Andrea Rossi has frequently mentioned that ‘driving’ the E-Cat with a natural gas source, rather than electricity, is a goal that Industrial Heat is working towards, because in many cases it would make the E-Cat more economical (natural gas being much less expensive than electricity in many parts of the world).
If it were simply a matter of replacing one source of heat (a gas flame for an electric heating element) one might think that this was a relatively simple task to perform — but a comment from Andrea Rossi today on the Journal of Nuclear Physics indicates that things are not this simple.
Steven Karels asked Rossi:
Can you discuss what some of the challenges are in going to a gas-fueled eCat compared to an electricity heated eCat?
1. The difference in time constant between the application and removal of heat between electric heating and flame?
2. The difference in heat transfer for gas-fired versus direct electric windings?
3. The difficulty in providing adequate ventilation for gas-fired system (incoming air)?
4. The difficulty in exhausting the exhaust products?
5. The energy efficiency of gas-fired (how much energy goes up the chimney)?
None of them.
The problem is deeper and has its roots in the core of the know how. It is not a problem of heat exchange or of heat conservation. Otherwise, it could have been already resolved.
To me, this response suggests that there is some other kinds of important stimulation given to the reactor from the electrical heating element, than simply heat up the fuel in the reactor. In connection with this idea is the comment that Rossi made some months ago about the E-Cat requiring Alternating Current (AC), and that it could not run on Direct Current (DC).]
What this means is unclear, but it does make me wonder if there is some kind of radio frequency or magnetic pulsation involved in producing an E-Cat reaction. This could be useful information for replicators as they plan for various configurations and experiments.
Perhaps Rossi and his team at IH are trying a type of hybrid approach, where they combine heat from natural gas simultaneously with AC electrical stimulation — that could get complicated, and it seems from Rossi’s response here that they still haven’t sorted this problem out.