Rossi: Hot Cats to be Used for Domestic Unit — ‘Very Long’ Self-Sustain Periods in Single Units

There has been some interesting information from Andrea Rossi revealed by Andrea Rossi recently regarding plans for the Hot Cat (the high temperature E-Cat reactor), which he now says will be used as the basis for domestic E-Cat units, which apparently are being prepared for in ongoing R&D activity. Here are some recent questions and comments from Rossi via the Journal of Nuclear Physics.

Q: Do you think that if the year long test of the 1 MW plant – if the results will be positive and the safety will be sound – will make easier to obtain the safety certification for the domestic E-Cat?

Andrea Rossi
May 8th, 2015 at 6:59 PM
Yes. By the way, the test on course on the Hot Cat adjacent to the 1 MW E-Cat are going well, and it is the core of what will be the domestic E-Cat; we made improvements respect the Lugano reactor, obtained by the successful application of a new design that has been born studying the results of Lugano.
Warm Regards,

Q: Can you explain why you now find the Hot Cat is more suitable for home heating than the lower temperature E-Cat?

Andrea Rossi
May 10th, 2015 at 9:48 AM
Frank Acland:
Very interesting question.
In domestic applications we will not have multiple reactors to make up synergies as it is happening with the 1MW plant; for this reason, the low temperature E-Cats are less efficient: the COP of the Hot Cat, when utilized in mono-assemblies, is higher. As I said before, E-Cats are very complex things, much more complex than it appears.
Warm Regards,

Q: Does this mean you are able to achieve substantial periods of self-sustain mode with a single Hot Cat reactor?

Andrea Rossi
May 10th, 2015 at 1:59 PM
Frank Acland:
Yes: with the Hot Cat we are reaching here inside the computers container very long ssm.
Also its test will last one year. It has been strony modified after the Lugano test.

Warm Regards

Rossi said in another comment that although they are planning on using the Hot Cat in domestic appliances, producing electricity from these small units is still an “still an unresolved problem, notwithstanding many prototypes of direct conversion, too “green” to be taken as mature solution”, and that using the Carnot cycle — which would mean a steam generator — is impossible. So the plan at this point is to use the domestic units as heaters only.

It sounds like Industrial Heat has some level of confidence that they will be able to get safety certification for these domestic units now, or they probably wouldn’t be putting in the effort that they are in this area. But it seems unrealistic to expect domestic heaters showing up in the near future, especially now we know there’s another year-long test to wait on.

  • jousterusa

    Hearing that conversion of the Little Cats to electricity generation is “still an unresolved problem, notwithstanding many prototypes of direct conversion,” I suspect that Rossi and his partners will ultimately fail. If he cannot take advantage of the many ways to convert heat to electricity for home use, his heaters will have no value in warm states and many barriers to overcome in the cold ones. It also puts him definitively behind Randall Mills and the hydrino reactor, whuch adapted solar panels to that purpose. In the end, people need power as much as heat. President Obama’s October Prersidential Order on co-generation (of heat and power) was a huge gift to Rossi that he has never grasped. It allows him to get all kinds of government help with his project to accomplish precisely this, the co-generation of heat and electricity that all of us are praying for..

    • Omega Z

      Producing electricity at a small scale is not the issue.
      Doing it efficiently & economically is the issue & even if direct conversion technology should advance, It will still be an economic issue at small scale.

      A Power plant can produce 10Kw of electricity & provide service to 5/6 homes. It’s like 3 people with different schedules buy (1) car & share it. Power companies only need to meet peak demand at any given moment. Not the total of the peak demand of all individuals.

      In essence, For every Gigawatt of power produced today, It would require 3 to 5 Gigawatt to put it into individual homes. What I think LENR brings to the table is a smaller scale grid. Power plants at the local level instead of highly centralized. Note that contrary to what many think, It will take about 50 years to transition the existing system. How long if you need 3 to 5 times what exists today?

      If people really want to go off grid, they can do that today. We know why they don’t. It’s to expensive, non-economical and/or very inconvenient. LENR will not change this. The production of electricity & how we make use of it is a complex issue. For individual facilities, over coming these issues increase the costs exponentially.

      As to Mills technology. It has many of the same issues. As to the solar cells. How many can you place within a 1x1x1 foot cube. You can expand the cube, but there is a correlating loss of energy as you move farther from the center. Their also not that efficient to begin with. You’ll be throwing away 85% of the energy produced. This is added cost.

      There are answers to many of these issue’s & many here at ECW will freely throw them about ignoring the costs.
      An Example.
      Use the waste heat for an A/C absorption chiller.
      Yep. Throw away a $3K installed ready to use central A/C for a $30K plus additional hardware plus installation plus 3/5 E-cats for an absorption system.

      Total cost exceeding $40K & still requires 500+ watts of electricity.
      Yes, there are solutions, but they have a cost. This (1) alone eliminates a potential lifetime of energy cost saving$.

      There is no doubt that LENR will be of great benefit to society, But only if we implement it in an intelligent manner. Otherwise, we may create bigger problems then those we solve.

  • Albert D. Kallal

    Well, how soon is a relative term!

    Given that Rossi has an operational and “commercial” quality plant running, then really building a home unit is not a question of not possible, and not even a question of “many years” away, but in fact is just around the corner.

    Rossi is FAR beyond the lab bench. Quite a few years of testing and work occurred before the first 1MW plant was revealed. And the plant looked quite crude.

    The designs and pictures of the next gen 1MW plant were VERY nice and show a commercial “ready to go” type of design.

    And now we see Rossi has learned to use heat from the plant to increase the COP. The 20-80 COP we are hearing about is far beyond what any of us expected – and this has occurred in LESS then one year of operation.

    Now Rossi is making rather positive remarks as to improving hot-cat performance (this I consider VERY signification news from Rossi).

    While Rossi has stated electricity generation remains a challenge, he has mentioned the Carnot cycle. This DOES NOT restrict this to a steam engine, but simply any kind of heat engine. This likely suggests using a sterling engine is most practical for home use (the steam system adds too many extra working parts and requires maintains of water system under pressure as the working fluid). I think a heat engine based on gas is thus far more practical and reliable (thus a sterling engine as opposed to a steam engine).

    The only “missing” part is how high the COP of the hot-cats are?

    Given the hot-cat temperatures, I really don’t see why using a good quality sterling engine is not that far out into the future.

    How soon and how practical electricity generation?

    This really comes down to what the COP and operational temperatures of the hot-cats are. The higher the temperatures, and the higher the COP, the more simple and practical does electricity generation become with hot-cats.

    As noted, I am a big fan of Dean Kamen’s sterling engine for electricity generation which looks to be a marriage made in heaven for the hot-cats. I think such self looped systems are thus not that far away in which the plant provides heat and excess electricity..

    So owning and running a nuclear power plant in your house not that far away, but I think owning such a nuclear power plant that provides both heat and electricity is fast becoming practical and possible.

    Just like many years ago it was a silly dream for someone to own their own computer, today computers are rather common, cheap and affordable, and many people even own more then one computer now. In fact their phone is a computer!

    With LENR?

    Imagine! – A low cost affordable nuclear power plant in your basement proving heat and electricity!! I always wanted to own a nuclear reactor – and now it looks that consumers owning their own nuclear reactors will be commonplace, much like owning a computer.

    Albert D. Kallal
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada
    [email protected]

  • Pietro F.
  • Andy Kumar

    Hot-cat test will start after the low-cat data has been analyzed and digested. We can expect the full holy grill on the market by the end of 2016. Not bad, compared to hot fusion.

    • GreenWin

      Well, yes. But just because hot fusion has delivered nothing but taxpayer dollars to failed HF research – does not mean we should fire everyone at PPPL. Or MIT PSFC. The benevolence of the Buddha suggests we transition these misguided (fools) to the land of hope and dreams — LENR!!! Which despite Darwinian protestation — has a far better chance of survival!

  • mike

    Well Frank, it could be the tests are both on going at the same time for awhile. Question is when did the hotcat testing start? We may not have to wait “another year”.

    • ecatworld

      Yes, that’s a good point. The test seems to be underway, so they may have some time under their belt already.

  • Pedro

    Given the vague arrangement between IH, Rossi and The name of Rossi’s own Leonardi still popping up now and then, I wouldn’t be surprised if the agreement with IH is for the 1MW LT eCat only, and the Hot Cat and the domestic market might be Rossi’s private play ground. Does that make any sense?

    • hempenearth

      IH provided the Hot Cat for the Lugano test

    • NT

      IH is apparently providing the place, equipment, etc to test the hot cat, so what does that tell us about ownership of the device?

  • pelgrim108

    Indeed. I think it would be great if they would sell safe domestic E-Cats in the future, but if it turns out to be to demanding to do this then I would like to see it sold over the internet as a part and let the rest of world figure out how to deal with these parts.

  • Pekka Janhunen

    It’s the full holy grail: a small high-temp device with high COP. Of course it’s a prototype that hasn’t yet undergone long testing. But at this stage, the news couldn’t be better. Rossi just announced it in a somewhat nonchalant way so it’s going a bit underhyped.

  • Warthog

    “Therefore it is absolutely vital that from day one there at least some electricity generation integrated with these units.”

    Not at all…..domestic hot water with home heating AND air conditioning by adsortion AC is perfectly practical for a home unit without electricity generation. It is perfectly feasible for the low-temp “Cat” to be used year-round.

  • Pekka Janhunen

    With “impossible” Rossi probably means something that’s not possible to have in the (low) price category that he’s envisioning for the domestic unit.

  • Fyodor

    “It sounds like Industrial Heat has some level of confidence that they will be able to get safety certification for these domestic units now, or they probably wouldn’t be putting in the effort that they are in this area. But it seems unrealistic to expect domestic heaters showing up in the near future, especially now we know there’s another year-long test to wait on.”

    This strikes me as not correct. The Hot-Cat is where all the money is, in terms of electricity generation, mechanically useful steam, etc, regardless of whether it is used domestically.

    As much as we are all fantasizing about having our own home cold fusion generators, it’s a long long ways off. Making a product that is individually reliable enough for home end-consumer use is so much harder than making something that can be used in a factory with 100 other units, is maintained by a technician, can be shut off for maintenance, etc. Just providing technical support for a new mass-market product is incredibly difficult. I think for the forseeable future we’ll see these used in factories, power plants, etc and only after several long cycles maybe see something for home use.

    I’d also add that Rossi said that he would have commercial units in 2011, just a few months after his first public announcement/test. I don’t think that he was being dishonest, but just these things are hard to predict.

    • pelgrim108

      What do you think about selling dogbones over the internet and also refill capsules over the internet. With no garantee or warranty at your own risk as a part not a product. All kind of dangerous stuff is sold over the internet even hot fusion neutron generators.

      • Fyodor

        What if one explodes or starts a fire? What if it leaks and someone gets nickel poisoning? Making something safe for home use is just so much more demanding. Making one or ten of something that works is different from making 1 million.

        • pelgrim108

          I would think the market will find an answer for the dangers, like fire and bulletproof encapsulations. Supercapitors can explode, electrical wire can cause fires. A handheld circular saw can also do damage. People like ME256 will figure it out how to safely deal with the bones.

          • Fyodor

            Eventually, yes, but there will be a long percolation period, with long periods of use in industrial settings before they are considered reliable enough for home use.

        • GreenWin

          True. People die in airplane disasters. In car wrecks. In natural gas explosions. Crossing the street in busy traffic. But there are 1.5Billion NG water heaters on planet. The explosive danger has not slowed acceptance. Which is by our own book, KEY.

  • Agaricus

    Even if heat to electricity proves impractical, at least initially, a large ‘thermal store’ (insulated water tank, 300L+ capacity) could be employed to even out demand, so that the reactor could be run continuously at say 10kW, 20kW or 30kW output, depending on external temperatures and demand. A fan radiator in the attic or externally wall mounted could be employed to dump any over-production of heat.

    • ajb

      It all depends on start-up and shutdown time. If it still takes hours (no indication this has changed) it’s almost imperative to run it 24/7 for large parts of the year and therefore it could well end up not being as cost effective as something that can work on demand. Using the power from the time heat isn’t strictly needed to generate electricity will make for better overall economics. Even that 300l tank will reach capacity and it costs space – the easier the drop-in replacement the greater the adoption.

      Just to reiterate: compact Stirling engines exist in homes now, they’re neither cheap nor particularly great but they’re not prototypes and can be integrated TODAY into a standard sized boiler.

  • blanco69

    If Rossi is saying that Carnot Cylce electricity generation via steam production is impossible, surely he means here that this applies soley to the Domestic Market. However, industrial scale steam production and Carnot convesrion MUST be possible (unless some of the goal posts have changed). If I were Rossi, I’d be focussing on this application. It has far more potential to change the world than any domestic application. In fact, I’m surprised that Rossi uses the word “impossible” at all. Surely he, of all people, knows that “impossible” doesn’t apply here.

  • Hans Mjølner

    Craftengine 80-215 Celsius input temperature :))

  • Agaricus

    Running the pilot plant seems to be something of a delicate balancing act in which the shortcomings of individual reactors are offset by their numbers, which can be used to reach an acceptable overall output. As the hot cat version is working well and (from what Rossi says) might soon achieve long periods of SSM then it would seem that the LT type used in the pilot plant is therefore already obsolete.

    If he can build a single-core domestic heater, then it should be easily possible to construct a multi-core plant to any required output. Potential buyers will know this, so it is unlikely that IH will be able to sell any LT plants – copies of the pilot plant – leaving only leasing as a viable business model. Priority upgrades to the hot cat versions when these become available would also need to be offered.

    • The market in general is going to optimize the crap out of this technology. It’s just that it’s held prisoner for just a little while longer by Industrial Heat. They argue that there needs to be a lot of testing, careful jumping through regulatory and legal hoops, protection of IP etc. I suppose maybe they are right. But from a technology point of view they are limiting the innovation to their own little crew. I don’t really care if Industrial Heat has the chops to engineer a 1 MW plant. They do but I don’t. Their 1 MW plant will be irrelevant once this technology gets out into the broader consciousness with massive research budgets and thousand of scientists and engineers behind it.

      They are carefully nursing their baby, I get that. They should license this technology ASAP and let industrial giants compete on products they can make with the reactor core. Every day that governments, businesses and individuals make decisions completely in the dark about this soon to be pervasive technology results in wasted money, resources and lives.

      • Agaricus

        Totally agreed.

        If nothing enters the collective political mind quite soon, a new generation of fission power stations will be built and fueled – fait accompli.

        • georgehants

          Peter, my respect for Mr. Rossi and IH, not for his amazing (seemingly) achievements, but for their refusal to pass on to all the guys trying to replicate the effect, the most basic details (that surly can do them little harm) to help their success.

  • Gerard McEk

    I am surprised by the remark that the Hot cat has reached a higher COP now than the Ecat as a single unit. At the same time it frustrates me that ‘we’ cannot even get the Hot cat working. What is Rossi’s GREAT idea, what is his Catalyser?

  • I don’t understand why Rossi is focused on electricity generation.
    He has a device which generates large amounts of very cheap heat.

    There so many engineers and companies with lots of years of experience who just need heat to make electricity. Why don’t start a partnership and let the electricity problem be a problem of professionals?

    • Gerard McEk

      It may be possible to achieve SSM, but probably that is not controllable in energy production. I guess that the dynamic behaviour between the two systems (Ecat plus generator) is the greatest challenge for a single Ecat home design. I guess they work together with these ‘other’ engineers.

    • Sanjeev

      I don’t understand why Rossi is focused on electricity generation.
      Is he ? I get the impression from above that the whole focus is on heat at this time.

      But I totally agree with the idea of going ahead and making partnerships, that is desperately needed. Not only electricity, but industries like desalination, food, mining, and automobiles etc can benefit a lot. This will bring down the cost of living, thus benefiting all.

      I hope that Darden and co. are actively seeking partnerships, as promised. This is needed more than R&D or mere investments. Once the proper partners are in place, they will do their own R&D and product development, certifications, marketing etc and will invest huge money. And like you said, they can do it much better and faster than a single person (Rossi) or a single company (IH) in a single country (US).

      • Timar

        I agree. I never got the impression that Rossi is particularly focussed on electricity generation. Judging from his comments, he always seem to have considered it a long-term R&D project and not a current priority.

    • Daniel Maris

      Hmm…you say “cheap heat” but you don’t know that. These days what really costs money is labour – especially highly skilled labour. It may be that the E Cat requires quite a lot of skilled labour to operate it. If so, that might preclude it being used as a heating source in many smaller scale facilities (i.e. it might only be economical on a large scale).

      Electricity generation on a big scale might actually suit the E Cat if it does require continued monitoring.

      • Bill

        If a device-system produce heat, it would be very easy to develop automated control system.

  • EEStorFanFibb

    “the plan at this point is to use the domestic units as heaters only.”

    As I said in another thread. Energy Storage, solar and wind have nothing to worry about. LENR will take out coal and gas but that’s about it. Electrical generation will be renewable for the foreseeable future.

    • GreenWin

      When it is finally understood that LENR accesses an “open system” of energy, it will be seen as “renewable” also. Posturing that non-radiative nuclear level energy will be used only for heat, is politics.

      It is a conflict between those who desire slow, exploitable evolution and those with a moral imperative to accelerate evolution to a state of humanitarian subsistence. Which do you suppose is supported by the preponderance of universal powers?

    • Pekka Janhunen

      Domestic units heat only, for now, but 1 MW HotCat plants could make electricity as well. There is all reason to “worry”.

  • “Yes: with the Hot Cat we are reaching here inside the computers container very long ssm.”
    I’ve been wondering about this, whether it is the culmination of many seconds or if the ssm runs for tens of minutes or hours. Still not sure.

    • Roger Bird

      The leaves an enormous amount of room for speculation, which some people just love to do. I don’t care much for it.

    • Uncle Bob

      Back on one of the earlier tests which Mats Lewan attended on the original e-cat, he said he could feel the e-cat still bubbling after being switched off for 45 minutes.
      If the hot cats are much better than the originals, they must operate for hours in self sustain mode. That’s just fantastic. It means you would only have to supply power for maybe a few minutes each hour and the rest would be free energy.

  • Leonard Weinstein

    John M, the cyclone power approach uses generated steam and condensation and reuse. The problem with this is the same as all small steam powered generators. The energy to boil the water, and losing most of this phase change energy at condensation, lowers efficiency compared to Stirling cycle generation (which is gas driven internally) which does not have this loss. With hot temperatures of 350 C (using high temperature liquid heat exchanger) and 50 C cold temperature, the Stirling cycle generator is ideally up to 35% efficient, but practically results in about 25% thermal to electrical efficient. The Cyclone generator making steam at 350 C and cooling to 50C is max of 12% thermal to electrical conversion due to phase change losses, and likely less than that due to friction losses. Higher supply temperature increase both efficiencies, but also shorten lifetime, and Stirling is always better in same power range. Stirling cycle systems are larger and more expensive, and limited in practical sizes, so the Cyclone may be better for some uses where size of system and need for high power are more important, but not likely for home power generation with e-cat..

  • fusionrudy

    Frank, ask A.R. at what temperature the domestic Hot-Cat will deliver steam or water. Then I can provide my own (off-the-shelf?) converter to produce electricity.

    • Leonard Weinstein

      fusionrudy, the only present technology that is efficient enough at small scale use to convert heat to electricity is Stirling cycle generators. The output efficiency at practical power levels and temperatures would be about 25% (at about 350 C effective output temperature), and would likely not use steam, but use a high temperature heat transfer liquid fluid. If the e-cat had an effective COP of 6, the useful excess electrical power would be only 1/3 of the generated power, since the other 2/3 is needed for e-cat operation. If the COP is not much more than 4, no useful excess power would be available, and only heating would be usable, although no separate power would be needed. If the COP is less than 4, or if no electric conversion is made, supply electric power would be needed, either from solar cells or wind turbines, and storage batteries, or from external supply power. If the COP is much larger than 6, and if Stirling generation used, the excess available electric power would be more, or that less supply electricity would be needed.

      The heat from the low temperature side of the Stirling generator, or the heat from the e-cat directly, if electricity generation is not used, can be high enough quality to supply home heating, hot water, and even heat driven cooling and A/C (like gas coolers, or salt evaporation coolers). If all heating and cooling can be obtained, then only electric power to drive the e-cat, and a small amount of additional electric power and batteries to run lights, and other electrical appliances are needed. Solar cells and efficient batteries with this system could make home power independent.

      I did a cost estimate for such systems, and conclude the total cost would not be much less than present gas and electric systems, but might be some less, but more important, could be independent of external systems.

    • Paul Smith

      Yes, it is useful knowing the pressure and temperature of produced steam or water, but it is indispensable knowing also the maximum allowable flow.