With the Birth of the E-Cat, Let’s Let Solar Die (Guest Post)

The following guest post has been submitted by Rick Allen

Solar power is popular and growing fast. Almost every day I read about a new program to put solar panels on homes, a new solar “farm” being constructed, or a breakthrough in photovoltaic panel efficiency. The cost per watt of solar power is also dropping rapidly. Not counting installation costs – which can cost more than the panels themselves – you can buy solar panels for less than a dollar a watt. In some areas, generating electricity via solar panels costs no more than doing so with natural gas or coal. This sounds really good to most people; we need alternatives to dirty, polluting, and expensive fossil fuels. However, there is another source of power that to me makes solar look almost insignificant – Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat.

Even if the price of solar panels continues to drop, photovoltaic technology has drawbacks that simply cannot be overcome. First, to utilize solar panels to produce a significant quantity of power you need space. You can’t tuck a solar panel into a small, compact box and expect it to produce power. A large rooftop or open space is needed. For a solar farm, hundreds or thousands of acres may be required. Secondly, photovoltaic panels cannot produce power at night. Except for a very few experimental panels that have the capability of collecting power from stray infrared light, solar panels produce zero watts after the sun goes down (unless maybe they convert a few rays of light from a full moon).

Because of the above issues with solar panels, you will never be able to fit enough on an ordinary vehicle to produce the kind of power produced by internal combustion engines. Also, all sorts of other problems emerge: how to store excess power produced in the day for use at night, how to build huge solar farms without harming the environment, and how to reduce installation costs. Thankfully, the E-Cat does not suffer from these problems. Unlike solar panels, an E-Cat can operate 24/7 and requires a much smaller amount of space. A nickel-hydrogen device could operate from a small space in the back of your garage.

We have now learned from Andrea Rossi that ‘vast’ R&D is taking place at Industrial Heat into combining solar power and E-Cat technology – I think this is a waste. If the COP of the E-Cat is high enough, closed looping a unit should be relatively simple. Once an E-Cat is closed looped – so a fraction of the output is used to provide power for the drive – it is an ideal source of power. E-Cat generators could be designed to be large enough to power large cities or small enough to power individual appliances. The disruption that a massive shift to nickel-hydrogen power may create chaos in the financial markets, but it needs to happen.

I personally think the E-Cat is the future. Even if another exotic energy technology is discovered, I think nickel hydrogen has the potential to be an extremely cheap source of power for hundreds of years to come. Let’s review the facts:

  • The E-Cat can operate for several months at a time between refueling.
  • The E-Cat consumes only tiny amounts of nickel powder, hydrogen gas, and catalysts.
  • No radioactive materials are used, or radioactive waste produced.
  • No rare earth elements are used.
  • The E-Cat can produce stable temperatures exceeding 1100C.
  • The E-Cat can produce power any time of the day or night — no need for sunlight.

You can’t get much better than this. If the E-Cat can produce basically free high temperature heat, then that heat can be converted to electricity by one of many methods. Today, 90% or more of the world’s power is generated by steam at a temperature of less than 500C. The E-Cat EXCEEDS our needs!

I’m excited about the future of the E-Cat. Once the world accepts that it is absolutely and totally real, there will be a race between hundreds of companies to reproduce the technology. In no time, there will be dozens of different versions of the technology being used. When that happens, there will no longer be a need for conventional renewable power. Instead of filling your roof up with solar panels, you will be able to buy a small E-Cat generator, the size of an air conditioner, to power your home.

Let’s hope that solar power and all other renewable sources of power are allowed to die. There is no need to hold onto the past when the answer to all of our energy needs is here.

Rick Allen

  • Rene

    For the last 15 years, every day (except in winter) my photovoltaic system generates 60KWh.In winter it drops to 30KWh/day. Batteries handle the ebb, flow and burst 15KW power demands. A generator handles winter/rain modest shortfalls. The day when an e-cat based home system can generate a net 2.5KW of electric power continuously or net 5KW 50% duty cycle is the day I will consider replacing my PV system. Until then, go solar!

  • Rob Lewis

    Just one problem: solar energy has been proven to work, and you can buy it. The jury’s still out on LENR, and I think there’s a significant possibility it will never be practical.

    OK, TWO problems: solar power uses radiation energy that is already striking the earth from the sun. It doesn’t add huge quantities of heat to the environment.

  • Charles

    Thanks bachcole :>{|)

  • Omega Z

    Read thru the posts & look at some of Rossi’s latest posts & it makes more sense. In many 3rd world zones, there is no electric or gas available to start up an e-cat. Solar would be a jump start device.

  • Broncobet

    You are correct it would be a waste of time, therefore it must not be all its puffed up to be.

  • theBuckWheat

    Photovoltaic solar panels are EMP antennas. They are the most vulnerable of any current power source to being totally and permanently destroyed by an EMP, whether natural or a “human caused disaster”.

  • Charles

    I am a LENR loon, but, asYogi said: “It ain’t over ’til it’s over”. Furthermore: “It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.” I’m 84 and am madly hoping it’s over before I’m over.

  • Omega Z

    I think Solar has it’s place. Niche markets & such.
    On the other hand, They have many costs that are ignored. Not good for marketing. True, it is better then coal or nuclear environmentally, but cradle to grave tells a different story then that promoted.

    Most here are aware of solar short comings, But I’ll add a couple more you may not be aware of. Insurance costs increase. Things attached to roofs can cause problems as to leaks or additional damage during storms.

    And Insurance may increase further as more people put these on the roof. Seems that in the future, If you home catches fire, They may just let it burn. These panels produce enough electricity even at night from the ambient & emergency vehicle lights to cause a Hold On Effect. So for the firemen’s safety, they will only be present to keep it from spreading to the neighbors.

  • Doug Cutler

    If commercial grade LENR does show up it could obsolete most solar energy – but not necessarily all. The reason is gamma rays. By all reports LENR appears very capable of producing gamma rays at least some of the time. Until it can be demonstrated that an LENR device can be made that is incapable of producing gamma rays under ANY circumstance, including deliberate tampering, an LENR device for any domestic or personal vehicular use is extremely unlikely. What regulator would allow it? The risks, including weaponization, would be too great.

    Instead, we would see LENR limited to utility scale uses that would allow tightly controlled access and inspections. Trains, cargo ships and airliners might also qualify. I’d be happy to pay for Cold Fusion juice coming down my grid wires but solar PV would still be preferred by many living in remote locations or by those who simply enjoy the independence of living off grid.

    Right now, solar PV and wind are displacing loads of fossil fuel. I say go with it until something better comes along.

    • Obvious

      In the past week I have legally fired high energy X-ray beams hundreds of times. X-rays and gamma rays are twins.

      • Doug Cutler

        Ah, you work in some capacity in the health sector, I presume. Perhaps airport security or even material research. If so, then you are licensed, regulated and hopefully well trained. Which is kind of my point – you cant just walk into Home Depot and buy an X-ray machine.

        Sake of argument, let’s say E-cats become ubiquitous in motor vehicles and homes. I suppose we might adjust to the low percentage risk of unsuspecting bombardment from gamma rays. After all, we accept the risk of exploding gas tanks in out present vehicular fleet. Not sarcasm. Just observation and speculation.

        • Obvious

          Something like material research would be close. But you *can*” buy an X-ray device “off the shelf”. There are 6 here on site, that are sealed beam systems usable with only minutes of training. I am a licensed operator, and Radiation Safety Officer in charge of the devices, making sure they are working OK, working with calibration specs, ect., and can use more powerful units with an open beam (dosimeter on, etc.). Pilots get more X-ray exposure during routine high altitude flying than anyone here will ever get working with the X-ray equipment we have on site here. The sealed systems have enough safety interlocks that they are all but impossible to get an exposure from, even by someone with almost no idea what they are doing.

          My point: X-rays can be easily contained with proper shielding design appropriate for the source being used.

          I get more gammas from the stuff I test, than the stuff I test it with.

          • Doug Cutler

            OK, so maybe C-Cats could be ubiquitous with highly tamper resistant construction. I wouldn’t complain so much. I might want to have a gamma ray detector around just in case or in public places where LENR use is common. GR detectors could be a growth industry. Since you’re in a related field perhaps you should look into that.

            But back to the main point: It seems we’re still a long way from having E-Cats out in the field actually displacing fossil fuels. In spite of Darden in China, the Chinese obviously don’t think its just around the corner as they just locked into a 30 year $400 billion Russian gas deal. I hope the new tests come up positive but proving the device works is just the beginning. There could be several more years of R&D and field testing. The device must also prove reliable, of a decent COP and as cost effective as touted – all things yet to be demonstrated. Let’s not kill solar just yet.

    • Paul

      Gamma rays are not a problem, they are very easy to shield. The problems could be neutrons and magnetic fields. Even if a machine does not emit neutrons at COP 15, it do it at COP > 200 as Rossi said, so this could be an aspect to be studied in detail by independent third party more than the COP itself! Regarding the magnetic field, we have information only by the paper of Professor Yeong Kim about Hyperion, where he talks about very strong field, but in many countries the legal treshold is about 0,02-0,03 microtesla, so this could be a serious problem to study by the independent third party.

      • Paul

        Sorry, 0,02-0,03 microtesla is the natural background level of the magnetic fields (to compare for example to those of en high voltage electric line), the legal treshold is at least an order of magnitude greater, but is a low value anyway…

    • Omega Z

      “Until it can be demonstrated that an LENR device can be made that is incapable of producing gamma rays under ANY circumstance”

      And What if those Gamma Rays happen to be the main source of that heat production. Anyway, They can be easily shielded.

      • Doug Cutler

        Tampering. I mentioned tampering. Regulators will still have to contemplate exceptional scenarios and misuse. Of course, I just speculate but they may prefer to see E-Cats operating where they can be carefully monitored such as in utility plants.

        • Omega Z

          Personally, I suspect it will be quite sometime before this technology will make it into private homes.
          By then, they’ll have a much better picture of the safety issues.
          The 1 known safety issue at this time is the nano nickel powder(Toxic) of which I think will be contained in a hermetically sealed tube.

          Ultimately, If this becomes a CHP system, I expect it to be installed in a self contained Cube that will be separate from living quarters accessed only by a trained technician(Your local friendly Utility). But even that is Years away. This is far from economical without other technology advances.

          • Iggy Dalrymple

            What might eventually spur sales of domestic lenr is the proliferation of open source do-it-yourself plans. DIY cuts the govt out of the loop and causes bureaucratic panic.

            • Omega Z

              Aside from Regulations & such & the Nickel being Toxic, I think DIY will be a novelty project.
              Without major improvements in other technologies, I really don’t see DIY being economical for quite sometime. Best one could do is use an E-cat for supplemental heating.

              Beyond that, when you look at life-cycles & cost, it becomes apparent that it would cost much more then staying with the status quo. In our day to day lives we take many things for granted.

              An Example would be a Car can easily run 10 years. 20 if well maintained. Drive that car at just 25mph 24/7 for 1 year your more then ready for a new car because yours is shot.
              The same applies to small scale electrical generation systems. Life-cycle in the few 1000′s of hours.

              One company is trying to develop a CHP system that will last 10 years or 30K hours and be priced around $30K.(Not There Yet) There’s 8760 hours in a year so to last 10 years would be limiting its use to about 8 hours a day. This would apply only to the electric cycle. Heating cycle probably wouldn’t be an issue, But, You’ll need more then 1 10Kw E-cat in many regions of the U.S. for this purpose. At least 2 & likely more.

              It could be a Very long time, But I usually just say years. That’s because I realize that once E-cats become available, It will spur innovation & speed everything up.

              First, they will try for, “Comparably Competitive to Grid”, Then eventually Cheaper then Grid. Also, it will likely begin in New Homes as much cost can be offset by Heating & water heaters that would need installed regardless & it would be included with financing of the home. But still, it will be a while. There is no ready made components for this technology.

    • Iggy Dalrymple

      How does the body count stack up for gamma rays vs carbon monoxide?
      Oops, I forgot… CO doesn’t have Hitchcock music.

      • Doug Cutler

        Was I playing Hitchcock music? I was going more for Ridley Scott. Anyway, I gotta admit, that’s a good point about the carbon monoxide.

        Now, there’s presently a thriving market for carbon monoxide detectors. Perhaps if a domestic E-Cat does show up the solution would be a parallel market for gamma ray detectors. Could be a good play to invest but who, where?

  • hempenearth

    Some places even have a scarcity of water which would make the case for generating electricity with a Hot Cat then steam & turbogenerator less attractive. PV Cells and batteries don’t need water.

  • Fibb

    BTW, the video above has or 5.2 million views and was published on May 18th.

    • Omega Z

      Only $8 per mile mileage tax to pay for & maintain.
      This is one of those cute Ideas that will never pan out in the real world. We can’t even afford the existing roadways which would still be required to pave the panels to…

  • Daniel Maris

    Solar power has no moving parts. In principle the costs could continue to fall to below the minimal levels that LENR can achieve (since LENR – so far- will have to work with turbines or Stirling Engines).

  • mcloki

    Everybody is trying to make a living, Solar will be around for a long time. Solar panels will still be a badge of “eco-Consciousness” that people will want just like owning a Prius or Tesla. Gas powered cars will be around for another hundred years. Yes they will become niche products. The e-cat is yet to light a lightbulb, that we know of, whereas solar is already powering portable traffic signs. Both will co-exist for a decade at least. So will Coal and Nuclear for that matter. Those need to be converted before you touch solar. IMO.

    • Charles

      Okay for soar but I say let’s kill all the cats and all the wind farms. The birds need help.

  • bachcole

    The market will work out all of these details. One size will not fit all.

    • Iggy Dalrymple

      No conscious decision will be needed to kill solar or any other tech.
      Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” will perform the dastardly deed (Hitchcock music).

      • Charles

        I love it every time Adam Smith is mentioned. He published “The Wealth of Nations” in 1776, the same year as the Declaration of Independence was issued by the Founders. I believe God assembled the Founders and threw Adam in as a bonus and the period. All done.

  • bachcole

    The market will always make sure that there is any solar around that we need. No one is going to stop solar completely (which is what “die” means) until they are certain that LENR is going to take over the world. When that happens, further solar development will come to a standstill. This could be bad for the 3rd world, but we will still have the technology, just not the fast and furious developing projects that we see now.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    From a technical point of view, I agree with most of the author’s statements. Special cases are surely those places where no electricity or gas is available (see Rossi’s answer to Frank and the comment of Achi below). But one should consider also the economical, political and social aspects of the E-Cat’s commercialization. Some important points have already been mentioned. First of all, if you come out with the message that you will make the current infrastructure obsolete, you will surely find more enemies than friends. Collaborating with other companies may be more promising than getting involved in a war. Retrofitting existing plants with E-Cats in order to improve their efficiency would be profitable both for Industrial Heat and the owners of the plants. And the risk of a total failure would presumably be minimal, as I have tried to point out earlier. In the long term, due to the new technology most of today’s energy sources might become superfluous – but I for my part would prefer a soft transition with a reduced amount of trouble, bankruptcy cases and lost jobs.

  • ecatworld

    Today on the JONP:

    Frank Acland
    May 26th, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Dear Andrea,
    It’s fascinating that you have a big effort to combine solar with the E-Cat.

    1. Do you consider this a more efficient alternative to natural gas or grid electricity?

    2. Or is it an alternative when the above sources are not available?

    Frank Acland:
    1- no, I consider it an integratio that can be convenient in specific situations
    2- that maybe one of the specific situations
    Warm Regards,
    A.R.

    • Omega Z

      As I stated in another thread,
      What may not make sense to us makes perfect sense to those in 3rd world zones. This could be a jump start until they develop to a higher level.

  • Christopher Calder

    The cost per watt for solar is usually calculated at peak output when the Sun is shining the brightest, not when the Sun is dim and low on the horizon, or on cloudy days. The few hours a day you get from solar panels hardly makes up for the total loss of power at night. Would you ever purchase a natural gas or coal power plant that only worked a few hours a day? The real costs of running a home or the grid on solar power is incredibly high and will stay high regardless of how low Chinese slave labor gets to manufacture the solar panels. It takes monster sized machines to collect diffuse energy sources and the surface area of the Earth it takes to produce energy with any solar power schemes is too big to be environmentally friendly. Biofuels are a solar scheme as well, and biofuels have been an environmental disaster. Solar is great for pocket calculators or powering remote weather stations. Solar should never be used for large scale electricity production. Germany has spent billions of dollars on solar panels that have a Capacity Factor of just 10%. That is NOT energy efficiency at all. Passive solar hot water heating for home use is fine. Use the right tool for the right job.

    • Manuel Cruz

      The cost of energy in Germany and Spain has triplicated since they switched to solar.

  • Venno

    What would the cost be per watt compared to solar/coal/gas
    Will IH make it very much cheaper? I dont think so. I would make it just a little cheaper ( capital cost ) if I were them – but I am not and I dont think they are going to give us this gift at cost plus 10% either

    • builditnow

      Rossi has talked about $1000 for his e-cat, low temperature version.
      Guessing:

      The future, a 20kW heat / 5kW electricity Elec-Cat
      Sales room price = $3000
      Installation = $2000 (retrofit existing house)
      Yearly recharge cost $200
      That’s $5000
      Over 10 years = $5000/10 + $200 = $700 / year

      Per month = 700/12 = $60

      For $60 per year, you can run it full steam all year if you want, not need to conserve.

      You could charge your electric car for instance (if it does not have an e-cat in it already)
      ================================================
      What is your combined electricity / heating / cooling bill per month?
      ================================================

      If the system was well designed for long life and went for 20 years and the recharge kits became user installed for $20

      Monthly cost = ($350 + $20)/12 = $31.

      In the future, the unit could be installed in new houses for an additional cost of $1000 over current grid power setups, 20 year life, $20 recharge kits.

      Monthly cost = (1000/20 + $20)12 = $5.80

      Remind me, how much is your combined electricity and heating bill again?
      What exactly would compete with this kind of power?

      • Christina

        On your first math problem, isn’t that $60 per month. Just saying.

        Still being able to run it all one wants in areas where it’s 20 degrees below zero would be almost heaven on for the wallet. :-)

  • Achi

    Right but you have to think about the future when the grid is no more. If I live in the middle of nowhere how am I going to start my ecat without electricity/gas? You buy an ecat in a box that comes hooked up with a solar panel.