A New Kind of Nuclear Reactor?

A New Kind of Nuclear Reactor? by Guest Author Dr. Ludwik Kowalski, Montclair State University, in which Dr. Kowalski dives into the Parhomov experiment and makes sense of the particulars for the general reader.

Read the original article posted here on Dr. Kowalski’s cold fusion archive.


Abstract

Consider a short sealed porcelain tube, containing about one gram of white powdered LiAlH4 fuel mixed with ten grams of powdered nickel. Professor Alexander G. Parkhomov, who designed and tested it, calls this small device a nuclear reactor, in a published report. The purpose of this short article is to briefly summarize Parkhomov’s discovery, in as simple a way as possible, and to make some general comments. Such setup, even if scaled up, would not be useful in an industrial electric power generating plant, due to well-known conversion efficiency limit. The expected readers are scientists and educated laymen.

Section 1 Introduction

Consider a sealed porcelain tube 20 cm long, containing about one gram of white powdered fuel mixed with ten grams of powered nickel. Professor Alexander G. Parkhomov, who designed and tested it, calls this small device a nuclear reactor, in a published report (1). The purpose of this short article is to briefly summarize Parkhomov’s discovery, in as simple a way as possible, and to make some general comments. The expected readers are scientists and educated laymen. Hopefully, this article will prepare them to understand Parkhomov’s report, and similar technical publications on the same topic.

The author, a retired nuclear physicist educated in the USSR, Poland, France and the USA, has dedicated this article to his father who died in a Gulag camp, and to his famous mentor Frederic Joliot-Curie. Who is Alexander Parkhomov? He is a Russian scientist and engineer, the author of over one hundred publications. The photo shown below was taken in 1990. Electronic equipment on the table is probably not very different from what he used to measure thermal energy released in the reactor.

Parkhomov in his lab

Section 2 Describing the Reactor

The title of Parkhomov’s recent report is “A Study of an Analog of Rossi’s High Temperature Generator.” Is the word “reactor,” in the title of this section, appropriate? Yes, it is. A totally unexplained reaction, releasing an extraordinary amount of heat, must be responsible for what is described in Sections 3. Is this reaction nuclear? Parkhomov certainly thinks so; otherwise he would not use instruments designed to detect nuclear radiations. His powdered fuel was 90% natural Ni; the rest was a LiAlH4 compound.

The controversial field of science and technology (2,3), in which Rossi (4) and Parkhomov are active, is Cold Fusion CF), also known under different names, such as CMNS, LENR, etc. Reference to Andrea Rossi in the title of the report is puzzling. Yes, Rossi also thought that thermal energy released in his device was nuclear, rather than chemical. But that is where the similarities end; the two reactors differ in many ways. For example, Rossi’s fuel was hydrogen gas, delivered from an outside bottle.

The illustration below is a simplified diagram of Parkhomov’s setup. The diagram does not show that the porcelain tube (red in the diagram) was closely wrapped by a heating wire. The electric energy delivered to the heater, in each experiment, was measured using several instruments; one of them was a standard kWh meter, similar to those used by electric companies. Heating of the fuel was necessary to keep the fuel temperature very high; the required temperature had to be between 1000 C and 1400 C.

Simplified diagram of Parkhomov’s setup

The reactor container (a covered box) was immersed in an aquarium-like vessel, filled with boiling and steaming water. To keep the water level constant during the experiment, a small amount of hot water (probably 90 grams) was added through a funnel, every three minutes or so. The mass of the escaped steam, turned into liquid water, was measured outside of the setup. Knowing the mass of the steam that escaped during an experiment one can calculate the amount of thermal energy escaping from the aquarium. Parkhomov’s method of measuring excess heat was not very different from that used by the leader of Russian Cold Fusion researchers, Yuri Nikolaevich Bazhutov (5).

Section 3 A Surprising Energy Result

Here is a description of results from one of three experiments performed by Parkhomov in December 2014. The porcelain tube with the powdered fuel was electrically heated at the rate of 500W. Then the state of thermal equilibrium was reached. The water in the aquarium remained in that state for nearly one hour. The constant fuel temperature, measured with a thermocouple (also not shown in the diagram) was 1290 C. The time interval of 40 minutes was selected for analysis of experimental results. The amount of water evaporated during that interval was 1.2 kg. The amount of electric energy the heater delivered to water in the aquarium, during that time, was 1195 kJ. Most of that energy was used to evaporate water. But 372 kJ of heat escaped from water via conduction. That number was determined on the basis of results from preliminary control experiments
Let XH be the amount of heat the aquarium water received from the reactor that is from the porcelain tube containing the fuel.
Thus the net “input” energy was

INPUT = 1195 – 372 + XH = 823 + XH

It represents thermal energy received by water, during the experiment.
Knowing the water’s “heat of evaporation” (2260 kJ/kg), one can calculate the thermal energy lost by water to sustain evaporation. It was:

OUTPUT = 2260*1.2 = 2712 kJ

This is the thermal energy lost by water, during the experiment. According to the law of conservation of energy, the INPUT and the OUTPUT must be equal. This leads to:

XH = 2712 – 823 = 1889 kJ

This is a surprising result. Why surprising? Because it is much larger than what is released when one gram of a familiar fuel is used. Burning one gram of powdered coal, for example, releases about 30 kJ of thermal energy, not 1889 kJ. What is the significance of this? The superficial answer is that “Parkhomov’s fuel is highly unusual, and potentially useful.”

Section 4 Cold Fusion Contoversy

Parkhomov’s box is not the first device that was introduced as a multiplier in which electric energy is turned into heat, and where outputted thermal energy exceeds the electric energy supplied. A conceptually similar device, based on electrolysis, was introduced in 1989, by Fleischmann and Pons (F&P). Their small electrolytic cell also generated more thermal energy than the electric energy supplied to it. Trying to establish priority, under pressure from University of Utah administration, the scientists announced their results at a sensational press conference (March 23, 1989). They wanted to study the CF phenomenon for another year or so but were forced to prematurely announce the discovery (private information)

The unfortunate term “cold fusion” was imposed on them. Why unfortunate? Because it created the unjustified impression that cold fusion is similar to the well known hot fusion, except that it takes place at much lower temperatures. This conflicted with what had already been known–the probability of nuclear fusion of two heavy hydrogen ions is negligible, except at stellar temperatures (6,7).

Suppose the discovery had not been named cold fusion; suppose it had been named “anomalous electrolysis.” Such a report would not have led to a sensational press conference; it would have been made in the form of an ordinary peer review publication. Only electrochemists would have been aware of the claim; they would have tried to either confirm or refute it. The issue of “how to explain the heat” would have been addressed later, if the reported phenomenon were recognized as reproducible-on-demand. But that is not what happened. Instead of focusing on experimental data (in the area in which F&P were recognized authorities) most critics focused on the disagreements with the suggested theory. Interpretational mistakes were quickly recognized and this contributed to the skepticism toward the experimental data.

5) Engineering Considerations

The prototype of an industrial nuclear reactor was built in 1942 by Enrico Fermi. It had to be improved and developed in order to “teach us” how to design much larger useful devices. The same would be expected to happen to the tiny Parkhomov’s device.
a) One task would be to develop reactors able to operate reliably for at least 40 months, instead of only 40 minutes. This would call for developing new heat-resisting materials. Another task would be to replace the presently used (LiAlH4 + Ni) powder by a fuel in which energy multiplication would take place at temperatures significantly lower than today’s minimum, which is close to 1000 C .

b) The third task would be to scale up the setup, for example, by placing one hundred tubes, instead of only one, into a larger aquarium-like container. This would indeed increase the amount of released thermal energy by two orders of magnitude. Scaling up, however, would not increase the multiplication factor. The only conceivable way to increase the MF would be to find a more effective fuel.

c) A typical nuclear power plant is a setup in which a nuclear energy multiplier (a uranium-based reactor) feeds thermal energy into a traditional heat-into-electricity convertor. Such multipliers are workhorses of modern industry. Note that MF of an industrial nuclear reactor must be larger than three; otherwise it would not be economically justifiable. This is a well-known fact, related to the limited efficiency of heat engines.

d) Uranium and thorium seem to be the only suitable fuels, in any kind of energy multiplier. Why is it so? Because fission is the only known process in which more than 100 MeV of nuclear energy is released, per event. This number is about four times higher than what is released when two deuterons fuse, producing helium. Will more efficient fuels be found? If not then chances for replacing coal, oil, and gas by a Parkhomov-like fuels are minimal.

6) Scientific Considerations

Science is at the base of all modern engineering applications. But the main preoccupation of most scientists is to understand laws of nature, not to build practically useful gadgets. Confirmation of claims made by Parkhomov is likely to trigger an avalanche of scientific investigations, both theoretical and experimental, even if the energy multiplication factor remains low.

a) Suppose that Parkhomov’s energy multiplier, described in this article, is already recognized as reproducible on demand, at relatively low cost. Suppose that the “what’s next?” question is asked again, after two or three years of organized investigations. Scientists would want to successfully identify a “mystery process” taking place in the white powder, inside the porcelain tube. Is it chemical, magnetic, pyrometallurgic, biological, nuclear, or something else? Answering such questions, they would say, is our primary obligation, both to us and to society.

b) Parkhomov certainly believes that a nuclear process is responsible for XH, in his multiplier. Otherwise he would not use instruments designed to monitor neutrons and gamma rays. But, unlike Fleischmann and Pons, he does not speculate on what nuclear reaction it might be. He is certainly aware of tragic consequences of premature speculations of that kind.

7) Social Considerations

The social aspect of Cold Fusion was also debated on an Internet forum for CMNR researchers. Referring to the ongoing CF controversy, X1 wrote: “The long-lasting CF episode is a social situation in which the self-correcting process of scientific development did not work in the expected way. To what extent was this due to extreme difficulties in making progress in the new area, rather than to negative effects of competition, greed, jealousy, and other ‘human nature’ factors? “A future historian of science may well ask “how is it that the controversy ignited in 1989 remained unresolved for so many decades? –who was mainly responsible for this scientific tragedy of the century, scientists or political leaders of scientific establishment, and govrnment agenies, such as NSF and DOE? Discrimination against CF was not based on highly reproducible eperimental data; it was based on the fact that no acceptbal theory was found to explain unextected experimental facts, reported by CF researchers.

Parkhomov’s experimental results will most likely be examined in many laboratories. Are they reproducible? A clear yes-or-no answer to this question is urgently needed, for the benefit of all. What would be the most effective way to speed up the process of getting the answer, after a very detailed description of the reactor (and measurements performed) is released by Parkhomov? The first step, ideally, would be to encourage qualified scientists to examine that description, and to ask questions. The next step would be to agree on the protocol (step-by-step instructions) for potential replicators. Agencies whose responsibility is to use tax money wisely, such as DOE in the USA, and CERN in Europe, should organize and support replications. Replicators would make their results available to all who are interested, via existing channels of communication, such as journals, conferences, etc. A well-organized approach would probably yield the answer in five years, or sooner.

References

(1) A.K. Parkhomov, “A Study of an Analog of Rossi’s High Temperature Generator” http://csam.montclair.edu~kowalski/cf/parkh1.pdf

(2) L. Kowalski, “Social and Philosophical Aspects of a Scientific Controversy;” IVe Congres de la Societe de Philosophy des Sciences (SPS); 1-3 Juin 2012, Montreal (Canada). Available online at:
http://www.ptep-online.com/index_files/2012/PP-29-L2.PDF

(3) Ludwik Kowalski, http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/cf/413montreal.html

(4) Ludwik Kowalski, ” Andrea Rossi’s Unbelievable Claims.” a blog entry: http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/cf/403memoir.html#chapt24

(5) Peter Gluck interviews Bazhutov:
https://coldfusionnow.org/interview-with-yuri-bazhutov-by-peter-gluck/

(6) John R. Huizenga, “Cold Fusion, The Scientific Fiasco of the Century.”
Oxford University Press, 1993, 2nd ed. (available at amazon.com)

(7) Edmund Storms, “The Explanation of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction,” Infinite Energy Press, 2014. (also available at amazon.com)

Find more on Ludwik Kowalski’s cold fusion archive.

Related Links

Russian scientist replicates Hot Cat test: “produces more energy than it consumes”

Q&A with Jack Cole on new Hot Cat replication, experiment completion

A Russian Experiment: High Temperature, Nickel, Natural Hydrogen by Michael C.H. McKubre

Open Power Association replicating Parkhomov E-Cat

Fig-1 Heating resistance of ceramics
Fig-1 Heating resistance of ceramics
The Open Power Association at Hydrobetatron.org has published Report No. 11 describing the set-up for an upcoming replication of the Parkhomov-style E-Cat.

Results of the experiments will be reported at the upcoming 19th International Conference on Cold Fusion this April 2015.

What follows is a slightly-modified google-translated English translation of the report. Open Power’s Ugo Abundo provided these pictures of the construction of the cell. See more detailed photos and read the original report in Italian here.


Report No. 11: Design of re-runs and enhancements of A. Parkhomov reactor (inspired by the E-cat) at Open Power Lab

Fig-6 Steel pipe containment
Fig-6 Steel pipe containment
The experimental campaign ITAbetatron will also include the replication of the process that is believed to take place in the E-cat and the study of its variants, with the aim of enhancing its performances such as controllability, efficiency, etc. by the adoption of specific criteria that inform such our experimentation.

Based on the recent experiments of the Russian scientist Alexander Parkhomov, of independent reports on E-cat, and the experiments began by the Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project, we must put the emphasis on the serious safety problems, both in the preparation of reagents and in the execution of experiments.

In this regard, we will provide the details of the equipments that have been chosen to carry out the campaign, just launched, the results of which will be presented and discussed at the conference ICCF19 on April 2015.

The experimental set-up is divided into 4 sections, modularly composable:

1) gas supply, with refillable cylinders of hydrogen adsorbed on metal powders, and cylinders of Argon, with adjustment of individual pressures and the possibility of mixing;

Fig-24 Glove box operating
Fig-24 Glove box operating
2) room glove-box manipulation in an inert atmosphere, for the loading of reactive species in the capsules steel interchangeable;

3) the reaction chamber for housing the reactors, by containing them in an inert atmosphere in a pressurizable container and very resistant mechanically;

4) the discharge section, with safety valve, expansion tank and filtered collection of the powders in case of explosion, chemical abatement of hydrogen.

Composing subsystems 1), 2) and 4), we get the gaming system in preparation safety of reagents, composing subsystems 1), 3) and 4) is obtained in the reaction system security.

Fig-13 Detail tube thermocouple
Fig-13 Detail tube thermocouple
The reactor consists of a ceramic tube which houses an externally wrapped around resistance Nichrome, having access internally to a tube removable and interchangeable housing-sealable stainless steel samples at the ends by means of threaded screws sealed with stops in thread-adhesive ceramic by high temperatures, for containment of reagents.

This tube is wrapped in tape, ceramic fiber for high temperature, and has a ceramic tube in direct contact with the ceramic tube interior, for the accommodation of the thermocouples.

The whole is inserted in a copper coil for the cooling water or air, further insulated and contained in a stainless steel tube exterior.

The apparatus constituting the group-reactor heater-chiller, is contained in the chamber 3), powered by the subsystem 1) and connected to the subsystem 4).

A variac guide sending the current, once the rectified by a bridge, to the heater, and a watt meter records the power fed after filtering with a low-pass filter and an isolation transformer.

Fig-14 Complete line test reactor
Fig-14 Complete line test reactor
The measurements of the thermocouples are recorded by the computer interface.

The difficulty to operate at the high temperatures involved has made necessary tests of thermal resistance tests of the apparatus, as well as the dangerousness of the reagents has required the adoption of manipulation in an inert atmosphere, with recovery of any dust in totally enclosed system.

Ugo Abundo
Open Power

See more photos and read the original report in Italian here.

A Russian Experiment: High Temperature, Nickel, Natural Hydrogen by Michael C.H. McKubre

This is a re-post of an article written by Michael C.H. McKubre and published in Infinite Energy Magazine issue #119.

The original article can be found here.

A Russian Experiment: High Temperature, Nickel, Natural Hydrogen
by
Michael C.H. McKubre

[Editor’s Note: Alexander Parkhomov’s E-Cat experiment report was issued on December 25, 2014. We have uploaded the original Russian report by Alexander Parkhomov and his English translation.]

The first thing to record is that the document under consideration is an informal, preliminary research note available to me only in English translation of the Russian original. Despite that it reads well. Alexander Parkhomov is a “known” scientist from a highly reputable Institution, Lomonosov Moscow State University, which I have visited on several occasions. He has published work with friends of mine including Yuri Bazhutov (Chairman of ICCF13 and member of the IAC) and Peter Sturrock (Stanford University). These are both very capable senior scientists so that when this research is prepared for formal publication I am sure we can anticipate a complete and solid report.

In the meantime I will comment briefly on what is presented. Because of the community interest in the topic and the apparently clear and elegant nature of the experiment, Parkhomov’s preliminary report has already received an astonishing amount of discussion on the CMNS news group. What is stated in this preliminary report is encouraging, potentially even interesting, but one is struck by material information that is not made available in this report. Much, most or all of this added detail apparently is available to the author so one must await further elucidation from Parkhomov or a serious engineering effort at replication before final conclusions can be arrived at.

Although clearly motivated by the Rossi “Lugano” experiment it is not correct to call either a replication of the other or of any before. These are new experiments, with new characteristics, and some common features. As shown below the reactor active core consists of nickel powder intermixed with a hydrogen (lithium and aluminum) source, LiAlH4, enclosed in an alumina tube and confined with bonded ceramic plugs. This core is surrounded by a helically wound, coaxial electrical heater extended in length to provide closely uniform heating. The whole is potted in ceramic cement to incorporate a single sense thermocouple.

Fig. 1 Design of the reactor.
Fig. 1 Design of the reactor.

To this extent this configuration mirrors the Rossi reactor recently reported from Lugano although we do not know the similarity or differences between the Ni samples used in each.[1] Since LiAlH4 decomposes to liquid and H2 gas at the temperature of operation its source and nature of are presumed not to make much difference although the impurity content (unstated) may. Also different is the nature of the electrical input used for heating. For Parkhomov this is unspecified. The Rossi effort at Lugano employed 3-phase (50 Hz.) power for the calorimetric input and thermal stimulus but also includes an unknown amount of power in unstated form as a trigger. No such trigger apparently was used by Parkhomov.

The two experiments diverge radically in their chosen means of calorimetry. Parkhomov states that the “Rossi reactor technique based on thermovision camera observation is too complex,” with which I tend to agree. The chosen mean of calorimetry on the new report is to employ the latent heat of vaporization of water — the well known amount of heat required to boil water to steam, in this case at ambient pressure. The heater/reactor combination shown above was enclosed with partial insulation inside a rectangular metal box that was contacted on 5 of 6 surfaces by water.

There are some second order effects that might pertain to this boiling water calorimetry but the method is “tried and true.” It has been employed accurately for well over 100 years and in a slightly different form (boiling liquid nitrogen) was the method selected in recent SRI calorimetry.[2] With simple precautions such a calorimeter should be accurate within a few percent over a wide range of powers and reactor temperatures. One must be concerned to interrogate the heat that leaves the calorimeter by means other than as steam escaping at ambient pressure, that water does not leave the vessel in the liquid phase as splattered droplets or mist (fog), and to accurately measure the water mass loss (or its rate to determine output power). Obviously one also needs to accurately and completely measure the electrical input power.

Although this last issue has been recently (and anciently) raised it is very rarely a problem. Measurement of current, voltage and time (power and energy) are some of the measurements most easily and commonly made. Parkhomov does not supply details of the electrical power or its measurement and he is very much encouraged to do this in his formal reporting. I have no reason, however, to doubt the input power statements. Splatter and mist are issues of observation and calibration and heat leaks are a matter of calibration. Much detail is missing here. Full information about the calibration(s) must be provided in any formal report and full resolution of the question “what do the data tell us?” awaits this detail.


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In the meantime what can we learn? Parkhomov states without showing that data that: “The power supplied to the heater stepwise varied from 25 to 500 watts.” The thermocouple in the reactor reached 1000°C approximately 5 hours after initial heating. It would be very nice to have these early-time data together with the data for calibration with which to compare; the greatest weakness of this report is the paucity of data. We are forced basically to rely on three data pairs that I have re-tabulated below from the Parkhomov report with some calculated numbers. Three time intervals are reported of varying duration (Row 2) in which the cell reported an average temperature resulting from the stated average electrical input power, and accumulated the stated Energy In. Parkhomov states from his calibration (not shown) that the heat leak from the system to the ambient is 155 W with the boiler at 100°C. From this heat leak rate we can calculate the energy that leaves in each interval through the insulation and from the mass of water lost we can calculate the heat that leaves as steam by using the known latent heat of vaporization of water (40.657 kJ /Mole or 2258.7 kJ / kg of H2O). The sum of these is the Total Energy Output, the second half of our three data pairs.

Tab-data-MM-analysis

These tabulated data (although few) exhibit an impressive set of characteristics:

  • Excess energies of ~120 to ~1900 kJ in 40-50 minutes.
  • Energy output greater than heat leak rate for the two higher input powers so that even if this loss approaches zero there is still calculated excess energy.
  • Percentage excess energies (and therefore average power) of ~20-160% with increasing input power and temperature.
  • Average excess powers of ~50 to nearly 800 W with a very small “fuel” load (0.9g of Ni).
  • Excess power densities of ~60 to nearly 900 W g-1 of Ni, well within “useful” regimes and consistent with previous CMNS results.
  • Excess power densities for the small reaction volume (~1 cm3) of ~50 to nearly 800 W cm-3.

All of these characteristics are exceptionally favorable. In the “plus column” we can also add that the experiment should be very easy to reproduce and we will hopefully soon have well-engineered replication attempts and conceivably confirmations. The experiment also does not appear to need stimulation[3] other than heat, hydrogen and possibly lithium or the need for solid-nickel/molten-metal interaction. So what are the worries? A very large amount has been said about this experiment in part because of the spectacular character of the tabulated data. Over and above the obvious need for calibration data and complete run-time data (ideally in the form of numbers not just plots) not everybody is happy. Why not?

Although others may have further points to add I would summarize three major concerns expressed[4] with the material that has been presented (rather than what was not):

The unexpected behavior of the Temperature at high power. When excess power (of apparently considerable power density) is being created one would expect to see the temperature of the source to be increasingly elevated. The observed trend is not in the “right” direction.

A plot of the data tabulated by Parkhomov for Reactor Temperature vs. Input Power is a stunningly good fit to a parabola. Because of limits of accuracy and precision experimentalists normally expect such close fits to be the result of calculation, not measurement. The goodness of fit may be explicable by the author or just be a fascinating coincidence.

A temperature arrest of approximately 8 minutes occurred at the end of the experiment after the rapid power and temperature drop following heater failure. This “Heat after Death” episode was preceded by a similar period of apparent temperature fluctuation. Either episode or both might be important signals of the underlying heat generation process or may signal sensor failure. It is difficult to resolve this ambiguity without redundant temperature measurement.

In the absence of relevant calibration data at least, and (better) a finite element model of the complex heat flow from the system as well, one can use only experience and intuition to predict what the reactor thermocouple sensor should register as a consequence of changing input power. The input power to the helical heater has a known (distributed) location. The excess power, however, while (presumably) volumetrically constrained has no defined or necessarily stationary position within the fuel volume. Even the first step of heat flow is therefore complex but an argument has been made qualitatively that, all else being equal, if you add a heat source the temperature should go up. Does it?

Let’s look first at a plot of percent excess power (left vertical axis) and temperature (right vertical axis, °C) as a function of input power (W). Three different colored curves are plotted for three different postulated values of the conductive heat leak from the calorimeter: red (155 W) the heat leak power calibrated by Parkhomov and assumed to be constant throughout the active run; blue (102 W) the value that makes the excess power for the first data point zero, as a conservative internal calibration; green (0 W) no heat leak, the most conservative estimate possible for this term. There is nothing at all surprising about this set of curves, and something quite encouraging. The observed excess power cannot be explained by an error in the conductive heat leak or any changing value of that parameter. The temperature of the reactor rises monotonically and smoothly with increasing excess and total power.

Now let’s look at the same data plotted against the measured reactor temperature below. Here we see some indication of the first concern enumerated above. Although slight, the curvature of this family of curves is up suggesting that as the excess (and total) power measured calorimetrically by the released steam increases, so also does the rate of heat (or temperature) loss from the thermocouple sensor. Although this might indicate a measurement problem (unknowable without calibration data) note that the deviation cause by this curvature is well within the variation bounded by the assumed heat leak to the ambient and might easily be caused by a relatively small change in this calibrated “constant.”

At least two unincluded heat loss term are known that must cause the heat leak constant to change in the direction to cause upward curvature: radiant heat loss from the reactor to the enclosing metal box at higher temperature; increased convective transport from the enclosing metal box to the inner wall of the “steamer” at higher rates of steam bubble evolution. I do not know whether the shape of the curve is a problem or is not. The point that I would like to re-reinforce is that we can only answer such questions definitively and thus gain confidence in the data and therefore knowledge if we have direct access to calibration data in the relevant temperature regime. I would also like to see a good thermal model as the reactor/calorimeter system is nowhere near as simple as it seems having several parallel and series heat transport paths. I realize that such model would be labor intensive and/or expensive to develop so lets start with the calibration. How does the system behave with no possibility of excess power?

As a comment in conclusion, there are gaps and unexplained effects in the data set, notably in the missing calibration data, and the foreground data record is slight. Nevertheless the experiment is clearly specified, easily performed, elegant and sufficiently accurate (with relevant calibration). I would recommend that the experiment be attempted by anyone curious and with the facilities to do so safely, exactly as described. Anything else or more runs the risk of teaching us nothing. I await further word from Parkhomov and reports from further replication teams.

Footnotes:
[1] Parkhomov has stated that the NI used to charge his reactor had an initial grain size of ~10µ and specific area ~1000 cm2/g.
[2] SRI DTRA report and ICCF17 proceedings.
[3] Note that the lack of need for stimulation is very good for demonstration but undesirable for control and thus technology.
[4] The first two points were elaborated initially by Ed Storms, who may make them more strongly than I do here.

About the Author: Dr. Michael McKubre is Director of the Energy Research Center of the Materials Research Laboratory at SRI International. He received B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. in chemistry and physics at Victoria University (Wellington, New Zealand). He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Southampton University, England. Dr. McKubre joined SRI as an electrochemist in 1978. He is an internationally recognized expert in the study of electrochemical kinetics and was one of the original pioneers in the use of ac impedance methods for the evaluation of electrode kinetic processes. Dr. McKubre has been studying various aspects of hydrogen and deuterium in metals since he joined SRI in 1978, the last 25 years with a close focus on heat measurements. He was recognized by Wired magazine as one of the 25 most innovative people in the world. Dr. McKubre has conducted research in CMNS since 1989.

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Related Links

Russian scientist replicates Hot Cat test: “produces more energy than it consumes”

Interview with Yuri Bazhutov by Peter Gluck

Infinite Energy Magazine

Interview with Yuri Bazhutov by Peter Gluck

This is a re-post of an article written by Dr. Peter Gluck of Ego Out in Cluj, Romania.

The original article can be found here.

SHORT INTERVIEW WITH YU. N. BAZHUTOV by Peter Gluck

I had the privilege to ask a few preliminary questions from the leader of Russian LENR researchers Yuri Nikolaevich Bazhutov. They call the field Cold Nuclear Transmutation and I think this name is more realist than Cold Fusion.

Yuri Bazhutov is an ’89-er cold fusionist (excuse me) a well known member or our community, a reputed author, with 15 papers 1982 to 2014 in the LENR-CANR Library, an organizer and participant at our meetings, CNT strategist, a personality..

Q
It is encouraging to see and easy to observe how closely and seriously are followed, discussed and theorized the developments in CNT/LENR in Russia. What is the strategic thinking beyond this and the main targets?

A
After more, than 25 years of theoretical, experimental pilot studies in Cold Nuclear Transmutation in Russia we have arrived to a stage when we think about patents, demonstration devices, search for investors for realization of industrial devices. We are at a different, higher level now.

Q
Your very personal opinion: how do you see the scientific aspects; how these new developments, can they be explained theoretically and what do you and your collaborators intend to do for the experimental part?

In essence is it new science or new application (s) of already known science?

A
As co-author of the Model of the Erzion Catalysis (MEC), I believe that it explains the nature of CNT. All my experiments made in 25 years confirm this model.

MEC is built on orthodox representations of the Physics of Elementary Particles including as the main part, Quantum Chronodynamics (QCD) and, therefore it is also the new Section of Nuclear Physics

Q
The Lugano experiment despite its over-complicated thermometric calorimetry is a harbinger of a really wonderful/powerful energy source, MWhours from grams. Unfortunately, the Testers were shocked by the analytical results.
What do you think about those unexpected isotopic shifts and the dynamic processes that make these possible

A
Starting with the first experiments made by Rossi and Focardi up to the very Hot Cat tested in Lugano, MEC gives generally fine explanations and I have published about this in RCCNT&BL Proc., and in the Russian Inventing magazines (No. 1, 2012) and ISCMNS J. (No. 13, 2014). However I believe that our option of Russian E-cat on the basis of Plasma Electrolysis gives a much better perspective- heat generator at close realization still having a very high output specific power (MWhours from grams common water).

Q
On December 25, 2014 at a CNT seminary-Alexander Parkhomov and you have presented an experiment confirming the Lugano experiment using a realistic-cut-the Gordian knot simple calorimetry inspired from your experience. A very positive event.

However, after more than 50 years in and around research i have learned the cruel 1=0 rule-1 single experiment can’t generate absolute certainty. Nor Lugano, neither Parkhomov; so I ask-was the experiment repeated in house and when will the new report be published?

A
Parkhomov now works on lengthening of time of continuous work of a cell then to do atom spectroscopic and mass spectroscopic analyses of change of chemical structure and of the isotopic composition of fuel.

Peter Gluck – This was just a first discussion, I hope to continue. Bazhutov added: see and read more– and I have translated the paper.

http://vpk.name/forum/s188.html
The revolution in energetics was accomplished! The place of organic fuels was taken by the Cold nuclear Transmutation.
By A.A. Rukhadze, Yu.N. Bazhutov, A.B. Karabut, V.G. Koltashov

The era of oil burning has arrived to its end. The revolution in CNT (Cold Nuclear Transmutation) opens the way toward a new economic transformation, to the triumph of robotics, to cheaper production and the transition of the world’s economy in which Russia should not be disadvantaged.

On October 8, 2014 in the prestigious Los Alamos electronic publication Arxiv.org it was published the report of an independent group regarding the testing of the heat generator- Hot Cat created by Andrea Rossi. Six well known scientists from Italy and Sweden have tested for 32 days the functioning of the generator that allows obtaining cheap energy on the basis of a new scientific principle.

In the absence of the author of the invention (A. Rossi) there were measured all the possible parameters of the “energetic cat” After that, for an half year the scientists have processed the results in order to get comprehension. And their verdict was univocal: the Rossi generator works and produces an incredible amount of energy- the energy density is millions times greater as by burning the same quantity of any kind of organic fuel and is 3.7 times greater than the input electric energy. In the same time it is changed the isotopic composition of the fuel materials.

No nuclear radiations from the reactor could be observed during the test.
The first demonstration of working of an E-cat prototype was performed already at January 14, 2011 in Bologna, at the Physics Dept. of the University. During this demo the scientists and the journalists have seen a functioning reactor with the power of 12.5 kW at output. This works on the principle of cold nuclear transmutation as have related the authors, Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi.

Sergio Focardi, professor at the Bologna University – has performed even 20 years earlier the mechanism of hydrogen-nickel interaction in cooperation with the professor of the Siena University, Francesco Piantelli. These studies were done in the frame of a new physical phenomenon, cold fusion discovered by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons in the year 1989.

At October 28, 2011 Andrea Rossi has already shown his first 1 Megawatt reactor sold to his first customer. Engineers and scientist were present, verifying how it works. Due to some imperfections, the reactor has produced 470 kWatts working for 5.5 hours in self-sustaining mode. There were used 100 reactor modules each with 3 branches- the whole complex of 300 reaction chambers.

The orthodox physicist overall have again ignored Rossi. According to all the canons of physics, something like this- nuclear boiler on the table- cannot exist! Amplification of energy almost 10 times is pure non-sense! And only few “heretics” of science, working for cold fusion (CF) have supported him.

Rossi had an unpredictable behavior but not so that he could be called a rogue and a charlatan as the orthodox have accused him. He has not asked money from anybody, on the contrary he has sold his house to be able to start this research. He has not chased popularity in the press; he refused interviews and has worked more with businessmen than journalists.

Rossi also has not tried to open a dialogue with the scientists – the luminaries of the nuclear physics: “The best proof of my truth will be the commercial device on the market”- he says.

The attitude toward this inventor has gradually changed- when after a dozen conferences nobody could show he cheats, secretly brings electricity to the device.

After that NASA took Rossi under its protection. Rossi could not refuse. It is clear he is safer in the US than in Italy. But NASA is only the visible part of the wall built by USA around Rossi and his invention.

It can be confirmed that the US tries to obtain complete control of the new sources of energy, the one who owns it, will be the far leader in technology.

Signals at the APEC Summit Show Big Changes Ahead
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1187686?ref=feeds%2Flatest
and gets rid of the oil gas dependence.

The US hopes not only to manage the flow of finance but also, on the basis of new technologies, having almost free, clean, limitless energy to perform export-oriented industrialization.

Other countries will remain behind if they will not also try to change. For this reason, in India after the ATEC summit where this issue was discussed ( see the CNN link) governmental actions were initiated to finance the development of new energy see please: http://www.e-catworld.com/2014/11/17/indian-government-urged-to-revive-cold-fusion-research-program/

It is for sure to say that Rossi’s invention cannot be kept under lock for long. In dozens of laboratories worldwide, the scientists are trying to guess the secret of the “silent Italian”, to find out his catalyst, to develop a theory of the process. In meantime, preparations are made for bringing the generators on the market. If the transition in industry, trade and transport rising humankind to a new level of automation- needs hundreds of thousands “Cold Cats” (actually they are warm or hot, N.T.) the start of these new industries will bring the oil industry in the abyss by thousands of ways – very bad for the economies that depend on hydrocarbons. It will become obvious the futility of investing in oil and its long term purchase.

In the near future we can expect a rapid development of the Cold Nuclear Transmutation (a new and more correct name than Cold Nuclear Fusion) both regarding theory and experiment, great investments will lead to breakthroughs in the related fields of science and technology. U.S. already relies on the revolution in the energy sector and may soon get its winnings. Civilization is near to a new era and we know in advance that it will be grandiose.

Russia is still among the leaders in research in Cold Nuclear Transmutation even in the absence of targeted funding, due to the still strong post-Soviet educational, theoretical and experimental research basis of its enthusiasts. The country has a Coordinating Council on the issue of Cold Nuclear Transmutation, held annual conferences and monthly seminars, in spite of the strong resistance of its orthodox-minded opponents. The Russian researchers in Cold Nuclear Transmutations have presented copyrighted theoretical models for CNT, more than 500 publications at the 25th anniversary of the discovery of CNF by Fleischmann and Pons. Based on the principles of CNT there had been created dozens of patents for the creation of new energy. A part of the researchers had been able to get small funding, others, unfortunately were forced to work abroad.

The “war of sanctions” from 2014 has shown that the US sees Russia as a threat to its dominance in Europe and world hegemony. Rossi’s success gives them a chance to retain the role of the global financial and industrial center, undermining the position of the other strong players. But the long-term decline in prices in the oil market will not necessarily mean a catastrophe for the Russian economy. With a favorable state’s attitude toward science, we will be able to recover the leading position as it was in the ‘50-‘60 years of the twentieth century. We will be able to participate in the new industrial revolution, going forward to terminate the humiliating position on the raw materials periphery of the world.

A.A. Rukhadze
Chairman of the Coordination Council of the SFA on the problem of Cold Nuclear Transmutation,
Academy of Natural Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Georgia, Honored Scientist of Russia, Doctor of Science, prof., Institute of General Physics “AM Prokhorov”

Yu. N. Bazhutov member of the International Executive Committee on the issue of Cold Nuclear Transmutation, organizer of (1-21) Russian Conferences on Cold Nuclear Transmutation and the problem of the 13th International Conference on Cold Nuclear Transmutation (Dagomis 2007), Deputy. President of the Cold Nuclear Transmutation Committee (RFO), PhD, MN, IZMIRAN

A. B. Karabut AB, winner of the International Award Cold Nuclear Transmutation them. “Giuliano Preparata”for 2007.,
Laureate of the State Prize of the USSR for 1982. Member of COP Cold Nuclear Transmutation (RFO), PhD, MN, SNA “Luch”

V. G. Koltashov, head of the Center for Economic Research Institute of Globalization and Social Movements, Ph.D.

Translated by Peter Gluck, Jan 13, 2015

END RE-POST

Related Links


Russian scientist replicates Hot Cat test: “produces more energy than it consumes”

Q&A with Jack Cole on new Hot Cat replication, experiment completion

A new replication attempt of the Andrea Rossi E-Cat technology has been announced by Jack Cole on http://www.lenr-coldfusion.com/2015/01/13/hot-cat-replication-attempt/.

The Universal LENR Reactor was designed by Dale Basgall and Jack Cole and they have been posting updates since September 2012.

Nikita Alexandrov, President, Permanetix Corporation has contacted the lab and generated these details about the experiment.

 
Photo: Reaction chamber in operation. Note that the true light color was orange. Courtesy Jack Cole.
 

Q&A with Jack Cole and Nikita Alexandrov

Q A replication of the Rossi type Ni-H LENR system was posted to your website. Were you the one who performed this experiment or was it someone else?

A Yes, I was the one who performed the experiment.

Q Can you go into detail regarding the nickel powder ie: grain size, composition, purity, source, batch number, etc?

A INCO Type 255 Nickel Powder (2.2 to 2.8 um particle size). Purchased on Ebay. I also use Fe2O3 added to the nickel.

Q Can you explain which type thermocouple/DAQ system you were using?

A I’m using a type K thermocouple of the type frequently used in kilns. I use a USB thermocouple adapter that has it’s own software (http://www.pcsensor.com/index.php?_a=product&product_id=49). The power data is acquired directly from the programmable DC power supply using a Visual Basic .NET program that I wrote. The VB program samples and adjusts power levels every 5 seconds to compensate for changing resistance to maintain a constant power output.

Q Can you explain which sources you ordered your alumina materials from?

A I purchased a 12″ alumina tube from Amazon and cut it into 3″ sections. It is 3/8″ OD and 1/4″ ID. The experiment was conducted with a 3″ tube.

Q Can you explain the geometry of your reactor and heating coils as well as method of sealing?

A The heating element is simply coiled Kanthal. The seal is not hermetic (it leaks hydrogen). I tested with a dangerous gas detector and it was leaking up to the last power step. After that point, I detected no more hydrogen. It was either sealed at that point or no more hydrogen was being produced. Based on the description of how Rossi sealed his reactor in the Lugano report, I find it unlikely his seal was hermetic (unless he found a very clever method of sealing the tube).

Q Can you explain which hydrogen carrier you used? In the report it was implied it was not LiAlH4, was it magnesium based – if you do not want to go into detail can you just confirm it was not a gas or which elements were present?

A I used lithium hydroxide and aluminum powder. The advantage with this method is that it does not start producing significant amounts of hydrogen until the LiOH melts at 480C. Earlier experiments were performed with KOH and aluminum powder. It starts producing hydrogen after 100C (presumably when the water absorbed in the KOH is liberated as steam). I haven’t seen any research discussing these facts as most research looks at combining water with these elements at room temperature to produce hydrogen. I don’t add any water (not really needed since these compounds absorb water from the air). The hydrogen production can be quite vigorous as I found out in an earlier copper tube experiment where the end cap was shot across the room into the basement wall.

Q Can you tell me if you made a blank, sealed reactor for the calibration?

A The calibration (control run) was performed with the same cell with one end sealed. The lack of seal on one end is a potential limitation. What bolsters the results is that the apparent excess heat has been decreasing (makes it less likely that the lack of seal on one end gave a bad calibration). Additionally, the Delta T at the first two power steps was almost identical between the control and experimental run. Hydrogen production started at the third power step.

Q Can you tell me how many trials you performed with this system before you saw xP?

A I performed many experiments with different types of tubes before this (brass, copper, and stainless steel). The trouble with all those is the melting temperatures and difficulty sealing. Copper is easy to seal, but you have to keep it below 150C to keep the solder from melting. You can get hydrogen with KOH and aluminum at that level (which produces chemical heat). I had promising results with alumina on my first run (but I used it as it’s own calibration comparing the lower temperature curve to the higher temperature curve–certainly not ideal). Part of the difficulty has been finding the right heating element diameter to match with my DC supply to be able to produced the needed heating levels. I have done probably 15 experiments with alumina tubes, but I had the best configuration for making measurements on the last one that I reported on.

Q Would you be interested in having a sample of your spent nickel material analyzed for elemental transmutations?

A I’ll keep it after I’m done with it in case this could be done in the future. Right now, I need to work on calorimetry to verify this in a more rigorous way.

Q Would you feel comfortable having me post your answers publicly, online and not just to the private mailing list?

A You can use it in whatever way you like. Keep in mind that I am not yet convinced by these results and there is more work to be done. I might yet discover that there is a simple conventional explanation that is not LENR. The results have to convince me, and I’m not to that point yet.

Q Thanks so much, this will really help educate the general community.

Russian scientist replicates Hot Cat test: “produces more energy than it consumes”

E-Cat World has obtained an English translation of the report by Professor Alexander Parkhomov originally published in Russian detailing his replication of Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat generator.

Download the report here:
http://www.e-catworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Lugano-Confirmed.pdf

Alexander Parkhomov has confirmed the Hot Cat experiment.
Photo: Alexander Parkhomov courtesy F. David.
Parkhomov, a disciple and colleague of Nobel prize winner Andrei Sakharov, attempted to replicate the Hot Cat experimental set-up reported in the recent paper Observation of abundant heat production from a reactor device and of isotopic changes in the fuel [.pdf] authored by a group of Italian and Swedish scientists testing Rossi’s technology.

Parkhomov writes that “the reactor is capable of generating a lot of heat in excess of electric heating”. With the E-Cat replica testing at temperatures between 1200C-1300C, the unit provided a COP of about 2.6.

However, Fig.6 of the report shows a so-called heat-after-death effect, whereby after the heating input is turned off, the reactor continues to maintain its temperature for approx. 8 minutes before dropping lower. This unique effect, when utilized fully, will allow infinite COP as there is zero input power while output power stays strong.

Fig.5 shows that no radiation beyond the normal background radiation was detected.

The English-version of Parkhomov’s report is reproduced below:

BEGIN REPORT ***************************************************************

1. The design of the reactor.

For the manufacture of reactor Al2O3 ceramics tube length of 120 mm, an outer diameter of 10 mm and an inner diameter of 5 mm is used. The tube is rounded by electric heater. Inside the tube it is 1 g Powder Ni + 10% Li [Al H4]. The thermocouple contacts to outer surface of the tube. The ends of the tube are sealed heat-resistant cement. Likewise the entire surface of the reactor is coated by heat-resistant cement.

Fig. 1 Design of the reactor.
Fig. 1 Design of the reactor.
Fig. 2 Reactor prepared for experiment.
Fig. 2 Reactor prepared for experiment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Used by experts at verification Rossi reactor technique based on thermovision camera observation is too complex. In this experiment a methodology based on the amount of water boiled out is used. This technique is repeatedly checked. In this experiment the reactor is inside of closed metal vessel. This vessel immersed in the water. When the water boils, part of it is removed as a vapor. By measuring the decrease of water, it is easy to calculate the separated heat because the value of the evaporations heat is well-known. Correction for heat loss through the insulation can be calculated as cooling rate after shutdown reactor.

Fig. 3. Design of the calorimeter
Fig. 3. Design of the calorimeter
 Fig. 4. The reactor in operating time. The covers from a thermal insulation and vessel with the reactor are removed

Fig. 4. The reactor in operating time. The covers from a thermal insulation and vessel with the reactor are removed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Outcomes of the experiment

Fig. 5. Temperature changes in the heating process
Fig. 5. Temperature changes in the heating process

The power supplied to the heater stepwise varied from 25 to 500 watts. Level of 1000°C was overcome after 5 hours of heating. On the same diagram shows the count rate Geiger counter SI-8B. This counter responsive to alpha, beta, gamma and X-rays. It is seen that all during heating, the radiation situation is not very different from the background. A slight increase in temperature is noticeable only about 600°C to 1000°C. Further studies have shown that this chance or regularity. Dosimeter DK-02 is not found during the experiment set dose within the measurement error (5 mP)

Fig. 6. Temperature changes in the heating process. Area of high temperatures
Fig. 6. Temperature changes in the heating process. Area of high temperatures

Here is shown in more detail the temperature change of the heating power 300, 400 and 500 watts. It can be noted that for the same heat output there is a gradual increase in temperature, particularly strong in the last site. At the end of the site with the highest temperature there are the temperature oscillations. This section ends with the termination of electric heating as a result of heater burnout. Thereafter, at the temperature for 8 minutes kept at nearly 1,200°C, and then begins to fall sharply. It is indicates that in the reactor at this time heat is produced at kilowatt without any electric heating. Thus, from the already seen that the reactor is capable of generating a lot of heat in excess of electric heating.

Table. Determination of the extracted heat and coefficient of thermal. Calculations are made for three modes of operation with a temperature of about 1000 °C, about 1150 °C and 1200 – 1300 °C.
Table. Determination of the extracted heat and coefficient of thermal. Calculations are made for three modes of operation with a temperature of about 1000°C, about 1150°C and 1200 – 1300°C.

At temperatures 1150°С and 1200°C – 1300°C, the heat release of the reactor considerably exceeds consumed energy. During activity in these modes (90 minutes) over the consumed electrical energy about 3 МДж or 830 Wh is produced. Output Experiments with analogue of high-temperature Rossi heat source, loaded with a mixture of nickel and lithium aluminum hydride, showed that at temperatures of about 1100°C or higher this device produce more energy than it consumes.

END REPORT*****************************************

Related Links

Interview with Andrea Rossi on the new Hot Cat test report with John Maguire

The Ultimate Hot Tub

A.G.Parkhomov on ResearchGate.com