Rossi on Retrofitting Power Stations with E-Cats

A quick post on a question I sent to Andrea Rossi today regarding the use of the Hot Cat. Rossi mentioned yesterday that they had obtained safety certification for the Hot Cat (high temperature E-Cat reactor) so I followed up with this question.

You mention that the hot cat now has safety certification.

Are you working towards having existing power stations able to generate electricity by retrofitting with hot cats as the power source?

Rossi’s reply:

We have first to complete our validation and R&D work on the Hot Cat, before what you say, but the retrofitting of existing power station is an extremely interesting application to think about.

If I am reading between the lines correctly here, it sounds like they could have plans underway on retrofitting power stations, and with good data from long-term testing, they could make a persuasive case to power generating companies, utilities, and governments to start moving over to E-Cat power generation on a large scale.

  • Ash

    Can someone point out where I can find this mythical Hot Cat ‘safety certification’?

    UL certainly knows nothing about it.

  • Roy O’Neil

    Early on, LENR could be used to preheat water fed to coal or natural gas heaters in steam power plants. This would be easy to implement and cost effective. Coal or natural gas would take the water to whatever temperature the turbines required. When the LENR devices go down for maintenance or servicing, more coal or natural gas would be burned, but there would be no disruption.

    • Omega Z

      Or with the Hot-Cat- take it all the way.
      Maintenance would be no different then already implemented for present systems. Units shut down on a rotation bases.
      Also, with LENR allowing economical small scale, It may be economically feasible to build it as a closed loop. This would be huge for water preservation.
      No longer needing to be near a major water source.

  • Bob

    It is premature to start talking about replacing conventional power plants with LENR in the very near future.
    1) Power plants have to be continously in operation for long periods of time at very intense conditions. Very high heat and very large amounts of it. These conditions require equipment that are extremely robust and “hardened”
    1A) We have no evidence that the hot cat can run for extended periods of time. We do not even know what amount of power it is capable of producing. I can produce a 1000 deg temp. with my small 110v wire welder, but the amount of that heat is quite small. Automatically assuming that one can daisy chain hundreds of hot cats together is certainly not a given. The logistics may not work and we do not know how durable these units are.
    2) Existing plants have turbines that require certain volumes of steam at certain temperatures. They have a fairly small window of operating conditiions. Hot Cats would have to be engineered to meet those same parameters. We do not know if the controlling mechanism can regulate the heat and volume parameters required for a plant.
    2A) The hot cat has been reported to “run away”. It also appears that pushing too much water/coolant through will kill the reaction. The higher the temp and larger the power/heat volume, the more difficult this is. At power plant levels, we do not even know if this would be possible.
    3)If 1 & 2 above are found plausible, they will still be quite expensive and complicated to implement. Companies are not going to put in orders for hundreds of “conversion units” until at least a few have been proven to:
    A) Actually work
    B) Work for the time required to pay for the dollars invested
    C) Have no critical issues pop up with unknown radiation etc.
    (Radiation has been reported at high temps in the past)
    The above is not to say it cannot happen. It is just almost a given that it will not happen in the next year or two. Looking at past technologies that deal with high power volumes (we are not talking iPhones here!) it will take several years.
    If safety and certification were not an issue, the product that could be developed the fastest would be hot water heating for buildings. It requires relatively low temperatures and lower volumes of that heat. The lower the temp and smaller the volume, the easier to regulate and control.
    If this were not the case, we would all have steam powered generators at our houses now! Steam engines used to be found on almost every farm at the turn of the century, so it is not the “technical” problem of steam. It is only when you have to reach high temp and high volume for generating electricity that really makes impractical for home use.
    No, it will not be the governments nor the “big companies” that prevent wide spread use of LENR. Just like microwave ovens, on demand water heaters and electric cars, it will be the technology involved. Once the technology matures, the markets for it will expand.

    • Omega Z

      Long term running, Generators are started up & shut down continuously on on a regular basis in order to load balance.
      All the components of a Generating plant are periodically shut down usually on a schedule for preventive maintenance
      This is not an Issue for LENR. Most of your concerns are unwarranted.

      All your doing is replacing existing Gas/Coal burners that heat the boilers with the LENR/E-cat.
      The present ongoing tests are to determine there ability to address your primary concerns. Volume & Stability.They wont start retrofitting until there answered. They’ll have a pretty good Idea in Year at most. They will initially start the transition with caution. Similar to any other tech. The pace will gradually pick up.

      The Graduallity will have more to do with gearing up the industry then the tech itself. Takes time to build a new manufacturing base & then expand it. Also requires additional Material Resources, Skilled Labor, & Most of all, Financial means- To the end of your post, Will be determined by what the market can bear. This will easily take 2 or 3 decades.

      The Plus side is this. Where conventional systems are only Economical at Large Scale, E-cat technology will be very economical at small scale.
      It in fact being small, may be able to incorporate a looped system no longer requiring being close to a large water source for boilers or cooling. Water resource preservation.

      This allows them to be built close to point of electrical sales greatly reducing the energy we now use/lose just to transport it hundreds of miles.

      The E-cat likely will cost as much or more then the burners they replace, but this cost will come down in time. Aside from that It will be more the offset by the cost in fuel. $40/$50 dollars a ton just for SHIPPING Coal. More if it goes international. And Don’t forget the cost of pollution. If Governments have their say, could easily add a $120 a ton. They also have similar carbon schemes for other fossil fuels.

      A new E-cat Plant could possibly pay for itself in 3-4 years in savings verse 30-40 years. 5 years tops.

      • fritz194

        There are different types of plants…
        Some facilities / especially which supply heat as by-product are run the entire winter season.
        In general – the regulation is done with more lightweight plants – Because of limited cycling capabilities – the big ones are kept almost on. (same with nuclear).

  • fanboy

    It has been 3 years (?) since Ive first heard that the Ecat is working, has been validated, safe and might soon sell (either for personal use or commercial use). Still nothing is out. wassup

    • Omega Z

      Took about 6 years for the smart phone from concept to market.
      Far longer then the original thought that it might take 2.

      Things seldom happen as fast as the Product developer thinks they may. Many pitfalls along the way. Delays are usually inevitable.

    • GreenWin

      i am endlessly amused by this outdated field manual FUD tactic, “where is it?” It’s as if these intel units WANT to be flagged by EBE-pattern recognition. Trolls, if you WANT to be tagged as frustrated FUDsters keep using the same tired field manual tactics. You are powerless to have any effect.

  • fritz194

    There is another issue on retro-fitting de-comissioned plants…
    Apart from the emission issue – running caloric plants the traditional way only makes sense if you squeeze out efficiency in the entire chain to the second digit below comma.
    If the fuel is almost “for free” you can run those plants with elderly generators and historical turbines even with a fraction of nominal load – for extended lifetime.
    And that´s a definitely game-changing opportunity.

  • Omega Z

    I see retrofitting as a short term situation. Most existing power plants are at end of cycle. Many are already running on an extended license because it costs to much to replace & a long waiting list of new plants yet to be built.

    Once the technology becomes proven, you’ll likely see smaller Generating plants being built close to point of use. Because these will require less resources then the Old. Roll out will be slower then what you think. They will suffer the same fate that exists for building new plants now. Raw Resources, People with the skills to do the work, And Last but Not Least, Money.

    All that Wealth people quibble about is already over priced Assets. To generate cash requires selling & if all want to sell immediately, Those assets just vaporize to nothing. Like selling your house at auction & no buyers show up. Mostly worthless. So when LENR comes to market is where perceptions meet reality. It will take several decades.

    China or India will sell them to you. If you keep up with whats happening, You would no that these will be no cheaper then what they can be built anywhere else. Especially in the U.S. The Price tide is changing. The U.S. may soon be able to sell to the Chinese cheaper then they can build them.

    China, India, If they build them, they will keep them for themselves. They need them more then most & as I pointed out, They would have no extra to sell for decades. By then will have built our own, & it will be time to start replacing them. Consider the World is going to need 400% to 500% more energy then we have today.

    It will require a lot of Stainless steel to feed the demand. It will take years to expand capacity to produce it. Prices will spike. It is already an over extended market. Prices have increased about 3 to 4 fold even during the recession.

    Build your Own. I don’t think Rossi is concerned with Individuals. Just Big Money Corporations. You have an over simplified image of the E-cat. It’s more complex then you realize. It requires knowledge in multiple disciplines, skills & Equipment to build it. And you wont get most of this stuff at a hardware store.

    Rossi says it would only require about 1% of present Nickle mined. That’s based on current Energy use. Overtime, look for it to exceed 10%. Demand will increase many fold. And he isn’t including transportation.

    He’s considering the Charge of a few grams. Those heating elements no doubt are of a nickle allow. The Cheaper option. Other metals for the heat exposure involved cost much more. I’m sure there’s more then a few grams in each heater.

    Build your Own. Build extra steel cores. You’ll need 1 every time you reload. When the 3rd party test was done, how did they open it. Cut it open with a lathe. Recall they allowed for the metal shavings when they weighed it. It is hammer welded. Hermetically sealed. Because threads would leak gases. It’s not reusable. Recycle it or throw away. This is why they reload with a cartridge with the old for exchange. Also because of the nickle powder, it may be label toxic as CFL’s are. Special disposal.

    Careful not to touch the heater coils when you install them. Oil Even body oil will cause them to burn out prematurely where you come in contact with it. There’s issue with the ceramics also. Especially after being extremely heated. Some of several reasons Rossi has expressed the need for a technician for reloading. They can check these things.
    So if the information should become available & you want to build 1, go for it. I probably could, but, I’ll buy 1, It will be far cheaper & comes with a guarantee & will be certified. Should something go wrong, It’s on them & my Insurance. Not my pocket…

  • SiriusMan

    I find this discussion about retro-fitting power plants to be both interesting and realistic. I agree the authorities and/or existing energy companies perceive this as a ‘safe’ and acceptable way to introduce LENR power sources.

    My only question is whether ALL countries will play along with this plan. Once the LENR secret is out, I expect there will be mad rush to reverse-engineer the device. Thousands of engineers around the world will be trying to build their own devices – and presumably detailed open source plans would quickly appear on the web. At that point, who is going to prevent an Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Brazilian (etc.) entrepreneur from setting up a factory and selling domestic E-Cats? In some cases, I believe there will be support from their governments – who are sick of energy shortages and being held captive by the oil/coal cartels.

    Western IP rights are being violated by the sale of all sorts of reverse-engineered electronics on sale in various countries. So I don’t believe legal threats will suffice.

    In this scenario, the slow-and-steady roll-out amounts to little more than wishful thinking from the people who control the existing energy monopolies. No doubt there is much hair-pulling going on behind the scenes as to how best handle this.

    • mcloki

      So the benefit of the world, should be put on hold while lawyers get rich.

      • SiriusMan

        I certainly hope not – I look forward to seeing energy monopolies collapse as the new LENR-powered world emerges.

        I was just questioning whether they have any degree of control over when & how it happens.

    • Buck

      There will be IP Theft and no one can stop that eventuality; extremes of self-interest ensures that outcome. And the well run LENR company will look to manage rather than deny that reality.

      IMO, there is no use second guessing the nature of each LENR company’s final decision. They are spending years assessing how to minimize known risks and maximize profits.

      All the different players (LENR cos, Customers, Governments, BOG players, thieves) will make their best decisions and chips will just have to fall where they may . . . transition to a LENR economy will be mess.

      If this means that only 10% or 20% of the nations get a set of LENR retrofitted power plants in the first 2-3-5 years, then so be it. You can easily imagine the extreme impact of fossil fuel pricing due to the progressive shifting of the demand curve. At that point, there will be no putting the genie back in the bottle.

  • Buck

    Frank’s update on the “More on E-Cat Validations” thread cinches it for me for a reasonably probable scenario for the US Market, at least for today. Other developed nations are equally possible with similar scenarios.

    LENR companies will buy and convert upwards of 100-400 decommissioned power plants beginning XX/XX/201X over a 1-3 year period. They will run them under tight security and control with 3rd party/Gov’t oversight for 2-3-5 years developing a history of maturing standards of safe predictable operations all the while working on consumer LENR products. Time will be spent to gain more understanding in the theoretical physics and thereby a greater sense of safety and control, efficiency and effectiveness. Information about LENR will move into the general population. And consumer marketing research and strategies will be refined.

    At some point, IMO before the end of the 5th year, a LENR company will judge the timing to be best to enter the consumer LENR market. And, interested OEMs will be scrambling to gain the contract for a simple reason: LENR provides such material cost benefits to the consumer that any hesitant OEM will be overtaken by more aggressive and open OEMs.

    My guess is that 201X will be a very interesting year.

  • GreenWin

    Nice to see the steady rollout of information paving the transition to distributed LENR. District level Combined Heat and Power systems are the ideal demonstration of LENR’s clean, green, abundant benefits. Of course we will expect FUD and naysaying from the skeps. Their complaints will mirror those of a century ago. When Edison first invited the scientific community to witness his electric light bulb – the highbrow experts sniffed:

    “Such startling announcements as these should be deprecated as being unworthy of science and mischievous to its true progress.” -Sir William Siemens, President British Association for the Advancement of Science

    “The Sorcerer of Menlo Park appears not to be acquainted with the subtleties of the electrical sciences. Mr. Edison takes us backwards. One must have lost all recollection of American hoaxes to accept such claims.” Professor Theodose-Achille-Louis, Comte du Moncel, French Legion of Honor, member Academy of Sciences, Editor ‘La Lumiere Electrique.’

  • Iggy Dalrymple
  • Colibric41AC

    it’s the simpliest cheapest and natural way when coal et ch4 will deplete.
    proofs please

  • US_Citizen71

    The imminent decommissioning of coal fired electrical generation plants throughout the eastern part of the US would create many opportunities to do this. The boiler is the cheap part of the operation and keeping the plant open would limit the clean up needed to be done on the site versus what would have to be done if it was closed down completely.

    • Buck

      If memory serves me, I remember reading that a relatively large number of coal fired plants out of more than 1000 are facing the 12/31/2014 decommissioning date.

      As a coincidence, that is the Brillouin target date for handing off their high-end unit to the operation engineers for designing/engineering the actual installable commercial unit, as described in the Brillouin interview below.

      • GreenWin

        All US utilities know about this. They have since the May 8th private meeting with President Obama – two weeks prior to the public E-Cat validation report.

        • Buck

          Are you saying that LENR was part of the Oval Office conversation? Or, are you referring to Obama’s Executive Order focusing on and promoting the installation of CHP units into retired power plants? Or, both?

      • Fortyniner

        The same thing (forced closure of coal power stations) on ‘green’ grounds is happening in the UK, but here it seems to be a part of a government plan to force/justify the building of new nuclear power stations against the objections of most of the informed population and many neighbouring countries.

        Is it possible that in the US, the real purpose is to justify widespread ‘fracking’, against the objections of informed citizens, in order to satisfy the lobbying of this industry? (i.e. LENR isn’t yet a factor in government plans). In this case, some newer coal power stations may well be ‘retrofitted’ – but to gas firing.

        It seems to me that the sort of timescale envisaged by Buck above is likely to be realistic (except perhaps for domestic systems) and while governments will obviously be aware of the advances being made in cold fusion, they will not yet be ready to factor these in as (a) there is not yet (AFAIK) any organised lobby for CF and (b) most current politicians will be long out of office by the time it becomes a real option.

        It seems to be a truism that politicians never do anything for the good of their countries or people, only for their own gain in one currency or another. This being the case there is not yet any political ‘motivation’ to support the introduction of LENR – therefore it is not happening, and will not until an organised lobby for CF is able to offer the appropriate inducements (of course, covert military development is another matter entirely).

        If we look to politicians to spearhead LENR I think we will wait in vain, and the likes of Obama, Cameron, Harper, Hollande etc. are likely to be irrelevant. The process will (if it is allowed to go forward) be a purely commercial operation handled by the existing energy cartel. The only time politicians will be involved is when the cartel wants legislation passed to create, reinforce or fund its monopoly on cold fusion systems.

        • Buck

          49r, to me your discussion boils down to an issue of political influence and lobbying power. This will be especially relevant for the impediments thrown up against the actual authorization, and implementation of the 1st retrofit power plant. This relevance is driven by the LENR communities understanding that LENR WILL provide ALL the benefits we’ve repeatedly read. Big Oil/Gas/Coal does not want to let LENR benefits become part of the public record or provide material for a LENR PR machine.

          IMO, this is where the LENR businesses, in addition to lobbyists, will need to play each country against the other . . . For example, I assume that Elforsk represents a foot in the door for a retrofit of a power plant. Or, Brillouin’s Chinese patent suggests negotiations with the Chinese political structure will be positive. Or, Japan’s social and governing desire to move away from Nuclear power will ease the negotiations. It will then be the responsibility of the LENR businesses to apply pressure on the hesitant governments.

          In my simplistic view, pick the right countries to play against each other, and the egg will crack.

          • Fortyniner

            Buck – I’m not really suggesting that LENR will be actively suppressed by the energy cabal, just that it will be ‘captured’ and contained behind monopoly walls so that it can be rolled out gradually in a way that suits these interests. As every country will therefore seem to be introducing CF at a reasonable speed, first as retrofits (that taxpayers may well find themselves funding) and later as distributed small-scale CHP installations, it will probably not be possible to play one country against another.

            As it will be very easy to introduce a fear factor by means of misleading propaganda, there will be almost no demand for domestic CF systems, and in any case manufacturers are unlikely to have any interest in the idea for IP security reasons. Most people will of course be unaware that this might even be a possibility. Probably after a decade or so of safe power generation (assuming no ‘accidents’, then LENR marine propulsion and perhaps other high-output (corporate-scale) uses may follow.

            The fact is that that all the countries (including the BRICS) that people seem to assume will allow unregulated development of private/domestic CF will in fact prove to be just as keen on maintaining the technology in corporate or state hands as US/Europe, and in the (IMHO) unlikely event of a breach, the offfending country will be subjected to heavy sanctions until they see the light. You only have to look at Iran to see what the US and its shadows can arrange when even a large and influential state kicks over the traces.

            Perhaps some S. American country that is already in outlaw territory such as Ecuador or Venzuela might prove to be the exception IF small scale LENR is ever developed, but I don’t personally expect even my kids to see that happening. I think we may need to be content with a gradual replacement of the existing energy infrastructure, including nuclear, spread over several decades.

            • Buck

              49r, I believe that a global full court press to convert rapidly to LENR would change society so much that even governments are looking for means to meter out the evolution and transition from existing energy sources to LENR. I don’t like this, but I believe it to be a pragmatic reality which colors my personally acceptable scenarios.

              Probably the strongest reason for hope and my proposing a consumer LENR product in about +7 years is a simplistic three-fold view. First, LENR by its apparent nature does not fit within the definition of a Natural Monopoly, an important concept for governmental policy wonks. The traditional benefits of centralized power generation and distribution appears to go away with these small LENR devices with COPs potentially in the range of +100-200. The Natural Monopoly of power/electricity distribution will likely remain for a very long time.

              Second, my lay perspective sees the LENR physics and technology evolving rapidly over the first 10-20 years. And, my understanding of Brillouin technology based upon the interview cited elsewhere, appears to show no ionizing radiation. IMO, these two factors removes the sole source of fear that would keep LENR out of consumer hands.

              Third, looking only at democratic rather than autocratic societies, it is important to recognize that different nations have different Political/Cultural definitions of acceptable legal forms of Capitalism. A simplified dichotomy has a psychopathic greed/profit at any expense at one end and a social benefit at the expense of personal greed at the other end. IMO, this latter style of nation will recognize the social benefits of consumer LENR units and buy the LENR products by the boat load. My hope is that these nations will be the source of global social pressure.

              I of course am curious on how it all will actually plays out. I do agree with you that the transition will potentially be over several decades.

  • Iggy Dalrymple

    The OILPRICE article on Brillouin mentions that they play to buy a stranded conventional power station and retro-fit a Brillouin unit into it.
    UTX Carrier to form joint venture with Robert Bosch to develop geothermal energy. This would cast doubt on theory that UTX is Rossi’s US partner, UNLESS the geothermal story is disinfo.

  • Buck

    Frank, you are on a roll with great reporting.