Cold Fusion Update: Lots of Hot Air and No LENR Device Anywhere to be Seen

The cold fusion debate (if you don’t know about this technology I refer you to two previous articles I have written for this blog site, Is Cold Fusion Even Possible?, and LENR Keeps Showing Up in the News – Is it Humbug or Real?), seems to be happening more in the minds of believers than on any factory floor. There is not a marketable, commercial LENR or cold fusion “reactor” in place anywhere.  That’s the reality!

Now here’s the fantasy.

Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, back in December of 2011 during an interview on science talked about cold fusion and work being done at the University of Utah. He was referring to the Fleischmann/Pons experiments that led to the 1989 cold fusion announcement. Here is a transcript of his comments:

“I do believe in basic science. I believe in participating in space. I believe in analysis of new sources of energy. I believe in laboratories, looking at ways to conduct electricity with — with cold fusion, if we can come up with it. It was the University of Utah that solved that. We somehow can’t figure out how to duplicate it.”

I’m glad he added that last sentence since it appears the University of Utah had “solved” cold fusion in his previous sentence. Is it coincidence that Mr. Romney sees cold fusion as a solved technology because it comes from an educational institution in the state of Utah? Is this faith-based science?

Did Mr. Romney not know that the University of Utah discontinued experiments in cold fusion two years after the 1989 announcement?

Did he not know that the University of Utah allowed its cold-fusion patents to lapse in 1998?

Did he not know that the original researchers, Pons and Fleischmann went to France to continue research for a subsidiary of Toyota and that the research funding from Japan stopped in 1997?

Don’t get me wrong, I think cold fusion would be an incredible technology if it could be pulled off. But every reference to it invoking proof comes with caveats. It’s always in the lab, or somebody has written a paper, or posted experimental results.

Take for instance the proof claim using a National Instruments video,  a talk given at a recent conference. This video clip isn’t about cold fusion. It’s about measuring results from experiments using technology created by National Instruments, in particular, LabView, a new software application.

The video provides no proof of cold fusion’s viability other than to describe it as controversial and talk about someone’s masters thesis that lists 184 examples of “positive” experimental results. At the end of the talk the presenter states “we don’t judge, we measure.”

At this conference National Instruments sponsored a panel of experts and a LENR was demonstrated on the show floor. But the “expert” panel hyped the technology rather than demonstrated commercial viability. Representatives from companies like Defkalion Green, that purport to be ready to bring their Hyperion cold fusion reactor to market, did more talking than showing.

That seems to be the nature of cold fusion proof these days. A few websites, blogs and chats extolling a product and technology that fails to deliver. I’d like to see it if it is real. And I am certain Mr. Romney wants it to be as real as his positions and policies on so many other subjects for which he purportedly has expertise or receives expert advice.

Hyperion, Defkalion's cold fusion device

Does this look like a commercial product to you? Cold fusion needs to come out of the box or the closet, or those who are “advancing” this energy generating source have to come clean with the public.      Image Source: Defkalion

 


Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...

Advertisement

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/104599302434969897198/posts Becktemba

    Your not very well informed. If you got off your internet horse and actually looked into this you’d have a different opinion. But hey, at least your talking about it.

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/09/brillouin-energy-has-conditional.html

    http://www.e-catworld.com/2012/08/rossi-says-publication-release-day-is-september-10th-or-8th/

    • lenrosen4

      I never have said that LENR isn’t real. What I continue to ask is where is the technology in commercial application? All the players keep on talking and not delivering. Doesn’t encourage confidence in the technology’s viability to serve any purpose other than provide an excuse to meet.

      • https://plus.google.com/u/0/104599302434969897198/posts Becktemba

        “Where is the technology in commercial application” Its going through its paces right now for certification. These things take time its been a short 2 years since the Excess Heat in LENR devices have reached commercial levels… to expect a commercial device to be immediately available is a bit silly. To expect full disclosure on a paradigm shifting technology is naive.

  • Richard Cheek

    Yeah, it must be that LENR is fake since the people at Seimens, National Instruments, NASA at Langley, the NAvy SPA program, MIT, University of Missouri, the Swedish Royal Phsyics Society and the SGS certification folks are all a bunch of retarded morons who cant tell fraud from farce.

    ROFLMAO

    • lenrosen4

      Interesting comment. Playing in the lab where LENR remains with all of these organizations is no indication of a viable product with commercial application. And learn to spell Siemens if you are going to cite the company as proof.

    • Niccolo5

      Richard says: “Yeah, it must be that LENR is fake since the people at Seimens, National Instruments, NASA at Langley, the NAvy SPA program, MIT, University of Missouri, the Swedish Royal Phsyics Society and the SGS certification folks are all a bunch of retarded morons who cant tell fraud from farce.”

      Well, you can characterize them any way you like, but the unwelcome telling truth is none of the parties you mention has ever had a chance to do independent objective tests on any contraption purported to produce significant amounts of excess heat on a sustained basis. None of the parties has announced they tested a LENR contraption and it makes the excess heat as claimed by the promoters. Until some independent agent uses a LENR contraption to melt a garbage pail of crushed ice in a short time with “excess” heat, list me in the unbeliever camp and you can keep on with that glossolaliac floor rolling.

  • Niccolo5

    It’s a sad testimony to the low bulk modulus of hominid intelligence and high bulk modulus of abject credulity that large numbers of persons believe in LENR without a single truly objective demonstration of significant power production. No institution has more technical competence in the LENR field than Black Light Power. Go to the extensive BLP web site and read the latest reports by the several “independent” PhD college professors. The professors report the latest BLP hydrino power gadgets are producing about 4 mW of electrical power, possibly on a sustained basis. (The esoteric gadget would have to produce 250 times as much power to equal even 1-Watt.) See: http://www.blacklightpower.com/technology/validation-reports/

    Now these results might seem remarkable had they been the result of a few years of preliminary research. But to the contrary, they are the result of over 20 years and burning through over $60-million of investors money. One of the “independent” observers offered the opinion that the costs to develop a prototype one-Watt contraption should be in the range of $15-$20-million. I say, “use the output of a LENR contraption to melt a garbage pail of crushed ice under controlled conditions and get back with me.” What’s not to like.

    • lenrosen4

      Thank you for your contribution to the discussion. I suspect those who “believe” will discount even the opinion of companies that have spent millions in investigating the potential of this electro-chemically observed phenomenon as a viable source of cheap energy. If you have any additional information I will happily share it with our readers.

  • lenrosen4

    China has granted a patent to Brillouin Energy for commercial development of a “hot tube” boiler that uses water and a nickel cathode to create excess energy in the form of heat. It remains in prototype at the moment. Can’t wait to see if this turns into something real. The link for the patent is described at Cold Fusion Now: http://coldfusionnow.org/brillouin-energy-patent-granted-in-china/. Meanwhile we continue to wait for the elusive commercial product.

    • Todd Simmons

      Good for Brillion. Having read the various theories, I thought theirs the most plausible. It’s frustrating how long this kind of thing takes in the US. Godes has it right when he says:

      “We’re not saying we’ll have a product right away, but we have a technology that we know can be developed, and we’re working with all possible speed to get it to market.”

      • lenrosen4

        Let’s see now if Zurich produces something we can all get behind.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003412772459 Nathasha

          Confirmation from NASA really sholud put LENR properly into the realm of good physics. Unfortunately the patent application, if you read it, seems to cover bases without really giving enough information to make a working model, so I do not believe they actually have one running reliably, at least when it was filed last May. I expect they will get one working sometime in the next couple of years it may be over-engineered and too expensive but it will do the job.There are a lot of clues on this website (NewEnergyTimes) as to the requirements to get the reaction running reliably, and it has inspired me to experiment with LENR. I hope many others feel the same, since the more people work on it the more likely we are to get a result this is the principle Edison used, after all. Simon

    • Niccolo5

      <>

      Not only are we waiting for the commercial products, we are still waiting for any truly objective demonstration of sustained and significant excess energy output. Any 10 KW heat production contraption that “consumes” 0.1 gram H2 per KW hour ($0.001 worth of commercial hydrogen) in sustained operation would quadruple remote land values in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and double them even in rural New England. Trillions of dollars in land development profits would fall into the laps of the parties that control and sell/lease the magic gadget that melts ice, allows hot showers, and keeps the cabin cozy. No one promoting this snake oil stuff is buying up land options in remote cold regions. Patent problems aren’t rational issues preventing the promoters from promptly making billions. Gadgets that don’t deliver significant excess heat are likely what is stopping them.

      The latest BLP promotion is curiously touting the notion that the new 4-milliwatt electric contraption gets its hydrogen out of water vapor. How silly. Who cares where the hydrogen comes from? Hydrogen is cheap and abundant when derived from standard-practice steam reforming of cheap and abundant natural gas. Why fool around with the complexities and expense of integral disassociation of water within each contraption? Wouldn’t the market for cheap energy be happy to provide its own hydrogen from conventional sources? Why not just go to any one of thousands of industrial gas vendors and buy or lease a few bottles of compressed hydrogen. Why not prove your gadget makes significant excess heat when supplied with small quantities of ordinary commercial hydrogen? The answer is rather obvious. The gadgets don’t really make much, if any, excess heat regardless of the source of hydrogen. To assert the contraptions runs on water is just ballyhoo for the ignorant masses. I’m thinking it needs no hydrogen at all; it’s running entirely on ballyhoo and snake oil.

  • lenrosen4

    We wait to see what Andrea Rossi’s Leonardo Corporation intends to unveil in Zurich on Saturday September 8 based on all the scuttlebut I read about LENR on the web. The conference, “Energy Revolution with E-CAT Technology” has invited proponents of LENR to present their products to the world. Conference program can be seen at: http://ecatreport.com/andrearossi/zurich-conference-program. Will we finally see a viable commercial LENR product? Keep tuned to this blog site.

  • Todd Simmons

    Your rushing the process, then claiming failure. This stuff takes time. Patents have to come first. Obtaining a patent is time consuming (as is almost everything where government is involved). It’s even harder to get when you can’t prove you know what’s going on. Is the heat coming from transmutation? Is is H to He? Is the reaction within or outside the metal’s lattice? Different researchers have different ideas and are trying to prove them. Exactly what is happening is not settled, but what they do know is that they can consistently setup an environment where heat out is greater than heat in. That is a big, big deal. (or big F’n deal as the VP would say). I believe this phenomonon will be fully understood within the next 5 years and commercial high temperature boilers available within 8 years. That’s a remarkably short time for something that will have such a huge impact.

    • lenrosen4

      I don’t think 23 years after the initial announcement of a discovery is rushing the science. My problem is the endless hype around results that show such variability as to suggest a missing principle or understanding of what is being observed.

      • Todd Simmons

        Fleishmann and Pons had no idea what they had stumbled upon and it showed. They real race only began last year. I do agree with you that they don’t fully understand what is being observed. Unlike 20+ years ago, many more companies and research institutions are involved today.

  • luvmyGloml

    I can appreciate your concerns about wanting to see a commercially viable product. But it is a bit hard to take you fully at face value when you call National Instruments LabView a “new software application” when it’s been on the market for 20+ years…

    Don’t take others to task when you obviously didn’t do enough work on your own to understand what a commercially viable product is when you can’t identify one that has made millions for 2 decades.

    • lenrosen4

      The version of LabView described in the video clip is a new release. I am aware that LabView has been around for some time. If you look at the video clip the evolution of the product is well described. Pardon me for not distinguishing between a new software version and new software.

  • notaneoliberal

    Perhaps the must convincing evidence is the experiment at MIT. No. not a commercially viable product. but available for all to see.
    http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/mit-lenr-device-publicly-running-for-6.html

    • lenrosen4

      The existence of an experimental device is not the issue. No practical, consistent net power gain has yet to be obtained from cold fusion developers. That is why we hear about it but do not see a working marketable product. The results of the September gathering in Zurich speak volumes about the viability of this technology.