An interesting comment from Andrea Rossi yesterday reveals something of the role that those involved in certifying the E-Cat products are having on the design and development of E-Cat units. To be commercially viable, Leonardo Corp. needs to get its products into the marketplace, and in order to do so must gain safety approval from bodies that certify products for safety. So far, according to Rossi, only the low temperature industrial plants have received certification — work on approving the high temperature plants is in process.
Now to the point of this post. The key characteristic of E-Cat technology is that it produces heat — apparently lots of it. Another characteristic is that in order to run in a stable manner, heat needs to be applied to the E-Cat reactor. Rossi sometimes refers to this heat application as the ‘drive’. We have heard that so far the drive can be in the form of an electrical resistor, or natural gas. As we know, both electricity and gas can be quite expensive, and even though the E-Cat is able to produce more power than is fed into it, it still consumes a lot of conventional power.
One fairly obvious solution to this problem might be this: if the E-Cat produces lots of heat, why not just use some of the E-Cat’s own heat to drive itself — or, use one E-Cat to drive another E-Cat? Here are two exchanges on the subject on the Journal of Nuclear physics.
Q: Dear Mr. Rossi, Recently you stated that new versions of E-cat can work with gas heating. My question is: Would it be possible to use the heat produced by one E-cat to activate a second E-cat?
Q: We know from your postings that you have achieved 1250C output temperatures for Hot eCats. We also know this is with 200C of the melting point of nickel. And you have previously stated that natural gas could be used to ignite the eCat reaction. So why would not the thermal output from one Hot eCat be capable of igniting the reaction of another eCat? Please clarify as you can without revealing any secrets.
A: Regarding the Hot cat in symbiosis: is not possible because the drive is a safety system and a safety system cannot depend from the Ecat itself. This is an issue emerged during the safety certification process.
I followed up with a question emailed to Andrea Rossi about whether electricity produced from an E-Cat could be used to power itself, or another E-Cat — even if the electricity was stored in a battery, and his response was, “No, they want the drive completely independent.”
So theoretically it seems that there are ways to close-loop the E-Cats and have them running in what would be an almost infinite COP off their own power — but from the point of view of safety certifiers, this is not approved. The logic must be that in order to prevent a malfunction, the input power to the E-Cat must come from a reliable and approved power source, such as the electrical grid or gas mains.
To get into the marketplace, Leonardo has no choice but to go along with what the certifiers say — even if they put limits on this technology. Many people have expressed surprise that Andrea Rossi says so often that the E-Cat will be integrated with other energy sources for a long time. Perhaps his position is based on his understanding of what will be demanded by those who certify his products for safety.