Cold fusion-powered car engineer has history of discovery

Dennis Cravens has a crowd-funding campaign to work on a cold fusion-powered car.

He doesn’t expect steam from cold fusion to be able to power the vehicle directly, but electricity generated from the steam would “trickle-charge” a battery to operate the vehicle.

Can he do it?

For twenty-four years, Dr. Cravens has been experimenting with the anomalous heat effect (AHE), and in that time, he has focused attention on gathering criteria and methods to initiate and trigger excess power.

Heat, pressure, current, radio-frequency, chemical, laser, acoustic, magnetic field – all were investigated by Cravens and longtime research partner Dennis Letts.

Cravens presented Factors Affecting The Success Rate of Heat Generation In CF Cells at ICCF-4 in Maui 1993, and together Cravens and Letts presented The Enabling Criteria of Electrochemical Heat: Beyond Reasonable Doubt at ICCF-10 in 2003, both works referring to palladium-deuterium Pd-D systems.

But it was investigating the various triggering methods that the collaborators made a surprising discovery.

Excess heat can be triggered by radio frequency.
Excess heat can be triggered by radio frequency.
RF-triggered excess heat experiments had been ongoing since 1992, and Letts’ collaborations with R. Sundaresan, Z. Minevski, and J.O’M. Bockris, the Texas A&M chemistry professor who nearly lost his job because of his research into cold fusion, were presented at ICCF-4.

Radio frequencies stimulated the reaction, but as usual with cold fusion, “it was difficult to reproduce”.

In Letts, D. and Cravens D. Laser Stimulation of Deuterated Palladium: Past And Present, PowerPoint slides presented at ICCF-10 2003, the authors describe one early experiment designed to test the effect of RF radio frequencies on excess power.

laser-cell-diagram-1A standard palladium-deuterium Pd-D electrolytic cell was modified to use the more-economical gold metal as an anode, instead of platinum.

During electrolysis, the gold dissolved into the solution, settling on the surface of the palladium cathode, and ruining the experiment.

A pocket laser pointer, emitting the familiar red-light at 670 nanometers, was directed at the cathode, just to see what would happen.

The cell temperature of the 75-gram electrolyte “rose several degrees, in a short time”.

In fact, a 3-degree increase in the electrolyte suggested that the 1 milliWatt laser pointer initiated heat in excess of 500 milliWatts.

An afterthought of directing laser-light saved an experiment.  Graph annotations by Ruby Carat
An afterthought of directing laser-light on the cathode saved an experiment.
Graph annotations by Ruby Carat.

In subsequent experiments, other frequencies were found to initiate a thermal effect, at 681 and 685 nm. “Most of the time this results in triggering a thermal response 10-30 times larger than the thermal output of the laser.” —Laser Stimulation of Deuterated Palladium Past and Present

The keywords there are not “10-30 times laser power”, but “most of the time”. Like RF, the laser triggering method did not guarantee 100% reproducibility.

However, one successful laser-triggered experiment ran live at ICCF-10.


After days of loading, a 681 nm laser irradiated a 1mm spot on the cathode of demo cell #602; excess power jumped immediately. The laser was turned off, and excess power decreased. Power to the cell was 500 mW, and with a 30 mW laser stimulation, 500 mW excess power was generated.

Demo cell 602 power graph
Demo cell 602 excess power graph

Laser stimulation to initiate anomalous heat reflects the criteria that many researchers find critical: dynamic conditions must exist in the chamber. Energetics’ Technologies used Superwaves, Brillouin Energy uses Q-pulses, and even nickel-hydrogen Ni-H systems produce higher thermal power output when the chamber is heated.

dual-laser-cell-diagramResonance by laser-light was further studied by Cravens and Letts with Peter Hagelstein, when two lasers were operated together to mix optical frequencies, creating beats to stimulate phonons in the Pd-D lattice that would initiate the reaction. Excess heat was associated with beat frequencies at 8.3 and 15.3 THz and 20.4 THz.

In addition, the size of the active regions was also compared to the laser’s region of impact. From their paper, it appears that the Nuclear Active Environment (NAE) is “larger than the laser spot in previous single laser experiments.”

While these undertakings describe basic science research, Cravens is no stranger to commercial efforts.

Patterson-Cell-diagram-CravensRepresenting ENECO, an early new-energy company initially formed to develop the Fleischmann-Pons work, Cravens was hired to provide an independent evaluation of the Patterson Power Cell, a proto-type commercial thermal generator designed by James Patterson of Clean Energy Technologies, Inc. (CETI) that utilized “plastic microspheres” layered with transition metals. Cravens reported on this investigation in Flowing Electrolyte Calorimetry at ICCF-5 in 1995.

Attendees at that conference were also treated to a live demonstration of the Patterson Power Cell. Here’s what Hal Fox of the New Energy Institute and publisher of Fusion Facts wrote in April of that year:


One of the most impressive presentations at the ICCF-5 was
given by Dr. Dennis Cravens and supported by a working
cold fusion cell set up in the foyer by Clean Energy
Technologies, Inc. (CETI) of Dallas Texas. Attendees at the
conference could take their own data, compute the results,
and show that a cold fusion cell was operating at 200 to 400
percent excess thermal power. This cold fusion system
utilized the patented inventions of James A. Patterson. This
invention consists of small plastic beads coated with copper,
nickel, and palladium. These beads provide a uniform large
surface area (of either palladium or nickel) to catalyze the
nuclear processes that are the heart of cold fusion
phenomena. The CETI patents cover both light and heavy
water electrolysis using the metal-coated microspheres.

Writing for the second issue of Infinite Energy magazine, Jed Rothwell provided further details of the demo.

Patterson’s company, Clean Energy Technologies, Inc. (CETI), got together with Dennis Cravens and brought to the conference a demonstration cell in a flow calorimeter. It worked spectacularly well. Cravens [2] discussed it on the first day. The device output 3 to 5 times input energy, ignoring energy lost to electrolysis gases, and as much as 10 times input if you include various factors such as electrolysis gases and the heat lost from the cell container.

As a demo, the Patterson cell output power was only a few Watts, but the durability was impressive. Rothwell continued:

The CETI demo system is fairly predictable, well controlled, and well-behaved, although it did get a bit quirky in the harsh conditions of the ICCF5 hallway. During breaks, the hotel coffee pots kept tripping the circuit breakers. This sent jolts of power through the transformer, which crashed the experiment. The CF reaction started up again every time, usually in about 10 minutes. The high precision flowmeter unfortunately did not survive the beating; the batteries and power supplies in it burned up. Fortunately, the low-precision flowmeter—a 10-ml laboratory supply graduated glass cylinder plus stopwatch—cannot be affected by power outages and excess voltage. The experiment was subjected to other abuses: the cart holding the experiment was wheeled up to a hotel room every night, carried on elevators, and pushed around. Cravens even lifted the cell from its container to show it to people while it was running! Yet in spite of this, the reaction started up in the morning after 10 or 20 minutes of electrolysis, although on the last day it took about a half hour, and the power was turned up higher than before. The fact that the cell survived this treatment at all demonstrates that this is one of the most robust and practical electrochemical CF systems yet developed.

Unfortunately, when Patterson’s beads ran out, the next batch didn’t work; the mystery of cold fusion had claimed another honest effort.

Yet the work of Dennis Cravens has persisted, and in his latest project, powering a 1928 Model-A with cold fusion, the aesthetic of a longtime researcher in anomalous effects marries the old with the new. Why?

“It is bold. It is daring. It is crazy but I have to try,” he writes.

Want to participate in something truly extraordinary? Go to Dennis Craven‘s Cold Fusion Powered Car Part 2 before April 20 to contribute.

The quote on his page says it best:

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
Dr. Martin Luther King

Cold Fusion Now!