January 26, 2014 – Andrea Rossi, the “minstrel” of cold fusion technology has sold the rights to his low-energy nuclear reactor (LENR), branded the Energy Catalyzer or E-Cat, to Industrial Heat, a North Carolina company located in the Research Triangle Park area of the state.
JT Vaughn, the manager of Industrial Heat stated when asked about the acquisition, “The world needs a new, clean and efficient energy source. Such a technology would raise the standard of living in developing countries and reduce the environmental impact of producing energy.”
Vaughn cited two multi-day tests by European scientists as evidence that Rossi’s E-Cat device actually works. In two tests, one in December 2012 and another in March 2013 independent researchers investigated E-Cat technology at Rossi’s own lab (see image of the testing below). The investigators charged reactor tubes with hydrogen, nickel powder and some other additives. The E-Cat required 360 Watts of power input per hour. Energy output was measured by calculating the thermal output which was determined to be equivalent to 2,034 Watts in the December test and even higher in the subsequent test in March. For December the power output to input ratio was 5.65:1.
The authors of the study have concluded that E-Cat energy output is a “magnitude greater than conventional energy sources.” So that led me to ask what are conventional energy source ratios or EROIs?
Data from different sources has given me a range of figures which I am sharing here with you:
- Hydro – ratios vary from 205:1 to 43:1.
- Nuclear – from 59:1 to 15:1.
- Coal – from 29:1 to 7:1.
- Natural gas – from 26:1 to 5:1.
- Solar – from 12:1 to 3.7:1.
- Wind – from 80:1 to 6:1.
Based on this data I question the statement made by the E-Cat testers.
Nevertheless Vaughn’s company intends to support the cold fusion technology and has started preparing patent applications for submission, something that Rossi was unsuccessful at doing in the past.
Vaughn is the founder of Cherokee McDonough Challenge, an environmental start up incubator working out of the Research Triangle Park area. And Industrial Heat has found private equity investors focused on environmental plays who see a future for E-Cat.
As I have often stated about cold fusion technology – there continues to be more talk than substance. I will be most interested to see if Industrial Heat can successfully commercialize Rossi’s invention and prove that my many doubts were unfounded. Apparently Chinese officials have expressed interest in E-Cat but have yet to make an investment. I guess like me they are waiting for further proof.