We know from all that has been revealed over the years about the E-Cat that it required an external source of heat to ‘charge’ it — i.e. to initiate the reaction, and then to control it. While Andrea Rossi has spoken recently about using natural gas as a heat source to charge and control the E-Cat, all the demonstrations that have been reported about to date have involved an electric resistor as a heat source.
So far it seems that the electricity for the resistor has come from the mains, or from a genset — but there shouldn’t be any reason why the electricity needed could not come from any other reliable source such as solar PV cells, or even a battery which could be charged from any source. It would seem that if a battery was charged by an E-Cat you would start seeing significant cost savings over using externally produced electricity.
On the Journal of Nuclear Physics today Andreas Moriatis brought up the battery idea:
Dear Andrea Rossi,
I’m sure that many of your readers would like to see a Hot-Cat that is producing its own electricity by a turbine or Stirling engine, at the same time loading a battery, which can provide the necessary input whenever the reactor needs a ‘break’. Did you already experiment with such a configuration, and if so, could you tell us something about the results?
That is also a line for the R&D we are making. Batteries are very expensive, though, and their pay back period is not quite convincing. So far.
I’m glad to hear that IH is working on this. The ability to be independent of the electrical grid is a big plus for the E-Cat, in my opinion. It allows for greater security and freedom, and if an E-Cat can use power created by itself, or by another E-Cat, there could be significant cost savings over the long run. Rossi’s response above indicates that right now there would be a good deal of investment in batteries required to go the battery route, so it may not be such an attractive economic proposition as using cheap natural gas, or even mains electricity. We really need more data to be able to make an educated judgment on this matter, however.