Questions for testers

Thanks for the help and suggestions with the draft summary. Please continue to provide them. I am planning to have a dedicated page on the site to provide useful information about this test and one thing I would like to include are some comments from the testers. I am going to contact each of the people involved and would like here to ask the ECW community what you would like to learn from them. I’m not sure what kind of response we’ll get, but I certainly think it is important to try.

So if you have any questions about the test you’d like me to put to them please post them in the comments below. I will probably send off the questions tomorrow.

  • eboireau

    A better approach to measure released energy?:

    Could the experiment be performed using a calorimetric method? : all equipment could be placed in an isothermic box, with just the electric supply connector entering into the box. The total volume of the box could absorb the produced heat for hours after shut down of the electric power supply, until the reactor temperature reaches that of the air inside the box. Loss of heat by the box can be measured in a control experiment where a simple resistance replaces the reactor and is directly supplied by the same electric power.

  • eboireau

    -What made the choice of a IR camera to measure produced heat, compared to other available methods?

    Can you explain through academic references how IR detection is a reliable measure for irradiated heat?

    -Does the camera measure IR light intensity and at which wavelength(s) (?global intensity over long IR: 7.5 to 13 µm wavelenght; or a full record of intensities over the IR wavelenghs spectrum)
    Does the camera give results directly as temperatures, and why don’t you give the detailed settings of the camera?

    -What is the meaning of this measured temperature?: the temperature of light hence its source surface?
    Is it possible that there can be a bias when the camera detects and measure part of the radiations from the reactor surface (i.e. a monochromatic wavelength, or a defined range) while applying Stefan – Boltzmann’s Law (to a whole spectrum)?

    -Can you explain how radiated energy can be calculated by using only the temperature (of radiated light/reactor surface): is there no need of knowing the IR radiation flux? Imagine a reactor emitting 400W at 400°C and another one (same surface) emitting 1200W also at 400°C. Will the IR camera detect in each case 400°C, and will you calculate the same released energy?

    -Together above reasons, can the measured parameters (IR light/temperature) and calculation be reliable to measure the whole radiated energy? It is known that thermal camera can’t get an accurate temperature of an object. Are your sure that the mathematical algorithms used by camera to calculate temperature for imaging purpose, fit to the purpose of calculating the radiated energy? Many parameters affect the ultimate output for the temperature of the object being viewed… Read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermography#Thermal_energy

    -Is there a possibility that the emissivity of the black paint coat change depending on the temperature? If it was falling dramatically, calculations using its roome temperature emissivity could change a lot in calculated radiated energy!

  • Roger Bird

    Mən yalnız Google Translate sevirəm. Bu oxuya bilərsiniz, xahiş edirik Mənə bildirin. Həqiqətən müxtəlif LENR reaktorlarının daxilində nə baş bilirsinizsə, hesab edirəm, amma bilmirəm, bizə bildirin. Böyük bir gün LENR və həqiqət və E-Cat yayılması var.

  • Roger Bird

    Nate it is getting a little narrow for me, so I will start from the top.

    The most likely explanation, for me, is anomalous heat, rather than a scam. Perhaps you haven’t been around and saw as much as I have. It makes no sense that all the PhDs have nothing better to do than to participate in career-ending either mistakes or scams. I think that everyone is guess what is causing it.

    • jfab

      *Nobody* says they’re actively participating in a scam. So much for this straw-man argument. I’m sure these people are 100% honest, talented and knowledgeable.

      What skeptics are saying is they may be fooled by Rossi’s scam. And obviously, when you’re being fooled, you don’t do it voluntary, so your point makes no sense (“… have nothing better to do than to participate in career-ending mistakes”). You just don’t do mistakes on purpose.

      It’s not because you’re knowledgeable in science that you’re less prone to being manipulated on a “psychological” level. I for one used to be a total believer in the Steorn story, though I don’t think I’m an idiot. I must be naive though, I believed them because I couldn’t even start to imagine people having this kind of behaviour. It’s quite plausible that Essen and others have never been exposed to this type of fraudulent entreprise. They’re not immune yet.

      I’ve asked many times just ONE thing that makes the Rossi story more believable than the Steorn story (appart from the fact that LENR might be a tad less controversial than perpetual motion). Nobody ever dared to reply ;)

      You must remember that Steorn had testimonies from many legitimate engineers, they’ve staged demos (they’ve failed, where Rossi seems to succeed, because Steorn couldn’t actualy use any input power), they had something like 20 employees (!) and so on. Their scam was MORE convincing than Rossi’s. Why would I believe Rossi?

      • Roger Bird

        jfab, lots of people say that the testers are either stupid or participating in a fraud.

  • Owen

    I wish the testers would explain in more detail about the E-Cat that melted down. What exactly did it look like? How much destruction was there? Did the ceramic parts melt? Or did it simply overheat and malfunction? Can they provide a photo?

    • Joe Shea

      I just wonder why they had to use people personally known to Andrea Rossi. Wouldn’t it have been better to use complete strangers to do the test? And why did Levi and another scientist do the 116-hour test alone? Why were the other five not included? How does their absence weigh on the authenticity of the results?

      • Roger Bird

        Joe, Rossi had to use people he trusted because he has industrial secrets inside the E-Cat that cannot be patented in the USA because the US Patent Office will not patent anything that smacks of cold fusion. The other questions about 2 vs. 7 is irrelevant. This testing was paid for by Elforsk, a Swedish consortium of power companies. It’s purpose is research and development.

        • Alp

          I’m not sure why industrial secrets matter here. They can be protected by simply making sure that the experimenters don’t open the ecat. In addition, what happens to the secrets when Rossi delivers the next megawatt power plant to a private customer, as he says he is doing or maybe has already done?

          I think Joe’s question is very valid. Levi was not the best choice of people to run most of the experiment.

          • Roger Bird

            What is the name of that little tissue that you use to blow your nose? We call it a “Klennex”. Why do we use this name brand to describe the little tissue. Because they were the first-est with the most-est. Rossi knows what you know. So he wants his name brand to be shouted from every rooftop. His competitors will be johnny-come-latelys. Yes, the competitors will slowly capture market share, but the key word is “slowly”. But the time that start selling in volume, Rossi will be rich as, well, Rockefeller, perhaps richer.

    • jfab

      Magnesium, thermite, whatever.
      The point is to give a good show, so that before the “real” test begins, everybody is already convinced of the effect.

      • Roger Bird

        jfab, a good show that lasts 116 hours. That is one heck of a show. I hope to obtain some “show” that lasts that long.

        • jfab

          I don’t imply that magnesium or thermite or some similar substance was used during the 116 hours tests, only maybe during the one that caused a “meltdown”, to make a good first impression.
          The very fact that they mention this meltdown in the report even though no valid data was collected, means it actualy worked as planned: everybody was impressed and convinced of the effect before the actual test began.
          So afterward, it was no more a question of the reality of the effect, but only “how big is the effect”. Magic trick!

          • Roger Bird

            jfab, you really are having a lot of trouble, aren’t you. If test 2 and test 3 were so successful, why couldn’t test 1 be real. Just crank up the input or put in more nickel and hydrogen, and watch the excitement.

  • David Albert

    haven’t had time to read all of this so this might be a repeat—the next test should have accurate weights before and after the test to try to determine if the “fuel” is in any way consumed.

  • Long johns

    Do the authors feel that they witnessed something that was well understood and controllable enough for industrial use?

    • Roger Bird

      No, but close.

    • artefact

      The tested device (the e-cat Highh Temperature) is still in development/testing phase. The normal e-cat is said to be ready.

  • Mark

    Can the testers or anyone else knowledgeable enough comment on this article about the recent tests? It claims it was all a scam and shows how the trick supposedly was done:

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2013/05/21/the-e-cat-is-back-and-people-are-still-falling-for-it/

    • Dr. Mike

      Mark,
      I have carefully read the 3rd party report and Ethan Siegel’s blog. Whereas Ethan gives the researchers a grade of “F”, I would give them an “A”. After reviewing the second test (December) results, I had the following concerns:

      1. A portion of the e-cat was screened by structural supports from the thermal imager, resulting in poor temperature measurements of some areas on the device.
      2. There wasn’t a good way to accurately determine an emissivity measurement of the device surface. The thermal imager needed an accurate local emissivity number to calculate the surface temperature. With radiant heat being proportional to temperature to the 4th power and to emissivity to the 1st power, it just wasn’t possible to accurately calculate the radiant power without knowing the emissivity.
      3. The true surface temperature of the device was not cross-checked with a thermocouple.
      4. There was no real control in the experiment (namely, if the Ni powder charge is removed does the excess heat disappear?).

      After reviewing the results of the 3rd test (March), I found that each of these concerns was addressed in this test. (My guess is that other peer reviewers pointed out these needed improvements to the initial report, which was probably written after the second experiment.) I really can’t find much of anything wrong with the report of the third experiment.

      Now perhaps I should address some of Ethan’s concerns. Let’s start with his statement:

      “What we must do, when confronted with a claim that’s this extraordinary — that we have a device, at low-temperature, with neutral atoms, fusing atomic nuclei — is demand evidence that shows this is really true, and that we aren’t falling victim to some elaborate ruse.”

      Actually, Rossi has not told us yet what he believes the mechanism is for the production of the excess heat. Is it really neutral atoms, fusing atomic nuclei? We don’t know yet so let’s just keep an open mind until a well-defined theory is proven with good experimental data.

      Now let’s look at what Ethan claims that needs to be done:

      “There are a few ways we could do it:
      1.Allow a thorough examination of the reactants before the reaction takes place, and another of the products after the reaction, and show that nuclear transmutation has in fact taken place.
      2.Start the device operating by whatever means you want, then disconnect all external power to it, and allow it to run, outputting energy for a sufficiently long time in a self-sustaining mode, until it’s put out a sufficient amount of energy to rule out any conventional (i.e., chemical) energy sources.
      3.Place a gamma-ray detector around the device. Given the lack of shielding and the energies involved in nuclear reactions, gamma-rays should be copious and easy to detect.
      4.Accurately monitor the power drawn from all sources to the device at all times, while also monitoring the energy output from the device at all times. If the total energy output is in sufficient excess to the total energy input to rule out any conventional (i.e., chemical) energy sources, that would also be sufficient.”

      For #1 to happen, Rossi will have to first have to get some patent protection. Ethan is certainly correct that a careful study of the initial reactants and the final products would go a long way toward understanding what’s going on in the device. I assume that Rossi has already done extensive studies on this. His #2 does not make any sense at the present time since it appears that the current device needs periodic power for controllability. As far as ruling out conventional (chemical) energy sources, the data from the experimental show that chemical sources have been ruled out by at least 2 orders of magnitude with the limited duration of experiments #2 and #3. A six month test would stretch this out to more than 4 orders of magnitude. In his item #3 he is assuming that LENR produces high energy gamma rays just like hot fusion. I believe this is a very unscientific assumption on his part. If Ethan would have read the report carefully, he would have found that the input power was carefully monitored by taking 1 per second videos of the power meter. Plot 7 and 8 on page 27 show the input power cycling between ~810W and “OFF”, with the power being “OFF” for about 65% of the time. (One additional recommendation that I would have made to the experimenters would have been to have a separate power meter on the output side of the control box for the entire duration of the experiment. As far as Ethan’s “Power Magic” diagram, the report clearly states that the input to the control box was 3-phase and the output was single phase so the diagram (single phase in, single phase out) is not applicable.

      As evidence of Ethan’s failure to read the report carefully, let’s look at what he said about the power in experiment #3:

      “They claim that the input power is well-measured and comes out to an average of 360 Watts, over a timespan of around four days. They provide no data for this, they simply claim it. What can you do; are they telling the truth, are they telling the truth as best as they know it, or something else? Without the data, how can you know?
      So… it wasn’t a continuous 360 Watts, but rather there was a switching between on/off states, where it was drew over 900 W of power for about a third of the time, and then far less for the other two-thirds. They also only approximate, rather than measure (or provide data for) the amount of power drawn.”

      Both the discussion of how the power was monitored and plots 7 and 8 on page 27 show a sample of the data from input power measurement. When the text of the report says the power was “OFF”, I believe it can be assumed that the input power was measured as “zero” to the accuracy of the meter. Perhaps the scale of the meter should have been changed to see if ht control box was really still drawing some fraction of a Watt in the “OFF” state.

      I do not agree with Ethan’s assessment of the data taking:

      “I’m done pretending that this is science, or that the “data” presented here is scientifically valid. If this were an undergraduate science experiment, I’d give the kids an F, and have them see me. There’s no valid information contained here, just the assumption of success, the reliance on supplied data, and ballpark estimates that appear to be supplied “from the manufacturer.” ”

      The data appears to have been taken quite carefully. Also, the accuracy of the measurements was given for all of the equipment used to take the data. The accuracy of the radiant heat output was greatly improved by using the emissivity calibration dots. The dummy test run provided a reasonable calculation of the contribution of the flange. My conclusion is that Ethan just didn’t read the report carefully enough.

      As far as Ethan’s statement:

      “This is not a valid way to do science at all. And this is certainly not even close to meeting the criteria required for extraordinary evidence to back up such an extraordinary claim.”

      I would have to disagree that this report is not valid science. The report does not include everything that Ethan would like to see (and I would like to see), but he needs to appreciate Rossi’s needs to protect his commercial rights. The report is actually some fairly extraordinary evidence; it’s just not quite (or even close) to the complete evidence needed for full understanding of LENR. Also, since Rossi has not yet presented his theory for LENR (assuming he is partially or mostly correct in his theory), we really don’t know if his claim is really that extraordinary!

      One final thought in this rather long comment is to consider how LENR fits in Ethan’s chart of Science vs. Pseudo-science:
      “Willingness to change with new evidence” Followers of LENR and Rossi appear to be willing to change with new evidence, but Ethan seems to want to ignore the new evidence.
      “Ruthless peer review” By putting this report out on the internet, it is certainly getting ruthless peer review, even by people such as Ethan, who has apparently not read the report carefully.
      “Takes account of new discoveries” It’s the LENR believers that are willing to accept that there is a lot unknown about LENR. Just because there are gamma rays being detected does not mean there is no possible means of producing excess heat from a new nuclear process.
      “Invites criticism” I’m not really sure that anyone invites others to criticize their ideas, but there certainly has been a lot of criticism of cold fusion from those with questionable motives (the hot fusion scientists).
      “Verifiable results” My guess is we won’t have truly verifiable results until someone independently discovers Rossi’s catalyst or he releases the information in a patent. (He won’t get a patent without defining the catalyst.)
      “Limits claim of usefulness” Rossi has done a good job of stating that the initial use of the e-cat is only to produce heat.
      “Accurate Measurements” I believe the experimenters have done almost everything possible to achieve accurate measurements, especially with the improved emissivity measurements in the third experiment.

      One other thing that I would add to this list is “Experiments run with controls”. I was really happy to see that the third experiment included running the device with no charge!

      • GreenWin

        Very well reasoned Mike. Thank you.

        • Barry

          +1

      • pedant

        At last the voice of reason.

      • Shane D.

        Long like you said (1 coffee cup long), but well worth the time.

        Very good Dr. Mike.

      • Alp

        Hi Dr. Mike. What do you think about the objections from skeptics that Rossi may have altered the mains power source by adding DC or RF energy that would not have been measured by the clamp-on ammeters used with the power analyzer?

        • Roger Bird

          Yeah, I am an LENR/Rossi believer, but I still want to hear the answer to this one.

  • LCD

    don’t know if this was mentioned. Would be nice if they could show a block diagram of where the power measurements were made.

    I think you might also ask how they convinced themselves that there was not a high energy density fuel stored in the outer cylinder where the coils were such as a metal and oxygen etc. Reason being is that volume happens to be right around the right volume to produce that kind of energy output.

    • LCD

      How did they convince themselves there was no DC offset in the current supply.

      • Omega Z

        LCD

        They have formulas that can tell them the maximum energy out put for a given mass of known energies sources. They compared the Total Mass of the E-cat & it’s output with know science.

        The E-cat falls somewhere between conventional & Nuclear.
        Even if the E-cat isn’t what Rossi claims, It would still be extraordinary & deserving of serious attention. AKA, An amazing scientific breakthrough. Even if it were just a new storage battery.

      • Alp

        Good question, LCD. Did they use an oscilloscope and a DC meter on the mains power source? I didn’t see that in the report.

    • Roger Bird

      For 116 hours???????????????

    • Shane D.

      LCD,

      I’m no scientist so I don’t know these things. You are though and you do your own LENR research, so would you answer me this:

      How would someone go about packing that extra cylinder space with a “high energy density fuel” -a fuel that could withstand 1000 degree temps without exploding or losing it’s usefullness?

      And then create a method for that fuel, in that confined space, so as it can be slowly metered out, then combusted, over a 5 day period?

      What would be some of those fuels that fit this category?

      In the infrared pictures shown… where the resistance wires show as cooler shadows, wouldn’t such a fuel packed into that outer cylinder indirectly reveal itself also?

      Honest questions. There may be such fuels for all I know and methods to use them in such an arrangement.

      • Roger Bird

        Shane, I am not a scientist, but I play one to my sweet boy.

        But to answer your question, there is no such fuel. The best that we have is gasoline for doing that, although it is probably a little too explosive. But even gasoline is many times too energy poor to do such a thing. Anyone who had access to such a material would be king of the economic and energy world. The horizontal axis at http://phys.org/news/2013-05-rossi-e-cat-energy-density-higher.html is exactly what you are asking for. Notice that the E-Cat measured out at 50,000 more specific energy than gasoline, and there was nothing in between gasoline and the E-Cat. Plutonium is more energy dense, but I doubt that (1) Rossi could enough plutonium to scam someone; if he could get that much plutonium, he would be a threat to global security, and I mean that in the worst possible way. That would be enough plutonium for several Hiroshima sized bombs. (2) There would be lots of radioactivity and the testers would have run from the building. Even a small amount of plutonium would be harmful to their health. But such energy would not cause so much heat, mostly fast neutrons, which don’t warm you, they kill you.

        With regard to specific energy, there is no other explanation other than the anomalous heat explanation, and although some people say that they know how this happens, no one is absolutely certain to the point of being able to test their theory other than making more LENR demonstrations, which is exactly not proof of their theory. To test their theory, they have to predict how they can do it, and then do it. The only proof of any of the LENR theories is to merely redo the LENR. Proof of a theory has to come by some other means, which is predicted by the theory.

        • Shane D.

          Roger,

          Kind of what I thought. Still would like to hear from LCD… he has a lot of background in this stuff.

          Guess then the only other legitimate fraud theory going forward is the hidden wire, or some type electrical mischief.

          In that case one has to ask how Rossi could accomplish this feat, when he’s not there during the testing, and the many trained testers are monitoring the current leaving the wall socket and before the current enters into the ecat?

          Thanks.

          • Roger Bird

            Shane, if you and I are smart enough to run a metal ruler under the foot of the frame holding the E-Cat, and we aren’t even scientists, don’t you think that real scientists, one of whom was the president of the Swedish Skeptics Society, would be smart enough to do that?

  • Alp

    Just another thing that puzzled me: can you ask the investigators why they don’t go back and redo a smaller cooler ecat. Only this time, use fluid-flow calorimetry (or steam sparging and condensing). And this time, use the dummy run just like you so wisely used on these experiments but neglected to include in earlier ones.

    Why go to the older ecats? Because they have a higher COP than is guaranteed for the hot cat and since they operate at much lower temperatures, all the instrumentation work is much easier. Same precautions apply though about checking the mains power for correctness.

    • Omega Z

      Alp

      They monitored the incoming power “Upstream of the control box.”

      “checking the mains power for correctness.” DONE!

      They checked all incoming power at the main input line to the control box & On all the lines from the Control Box to the HT-Cat. They can probably tell you fairly accurately how much power was consumed by the Control Box Itself.

      When Questioned, 1 of the Authors said they did in fact check even the stand the E-cat was mounted on to verify no power was fed in through it & that there was small portions of insulation between the E-cat & the Stand, Although that was to minimize parasitic heat loss purposes.

      • Alp

        Hi Omega.

        How did they check the mains power please? I didn’t see anything about that in the report.