I would like to request the help of E-Cat World readers with a task I have set myself. I have been trying to put together a digest of the recent E-Cat test that might be more easily digestible for the non-expert reader than the full document. I hope this could be a useful resource for people investigating the topic. Being a non-expert myself I have found it quite a challenge to do this, so I would like to submit my first draft of the summary to readers here — many of whom have much more expertise in these things than me — for comment and correction.
The overall goal is to provide essential information for the lay reader in a reasonably short document. For further details (such as the mathematical calculations and images) people can refer back to the original document. Thanks in advance to all!
Abstract: The test is to discover if the E-Cat HT (Energy Catalyzer High Temperature) reactor produces anomalous heat — i.e. heat that cannot be explained by any other known process. The tube contains nickel powder combined with hydrogen and unspecified (secret) additives. The reaction is started by powering up resistors (electric heating coils) inside the reactor tube.
Heat was measured by taking pictures of the hot tube every second with a thermal camera. Electrical power going into the tube (input) was measured with a three phase power analyzer. Two tests were performed. The first lasted 96 hours, the second 116 hours. In both cases anomalous heat was produced. In the second run a dummy tube (with no nickel/hydrogen powder) was powered in the same way as the E-Cat and this produced no anomalous heat.
The energy density in the E-Cat was calculated to be far above any known chemical source. Taking into account any possible measurement error, and being very conservative in all assumptions “the result is still one order of magnitude greater than conventional energy sources.”
History of E-Cat is provided, citing work by Sergio Focardi in 1990s who later worked with Andrea Rossi. The E-Cat is an invention which allegedly able to produce heat in much higher quantities than any known process. Heat is produced by mixing nickel, hydrogen and a catalyst which is a trade secret, and activating it with electronic resistor coils inside the reactor chamber.
The purpose of this report is to determine for certain if the E-Cat works as claimed by very careful measurement of heat produced and energy input.
2 tests are reported in this paper:
1. Dec 13-17, 2012 by Levi and Foschi (96 hours)
2. March 18-23 by all authors (116 hours)
Both tests took place in the premises of EFA Srl, Via del Commecio 34-36, Ferrara, Italy.
In November 2012 an initial test was begun, but during the test the reactor was destroyed by overheating; it melted. In this test, the resistor coils were run at about 1 kilowatt, and the charge (nickel powder mix) was not evenly distributed within the cylinder. In later tests the charge was evenly distributed and power going into the reactor was limited to 360 watts.
Figures 1 – 3 are from the November test and show the reactor near meltdown, and data from a thermal imaging camera.
16 resistors are placed inside the reactor equidistantly along the axis of the cylinder and extending the full length of the cylinder, a fact that can be picked up on the thermal images where darker ‘shadows’ represent the placement of the reactors.
Part 1: The December Test
Reactor (known in this test as the E-Cat HT): Outer shell made of silicon nitrate 33 x 10 cm. Inner shell made of corundum (ceramic material) housing 3 delta-connected spiral wire resistors placed equidistantly and running the full length of the cylinder. These were fed electricity by a TRIAC power regulator which “interrupted each phase periodically, in order to modulate power input with an industrial trade secret waveform.” This procedure was needed to activate the E-Cat charge and did not affect the power consumption of the device which remained constant throughout the test.
Inside the cylinder described above was a sealed AISI steel cylinder 33 x 3 cm inside which were the powder charges. The outermost cylinder was coated by a black paint capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 1200 C.
They did not weigh the cylinder because the e-cat was running before the test began. They weighed a similar unit without any charge inside or sealing caps and the difference between the two was 0.236 kg — which would be the weight of the charge and the caps.
The reactor was placed on a metal frame with minimum contact points. Ambient temperature was an average of 15.7 C.
Measuring instruments were an IR thermographic camera to measure heat from the e-cat and a and a wide band-pass power quality monitor to record the power absorbed by the resistors.
The camera was located about 70 cm below the E-Cat HT, with lens facing the lower half of the cylinder to avoid rising hot air (to preserve the lens) The camera took readings once each second and sent data to a laptop which displayed the heat image throughout the duration of the test.
“Electrical measurements were performed by a PCE-830 Power and Harmonics Analyzer by PCE Instruments with a nominal accuracy of 1%.” and was connected directly to the E-Cat HT with three clamp ammeters, and three probes for voltage measurement. A video camera filmed the analyzer display and a wristwatch displaying the time once every second throughout the test.
David Bianchi set up instruments to detect radioactive emissions throughout the duration of the test.
The E-Cat’s average hourly power consumption was calculated at 360 W.
Heat energy was considered to be mainly via radiation and convection. Very little conduction was possible because of the minimal contact points between the E-Cat and the support frame. “Energy emitted by radiation was calculated by means of Stefan-Boltzmann’s formula, which allows to evaluate the heat emitted by a body when its surface temperature is known”
The hourly power production due to radiation was calculated as 1568 W.
The hourly power production due to convection was calculated as 466 W.
Total calculated power production per hour = 2034 W
COP = 2034/360 = 5.6 ± 0.8
assuming a 10% error in the powers.
“Given the deliberately conservative choices made in performing the measurement, we can
reasonably state that the E-Cat HT is a non-conventional source of energy which lies between
conventional chemical sources of energy and nuclear ones.”
Remarks on the Test
Extremely conservative values were used in the calculation. The weight of the caps sealing the charge was added to the calculated weight of the charge. The choice of attributing an emissivity of 1 to the E-cat was conservative, too. The measurement of radiated heat did not take into account the surface of the E-cat that was blocked by metal struts in the camera’s line of view. “It is therefore reasonable to assume that the thermal power released by the device during the trial was higher than the values given by our calculations.”
PART 2: The March Test
A new design of reactor was used in this test (known as the E-Cat HT2) — it was a steel cylinder, 33 x 9 cm with a steel circular flange at one end 20 cm in diameter and 1 cm thick. The flange is for the purpose of being able to insert the reactor into a heat exchanger (not used in this test) The cylinder containing the powder charge is the same as in the first test: a sealed AISI steel cylinder 33 x 3 cm. A different coating was used for the outer shell — an enamel paint capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 800 C. It was not sprayed evenly on the cylinder.
The power supply was a “control circuit having three-phase power input and single-phase output, mounted within a box”.
The control system used in this test allowed the device to operate in “self-sustaining mode 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.” After a two hour start up period, the system went into an ON/OFF cycle in which the resistor coils were powered on for two minutes, and then turned off for four minutes. During the OFF part of the cycle it was possible to observe the temperature continuing to rise for a short time.
In this test a ‘dummy’ reactor was tested — i.e. a shell without a charge — to compare it to the performance of the active reactor.
Also, radiation emissions were tested for, but none above ambient background radiation was detected.
Emitted power was calculated as 816 W per hour, and power consumption at 322 W per hour, giving a COP of 2.9
The difference in performance between the two tests could be attributed to the overestimation of the weight of the charge in the first test, and in the design of the control system in the second test where the manufacturer is trying to enhance the stability of the system. Nevertheless, both tests show that the E-Cat is “outside the bounds of the Ragone plot regions for chemical sources.”
The next test is scheduled to start in the summer of 2013 and will last about six month — it will be of the E-Cat HT2 setup and “will be crucial for further attempts to unveil the origin of the heat phenomenon so far.”