Technical Discussion with Alexander Parkhomov on his Replications

The following article was written by Alan Smith who is reporting for E-Cat World at the ICCF Conference in Padua

Yesterday — Wednesday, April 15, during the course of a little light sight-seeing and a pleasant private lunch I had the chance to ask Dr. Alexander Parkhomov some technical questions about his replication of the Rossi E-Cat.

There has been quite a bit of discussion in various replication groups about the key ingredients required to operate an E-Cat successfully. The answer is simple: nickel in powder form, lithium aluminium hydride, and a “dirty” chopped AC waveform of the type obtained by using a thyristor controlled power supply. That is all. Regarding the use of iron in the reactor, AP said that it was not necessary to get a reaction; he has never used iron as an ingredient.

A thyristor power supply gives an oscilloscope trace similar to an interrupted sine wive. Even though the base frequency is only 50 or 60 c.p.s, such a system produces a broad range of harmonics. It is these multi-frequency harmonics which trigger the reactions.

So Nickel, LithiumAH and a noisy power supply is the trick. Parkhomov also uses ‘super kanthal’ wire for the heater coil. This may be just a Russianism for ‘heavy duty wire’ though. I also asked if there was any need to purge air from the reactor vessel – which of course is mostly oxygen and nitrogen etc. The answer was comforting. Purging makes no dfference that he knows of, and is not required. There may even be some water vapour present but this is not detrimental.

The inner reactor can be steel or alumina, though you need to get a high melting point non-magnetic steel. Alumina is simpler in many ways. The temperature needs to build up slowly – I heard this from other scientists at the conference too – to allow time for the hydrogen to be adsorbed into the nickel. Look at the timeline in AP’s data for information on this.

The system begins to produce anomalous heat at around 4-500C (as far as can be determined) but starts to ‘go critical’ and produce a more rapid thermal output at around 600/700C. then the thermal output takes off until you reach around 1000C. At this point the reaction may go ‘supercritical’ with a very rapid temperature rise until the fuel melts at around 1450+ . Even this is not guaranteed to stop the LENR process and there is a possibility of containment meltdown. Best to keep the temperature in the lower zone, perhaps 800-900 C

As for pressure, the breakdown of LAH with the thermal expansion of the gas and ‘ambient’ air inside the reactor causes the pressure increase. Absorption of these gases by various parts of the system cause the pressure drop. The negative pressure data that he has reported is a mystery but might be caused by poor calibration of his pressure gauge.

We might speculate that slow application of heat at the beginning of the test allows time for the Nickel powder to adsorb the hydrogen fully. This also seems to be a theme of other experimenters’ work. If you heat the newly-fuelled reactor too fast, you perhaps get a thin ‘skin layer’ of highly saturated nickel/LAH that may then inhibit the adsorption of hydrogen into the nickel matrix. This may then be the trigger for a ‘flash bang’ event. We might compare this runaway event to the effect of pouring Kerosene over a pile of logs and immediately throwing on a match. The slow heating is analogous to allowing the gasoline to soak into the logs for a while – you get a more controlled but still very hot burn.

A final comment. AP seems to me to be a quiet, gentlest and most genuine and kindly kind of chap. Not at all bombastic, he has stamina – as I found out yesterday – that belies his 70 years. A good and useful day here in Padua all round.

Alan Smith

  • Andrea Calaon

    The theory I proposed at ICCF 19 suggests the NAE could be stimulated with a very low frequency: 1836 [Hz]. The stimulation of Parkhomov seems to confirm this, since AC thyristors can add at most frequencies of some [kHz].

  • Zack Iszard

    Such a treasure trove of nuggets of Parkhomov’s wisdom. Its exactly these little items that comprise the nebulous “experience” as an experimenter.

    I glean these main points:

    1. Heat the reactor slowly.
    2. Apply a chopped sine waveform to carry heating current.
    3. Don’t break 1000 C

    • Agaricus

      The problem of temperature criticality might be minimised by using tungsten (MP 3442C) for the outer (pressure) containment and a tungsten heater coil. Unfortunately, money is obviously a constraint on individuals such as Dr Parkhamov.

  • Skip

    I am very pleased to hear that we may have good reaction at the lower temps that make induction heating possible in various steel compounds. Even if we need to kick start the reaction at a higher temp by joule heating.

    • Nigel Appleton

      My thoughts precisely!

      I’ve nearly got the bits together for a go at this. Th

  • clovis ray

    That it, the good stuff, nice article Alan, looks like the race is on, or the game is afoot, google,and microsoft, being there, that impressive,

  • Omega Z

    Heat may be applicable from any source that gets hot enough, But I think the AC input is required for the stimulation that helps maintain the SSM for higher COP numbers.

  • Omega Z

    Depending on the specifics. the effect can be initiated at different temperatures, But all need heat to start it. In the Hot cat reactor, high temps are needed to both release the hydrogen from the lithium hydride & to liquify or gasify the lithium. It may also speed up the hydrogen absorption by the nickel.

    Electrolytic Palladium setups can absorb hydrogen without heat but can take weeks or even months to do so.

    I’ve a personal curiosity about using powered Palladium in place of nickel, but for a few applications, I don’t think that would be economical. You would only gain about 100`C in higher temperatures & the reactor , wires and all else would be much more expensive for containment. Plus Palladium is magnitudes more costly.

  • Omega Z

    If Rossi is using an RF generator, He could have refined the necessary frequency. Thus stimulating the effect for longer SSM. Higher COP’s

  • Stefan Israelsson Tampe

    When it comes to steel making, one often has a magnetic stirrer to even out the temperature in the mold, hence improving the quality of the final product. This works by the magnetic varying field induces current that interacts with the magnet and induces a force see.

    What I’m wondering is if the fuel inside the ECAT at those high temperatures might be stirred by the alternating current. If the stirring is the key, then the frequencies does not need to be especially high. Parkhomov seam to say that the waveform can have high derivatives from time to time which might

    translate into a “kick” of the right magnitude that might be positive for getting it to stir properly.

    I’m not sure that the magnitude of this force is in the right ballpark to do anything good though.

  • Obvious

    Maybe the TC sees this?… (worst case)

    • Arnaud

      The TC “sees” the temperature at the hot junction. I doubt the temperature can follow the frequency of the EMF.

      • Obvious

        The TC wire can certainly act as an antenna. It is very unlikely, yet possible due to recording time timing methods, to alias the the TC signal to the cyclic peaks of AC noise. With a common ground, aliasing high is however quite possible. It depends greatly on signal conditioning. You can clearly see the effect of aliasing in the volts levels recorded in the MFMP GS2 test. This means that the volts sample recording rate was too low.
        The junction is not exactly the temperature measurement point in a TC. The voltage is developed over the entire temperature gradient from the junction to the meter. The junction is the electron flow bottleneck between the two dissimilar wires that causes the voltage. Twisting the TC wires will greatly reduce the EM noise. Long parallel stretches of TC wire will increase the potential of receiving EM noise.

  • olbab

    Seems likely that there’s only one input -the chopped power to the heating element. Which means the radio frequency harmonics of the power are most likely introduced to the reactor as magnetic fields around the heater. Not sure about the E field, nobody mentions it. If you go way-back, some parties were using sparkplugs to introduce RF. Perhaps early Rossi, perhaps Brilloin (?). I get the impression that these early efforts needed the RF (or arcing side effects?) and that current LENR really doesn’t.

    • Obvious

      Where would the spark plug go? Certainly not in the core, with all that metal. I have a couple of older MSD 6A units. They sure make some electrical noise. It would easy to drive the MSD with a pulse generator circuit.

    • Henrik

      Defkalion used spark plugs. Maybe others.

  • EEStorFanFibb

    what a great read. thanks Allan.

    Meanwhile, if I may plug my EEStorChat room Frank….. All are welcome to visit.


  • Nigel Appleton

    Thanks for that report – highly informative!

    Is there any clue as to whether any particular harmonic/s is/are more important than any other?

  • Ged

    I think it is the summation of heat and magnetic components. The low temp e-cat has a dedicated RF and magnetic field generator, while the hot cat has none and uses a variac for power. Still, very clever magnetic frequency and field construction could play a huge role in efficiency, and may ultimately be important for getting the most output and control of the reaction.

  • Ed Pell

    Thanks Alan. Happy the temperatures are 1000C and lower.

  • Bernie Koppenhofer

    Great reporting, thanks.

  • Christopher Calder

    Very interesting stuff, but I wish he would at least try adding iron dust and carbon dust to his fuel mixture.

    • oloap88

      noooow, let’s just follow the recipe, shall we? i know it woud be awesome to prove LENR and discover an improvement at the same time but for now we just need to prove it.
      when we can start a reaction with the flip of a finger, then there will be all the room for improvement we want, but for now we need a huge number of exact replications of what we know is working.

      • Christopher Calder

        Rossi uses iron and carbon. I want to copy Rossi, not the Russian device. Rossi’s device is proven beyond doubt. That cannot be said for the Russian device.

  • Barry

    Thanks Alan, great work. Parkhomov will surely go down in history as a Cold Fusion hero.

  • Dr. mike

    Thanks for your report! It’s encouraging to see that LENR can be created with such a basic set-up. If Parkhomov’s results can be easily replicated, there will soon be many scientists running the experiments needed to put together an experimentally verified theory of LENR.
    Dr. Mike

  • Gerard McEk

    Thanks Alan for your effort to give us -Parkhomov replicators- answers to questions which pondered us for quite a while. Good job!

  • e-dog

    Thank you very much Alan. Great reporting. You asked all the right questions of Dr Parkhomov, Keep up the good work.

  • Curbina

    Kudos to Alan!!! I’m sure he and Pharkhomov got along. Frank, can you ask Alan if he has replication of Pharkhomov in mind? His reporting gives me the idea he is thinking doing so.

  • theBuckWheat

    A heater wire of the size that appears to be used (say US 20 gauge or bigger) would have a thermal inertia that is far slower than power line frequency. If, as stated above, the higher frequency components of the chopped power are necessary to trigger the reaction, the effect must come from the magnetic field component of the current flow.

    I read somewhere that the Rossi device showed a strong magnetic field when operating. I have only seen this mentioned once. Is there any research into the issue of magnetic interaction with this reaction?

    • Ged

      Some theories require nuclear magnetic resonance, which a strong, aligned magnetic field will induce in non-spin 0 atoms. Dueterium is spin 0, however, yet was the first LENR fuel. Never the less, a strong field may help coherence and production of bose-einstein condensates. Personally, I think the magnetic field, and particularly that its not static while NMR deals with a primary static alignment field, is working to bring the frequency of particle oscillations to the range needed to quantum tunnel protons through the Coulomb barrier. A more mundane explanation based on quantum physics, but explains the role of heat and magnetics and why it’s a narrow combined range for each for optimal reactivity.

      Could also be the magnetics are important for the trans mutation chains and not the initiating fusion events. Thing is, the gas fired hot cat currently puts a wrinkle in mag Eric’s as being vital, just like the low temp does heat’s role. This is why I believe it is a combination effect between the two, and with more of one you need less if the other–as both heat and magnetic oscillations are serving to drive the quantum particle frequencies to the right point (think particle in a box for an analogy of a hydrogen trapped in a nickel lattice “box”–though the “box” walls themselves are vibrating to add to the combined tunnel frequency–or deuterium with palladium, or most any transition metal matrix as other research groups have shown to varying degrees).

      • Alan DeAngelis

        The interesting thing about deuteron is that it has a spin of 1.

        • Ged

          Yep, you’re completely right, thank you for the correction. That means deuterium could participate in magnetic resonance as well (albeit with much weaker properties than hydrogen due to the latter’s very nice spin 1/2). Deuterium was invisible on our NMR machine, which came in handy for all sorts of solvent exchange kinetic studies.

  • Alain Samoun

    Preliminary results of isotopic analysis show minor changes in the structure and composition of the ashes in the the latest poster of Parkhamov, to the opposite of the Lugano test. This maybe because Parkhomov test was only about 3 days against 30 days for Lugano?

    • Omega Z

      I agree.
      I also think that is why Rossi was also caught off guard to the Lugano results. All of his focus was aimed at minimal input. Basically, Rossi didn’t see the same results in his work because he didn’t have 30 days of continuous operation. Just intermittent.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Aluminum to Silicon

    Coupled reactions?
    It would be interesting to see if there is also a disappearance of aluminum in the fuel and the formation of silicon in the ash.

    H(1) + Li(7) > 2 He(4) 17.3 MeV

    Al(27) + He(4) > Si(30) + H(1) 2.3722 MeV

    The MeV alpha from the above reaction can cause the below reaction and then the MeV proton from the below reaction can cause the above reaction.

    We discussed this before.

    • Obvious

      Check the possible Si29 on page 52.

      • Alan DeAngelis

        If it is Si(29) then I’m wrong because natural aluminum is 100% Al(27).

        • Obvious

          There is about equal parts atomic mass 27, 28 and 29 in a couple of those analyses. Al28 and Al29 would decay to Si28 and Si29 in about 2.5 and 6.5 minutes respectively by Beta minus decay.

  • hempenearth

    Thanks Alan, very useful and easy to understand.

    • gdaigle

      Yes, very informative and useful. Nice personal profile as well.

  • Gerrit

    Certainly we have evidence of transmutation products in the ash, don’t we ? Don’t we ?

    • Warthog

      Why do we need it?? Lugano, Mitsubishi, and Toshiba(?) aren’t sufficient??

      • Freethinker

        There are ample evidence for transmutations in LENR. It is a matter of accpeting the brutal and simple fact, and failure to do so, is what is mentally blocking those who claim there are no transmutations.

      • Josh G

        And those are not the only LENR experiments that have shown evidence of transmutations.

    • Omega Z

      Parkhomov’s results don’t show much transmutation products in the ash because the run time was short.

      That’s a Good Thing. If he showed similar results to the Lugano test, it would mean fuel requirements would be much higher. Like pounds per year instead of grams.