Rossi Hopes to Retrofit Coal Power Plants With E-Cats


Andrea Rossi gave an interesting short comment on the Journal of Nuclear Physics when asked by Bernie Koppenhofer whether he agreed that with anticipated efficiencies, the hot cat would be suitable for retrofitting existing inefficient power plants.

Rossi responded: “Yes, retrofitting coal plants in particular”

I followed up with a comment about Industrial Heat visiting China and asked whether he thought it would be possible for China someday to generate electricity with the hot cat, rather than coal, and Rossi said only “I hope so.”

My guess is that this is a topic that is being discussed extensively at Industrial Heat. Rossi has said that a priority for the company is to develop the ability to generate electricity efficiently. Two days ago he wrote:

“We will publish the range of temperatures we are reaching in stable operarions as soon as the R&D and validation in curse will have been completed. If we will be able to get positive results, the ranges of temperature will be enough high to allow gas turbines or very good efficiencies with the Carnot cycle, especially in co-generation or three-generation assemblies.”

Co-generation refers to the practice producing both electricity and useful heat (e.g. for residential/commercial heating and hot water), but I’m not sure what Rossi means when he refers to ‘three-generation assemblies’. Industrial Heat may be looking at some novel ways to make the most out of the heat they produce.



  • Bernie777

    Einar Zettergren…sounds like you know what you are talking about, need more of your input on Hot Cat and power plant conversion. Thanks.

    • Einar Zettergren

      Bernie, I am not a mechanical engineer even if I am in the business, but tapping in to the main steam lines is probably much more difficult due to all calculations needed (pipe support, stress analysis, harmonics and other structural verification). Changing the (relatively) smaller reheater, and of course (I forgot above) inlet water preheaters with LENR based heating should be much simpler.

      [The only backside could be, depending on plant design, if the resulting lower steam flow from the coal burner will be less than optimal for the turbine (re-blading?) and control valve(s) (now control ball?). Or, if you keep the steam flow, generator adaptation (stator winding, busbar cooling etc). Providing even you grid is capable of receiving the extra MW (updated switchgear, talks with national grid authorities) ]

      Do this as a first step, and then, when LENR is power-dense enough, kick out the entire coal burner in one outage.

      • Bernie777

        Einar Zettergren…..thanks for your reply. Do you have a feel for how long this first step (changing the reheater) would take, days, months, entire plant shutdown? Thanks.

  • Ophelia Rump

    Industrial Heat, has a mission and that mission is etched into it’s very name!

  • MasterBlaster7

    From a post thread 4 days ago………………

    Guru

    Dear MasterBlaster, I don’t agree with Your vision about “In the beginning, we will be retrofitting existing power plants”.
    Basic calculations: What percentage of final price of elektricity for end customers is of transmission costs, plus some profit for transmission businessess ? In our country it is something between 30 to43%. So even with cost of elektricity at zero at powerplant gates (which is unrealistic), your idea of retrofitting existing powerplants is flawed. Electricity sold for zero at gates of powerplant is uncompetitive against elektricity produced at site of end consumer (by LENR tech) thanks to costs of transmission businesses. Virtually all powerplants will bankrupt or in Zombie mode within 6-8 years. The same with transmission businesses.

    MKK!

    I agree with your view completely. The transmission cost + maintenance + loss will be uncompetitive when LENR is fully matured. I’m with a major EHV cable manufacturer and since the dawn of LENR, our company has made redundant many people worldwide, The EHV and HV businesses are down significantly worldwide (Sales people are blaming economic
    conditions but very few have heard of LENR, they are still scratching their heads), only MV and LV are still able to exist.

    MasterBlaster7

    So, if your logic holds….how is it that Bouillon contracted with the Koreans to retrofit a stranded asset power plant. It is very similar tech.

    ……………HA! What do you say now Guru and MKK! ???

    • malkom700

      Any problems that you have outlined are realistic, but if there is clean and inexpensive technology, it is for the government to intervene if necessary, and technology quickly pushed through legislation and subsidies.

    • Omega Z

      What One needs to consider is “WHY” do they build power plants where they build them.

      It then becomes more clear why Initially, They will retrofit existing power plants for the foreseeable future.

      Also, Once understanding Existing systems, You understand why Retrofitting is more complex then many think. And Why Rossi has had a fixation on Boiler designs for the E-cats.

      E-cats can’t be adapted to most existing systems. They require a completely different Boiler arrangement. From Scratch.

      There will be little difference in the cost of an E-cat power plant & a Fossil fuel power plant. The Savings will be in the power produced. Regardless where there located.

  • Zeddicus Zul Zorander

    I think most of us expected that by now. Retrofitting Coal Power plants is the easiest and cheapest way to introduce LENR power plants to the world. All other options are way more difficult due to IP or regulation restrictions.

    With regards to the “green” background of IH it would also make sense, as coal power plants are bad environment wise and the coal mining industry is about as bad as it comes. Upgrading a coal power plant would return huge benefits really fast in term of cost, maintenance and environment.

    • Omega Z

      Rossi is thinking of large scale CHP.
      Cooling, Heating, & Power.
      As in locations like New York City & such to begin with. They already have the underground pipes for heating & could be adapted for cooling.

      • Zeddicus Zul Zorander

        An installation there would be equal to a peer reviewed article in Science or Nature…

        I really hope that’s true.

  • Allan Shura

    Co-generation have been installed to a large number of plants who disperse excess process heat in to the atmosphere.
    The hot air is reheated to higher levels with less input to generate power. I assume he is thinking that the very least
    the first hot cats could do is reheat again for another co-gen after the first and in the case of coal power plants the
    third unit.

  • Donk970

    The really important factor in my opinion is that US corporations and banks are highly risk averse. This means that when a power company gets a loan to rebuild a unit there are no unknowns with building a new coal fired boiler but a LENR boiler would be completely unknown. The bank and the company are likely to go with coal instead of LENR simply because it’s less risky. China, on the other hand, can simply act without regard to risk.

    • Alain Samoun

      Yeah,you may be a little optimistic for the willingness of China gov to install LENR:
      AREVA the French nuclear company, is constructing two EPR™ reactors at Taishan site,in Guangdong province, China. This contract is the largest international commercial contract signed in civil nuclear history.

    • Owen Geiger

      Industrial Heat has the financial clout and ability to accomplish the deal.

  • Bernie777

    The power company Southern will spend 5.24 Billion dollars to build a new coal to gas plant! There is room for the Hot Cat to make huge economic impacts.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303330204579248771284421960

    • Donk970

      I absolutely agree, the Chinese are highly motivated and when necessary have the ability to take big risks that US corporations and banks would never take.

      • malkom700

        It can not happen because at this stage must the government come into play, because otherwise China will gain a huge advantage in global economic competition.

  • Jimr

    It would be great to convert these plants, but I can’t believe that when Rossi says a 100kw(heat) Ecat is not a reality, that it would be financially practical with mass 10k units.

    • MasterBlaster7

      I think they are working on 100kw e-cats…they just aren’t ready yet.

      • Jimr

        I hope they are but per Rossi they are not a reality. If we are talking about electric power stations I think they would need 1 mw units. ( for electric power station of any size).

  • Donk970

    Coal fired power plants have a working lifetime of around 40 years primarily because the boilers fail. The turbines and generators can last much longer but the boilers just don’t. Something like 75% of the coal power plants in the US are 30 years or older. This makes replacing the boilers in old power plants with LENR boilers pretty attractive because you don’t have to build the whole power plant – just replace boilers that are going to need replacing in a few years anyway. All IH has to do is convince one company to go with a LENR boiler and the rest will follow.

    • Allan Shura

      Coal plants are subject to wear from particle friction. Some other types of fired plants are subject to caking. Natural gas plant boilers are only subject to the thermal stress they all have so they do not require so much maintenance.
      So I see a possible hot e-cat plant as having much less wear if it is at least as controllable for temperature.

  • GreenWin

    AR may also refer to Combined Cycle generation, These typically (gas or coal fired) achieve about 55% overall efficiency by using excess heat to run a steam turbine along with the NG turbine. A “third generation” could be Stirling running off the waste from gas and steam turbines. While these electromechanical applications will be impressive – direct conversion of heat, plasma, and magnetic fields to useful electric current looms on the LENR horizon.

    • BroKeeper

      I believe that would be the correct configuration. IMO running Carnot cycle engines directly from individual E-Cats and passing waste steam heat to the gas turbines would not be cost effective nor as efficient than having fewer larger Sterling engines feeding off the turbine’s excessive heat.

  • bachcole

    Keep in mind that for us LENR is extremely important and promising. For the People’s Republic of China with it’s 1.3 billion people, LENR is barely a blip on the radar screen. It will definitely become much more important for them. We know that. But they don’t. “We” have some of the attention of some very busy officials. Soon, these officials will become heroes. Now, they are just busy officials just like any other busy officials. Most of them still don’t realize that they have just tripped over the technological salvation of the world. They are probably still at the stage of “well, let’s see what this is all about”, spoken in Chinese of course.

    • Donk970

      I’m not sure I buy that. China has a huge problem because they are trying to fuel an industrial revolution on coal which is quite literally killing them. I believe that the Chinese government will do a crash program to develop both LFTR reactors and LENR reactors and they will be the first to deploy these technologies on a large scale.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    Beyond the benefits to environment, the retrofitted plants would have the advantage of a drastically reduced run-up time. Starting a conventional coal plant from the “cold” state can take several days, and even a “warm start” might require eight ours or more. I suppose that an array of computer-controlled E-Cats will be significantly faster, so that the usual problems at peak load would be easier to handle.

    • mcloki

      With the cost reduction of the e-cat there’s no real reason to not just run more capacity than needed. You’re not burning profits buy burning extra NG or coal.

    • fritz194

      Running up such plant is thermal and mechanical stress. The number of run-ups until overhaul/service is limited – so I don´t think that this would change using an hot-cat. Co-Generation plants run the entire winter-season without an interruption.
      But I see some chance that the efficiency of a hot-cat would allow to operate such plants at a more moderate operation point – which would result in a better endurance – longer lifetime of the plant – or even a revival of almost “done” plants.
      Running with coal narrows the economic operation points because of efficiency.

  • Daniel Maris

    All sounds very positive…and we know the IH people will be able to read Rossi’s replies and gauge them for honesty as well.

  • Mr. Moho

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogeneration

    Cogeneration or combined heat and power (CHP) is the use of a heat engine[1] or power station to simultaneously generate electricity and useful heat. Trigeneration or combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) refers to the simultaneous generation of electricity and useful heating and cooling from the combustion of a fuel or a solar heat collector. A plant producing electricity, heat and cold is called a trigeneration[2] or polygeneration plant.

    • ecatworld

      Thanks, Mr. Moho. Despite its faults, Wikipedia can be very useful!

      • bachcole

        Anything controversial or edgy or new should be suspect in WickedPedophilia. Otherwise it is OK.

    • theBuckWheat

      These additional energy extraction steps are justified due to the cost of capital vs the cost of coal (or natgas). Should e-Cat (or some other) LENR technology reach viability as an industrial heat source, it will have its own set of capital and operating costs that will almost certainly be far lower than conventional power sources. If co-generation is hardly justified with conventional combustion sources, it won’t be economically justified with e-Cat.

      • Freethinker

        “If co-generation is hardly justified with conventional combustion sources, it won’t be economically justified with e-Cat.”

        Typo? No? If not, seriously I do not get that… So you need to explain.

        • Iggy Dalrymple

          The cheaper the fuel, the less important is efficiency.

          • Freethinker

            Thanks Iggy.

            Yes. True.

            Electric power is really what “powers” the world. You would then mean that if you produce electric power with ECat, by definition co-generation, you would not care about monetizing the heat? You simply let that out into the air around you?

            Well, yes, I can see that happen. If we can produce all electric power we want for nickel and dimes, we could easilly heat and cool at the terminal point using electric devices. No need to centrally handle heat and produce cooling. Inefficient, yes, but the economic incentive would not be there to do otherwise. Or?

            Clearly, the sight is set on retrofiting old powerplants and set up new powerplants in the paradigm of the current distribution system. I have a hard time see that any power company would waste any means of making money.

            Eventually, it would settle where you hint. But not to worry. We sort it all out with environmental taxes. See, all the inefficient energy production will generate a huge amount of thermal pollution into the atmosphere. Only really efficient solutions need apply, as nobody want to pay for the expensive electric energy. There will be taxes on electric heaters and coolers as well. There will be incentive enough.