Krivit’s third report: E-Cat not demonstrated to work as claimed

Steven Krivit, editor of New Energy Times, has released his third report on Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat, and the report is every bit as long as he had claimed. The report is largely critical of the claims made for the energy catalyzer, and of the way Andrea Rossi, Sergio Focardi, and Giuseppe Levi have attempted to establish those claims. Although most of the criticisms have been made elsewhere, Krivit has helpfully (for those critical of Rossi’s claims, at least) provided a clearinghouse for them.

Krivit’s report includes 37 appendices, but the essence of his criticism is contained in his main report:

The first concern is a question of the quantity of the steam. That is, how much steam has been visually observed coming out of the experiments? How does this amount and rate compare with the predicted amount and rate of steam from a 5 kilowatt power source?

The second concern is the method the Rossi group used to measure (or fail to measure) the output of the experiment. How did the group perform the measurement of the heat outflow, or steam, in the experiments?

The third concern is the quality of the steam. A higher-quality (or drier) steam output contains far more heat than a lower-quality (or wetter) steam. How did the Rossi group measure (or fail to measure) the quality of the steam coming out of the experiments?

None of these concerns is likely to be resolved before the demonstration in the last week of October (according to Rossi’s current timeline), and it is questionable if Rossi’s demonstration will directly answer those concerns, or if it will leave them for buyers of E-Cat technology to answer to their satisfaction. In an answer to a question by Prof. Brian Josephson concerning that matter on his website, Rossi emphasized that many important scientists and journalists would attend the test, and insisted that the E-Cat is producing perfectly dry steam in recent tests, but did not answer Prof. Josephson’s point about measuring the water and/or steam output of the reactor.

There seems to be a general agreement among both optimists and skeptics of a technical bent that this is an important weakness of Rossi’s demonstrations so far. One section of Krivit’s report concerns a presentation Francesco Celani delivered at the 16th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (ICCF-16) in Chennai, India, in February of this year. A diagram in this presentation pointed out the importance, when testing a black box (i.e. a device the internals of which are unknown), of measuring all inputs and outputs. In Rossi’s demonstrations, on the other hand, he measured the inputs (water and electrical power) and presumed to measure the temperature inside the black box itself (unnecessary when one is attempting to demonstrate simply that the black box functions), but failed to measure the output (steam and/or water).

The arguments supporting Krivit’s claim that the E-Cat achieves an energy gain of only one or two times input power are contained in the appendices to the main report. Krivit does not deny the possibility of achieving excess heat from nickel-hydrogen reactions and emphasizes that he has covered the field on various occasions before. His criticism here is of Andrea Rossi and his collaborators. He does not directly accuse Rossi of devising a hoax or a scam, but he mentions several ways (private investment, purchase of franchises from Defkalion) in which money has presumably already changed hands, and therefore a scam is possible, whether or not it is probable.  Regarding the charge, made more or less openly by both Andrea Rossi and Daniele Passerini (link is in Italian), that Krivit is in cahoots with Francesco Piantelli, Krivit does not address it directly, but says in his report: “I have not seen Piantelli for a few years, but I have been in touch with him recently to confirm the history of his research.”

Perhaps most interesting, because it’s news, is the last section of Krivit’s report, which confirms Rossi’s meeting with members of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and identifies Michael A. Nelson as the man who arranged the meeting. According to Nelson, as reported by Krivit, Rossi made no demonstration and no agreement had yet been made between Rossi and NASA, but NASA is interested in testing Rossi’s device as long as the government doesn’t have to foot the bill. Nelson is eager to find out the truth about Rossi’s device, whatever it may be. These words from him are worth quoting here:

Rossi has brought a lot of attention to the field. Any researchers who have a legitimate claim are going to benefit from this.

Whatever else he may be, it appears Andrea Rossi is a catalyst of sorts.

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Related posts:

Mr. Rossi talks E-Cat. — Ruby Carat June 21, 2011

Mr. Rossi calculates the E-Cat’s energy — Ivy Matt June 24, 2011

Krivit’s second report: Rossi evades scientific debate — Ivy Matt June 28, 2011

Coming soon: Krivit’s third report — Ivy Matt July 29, 2011

Coming soon: Krivit’s third report

After a month of reticence, New Energy Times editor Steven Krivit has broken his silence to announce that his long-awaited third report on Rossi’s E-Cat is coming soon—”within the next few days”. This report is supposed to cover the technical details supporting his reasoning that the E-Cat—the one Rossi demonstrated for him, at any rate—does not produce as much energy as Rossi claims it does. Rossi calculated an energy gain factor of 6 for that particular demonstration. In a recent post on New Energy Times, Krivit estimated that the energy gain was at most one or two times, and that possibly there was no excess energy at all.

The primary reason Krivit gives for the delay is that he received numerous comments—more than 50—on his videos and reports, some from people of apparently great technical knowledge. Consequently, he decided to incorporate some of these comments in his report. After releasing his third report, Krivit will release the videos of his interviews with Andrea Rossi, Sergio Focardi, Giuseppe Levi, University of Bologna physicist David Bianchini (who has performed various measurements on the E-Cat), and blogger Daniele Passerini (who has covered the E-Cat story since the beginning). Lastly, Krivit will write a final report giving some of his reflections and observations on the story, and then he will move on to other things—”until and unless [Rossi] and/or his associates make an appropriate scientific communication or deliver a publicly available energy device for sale.”

So far Rossi and his E-Cat have been the big news in cold fusion this year; otherwise cold fusion enthusiasts would probably be spending their time discussing Brian Ahern’s replication of Arata (not so much of Rossi, as some have reported—Rossi’s device is not really replicable by independent researchers until more is revealed about the details of its functioning). It looks like Krivit’s third report will add new detail, but not much new information to the E-Cat debate, so whether Andrea Rossi ends up being seen as the savior of cold fusion or a pariah even among the small community of cold fusion researchers probably depends mostly on the outcome of his megawatt thermal reactor demonstration three (not four) months away, and the subsequent sales of the devices by Defkalion GT and AmpEnergo.

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Related posts:

Mr. Rossi talks E-Cat. — Ruby Carat June 21, 2011

Mr. Rossi calculates the E-Cat’s energy — Ivy Matt June 24, 2011

Krivit’s second report: Rossi evades scientific debate — Ivy Matt June 28, 2011