Co-Generation and Tri-Generation ‘More Immediate’ Priority for Rossi, Industrial Heat

Yesterday there were some interesting exchanges on the Journal of Nuclear Physics, and one that particularly caught my attention came from a reader who mentioned a number of companies that make gas turbines and jet engines, and explained that the biggest turbines are around 40 per cent efficient when generating electricity, while small jet engines can be less than 25 per cent efficient. Rossi responded by saying that efficiency is much higher, of course, when these turbines are used as co- or tri-generation plants — meaning the heat used to generate electricity is not wasted, but applied to some useful purpose such as heating, hot water, or other process requiring heat — and air conditioning, too.

Being curious about Rossi’s recent emphasis on cogeneration and trigeneration, I followed up with a question of my own:

a) Is your team still pursing the use of Hot Cats for electricity generation using steam turbines? or

b) Is your team focusing on co- and tri- generation plants as the path to commercial viability? or

c) Both?

Rossi‘s response was:

We are pursuing all the possible lines of development. The b) point is the more immediate.

I found that to be an interesting response, and it has me wondering why cogeneration might be the immediate priority. A few possibilities have crossed my mind. Maybe they have hooked up with a partner who wants to pursue this technology, and is willing to bring some resources to the table. Rossi has mentioned there is an outside partner involved in the testing of jet engines.

Maybe they see cogeneration as a more attractive market to go into — with better opportunities for commercial success in their first foray into the marketplace. Maybe the greater efficiencies in cogeneration make using the E-Cat more economically viable. A customer who can cut their electricity, heating, and cooling bills all at once might be more likely to sign up with IH.

Maybe they don’t yet have the energy efficiency with the hot cat (in terms of COP) to compete head-to-head with big electricity producers who use cheap natural gas these days.

There might be other reasons, but I find it an interesting development — and hope to learn more about IH’s reasoning soon.

  • Christopher Calder

    One advantage of home and small community co-generation heat & electricity LENR power plants is that they will be easy to protect from EMP. See the news story about EMP pulse dangers and what some want to do about it – spend 2 billion dollars to protect the grid.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/tech/newt-gingrich-s-plan-to-stave-off-the-apocalypse-20140328

  • US_Citizen71

    a cubic meter of gas = 1000 liters of gas

    By my calculation the torch would use $.425 worth of electricity and take 12.5 hours to generate 1 cubic meter of hydrogen gas. But hydrogen gives 286 kJ/mol versus 891 kJ/mol for natural gas, so you need approximately 3.12 cubic meters of hydrogen to equal the same heating power as one cubic meter of natural gas. So bottom line is it would take 40 hours and $1.32 worth of electricity($.10 kWh) to generate the hydrogen heating equivalent of 1 cubic meter of natural gas.

    • Allan Shura

      Where I am electricity is 5.5 cent per kilowatt hour so 23.75 cents per m3 HHO is close to what they are charging in Ontario for residential gas by volume. Can be as high as 46 cents wholesale per m3 in Europe. What is being produced is not hydrogen alone but HHO (or Browns gas).

      Another measurement by weight is the Higher Heating Value used by most countries (hydrogen 141.8 , methane 55.5, propane 51.9 HHV MJ/kg also hydrogen 61000 , methane 23900, propane 21700 HHV BTU/lb. There are about 36000 BTU in a cubic meter of natural gas which is 36000 BTU/23900 BTU = 1.506 lb. weight. gCH4=0.62595g/L.

      Unfortunately I have been unable to yet find the HHV of HHO (or Browns gas).

      Atomic weight CH4 12+4 =16 for methane (natural gas), 16+2 = 18 for HHO. While they are nearly the same weight HHO is its own oxidizer with half the hydrogen.

      I am going by the estimate previously seen whereby an equal volume of HHO combustion is claimed to be approximately 1.5 times the useable energy value of propane or natural gas. Energy measurements can be confusing.

      (Wikipedia: In energy storage applications the energy density relates the mass of an energy store to the volume of the storage facility).

      The torch I saw is commercially available but there strong indications of enhanced rates of production using some other innovative methods I am aware of.

      • US_Citizen71

        You need to review your gas laws: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_laws

        Weight and volume of a gas at standard pressure are vastly different things. 2 Kg of hydrogen takes up the same volume as 16 Kg of methane.

        “While they are nearly the same weight HHO is its own oxidizer with half the hydrogen” – Only important if in a self contained situation such as a submarine or space ship. Otherwise you are reducing the amount of potential energy per given volume.

        • Allan Shura

          HHO combustion is not the same as methane combustion and the torch rejoins the hydrogen to the oxygen to produce water. I assume the HHV heat values by weight were
          determined by testing rather than hard numbers and volumes vary by temperature but not in the same relation. The gas laws are apart from the heating value obtained
          and the energy value obtained in reactions. A 30 year researcher in HHO (George Wiseman) says 278.9 BTU per liter. This is 27890 BTU per m3 compared to approximately 36000 BTU per m3 of natural gas. He also says “in fact BG contains energy that is not ‘normal’ and hasn’t been quantified yet”

          http://www.fuel-saver.org/Thread-How-many-BTU-s-HP-watts-per-liter-of-HHO?page=2

          This is primarily an economic argument. The volume of production at cost is the competitive threshold for a market. Electrical inputs can be reduced and production
          per watt increased over the described available torch device. There is security of price and supply and low environmental overhead.

          On a side note compared to gasoline “every liter of HHO is equivalent to just 0.25mL or 0.00845 fl. oz. of gasoline with respect to energy content. Conversely, one gallon of gasoline is worth 15,140 liters of HHO”.

          http://www.hhoforums.com/showthread.php?6274-Is-it-realy-possible-to-make-enough-hho-to-run-100-hho/page3

          Gasoline where I live costs $5.50 a gallon while grid power cost 5.5 cents a kilowatt hour. so at 23.75 cents times 15 = $3.56 almost half the cost of gasoline for the same mechanical energy with this machine if the production rate is accurate.

          • US_Citizen71

            I know this thread is getting off topic but I can’t allow incorrect information to stand unrefuted because it then becomes disinformation.

            Your “278.9 BTU per liter” of HHO value is likely truly an approximate value for BTUs per cubic foot value for hydrogen mis-quoted, instead of a BTU/L value for HHO.

            1 cu.ft. = 28.3L

            Methane/Natural Gas:

            1015 BTU/cu.ft of Methane/Natural Gas

            1015 BTU/28.3L= 35.87 BTU/L of Methane/Natural Gas

            35.87 BTU/L x 1000 L/cubic meter = 35870 BTU/cubic meter

            Hydrogen:

            270 BTU/cu.ft of Hydrogen

            270 BTU/28.3L = 9.54 BTU/L of Hydrogen

            9.54 BTU/L x 1000 L/cubic meter = 9540 BTU/cubic meter

            HHO:

            180 BTU/cu.ft of HHO (1/3 of the volume is Oxygen)

            180 BTU/28.3L= 6.36 BTU/L of HHO

            6.36 BTU/L x 1000 L/cubic meter = 6360 BTU/cubic meter

            Electricity:

            3414 BTU/kWh

            HHO torch generator 80L an hour of HHO with 340W electrical input:

            1 cubic meter of gas = 1000L of gas

            1000L / 80L/h = 12.5 hours

            12.5h x 340W = 4.25 kWh

            (HHO 6360 BTU/cubic meter) / (Electricity 3414 BTU/kWh) = 1.86 kWh/cubic meter of HHO

            So the HHO torch generator uses 4.25 kWh of electricity to produce 1.86 kWh of heat with an efficiency of about 44% or less than half the heating efficiency of an incandescent light bulb.

  • Sanjeev

    I agree with comments posted below that probably Rossi is riding too many horses at once. There seems to be a lack of goal. But we really do not know, its only a speculation based on the one liners of his.
    Note that he is not making any business decisions, IH has all the control and IH has not yet announced their basic product. You can guess from the name, that it will be some kind of heat generator for industries. That’s all I can say for sure. All other dreamy stuff Rossi talks about might be just future plans.

  • Bernie777

    They must be very careful with this new tech, one false move and it could be branded “unsafe” or worse and LENR would be set back another 25 years. The major oil and coal companies are ready to pounce on any false moves.

    • Sanjeev

      You are assuming that each and every country in the world will do that. In some parts of the world, it will be a reverse situation, i.e. the oil and coal (also nuclear) will be branded as a national “disaster” and will be phased out rapidly. It can happen in say, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, China, Japan, New Zealand etc.
      LENR will grow there, and those who do not adopt it will be forced to do so rather than risking recession into stone age.

      • Bernie777

        The oil and coal industry is international do not underestimate their reach and propaganda machine.

  • Kwhilborn

    I’ve often thought wind generators could be more easily replaced by an ecat than a coal plant, but i have not read the article and it’s unlikely. I thought they had backed away from wind.

  • Fortyniner

    I don’t actually believe it is the case, but…. If some power input is always required to kick start and control an e-cat, but no ‘mains’ supplies are available, why not combine one with a wind turbine and heavy duty battery to make a CHP unit that can operate anywhere (windy!). The same might go for solar PV or small turbine generators you can drop into a stream.

  • georgehants

    Cold Fusion Now

    2014 CF/LANR Colloquium Photo Gallery
    http://coldfusionnow.org/2014-cflanr-colloquium-photo-gallery/

  • blanco69

    Unless the hot cat is ready to go to market RIGHT NOW. Then it’s deeply worrying that Rossi is working on ANYTHING else! We have never seen a hotcat hooked up to anything that would generate electricity but we all know that it should be possible. So why drop the greatest invention ever to work on something else? What next? A wind powered ecat? I.m sorry but this is becoming ludicrous! Feel free to jump in Roger.

    • Fortyniner

      Rossi has recently said that there are now a number of people working on R&D within IH so it may be reasonable to assume that his position is as a sort of ‘blue sky’ thinker – taking the lead in any new direction that occurs to him. I doubt that anything promising has been dropped, just handed over to other development engineers for methodical optimisation.

      There are probably two main ‘takes’ on where a basic hot cat steam turbine generator might stand at the moment: (1) The basic design is a done deal, and is being hawked around, including to the Chinese government or (2) While it works, it has not yet been possible to extract enough power to allow retrofitting of existing turbines, so alternative (e.g., micro CHP) uses are being developed, while Rossi looks for new directions to take the R&D in, in order to produce greater output.

      • malkom700

        It does not mean anything bad, the next hundred years will be the era of intensive development LENR.

    • Kwhilborn

      agreed

  • Owen Geiger

    So how does this latest news tie in with previous speculation about Rossi possibly working with Siemens? Or do you think Siemens is definitely not involved and IH is leading the way?

    For those wondering why R&D takes a long time, here’s a photo of a Siemens gas turbine.
    http://www.energy.siemens.com/hq/pool/hq/power-generation/gas-turbines/SGT5-8000H/gasturbine-sgt5-8000h_l.jpg

  • GreenWin

    Probably time to retire from your Rossi-watch. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Eyedoc

    I wish AR would just put out whatever is currently working already(ie heaters)…the rest can come later..SHEESH!

    • GreenWin

      A successful ophthalmologist has patients.

    • Miles

      Do we know if there is a timeline of what will be publish / released in 2014?? What can we expect in 2014 or late 2014??

  • Bernie777

    IH and Rossi have to move in the direction of least resistance, electric utilities are resistant to change their bureaucracies a big problem, more nimble individual corporations, looking to become more competitive, would be a much easier target.

  • FibberMcGourlick

    I thought that the transformation of the world by Rossi was to be based on the relatively straightforward production of cheap, pollution-free energy by one or more versions of his reactors. Shouldn’t these reactors emerge first and be permited to begin the transformation of the world before the more complicated advances are incorporated into the show?

    • timycelyn

      Remember, Rossi nowadays leads the R&D department in IH. His comments are often more from that perspective, and it should not be automatically assumed they describe IH’s overall priorities.

    • mcloki

      Simple answer. No. It’s why you have minions.

    • Manuel Cruz

      Probably Rossi needs something to do while the E-cats run for months for testing purposes.

  • mcloki

    I also think these co generation plants can be factory built and shipped in containers to their locations. It would be the low hanging fruit to quickly create a stream of income. They also will need to train craftspeople on the building of these new “plants” Easiest way is in a factory setting.

    • Allan Shura

      Small (very large room size) package boilers are also factory built. Boilermakers have been trained since
      the mid-1800s. The large boilers are way over factory scale but platens are from the factory.

  • Bob

    I think Option B) is geared for a smaller, off grid application and for the following reasons.

    1) To try to replace a coal fired plant is a huge undertaking. The engineering would be very extensive and to do this with an “unproven” technology, would be quite risky. The volume of energy to replace the coal fired boilers is huge. The Hot Cat probably has not been refined enough for that large of an industrial task. Remember, they are still very much in the early stages. Large turbines require very high temperatures and very large amounts of steam volume. While the Hot Cat may have been proven to work, we do not know anything about the volume of energy it can product at this time. A large plant must have very high reliability as well. If it shuts down, the impact is very dramatic.

    2) For an “off – grid” application, the situation is much better suited for a new, developing technology. You have a smaller generator producing electricity. If the system breaks down or needs modified, you throw the switch back to the grid. No real problem there. Installations can be easily monitored by IH and modifications made as well, without the consequences of shutting down a public power plant. The initial investment would be a fraction of the the cost of a power plant retro fit.

    3) A small electrical generator requires MUCH less volume of steam and to some extent, not as high a temperature. So for a new technology, it would be a “learn to walk before you run” approach to not try to jump right into the most demanding and complex installation. The amount of energy required for a smaller off grid system is magnitudes less than a full power plant. The engineering therefore is much less complicated to start with. Because the unit is at the users facility, the “waste” heat can be easily used for space heating, water heating. Thus adding to the ROI.

    4)….and… the required regulatory restraints would be minimal for a small, privately installed system. To try to replace a public utility power source would cause the lawyers to salivate…. the government regulatory agencies would go bonkers … the politicians / people pushing for new fission powered plants would panic …. the hot fusion crowd would mount a desperate offensive …

    So, I think starting small is wise, if that be Industrial Heats plan. Small would require co-generation to make the ROI acceptable. So I am encouraged by Rossi’s statement. I am just impatient! I want to see the third party report today! But who am I to demand such a thing 🙂