Is Steorn Getting Ready to Re-emerge?

I have been following the fortunes of the Irish company Steorn for many years now — ever since they came on the scene in August of 2006 with their ad in the Economist with their claim of the discovery of a source of free, clean and constant energy.

Well, there’s been a lot of water under the bridge since that time, and Steorn went through some pretty devastating public relations events, including a demonstration of its technology in London which did not work, and a scientific jury decision which went against them. The company has been dismissed and derided by critics for a long time now who have held them up as example of a scam and a failure.

A few years ago, Steorn pretty much fell of the radar, and have stayed very quiet in terms of public statements — but the company has not disappeared. Somehow they have kept funding their operations and there are signs now that they might be ready to reemerge into the public realm.

Steorn’s CEO Shaun McCarthy has said that the company has been working on developing a ‘low frequency induction heating system’ they call Hephaheat. Steorn states that Hephaheat is a spin-off of Steorn’s Orbo technology — which the company claims is a means of producing an energy gain from magnetic interactions.

Steorn’s CEO Shaun McCarthy has said that the first commercial application of Hephaheat will be its use in domestic water heaters, and the company claims that it has licensing agreements with two major manufacturers to produce and market these water heaters. Late last year, McCarthy told Sterling Allan of PESN that these products would come to market in the first half of 2014.

Just today, Shaun McCarthy posted some comments on Facebook which seem to indicate that we might not be too far away from some news from Steorn.

He wrote: “Sometimes stuff takes longer than you want…. it’s going to be a LOT of fun in the next few weeks, a lot . . . life is about to get fun again… and it takes time, but it’s been a roller coaster ride and at some point you jump off it with a BIG smile on you face . . . Better suited to this time and this place – going to enjoy every minute of what 2007 should have been – I am a purist OU man, no wires.”

Just what might be going on is not clear, but it sounds to me like we might be getting close to some news of interest out of Dublin.

  • fritz194

    Reading the docs about their “boiler” – there is pretty less special or ou about it.
    Instead of instantaneous high-power heating as seen with – they need less amps and charge a thermal block up to 900 deg celsius.
    I dont´t get the point how this should be connected to “steorn” technology ?!
    Just thinner wires and thermal losses… don´t get the point.

  • Fortyniner

    Maybe, but there is a high degree of cynicism about ‘AGW’ in the UK, and certainly no grass roots demand for new nuclear builds (quite the opposite). This is a private campaign by certain politicians, who exploit the cover of AGW in order to pursue their own agendas while studiously ignoring or actively de-funding any genuinely clean alternatives such as tidal power.

    • GreenWin

      UK’s nukes at any cost campaign is one reason AGW remains alive – in spite of contrary evidence. But AGW cannot hold a candle to the far more disruptive Sun, which remains at a mysterious minimum.

      “Of particular concern are the warnings from solar scientists that over
      the next three decades, we are headed toward significant global cooling
      as the sun weakens into a grand minimum. The last time the sun was as
      weak as solar experts predict will occur starting after 2030, the Earth
      was in a particularly cold phase of the Little Ice Age that lasted from
      about 1350-1850, a period when there was great misery around the world.”
      Tom Harris and Dr. Madhav Khandekar

  • Freethinker

    🙂 Mr Bird. Never.

  • hempenearth

    Sean McCarthy’s commercialisation strategy was a failure. It seems Mike Daly’s commercialisation strategy might get somewhere.

  • Freethinker

    Off topic :

    Run into a transmutation article in KitCo Tech Metals Insider:

    Lewis Larsen (Lattice Energy LLC) is cited extensively about the possibilities of transmutations and LENR.

    Soon there will be a gold rush ….

  • Mats

    Some years back I followed claims of making biofuel from algae only using desert areas, not taking land from food production.
    Today many companies work in that area, see the world’s first self sustained algae powered house:
    To me this is one of many solutions for mankind energy needs. LENR might be more easy to operate though.

  • Curbina

    Admin: I think people would understand better your position if they knew that you (and many other of the commenters of this site, like me) were all involved in the Steorn saga as members of the SKDB, hence the deep interest in all Steorn related things.

    • ecatworld

      That’s certainly true, Curbina, but in my opinion that fact doesn’t make the subject of Steorn more or less worth mentioning here on ECW. My interest is in whether they are going to come out with any interesting products, or new and credible information in the near term. The signs seem to indicate there is going to be some kind of news coming out, and I’m interested to hear what it might be.

  • ecatworld

    I realize and expect that whenever the topic of Steorn is raised there’s going to be some controversy. And yes, Steorn’s claimed technology is not a form of LENR, but I do find other energy tech interesting. My approach with regards to Steorn is to keep an eye on it and see what happens.

    • Ophelia Rump

      Don’t pee in the pool. I very much agree with AB’s comment below. Keep the serious research seperate from the amature and stay on topic, this is a seriously good and needed web site, but it is beginning to suffer from mission creep.

    • Freethinker

      Let’s not get too pretentious.

      This is your site, and you should handle this according to your own convictions.

      With that said, if this was to be a playground for any odd, wild and unsubstantiated claim out there, I would leave and never look back.

      I like this site, and you are doing just fine, Frank.

      • Ophelia Rump

        Pretentious, really?

        Frank, I thought I gave a nice bit of respect to your efforts so far, but if that was insufficient: I think your site serves an important service providing a respectable outlet for information on a technology which is struggling for life against a sea of negativity. The success of your site owes something back to subject which has provided it’s success, that something is continued maintenance of credibility.

        Yes indeed it is your site, and you most certainly are free to pee in the pool. As Freethinker threatened to leave and never come back in his comment above, it is not without consequences to do so.

        Seriously Freethinker. I offered my opinion and advice. You offered flattery followed with a contradictory threat, pretentious?

        Frank, please keep the highly questionable the fringe and the home brew off your main page, give them a section with a general link off the front page or something. I like your site very much as it has been, you have been doing a fine job.

        • Freethinker


          You apparently have some strong feelings regarding the “cleanliness” of this site.

          Yes, it is pretentious if you think that Frank should fill his own blog with a content of some standard pertaining to some credibility – a credibility holding up to some measure you set up. Now, I realize that there are things more credible than others out there, but in the end you must let Frank decide that.

          Me for my part appreciate the current (and historical) diversity in the forum. It serve as an eye opener to other things, not just LENR and Rossi’s E-Cat.

          No, Let Frank do his stuff, and if you object, you are – I believe – welcome to argue your point as long as the way of arguing is held to some reasonable level of courtesy.

    • longtime reader

      I have enjoyed and got a great deal of worthwhile updates from your web site, but having this and the man experimenting with Brown Gas just tends to lower my impression, considerably. I write this respectfully. LENR needs a good location to provide updates for plausible LENR/cold fusion projects. If e-catworld shall be a sounding board for any long-shot energy source, this site will fall close to the fringe, and I am afraid it will not attract my attention.

  • AB

    Please don’t let this site become another PESWiki. I feel it is inappropriate to associate LENR research with the likes of Steorn.

    • Brent Mosley

      I agree.

    • Pekka Janhunen

      Agreed. In my opinion, to be discussed here, a minimum requirement should be an unambiguous claim of observed anomalous behaviour. If there is not even a claim, there cannot be any meaningful discussion of validation or implications or comparison with the E-cat.

      • ecatworld

        Good point, Pekka, and I agree with you. There are a number of reasons why I have stayed interested in Steorn over the years, and felt they were worthy of attention. One reason is a report by Irish consulting Engineer John Rice: — his key finding is on page 20 of the report.

  • guga

    Hephaheat has nothing to do with LENR or overunity. I never understood how this connection came up and why Hephaheat was frequently mentioned in the context of LENR.
    They are just describing a low-volume/low-loss heat-storage/water-heating system.

  • Curbina

    If anything, Shaun really knows how to be clear enough, and at the same time, vague enough, to get all our attention

    and leave us salivating for the good news. 🙂

  • Omega Z

    The Presidents Gift to G.E. with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz at the lead.
    A $6.5B federal loan guarantee jolts Ga. nuclear power project

    An Additional $1.8 Billion in the pipeline.
    Trading CO2 for Radiation.

    • Fortyniner

      Much the same thing has already transpired in the UK, with a right-wing ‘corporation-friendly’ government trying to slip billions of pounds of taxpayer money to the nuclear industry in the form of ‘loan guarantees’, inflated prices for nuclear power, and underwriting the costs of cleaning up and compensating for the inevitable radioactive contamination resulting from their activities – something the insurance industry won’t touch with a bargepole. What is worse is that the main opposition party (Labour) has recently stated that it will not make any changes to these corrupt arrangments, so there is literally no way to express opposition by voting for another mainstream party. So much for democracy.

  • friendlyprogrammer

    Wow. Thanks for this article. He seems confident enough in the face of possible ridicule to warrant watching these guys. Few weeks also gives a timeline which in LENR terms we have come to interpret as “years” (it’s like a code). Let’s give them our blessings even though I have no clue on how his energy is supposed to work.

    It will be just as much fun for me if any of these fellows are successful.

  • Ophelia Rump

    The Steorn website says nothing about COP or OU. They do say that on demand water-heating minimizes heat loss from standing hot water, not something you worry much about if you get out more energy than you put in.

    I have read some articles over the last year stating that they will not be making a claim of heat generated in excess of the energy put in. A semantic designed to let the true believer conclude there will be OU, but they are just not mentioning it, wink, wink. Could there be a better con than that?

    They have a design for an on demand water heater, maybe a good one. Do not presume that it will lay golden eggs.
    Even if stated outright, do not believe it without proof. They have a serious record of profiting off of hype and failing to deliver.

    • Pekka Janhunen

      I agree. Some or perhaps rather many people make a buying decision more easily if the product has some fancy, fictional or supernatural connection or story. Even though they don’t outright believe, it may make a positive subconscious connection. Some companies use it to their benefit. The Loch Ness monster is a classic example.

    • friendlyprogrammer

      It could be the oddity of their claim that lends validity. They did attempt a public demo, and that at least seems unlikely for a fraudulent party to attempt as they met a Pons/Fleischmann ridicule afterwards.

      The heat conservation direction does seem flawed without knowing more, but I will still hope for them/mankind.

      Maybe it is just a better kettle, but who knows? Every advance in science can have surprising ramifications when someone has another use for the process down the line.

      A lot of energy is stored and wasted in forms of Magnetic fields. Even the ability to harness some of the waste might prove fruitful.

      I’m just hoping they have something nice.

      • Ophelia Rump

        “Every advance in Science”.
        Steorn was afforded more than ample opportunity to provide an advance in science as they promised.
        Instead they sold test equipment to look for an advancement which no one found using their test equipment.

        • hempenearth

          To whom did they sell test equipment?

    • Fortyniner

      Stoeorn’s ‘Hephaheat’ system came up a month ago on this blog. As OR suggests I think this may just be ‘piggy back’ marketing – adding an element of high-tech mystery to what looks like a pretty standard piece of industrial engineering. Just a ‘better kettle’ as friendlyprogrammer puts it. As a comment I made at the time seems relevant, I’ll just re-post it:

      Steorn themselves don’t make any direct claims of overunity for the
      ‘HephaHeat’ system, although they do say that it is derived from ‘Orbo’
      research (“HephaHeat is the tradename for Orbo in heating
      applications”). The O/U claim seems to originate with PESN and has
      simply been copied across the web.

      According to the PDF brochure it appears to be simply a thermal
      storage system that occupies less volume than an equivalent hot water
      tank, as it uses a metal mass heated to c.900C by LF (mains frequency)
      induction as the heat store. (On edit: Induction heating has been in use
      for decades and is well understood. I have not been able to find any
      reported disparities between input energy and heat produced, but if
      anyone knows better, please comment with links.) The hot metal mass is
      then used to flash-boil injected water and the resulting steam is mixed
      with cold water or any other liquid to obtain the required output
      temperature. A claimed advantage of this is that process liquids are
      never in contact with a heating element, so avoiding local overheating.

      A clever idea, but the technology doesn’t seem to be scientifically
      controversial in any way.