant volume system with displacement and regeneration. The classical analysis of the constant volume process, such as found in the Stirling Cycle, is incomplete and therefore incorrect. There are extra energy flows that classical thermo does not recognize. When a working fluid is displaced across a temperature gradient through a regenerative heat exchanger, complimentary pressure-volume compression and expansion work takes place that transfers energy between the regenerator and the bulk gas volumes on the hot and cold sides of the constant volume system that is not recognized by classical thermo, but which completely conforms to classical thermo. Heat capacity at constant pressure applies instead of heat capacity at constant volume. The increased energy flow represented by the heat capacity ratio, gamma, represents such a large increase in the heat that can be recycled in a regenerator that it can exceed the Carnot limit in certain cycles. Heat engines and heat pumps have been designed from this concept, and a US patent has been awarded.






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