The testing of Andrea A. Rossi’s 1 Megawatt proto-type nickel-hydrogen reactor is underway in Bologna, Italy. Reportedly conducted for a customer from the US, there is limited access to the private event, although Sterling D. Allan from Pure Energy Systems is attending and will be posting his impressions here on E-Day: Tracking the 1MW Test.
What is 1 Megawatt? This article from Hank Mills and Mr. Allan describes it in easy to understand language. Given an average electrical usage of between 1 and 1.5 kiloWatts per home, a 1 MegaWatt unit producing electricity could power between 750 and 1000 homes.
It should be noted that Mr. Rossi’s reactor is a thermal energy device that produces steam heat and not electricity. However, as a first step in a revolutionary new energy technology, this is the beginning of an era for the development of ultra-clean power from hydrogen.
While negative press continue to prejudice this science, the effect of Mr. Rossi’s demonstrations technology has increased the level of awareness in the public about cold fusion research.
Here Edmund Storms talks about how a commercially available device will affect the attitudes in the political class.
Mitchell Swartz of Jet Energy, a cold fusion research company that has developed the Phusor and Nanor reactor, has put together some quotes made by accomplished individuals that reveal bias towards the new, the unfamiliar, the revolutionary, for even the smartest people can’t always imagine what’s possible.
Consider this statement:
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Ken Olson Chairman and founder Digital Equipment Corporation from 1977
Dr. Edmund Storms describes an application of the cold fusion effect transmutation.
Transmutation is a process of one element turning into another element which, by definition, is a reaction involving nuclear particles called protons.
Elements describe the types of matter that exist in the physical world and are organized in charts like the Periodic Table.
An atom is the smallest piece of matter that can still be called an element. Elements combine to form molecules and the matter we see around us.
The research of Ukrainian scientists, including Professors Vladimir Vysotskii and A. Kornikova, has revealed biological organisms, such as various forms of bacteria, that have the ability to initiate nuclear reactions with their environment, including radioactive materials like cesium, which they transmute to stable, non-radioactive elements.
This application may offer an avenue for ridding the planet of the thousands of tons of radioactive waste that presently pollute the planet.
Short Course on Nuclear Transmutation 16th International Conference On Condensed Matter Nuclear Science from [ISCMNS]
Successful Experiments On Utilization Of High-Activity Nuclear Waste In The Process Of Transmutation In Growing Associations Of Microbiological Cultures by V. I. Vysotskii, V. N. Shevel, A. B. Tashirev, A. A. Kornilova 2003 [.pdf from LENR.org]
Advanced transmutation processes and their application for the decontamination of radioactive nuclear wastes by A. Michrowski Proceedings 2nd International LENR Conference [.html 1996]
Biological Transmutations by C. Lewis. Kervran 1980. Reviewed by Eugene Mallove from Infinite Energy
From the Review:
“Kervran’s thesis is that the transmutation of elements, in particular by reactions among the first few dozen of the periodic table, occurs regularly in biological systems—both in microbes and in multicellular organisms such as human beings. Transmutation is inherent to biology.”
The graph of the Oil Age shows a thin blip in geological time with an Era of Cold Fusion for the future – and a “little” space between them.
The transition from dirty fossil fuels and today’s dangerous nuclear power plants into clean cold fusion will entail the dismantling of an entire infrastructure core to the economy and culture of the world, and particularly for the Western nations.
The scale and reach are staggering.
What would a transition narrative look like? Edmund Storms, LENR researcher and author of The Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction has thought about these issues for two decades, and has some compelling scenarios.
We spoke with Dr. Storms this past August and this is what he had to say on “Transition”.
Our greatest blessings come by way of madness, indeed of a madness that is heaven-sent. –‘Socrates’ on the Oracle of Delphi in Phaedo
A test of the first commercial cold fusion technology held on October 6 at the University of Bologna, Italy continues to draw debate on just how much excess heat was generated.
Excess heat is the condition of more heat energy created than equivalent energy put in a device and is the sought-after effect in cold fusion research for its potential to generate ultra-clean power to replace dirty fossil and dangerous radioactive fuels.
Andrea A. Rossi‘s Energy Catalyzer, or E-Cat as it is called, is essentially a hot-water boiler expected to be marketed as a thermal energy device. A small version of the reactor, which can be scaled to various levels, was the object of the test last Thursday that brought scientists from around the world to observe and measure its properties.
Preliminary data revealed that excess heat was produced; though just how much will remain unknown until reports from the various scientists in attendance are released.
An early tweet from Robert Zreick and subsequent report by NYTeknik science journalist Mats Lewan showed a lower limit of excess heat between 2-3 kilowatts. This value is a lower limit as a small amount of hot water and steam were removed from the system without measurement. Had that heated mass of water and steam been measured and the energy added to the system, the total excess heat measured would be higher.
In this particular demonstration, a heat exchanger cooled and condensed the steam emitted from the E-Cat transferring the heat to a secondary flow of water. The change in temperature of that secondary flow of water gives one measure of the energy provided by the E-Cat.
Using the data provided by Mats Lewan, this graph generated by Eric Hustedt (see below; my addition includes the arrows and text.) Both the input energy curve and the output energy curves are plotted together. Input power is in the form of electrical power and used to start the reaction between the fuel of hydrogen and its nickel powder environment. Output power was measured by the difference in temperatures of the water in a secondary loop of heated water.
At first, it appears the input power is turned on and off a few times. The output power drops during this initial (loading?) period, then begins to rise rapidly, settling on a bumpy plateau. After about four hours, around mark 15:37, the output power appears to increase rapidly again, rising almost vertically to over 6 kilowatts. The input power is then turned off to zero.
After the input power is turned off, notice the output power eventually reaches a maximum of 8 kilowatts. After a short decline, there are two more instances of increased output power, with a final decline after which the demonstration is ended.
The total area underneath the power output curve appears greater than the total area underneath the input power curve. Therefore, we conclude that excess heat was generated. However, the up-and-down nature of the power generated may show possible instability. Until reports from scientists who attended the demonstration are released, these musings are merely speculations.
One of the best features of cold fusion research is that there are many such systems that generate excess heat, not just nickel and hydrogen.
Here you can see a graph of excess heat production from a palladium-deuterium system from Dr. Mitchel Swartz‘ Jet Energy, Inc. lab using his Phusor.
Notice the blue line of the output power is above the red graph of the input power. The difference in height of the two curves represents the excess heat energy generated; the Phusor cell is producing more energy than it is consuming.
The LENR-CANR Library contains thousands of papers from scientists worldwide investigating the properties of multiple types of similar energy-producing systems. Editor Jed Rothwell has a graph from Dr. Michael McKubre‘s lab at SRI International on the homepage. For this palladium-deuterium system, a steady increase in measured current (in red) is compared with no increase in electrical current using a hydrogen and palladium system (in blue) control cell.
Both Dr. Swartz and Dr. McKubre are just two cold fusion researchers who have repeatedly witnessed the creation of large amounts of energy in small, tabletop ‘cells’ that use a fuel of hydrogen and/or its isotopes, and various transition metals as host to the reaction. There are many other labs, and many other scientists on the verge of unlocking the power of these systems. The enigmatic theory behind the effect may elude researchers, but the results are empirical and undeniable despite mainstream science’s refusal to acknowledge this field.
Mr. Rossi is the first to bring this science into the realm of a usable technology. Yet, even among the cold fusion community, ostracized as it is from conventional scientific circles, Mr. Rossi is an outsider, criticized for lacking discipline and method. Tensions are elevated as the emotional investment over two decades, with a corresponding lack of financial support, has reached the limit of tolerability, and the need for this technology is so great.
You don’t like those ideas? I got others. –Marshall McLuhan
The fact is there is no map outlining the process of rolling out a revolutionary breakthrough technology. The personal computer was dispersed into the population under the noses of Mainframe, Inc. by two young guys with their parents in the next room. The New Fire is emerging from a just-as-unconventional lone inventor who plays jazz drums and knows a good samba when he hears it.
Yes, this engineer of The New Fire demonstrates the energy of humanity’s future using a carburetor-sized heat exchanger, bathroom scales, and duc tape. A perfect scientific method performed on ideal spheres has encountered the spontaneity of jazz drums and electric tweets in a science fiction environment of artificial intelligence so pervasive it goes unnoticed. Science is being done in a world-wide lab where all times are happening at once.
Marrying high and low technologies from various ages has a name – Steampunk. The Steampunk artist rides the collision of centuries and translates that reality into objects that fuse hand-made efforts with factory-made design and modern electronics.
As our world is increasingly medievalized with parochial legislation and stiffened standards attempting to prop-up a declining civilization, Steampunk retrieves the early industrial efforts before fossil fuels, painting the Josephson junctions and digital chips with a veneer of human scale.
Steam Punk Andrea Rossi has brought world attention to a new energy technology that is in its first stages of actuality and which draws on the simple elements of hydrogen from water and a metal powder that combine to create a powerful energy that defies conventional theories of “modern” physics promising clean, abundant energy for the whole world.
Whether the device demonstrated on October 6 generated power of X kilowatts or Y kilowatts pales to the fact that we have a new energy technology – confirmed by science – that needs support for development, and promptly.
It is our best chance for a technological future on Earth.
Brad Arnold read Mario Menichella‘s Secrets of E-Cat almost immediately after the English version was released so we asked him for his impressions. Following his review is a Q&A with author Mario Menichella.–CFN
“The aim of this essay, therefore, is not to determine whether the E-Cat is an amazing product or the scam of the century – this verification and the scientific validation is only a secondary theme of the book, although it is treated in some depth – but to bring an understanding of how it works to all those who, like me, would like to try to replicate it.” –Mario Menichella Secrets of E-Cat [pg 6].
The 144 page e-book “Secrets of E-Cat” is a good read. It doesn’t dwell on the politics or gossip surrounding Rossi – in fact the author is friends with both Rossi and Focardi – but instead it analyzes the mechanics of the E-Cat, or Energy Catalyzer. Since Mr. Menichella is an inquisitive physicist, he was able to lend more light than heat to the subject.
What is the E-Cat, how much energy does it produce, how is an E-Cat made, what is the secret catalyst, and what are possible theories for why LENR Ni-H (Low-energy nuclear reactions Nickel-Hydrogen systems) work. These are the questions the book explores. Safe to say that Rossi’s secret Italian sauce is still secret, but never the less several interesting possibilities are raised. It really isn’t fair to the author that I steal his thunder by going into specifics, but it is curious that iron is found in some of the products of Rossi E-Cat reactions.
There is an analysis of Rossi’s treatment of the nickel before it goes into the reaction chamber – what size particles and if he selects for isotope. Rossi said he tried about 10,000 experiments – there are a lot of combinations. What the book made clear was that Rossi was the first to be able to get a large amount of energy from nuclear fusion reactions at relatively low temperatures.
If you want to build a LENR Ni-H device, the book could very well help you do that, even fingering a nickel powder distributor, but don’t expect 6 (to 200) over unity. It feels good to know the basic working principles behind the E-Cat, but I wish the author had been more specific about the energy density of nickel (this is an important subject, because the more energy dense nickel is, the more spectacular LENR technology is).
At one point, the book mentioned that Rossi’s 5kW E-Cat used one gram in 5 days of continuous use. Then later, it was theorized that a 10kW E-Cat would use the same. That would mean that (as the book says) nickel was 100,000 times as energy dense as diesel fuel. I’d like to contrast that with the claim Rossi made on his patent application, which was that a gram of nickel was equivalent to 517 tons kilograms of oil. That would mean nickel was over 5 hundred million thousand times as energy dense (according to my calculations).
Editor’s note: Yes, Mr. Arnold’s calculations were correct. However, there is an error in the patent application that has been addressed; the available energy is equivalent to 517 tons kilograms of oil per gram of nickel. [NYTeknik]
Thus, the calculations in the book are correct. “1 gram of oil can gives a chemical energy in the order of electron Volts, while 1 gram of nickel can give – in a typical nuclear reaction – an energy in the order of MeV, which is about 10^6 larger.”-Mario Menichella
By the way, all you need to do to figure out energy density is to calculate how many grams of (for instance) oil would be the same as a gram of nickel. Just go to this site and plug in 517 kilograms, and you get the answer 517,000, which means that 517,000 grams of oil equals a single gram of nickel in terms of producing the same amount of heat energy (the nickel in a LENR reaction, and the oil by burning it).
Also according to the book, Rossi was sometimes getting 200 times the return energy. In public demonstrations, Rossi’s E-Cat was only getting a little over 6 from unity. The issue is safety. Right now the E-Cat is limited to lower temperatures and more electrical usage because the reaction (which, by the way, takes a few minutes to initiate) must be controlled, or it could spike and explode (any pressured container, even a small one, is a danger).
I suppose a lot of this will become clear as the mass media picks up on the story. We are all looking forward to Rossi’s 1 megawatt E-Cat being introduced to the public the last week of October. Until then, Mr. Menichella’s book “Secrets of E-Cat” is a good substitute and primer. — Brad Arnold
Q&A with Secrets of E-Cat
author Mario Menichella
CFN Mario, you are the first to write a book on the E-Cat. What are your impressions of the technology?
MM Your question would require a long answer. I think that the E-Cat produces excess energy, but in this moment we do not know, through an official test or certification, how much it is. However, the machine is able to function in a self-sustained mode, as declared in an interview by the Italian physicist Giuseppe Levi: he saw the machine operating for a long time without electric energy provided in input during a private test lasted 18 hours, at the beginning of 2011.
A few weeks ago, on September 8, I met Andrea Rossi in a meeting I organized in Bologna and he told me that his 1-MW prototype is guaranteed to have a 1:5 input/output power ratio: i.e. if, I have 5 thermal kWh in output for every electric kWh provided in input.
CFN This is very exciting news…
MM Yes, I do not want to bore your readers with calculations, but I am a physicist working also as energy consultant, so I have made an accurate estimate, for a customer, of the cost of 1 thermal kWh produced with a 10-kW E-Cat sold at a reasonable price of about 20,000 euro, corresponding to 2,000 euro/thermal kWh, as Rossi has always hypothesized.
The result I found is surprising, because such cost is less than the half that in the case of the alternative technologies in the heating field: heat pumps, solar panels, Diesel boilers, natural gas boilers, wood chip boilers, electric stoves. So, the E-Cat, with the current 1:5 input/output power ratio, has already the potential to revolutionize the heat market, especially in the temperature range 175-500 °F (80-250 °C). It can also be used, with savings, for medium or large cogeneration applications. The above power ratio, instead, is not enough for a pure electricity production.
CFN What prompted you to write this book on the E-Cat?
MM The obvious answer is because I am a writer on science and this is my job. However, I wrote my last book in 2006, and I did not plan to write a new book in my life. But a series of coincidences led me to change my decision. When, on February 2011, I read about the first public presentation of the E-Cat made on January 14 in Bologna (Italy), I immediately understood the potential of such a machine. So, I write to Rossi to compliment with him. But I was really involved in this adventure only when I was contacted by Claudio Puosi and his wife, Vessy Nikolova, to organize a popular conference on cold fusion and E-Cat in Viareggio, an event which held on July 23, 2011, with the contribute of Sergio Focardi (through a long recorded interview) and Andrea Rossi (interviewed in real-time by phone). Then I decided not to disperse the information I had on this argument, and I wrote an instant book, with a somewhat investigative approach.
CFN Who is the audience you wrote for?
MM I wrote for many years long articles on single scientific hobbies in Italian magazines and in dedicated web sites, describing interesting fields like: amateur seismology, model rocketry, search for meteorites with a metal detector, and so on. My model was the old famous book “The amateur scientist” by C. L. Stong. The E-Cat is one of the most intriguing topic for an amateur scientist, because it is an object with a huge potential and a fascinating mystery regarding its core, the “secret catalyst”. But my public is not composed only of amateurs. Due to the economic importance of such invention, I think that small, medium and big companies could be interested in trying to reproduce a similar device, not to say about many open-minded researchers in Universities and other scientific institutions, who are now changing their opinion on cold fusion (and LENR).
CFN Is it really possible for a competent amateur to replicate the E-Cat technology?
MM Theoretically, yes, because you can split the problem in two parts. The first is to replicate the old apparatus developed by Focardi-Pianteli in Siena, with its input/output power ratio of 1:2. It is well described in many scientific articles, so it is not an impossible task. The second part of the problem is to discover the “secret catalyst” used by Rossi, and this is more difficult: you need to be very lucky!
However, it is a fascinating enterprise, and you can also try, in your experiments on the Ni-H cell, non-standard routes to achieve an energy gain: world literature on low-energy nuclear reactions is full of different kinds of techniques for loading the gas in the metal and for providing some forms of excitation to the system, and they are the two typical key-factors to trigger a cold fusion nuclear reaction.
CFN Can you confirm that NASA is interested in Francesco Piantelli’s nickel-hydrogen system?
MM Yes, I can confirm, but not from news coming from Piantelli or collaborators: our sources of information are in USA. However, you are touching a very “hot” topic. Behind cold fusion there are big interests both in the civil and military field, but I am not authorized to reveal the entire information I have. Today, public information is only a little part of the “reality” on cold fusion: everything else is covered by some kind of secrecy. For example, some of the hypothesis on the secret catalyst used by Rossi – that you can find in my book – are supported by confidential information that I could not reveal explicitly. I can only say that, probably, Piantelli will be – directly or indirectly – involved in experiments/research funded by the USA through NASA.
CFN How does Mr. Piantelli’s work differ from Mr. Rossi’s?
MM Piantelli described quite precisely the experimental apparatus in his patents, and anyone was able (or tried) to replicate it. The main differences from Rossi’s work are two. The first is that he does not use a catalyst, like in the old Focardi-Piantelli experiments. The second difference is that we know for sure he uses nanostructured nickel, created through a very expensive dedicated machine. He works mainly on the nickel geometry, even if in his experiments other 5-6 factors are important to trigger the nuclear reaction.
CFN What is it that makes Italian researchers so successful at LENR?
MM The mean level of Italian research in physics is very high: Italy is the main contributor, in terms of people involved at every level, in the experiments of nuclear physics performed at CERN (Geneve). Another factor is creativity, which is quite typical of the Italian researchers. Also luck, obviously, has a big role. We do not know how Rossi discovered his secret catalyst, so we are missing an important piece of information about his “route to success”. However, success requires also patience and many unsuccessfully attempts.
CFN Thanks for the good news, Mr. Menichella!
****************************************************************************** Related Links