Thoughts on 1MW Plant Schematic — Updated Image (Engineer48)

The following post and drawing has been submitted by Engineer48

My thoughts on a possible 1MW plant schematic.

Please consider and add to this proposed 1MW plant schematic as the better we make this schematic, the more we will understand how the plant functioned.

UPDATE (July 17, 2016)

Below is an updated image sent by Engineer48. He says about the changes “Mainly some cleanup, added steam pressure & temp sensor, dropped water level in reactor to below bottom of top superheat fins.”

Screenshot_2016-07-17-13-22-55-1

This is the first image for reference:

e48

Engineer48

  • Fedir Mykhaylov

    Hello, Mr. GiveADogABone. You are not surprised low pressure of steam in the reactor? To move through the pipes probably required pressure drop. Supply line has a flow resistance which is necessary to overcome a couple.
    To provide steam flow to the heat exchanger pressure drop is required between the reactor and the heat exchanger. Perhaps support drop due to discharge at a steam condensation in the heat exchanger. Then the heat exchanger is necessary to remove uncondensed gases. When a flat box-shaped reactor is small liquid column height in the level gauge. When
    pulsating supply of the diaphragm pump can work fuzzy differential
    pressure level measurement and control, respectively, the level in the
    reactor. The reactor used fuel elements plate of small thickness and a large area. In waterlogged situation arises the temperature difference between the exposed and submerged part of the fuel element. This may cause thermal stresses in the plates, and their warpage cracking.

  • Fedir Mykhaylov

    Low temperature e-sat is a rather strange design in terms of heat engineering. When the super progressive source of thermal energy is used odd solutions. Just can not understand why use a membrane feed pump? Is centrifugal pump has a lower efficiency?
    In today’s centrifugal pumps may smooth flow change with frequency thyristor regulation. What caused the use of the box-shaped reactor vessel with thin flanges of considerable length? Apparently this is due to such a low pressure fresh steam at the outlet of the reactor. What
    prevents the use of a conventional cylindrical reactor pressure vessel
    and a generally cylindrical flange which is so easy to compacted? If
    the user needs pairs – may use a vertical reactor with fully submerged
    plates economizer (this will make it possible to regulate the normal
    level) above the surface to install the separator section, then if you
    need to use a high-temperature superheated steam e-sat in ribbed
    sleeves.

  • Roland

    Hi Engineer,

    The customer agreement stipulates specific steam temperatures and pressures; presumably this identifies the minimum standard at a specific measurement point external to the plant.

    Could you please explain why we should be basing our thoughts on those being the internal reactor conditions when the simplest way to meet the threshold conditions at the measurement point is by running the plant at higher pressure?

    • Roland

      P.S. It occurs to me that my argument may be obscure to some. As system pressure increases the vaporization of water temperature rises. The higher pressure system meets the customer system at a CPU controlled valve; the pipe diameter on the customer side of the valve is larger than the feeding pipe diameter from the plant, the pressure drops to 1.25 bar on the customer side of the valve, the vaporization temperature drops with the pressure and any remaining ‘wet’ steam phase changes instantly to dry steam at >105C.

      • Engineer48

        Hi Roland,

        Rossi said there was a heat exchanger between the plant and the customer thermal load. He also stated the design of the heat exchanger was complex. He also said this was necessary to prevent the customer’s processes from causing back contamination to the fluid circulating in the reactor.

        • Roland

          Thank you for the clarification.

    • Engineer48

      Hi Roland,

      We do not know the steam temp, pressure nor measurement location.

      What we do know is Weaver mentioned 0.0 bar (assume barG) and 100.1C which is superheated steam as attached.

      Rossi also mentioned to me that the thermal load should be designed for 105C superheated steam at 0.2 barG as attached.

  • GiveADogABone

    Thanks for letting me know. I well understand that this sort of analysis can seem very strange to people who have not seen it before. It can often take a few goes at ‘getting it’. It is a powerful technique for probing the truth or otherwise in engineering.

    Example: Somebody tells me the answer is y. I prove that the answer must be less than z and greater than x without a clue about what the real answer is. If y is not between x and z, then my response is try again and get it right this time. I do not know what the real y is; I just know that the value of y I was given was wrong.

  • Fedir Mykhaylov

    I totally agree with you. When water is used as coolant is lost and the need to control water level control in the reactor.

  • Fedir Mykhaylov

    In an open condensate collection will dissolve a surprising number of gases from the atmosphere. When the condensation of vapor from e-cat in the heat exchanger of the consumer will be allocated and accumulated non-condensable gases. With such a low pressure heating steam heat will be broken. This will entail the need for connection to the heat exchanger of the ejector or liquid ring pump for the removal of gases.

  • Karl Venter

    Hi Eng

    You wont get superheated steam just because some of the heating system is above water level
    The steam will still be wet with the boiling water in the area
    If Rossi says this is how he got superheated steam its not possible.
    Modern boiler have elaborate systems that separate the wet steam / droplets before they send it for superheating.

    • GiveADogABone

      [PDF]Controls for Once-Through Boilers – ISA
      https://www.isa.org/pdfs/powid/de-mello-chapter-9/*NE. CHAPTER IX. CONTROLS FOR ONCE-THROUGH BOILERS. Before considering control requirements for once-through boilers, it is instructive to examine.

      Page 1 contains two figures, 9.1 and 9.2. Which one represents the finned heat exchanger in the E-cat?

      • Karl Venter

        Hi Givea dog

        Even once through boiler have steam separators.
        And they have a recirculating system for start up
        Do you think the design will give you superheated Steam?

        • GiveADogABone

          Even once through boiler have steam separators.
          No

          Do you think the design will give you superheated Steam?
          Yes.

          I worked in a power station with once-through boilers. Turbine inlet conditions were about 165bar, 541C. The reheater was also a once-through system producing steam at about 40bar, 541C.

          http://www-diva.eng.cam.ac.uk/mphil-in-nuclear-energy/external-lectures/2011-12-lectures/edf-energy-ng-cambridge-09022012.pdf
          Page 6 The drive for greater thermal efficiency required a higher temperature reactor – With a requirement to produce steam at a pressure (165Bar) and temperature (540 Deg C) compatible with “normal” 660MWe steam turbines

          Page 7 shows the once through boilers on each side of the reactor core. In the round there are twelve of them. The diagram leaves out the reheater. Sub-cooled water in at the bottom, a boiling zone and a superheating zone and each pipe goes from top to bottom as an individual.

          • Karl Venter

            Hi Dog
            I am working on a 800MW once through and it has seperators there are 4 and they weigh 17 ton each ( Benson type)
            I have not seen your design as it gives a warnings on my browser
            In your 165 Bar 540 deg boiler where was the highest pressure in the system
            At the feed pumps or not?

            My suggestion is that after the boiling Zone in your once through you still add heat in the super heater bundles and coils

            The difference to your system is that you are trying to add heat to an area where you are boiling / wet steam conditions and that wont work you need to move the steam and heat it
            Thats why Drum boiler you have the water going down from the drum at the bottom and steam to the superheater bundles to be superheater – more energy in to get to the right temp and pressure
            This boiling water in the same chamber as heating it wont produce superheated steam

            Unless your design is different from what is being depicted here

            • GiveADogABone

              ##http://www-diva.eng.cam.ac.uk/mphil-in-nuclear-energy/external-lectures/2011-12-lectures/edf-energy-ng-cambridge-09022012.pdf##
              ##h t t p : / / www-diva.eng.cam.ac.uk/mphil-in-nuclear-energy/external-lectures/2011-12-lectures/edf-energy-ng-cambridge-09022012.pdf##
              It is still OK for me using Firefox. Its a .pdf file and not a web page. How do you read .pdfs?

              ##http://www.energy.siemens.com/co/pool/hq/power-generation/power-plants/gas-fired-power-plants/combined-cycle-powerplants/scc5-4000f-1s/A96001-S90-A496-X-4A00.pdf##
              Benson(R) Once-Through
              It would have been good to see the Benson drawing with the flow direction arrows on it. I am seeing two reverse flow paths :-
              1: a downcomer for the evaporator section, and
              2: a drain on the separator.
              How many times does the water recirculate in the evaporator?
              Another way to ask that question is what are the mass flows in the downcomer plus superheater drain compared to the superheater outlet?

              For me the definition of a once-through boiler is that it can take in sub-cooled water, produce the same mass of superheated steam and has no recirculation. The Benson seems to break that definition at two places, despite the name. I do however agree that it removes the boiler drum.

              ‘the highest pressure in the system. At the feed pumps or not?’
              At the HP feed pump discharge at about 220bar.

              ‘My suggestion is that after the boiling Zone in your once through you still add heat in the super heater bundles and coils’
              There are no separate bundles and coils. From the economiser inlet to the superheat steam outlet, the boiler consists of a set of single pipes of almost the same length. The start point for boiling and superheating are not defined by hardware; they are wherever the thermodynamics puts them and that varies with reactor load.

              ‘The difference to your system is that you are trying to add heat to an area where you are boiling / wet steam conditions and that wont work you need to move the steam and heat it’
              I am struggling with the English here but I can reassure you that a feed pump discharging at 220bar will shift the water and the steam so it reaches the turbine inlet at 165bar.

              ‘This boiling water in the same chamber as heating it wont produce superheated steam’
              The heating element in a once-through boiler is a long, narrow bore pipe that is heated along its length. Can we get rid of the fixation with chambers and pressure vessels? There are none in a once-through boiler.

              http://www.thermopedia.com/content/638/
              Figure 3. Coiled tube pod boilers used in advanced gas cooled reactor (Acme).
              A true once-through boiler. Ignore the reheater. The feed water in is a collection of narrow bore pipes that descend to the bottom of the boiler in a central spine. Those individual pipes continue as a spiral all the way up to the Superheater Flexible Tails by which time the steam temperature is 540C. The individual pipes then continue up to the Superheater Outlet Nozzles where they stop.

              • Karl Venter

                Hi Dog

                Are you talking about the design above or some other design?

                My concern I have with the design above is that the reactor sticking out of the water like the drum will not produce Superheated steam unless you take it away from the area and heat it further eg in the next reactor

        • Fedir Mykhaylov

          Hi Carl. Drum heaters also produce superheated steam.

          • Karl Venter

            Yes Drum Boilers produce superheated steam but not in the Drum
            In the Superheater coils

    • Engineer48

      Hi Karl,

      The only requirement is for the above the water fins to radiate enough energy to superheat the steam, There is a LOT of fin area above the boiling water, which is below the reactor casing, to superheat the steam.

      As I see it, the boiling of the water and the creation of wet steam occurs below the reactor casing lip we can see that runs around the reactor. Between that lip and the side walls is a very small gap that would allow the wet steam to exit the space from below the reactor and enter the space above the reactor, where with added thermal energy radiated from the fins, would dry and superheat the wet steam.
      .

    • Engineer48

      Hi Karl,

      As I see it the case encloses 2 steam processing units, driven by a common heat source that is designed to divide the thermal energy appropriate between the kJ/kg needed to boil the water to wet steam and the kJ/kg needed to convert the wet steam to superheated steam.

      Imagine a combined boiler and superheat unit where the reactor case fits snugly inside the case, with say a small 1mm gap between the reactor side and the case sides. This small gap, in effect, separates the lower fin area boiling section from the upper much larger fin area superheater.

      The number of fins and the area of the fins in the lower boiling space is adjusted to deliver the necessary thermal energy to boil the water in the lower section and likewise the number of fins and the area of the fins is adjusted to deliver the necessary thermal energy to convert the wet steam entering the upper superheat space.

      In effect the reactor sides to the case sides, ~1mm, space is used to separate and generate 2 connected but isolated, except for a small passageway, thermal heating units.

  • GiveADogABone

    A Lightweight Proof of the Minimum CoP during the 1MW Test (Paul Dodgshun)
    Posted on July 11, 2016 by Frank Acland • 113 Comments

    contains a fuller explanation.. It is not just the sceptics. It is also the basis of IH’s case and that makes it very interesting.

  • GiveADogABone

    I am confused by the different versions of the E-cat. Which version are we trying to understand? This version, shown as a CAD model is presumably the latest :-
    http://hydrofusion.com/ecat-products/ecat-1-mw-plant/ecat-1-mw-technical-data

    In this version the feed pumps are bolted onto the end of the slabs and no discharge pipework is visible. There may be some inside. Six pumps feeding sixteen heater modules is a mismatch. It is even possible that the slab has a completely open internal construction and there is only one tank. That suggests that only one gauge glass per slab is sufficient and water level is not part of an individual E-cat module’s control system.

    TSC1, in the Italian diagram drawn in 2012, is not only a temperature meter but also a ‘secchezza del vapore’ – steam dryness meter. Why is the dryness needed?

    • Engineer48

      Hi GiveADogABone,

      I’m working to understand the primary slab reactors and get help from the very similar control system wise cubish backup reactors.

      From what I can see from the 5 images we have of the primary and backup reactors, the cubish reactors and the slab reactors seem to have the same control circuitry and plumbing. Both have gauge glasses and have topping up pumps to maintain the set reactor water level. Both control boxes seem to be very similar.

      I would not suggest the CAD images are worthy of study as they seem to be VERY basic.

      BTW this is not the 1st time we have seen the slab reactors, which I believe may be doing a different job to the cubish reactors. I suspect the slab reactors may be more superheated steam optimised than the smaller cubish reactors.
      .
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8882653d0f719d86d89c487248238b6f4384dc1691442e95fbe8aec7033add8a.png

      • GiveADogABone

        https://www.isa.org/pdfs/powid/de-mello-chapter-9/*NE. CHAPTER IX. CONTROLS FOR ONCE-THROUGH BOILERS. Before considering control requirements for once-through boilers, it is instructive to examine.

        For understanding I would recommend this reference. The finned heat exchanger is a once-through boiler (water in at the bottom and superheated steam out of the top with no recirculation). I worked on two nuclear power stations that had once through boilers.

        I was really slow on picking up the clues but I was prompted by a design sketch from someone else. One look at that Italian control schematic and I realised; there is no water level in a once-through boiler. Sure, there is a water level outside it that is some sort of average for the water inside but that is not good enough for control.

  • Engineer48

    Possible 1MW prime and backup reactor electrical and fluid flow schematic.

    This is modified from the original Italian schematic to add in the new reactor fluid level control system.
    .
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/85b5a3a05785438eb5e9dd523fa568b1dc774418b0dd0088023c846385f53b93.png
    .
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f0182b29679e7a8cb5f682a1dca9edb7252651682c3411bb7b7d310486e4f449.jpg

    • Thomas Kaminski

      I am still having a problem understanding how the pressure sensor “PC2” could be used by itself to set the water level. The system runs at 1.2 Atmosphere pressure, but the gauge has to discriminate about 20 cm of water level pressure sensor. I would have used a differential pressure sensor, or some sort of fluid level sensor, such as a capacitive sensor on the sight glass. I think that Rossi’s other sheet shows capacitive sensors on the level alarm circuits.

      If the sensors are accurate enough, you could probably derive the level by taking the PC2 MINUS PC1. PC1 is the system pressure for the steam lines and would be transmitted through the water in the boiler. The pressure at the bottom of the tank would be the pressure at the top (steam) plus the pressure due to the water height.

      • Engineer48

        Hi Thomas,

        As I see it from looking at the 5 images we have of the plant, the pressure sensor is installed just a little bit lower than the bottom of the reactor and as it is on the drain circuit, there is no flow passing through it.

        Sure it will sense increased pressure from the steam but assuming it has a linear analogue output, simple for the cpu to subtract steam pressure from the fluid pressure to get actual fluid level and then control the topping pump to maintain a constant fluid level in the reactor.

        Would even be possible for the main system computer to tune the water level in each reactor to get best volume of superheated steam per reactor.

        I like the system and would love to sit down in front of the main screen and vary the indivifual reactir operational parameters to optimise thermal gain per reactor.

        • Thomas Kaminski

          I agree that the controller could compensate for changes in steam pressure. I think it is important to have multiple inputs for the control algorithm running on the control computer in order to optimize and make safe the LENR reaction. I do not think that the pressure sensor directly controls the diaphragm pumps.

          • Engineer48

            Hi Thomas,

            I agree.

            See the new electrical and flow schematic. The topping up pump switch on and off is controlled by an algorithm that has many inputs, including measured water pressure and measured steam pressure plus an adjustment factor that allows the cpu to use an intelligent self learning approach to determining the best water level to achieve the best superheater steam output per reactor.

    • Paul Smith

      The reactor level fluid sensor (PC2) in the drawing seems to be only a pressure transmitter.
      For measuring the level it is necessary a differential instrument in parallel to the glass gauge.

      • Engineer48

        Hi Paul,

        There is also a steam pressure sensor, PC1, which combined with the water pressure sensor, PC2, can calculate, in the cpu, the real fluid level in the reactor.

        • Paul Smith

          Yes, I see, but there are some problems.
          The range to be measured of the level is about 200 mm of water column, and this value is really low. The pressure measured by PC2 is much greater than this value and is influenced not only by the water level but also, much greatly by the flow of water and its variations. This “noise” on the signal of the level cannot be correctly corrected by the cpu.
          The solution is very simple, like made on industries: using a differential pressure instrument inserted in parallel with the glass gauge. This is a precise, net and clean signal that can be used to control the flow of water to the reactor and mantain constant the water level inside it.
          I think that can be used only one pump instead of two pumps. It is possible to insert one proportional regulation valve connected in by-pass on that pump, and the control signal to the valve can come from the cpu or from a dedicated PID controller.

          This system will guarantee that the water level will be constant in any condition.

          • Engineer48

            Hi Paul,

            Yes hindsight is always good and your suggested improvements may occur in future systems. What I have seen shows me that the existing system can work to maintain reactor water level.

            As this control system has quote some reaction time, I would suspect the CPU averages the PC1 and PC2 data over some time period to calculate the amount of time the topping up pump must run. What fluid level variation range occurs is unknown but I expect +- 2mm would be accurate enough.

  • Engineer48

    Hi RoseLand,

    It is about the energy content, kJ/kg, Superheated steam is very high and dealing with it is well understood.

  • Thomas Kaminski

    Hi Chapman,

    Sometimes there is economy of scale to produce a small unit in larger quantities rather than to produce a single large unit. For one thing, you can find many fabricators who can make large quantities of small cases, parts, etc. Fabricators who make large cases, parts, etc. are fewer in number.

    Another thing to note is that parallel devices have an inherent redundancy in numbers, so the failure of one of the devices does not substantially impact the overall performance. This “N-modular Redundancy” is frequently used to build highly reliable systems. You do have to evaluate the reliability of the parallel connection network in order to understand if you have in fact made a more reliable system. NASA uses redundant sets of computers in their later manned space vehicles for self-checking reliability.

    In Rossi’s case, I think he could find the capital to design one simple module and use it to scale up to a larger power (1 MW) because of the commercial need for larger power. It would have been considerably more expensive to design and fabricate a larger unit. Also, he concentrated on getting one smaller unit to operate reliably and once he had that design, he could increase capacity by tying units in parallel.

    For HVAC applications and for large refrigeration operations, such as central cold storage facilities, often boilers or compressors are tied in parallel. The units are sequenced in some order as the load increases, efficiently meeting the load in steps rather than inefficiently having excess capacity that can’t be idled. The boilers/compressors ususally have an optimum design efficiency near their full capacity.

    Does this help?

    • Chapman

      Help? It was PERFECT!!!

      I heard a clear explanation of how efficiency in specific task performance may/must often be sacrificed for efficiency in manufacturing, efficiency in maintenance, efficiency in testing and certifications, efficiency in stocking of parts viable for universal replacement needs, efficiency in training and calibration, and efficiency in adapting to needs of scale. All these other aspects benefit from reducing the number of design variations and implementations, to such a degree that these gains far outweigh whatever minor gains might be achieved by tailoring the devices and assemblies for individual roles in such a steam production system. So we are back to Engineer’s KISS mantra. 🙂

      And, as I suspected, the answer was an easy one I was overlooking, as I was thinking about tweaking for perfection, rather than design for max overall utility. That is why I knew I was going to look silly for asking what I suspected would be a forehead slapper! Thank you for being nice, and not calling me a dumbass…

      And you never said “Enthalpy”! You’re my Hero, Thomas! 🙂

      • Thomas Kaminski

        Duh, gosh! Thanks for the compliment.

    • Rene

      Remember too, that those big e-cats can sometimes fall out of SSM briefly. You need multiple ones to handle the loss of one of them. Also, the e-cat reaction is temperature sensitive so the quickest way to adjust that is having some water around them to adjust their temperature.

  • Fedir Mykhaylov

    It is possible to add – the condensat tank must not come into contact with the atmosphere as shown. Otherwise possible airing of the boiler.

  • GiveADogABone

    Some people claim that the E-cat ran 100% wet steam (i.e.solid water) with Enthalpy Difference due to Latent Heat of Vapourization at zero. Chuck in a claim that the CoP=1 and you have IH’s claim that they do not need to pay $89M. Rossi seems to think that is worth a court case, so I doubt he would agree with petty.

    Searching through spreadsheet data, I found the following two loadcases :-
    Case 1: 144.6:
    CoP..Elec In..Mass Flow Rate..Mass Flow Rate..Enthalpy Xfer
    CoP……kW………g/s…………………m^3/day……………..kJ/ s
    1……….60………414.94…………….35.85…………………60

    Case 2: 2257:
    17……..60……….424.72……………36.70……………….1020

    The mass flow rates and electricity readings are much the same but
    the CoPs and Enthalpy Transfers are very different. In one case the CoP
    is a minimum at 1 and in the other case the Enthalpy Transfer is at the
    E-cat’s maximum. How is this possible? After all, the fluid
    temperature is being increased from 70C to 110C in both cases.

    The answer to that lies in the specific enthalpy data that reflects the
    sensible heat or the latent heat of increasing the fluid temperature
    from 70C to 110C. The sensible heat is 144.6kJ/kg and the latent heat of
    vapourization is 2257kJ/kg.

    That is the court case in a nutshell.

    • Thomas Kaminski

      A problem I see with the COP=1 point is that if the “steam” was 100% wet (that is, water), the sight glasses would have been full of water past the upper level mark. I doubt that a full sight glass would have not been observed. It would likely have been a safety issue as well..

      • GiveADogABone

        EXACTLY, but now you have to convince others. One objection I received was that all the gauge glasses were decoration and not connected to the E-cat tanks at all. IH cannot get the case for CoP=1 together on any half-sensible basis without assuming the gauge glasses are full and as you say …

  • Engineer48

    Hi Pweet,

    Why would you assume the reactor operational temperature is just above boiling point?

    What if it were 400C?

    BTW steam superheating is the largest thermal load. Boiling water takes much less energy. The fins would be designed to deliver 10x more thermal energy into the upper superheat area than into the lower boiling area.

    • Pweet

      My assumption is based on the fact that it is the original ecat technology, not the later hot-cat tech. I think this has been confirmed by Mr Rossi, even though when the test started it was assumed to be all the latest (at the time) hot-cat stuff. This earlier assumption by most has turned out to be wrong.
      From all the videos, the original ecat tech ran at very close to 100 degrees C. I never saw anything even remotely close to 400 degrees C. I think at the time Mr Rossi said it could not run at significantly higher temperatures. The videos showed him looking intensely at the monitor screen keeping an eye on the temperatures when they were only about one or two degrees above 100.
      If that has changed and the reactor case can run up around 400 degrees C then there will need to be a complete rework of the design, because I don’t think it will work having a 400 degree C reactor case immersed in water. Too big a temperature differential between top and bottom. You will end up with distorted and then cracked casings. You will need a boiler reactor below and a superheat reactor above.

      • TVulgaris

        You presume the reactor cores COULD still be immersed in liquid at temperatures far above 100C, that is not possible. There is no possibility of H2O remaining liquid in contact with very hot surfaces without exceedingly high pressure.
        A poor-conducting (relatively) vapor interface will form nearly immediately, and however much it LOOKS as though it’s underwater, something very hot will actually be under steam. That steam will buoy up, causing water to fill it’s vacancy once enough steam has migrated away, and the process repeats. So far, this is all basic high-school physics, Bernoulli and Boyle.
        I notice nearly no-one takes into account the possibility (read: necessity) that the fins (which AREN’T part of the reactor cores) will have a substantial thermal gradient when in operation, but the “boiler” case, if reasonably heavy-walled (and it better be) WON’T. It’s not in intimate contact with the cores. It IS in intimate contact will water (with a high Cv) and much hotter steam with a much lower Cv, which, even if there were any chance of a 300+ degree temperature differential between the liquid-gas phase, doesn’t pose the thermal threat you posit. No, I wouldn’t rate this eCat for a 20 year life, or even 10- but for the life of this test, the design is quite adequate; elegant, even, in using some of the oldest boiler tech to accomplish the test.

  • GiveADogABone

    At the risk of interrupting a private conversation:
    CoP = Energy Out/Energy In
    Fix Energy In and reduce your assessment of Energy Out and you inevitably reduce the calculated CoP.

    Energy Out = Enthalpy Difference * Mass Flow Rate
    If you assume dry steam at 1barA, then the Enthalpy Difference is 2257kJ/kg.
    If the steam is really wet at 1barA, then the real Enthalpy difference is lower than 2257 but you have assumed 2257. With fixed mass flow rate that is not a conservative calculation. Having said that, a few percent wet is not going to shift the result that much and there is also the reserve in the ignored preheating.

    Superheated steam is a proof of 100% dryness which proves the Energy Out calculation using 2257 is valid.

  • Thomas Kaminski

    Again, I have no idea what the removed cover does to channel the steam flow. Do you know?

    • Pweet

      No I don’t. I suppose some clever design of the top cover could gather the steam from around the reactor body and direct it through the full length of the fins. Maybe Mats Lewan or someone who was there can say whether the top plate was just a flat plate or something more elaborate. My guess is it was just a flat plate. No mention was made of anything else.

  • Ged

    Just wanted to thank all the folks contributing to the technical discussions and analysis in modeling the plant. It is a sight of beauty reading all theses numbers and engineering ideas.

  • AdrianAshfield

    Engineer48,
    1. I think the only way you could guarantee superheated steam would be to drop the casing to near the top of the fins and direct wet steam longitudinally through to fins to the output. Don’t know if the reactor could stand the differential in cooling from top to bottom.
    2. It would be VERY difficult to have a pressure switch control the water level to say 0.1″ with the inevitable variation in output pressure with changes in demand and output. A pressure switch is not the way to control water level in a case like this.

  • https://pissedthefuckoff.wordpress.com/ Mark

    Okay, so, I ain’t no engineer, but I wanted to pass this on, in case it can help with this project. I heard that water filtration is a part of this machine. I wonder if this could be of some help:

    http://phys.org/news/2016-03-revolutionary-graphene-filter-crisis.html

  • roseland67

    Consider moving flow meter to discharge side of pump, (reduces NPSH concerns), also add flow meter to discharge side of reactorr pump.

    Add flow meter & pressure gauges to heat exchanger, may be redundant but useful cross checks and
    the more data the better.

  • http://www.health-answers.co.uk Agaricus

    The overall circuit seems to make sense, but the old ‘tank’ type internally-finned water heater doesn’t make much sense as a boiler/superheater. Over-cooling of the cores, insufficient heat transfer into the upper fins and too short a heating path mean that many better designs would be possible.

    Here’s my offering: An insulated rectangular block of stainless steel (thermal mass), taller than it is wide/deep is bored through vertically by numerous water channels, and also has blind channels bored horizontally (avoiding the vertical channels) in the upper part of the block. Reactor cores can be easily exchanged from one side without disassembling the reactor, via an insulated access panel.

    Water level is maintained at a predetermined level by sensors controlling variable speed or displacement pumps so that water rising from the intake plenum is heated to boiling by the time it reaches the level, and superheats as it rises through the much hotter upper part of the thermal mass. Superheated steam flows under pressure from the upper steam plenum through a low differential PRV to the outlet.

    The thermal mass allows the reactors to run at high temperatures without direct cooling, and also provides thermal stability for the assembly.

    http://www.health-answers.co.uk/rossiboiler_speculative.jpg

    • GiveADogABone

      Perhaps a few snags?
      1: The fuel element in the E-cat is a flat plate about 300mm square. The heat comes out sideways over the whole area.
      2: The flat plate seems to have a heavy lead shield surrounding it that also has to provide a heat transfer path.
      3: The lead needs a steel box to contain it and there have to be cable connections. That steel box is the basic design element. I am not sure we are into redesigning the fuel element or the lead or the box.

      4: Sub-cooled water in, superheated steam out through single tubes is a ‘once-through’ (no recirculation) boiler in my terms and such things exist and are useful. They do however have a few snags of their own. The first is that there are three zones in the boiler:-
      Sub-cooled (that is sub-cooled at the internal pressure) water zone;
      Boiling zone with dryness fraction starting at zero and gradually increasing to 100%;
      Superheating zone.
      There is no single water level, so you cannot control feed pumps on it.

      What you can measure is the superheated steam pressure and temperature. From that you can calculate the superheat margin. You target the pressure and superheat margin in controlling the feed pumps.

      And you have just explained to me why the normal feed pump control gear is missing from the E-cat and the finned heat transfer block is the way it is. Much appreciated. Now where is the E-cat control schematic?

      • Ged

        1) could the reactor plates be put with their long axis vertically, so the reactor plates themselves act as the radiator fins?

        • GiveADogABone

          It does not seem impossible but I think you would have to lose the integrated superheater. That might mean steam dryers, downcomers and recirculation. Inevitably that would increase the cost and complexity.
          The way to get good heat transfer in a boiler is to get rid of the steam as fast as possible. That changes your question to something like, “How does the steam get away from a vertical surface?” Unfortunately a plain vertical surface can produce a steam film that is stable and a good insulator. You have to put in features to break that steam film away. Stacks of turbulence might do it but that implies pumped water. Think of the flow up a fuel bundle in the BWR reactor.

          The easiest way to move the steam away from the boiling surface is to use gravity, as the bubbles move vertically upwards. Think the bottom of a saucepan of water. The worst heat transfer of all is the underside of a horizontal plate. The steam film is formed and is pinned to the surface by buoyancy. The heat transfer is minimal. Think the underside of an E-cat reactor box. Little heat transfer down there, so almost all the heat goes out through the fin block that covers the fuel.

          Thermally speaking, it is a highly optimised design.

      • http://www.health-answers.co.uk Agaricus

        I’ve obviously missed a few crucial developments – attention focused elsewhere following ‘Brexit’…

        I was vaguely aware that the Quark X is a flat ‘layer’ device but assumed for some reason that the ‘old’ technology used in the 1MW system was of tubular construction a la ‘replications’. Perhaps if the flat plates were bent into tubes something like the design above might work.

        I’m pleased to have at least sparked off some ideas!

        • Chapman

          Wafers have been his chosen form factor for a while, and are even described in the patent. Replicators are still working with “dog-bone” forms for ease of fabrication in a lab for a quick prototyping approach, but Rossi has moved way beyond that to a more advanced design.

        • GiveADogABone

          An important insight. I had all the bits of the puzzle but failed to get it, despite working on two power stations that had once-through boilers. Once there is serious money in these things, every design under the sun is going to be tried; just like steam engines. Get the right one and a fortune awaits?

          • http://www.health-answers.co.uk Agaricus

            Indeed. I’d love to be involved in some way in playing with the design side, but I think I’ll need to seriously lie about my age to get a job with any local design engineering companies that eventually get involved with CF.

            Now where’s that hair dye…

      • Engineer48

        Hi GiveADogABone,

        I have no real info on what is inside the backup and prime reactors. All we have is a photo from 2012 to work from and that the cubish box reactors are about the same size as the 2012 reactor.

        It is also clear there is a new reactor fluid level control system in place for both the backup and prime reactors.

        • GiveADogABone

          Working from out-of-date information is always a hazard.
          If the latest design is using steam drum water level control that is a big change.
          Is the evidence for change just the photos?

          If the latest reactors still contain the same internals then a Google search on ‘once through boiler control’ explains how they are controlled without using water level control.

          PDF]Controls for Once-Through Boilers – ISA
          https://www.isa.org/pdfs/powid/de-mello-chapter-9/
          *NE. CHAPTER IX. CONTROLS FOR ONCE-THROUGH BOILERS. Before considering control requirements for once-through boilers, it is instructive to examine.

    • Engineer48

      Hi Agaricus,

      This is the only reactor Rossi has shown the insides of and that was in 2012. For sure it has evolved.

      What I suspect is the reactor fins are designed to deliver 10x more thermal energy into the superheat heat space versus the boiling space.

      Reactor core temp may be 1,200C or above.
      .
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/236d3a6762d42a9d9740cb9994eab04e56fa8afd72a2c5bb1968040b3ffa8488.png

      • http://www.health-answers.co.uk Agaricus

        Yes, 4 years is a long time for Rossi, although he does seem to generally develop designs incrementally, between the occasional ‘step changes’ when new configurations occur to him.

        Please see my comment below re rotating the reactor to make the fins vertical, as one way in which the design in the photo might be made to work as a single stage boiler/superheater. I think that in this case, the outer casing would need to be a much tighter fit to the finned box, in order to force both water and steam flow into the spaces between the fins.

  • Engineer48

    If you look very closely you can see the bottom reactor is installed upside down, appears to operates flooded, has no apparent level control system & the output is not connected to the steam collection system but to the upper reactor.

    Have a look at the 3 photos of the slab reactors & see what you can see.

    Will post labelled photos later.

    • Gerard McEk

      I am not a steam guy but to your estimation: Where dous most of the energy go in pre-heating the water to 99C or to boiling/superheating? I am sure that the latter is the case by at least a factor 10. So having a quarter of the capacity for pre-heating water seems wrong to me. But maybe the one upside down also boils….

      • GiveADogABone

        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/saturated-steam-properties-d_457.html
        Reading the 1bar line hf and hs are 417 and 2675kJ/kg.
        Latent heat of vapourization 2257kJ/kg.
        Specific heat of water 4.2kJ/kg/C A rise from 90C to 100C requires 42kJ/kg
        Specific heat of steam 2kJ/kg/C A rise from 100 to 110C requires 20kJ/kg

        • Gerard McEk

          Right, thanks Dagab! A factor 36 so designing 1 upside down does not seem logical for a 4 unit design.

          • GiveADogABone

            Errr? I think I need an engineering drawing for that one.

        • Fedir Mykhaylov

          The vapor density is much less than the density of water. Therefore to superheat steam needed more developed heating surface. And it is desirable to have a built-separator to remove fly liquid very low Parameters..

    • Paul Smith

      A question, please: the water level pressure switch must be a differential device.
      The lower pressure (positive side) tap have to be connected, as correctly indicated in the drawing, at the lower point of the reactor. The second pressure tap (negative side) must be connected at the upper point of the reactor. In this way it can measure the real level of the water and act the second pump to mantain stable the level of water.

  • Rene

    I have issues with the efficacy of the upper fins, but I have to read up more on super heaters. What really is good to determine is how large the steam pipe must be to permit all that steam to move along to the heat exchanger and deliver 250KW of heat at whatever pressure Rossi said was exhibited. Then with 4x250KW reactors combined, how large must the final pipe diameter be. That would give us a sense of the scaling of the photos of the 1MW plant.

    • GiveADogABone

      The final pipe diameter was estimated at about 200mm very recently on another thread. For four pipes with equal flow area the diameter would be 100mm.

      The normal working pressure seems to be 1.2barA (saturation temperature about 105C). The safety valves are set at 1.5 and 1.8 bar (and I take that as barA).

  • Obvious

    I could very well be wrong, however, in my opinion, if the base of the upper fins are submerged then the upper part of those fins will not get any hotter, and will not heat steam beyond that which the submerged part heats the water.

    • Thomas Kaminski

      It depends on the thermal path to the fins. A heat sink does have a thermal path loss. In fact, the submerged side interior has to be at a temperature higher than the boiling point or there will be no heat transfer.

      • Obvious

        They would have to be some weird fins to work as envisioned, IMO. Long ones won’t work, and short ones would be barely effective. Bubbles at the base of the fins could help or hinder. Probably better to have the upper fins completely exposed. They needn’t be the same size as the submerged ones on the bottom.

        • Engineer48
          • Obvious

            I don’t think that would be effective either for the same reasons. The fins above the water level are probably close to non-functional. With vigorous boiling the close spaced fins would be ineffective. Water would barely be able to get in there once boiling commences.

            • Engineer48

              Hi Obvious,

              Please look at the photo of the inside of the reactor. Notice there is a very small gap between the reactor outer edge and the case sides. Believe the water is boiled below that slit and then enters the upper area, via the slit, as wet steam where it is further heated to become dry superheated steam. Don’t believe there is any boiling water in the upper area, just wet steam being dried to superheated steam.

              • Obvious

                So not configured like the drawings?

                • Engineer48

                  Hi Obvious,

                  Will do a better drawing.

                  But 1st lawns to mow & dinner at friends.

              • Pweet

                With the fins so close together, as shown in the above photograph, there will be minimal steam flow over the fins, thus very little heat transfer to the steam to superheat it. To be effective, it would need the steam flow to be directed through the fin slots, so that the only way it can exit the heater box is to pass through the full length of the slots. The present configuration as shown will allow most of the steam to go straight to the exit without being superheated. I think this is exactly what is happening in all the Rossi reactors, which is why the supposed COP can be so high. With the configuration as shown, the COP can be made as high as you like just by increasing the water level a little bit. I think this is the main purpose of the sighting glass tubes at the side of the reactor, to ‘select’ a value of COP by small adjustments in the water level. This would require constant attendance of course, to adjust the levels at times when discovery was minimal.
                There should only be one consistent level of water around the reactor body and that should be regulated by a fixed system rather than a system allowing variation. Once the level is set there is no reason to make variations. The allowance for variation allows for major errors.

                Also, the steam circuit must have a method for returning hot water from the reactor outlet to the reactor inlet without it being measured in the return path as water which has boiled. If there is a large flow rate of steam from the reactor there will certainly be water blown into the outlet, guaranteed. It should not be included in the calculations as water which has boiled because it didn’t. Naturally, the higher the water level is raised, the more water will be blown out of the reactor without it being converted to steam.
                To check if is this is so, fill up an electric kettle to within 50 to 75mm from the top, boil it up and then hold the trip switch closed for a few minutes until equilibrium is reached. A steady flow of water is ejected with some steam from the spout.

                • Thomas Kaminski

                  For finned heat sinks, the thermal transfer efficiency is increased with tightly-spaced fins. If you look at modern air-conditioners, tight fin spacing is used to increase the thermal efficiency over older designs. Tighter spacing does increase pressure drop. The flow of air of the fins has to be uniform for optimal heat transfer. What happens with tightly spaced fins is the pressure drop across the fins tends to act as a metering orifice, causing a uniform flow in each channel.

                  It is possible that the design does work — it does depend on the steam flow over the fins, however. It is not clear to me how the removed cover interacts with the finned heat sinks. If they block upward flow and channel steam horizontally through the fins it might work as I explained above.

                  For electronic cooling, orienting the fins vertically improves heat transfer due to convection. However, forced air over the fins considerably increases the heat rejection of the heat sink at a lower heat sink temperature.

                • Engineer48

                  Hi Pweet,

                  I’m sure the superheat portion of the reactors has evolved. That image is from 2012.

                  BTW the reactor water level control is automatic as attached.

                  As to the COP, the energy in the steam is calculated by measuring the outlet steam temperature and pressure. No way to fool that.
                  .
                  https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a940427b37ef4134ff678e962e4bd52b9200e3c801fb1c2ed4df8af6b814c669.png
                  .
                  https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/34188c7b7bc31e7a35afe925b0036315b3f5c5a5ee81e46a268f2f3ee2fa5222.png

            • TVulgaris

              Presuming there actually IS a reasonably large superheat volume, that’s part of the point to the upper fins, though- superheat the steam, the water droplets remaining are not very significant- they either drop back due to gravity if they turbulate up through the upper fins, or buoyancy keeps them rising or stationary, but they’d get greatly reduced in size/mass through further heating, although the heat transfer without intimate surface contact is far less efficient than below. I have no idea to what degree buoyancy in the steam “columns” would enter without some real idea of the plate spacing and area- but certainly ANY droplets coming in direct contact with the upper plates would flash off nearly instantly.

              • Obvious

                To somewhat better explain my interpretation:
                The fins will not be isothermal along their full length. Heat is transferred from the fin base towards the tip, but at a gradient that will be at a minimum temperature essentially the same as the steam temperature somewhere along their height. If they are too long they will actually be heated by the steam, rather than by conduction from the reactor main body.
                But since the base of the fins, as originally depicted and to which I was responding, is actively boiling water, heat is most strongly being removed before it can be effectively be conducted to the majority of the fin. This greatly reduces the amount of heat energy available to conduct further up the fin.
                Therefore I concluded that the fins would be much more effective at heating the steam if the upper ones were entirely above the level of the water. In that configuration, heat can be more effectively conducted up the fins, and to a higher temperature, than the lower fins which are submerged.

                • Engineer48

                  Hi Obvious,

                  Did clean up the proposed reactor Boiler & SuperHeater design somewhat to remove any liquid water in the upper superheater portion of the reactor as attached.

                  Believe the very small gap at the side of the reactor to the side walls of the outer case effectively isolate the lower boiler portion of the reactor from the upper superheater portion of the reactor, where the upper fins would be at around 300-400C.

                  I believe the original 2012 reactor operated at 400C and had a liquid lead jacket that entirely surrounded the reactor.

                  Have no idea what the 1 year test reactors core temp was but expect it to be at least the 400C as in the earlier 2012 reactor.
                  .

                • Obvious

                  I saw that. Thanks for considering my, and others’ , suggestions. I meant to reply about it earlier, but I have been very busy lately.
                  I don’t know how much this design relates to the real thing, but it was a neat thought exercise anyways.

        • GiveADogABone

          Unless water enters the base of the fins from each end and trickles towards the middle, there is no flow of steam upwards between the fins. The whole thing would just sit there as a stagnant mass.

          The other thing to remember is that evaporating 1kg of water requires 2257kJ. Raising that saturated steam’s superheat to say 10C requires about 2kJ/C * 10C=20kJ. Only 1% of the heat entering the fin assembly is needed for superheating.

          Bob G took a view that the lead shielding round the reactor core melted in normal operation and reached about 400C.

    • http://www.health-answers.co.uk Agaricus

      That is my opinion, also. Even with the top of the reactor casing and the base of the upper fins ‘dry’, too much heat would leave through the rest of the casing to allow superheating via the upper fins.

    • sean

      I too have not much confidence in the lower and upper fin system. If you take real world technology such as steam locomotives which I’m involved with, we would need much more dry steam that that little box can supply. Essentially I need to add a lot more energy to the wet steam in order to generate huge amounts of torque to pull a train and save water. For example my 7 1/4″ Gauge 4-6-2 model Locomotive needs a regular flow of dry steam at 10.5KW. To do this the boiler generates steam up to a pressure of 126PSI. @ a temperature of 173.86 Degrees C. Then I regulate the steam flow towards the isolated super-heat stainless steel exchanger which goes directly into the fire tubes licked by white hot flames. After which it is then sent to the three cylinders to do some work. So generating wet steam and super-heating this steam properly are two different isolated processes. There are no short cuts to this type of proven technology.

      • Thomas Kaminski

        Hi Sean,

        The Rossi device is more like a boiler delivering heating to a building than a boiler producing power. The pressures and temperatures are lower. For a long (somewhat slow) lecture on boiler issues for providing heat, see this video seminar:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGs5RHmh7DM

        It does show how a reasonably modern commercial boiler producing heat works.

  • Thomas Kaminski

    I think there has to be something that looks at the sight glass water level and adds in water if it is low.

    • Engineer48

      Hi Thomas,

      That is what the pressure switches do. The line they are on is aligned to the bottom of the reactor case and from there each can sense the depth of water inside / above them & then switch on the approperate bank of 6 topping up pumps.

      Pressure switches seen here.
      .
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e22b993fc5b0ebb08b55772129afb6c20aee1039455267a5314bf1e443b4ec3c.png
      .
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a940427b37ef4134ff678e962e4bd52b9200e3c801fb1c2ed4df8af6b814c669.png

      • Thomas Kaminski

        But the steam boiling will increase the pressure — in order for the switches to work the way you say, they would have to be differential switches with one leg to the steam side and one to the bottom of the unit.

      • Pweet

        A simple pressure switch will not be effective in holding a constant water level in the reactor over all power output levels. It will be accurate before it boils but not after.
        As the water boils more and more, it’s apparent density will decrease due to the total fluid volume being markedly increased because of pockets of steam rising up through the water, making the apparent density lower and the overall fluid level inside the reactor proportionally higher. The percentage of vapor pockets will increase with the amount of energy output and steam produced. For the claimed levels of power output, the proportion of vapor pockets would be large, thus the level of fluid (mixture of water and steam) in the reactor will be very much greater than the static water pressure would indicate. Thus if the pressure switch automatically fed in water to hold the level at the original setting, that would guarantee a drastic overfill, and more water ejected from the output without boiling, and thus a grossly inflated power calculation.
        The water level in the glass tubes will not be the same as the fluid level in the reactor. It will be lower in the glass tubes unless the proportion of vapor pockets is identical, which of course it will not be because it is outside the reactor. You will need something to take this into account.
        .
        Again, this is something which can easily be checked with a simple glass electric kettle. Put in one liter of water. Note where this is on the side of the kettle marks. Turn it on and hold in the trip switch after it boils. Keep it boiling and check the level. The average level will rise about 25% above the original fill mark for a 2kw element. It will also be very turbulent on top surface. I would assume it would be even higher for higher power outputs.
        You can then use the boiling water to make a cup of coffee while you think of a way around this.

  • Anon2012_2014

    +1 Engineer48. I don’t know if Rossi’s rig worked, but at least we are on the path now to reconstruct it.

    • Engineer48

      Hi Anon,

      It needs to be able to work as claimed. Plant analysis will not prove it works at COP 50 but should be able to reconstruct what needs to be there for it to work as claimed.