Interview with Sten Bergman of StonePower, Author of Elforsk Report

I was very pleased that Sten Bergman, founder of Swedish energy consulting company StonePower AB, was willing to conduct the following interview with me. Mr. Bergman was the co-author of  the recently published Elforsk report on Low Energy Nuclear Reactions


Can you provide a little background about yourself, and how you became involved with StonePower?

I studied among others plasma physics at Chalmers University in Gothenburgh, Sweden in the early 70-ies. My first work was to commission nuclear power stations in Sweden (Oskarshamn, and Barsebäck). Later I helped start up large wind power plants for Sydkraft (now EON). Being R&D manager for ABB Relays and manager for ASIC Design at ABB Corporate Research in Västerås. I came to Japan in 1989 as a Science and Technology Attaché.

I Became Director for Transmission and Distribution at Elforsk (Swedish Electrical Utilities R&D organization) in 1993. From 1999-2002 I served as a Senior Energy Specialist at the World Bank in Washington DC, working with the Africa Rural and Renewable Energy Initiative.

From 2002, when returning to Sweden, I started my own consultant company, StonePower AB in 2002. Since 2012 I am also president of Elbil2020 AB, a local initiative in Stockholm to demonstrate electro-mobility in Sweden. From 2013 I am further partly employed by SP (The Swedish Technical Research Institute) to work on Smart Grid Research and Demonstrations.

What are the missions and objectives of StonePower?

StonePower´s mission is to help NGO´s, large and small (innovation)companies with technology dissemination and market development, especially when it comes to “breakthrough technologies”.

StonePower has been project manager for a number of rural pilot projects in Southern Africa, performed studies of cost effective electrification etc., for the World Bank, Bilateral Donors, WWF and private companies. StonePower supported the development of Rural Pilot projects in Uganda, Tanzania, Swaziland, South Africa and Zambia.

StonePower worked a few years as Board member and Marketing Director for Globelive International, a Swedish startup company specializing in water desalination.

Since 2007 StonePower has been Project Manager for “Plug-in Hybrids and EV infrastructure project” at Elforsk. In 2012 StonePower developed a new Smart Grid technology and formed Smart Innovation Sweden, a company that works with basalt fiber reinforced concrete technology for smart grid applications.

How did you become interested in the LENR field?

The interest started already in the 70s when studying plasma phenomena, like solar protuberances. As a Science Counselor I followed some Cold Fusion development in Japan and in the 90s I made a “classified” preliminary analysis of Joseph Papp´s “Nobel Engine”. Since then I have closely followed the field of plasma related phenomena and new nuclear technologies,  developments in superconductivity, ball-lightning, etc.

How did you get involved in preparing a report on LENR for Elforsk?

I suggested to Elforsk already in 2010 to have a closer look at Cold Fusion/LENR technologies and got the task of preparing an overview report together with Margaretha Engström from Vattenfall in 2013.

What was your role in the preparation of the Elforsk report (you are not the only author)?

Margaretha, with a similar plasma physics and nuclear engineering background, prepared a comprehensive internal document at Vattenfall, examining the market potential for LENR technologies seen from a utility perspective. I complemented this study with some plasma physics background, patent analysis and edited parts the report for Elforsk.

After carrying out your research, what is your evaluation of the state of LENR, and of its potential as an energy solution?

Current analysis and evaluation of LENR technology development implies positive signs for practical engineering to come in the next decade. Theory also needs to be further developed  in order to make LENR scientifically accepted. As an energy source LENR could be a severe competitor to all fossil-fuel and Renewable electric/heat generation, as it can be scaled both upwards- and downwards. As such LENR can be the key enabler for the smart grids to come. For that reason LENR Power generators could serve as the source for numerous micro-grids for the 1,2 billion people not yet connected to electric grids.

What can you tell me about how officers at Elforsk have received the report — do you know anything about their intentions with regard to LENR?

Elforsk has an open mind on LENR and is interested to find out more about the technology and its practical applications in order to evaluate its future potential. It does not mean Elforsk is 100% convinced of the LENR itself, but as a strategic element for utilities, it can be a disruptive technology with huge impact on the electricity/and heat markets.

You are a consultant to various NGOs and governmental bodies — what level of awareness and interest have you found in LENR among people you work with.

LENR is a “new technology” on the verge of being accepted but it will take a fairly long time to penetrate NGOs and Governments. It is also a hard task for global power industries to adopt, as initially the markets will be both scattered and small. The immune defense of large companies is currently blocking much LENR experiments. Also LENR technology is not on the radar for R&D financing, so this will keep the experiments very much in a hidden state.  However, as I see it, the interest now grows rapidly in certain  SME´s and innovation companies. Breakthroughs, will of course change the paradigm when it comes. 

Recently the World Bank and United Nations issued a challenge to provide funding for energy for all, which would require raising  $600-800 billion per year until 2030. Do you have any idea how they plan to meet this massive goal, and if LENR might figure into their plans?

I have no idea how WB and UN  plan to meet the goal in the “Energy for All initiative”. Based on my past experience from the Africa Rural and Renewable Energy Initiative, WB did not favour adoption of new technologies, as WB procurement rules clearly stated “proven technology” as the only solution for support. By this rule LENR cannot come into consideration, unless there are some specifically demonstrators developed. I believe the initiatives for that must come from other organizations.

What is your outlook regarding the future of energy technology? What technologies are you most enthusiastic about, and why?

I think that future energy systems must be much smarter than today´s system. This will mean asynchronous power delivery and Digital Power Grids and we will therefore need more energy storage at local level. This will also open up for small-scale power generation, where LENR is a potential candidate both for electricity and heating/cooling.

I have a feeling LENR is a robust technology, (as we see more and more variations) and given that we can manage to control any thermal “runaways”, it would fit nicely in that future grid system, both in rural and urban settings.



  • bachcole

    Seems a tad depressing to me. He doesn’t share my level of enthusiasm and he is much closer to the action.

    • Bernie Koppenhofer

      I have had dealings with power companies they are extremely conservative, extremely bureaucratic adopting new technologies takes decades not years. Their bureaucracy is worse than the Federal Government because Power company executives are a lot smarter.

      • bachcole

        Have you had much interaction with public school administrators. They are the most deceptive, dishonest, CYA people on the planet. (:->)

        • Bernie Koppenhofer

          I agree, I served on a school board for six years, it is training ground for our disfuntional school system.

          • bachcole

            Dear Bernie, that is very interesting. I don’t actually think that school administration as a career attracts evil people. I do believe that school administration (and teachers) is the most exposed, vulnerable, and under siege part of government that we have. They get it from the top. They get it from parents. They get it from students in middle and high school. They get it from unions. They have a siege mentality because they ARE under siege. I try to be nice to them, understanding this. But I still don’t trust them. (:->)

  • Alain Samoun

    Thanks Frank! Very good indeed.
    Just a little error:
    “preliminary analysis of Joseph Papp´s “Nobel Engine””
    Probably it’s “Noble engine” Noble from “noble gases”

  • greggoble

    “As a Science Counselor I followed some Cold Fusion development in Japan and in the 90s I made a ‘classified’ preliminary analysis of Joseph Papp´s ‘Nobel Engine’.”

    Telling tale, I for one find evidence that developments in LENR energy are farther advanced than the DOD or DOE has allowed any to tell of. Classified is certainly a controlling issue in regards to LENR developments.

    From the Defense Intelligence Agency report, in regards to cold fusion stating, “….LENR power sources could produce the greatest transformation of the battlefield for U.S. forces since the transition from horsepower to gasoline power.” http://cdn.coldfusionnow.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/DIA_2009_11_Tech_Forecast.pdf

    Also the LENR Boeing 747 being developed since 2011 through NASA, yet the NASA LENR disclosure was not until last year.

    Cold Fusion LENR Powered Boeing 747
    May 2012 NASA Contract NNL08AA16B – NNL11AA00T – Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research – Phase II N+4 Advanced Concept Development

    “Even though we do not know the specific cost of the LENR itself, we assumed a cost of jet fuel at $4/gallon and weight based aircraft cost. We were able to calculate cost per mile for the LENR equipped aircraft compared to a conventional aircraft (Figure 3.2). Looking at the plots, one could select a point where the projected cost per mile is 33% less than a conventionally powered aircraft.”

    3.0 LENR Requirements Analysis …pg 24
    Figure 3.1 – Potential Heat Engines for LENR Systems ..pg 25
    Figure 3.2 – Parametric LENR and Heat Engine Performance Parameters ……………….pg 25
    6.2.3 Low Energy Nuclear Reactor Technologies ……pg 82
    Table 6.3 – LENR Technologies Success Criteria …….pg 86
    Also pgs 15, 18, 19, 20, and 21.

    These are the 39 folks who have been involved in this since May, 2011

    Bradley, Marty (Boeing)
    Daggett, David (Boeing)
    Droney, Christopher(Boeing)
    Hoisington, Zachary (Boeing)
    Kirby, Michelle (GT)
    Murrow, Kurt (GE)
    Ran, Hongjun (GT)
    Nam, Teawoo (GT)
    Tai, Jimmy (GT)
    Hammel, Jeff (GE)
    Perullo, Chris (GT)
    Guynn, Mark (NASA)
    Olson, Erik (NASA)
    Leavitt, Larry (NASA)
    Allen, Timothy (Boeing)
    Cotes, Dwaine (Boeing)
    Guo, Yueping (Boeing)
    Foist, Brian (Boeing)
    Rawdon, Blaine (Boeing)
    Wakayama, Sean (Boeing)
    Dallara, Emily (Boeing)
    Kowalski, Ed (Boeing)
    Wat, Joe (Boeing)
    Robbana, Ismail (Boeing)
    Barmichev, Sergey (Boeing)
    Fink, Larry (Boeing)
    Sankrithi, Mithra (Boeing)
    White, Edward (Boeing)
    Gowda, Srini (GE)
    Brown, Gerald (NASA)
    Wahls, Richard (NASA)
    Wells, Doug (NASA)
    Jeffries, Rhett (FAA)
    Felder, James (NASA)
    Schetz, Joe (VT)
    Burley, Casey (NASA)
    Sequiera, Christopher (FAA)
    Martin, John (NASA)
    Kapania, Rakesh (VT)

    http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20120009038_2012008934.pdf

    Also the Genie reactor technology out of SPAWAR, two patents filed in Europe, and the U.S. in 2009 and 2007. This important LENR technology still has not been presented by them to the scientific community, or the people of the U.S., nor to the nuclear commissions of the world who are struggling with spent fuel issues. Publication of these patents was delayed till 2013, leading me to believe that they were ‘classified’.

    System and Method for Generating Particles – US8419919 B1
    United States Navy Patent Cold Fusion LENR Energy
    Publication number – US8419919 B1
    Publication type – Grant
    Application number – 11/859,499
    Publication date – Apr 16, 2013
    Filing date – Sep 21, 2007
    Inventors; Pamela A. Boss, Frank E. Gordon, Stanislaw Szpak, Lawrence Parker Galloway Forsley

    and this “sister” patent

    The Genie Reactor Patent http://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detailPdf.jsf?ia=US2009001213&docIdPdf=id00000008751737&name=(WO2009108331)A%20HYBRID%20FUSION%20FAST%20FISSION%20REACTOR&woNum=WO2009108331&prevRecNum=80&nextRecNum=82&recNum=80&queryString=FP%3A%28G21B%29&office=&sortOption=&prevFilter=&maxRec=1082

    Global Energy Corporation

    “We’re generation five,” Dr. Khim told the Variety during an exclusive interview, “and first of all this is a brand new concept.” He said safety is the first consideration, and that cannot be ensured by building higher walls around reactors, as Japan saw last year with Fukushima.

    “You have to change the basic science of nuclear power,” Khim explained. “We’ve been working with the U.S. Navy for about 22 years and the basic science phase is now over. Now we’re going into commercial development, which the Navy is not going to do.” But Khim says the science has been repeatedly duplicated by the Navy, and has been proven, recognized and published.

    Officials of the Navy on Guam, including Capt. John V. Heckmann Jr., CO of Naval Facilities and a professional engineer, attended the GEC briefing.

    The GEC board of directors, Khim says, includes some well-known Washington D.C. Players, including former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, former Congressman and Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, and former U.S. Congressman Tom Davis, among others.”

    To top it all off, we have Space Works developing LENR powered spaceplanes, under a NASA contract in 2009.

    Seems Langley has had LENR energy long before announcing. Bushnell announced it last year.

    http://www.sei.aero/eng/papers/uploads/archive/Advanced_Concepts_Group_ACG_Overview.pdf

    Advanced Propulsion System Concept Studies
    Customer: NASA LaRC
    Duration: 6 months
    Date: 2009-2010

    SpaceWorks conducted separate vehicle design studies evaluating the potential impact of two advanced propulsion system concepts under consideration by NASA Langley Research Center:

    • The first concept was an expendable multistage rocket vehicle which utilized an advanced Air-Augmented Rocket (AAR) engine. The effect of various rocket thrust augmentation ratios were identified the resulting vehicle design where compared against a traditional expendable rocket concept

    • The second concept leverage Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR), a new form of energy generation being studied at NASA LaRC, to determine how to utilize an LENR-based propulsion system for space access. For this activity, two LENR-based rocket engine propulsion performance models where developed jointly by SpaceWorks and LaRC personnel.

  • blanco69

    ‘…the paradigm when it comes.’ Bergman is well qualified to assess the future of LENR. For him to expect a paradigm shift from LENR is very encouraging. I also love the openness we see from Swedish sources. For someone who is so clearly embroiled in energy R&D, Bergman seems quite happy to share his opinion. Great stuff! Thanks Frank.

  • maryyugo

    Why not ask him specifically about his opinion of Rossi and the recent tests of the hot cat?

    • Buck

      IMO, you are a hired troll, a hack, and a bit of a misanthrope . . . A perception where we will always disagree.

    • US_Citizen71

      I would like to hear his opinion of Rossi as well. But, I would think that he is not involved in the current tests, so his opinion of them would be as valuable as mine. If you are referring to the tests reported last March, I suggest reading the Elforsk report since he co-wrote it, I would assume that how he feels about the situation is very similar to the report.

  • GreenWin

    Thanks Frank for this excellent interview. Given the recent acceptance of LENR as a viable path for ARPA-E funding in the States, we may see more public financing globally. Mr. Bergman is in a good position to recommend that, at least in Sweden. Regardless, the race to commercialization will continue to accelerate.

    IMO, Mr. Bergman’s view of LENR supporting the “smart grid” is misdirected. Centrally generated energy is an outdated concept. LENR allows the generation of energy locally and abundantly. This obviates the need for a “smart” grid that turns your dish washer on or off. Local CHP systems connected via microgrids is all that is needed.

    We can then employ thousands/millions to decommission old power plants and millions of miles of transmission towers and cables. Disruption can lead to new prosperity.

    • Pekka Janhunen

      This is playing with terminology, but those microgrids wouldn’t necessarily have to be unsmart either.

      • GreenWin

        Very true, Pekka. I would expect them to be smart enough to distinguish between sovereign meddling and real benefit.

    • US_Citizen71

      While I agree out current grid model is long outdated and that our next investment in power infrastructure should be to spread out creation of power. I also believe the every person having their own LENR Genset is likely many decades to close to a century off. Power generation gains efficiency with scale to a point. The more efficient the less costly. Those facts combined with the material needs to build the small Gensets and time and effort to operate them, many will opt out of owning one at current tech levels. When you pull a tab or peel a sticker to start the reaction of the LENR fueled battery for your house, car, RV, etc… then we’ll see a high adoption rate.

      • GreenWin

        Thanks for your thoughts US. A century? E-Cat will likely be prototyping in a light industrial setting by year end. We already have growth in micro-CHP (Honda, Bosch, NRG Beacon10, Whispergen, Nirvana Energy TAPS) running on NG. These gas-fired micro-CHP appliances establish the market. Subsequent mods allow drop-in replacement of gas heat with LENR heat. The first of these LENR units may not appear in the States – possibly in Japan or China or Sweden. But they will appear.

        • US_Citizen71

          I think think 20-30 years most likely, but if you have a very public failure/melt down of a first adopter application, something like a Hindenburg then I think it could be as much as a century. Just covering all bases.

  • Pekka Janhunen

    “Also LENR technology is not on the radar for R&D financing, so this will keep the experiments very much in a hidden state.” It’s self-evident, but worth reminding people about. On average one gets what one pays for: public funding==> open knowledge, no public funding==>no open knowledge. Sometimes those who oppose public funding for LENR criticise LENR for the lack of open knowledge.

  • Pekka Janhunen

    As a linguistic note, sten=stone, berg=mountain, hill. So StonePower rocks.

  • Daniel Maris

    Excellent and thoughtful article.

    I particularly like the reference to the “immune defence” systems of organisations – very much how I see the problem of getting LENR accepted for further investigation.

    His comments seem, not surprisingly, to be pretty much as in the Elforsk report – healthy interest, rather than unhealthy scepticism and an acceptance that in principle LENR is possible (or perhaps, better, that there is nothing to suggest it is not possible).

  • Buck

    Frank, again you’ve done a wonderful job. I do have a request, a question.

    Like us, you’ve combed through a great deal of incredible information over the last week. And now you’ve had the opportunity to listen to Mr. Bergman whose Elforsk report was filled with portense. How was his demeanor? His level of excitement? The tone of his responses? His emotions towards LENR technology? In the end, when you pulled all these factors together, what was the impression you were left with after you heard his responses?

    What do you think he would say about China’s $1.7B investment in the industrial incubator park which will house many ventures including the “nickle reaction” business and the potential involvement of China’s leadership?

    Again, thank you for the great work.

    • Omega Z

      Buck
      This last statement says Tons.

      “I have a feeling LENR is a robust technology, (as we see more and more variations) and given that we can manage to control any thermal “runaways”,

      If the Runaways can be managed, It’s a go…
      It also indicates to me that he is much aware of whats going on.

      His other responses also tell us a lot. Many are well aware of whats going on & there is also much Resistance & Blocking of research…

      Another statement irritates me. Not At Him, But at the view of Scientists.

      “Theory also needs to be further developed in order to make LENR scientifically accepted”

      If it Works- It Works. Accept it. This Nonsense that if you don’t have a completed Theory, it can’t work needs to stop.
      By their View, Math can not work. The Theory of mathematics is not complete.
      Therefore, All Theories can not be considered complete.

      • malkom700

        That we do not know how something works does not mean it can not be used. Early man was smarter, because long used fire without understanding how it works. When in China start to use the technology also we will be forced to do the same. Nice perspective.

      • roseland67

        Omega Z,
        Agree, we may not understand how it works, but that doesn’t mean
        it doesn’t work. “If it works, it works”.
        However, if the theory is understood, it may indicate paths to eliminate
        the thermal runaway he suggests are a problem.
        However, there is absolutely no way that the existing Generation, T & D infrastructure
        is going to allow a disruptive technology like LENR, to unravel their pots of gold.
        IF, (note CAPS), we are to believe what we are told to believe about the potential of LENR,
        new laws/rules/regulations to keep these money trains intact are just around the corner,
        compliments of your local corrupt politicians.
        This technology, IF it works as stated, MUST be open sourced to the masses
        and then let the chips fall where they may.
        Looking very much forward to seeing how this shakes out.

      • Buck

        OZ,

        I agree with you . . . IMO, the tone of his responses are in the same vein as the Elforsk report. It has just been adjusted to a forum of individuals interested/invested in a LENR future.

        I think we would all agree on what Bergman would say about a LENR device coming out of the R&D labs, with no thermal runaways . . . he used circumspect language to answer this very question.

        Speaking for myself . . . my hope is Godes’s affirmations that his CECR process has far greater controls and has no thermal runaways is plain and simply true. If so, then Bergman’s intimated LENR future will come about starting in late 2014 or early 2015, assuming Brillouin’s stated timetable is achieved.

        Time will tell.

    • ecatworld

      Sorry, Buck, the interview was done by email, so I was not able to get any non-verbal cues. And, no, I didn’t bring up the China/Cherokee connections, and I’m not sure how aware he was of these developments.

      • Buck

        Thank you Frank.

        Would you be willing to still answer the question?

      • Sanjeev

        Thanks. You have reached to a standard that is way above main stream media. Great work and keep them coming.