How Hot was the Lugano Lab During the E-Cat Test?

Here’s an interesting post from Andrea Rossi in response to a question from a reader (Achi) on the Journal of Nuclear Physics regarding the temperature in the lab during the running of the Hot Cat test, which ran for 32 days during February and March this year.

He asked:

How was the room ventilated? From the pictures I’ve seen it just looks like a regular room that would get quite hot with the e-cat running 24/7, so i was wondering how they got rid of the heat.

Rossi’s reply:

He,he,he…nice question.
It was winter, and in Lugano winter is pretty cold; besides, the laboratory is in a valley between mountains, where cold intensifies. In the photos you cannot see, but along all the ceiling of the laboratory there was a long and big window, that remained open during all the roughly thousand hours of the experiment, so that the hot air mostly escaped through the upper window; nevertheless, the laboratory ( which was pretty big) has been heated enough to force the persons inside to stay in shirts ( with an external temperature between minus 5 and plus 10 °C as an average, in the period of February and March. Inside the laboratory the temperature was about of 25°C, but, again, with the hot air , which obviously has a specific gravity minor than the cold air, escaping continuously, 24 hours per day, through the big window of the ceiling of the lab.
Warm Regards,

We know that Industrial Heat is working hard to perfect the 1 MW plant to provide steam for an industrial plant, but posts like this make me wonder if it might not be simpler to use these E-Cats in some kind of space heating systems. If IH don’t want to, or are not able to make domestic heaters yet, surely there are large factories or other industrial buildings out there in cold climates where lots of heat is needed.

  • BillH

    I asked the room temperature question in the “always open thread” a few days ago, I’m glad to see someone followed it up, and that Mr Rossi found it amusing. This does however leave me thinking that this was now a rather small test. I used to have a 2KW electric fire, you remember the ones with two bars that used to glow red hot? I used it to heat a room 18x12x8ft and it was fine, but it was switched off much more than on because electric heating is the most expensive.

    It makes the whole idea look much less impressive knowing that the same effect in terms of heat output could have been achieved by a couple of 2KW electric fires. I suppose it’s the proof of concept that’s important in this case.

    I’m pretty sure the 10KW domestic units that were first suggested would have heated my house during a UK Winter with ease, and at about a third of the cost of using a gas boiler. I think the safety risks must be the sticking point there or we may have seen domestic units by now.

    So, it’s back to factory testing, analysis, and finding a solid theory to explain the effect…

  • Thomas Kaminski

    The human body at rest generates about 150 watts. 3000 watts is about 20 people. No big deal for any air conditioning system in the US.

  • Donk970

    The possibilities are endless, barns, sheds, garages etc. I’ve got a couple of electric space heaters to heat my workshop during the winter. That would be a real nice application of a heater that had a COP of three or four.

  • mecatfish

    I give it 1 or 2 years max before we will see do it yourself videos for a home space heater on youtube. Shouldnt be that hard once the first successful one is made by a layman.

    • When MFMP is able to build a working reactor (COP > 1) out of the information of the report, then they will be able to optimize the reaction to get better results. I’m sure.

      When they did that, they should try to sell “starter-kits” to get as many people as possible to replicate the reaction. Then scientists can shut-up.

  • Ophelia Rump

    They would also be perfect for industrial ovens, green houses in winter, warehouses, stadiums, campus steam systems, deicing, and probably a million other uses. Just to generate heat or steam.

  • Curbina

    That was indeed a good question (I think it had been proposed a number of times that the room should have been very hot, even perhaps unbearably hot, with that source of heat continuously in operation) and Rossi’s answer is very fitting to the idea. It would be a very good thing if the report team could add a description of this environment and some pics to this regard in the addendums to the TPR2.

    • anyway it is only 3KW, a big electric space heater.
      It will make the room hot but my tropical wife would be happy in that room, with only one polar-suit.

    • Omega Z

      3Kw is approximately 10,000 Btu’s.
      For comparison, This is equivalent to 1 burner on a gas cook stove.
      Being in a cold climate in winter, this isn’t a whole lot.

      • Curbina

        Yes indeed is not that much in terms of BTU’s but being around a source at 1400°C must be felt in the skin as a lot of IR radiation. At what temperatures do conventional 3 Kwh heaters operate?

        • Omega Z

          The Btu’s output would be the same. Just dispersed over a larger surface area(Resister Coils). There is a formula to calculate the heat drop off verses distance. There are people working jobs where they are within 3 to 4 feet away from a 24″x30″ furnace door where the temperature is around 850’C or 1600″F. It’s a little toasty, but they do it 8 hours a day.

          Without some personal life experience, Images such as this latest version of Hot-cat can easily impress people. Double it’s size & cut the temperature about half. The Btu’s will still be the same.

          As to perceptions:
          Place in 2 separate water jackets “1- 10Kw Ht-Cat”, “1- 10Kw Lt-Cat” that allows 4 Gallons of water flow per minute.
          The temperature of the output water will be the same for both within a small margin. Because both E-cats produce 10Kwh or about 34K Btu’s an hour.

          The difference is the Ht-cat is of a slightly different nature & can achieve higher temps & by controlling the volume of water(Ounces per minute) can produce high quality steam & high Bar pressure. Actually, A boiler would probably work different then this description. The principal would be the same. The Lt E-cat can only achieve a maximum of 200’C so it would only produce low quality steam around a 120’C at best.