Chaos The Research
not a question of “if a tank will develop temperature differences
at various levels,” but “when, where, and how much.”
tank which is not perfectly and 100% insulated will, in time,
develop temperature differences at various locations, depending on
chaotic external influences of the particular environment, and
internal reactions, in time spans of even minutes.
cooling systems are a problem many have been forced into by
economic decisions of the past.
At the time
the tanks were purchased and designed, the knowledge base
concerning uniform tank temperatures was not up to where we, at
Pasco Poly, have advanced it today.
the investigation I found the temperature at the wall surface,
inside the tank (the boundary layer), was quite different from the
temperatures of the interior of the tank. I am convinced that
outside surface temperature information is not useful for
accurately analyzing the temperature of a tank's contents.
was puzzled about why infrared thermometers have problems measuring
tank temperatures. It turns out to be quite complicated and near
impossible to get useful temperature information from the wall of a
tank. The liquid convection currents, boundary layers(so called),
conduction near the inside wall of the tank, multiple and chaotic
air convection, and infrared reflections on the outside, make tank
wall temps next to useless.
we are dealing with infrared, we are dealing with the properties of
light and its influence on the infrared thermometer, which measures
the brightness of the infrared light emitted or reflected from an
TO REFLECTIONS OF IR PROBE
“Chaos” is not just a
another modern day buzz word. Chaos and fractals are part of the
most complicated type of real mathematics known today. It does refer
to what appears to be, in the classic sense of the word, “utter
Chaos.” But in fact these formula include so many variables that
any small change in any of them can completely alter the final
“The most passionate
advocates of the new science go so far as to say that
twentieth-century science will be remembered for just three things:
relativity, quantum mechanics, and chaos. Chaos they contend has
become the century's third great revolution in the physical
sciences.” James Gleick
Agnew, an associate of J. Robert Oppenheimer, helped man the
monitoring instruments in the air craft accompanying the Enola Gay
over Hiroshima. While at Los Alamos he challenged Mitchell
Feigenbaum, another early fluid mechanics and weather predictor, to
solve laser fusion, showing his respect of Feigenbaum. These were
not just “run of the mill” scientists. They were applying
themselves to big puzzles of the early post war period, including
weather, convection currents in fluids and air. During World War
II, because of the long range aircraft and their dependence on the
weather, Feigenbaum believed weather forecasting could be reduced
to a combination of equations. In the 50s a French mathematician
physicist made a disputatious claim that convective turbulence in
fluids might have something to do with chaotic behavior, “that
only very small changes in initial conditions have gigantic affects
in the end”. Feigenbaum began CIA funded weather studies at Los
Alamos and began looking for chaos everywhere. In the 1960s the
very earliest powerful analog computers were used to model the
weather, and added some clues to the complexity of the problem
while chaos (the mathematics ) was begun and the term the
“butterfly effect” was introduced. In the 70s Edward Lorenz did
the break-through studies beginning with a pan of water on a stove
top, and proposals based on fluid and gas convection. In the 80s
Von Neuman used the Cray computers to try to predict the weather,
still with no success.
point is that all of these war time and post war geniuses were
bumping shoulders and were greatly puzzled by the convection
currents in liquids and air. They proved that one cannot predict
the temperature's speed or direction of movement in a tank at
various locations without over-coming the small initial conditions
with massive protection and/or uniform influences of their own. The
close tie between temperatures and patterns inside a tank, and
weather, are made by some of the most notable people in mathematics
and weather prediction.
early advertisement indicating my early knowledge of and solution to
the stratification problem.
1987. This is the convection aid we developed for solving the
problem of stratification. It is a 30 to 100 rpm fan, turning in the
wine at a very low power, mounted from the top of the tank.
1986. This is a picture of a 1000 gal. poly tank wrapped in bubble
wrap to permit colder internal temperatures and a rough stainless
steel research tank built with a 30 percent liquid jacket and many
temperature probes to identify the characteristics of a conventional
stainless steel liquid cooled tank. It was a giant surprise to find
its poor performance! After testing the poly tank I felt it was
marginal until I saw the problem with stainless steel.
those who probe each fraction of each region of the interior of each
tank and/or apply strong overwhelming external and internal
solution to the reflections was to shield the infrared thermometer
(infrared light gauge) from influences other than the object we were
measuring. A special cone covering the area being observed by the
gauge eliminated the reflections and left the gauge calibration
1986. This was the first 1000 gallon Pasco Poly tank used to test
different sizes and styles of cooling columns. Notice the
thermometers at different levels and different quarters to help
identify convection and temperature differences in different areas
of the tank. The cooling column outlet is visible on the upper right
very successful cooling panel, still offered today, to encourage
vertical convection to prevent stratification of temperatures in
early advertisement indicating our awareness of problems
the left is an overall plot of the famous Mandelbrot set of fractal
equations. On the right is an exploded view of a small section of
the same plot. Modern powerful computers continue expanding sections
of the expanded section showing the extreme complexity that these
best to deal with stratification in stainless steel tanks.
the excellent book on chaos James Gleick tells of Edward Lorenz, a
father of Chaos and fractals and of his study of the temperatures in
a container on top of a cook stove. He described the total
unpredictability of the temperatures in various location in the
container, and how they helped him form the theory of "The
Butterfly Affect". He described it as a butterfly flapping its
wings in China changing the course of a tornado in Kansas.
some cases only a small amount of inner tank re-circulation is
needed to prevent hot spots on the top. But much, much less is
needed in a full wall jacketed tank.
continuous, high volume wine pump or fan.
lid and wall insulation.
THE NEW MATH
tank temperatures are so unpredictable.
studying the temperatures inside tanks I discovered the likeness of
the flow and temperatures in tanks to weather systems which are due
to outside temp influences. It genuinely is a chaotic picture
inside that mass because of the many chaotic influences from
outside each individual tank.
The following notes on
Chaos in the real world of tank temperatures are not to “just
impress the reader with pretty pictures and impressive names” but
the real world of weather systems in tanks.
To help explain the magnitude and existence of the tank temperature
problem I beg your patience for just a moment to introduce “chaos”
in more of a scientific context.
helps establish the non-predictability of temperatures at various
locations in the liquid inside a tank.