Vortex Spotting

Know the Inside and Outside of a Vortex Tube

A Vortex Tube is T-shape, almost like a pipe but with a side nozzle, through which compressed air enters. The term 'vortex' refers to the air's spinning motion, akin to a whirlpool or tornado, when it passes through. The resistant pressure of the nozzle causes an increase in the speed of this vortex. As it reaches the junction, the cold stream separates from the hot stream, exiting respectively at both ends of the tube. It was first discovered in the 1920's, but it wasn't until the 60's when it was commercialized.

At closer look, the
Vortex Tube
is quite simple in structure. It contains no complex parts inside, yet, it performs a seemingly complex process as described above. To date, there is not one conclusive explanation as to how this device is able to draw out the cold particles from the hot ones. Some attribute it to angular momentum, while others to centrifugal force. Its discoverer, 19th century physicist James Maxwell, attributes it--perhaps out of frustration--to a 'friendly little demon' who busily takes the cold molecules and pushes them to one end of the tube, hence, its original name, 'Maxwell Demon Tube'.

In spite of the enigma, the Vortex Tube has established itself as an effective tool for generating renewable energy. Today, recycling plants make use of vortex tubes to reduce wastes in terms of volume. It has become a viable alternative to old school, energy-consuming refrigerants to achieve low temperatures and even reduce harmful gases thrown into the atmosphere. However, because it makes use of compressed air, vortex tubes still require electricity to do their magic.

The sheer portability of the vortex tube allows for small-scale uses. One modern application is fitting it into the belt of a reflective suit, which regulates body temperature for individuals constantly subjected in high-heat working environments. Indeed, having it worked into aerospace suits belongs to the not-so-distant future. Also, it has proven to be a valuable companion for bio-chemists who need to preserve information in DNA and other kinds of specimen.

Practically all industries and sectors that require cooling in their processes will find themselves turning to
Vortex Tube
for its energy and cost viability. Automobile manufacturers, for instance, in an effort to be more 'green', is now looking into how vortex tubes can be designed to replace current inter-coolers. Research continues as well on the practical application of these pipes in home cooling appliances.

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Vortex Razor HD 11 33x50 Angled Spotting Scope Green RZR 50A1
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Vortex Diamondback 20 60x60 Straight Spotting Scope Green DBK 60S1
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