For the purpose if this post, let’s take a leap of faith and assume for the moment that Andrea Rossi has what he says, and that sometime in the near future both large (industrial) and small (domestic) E-Cats will be on the market in the not too distant future. Rossi is now seems to be saying that he has cracked the temperature barrier with the industrial E-Cats, and they are able to produce steam temperatures high enough to produce electricity efficiently. He has also said that only the industrial E-Cats will be running at high temperatures — safety concerns will limit the domestic E-Cats to heating relatively low levels, enough to provide heat and hot water to homes.
This new development raises an interesting question in my mind. Would a heat and electricity producing industrial E-Cat steal the thunder of a smaller domestic heating unit? For many people, even though they see the benefits of cheap heat, an energy technology that does not produce electricity is somewhat limited in its usefulness. An LENR Electical plant churning out Megawatts of electricity from just a few grams of nickel per year would be something that could capture the attention of people all over the world, and one would expect that if they came on the market they would be highly desirable for businesses, communities, utilities and states. It wouldn’t be as radical a solution as having an E-Cat generator in every home — a conventional grid would still be necessary to distribute power, but existing infrastructures would allow speedy deployment and adaptation to E-Cat plants.
If cheap E-Cat generated electricity were made available through the grid, domestic E-Cat heaters might be less desirable for many who might opt to use electric heaters in homes and forgo the expense and trouble of having individual E-Cat heaters installed. On the other hand, there will certainly be those who will want the independence and cost savings that E-Cat heaters will bring, even if electricity is not part of the package.
Down the road, it may well be that domestic E-Cats can produce electricity safely, but it seems that might take some time. So would you take the plunge and buy an E-Cat heater as soon as it came on the market? Or enjoy the benefits of E-Cat electricity from an industrial plant? Or both?