A reader on the Journal of Nuclear Physics asked a good question of Andrea Rossi about remote monitoring of the 1 MW plant:
Why don’t you have SCADA and RTU relaying the encrypted information to your headquarters, instead of staying in the contener 18 hr a day?
March 8th, 2015 at 6:07 PM
Because if something goes wrong SCADA and RTU cannot substitute the intervention of my Team and me and anything can happen anytime. Is like to ask to the teams of Formula 1 why instead of the pilots they don’t put robots to drive the race cars. Interventions must be immediate and competent, sometimes also creative, since this is the first plant in real operation of his kind ever installed.
And in a later comment he remarked:
Of course we can control things remotely, and this will surely be useful when we will have many plants working with a consolidated technology. But in this situation we cannot rely on remote control, because if it is necessary an immediate intervention we must be here. To activate the remote control is simple thing, but in this specific situation it is not much of use.
If this plant turns out to be successful, it seems that remote monitoring will be employed on plants that will be built in the future. But for now, the 1 MW plant is a special case — Rossi and his team are in uncharted waters here, and are apparently expecting that anything could happen at any time, which would require expert hands-on attention at a moment’s notice.
I think this is an understandable approach. There’s a lot riding on this testing period — if it turns out to be a success, then we could see the emergence of more E-Cats in the marketplace, perhaps starting next year. If the test fails, it will probably be back to the drawing board, and we could be looking at more delays. Rossi, I think, is trying to do all he can to ensure success, even if it means devoting a full year of his life to live with this plant.