With a h/t to Sera for pointing me at this article (with honorable mention for Ralph B and a Forbes article):
It links to this PDF that is the report of the folks who reviewed the Rossi E-Cat:
Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device
containing hydrogen loaded nickel powder.
Bologna University, Bologna, Italy
Torbjörn Hartman, Bo Höistad, Roland Pettersson and Lars Tegnér
Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
So a pretty good selection of folks looking at it.
An experimental investigation of possible anomalous heat production in a special type of reactor tube named E-Cat HT is carried out. The reactor tube is charged with a small amount of hydrogen loaded nickel powder plus some additives. The reaction is primarily initiated by heat from resistor coils inside the reactor tube. 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. In this case, no extra heat was generated beyond the expected heat from the electric input. Computed volumetric and gravimetric energy densities were found to be far above those of any known chemical source. 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.
Looks like it’s real.
It’s hard to fake an order of magnitude of excess heat over 116 hours…
The tests held in December 2012 and March 2013 are in fact subsequent to a previous attempt in November 2012 to make accurate measurements on a similar model of the E-Cat HT on the same premises. In that experiment the device was destroyed in the course of the experimental run, when the steel cylinder containing the active charge overheated and melted.
So “control issues” with thermal production to the point of melting steel… Um, I think that’s pretty strong evidence just on its own…
You just gotta love the understated way things are put in academic papers…
The partial data gathered before the failure, however, yielded interesting results which warranted further in-depth investigation in future tests. Although the run was not successful as far as obtaining complete data is concerned, it was fruitful in that it demonstrated a huge production of excess heat, which however could not be quantified. The device used had similar, but not identical, features to those of the E-Cat HT used in the December and March runs.
Besides some minor geometrical differences, in the E-Cat HT used for the November test the charge in the inner cylinder was not evenly distributed, but concentrated in two distinct locations along the central axis. In addition, the primer resistor coils were run at about 1 kW, which might be the cause of the ensuing device failure. For these reasons, a more prudent reactor design was chosen for the test held in December and March, by distributing the charge evenly along its container cylinder, and limiting the power input to the reactor to 360 W.
It’s damned hard to melt a steel cylinder of any size with just 1 kW. Make it hot, sure. Melt it? Not usually… Make a nice room heater, but not melting. Something else was going on, for sure.
A rather spectacular picture follows, glowing red / orange / yellow, with this caption:
Figs. 1-2. Two images from the test performed on Nov. 20th 2012. Here, the activation of the charge (distributed laterally in the reactor) is especially obvious. The darker lines in the photograph are actually the shadows of the resistor coils, which yield only a minimal part of the total thermal power. The performance of this device was such that the reactor was destroyed, melting the internal steel cylinder and the surrounding ceramic layers. The longterm trials analyzed in the present report were purposely performed at a lower temperatures for safety reasons.
The electrically powered heater shows up as a thermal shadow… and melting ceramic layers? Oh dear…
We also get the fluctuating magnetic field that we saw in earlier devices:
Device and experimental set-up
The E-Cat HT-type device in this experiment was a cylinder having a silicon nitride ceramic outer shell, 33 cm in length, and 10 cm in diameter. A second cylinder made of a different ceramic material (corundum) was located within the shell, and housed three delta-connected spiral-wire resistor coils. Resistors were laid out horizontally, parallel to and equidistant from the cylinder axis, and were as long as the cylinder itself. They were fed by a TRIAC power regulator device which interrupted each phase periodically, in order to modulate power input with an industrial trade secret waveform.
I’d wager high frequency possibly square wave.
And it can’t be some kind of chemical energy storage / indirect fuel burn:
Figure 9 shows the “Ragone plot of energy storage”, a typical diagram in which specific energy is represented as a function on a logarithmic scale of the specific power of the various energy storage technologies [Ref. 7]. Power density and thermal energy density found for the E-Cat HT place this device outside of the area occupied by any known conventional energy source in the Ragone chart.
We also get to know why the tests took so long. One melted. Another was not set up as they wanted. So things got done over.
This test enabled us to pinpoint several procedural issues, first of all the fact that the device was already in operation when the trial began. This prevented us from correctly weighing the device beforehand, and conducting a thermal analysis of the same without the powder charge, prior to evaluating its yield with the charge in position. The choice of placing the thermal camera under the E-Cat HT should also be considered unsatisfactory, as was the impossibility of evaluating the real emissivity of the cylinder’s paint coating. All these issues were taken notice of in the light of the subsequent test held in March. This was performed with a device of new design, as a result of technological improvements effected by Leonardo Corporation in the intervening months.
So they finally got it done the way they wanted. This later test uses a design made for continuous use and is somewhat different:
The E-Cat HT2’s power supply departs from that of the device used in December in that it is no longer three-phase, but single-phase: the TRIAC power supply has been replaced by a control circuit having three-phase power input and single-phase output, mounted within a box, the contents of which were not available for inspection, inasmuch as they are part of the industrial trade secret. But the main difference between the E-Cat HT2 and the previous model lies in the control system, which allows the device to work in self-sustaining mode, i.e. to remain operative and active, while powered off, for much longer periods of time with respect to those during which power is switched on. During the test experiment we observed that, after an initial phase lasting about two hours, in which power fed to the resistor coils was gradually increased up to operating regime, an ON/OFF phase was reached. In the ON/OFF phase, the resistor coils were powered up and powered down by the control system at regular intervals of about two minutes for the ON state and four minutes for the OFF state. This operating mode was kept more or less unchanged for all the remaining hours of the test.
It looks to me like the world just changed…
For power density we have:
(816-283.5)/0.001 = 532500 [W/kg] ~ 5 · 105 [W/kg] (28)
Thermal energy density is obtained by multiplying (28) by the number of test hours:
532500 ·116 = (6.2 ± 0.6) · 107 [Wh/kg] ~ 6 · 107 [Wh/kg] (29)
It is easy to infer from the Ragone chart, another example of which may be seen below in fig. 15 below, that these values place the E-Cat HT2 at about three orders of magnitude beyond any other conventional chemical energy source.
I think we’re hearing the Fat Lady singing…
. . .and melting ceramic layers? . . .
Got my hopes up there for a minute, then I realized it said layers, not lawyers.
It’s pretty predictable that there are howls of protest by various sceptical people that this report just isn’t good enough. They are stuck in a rut of not-believing that Rossi ever tells the truth, and that therefore anything he’s had a hand in, however remote, must be a scam. Not so. This report pretty definitively shows that Rossi is much further on in getting start-up and run under control, and thus is pretty close to being able to start to design a commercial version.
The really interesting picture is plot 8, where the shape of the heating curve shows that extra heat is being added as the device warms. Another telling point is the failures. In November they had a melt-down, but December’s test was pre-started by Rossi so that he knew it had started correctly. The March test was hands-off by Rossi, so by then he was certain that it would start and run correctly. He’s getting his problems fixed.
Whereas I’ve found previous tests unacceptable as proof, but purely as indications that Rossi had something that sometimes worked, it’s now pretty certain that he has far more reliability. It may be a few years before we see commercially-available devices for home use from Rossi, but it should now be obvious that they will arrive and that it’s a matter of when, not if.
“that these values place the E-Cat HT2 at about three orders of magnitude beyond any other conventional chemical energy source. ”
One of my thought experiments is; what would the world look like if consumers had, for the monthly payment of 50 bucks or Euros for a few hundred up to a 1,000 kWh, get 1,000 times the electricity. What devices would we build, buy and use.
My favorite is everyday EM levitation of all kinds of objects… Active structures. Of which this one
is a partuicularly interesting one.
guess I’d better get my appetite for “hat” started.
Assuming Rossi is on the level it does look good, reported ‘melt down’ in November is particularly interesting. But Rossi has a dodgy past and the testing as reported appears to have had inadequate measurement of electrical power inputs, and all of ‘3rd party testers’ were acquaintances of Rossis, not aggressive skeptics so not necessarily people who would check for tricks. I’m mostly convinced, but have a few reservations.
Lubos Motl weighed in with his opinion and explanation a couple days ago. Starting out by saying …but the paper is 100% crackpottery…
This is what you have there and do not appreciate:
Looks to me like Lubos is a bit “frothing” for objectivity… The first 1/3? of his complaint is about the details of the form of things like printing formulas? This matters how? He does point out a couple of things that keep me from saying flat out “it works”, like the use of radiative estimates of heat production rather than more functional measurements. I’d rather have seen it in a bucket of water, with the steam produced providing the electricity to run the heaters… so it MUST have net energy gain to run for a couple of days…
Admittedly, I’m presuming that the folks who where there have some skill at what they claim to do. I’m not in a position to assess them (other than appeal to authority / credentials that’s really rather useless…) so if they are duped, then their paper is duped.
But for me, leaving aside arcane arguments about how formulas are calculated and how much error band can be in a radiative surface heat loss: the thing that is most persuasive is just the one that melted. It’s darned hard to get iron to that red heat with the small wattage applied. My stove has a 2 kW heating element with about 1/100 th the surface area, just to make a similar dull red color. At 1 kW it is hot, but not glowing. So there’s a “sanity check” for me that says there’s more heat loss than a “less than a kW” heating element can supply.
Now, if that surface is NOT steel, but is instead a ceramic (it was unclear to me the order of materials, but I’m presuming the ceramic is the inner most highest heat area) then all bets are off as the ceramic is now a poor heat conductor insulation blanket and low kW in can result in high temp inner layers…
I would like to see a better “mathematical proof” type exposition of how they get 1 to 3 orders of magnitude excess heat. I did get the feeling they were a bit ‘loose’ on some details… but figured an order of magnitude excess covers a lot of fudge… But that’s just a weak assumption on my part due to too much sloth to decompile what they are doing and then re-work it forward. (Being as I’m over driven right now on some other things…)
As I’ve stated before: The thing that will ultimately get me saying “It works!” is a completely stand alone system that generates the electricity used to keep it warm. Run that 700 C into a bucket of water, use the steam to drive a generator, use that to run the heaters. Light lightbulbs with the excess. Let it run a few days. Then I’m going to be all over it. For now, it looks “highly likely” but not “proven”.
As I read it, running the heaters alone with the same device after it had had less than a gram of material removed took around 3 times as much electrical energy to hold the same temperature (as measured by the same camera, same conditions). That was the control. Despite all the other things where you might think their measurements weren’t of the highest quality, that test nailed it pretty solidly. Their initial “energy used” calculation was upriver of the control system, so it measured the (single-phase) energy used by the controller that drove the resistors, so includes the energy burnt in the electronics. Their control experiment only measured the power into the resistors.
The only way you can really pan this experiment is if you accuse the authors of knowingly committing fraud. I hated LaTex myself – always used WordStar at that time since it gave me exactly what I wanted. The Lubsio rant is basically saying “they didn’t follow the way I was taught, so they are rubbish”. He started from the viewpoint of “I believe it’s false” and worked on from there. Belief (or disbelief) and science don’t work that well together – you should look at the data.
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E.M. As much as I want this to be true, I also read the piece by Lubos Motl and it raised serious questions. Plus my grandparents were from Czechoslovakia so I have an inherent bias in favor of the dissections of a man I’ve never heard of, before today. Humans are funny critters that way.
Let Rossi bring it to the physics lab at MIT and run a series of demos. THAT would get my attention.
has some demystifying comments,
my net take, I can wear the hat a bit longer
One can’t help loving fairy stories. While I knew in my heart that Fleishmann & Pons were wrong I was pulling for them as they were clearly honest people who got swept up in a media frenzy.
Rossi and Focardi have brought the “Philosopher’s Stone” scam up to date. Thanks to human credulity their scam will run for many years. I will enjoy the show from a safe distance.
The “data” presented does not make much sense. It is hard to believe these folks have an academic reputation to lose if this is their idea of data analysis. Things would have gone a little differently if an engineer had been involved.
AAA – They are reporting energy density while failing to display the detailed calorimetry.
BBB – If a nuclear reaction was taking place mass spectrometry would provide irrefutable evidence even if the heat output was too small to measure.
CCC – If the reaction Ni + H = Cu is taking place there will be gamma rays with energies in range 1 to 10 MeV. An unshielded source producing kilowatts would be highly lethal unless surrounded by at least two feet of concrete.
It looks very promising and there is a 6 month test scheduled to start this summer. In addition to Rossi, there is a company that also has a device and is supposed to show it at the NI conference in August. Hot tubes for everyone I say!
Simon says, “The only way you can really pan this experiment is if you accuse the authors of knowingly committing fraud.”
Well no, it would be to accuse Rossi of fraud and since he did jail time for fraud before, it would not be unreasonable to suspect fraud now. It appears to me that the “independent” investigators were really just observers. I would agree with their assessment of “indications” but if one wanted to measure heat accurately, then a calorimeter would be the proper tool.
Yeah, that was my take away from what Lubos Motl said too.
This was not a verification and validation of E-Cat it was a publicity stunt.
If you want verification and validation you go to an independent testing lab like I worked for and sign a non-disclosure agreement. All the testing and validation is run and the results minus proprietary info can be published.
There are also Academic/Industry Liaisons.
I remain skeptical and because I regard Lubos Motle as very serious scientist, I underwrite the view from Bennett from Vermont about MIT performing the evaluation. For now I think they are just looking for additional funding and needed some up beat evaluation. But if it works, I want one.
There’s a lot of opinion on the net by now. There’s a lot that is sceptical, and the underlying theme is that “this doesn’t produce gammas so it can’t be nuclear and so it’s a scam”. It seems a lot of the people complaining didn’t read the report carefully enough. The device was of necessity treated as a “black box”. Not only was the input power measured during running, but the input power needed to maintain that same temperature was also measured on the same device after the active ingredients had been removed.
The black box put out around 2.5 times the energy that was put into it. If this conclusion is not acceptable, then either we’re accusing the authors of the report of either gross incompetence or fraud, or we’re accusing Rossi of fraud instead and being good enough to fool these people comprehensively. It’s true that Rossi’s history is not conducive to believing him, but here we’re talking about him fooling some bright people who had good reason to be very careful to double-check for fraud.
Amongst those comments accusing Rossi of fraud and the authors of incompetence, I’ve also seen smug comments that LENR is impossible anyway so it must be fraud. Given the number of researchers and papers published, this is somewhat like saying that since it can’t work in theory it can’t be true. I prefer Feynman’s approach, where a single experiment (OK, in this case it’s several hundred) can disprove a hundred years of theory. We don’t know everything, so we can’t say something is impossible. We can only show that something is possible.
Rossi is based on the work of Piantelli, but has pushed up the quantity of energy by a few orders of magnitude by having more surface area in his reactor. I haven’t heard anyone saying that Piantelli got his results wrong or that his patent was invalid.
Given the scientific background, Rossi’s claims are not extraordinary. I doubt if he can patent the basic process (Piantelli got there first) but may have some subsidiary patents to make an exact copy more difficult. He thus needs to maintain secrecy as the only way he can make a profitable business from this. An NDA is not absolute protection – not everyone would be honourable in the face of a large amount of money, and the secret is likely easily given away – possibly even a chance word with a friend. Engineers do talk to each other….
Personally I think the measurements taken were good enough, and the precautions taken were good enough, to be certain that Rossi has now got a working process. He may not have full reliability of either starting or running, but it’s at a level of dependability that he felt happy to let someone else drive it and to bring their own measuring kit. Before now, he’s felt the need to inflate the figures by mismeasurements and to cover the lack of startup by fudges. It’ll still be a few years till you can buy one, but it looks pretty certain that you will be able to in the not-too-distant future.
People are insisting on better tests and more accuracy. What would that benefit Rossi?
Simon Derricutt said:
“I’ve also seen smug comments that LENR is impossible anyway so it must be fraud.”
Let me set your mind at rest. Nickel-Hydrogen fusion is scientifically plausible and we know how much energy results:
Ni62 + H1 = Cu63 – mass 0.006573/62.9296 = 99.7 ppm
Ni64 + H1 = Cu65 – mass 0.008002/65.9278 = 121.4 ppm
For each kg of copper produced an energy equivalent to 0.0001 kg will be released:
E = mc^2 = 0.0001 x (300,000,000) x (300,000,000) Joules
Thus for each Kilogram of copper produced 9 TJ of energy should be released.
Let’s perform a sanity check using the data taken from the report:
An average of 1,568 W for 90 hours amounts to ~500 MJ.
It follows that the reaction created 56 micro-grams of copper. Using modern mass spectometers one can find nano-grams of copper with ease.
Do you think that Rossi will allow such a test unless he is there to manipulate the collection of “Before” and “After” samples?
Gallopingcamel – no, I don’t think Rossi would allow any such test. At the moment he’d be a fool to do so, and I doubt if he has had it done unless he firstly added various other stuff as disguise and also submitted it via a third (trusted) party. So far, we have only Rossi’s word as to what he puts in and what the result is, so I wouldn’t take the energy calculation (good as it is) as the correct one. I also don’t believe that the originally published analysis was valid. Basically, I don’t believe much of what Rossi says….
For this test I looked at what was done. I reckon the authors did as well as they could do under the limitations imposed, and I’m assuming that they are honest in stating what they measured. I also think that they are bright enough to catch any attempt by Rossi to “beam in” extra power either by microwaves, RF or such like, and that thus such obvious frauds would not be attempted. I thus think that the heat produced was real.
With Pd-D, Helium is measured as the nuclear ash and correlates to the heat produced. So far we don’t know what the ash is in NI-H so we can’t say what the reaction might be, though people have speculated quite a bit. Defkalion have published an analysis of used fuel, but again I don’t know whether this is valid or has been pre-doped or mis-reported. Until we get more people doing it and reporting as scientists rather than as entrepreneurs the science will remain murky. We don’t even know for sure that Rossi is using Nickel or Hydrogen. That’s just “Rossi says”.
What I’m saying is simply that the quantity of excess energy produced here was much greater than could be explained by a chemical reaction, and whether it’s called LENR, Cold Fusion or possibly the Rossi process is immaterial for the moment since we don’t have good information. It works, and Rossi seems to be better at controlling it now than he was before. Rossi has become demonstrably capable of doing what he’s been telling us he’s been doing for a while. I personally think that Rossi has not got a good explanation of why it works, but he’s done a lot of experiments to explore how it works and is still experimenting. Seems he’s getting better, too. I doubt that anyone else will really know what he’s doing until he goes into mass-production in maybe 4 years or so.
Your bullshit detector seems to be working so I am sure you will come to no harm.
I hope I will one day be proved wrong, but I somehow doubt that the mythical promise of cold fusion will ever become a reality while it is pursued by individuals. I would not invest in Rossi.
If it is ever to come to fruition then I think that large well funded organisations with extensive engineering and scientific resources must become involved. Until then it will always be domani (tomorrow in Italian).
@J Martin – There are some strong rumors of big companies getting involved. Many want no publicity to that affect because of the bad name associated with this work. I’m hoping some of these names become public yet this year.
Still skeptical. So far all of this looks like demos still designed to attract cash. If they can put one in production, even on a very small scale, to produce energy to even do something as mundane as lighting an LED for a year, maybe I’ll become a little less jaded. But right now it seems to be hype for the purpose of creating a magnetic field to attract cash.
I have a hard time taking somebody who is utterly wedded to string theory seriously (See what I did there?). As for the rest of his rant, it was just that, a rant. I would have thought a far more productive way of writing an article would have been to have devised a test that would satisfy him that there was something anomalous going on, or not.
From wikipedia, Rossi was subsequently acquitted of any fraud charges in Italy, and the DoD were willing to give him a defence contract after moving to the US, even if it didn’t ultimately work out. If I’d spent six months in jail for something I was later acquitted of, I’d probably be pretty paranoid about the information I gave out too.
Up until the test before November, he was self-financed, and limited in equipment. Now that he has some backers (who would also have been aware of his chequered past), he seems to be making advances each time a test is run.
Even if one is still not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, there’s still the results of the tests to discerp. It would have been nice to see some useful work being done by all that heat, but there definitely seems to be something going on.
Bearing in mind I don’t know anything about ecats etc other than what I read here, I would have thought that the engineering and physics involved in getting this thing to run reliably, consistently, efficiently, safely or even just run at all are beyond the intellect and resources of a just one person.
Clearly a large multi disciplinary team of nuclear physicists, engineers and computer modellers are needed, the sort of resources required to develop, design and build nuclear reactors or even nuclear bombs, which would move the development of the ecat into the sphere of the US government.
If I were Rossi, I would be talking to the US government or Westinghouse or some outfit that can design nuclear power stations with a view to them taking on the whole task. Obviously he can make himself part of the deal and he can make sure that the contract benefits him if they attain success and start building and selling commercial ecats.
If he were to do that then he has the chance to see his project mature to fruition and he can then garner all the money, praise and adulation he can handle. If he doesn’t do that then he runs the risk of someone else doing it first and he will in the end be left with nothing. Which I think will be the most likely outcome.
@ J Martin – Rossi has worked some with NASA, but the relationship didn’t go well, but NASA has patents in this area and is doing experimental work and even offering some f the technology for sale. Rossi claims to have a 1 MW plant in the Military hands, but no one can verify such activity. The Navy has done a lot of work in this area with their SPAWAR group, but that was shut down from political pressure. The Energy department refuses to consider the technology for investment as they said it was shown to be junk science in 1989. In reality they don’t want to acknowledge this technology because it essentially removes the need for their department.
Many big companies do have ongoing projects, but refuse to acknowledge it as many traditional Physicists refuse to recognize it as real as there is no theory that encompasses all aspects of LENR. The Widom-Larsen Theory seems to be the best, but not everyone agrees as to its validity.
Most people doing work are doing it on a shoestring as big money will not agree. Many in the Physics community refuse to look at it as it would put the Hot Fusion funding into jeopardy, and we all know that rule one in life is protect the money flow.
Rossi’s test results is shaking up the field and its getting to the point that the junk science can no longer be ignored and must be addressed. a company called defkalion may show a working unit at NI in Austin Texas in August. If that occurs I thing we will have some real momentum and hopefully some research money to follow. my 2 cents.
Thanks, that was interesting feedback. Perhaps the US government shouldn’t be quite so closed minded, they are not the only country in the world with an established or growing technology infrastructure, China, Russia, the EU and others. Then there are also those other countries eager to catch up with the West such as Brazil, India, even Iran.
I think if I were in charge of the US government or at least the energy department I would ensure that the US had a stake in this race. Los Alamos might be a suitable candidate to do some research in this field.
Perhaps one of the already known outfits such as defkalion or Rossi might provide a sufficiently convincing demonstration to kick off something. But perhaps progress will come from elsewhere, I wouldn’t want to bet against China getting there first, if it could be made to work then it would of huge benefit to countries such as China and India in particular I can’t believe they’re not researching this.
A Steinmetz transformer could provide unbalanced 3-phase power via a “ground” cable.
1. The E-Cat is powered by single phase power “converted” from 3-phase.
2. Rossi declined $1,000,000 to test the H1 with ground current monitoring.
3. Well qualified scientists are easily fooled by magicians.
Opinion: It’s a trick! (Hope I’m wrong)
this is what, the third year of displays and tests that ALWAYS leave more questions than answers about the testing policy.
Still its hard to imagine how a person could maintain a scam this long without cracking. 1, its partly true but ineffectual. 2, he is already writing his book
Here is a comment I made on an earlier thread:
I am a little disappointed that Larsen failed to comment about the presence or absence of elements with an atomic number greater than 74 in his experiments. How hard can that be?
Given that two months have elapsed since my question, there has been plenty of time to make the mass spectrometer measurements. Either they were not done or the results were negative. Unless Larsen can produce such evidence why would anyone take him seriously?
An interesting story about Rossi not running the business side any more.
This type of story always makes me nervous as to what the intentions are.