Continuing the Cold Fusion Radio series of interviews with the researchers and policy makers in the field of new energy, Brillouin Energy‘s Chief Executive Officer Robert George and Chief Technical Officer Robert E. Godes joined James Martinez on Ca$h Flow Tuesday, March 27, 2012.
A cold fusion economy is happening right now. Listen in as an independent, new energy company emerges from the Left Coast to talk about what’s next for their Brillouin Boiler, a hot-water heater based on clean cold fusion reactions. A partial summary of the conversation follows.
For the full audio interview, download .mp3
They had initially turned down an interview over a year ago but, as Robert George says, “After ten years of work by Robert Godes, he’s duplicated a control system in the laboratory that is able to start and stop the reaction to get the boiler to run steady state and sometime later next month, we will be working with SRI International to do another version which will operate at a higher operating temperature. So its an exciting time for the company. But the situation as far as financing remains very difficult. We’ve had angel investors and we’ve been very fortunate. We have circled a million dollars right now, and we’re trying to close on the other half of that two million dollar financing so we can basically bring this thing to market and get strategic partners lined up.”
Robert E. Godes says the big difference between Brillouin Energy and what others are doing is control. “Brillouin Energy designs all of its reaction systems based on the hypothesis that was published in Infinite Energy and is available on our website. But we’re actually driving the underlying physics, which gives you control over the reaction. Once you understand the physics, you can turn it on, you can turn it off, and to some extent you can control how much heat you’re getting out of the system.”
James cut to the heart of the matter and asked why and how their system generates consistent output, starting and stopping on-demand.
Godes says, “I think probably alot of your listeners may have heard of Rossi and that there’s copper and natural copper showing up in his thing. I think if they were to do an isotopic analysis of the copper that’s showed up in Rossi’s reaction systems, and is probably also showing up in Defkalion’s, although I don’t think anybody’s actually seen anything from them yet, I think that the preponderance of copper that shows up there would probably be Copper 63 and Copper 65 which are the two naturally occurring isotopes of copper.”
“The reason for that is the LENR reaction is a weak interaction. It’s a two step reaction. The first step is actually endothermic, which means that it absorbs energy. The exothermic part, which is much more exothermic than the endothermic part, is when neutrons accumulate onto another nucleus within the lattice. Ideally you have them accumulate onto other hydrogen nuclei that are within the lattice, which is always an exothermic event, or it doesn’t matter whether it accumulates on a nickel or palladium, that’s also an exothermic event, it releases alot of energy.”
“We actually call our system a Controlled Election Capture Reaction. What you do is you want to control the creation of the neutrons, and you generate a neutron by causing a proton to capture an
James asked about the timeline for bringing a product to the market.
George responded, “We have two systems, one is what we call a wet boiler, that’ll operate at 140 degrees Celsius, and the second system, which we’ll be doing with SRI International, will operate in the 400-450C.”
“We’re looking at 12 to 18 months to bring it to strategic partners. We don’t plan to become a manufacturer, we’re going to be a licensor. Obviously, the boiler manufacturers already have the ability to do the heat exchangers and so forth, and what we’ll be providing is a system that will be the new boiler, it’ll be the heat source, and they’ll do the heat exchangers, and heat your domestic hot water in your home, your commercial building, and the other system should actually be capable of generating electric power out of some of the retiring coal-fired electric power plants.”
George continued “It’s an exciting time. With our dependance on oil, it couldn’t come at a better time. I’m really excited to work with Robert Godes. I’ve basically adopted the philosophy that he has, that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. He’s basically invented a control system to capitalize on a system that was originally discovered 23 years ago by Pons and Fleischmann and people have been unable to make it work consistently. Alot of people have gotten alot of heat out of it, but they haven’t been able to control it.”
“I really admire Robert Godes because he’s an electrical engineer. He basically started from the ground up, and worked up a system that can actually control the reaction, which is what his area of expertise is. That’s where he’s filed his patents. You gotta admire the guy, he’s stuck to it for the last ten years, sacrificing home and family to get this to market. You really have to respect somebody that’ll do that.”
“That’s how you change the world, a little bit at a time.”
“I was very passionate about America leading the world in this”, James said, “and should lead the world, since it started here.”
“Well I gotta say, because of your position and your philosophy, that’s the one reason why Robert Godes and I wanted to do the interview with you first and foremost, because we agree with you. All this activity in Israel and Italy and all these people making outrageous claims, it helps the field a little bit and hurts alot.”
“That’s why we’ve been quiet because we wanted to get our system operational, we wanted to be able to show people a system that’s running, and we wanted to make sure our technology is sound. So we’re moving in that direction, we’re excited about it, and this next round will bring us, we believe, to the goalpost.”
“How many people does Brillouin have working on your system now?” James asked.
“Technical people, we have about nine engineers,” said Mr. George, “then on our advisory board we have a group of scientists that basically advise us on everything from fluid dynamics and thermodynamics to configurations. We have Dr. Michael McKubre from SRI International who is one of the world-renowned experts on cold fusion. We have a variety of people.”
“He was a skeptic originally when Robert Godes first talked to him and he’s come over to believing on our side. He’s been doing alot of work with heavy water reactions for the controlled electron capture,
and now he believes as we do that you can use it with regular water in a pressurized system, and that’s what we’re working on.”
James then wanted to know how they would be able to meet a commercial demand that would be strong, and immediate.
“There are any number of different sizes of pressure vessels which we use in our wet boiler, and so we expect that the commercial systems will probably be 20-30% more than a current boiler and about the same size. We’re talking about, for a residential application, a pressure tank about the size of a scuba tank, the electronics which Robert Godes has developed and patented through Patrick Townzend, basically a heat exchanger which the boiler manufacturers all over the country have the capability of doing, that’s why we don’t want to become a manufacturer, we won’t become a competitor. And they’ll be able to substitute Brillouin Boilers in where you now have a coal-fired, oil-fired, gas-fired, electric boilers providing the heat, and maybe you have additional heat exchangers to transfer to the building. But this system is basically going to be a one-on-one replacement.”
Robert Godes was asked about the status of his patents.
“Currently the patents are applied for. We have one large patent applied for and that initial application was actually granted in China. We’re ??? in Japan right now. We recently filed an update with the USPTO to keep the US application alive.”
“Until somebody comes out with an actual product, it’s unlikely that USPTO will grant a patent to Brillouin Energy or to anybody, even to Zawodny at NASA, which is a another story.”
“We actually just had a significant interaction with the examiner of the USPTO. The guy that’s examining our patent worked quite a bit in the plasma fusion arena for a number of years, and now is in semi-retirement working as a patent examiner, he’s kind of rooting for the cold fusion crowd, but the edict has been handed down from on high that they’re not to grant any patents in this field, which is a really sad state of affairs. The fiasco that happened in 1989 is still bogging us here in the United States.”
Given the state of the world, and what the potential is with this technology, James felt that “there should be an international consortium where all the major players in cold fusion to come together and make some decisions on how to proceed” in regards to intellectual property.
“Well, you know, between two people you can have friendship, between three or more you wind up with politics,” said Godes. “We’ve been approached by somebody whose trying to put together a conglomerate of everybody that’s got intellectual property involved in the field.”
“And we’re in the process of talking to them,” continued George, “because the exchange of ideas is always helpful. The US has consistently been a leader in technology and it seems that between the Naval Research Lab and NASA, the US government has taken a serious interest in this. We’ve had visits from the Naval Research Lab folks from Washington, DC. They’ve come out to the lab to look at our system. They’re planning to come back in the next several months with additional test and analysis equipment.”
“And probably due to your efforts, there’s been alot of commercial interest. We’ve had alot of major corporations coming to meet with us in the last couple of months. Creating an awareness that there is a technology here that makes sense and there’s an alternative to fossil fuels, is probably the biggest challenge.”
James remarked that most people he talks too go straight to ‘how much is it going to cost me, and can I charge my electric car with it’. “What do you say to that?”, he asked.
Robert George answered, “The high-end system that will easily generate electricity, we’re looking at potentially, from our cost analysis, about 1 cent per kilowatt hour, but that’s on a commercial system. For a residential application, to get a higher R-value, or COP on it, we’re talking about a turbine, not something you don’t currently have right now. We’re talking about just having the boiler.”
After the half-time break, James wanted to take it back to the patents. “What do you think of the patent application of Dr. Zawodny?”
Godes responded, “Well, I was actually a little disappointed at they way that was submitted. From what I can tell, he looked at Widom and Larson, which I think you’ve covered them on this show, and I know that Steven Krivit of the New Energy Times is a big fan of Widom and Larsen, and I think they have the part where they say its a Weak Nuclear Reaction going on is absolutely correct.”
“Then the other kind of pivotal work that Zawodny drew on, which was disclosed publicly many years ago, is Dennis Cravens and Dennis Letts that did alot of work using lasers and interference beats to excite the lattice and stimulate the reaction, and then the group at University of Missouri has been doing alot of work with patterning the surface.”
“All of that has to do with stimulation of phonons. They call them, Zawodny and Letts, surface plasmons, which is a form of a phonon. A phonon is a vibration in the lattice. The kind of funny thing is when you use a laser, you can really only stimulate surface phonons, the plasmons on the device, and they’re looking at patterning the surface to try and improve the reaction, using lasers.”
“But the reality is that you need to stimulate just a little bit below the surface. You can get it going with plasmons, but of course that causes the water to boil, and boiling water has bubbles in it, and bubbles make great lenses, and its going to be really hard to build an industrially useful system where you’re using lasers to stimulate it and get it to go.”
“So its great. I’m really glad that Zawodny filed the patent because it made kind of a big splash, it’s like look, NASA is serious about this stuff – it’s real! And it is real.”
James “Yes, thank you! You know I still deal with people to this day who don’t believe it, even when you show them the evidence!”
Godes continued, “Robert George was part of that crew. Rob Duncan in the 60 minutes interview, when he first went to check out Energetics Technologies when they were still in Israel before they moved to the University of Missouri said ‘Well that was completely debunked back in 1989, wasn’t it?’. And you know, most people still think that’s what it was.”
“It’s real people. The phenomenon is real. It’s just that nobody understood the physics behind it. Once you understand the physics behind it, then it’s really just a matter of engineering to make it real, and that’s what Brillouin Energy is engaging in, engineering work.”
James asked him why has the technology been so difficult to understand?
“The reason for that is that, is it’s very multi-disciplined in nature. The only conference that I’ve actually taken my work to was ICCF-14 in Washington, DC. The people I was working with indirectly introduced me to our CEO Robert George. They asked me ‘are you going to go to ICCF-14′, it was two weeks before the deadline, and I said ‘no they’re all barking up the wrong tree, and they don’t want to hear from me, because I’m saying it can work with ordinary water and palladium, and I’ve got the data to prove it’. And they said ‘no, you have to go to that conference…..’” So I submitted my white paper which was actually published in Infinite Energy Magazine issue #82 and the pre-print of the article is actually on the website.”
“So I went and they were glad to have me on the one hand because I was bringing new ideas, but on the other, they were a little suspicious, kind of like McKubre when I first went and I talked to him, and said this is with ordinary water and palladium. Yeah! You can really run it with ordinary water and palladium.”
“At the conference, they can communicate with people in their own field, but the problem is this is a very multi-disciplined action in the LENR reaction. So I put together this whole powerpoint which is actually available on the website. Click on the Technology link at the bottom of our website.”
“There’s slides on chemistry, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, mechanics of materials, …..you don’t have to be an expert in all those areas, you have to be able to understand at least some aspects of all those different areas.”
“Unless you put all that information together, you cannot have an industrial useful product.”
“When people come to the lab and technical people come to vet us about the technology I always ask what’s your discipline, what’s your background, so I can tailor the discussion so they can understand it from their perspective, because everyone has a different perspective.”
Later in the interview, Mr. Godes states that he knows how to control the E-Cat, and its there for Mr. Rossi to look at in his intellectual property filings. A lack of system control, and other critical components needed to stabilize the reaction which are missing in the E-Cat, is why he doesn’t believe that Leonardo Technologies or Defkalion Green Technologies have an actual product.
“There’s something with process variation you can do called binning, and he sees that as one of the solutions for Mr. Rossi to issues of control and on-demand power.”
Godes “You take everything that operates between A and B and put that in one bin. And you take all the other bits and pieces that operate between B and C and put those in another bin, between C and D put those in another bin, so you can assemble modules that are going to operate in the same range. But I don’t think he can reliably turn his units off and then back on again.”
“I love it. Your changing the world right on the radio!” James laughed.
“I’d like to see these guys actually start shipping something! It will really explode the field! People, money would start pouring in, and I would get the money that I need to engineer a system that is really, truly, industrially useful and we’d have something that people could put under the hood of their car!”
James asks, could America lead the world on this, like when the car was first built.
“America could, but right now politics in America would rather shoot each other in the foot”, said Godes. “There’s so many things that they could do, they absolutely will not. Michael McKubre who is working at SRI is one of the top people at one of the top research institutions in the country, and he can’t get any money to study this phenomenon.”
And yet, “Soyndra goes belly up with half a billion.”
Is the Brillouin Boiler going to be conventionally priced compared to existing fossil fuel systems?
“Absolutely”, said George, “the raw cost of the system should be about 30% higher than a conventional fossil fuel boiler. The system is quite simple, the electronics are complex, but you’re talking about a pressure tank, a heat exchanger, and the electronics to drive the reaction. We’re using nickel as the catalyst, not platinum or palladium, so there’s no exotic metals so it’s not an expensive device to build.”
“The electronics are complicated, but it’s less complicated than the cell phone I’m talking to you on”, added Godes.
James asked, “What’s the reaction of people who stop by and see the reaction, some of them for the first time?”
“Robert Godes has worked on [the electronics] for a long time”, said George, “that’s what the patent is covering. The proprietary information that is not disclosed is the actual frequencies that the electronics use to drive the reaction.”
“I keep wanting to mount a video camera in ‘the cube’ where the actual reactor is sitting and operating, said Godes. “I love seeing people who have done things, who’ve actually built things and worked in a laboratory, they come around the corner and they look at it, and they go Wow!”
James wondered who was the family involved in Brillouin?
“You can look at the advisory board which is an extensive list of very prominent people that know the field and know different aspects of the field from the electronic circuit board with Roger Fuller to Dr. McKubre to Edward Beardsworth. We have a variety of angel investors, we don’t have any institutional investors involved in the company at this point.”
“We have alot of potential strategic investors, corporations that have come to the forefront recently because they’re looking at this technology as a game-changer and they’re seeing that for a minimal investment you can get involved in it very early. But as you know most corporations would rather pay ten times as much two years from now rather than do an investment now.”
George has these closing comments.
“You look at all the green energy from solar to photovoltaics, they’re going to make an insignificant change in the overall consumption of energy and the addition to the use of power in the United States and worldwide. But something like the Brillouin Boiler where you can generate and process heat, whether its domestic hot water, heating your home or a building, that can make a significant difference over the next ten years on our oil dependence.
“The fact that people are becoming sensitive to it is a good thing, but we really appreciate your effort, because calling attention to it, people seem to be a little apathetic, a little oblivious. If its not really put in their face, they’re not going to pay attention, because they don’t think they can make a difference. We’re out here everyday making a difference.”
Godes ended with this consideration.
“When people say ‘what are you working on?’, I say “building a practical fusion reactor”. Then they say ‘oh that will cost billions of dollars’. And they’re afraid to touch it.”
“But the reality is, just a few million dollars could actually bring this technology to the point where OEM’s Original Equipment Manufacturers could start producing these in large numbers for general consumption.”
“We could start re-powering coal plants with LENR.”
“That’s when you take an old plant that is no longer functioning and you re-power it. Right now, they do most re-powering they go from coal to natural gas. But that’s still ancient carbon that you’re dredging up. This technology could go and power these coal plants with LENR with the new hydrogen boiler project we’re working on. It really only takes a few million dollars to bring this technology to bear on the energy problems of the world.”
“Just a couple million dollars could make a huge, huge difference. Think if you had the opportunity to buy Apple at $30 a share. You have the opportunity right not with Brillouin Energy.”
Cold Fusion Now!
Funding Dam Almost Breaks for Brillouin Boiler that Uses – Water! by Ruby Carat July 7, 2011
Robert Godes Quantum Fusion Reactor from Rex Research