Old Amateur Scientist article, might need to (re)make this to see if it really works – “With nothing more than a few pieces of plumbing and a source of compressed air, you can build a remarkably simple device for attaining moderately low temperatures. It separates high-energy molecules from those of low energy. George O. Smith, an engineer of Rumson, N. I., discusses its theory and construction” – Link.
12 thoughts on “The Hilsch Vortex tube…”
Apparently these do work as you can buy them commercially at http://www.exair.com/commerce/ under their vortex tubes section.
See also the article on Wikipedia about Maxwell’s Demon:
for an interesting perspective on this device.
There’s also a link in the wiki article to the Vortex Tume:
with a slightly different design.
My dad’s on the tailend of building one, roughly based on the drawings above.
He’s actually pretty much done with it, just hasn’t hooked it up to a compresser yet, for reasons yet unknown to me, he keeps fiddling with it instead. “Pre-emptive improvements” I call it.
I’ll see if I can get these pictures he sent over scanned and posted in an appended post later today.
Flickr Hilsch Tube Gallery
Only got 3 scanned, but they show the major components.
The Vortex Tube does work….although it has been slightly improved upon since Hilsch. I have a vortex tube set up on each of my cnc machines. http://www.arizonavortex.com is my supplier.
Problem with conventional vortex tube is that nozzle is too simple. A supersonic nozzle is best to take advantage of pressure properly with less waste. Another article from Scientific American’s “Amateur Scientist” discusses making a supersonic nozzle.
Making a larger vortex-tube also improves efficiency because friction is very important in small nozzles and tubes. A large vortex tube using a leaf-blower should be able to heat or cool a house, I think.
A scaled-up vortex-tube should be a great project for Make. Simply cutting plastic and glueing ABS and PVC plastic plumbing parts could make the project simple.
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