Saipem (Italian Oil and Gas Giant) Senior Scientist on E-Cat (Greenwin)

Thanks to Greenwin for this comment about one presentation made at the Airbus conference last week.

As noted last week metallurgy expert, Jacques Ruer, Deputy Director of Technology with oil and gas giant Saipem SA, presented a paper at the Airbus Group conference titled “Analysis of the Potential Thermal Behavior of the Energy Catalyzer as Described in the Patent US 9,115,913 B1”

The paper analyzes the early water-cooled example of E-Cat (circa 2011) along with details from the patent.

Here’s the Abstract:

A US patent granted on August 25, 2015 describes the basic features of the so-called Energy Catalyzer invented by Andrea Rossi. This device is made of an assembly of layers of different materials. The active layers contain a mix of powders of nickel, lithium, and lithium aluminum hydride. They are sandwiched between steel sheets. An electrical resistor provides initial heating. The energy produced is removed on the end faces of the assembly by a cooling fluid. Assuming that the active mixture releases some heat at high temperature as claimed in the patent, the purpose of the paper is toanalyze the stability conditions of the device. During operation, the temperature must be maintained within a given range in order to avoid a thermal runaway or extinction. A simulation of the heat flow across the assembly is presented. It makes it possible to show the role of the different parameters of
the system.

While Ruer cautions his paper is based on assumptions and hypotheses derived from the patent, and his simulation results are only illustrative, he writes the following:

“The coefficient of performance (COP) increases with the temperature and becomes infinite for the critical temperature. This general behavior was already described by Storms to explain the operation mode of the E-Cat [5]. This paper adds some details. Figure 8 reproduces the figure from this author, together with his explanations. The present analysis confirms the conclusion of Storms.”

It is also instructive to note author Ruer is a senior scientist with Saipem SA, with 35 years engineering experience. Saipem SA employs 50k people worldwide and had revenues of €12.256 billion in 2013.

  • georgehants

    orsobubu, wise words but I think we must all therefore play our part in trying to promote that “Hope” into some kind of better reality.
    Many seem happy to just say it has always been that way and always will, full stop.
    So many things have been declared impossible throughout history, socially and scientifically and yet things do change at times.
    The latest social breakthrough is the ability (mostly) of gay people to walk around safely and openly, something impossible only a short time ago.
    The latest scientific breakthrough is of course Cold Fusion that could as you say, if used fairly and honestly help to completely remove the sad capitalist mentality of more and more for me and sod the guy who actually does the work to keep us all alive, or does not live where I do, etc. sod the animals, sod the World, I want a bigger SUV.
    Production now is well able to give every person alive a fair good standard of living.
    Where there is a will there is a way. (I think)

  • georgehants

    So sad that even the United Nations who’s supposed purpose is to bring peace and prosperity to everybody in the World, does not publicly call for open and massive Research into Cold Fusion.
    It is clear that Cold Fusion has enough Evidence for them to encourage Research, not for profit but just because the benefits of a positive outcome are incalculable if true.
    One only has to look at the way that America and Britain are treating our Russian friends for moving into Syria solely to remove terrorists and help the ordinary people, they of course should be welcoming them with joy that the problem is being shared, Assad is irreverent in this situation.
    Time for the United Nations to become United for the sole benefit of humanity and those dangerous Nations who are solely on an ego trip, to realise that everything is not just about them but every person and country.

  • Omega Z

    And then there’s the war of the toilet seat. I WON!!!

    The Rule is that both the seat/lid is always down.
    Whoever shall use it must see that both the seat/lid is down when done.

  • Slad

    Dave, I’ve been reading a few of your old comments on vortex regarding ‘type 1’ and ‘type 2’ thermal systems. I have a couple of questions… How do you model the control… Linear feedback or PID? And, have you ever released your models for review?

    • Dave

      In the past I devoted a significant amount of time developing my models. I started with spice and eventually included Excel type models. At first, I was curious as to whether or not it was possible to control a positive feedback thermal system with an input that was substantially smaller than the thermal output heating. Many thought that the output would overwhelm the input so that run away was ensured. My models proved this concern was not valid.

      I started with static models such as the one shown within the report of Ruer. Yes, he does suggest PWM control, but does not have the time domain behavior of the system taken into consideration. There are many issues that appear when this condition is handled.

      Over the last several years I have continued to post small portions of my theories on vortex, but never constructed a complete report. I did post a static Excel model once as a toy case to stimulate interest among others to the power of models. I received several responses and one gentleman took my static model and determined the values of the coefficients that gave it a reasonabley close match to a device that had it behavior recently published at that time. Unfortunately, I am not as well organized as I should be and could not locate that work so far. It has been too long ago, but I am still looking.

      To answer your question about PID, etc. I closed the loop most of the time manually simulating a PWM control since that is what Rossi was stating during the early times. I would run a time domain spice response and stop the waveform at the temperature levels that I chose to enact the reversals. After a few cycles I was able to calculate the COP that would be associated with that choice of parameters. I could have performed the task automatically but felt that my manual process yielded the same result with much less time required.

      I never published a time domain sample since it is fairly complicated and there never appeared to be enough interest within vortex to justify the effort. Perhaps one day that might change. The lack of good, solid data makes the effort less important.

      • Slad

        I agree that a small heater can control the fuels thermal output, to produce a reasonable COP. Strangely enough I first heard of your work when I made a fairly similar argument, and your models were held up as a supposed refutation! Anyway…

        If I understand you correctly, you applied a PWM step input, and measured the response, which can definitely give useful data (for calculating PID settings for instance).

        I think a well defined PID control would have extended your regions of stability, encouraging a higher COP without the tradeoffs.

        I also think that the report above, with an air-gap, rather than Xmm of alumina, would be inherently more stable (or lets say, more easily controllable) because of the greatly enhanced thermal diffusivity… The PIDs reset time could be lower etc etc.

        I for one would enjoy a proper report of yours. I think the key to Rossi’s supposedly very high COP is to be found in the time domain and transient thermal responses. I disagree that there isn’t enough information (now) to tease out some interesting conclusions. However, it’s your model, and I respect your opinions.

        • Dave

          Thanks Slad, I am amazed that my models would have ever been used to refute the ECATs. They actually proved that it was possible to use a small amount of thermal energy to control a far greater quantity. That has been my position for every posting that I can recall. I even found Rossi’s discussion of his PWM timing to be well within reason for an actual application at the COP of 6 that he was stating at the time.

          You may be thinking along the lines of what I modelled but I would state it a little differently. To begin a cycle I would apply the input power at full bore and allow the time domain response of the output temperature to exponentially rise until it reached my chosen high level. I would zero the input power once that level was reached and the temperature would begin to fall exponentially again. The positive feedback associated with the negative slope ensured that behavior.

          Next, when the temperature reached my low set level I would again apply full power. Once several cycles of this type were completed I could calculate the average input power as well as the average output power to establish COP. In this case I substituted myself for the PID controller.

          Much of the behavior of the model in the time domain is associated with the thermal mass of the device. The larger that mass becomes, the slower the exponential rises and falls become.

          The air gap is quite important in my estimate since it represents thermal resistance that works along with the thermal capacitance(mass) to generate the main open loop time constant. The negative resistance that occurs as a consequence of the positive feedback appears in parallel with that resistance. This complex combination of capacitance, positive resistance, and negative resistance sets the closed loop system time constant.

          Rossi also uses the air gap to decouple his cores from the cooling fluid. The heat flow must generate a large temperature difference between those two items. In this manner his cores can operate at the elevated temperature they require.

          I suppose that I will produce a complete report of my modelling one of these days when I can find time to concentrate on that task. In the past I did not detect enough interest to warrant the effort. There are so many ideas to pursue!

          Of course, I am willing to answer any questions concerning the operation of my models in moderate sized portions ahead of that large disclosure. Feel free to initiate discussions here or on vortex. As you may know, I have written numerous times about my model, mostly found within the vortex archives.

          • Slad

            Thanks! There were a couple of things I wanted to ask you. Either my search skills, or the vortex archive is/are broken.

            But first, yes, finding the time is the hard thing. I generally read some of the weird stuff that gets written, and it inspires me to find the time.

            Before I read about your ideas I had assumed an exponential fuel power term would always lead to a runaway (Assuming direct conduction giving a linear power out term). When I read Storms’ recent reports, I thought I saw a way to avoid this. I put together a collection of ideas here:


            There’s a graph on page three that I am interested to get your opinions about, which brings me back to the questions:

            What is a type 2 system (as defined by the shape of the input power curve)? Presumably the optimum case is as flat as possible? Does gradient matter, or is it the direction of change of gradient that promotes thermal runaway? Is my graph a type 2 or type 3?

            On vortex I think you hinted at some interesting effects, if you could match the parameters to create a type 2. Do you have an idea of an upper limit of COP that could be reasonably maintained, given an exponential fuel power term, and a responsive control system?

            Do you think idea of a ‘cat and mouse’ could be related to any of the topics we have discussed?

            Again, thanks! I don’t mind very moderate sized portions!

            • Dave

              Slad, I regret that it took so long to get back to you, but life has a way of diverting ones plans.

              Lets start with the type 2 system per my definition. A system of this type starts with a positive slope followed by a region of negative slope when input power is plotted versus temperature on the X-axis. This negative region is then followed by another positive slope that begins so that the input power never quite falls to zero watts. If you review the current versus voltage curve of a tunnel diode you will see the general type of shape I am describing.

              Your graph appears to indicate a negative slope of power input versus temperature from the beginning if I am reading it correctly. I see that the slope of the power generation process is greater than the power escape by cooling process at every temperature. This will result in a continuous exponential rise in temperature, which is quite unstable.

              Incidentially, it should be possible to have a core power production versus temperature curve that is exponential, or of any reasonable monotonic function and be stable with a PWM drive source. The key is that the thermal drive must be zeroed prior to reaching the temperature where the input goes to zero for the characteristic curve.

              This type of process works because positive feedback will force the temperature to move in either direction. It does not always cause the temperature to rise exponentially, it can fall exponentially as well. The trick is to engineer the turn arounds at the right levels.

              If the system parameters are adjusted very closely a large COP will become possible. I would prefer to have real world data to review before going too far out on a limb! One issue that is lacking is a clear understanding of the fuel timing. Is there some large delay between the appearance of generated thermal power when the core is subjected to a temperature step? This could complicate the matter and damage the safety margins.

              Do you suppose that it would make sense for Frank to begin a separate
              heading where I can describe my modelling technique one bite sized
              portion at the time? We could call it the “Roberson Model for a
              Positive Feedback Thermal System”, or some other title that makes
              sense. Otherwise the model description is going to be hidden and
              difficult to reference.

              Got to run for now.

              • Dave

                Slad, I had an opportunity to review your graph in a little more detail. Indeed, the slope is negative throughout the complete temperature range, but a PWM type of drive should work to keep the device jumping back and forth between two defined levels.

                As you suspect, there will be an exponential rise and fall between the levels that is controlled by an input power level that switches from zero watts input at the high level to a bit more than 5 watts at the low level temperature shown with the dotted line.

                The high temperature turn around point must be at a level that is below 1366 per your graph. The low level turn around can be set to any temperature shown on the graph below the high level provided at least 13 watts is used for drive. It appears that you will have a good COP with this set of functions.

                Excess input drive power results in a more rapidly rising temperature and reduced COP. I did not actually apply your curves to my model, but from memory of past runs it should behave in the manner I described.

                If you attempt to drive the input with a constant wattage the temperature will continue to rise until the device latches or self destructs. It is mandatory that the input must fall at least a certain number of watts to enact a high level turn around.

              • Slad

                Yes, I think this is definitely deserves its own topic here, the vortex list has some disadvantages in my view. A single reference would be great. I think there would be plenty of interest. For what it’s worth, the articles I put on Scribd get a steady readership.

  • georgehants

    Philosophical Geek
    Code and musings by Ben Watson
    Infinity – Infinite Energy
    The truth is that having such a power source is more than
    world-changing. It has the potential to completely rebuild society from
    the ground up. If you think about it, much of the world’s conflict is
    over sources of energy. Authority and power is derived from who controls
    the resources. If energy was infinitely available, it would be
    infinitely cheap (at least in some sense). I almost think it would
    change society from being so focused on worldly gain, to more on pursuit
    of knowledge, enlightenment, and improvement. We wouldn’t have to worry
    about how to get from one place to another, or who has more oil, or
    what industries to invest energy resources in. So much would come free

    • f sedei

      We can only imagine the tremendous, positive impact LENR is about to have upon humanity. Hurry up, Rossi.

    • Omega Z

      “Greenspan admits Iraq was about oil” No Doubt that was one of the catalyst, but it wasn’t the only one. Oil is the means to economic commerce which includes the production of food & of water. Note it was not the U.S. that benefited from the Oil. Europe and Asia did. Both in it’s production & use.

      Wars will not cease because of LENR. In fact, It could lead to more wars. A Billion people derive much of their livelihood from those Oil revenues in very poor parts of the world. Increased poverty will create additional unrest.

      Even tho a transition will take decades, it will take less time to dampen oil prices. Merely consider what 2 million barrels a day surplus has done to current prices. Yet the World is still using about 90 million barrels a day. A little extra excess production has dire affects on price.

  • georgehants

    Who is this GreenWin who seems to keep coming up with useful and in depth information?

    • Jonnyb

      They seek him here, they seek him there, or her?

  • Gerard McEk

    Many thanks to Jaques Ruer for the extensive analysis of Rossi’s E-cat. I wonder if Andrea Rossi went this far. If we discover the real secrets of the E-cat and make LENR work, than this will help us to make a working and long lasting unit.

  • Ophelia Rump

    The bit about running away toward infinite, suggests that the reaction can be sustain any temperature / COP which can be contained and arrested. Thankfully the reaction ceases when the containment fails. Since the reaction runs toward infinite over a sufficient time the reaction never reaches infinite. Let us hope the time factor is linear.

    Great caution should be exercised with the development of higher temperature devices until the relationship of time has been accurately plotted.

    Remember Tunguska.

    • Agaricus

      The concept of ‘fusible plugs’ lifted from steam technology seems quite appropriate for this purpose. The reactor housing would contain one or more apertures sealed by screw-in plugs made of materials that will fail (melt) at a predetermined temperature, and either vent the reactor to some kind of outer containment or separate plenum, or admit a material held under pressure that will quench the reaction.

      • georgehants

        Morning Peter, you comment reads to me like you are working on an old Lister engine on a long boat. Ha

    • Omega Z


      Tho Rossi is attempting higher temps, those gains will be limited by the melting of the fuel & the materials that maintain & contain them. The cats are limited by temperature. Durability also needs to be taken into account. They need to last.

  • Slad

    The assumptions are sound, and fairly conservative. He ignores heat transfer coefficients at the powder-steel interface (which would just be a guess anyway), but that wouldn’t make much difference to the overall model. Also, it needs more jokes and provocations.

  • lars

    “The coefficient of performance (COP) is limited by the need to keep a sufficient

    safety margin below the crossing temperature. If that point is surpassed, runaway is unavoidable.”

    What do you think about that? It is what you have experienced with your tests?

    • lars

      and the crossing temperature is just over 700 K (about 430 celsius).
      so what about the hot cat?

      • Job001

        The “crossing point” varies with the design, see figure 8 where the crossing point is 1200 K.

        “How much and what” reactants between the plates has a direct influence upon the heat released. The heat released per unit area takes the form of the Arrhenius exponential rate of reaction equation k = A e^{-E_a/(k_B T)}

        Consequently, as temperature rises the heat produced rises exponentially. That is the reason ones design must have excellent heat removal and one must limit ones temperature to below how much heat one can remove.

        Fortunately, the heat cannot actually “run away” very far, the fuel sinters and stops producing heat.

  • Ged

    This is very much a paper by an engineer for engineers: can it run based on design, and how to run it. So very functional. I love it.

    Getting applied operation theories like this should also make it much easier to make an informed replication. Though, this really would be the step after replication and more on to efficient harnessing.

  • Mats002

    Wow! This is so intelligent. It is way over my competence in physics but at the same time seams so logical and correct as an approach to understand the control logic of the Cat effect. Looking forward to reviews of this paper by the professionals.

    • Mats002

      I wonder about the time constants – how fast must the PWM react when approaching the runaway temp? Is it a fast and nervous system or slow and stable?

      • Slad

        I don’t think the diffusivity of the steel or air gap would present many problems. Depends on the actual fuel power exponent presumably?