Rossi: Solar Powered E-Cat Possible

We discussed the other day here about the possibility of using a battery to ‘drive’ the E-Cat — as a heat source to start it up, and control the reaction — but there are other power sources that could serve the same function, and today on the Journal of Nuclear Physics, Steven Karels raised the possibilty of using the sun as the source. Here’s a Q & A between Karels and Rossi:

You have previously stated that the burning of natural gas can be the thermal input source for eCat technology (please confirm).

AR: I confirm that we are working on the use of gas.

What I have in mind —

1. do you think a large solar thermal plant could provide that thermal input to an eCat?

AR: why not?

2. The thermal power eCat could heat a molten salt to a higher temperature than normally provided by a solar thermal system.

AR: maybe.

3. The higher thermal temperature of the stored molten salt could result in an improved Carnot efficiency and resulting conversion to electricity.

AR: the increase of efficiency depends on the integral of efficiency in function of temperature for the molten salt in question, at the due pressure. Rules are the same as for any other heat source.

4. The stored higher temperature molten salt could produce electricity continuously, even during times of darkness.

AR: why not? Again, after the E-Cat system, the heated fluid behaves like in any other heating system.

Without releasing any proprietary information on the eCat operation, does this approach seem possible?

I would think that while solar thermal is a possible way to power the E-Cat it would be a complex and expensive system to set up as opposed to using mains electricity or gas — but over time it could prove to be cost-effective since sunlight is a free and constant source of energy, and electricity and gas supplies can be interruped and fluctuate in price. So it’s another possible configuration for the E-Cat that would have to be examined carefully.

I still think there must be ways to use the heat output of the E-Cat itself to provide the required heat to drive the E-Cat in some kind of looped system — maybe  the heat output of the E-Cat itself could be stored in molten salt as Steven Karels suggests here — and you would not need to involve any external power source. It sounds like an engineering challenge that I am sure will be looked at at some point; maybe it already has.

  • SueG

    After all these years, Rossi’s priority should have been a demo of a closed loop system. A single battery, inverter, and a generator (thermal or stirling) on an isolated Ecat running for weeks at a time to provide power for the control system and resistor should be more than enough to provide some serious proof. The fact that this never happens and he always needs an external source of power says a lot.

  • hunfgerh

    A practical design that can withstand the high magnet field strangth and high temperature,
    consists of a coaxial arrangement of supercap, superconductor (primare coil) and secondary coil. Each coaxial element here is shielded from the other coaxial element by a special ceramic compound.

  • Ophelia Rump

    I would settle for a hand crank. Actually, do not even see much need for that, as long as the E-Cat connects to a grid. The local boot power source is only necessary for worst case scenario restart. It would be used only after a total failure of the grid and local generation simultaneously.

    The only exception to that would be isolated stand alone operations which would be few and far between. Some local backup power is a common enough after market product.

  • Iggy Dalrymple

    jpg didn’t work

  • Andreas Moraitis

    If superconductivity plays a role in Rossi’s reactors, then I would guess that he needs the so-called “internal heater” to bring the temperature above Tc in order to stop the process before it comes to a runaway. Perhaps he could use also a magnetic field for this purpose. I guess further that after the superconductivity has ceased, not all of the LENR would stop immediately. Beta decay could still happen, for instance. Therefore, one would have to suppress the superconductivity some time before Tc would be reached by the LENR process itself.

  • bachcole
  • theBuckWheat

    Talk of solar powered eCat is almost silly. Almost any industrial application will require reliable startup under any conditions at any time of day or (dare I mention, night?) Solar by its very definition cannot be relied on. Contrast this to the near-certain reliability of a simple tank of propane, with an electronic control module and a ceramic igniter. This can be powered by an automotive battery for remote applications. It is not as if the eCat doesn’t have any consumables that have to be periodically replenished, at which time the igniter’s supply of propane replenished too.

  • stefan

    The problem right now is that Mill’s only have hydrinos before his eyes and I don’t think that the foundation for them is there yet. So we could very well wait for another 20 years for things to happen. I do think however that his theory needs to be spread if it’s working because there is a lot of potential benefits from it for the society, essentially a tool to handle many body problems of kinds where the Schrödinger equation becomes clumsy or unphysical. Think of heavy interactions crossing many layers atom shells and such phenomenas where the common tricks with the numerics may fail, cases which might be associated with possible pathway for cold fusion. But not only this, high temperature superconductors does not have a good theory, maybe a better numerical tool, using again Mill’s theory or on a deduction from it may shed some lights. And to validate Mill’s theory you don’t need hydrinos, just comparing with normal atomic measurements is enough. Mills have calculated many thousands? of those values and with very good accuracy, putting those calculation in sound ground is enough validation. One physical quantity, the g factor is calculated to a impressive degree of accuracy with just plain nature constants. It is pretty difficult to fool that in with his simple argument of it. He states a very simple model and then claim to use just normal physical laws of electromagnetism, easy to check if you know the field, and none have done this check and published the equation containing the error during 20 years. So what should I assume, that it doesn’t work, and accept that academia just answer it dosn’t work because I tell you so. Well I smell bullshitting.

  • Linda

    I still don’t get why one ecat can’t power the next in the series, in other words, after you start it, why do you need any external power at all?

    • Andrew

      I think that’s what the “cat and mouse” Rossi is talking about. A small low power(better COP?) Ecat providing the heat to power the larger.

    • Obvious

      The input power, according to Mr. Rossi, is a fail safe mechanism to prevent it from running forever. It is a certification necessity that it can be turned off. If the devices run each other, runaway feedback is a dangerous possibility.
      It is a theoretical possibility for running the device without input, once the reaction begins, and feeding power from one into another in test devices ( Rossi says) but this is inherently dangerous, because shutdown is not guaranteed. No certifying body would allow this situation in a production device. Cars, generators, saws, washing machines, faucets, etc., all have a shut off capability. The Ecat is no different if you want to be able to legally sell them. The more dangerous something is, the more fail safe the shut off must be. A circular saw, for example usually has a “hands on” safety interlock switch in addition to the power switch.
      Making power, storing it, and using the stored power via a switch of some sort provides the safety mechanism. The “mouse” trigger has a very low COP (around 1.1) so it cannot runaway on its own.

      • humblemechanic

        Any mechanic could knock up a device that would cut the input power
        to the second E-cat to stop a runaway reaction.

        • Obvious

          Must, not could/can/might/. Better to be sure from manufacturing end.
          Any electrician could wire up a circular saw motor switch, but they don’t come with the option to do it..

      • GreenWin

        E-Cat thermal runaway destroys catalyst which halts reaction.

      • denkdochmalmit

        Befor it “runs forever” i hope it will at all.
        So one step behind the other…

  • Gerard McEk

    The discussions about another heat source will seize if a COP >10 is reached. I am sure everything will be done by Rossi/IH to achieve that target. Once reached you generate your own electricity which will also be used to heat control the Ecat. You would only investigate other routes like solar if the target is theoretically impossible , but I am sure Rossi has not reached that theoretical level yet. Gas heating is relatively simple if you combine the Ecat with your gas house heating system. I guess that is the main reason to investigate the gas route, so my conclusion is that one of the main products of IH/Rossi is focussed on room/hall/crops heating.

    • Pekka Janhunen

      Another reason for investigating the gas route might be that in electric power production, it’s more profitable (because electric power is more pricey than thermal gas power) to sell all generated electric power and buy some gas for heating the device, rather than to circulate back some of the electricity and not buy any gas. Naturally, one could make a bigger E-cat system to produce the larger amount of electric power, but that would be more expensive (higher capital cost).

      Only if and when E-cats proliferate and change the energy landscape so that electric power cost will drop below thermal gas cost will the situation reverse. The result is not specific to US where gas is particularly cheap at the moment – in other countries, too, thermal power is cheaper than electric power because electric power is almost everywhere made partly from gas or other thermal power with the typical 30-40% efficiency. Basically, it’s wasteful to use highly coherent electric power for resistive heating. (In theory, an E-cat with internal heat pump might be a good idea: one would make high temperature heat which the E-cat seems to require from somewhat lower temperature heat produced by it. It would consume less of the E-cat generated electricity than direct resistive heating.)

      Of course, if the only reason for having COP=6 or so is to maintain thermal stability, then there should logically be a simple fix to achieve high COP: instead of modulating the heating function by varying the amount of resistive or gas heating, one would modify the cooling function by e.g. some moving panels that partly block the emitted thermal radiation. Rossi might be reluctant to use moving parts because of reliability concerns, but on the other hand moving parts are common in everyday technology and most of the time they work just fine.

      • Gerard McEk

        Ecat as a energy supply unit will only be more expensive and less desirable when you need two services (Gas and electricity). You could be right that the low COP is directly linked to the heat control of the Ecat. Another reason to look for other ways to control the Ecat like plasma control like Brillouin and Hyperion seem to do.

        • Pekka Janhunen

          In the plasma control case, I would look into electrodeless methods (microwaves) for producing the plasma to avoid wearing parts.

  • Ophelia Rump

    Solar thermal would limit the operation to daytime hours. It is not compelling.

    You could power anything with anything, Power the E-Cat with a hamster wheel? “Why not” if you had a big enough wheel and enough hamsters, and having enough hamsters is not difficult.

    These power it with . . . questions are becoming silly.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      Molten salt storage systems are very efficient, and they can keep the heat for a week if necessary. An appropriately sized system should be able to maintain the operation of the E-Cats overnight. However, there might be problems if there is not enough sunlight for a longer period, so that the thermal store cannot be sufficiently recharged.

      • beeker_uk

        This all makes no sense. If the ECAT outputs more heat than is required to fire it up, then a closed loop system is not only possible, but hard to prevent. Anyone heard of feedback?

        And if the ECAT doesn’t produce more heat, then it’s pointless.

        I’m getting more and more suspicious that the whole concept is a con mainly due to these discussions about the power required to drive something that produces 6 times more power. It logically makes no sense that any power input is required at all, other than just for starting it up.

    • Sanjeev

      Hamsters are easily distracted and if one of them steps on the hot cat accidentally, it can cause a minor explosion of hamster stuff. This will obviously cause problems with safety certificates, so Rossi would say no. ;-)
      I agree that the suggestions on how to operate an Ecat are going towards ridiculous. Just use mains and give us a working product already.

      • Ophelia Rump

        Hamsters are not unionized and some losses should be expected.
        In fact losses are desirable in proportion to their reproductive rate.

      • GreenWin

        Cost of hamster clean up is high ’cause maintenance IS unionized. The whole idea of LENR is a constant, compact low cost heat/electric source. Solar thermal like Ivanpah, CA is huge, complicated and hard on flying things: http://bit.ly/1nez3pF

  • stefan

    I’m trying to tease out a discussion on Physics.org about Randi Mill’s theory. I truly think that we need his theory to model cold fusion and high temperature super conductors and whatnot. I migh be wrong of cause, but there is pretty good indications that Randi is on to something (But it is not hydrinos), So spread the tease and have a laugh,

    http://www.physforum.com/index.php?showtopic=53716

    • Andreas Moraitis

      There is only one answer so far. That does not mean, however, that most of the readers would develop a negative attitude about Mills’ theory if they would study it. Many established researchers are comfort-loving, and if they can avoid reading a book with 1000+ pages, they just avoid it. They will wait until some of their colleagues have read it and start to talk about it. Therefore, your attempt is laudable. Unfortunately, I cannot participate in the discussion, since I don’t know enough about physics. Maybe some other ECW readers would like to join the debate.

      • georgehants

        There is that joke, that I have learned to realise is almost correct.
        In the old days if a student failed all their exams they applied to go to art-school, if that failed all was lost.
        Now if they fail to get into art-school they can apply to become a scientist, fill in a form saying I believe in Global Warming and will follow everything my high priests tell me and their in.

        • GreenWin

          Yes, science remains the disfigured step-child of art. And yes, one reason scientists have become sheeple is they did not attend or flunked art class.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Agreed. Besides art, I would add philosophy to the list.

            • Andreas Moraitis

              Agreed with your second sentence, to be more precise. “Disfigured” sounds a little too hard to me. By the way, more education in art and philosphy wood be good for politicians and managers as well.

              • Omega Z

                How about ALL politicians and managers be required to perform a year of hot, dirty, sweaty labor.
                So that they may appreciate those who make everything else in life possible. The Fancy Institutions & availability of a higher education.

                • Andreas Moraitis

                  Six weeks at a buildings site would be sufficient, before they go to university. When I went to school, all pupils had to do that or something similar in the summer holidays before the last year.

                • Omega Z

                  They haven’t done anything like that since?
                  Ha- Now were telling our age. :-)

                • Andreas Moraitis

                  Today they have a 2 week period of practical training, which they can do wherever they want. That is, a prospective law student goes to a lawyer’s office, somebody who is interested in business management goes to a bank, and so on. It may be useful for them, but after they have finished their studies many of them will have no clue what happens at the basis of the society.

      • stefan

        Yeah 1000+ pages is a blocker. I did however add some reading instructions that would mean perhaps 30 pages of reading, enough to decide if it’s junk or interesting. I’m a theoretician so I am sort of kicking myself in the but here. To note is that I have had this conversation up for some time without the usual kickback of severe critics, that speaks tons for it to be a serious thing.

    • BroKeeper

      Hydrinos could also explain the elusive Dark Matter if physicists would research it further.

      • stefan

        BroKeeper, hydrinos is atm so infected that one need to put it out of the discussion. I think that the first step is to get some decent critics on Mills theory instead. There is virtually non although it was published over 20 years from now, during this time everything was about the hydrinos, and people got distracted from the true possibilities of new knowledge, it should be enough of this kindergarten behavior, it’s time to really value Mills theory valid or not.

        • BroKeeper

          No intension to catalyze your frustration; however the high level explanation and core of his theory and the Hydrinos as the core contributor of anomalous heat makes a lot of sense. It should be analyzed to prove its existence as the major SF-CIHT cell plasma byproduct and to give credence to his theories.

    • stefan

      Oh gosh the moderator got me (with a very ignorant argument) :-) They really don’t have a clue of what they are doing (teo physics). That speaks tons about their judgement of cold fusion as well.

      • Sanjeev

        Looks like you did the mistake of not reading Mr Feynman’s book before engaging with science priests. He clearly describes the conditions in MIT during his days, nothing much has changed.
        These high in the air people, all they want to hear is how great they are, anyone talking about new research and theories in their forum is simply labeled a crackpot.
        In any case, Mills will be ridiculed not for his theories, but for successfully dragging his awesome promise of unlimited energy from water for a quarter of century.

        • stefan

          Don’t worry I didn’t come out that bad, and it was a lot of fun as well as frustrating. It is also a kind of probe to get a reality check of what people is saying here. They are probably working like in a call center with lists of taboo subjects like hydrino theory and cold fusion which they should spank using a list of proposed strategies. They got a bit confused when it become evident that I was spanking hydrinos myself and in the end basically needed to pull the brake in order to get some time to set up a new strategy with some senior advisors.

      • Andreas Moraitis

        This came somewhat faster than I had expected. Perhaps it is to a certain extent (but surely not only) a ‘tactical’ issue. I guess that you might have a better chance to initiate a discussion if you would 1. Formulate your thesis in a single post and avoid self-replies as far as possible. 2. List a number of specific items you would like to discuss. 3. Remain always objective, even if the opponent does not. If this is not possible, just don’t answer.

        However, the chance for Mills to attract the interest of mainstream physicists will always be small, since he is himself mainly a chemist. It gets very difficult if you are not recognized as a member of the tribe: This has been a factor in the Fleischmann-Pons affair as well. It’s, by the way, a phenomenon that you can observe everywhere, not only in science. (Occasionally, it happens even on this blog.)

        Mills’ theory is indeed intriguing and even beautiful (partly due to Maxwell’s contribution), but so far there is a big shade on the practical side, as user “Lunarlanding” has pointed out. I would not go so far to say that Mills’ reactor is a fraud, but I would appreciate seeing some results in the near future.

        • georgehants

          Andreas, you seem to be confirming my silly little joke below.
          It would be funny if it where not so serious.

  • RKTect

    I was under the impression that Brillouian/SRI was intimately involved in the use of molten salts as an integral part of a Lenr reactor – at least their graphics seemed to show that.