Viareggio Cold Fusion conference: science, politics, and an Italian competitor

A conference titled “Has cold fusion become a reality?” was held at 4:00 PM July 23 at Villa Borbone in Viareggio, Italy. The conference was hosted by Italian solar energy company Delta Energie. Among the participants were Andrea Rossi via Skype; his research partner, retired University of Bologna physicist Sergio Focardi, via a pre-recorded presentation; Instituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare physicist and cold fusion researcher Francesco Celani; astrophysicist and futurologist Mario Menichella; renewable energy researcher and author Roy Virgilio; and author and blogger Daniele Passerini, who is also a long-time friend of University of Bologna physicist Giuseppe Levi.

Fusione Fredda by Roy Virgillio Roy Virgilio is the author of a small Italian paperback book on cold fusion and an acquaintance of Francesco Piantelli, an early researcher in nickel-hydrogen reactions. Daniele Passerini has provided a summary of events on his blog and promises a video of the conference will appear online in a few days. Giorgio at Talk Polywell has provided an English translation of the more important news from the conference:

16.13 – Rossi is contacted on Skype, he confirms delivery of the 1MW plant according schedule. The first industrial plant will be delivered “patent pending”, hoping that this will push the European patent application.
Domestic reactors will have to wait a couple of years due to certifications.

16.57 – Focardi in his pre-recorded interview states again that he does not know the Nuclear process that brings an atom of nikel to capture a proton and transform it into Copper, but the chemical analysis prove that this is what happens.

17.03 – The temperature when the reaction starts is 60-70° C.

17.05 – Focardi states that many samples of reactors has been tested, including closed circuit reactors.

17.56 – Celani states that he is researching on nanoparticles deposited on thin and long strings of Pd, in Deuterium atmosphere.
He states he is getting 400/W/g at 500°C with good reproducibility.
He has worked also with Ni strings in Hydrogen atmosphere and he is getting an efficiency of 1800W/g at 900°C, but with difficulties in reproducibility.

18.26 – Roy Virgilio takes the word. He states that Piantelli research is going good. A new company (NickEnergia) has been formed 5 month ago and is already licensing his know how to other industries to produce reactors of different sizes. [The name of the company appears to be Nichenergy. —Ivy Matt]

18.35 – Piantelli is not willing to to make any type of publicity. He will arrive on the market with a commercial product and let the market decide if the technology is real or not.

18.37 – Piantelli is not using catalizers, just Nickel and Hydrogen.

18.39 – The first reactors that will be offered for sale will be on the range of the Kw. After they will scale up.

Another interesting tidbit from the conference.

19.10 – Among the public Milly Moratti takes the word and states that there are clearly now experimental evidences of Cold Fusion.

Now, for the one who do not know, Milli Moratti is the wife of Massimo Moratti, one of the richest man in Italy and owner of the Saras Petrol Refinery, The biggest in Italy and one of the biggest in Europe.
That’s a 5,3 Billion Euro Company.
She has money and the political knowledge.

Thanks, Giorgio!

That’s good news about the research and political interest, disappointing news about the timeline for the arrival of the domestic reactor.

Several other items of interest were brought up at the conference: Celani’s allegation that the public denigration of cold fusion research and the hiring of the best cold fusion researchers by US military and government labs likely stem from the same policy, the military interest in cold fusion research being the production of tritium for use in thermonuclear warheads; his naming of Japanese researcher Yoshiaki Arata as the “real father of cold fusion”, having studied deuterium in the gas phase (loaded into a metallic lattice or powder, presumably) since 1958; and Virgilio’s comment on Piantelli’s insistence that what occurs in the nickely-hydrogen reaction is not properly cold fusion, but rather some other type of low-energy nuclear reaction consisting of a complex sequence of events.

It seems clear now—if it wasn’t before—that the “Italian competitor” Andrea Rossi has mentioned several times on his website is Francesco Piantelli, with whom Sergio Focardi worked for many years. In his recent dust-up with physicist Julian Brown, Rossi said Brown had claimed that his competitor had a patent on the matter granted in 1995. Piantelli applied for a patent, “Energy Generation and Generator by Means of Anharmonic Stimulated Fusion”, in 1995, but the patent was never granted. However, whether the patent was granted or not, it could still be used as evidence for prior art in a claim against Rossi’s 2008 patent, which is probably the idea Brown was trying to convey to Rossi.

Earlier reports had claimed that Piantelli’s group had achieved 40 kW of thermal power and 7 kW of electrical power, but the recent report from Virgilio seems to point to a more modest claim. If the Piantelli device produces under 5 kW of thermal power, Nichenergy’s best option would seem to be to compete with Defkalion GT on price—and possibly time to market, if Nichenergy’s reactor is not also hampered by regulations on domestic use.

NOTE: this post has been updated to reflect what is apparently the actual name of Piantelli’s company, Nichenergy, based on updated information on Daniele Passerini’s blog.

Defkalion issues advisory

Defkalion Green Technologies S.A. has recently released the following advisory on its website:

It has come to the attention of our company that unauthorized persons have initiated contact with third parties for financial and development matters.

Defkalion Green Technologies publically announces that only its Board of Directors are commissioned to speak on behalf of the company. Any and all attempts to mislead third parties are seen as a legal infringement and shall be pursued by law accordingly.

Defkalion Green Technologies takes very seriously its communication to third parties and maintains transparency in all its actions.

The BoD hereby issues a public apology for any misleading information that has already made its way through the grape vine. For all afflicted individuals / entities, please communicate directly with our Head Office for clarification.

Defkalion Green Technologies

For the record, the head office is located at:

Xanthou 3,
Glifada, 16674 Greece

T: +30 210 7770602
F: +30 210 7770608

The board of directors is as follows:

  • George Sortikos, Chairman
  • George Xanthoulis, Deputy Chairman
  • Aurel David, Chief Executive Officer
  • Alexandros Xanthoulis, Board Member, Representative of Praxen
  • Christos Stremmenos, Board Member
  • Ioannos Chatzichristos, Board Member
  • Andreas Meidanis, Board Member
  • Mouafak Saouachni, Board Member
  • Andreas Drougas, Board Member

The primary e-mail address seems to be info@defkalion-energy.com.

New energy is a high-risk field and Defkalion GT is a new player on that field. Anyone who wishes to engage in a financial relationship with Defkalion GT would do well to research the company and its technology thoroughly, and to do all other due diligence before any money changes hands. Anyone who wishes to engage in a financial relationship with Defkalion GT would also do well to be aware of what channels of communication the company uses for official communication and to be suspicious of anyone who tries to contact them by another channel, claiming to represent the company.

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Related posts:

The Defkalion website is live — Ivy Matt June 23, 2011

Mr. Rossi visits Sweden

Andrea Rossi has recently visited universities at the modern Swedish capital of Stockholm and the ancient Swedish capital of Uppsala. The purpose of the visit was ostensibly to hammer out research agreements with Stockholm University and Uppsala University similar to that reached with the University of Bologna.

However, the visit also gave Mr. Rossi the chance to swap ideas with scientists from around the world. As he reported on his Journal of Nuclear Physics website:

“In Sweden I am working with top scientists from Sweden, USA and Japan from whom I am learning. A lot.” –Andrea A. Rossi

From his recent comments on the site it appears Mr. Rossi is still refining his ideas on the theory behind the functioning of the E-Cat. He mentioned one cold fusion theory as particular interesting: Professor Yeong E. Kim‘s Bose-Einstein condensation theory of nuclear fusion. Professor Kim recently released a paper examining the application of his theory to hydrogen-nickel systems such as Rossi’s and recommending avenues of further research. He will be delivering a talk on the subject at the Fifth Asia Pacific Conference on Few-Body Problems in Physics 2011 (APFB2011), August 22-26 in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Also on his site, Mr. Rossi recently gave his opinion on the effect his E-Cat technology will have on other energy technologies (in particular hot fusion):

“I think that all the energy sources must be integrated and developed. They must be a team, not a mess.” –Andrea A. Rossi

And in answer to the following questions:

“How many years of study it took to get the first working prototype of E-Cat? What was your first thought when you realized it was working? What could be the more beautiful consequence of your invention for mankind?”

Mr. Rossi gave these answers:

1- About 15 years
2- That I was going into an ocean of troubles and an enormous amount of work. I was right.
3- Energy at very low price: better quality of life; maybe less wars, more time for Culture.
Warm Regards,
A.R.

Many of us are looking forward to seeing the fruits of that work.

Related posts:

“Eppur s’accende…”: Professors Levi and Ferrari on Italian radio — Ivy Matt June 29, 2011

AmpEnergo claims the Western Hemisphere

While much vigorous discussion over the past week has focused on the plans of Defkalion Green Technologies S.A. to commercialize Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat technology, U.S.-based AmpEnergo Inc. quietly posted a new press release on their website on June 27. The press release is very brief and gives little new information, but it does clarify the geographical scope of AmpEnergo’s business activities: North, South, and Central America, and the Caribbean. There has been some confusion over whether AmpEnergo claimed licensing rights to all of the Americas, or just to the United States, as Defkalion’s literature appears to claim licensing rights to the whole world outside of the United States. According to the press release AmpEnergo is currently focused on setting up business and financial partnerships and negotiating license agreements. AmpEnergo is not currently offering stock to the general public.

Not much is known publicly about AmpEnergo’s plans for commercialization of the E-Cat technology in the Americas, the most in-depth information coming from NyTeknik’s May 16 interview with company vice president Craig Cassarino. For now the company will focus on developing a 1 MW device, to be available in late 2011 or early 2012. Unlike Defkalion it currently has no plans to develop a home heating unit.

AmpEnergo Inc. was incorporated on April 20, 2009 under the laws of the State of Ohio. It is based in Bedford, New Hampshire.

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Related posts:

E-CAT Gets U.S. Partners, with D.O.D. links — Eli May 16, 2011

Interviews with Rossi and Xanthoulis


Defkalion Green TechnologiesNearly a week after Defkalion Green Technologies S.A. held its press conference in Palaio Faliro, there appears to be no mention of the event in the mainstream media, perhaps the nearest thing being mentions of Andrea Rossi and the E-Cat in the comments to a CNET article on high-energy plasma fusion at MIT. Even DGT itself, which promised a video of the event with English subtitles on Monday or Tuesday of this week, has failed to deliver so far. The company has, however, recently released some information regarding press conference attendance on its website.

Meanwhile, Phizero, the producer of “Low Energy Nuclear Revolution”, has released a new video containing footage of interviews with Andrea Rossi and DGT board member Alexandros Xanthoulis, conducted after the press conference:

Two short interviews recorded after Defkalion’s press conference. from Giacomo Guidi on Vimeo.

The first interview, with Andrea Rossi, is very brief, and mostly concerns his research contract with the University of Bologna. According to Rossi the research will be conducted over two years, with the first results expected in one year. The study will consist of research and development to improve the E-Cat technology, and will involve running the reactor for 24 hours a day over a period of six months. Afterwards a metallurgical analysis will be conducted to examine the transmutation of the metals in the device.

The interview with Alexandros Xanthoulis revealed some new information. Among the highlights:

  • DGT is in discussions [with Ampenergo?] to sell their products in the USA.
  • DGT’s investors are a group of friends of the Greek diaspora who attended the same university in Canada.
  • The 5 to 30 kW modules are all the same size, the only difference being the pressure, so they will cost the same.
  • The 1 MW reactor is now being tested, and DGT is working on producing a 3 MW reactor.
  • DGT is only producing the units, not distributing or marketing them.
  • It will take five years of production for DGT to meet the demand of the orders they’ve received so far.
  • Every six months the units will be serviced by technicians employed by the distributors, but trained by Defkalion.
  • The reactors have twelve levels of security; nevertheless, somebody will break the security sooner or later. Defkalion is depending primarily on legal protections and the low cost of the units to discourage competitors from producing Hyperion knock-offs.

Thanks to Phizero for the video!

Related posts:

Early news from Greece — Ivy Matt June 22, 2011

The Defkalion website is live — Ivy Matt June 23, 2011

Low Energy Nuclear Revolution — Ivy Matt June 23, 2011

“Eppur s’accende…”: Professors Levi and Ferrari on Italian radio

Città del Capo Radio Metropolitana, a Bolognese radio station, recently interviewed Professors Giuseppe Levi and Loris Ferrari of the University of Bologna on their research contract with Andrea Rossi.  A summary of the interview is here.

The contract is for €500,000 plus value-added tax, and Rossi will be providing the equipment necessary to run the experiments. The study will last for at least a year, and it will take at least another six months for the results to be published, so the earliest we can expect to see the final results of the study is the end of 2012. However, the University of Bologna group may release some preliminary results as early as December, 2011.

The scope of the study will be to measure the energy efficiency and any emissions of radiation from the device Rossi provides. Some aspects of the research may be subject to trade secret protections.

Professor Ferrari acknowledged the need for repeatable results to demonstrate that the energy catalyzer does, in fact, work. He also acknowledged that the internal mechanisms by which the energy catalyzer is able to produce energy are unknown and says this will be “one of the key aspects to be investigated”. Professor Levi, for his part, is already certain of the device’s repeatability:

“Every time I was witness to a start-up of e-cat that produced energy. I’ve seen it many times now: It seems to repeat itself with great regularity, but I want to be prudent …” –Giuseppe Levi

New research is always welcome, especially if it leads to a workable (and testable) hypothesis on the functioning of the Energy Catalyzer. The University of Bologna research is unlikely to do much to sway the online debates on the E-Cat, however, as even the preliminary results are not expected until after Andrea Rossi’s October surprise.

(The summary of the radio interview in the link above is an English machine translation of the original story in Italian, which can be found here. Any corrections or clarifications by speakers of Italian are welcome.)

Related posts:

Query interviews Giuseppe Levi by Ivy Matt June 23, 2011