Energy Update: Once Again Cold Fusion in the Headlines

The E-Cat or Energy Catalyzer, created by Andrea Rossi, has been undergoing “independent” validation and the first results reported from November and December 2012 and March 2013 tests state that the device produces excess heat equivalent to “10,000 times the energy density and 1,000 times the power density of gasoline.”

 

Rossi-ECat-concept

 

For those of you who have been reading my previous postings on cold fusion this independent study represents a very interesting cold fusion development. But some of you who are new to this blog site may be unfamiliar with the subject matter. So here is a quick explanation.

Cold fusion the way Rossi is doing it is a process that involves infusing hydrogen into nickel. This causes a reaction in which electrons from the nickel combine with hydrogen to produce neutrons which then get absorbed by the nickel converting it into copper. This process is called transmutation and a great deal of energy is one of its byproducts. It is that energy that the E-Cat can then use to power devices.

 

lner-nickel-hydrogen-lattice

 

The benefit of cold fusion over hot fusion reactors such as the ITER Tokamak, is relative safety. Cold fusion happens slowly. Hot fusion is fast. Cold fusion produces little if any ionizing radiation. Hot fusion produces a ton.

In this most recent development and because of Rossi’s past reputation t is hard to know whether we are being conned or that the report is the real deal. But the results announced come from seven scientists, two from Bologna University, four from Uppsala University and one from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. These scientists state:

“Measurement of the produced heat was performed with high-resolution thermal imaging cameras, recording data every second from the hot reactor tube. The measurements of electrical power input were performed with a large bandwidth three-phase power analyzer. Data were collected in two experimental runs lasting 96 and 116 hours, respectively. An anomalous heat production was indicated in both experiments. The 116-hour experiment also included a calibration of the experimental set-up without the active charge present in the E-Cat HT.”

But there is another comment in the report that puzzles me. The authors state at one point “no extra heat was generated beyond the expected heat from the electric input.” Does that mean that input equaled output? So are we not seeing a net gain in energy derived from the interaction of the elements within the E-Cat? A final comment, however, states: “Even by the most conservative assumptions as to the errors in the measurements, the result is still one order of magnitude greater than conventional energy sources.” And by conventional they mean fossil fuel derivatives like gasoline.

So has Rossi with his E-Cat produced a commercial cold fusion reactor? Are we witnessing the beginning of a revolution in energy production?

The Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project, a web site dedicated to verifying Fleischmann and Pons’ cold fusion discovery raise some interesting questions about this latest finding. On their website they state the following:

“We …. on behalf of the global population, call on the authors and Andrea Rossi to make the raw data and more detailed instrumentation details for the entire test available for verification of calculations made from the data.  We are willing to host the data and help stimulate the analysis of it, or simply be another participant re-analyzing it.”

I think Rossi should take up this offer. After all if cold fusion proves viable it can be an incredible energy source and Rossi would be a leader in producing a commercial cold fusion reactor. But without independent verification to validate his claims, Rossi’s past and current secretiveness and obfuscations continue to make any of his pronouncements on cold fusion sound dubious.

 

Andrea Rossi

 


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...

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  • Thanks for covering that saga.
    People reading your article should know that what is happening around LENR/cold Fusion is not new. This report in only the 3rd from a 3rd company by a 3rd tester…
    This is the most formal papers, but all 3 test let the testers play as he like with the reactor…fraud would be too risky for the companies, because tester can test what they want…

    After some noise around some possible (and unproven of course) fraud, it seems that with some new answer of the testers, all possibility of fraud have dissolved.

    There is a group of various companies on the ramp, big, startup, inventors… I have made an executive summary for the newcomer:
    http://www.lenrnews.eu/lenr-summary-for-policy-makers/
    there is another article on scientific evidences linked inside.

    About why “normal science” reject it, one should read Thomas Kuhn.
    http://fr.slideshare.net/sandhyajohnson/the-structure-of-scientific-revolutions-thomas-kuhn-book-summary#
    and then my article on evidences (cited in the summary)

    Best regard, and if you have read Kuhn, don’t expect any of the “believer of LENR conspiracy against true science” to change his mind, until a kid of 5 understand it is real… Businessmen have chosen already, but they don’t publish it.

    — AlainCo the techwatcher of lenr-forum.

    • Niccolo5

      I’ll freely stipulate I do not know how Harry Houdini created his illusions, nor do I know how Rossi creates his. Frankly I don’t much care. I’ll take Houdini’s word for it: all his “magic” tricks were illusions. What I do care about is Houdini did not assert his illusionary effects were actualities. In sharp contrast, Rossi pretends his illusions are accurate indications of actual process that seem to defy expectations of the “standard model.” I have no personal stake or serious interest in the preservation of the persistent paradigm of “standard model” of quantum physics and Einstein’s General Relativity, but I’m unashamed of my reasons for supposing that for all practical purposes these paradigms pass 99.9999+% of ordinary tests. Those ordinary tests have empirically tested Einstein’s General Theory to 14 decimal places of precision. That is to say, any actual effects that seem contrary to the “standard model” will be found only in the tiny unknown dimensions beyond the 14th decimal place. There are no unknown dimensions in the well-demonstrated first decimal place, or for that matter in the next 13 decimal places of precision that follow.

      All the true believers in LENR seem unoffended by all the Rossi ballyhoo over his E-original cat, which seems to have never melted any ice, and basically has come to nothing after several years. Until the proponents of useful LENR energy publicly melt a few garbage pails of crushed ice with anomalous heat from their unlikely gadgets, they don’t meet my naïve standards for convincing demonstrations. I’m not desperately hanging on to a sick and dying old paradigm, I just see no compelling evidence for a new paradigm to replace it. I’ll say it again; I’m betting no ice melting cats exist in either the Rossi or Defkalion camps.

      • Robert Boress

        Dude, did you even READ the Swedish Italian study?? It is written by 7 physicists with impeccable reputations. The only reason to deny this being a new, unknown type nuclear reaction is… willful ignorance and childish clinging to the accepted models. This shit is here and here to stay. Live it or live with it.

        • lenrosen4

          Hi Robert,
          I reviewed the study completely and pointed out some of the issues not fully explained in my posting. I would be delighted to have Rossi open the box so that we all could study the reaction produced. That is why I have proposed additional verification.

          • Niccolo5

            Hi Len,

            My main point is until the excess energy question is conclusively settled; it should matter not at what might be inside Rossi’s black magic cat boxes. All the ballyhoo and speculation is distraction and diversion away from the only important issue: is the gadget actually making significant amounts of sustained and controllable energy, that is, COP over 6. It’s unclear how a COP of 3 could produce much market impact.

            The problematic words of Rossi and his associates are not sufficient evidence to believe that the fantastic thing is actually making excess energy. It’s insulting to the intelligence of even rustic village idiots to contend that ridiculously complex testing by Rossi’s friends and close associates is plausibly “independent.” Nearly the entire global scientific and engineering community is skeptical because the Rossi camp refuses to do objective standard practice calorimetric testing to energy flows. If one wants to speculate about aspects of the E-Cat issue, the most rational speculation would be: Why won’t Rossi do standard practice calorimetric testing? Occum’s razor doesn’t generally provide a smooth close shave, but in this case it seems about the only razor we have.

      • Stefan

        2 Niccolo5:

        As soon as Rossi does not spent my (tax money) it is his business & investors who wish to invest in “claimed to be testable/existing tech”. Such “testable” agenda makes it not a good basis for con scheme.

  • Niccolo5

    ((November and December 2012 and March 2013 tests state that the device produces excess heat equivalent to “10,000 times the energy density and 1,000 times the power density of gasoline.”))

    This curious expression in a report ostensibly directed at the question of excess energy production should be setting off all critical thinkers’ alarm bells. Energy density doesn’t bear at all on COP. One could just as well say an ordinary halogen light bulb filament “produces excess heat equivalent to “10,000 times the energy density and 1,000 times the power density of gasoline.” Sure the filament weighs only milligrams and radiates hundreds of Watts of energy for thousands of hours; hence the energy and power densities of the filament are very high, but even school children know a remote power plant that constantly operates at much lower energy densities produces 100% of the energy radiated by the incandescent bulb filament.

    At this stage of LENR development, the only scientifically relevant question about Rossi’s cat zoo is whether his cats actually produce significantly more energy than they consume. Why does a problematic “independent” test report, one that conspicuously fails to simply address the question of excess energy, attempt to beguile us with meaningless density numbers that might just as well apply to ordinary light bulbs?

    • lenrosen4

      I agree that the numbers in this report don’t provide a conclusive statement about the commercial viability of the E-Cat. Rossi needs total transparency to prove that his device is generating real energy output. If he does then I expect the world will be running on cold fusion technology within a decade. So it is time to take off the gloves and show everyone what you got. Is Rossi up to it? We shall see.

  • Nixter

    The “true Believers” are on the, “it’s fraudulent”, side of the debate, they wrongly believe that this is not real. They are very wrong, they are mistaken or they are involved in a deception themselves. The latest report is solid and accurate, the “True Believers” who say that it is not true are fooling themselves and are trying to delay the roll-out of a revolutionary new form of affordable energy. The reason for this wall of denial, is that Cold Fusion was wrongly blocked in 1989, and they wish to hide the fact that we have been lied to about its reality for the last thirty years.

    • lenrosen4

      Why would we block this technology? Do you see this as a cospiracy of the energy companies? The challenge of cold fusion is in the inconsistency of the results which makes it commercially unviable. If Rossi has developed an E-Cat that provides consistent power well above the input then investors will put the money in, even the energy companies. Consistency, replicability, that is what makes a commercially successful technology.

      • Niccolo5

        Just as further information about what an objective person should think about the recent “independent” E-cat tests: See: http://matslew.wordpress.com/

        Mats Lowen, senior reporter at Ny Teknik, Stockholm, Sweden – the major technology weekly in Scandinavia with a circulation of 155,000 and a readership of 327,000, says he obtained the following brief answer to the question of whether the E-Cat works after the E-Cat report was published from Professor Bo Höistad, representative of the authors of the report:

        “I would recommend a thorough reading of our paper in which several of Ekström’s questions are answered. Also to be noted is that this is the first test that produced sufficiently interesting results to motivate continued work with further experiments to verify or challenge the results achieved so far. This is the normal procedure in physics when unexpected results occur. There is still much work to be done before we can definitively determine if Rossi’s E-Cat works. We intend to continue this work in the next step.”

        Note that one of the chief scientists who was present at and conducted the most recent tests says in effect the tests do not prove that Rossi’s E-Cats work. Yet there are plenty of true believers who have never seen an E-Cat, never taught graduate level physics, yet who suppose they know more about the issue than a senior scientist, Professor Bo Höistad, who actually participated in the tests.

      • Niccolo5

        The main reason I suppose the E-Cat game is fraudulent is that Rossi pretends to be a “businessman,” one who claims a motive to reap the great profit harvest from the incredible new engine that powers all civilization, hence he must keep his secrets. Rossi perfectly well understands that is an impossible dream. He knows he is not a sovereign power. Governments would never allow a single private company or individual to control the entire global economy. They would step in and regulate the distribution of his technology, not to mention the major energy companies that would receive lucrative government franchises to implement the technology
        .
        If Rossi actually believed his E-Cat can produce cheap safe non-polluting energy, why wouldn’t he just approach the Gates Foundation, and other similar institutions, with the proposition “test it anyway and anywhere you like; then when you are satisfied that it works as claimed, make a full disclosure of the technology to the entire planet, and after several hundred units are running without question, pay me my “businessman’s” billion dollars?” If the Gates Foundation is truly legitimate in it’s stated humanitarian objectives, it would have to agree the billion paid to Rossi would do more good for humanity than a hundred billion spent otherwise. The only reason I can think of that isn’t happening is the E-Cat doesn’t actually work. If Rossi is not a crook, and his E-Cat actually works, within just a few months he could get his billions and save the planet at the same time.