MFMP Publishes Details, Seeks Input on New ‘Clamshell’ LENR Reactor Design

Today Bob Greenyer of the Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project posted this comment in connection to a new reactor design that he and Bob Higgins are working on.

(ClamShell) – A low input power, high temperature reactor

Given our data from the GlowStick series of experiments, Bob Higgins has recognised the need to try and reduce the input power in experiments to achieve high temperatures in an affordable design. The purpose being to reduce the divisor to make what is currently indefensible apparent COP figures, potentially meaningful.

In a test of the developing apparatus last week, he concluded this:

“This design meets my objectives of being able to get to at least 1100°C using only 200W of input (actually it gets to 1200°C). That means that if I get 200W of excess heat, it would be self-sustaining. If I got 100W of XH, it would be a COP=2. If the temperature goes too high with no electrical input power, I will blow on it with a fan and/or open the top brick to let the heat out. I would lose calorimetry, but a meltdown could be avoided.”

Please head over to our main site for comments, suggestions and questions and to see the live document which contains more photos and information.

The live document with full details on the design can be accessed here:

  • Thomas Kaminski

    NIce design idea. In looking at it, though I wonder if you could completely separate the heater from the fuel assembly by using a ellipse-shaped cylinder with the heater at one focal point and the fuel assembly at the other. You could use an IR reflecting coating on the inside surface and insulate the whole assembly with the foamed alumina clamshell. Some sort of end-mirrors could reflect the IR from the ends back into the cylinder.

    Calorimetry could be obtained by flowing an inert gas (say, nitrogen) through the whole cylinder and measuring the delta-T and mass flow.

    • I understand the ellipsoidal cavity idea – I even have a gold plated one from an old lamp pumped water cooled continuous YAG laser. The problem is that with the reactor tube at 1100-1200C, the cavity reflective coating would get hot and ruined. It would be a mess. It was meant to be flowing water cooled.

      Accurately measuring gas flow, particularly when it is hot, is very painful. I can just stick this whole thing in a water mass flow calorimeter and measure it just fine. It is already designed and some pieces are built.

      • Thomas Kaminski

        Gas flow is a problem. However, your solution of using active water flow cooling also would give you the calorimetry. What I do not know is how how hot the reflective surface would get. It depends on the coating and the coefficient of reflection (to understand the radiational heating) and the gas used in the cavity and its thermal conduction and its convention coefficients. Low emissivity windows use an inert gas to cut down the conduction of heat.

        It might be possible to use a polished aluminum reflector that is cooled with water a small amount to keep it under the melting point. I am not sure about the IR reflection coefficient of stainless steel, but highly polished (surface features less than a fraction of the wavelength of the shortest IR radiation expected) might work and its melting point is in the same range as the fuel assembly, Possibly other metals, such as chromium would work.

        • It is not the melting of the metal that is the problem, it is the crud from faint smoke that gets vitrified onto the reflecting surface that worries me.

      • builditnow

        Bob, suggest adding a few of these bricks below, putting two air channel holes up from the bottom, equip one hole with one of those computer fans with the variable speed control, the other for hot air exhaust. This way, if you become “self sustained” and have excess heat, you can have your control system blow cooling air over the reactor in controlled amounts.
        I was working on a gas fired equivalent, which I have temporally stopped in favor of helping Alan in Santa Cruz. It consisted of a stack of bricks to create sufficient chimney draft, the reactor chamber being designed such that when the heating gas was off, no air would flow.
        You could also add EMF coils outside the bricks, although, the stainless steel would act as a shield.

  • Rene

    In the run-up null test, is the timescale in 1000 sec units? Is the thermal lag at top of brick measurements then around 200 seconds?
    Also, where is the best place to discuss all this? Here, or if at the QH site, where?

    • Bob Greenyer

      If you want things discussed seriously, QH site – it will also be contributions attached to the experiment.

    • The integer numbers in the graph are thousands of seconds – I.E. each major division is 2k sec.

      I have run it hotter to 1250C now and have used that data to revise my model. It is now a better fit than this last post and over a broader temperature range.

      There are multiple time constants involved, and they are temperature dependent. Most of them are in the hundreds of seconds.

      I am sure that soon, I will likely stop coming here to respond, so the QH site is probably better. You may need to prod Bob Greenyer to have him get me to got there as I don’t hang out there.

  • Stephen

    Great to hear this news. In these last few months of shadows in the back ground a lot of progress and work has happened apparently. It looks like think things are getting exciting again.

    This is probably not practical at this stage but I wonder if the stainless steel tube is porous to hydrogen and helium at high temperatures if it would be possible to collect this gas in some way? Or would it be too tenuous? Perhaps since gases are light a funnel and container above the device could be used?

    I wondered if such a steel device could be placed in a vacuum sleeve with some way to excite the gases that appeared in it or a white light source to produce emission or absorbtion spectra that could be observed in real time. Perhaps we could then see if helium was produced and may be even what isotopes of Hydrogen and Helium were present if any at different times during the test.

    Would muonium have a characteristic spectra😉

    • Whew – that was a lot. SS is a proton conductor that begins at about 450C and by 800C it is really conductive. In the beginning, we were concerned that we needed to maintain hundreds of bar of H2 because there is that much in the LAH that can be released. Later we realized that successful devices leaked and the actual operating H2 pressure was about 0.5 barA – a partial vacuum. To get there today we have to open a valve at the right time and let out most of the H2 in our better sealed experiments. What is proton conducted pales compared to what we intentionally let out to get to the low operating pressure. At low pressure the conduction is reduced too.

      The tube is not porous to He. It is porous to hydrogen due to an ion transport property that chemically does not exist for He.

      What you would see if you tested the gas that passed through the SS is just filtered H2. We have plumbing connected to the tube for fueled operation to control the gas pressure, directly accessing the gas inside the tube. I have a vacuum system with an RGA mass spectrometer and it is my intention to eventually sample the gas mix at the end of the experiment to look for evidence of tritium, 3He, and 4He. Eventually I want a high res mass spectrometer and I want to watch the evoloution of the gas composition.

      • Stephen

        Thanks for that Bob. Wow I did not realize it was ion transport of Hydrogen that’s interesting too.

        I wonder how a proton conductor handles slow alpha particles? But I suppose they get captured in the same way as in normal materials.

        I’m very curious if the gas isotopes can be measured some time as well as the ash. Especially if it’s possible to see them in some kind of real time during the test to give a window on the processes but I guess this is something for much further down the line.

        On a seperate issue from the clam shell. If the lack of external magnetic field is important, do you think Rossi’s stove pipe design could be a quadrupole device? Looking at the coil arrangement it looks sort of similar..

        Quadruples have a coil arrangement that cancels out the magnetic field in the center of the device

        Larger quadrupole devices are used in particle physics and plasma physics to isolate and contain a plasma in a neutral field. I suspect in this kind of device local effects between the particles may dominate over external effects

        • I am not sure what you mean by Rossi’s “stovepipe design”. Are you referring to his older eCats? I find it hard to believe that a quadrapole excitation could have been used. His older eCats were metal reactor vessels that would not let the electric fields through. His hotCats had a 3-phase coil without the magnetic field being cancelled. Since he was targeting industrial furnace heaters, the 3-phase was probably just to match up with existing product connections in the industry.

          We don’t know at this point if the magnetic field is important (could be). With the heater coil design that cancels the field, I can evaluate with no magnetic field and then add another field externally to test its effect. Though, threading out a real effect with magnetic field will probably require a measure of repeat-ability in the experiment.

          • Stephen

            I was meaning the black hot cat designthat has a central core surrounded by 16 coils.

            This reminds me of a quadrupole arrangement that has coils placed around a core so that the magnetic fields they produce are cancelled out in the centre of the device. This kind of arrangement is used in ion traps for example and to observe local behaviour rather in a null magnetic field rather than for excitation.

            But I agree it’s probably purely coincidence in this case. Probably the coils were arranged that way on that device for more efficient heating or other EMF reasons.

  • Rene

    I like the clamshell design, and yes, raising the efficiency of the bulk heating is important to reduce the losses that mask excessive heat.

    1. Is the heater winding a double helix? Doing that would significantly reduce magnetic field effects from the heater process, and, perhaps, permit answering the question whether magnetic fields quench the reaction;

    2. For temperature control, has BobH considered adding a couple of grooves in the bricks parallel to the reactor in which he can place heat exchanger pipes? This might be a better way than lifting the bricks and blow air to draw heat out when the reaction starts to go nonlinear. Furthermore it could be the basis of some calorimetry based measurements;

    3. Does the design have the means to vary the reflection of photons back into the reactor instead of absorbing them into the bricks, terrahertz comes to mind.

    • Bob Greenyer

      Hi Rene…

      Good questions.

      1. I’ll check, I know he intended to for one of his experimental designs.
      2. Not a bad suggestion thanks.
      3. Not specifically, but the insulating blocks will be doing some of that.

      The main purpose of this experiment is to learn from the kind of apparent excess heat we seam to observe in GS experiments and see if, just thermally driven, this apparatus can show a more plausible COP.

    • 1. Yes, the heater winding is a double helix. Yes, this largely cancels the magnetic fields from the heater coil.

      2. The long term intent is to make the insulator 2″ diameter on the outside which will match the diameter of the aluminum supports. Then this whole racked cassette will be inserted into a flow calorimeter. Almost anything I do to introduce variable heat outflow will make it hard to maintain calorimetry without the flow calorimeter. The flow calorimeter design I have already has variable coupling built in that will not invalidate the calorimetry.

      3. RF will be highly attenuated by the SS tube. I would expect any THz generated in the fuel to be essentially 100% reflected and absorbed by the tube. Gamma above 20 keV will easily pass out. There is no reflection for any of the x- or gamma- photons.

      • Rene

        It is great to read about the intent to do flow calorimetry and that it is carefully considered in the clamshell design. On the heater, it you were to center tap the heater windings, you could, in future experiments, switch between mostly canceled and strong magnetic field effect. That might be useful if the reactor enters SSM.

        • I have a low temperature reactor (300-500C) that is designed for investigation of the eCat type fuels (as opposed to this one for the hotCat). In this lower temperature reactor I do exactly as you describe. In this hotCat-like design it would be painful, but possible to bring out this tap. I would have to bring it out as a twisted lead on the outside of the outer heater tube. This risks exposure of the fuel tube to the electrical input if the heater wire begins to melt, whereas that is well contained now.

          • Rene

            I understand your concerns. Thinking more on this, the center tap is not needed if the EMF is 80MHz or higher. You could inject it at one or both of the heater leads (RF chokes on the heater power leads) to get a decent near field coupling to the fuel tube. It’s likely to be pulsed EMF anyway.

            • The trick would probably be to inject it common mode. The problem is that none of this will get inside the stainless steel tube. The design would have to be swapped for a ceramic tube reactor with no metallic fuel capsule inside.

              • Rene

                True, it doesn’t go very deep. Steel has a permeability of 100, so 80MHx is 0.7uM depth. By 1GHz it’s down to 0.2uM. I suppose that is why in his x-cat, Rossi has a micro heater wrapped in a high-temp non-metallic insulator with the fuel surrounding it. Oh well, another experimental setup 🙂

                • No telling what his Quark-X is, or is supposed to be. I don’t follow it very closely. I am a retired RF engineer, so I know well about RF penetration and designing for RF excitation. Yes, that is another setup – but maybe only for the reactor vessel.

                • Rene

                  Yes, following Rossi is too difficult given his secrecy. Will have to wait until he produces something accessible. I am a ham worked 3MHz to 3GHz (made antennae) then later 10GHz+ for CW chirped distance measurement and velocity measurement.
                  Looking forward to your evolving experiments.

                • I am also a Ham (inactive). That hobby provides good insight into the behavior of RF.

          • Gerard McEk

            Bob, this coil design is interesting in another way and that I am promoting all the time. At the outlet end of the coil, there is now a considerable voltage difference between the last coil turns. I have been suggesting that the voltage difference over this small distance may have influence on LENR as it may cause currents though the Al2O3 tube (which starts to conduct at high temperatures) into the fuel. If LENR occurs, then please determine the location of the LENR phenomenon.
            Good luck with the tests!

  • Dr. Mike

    Bob Greenyer and Bob Higgins,
    Good luck with your experiments on your “Clamshell” reactor design. I believe this is a good approach to demonstrating a COP of 2 or greater if 100 Watts or so of excess heat are actually produced in LENR reactions within the reactor just as the result of operating at a high temperature. However, to demonstrate excess energy at a high COP, I believe that the LENR reaction rate needs to be increased above the naturally occurring thermal driven rate by applying an additional driving force to the reactor, perhaps an EMF pulse. The key to making LENR a useful technology is to find a way to supply a small amount of the right energy to greatly increase the LENR reaction rate above the naturally occurring thermally driven reaction rate.
    Dr. Mike

    • Bob Greenyer

      Thanks – this is very much Bob Higgins’ baby learning from the other MFMP and wider researchers experiences.

      You may be right and I would hazard a guess that that frequency would be related to the bond resonance of specific covalent hydride’s H bonds.

      We really appreciate everyone’s ideas – so do look out for any gotchas that may have been overlooked in the apparatus and protocol as it develops. Thanks!

    • RF and other stimulation are probably desirable. It may require design modifications to accommodate this, because the fuel is in a stainless metal tube. Additionally the fuel is itself conducting, making the configuration of fuel and container important for any kind of plasma stimulus. That may require a new design specific to the type of stimulus planned. We’ll see.

      Most of the stimuli that would be considered would complicate the measure of input power, thus complicating the determination of whether excess heat was produced.

      One of the opportunities I have is that the beer tube will hold more than the standard 1 gram of fuel. I plan to use between 2 and 3 grams to maximize the opportunity for observable excess heat.

      • Dr. Mike

        I agree that having the fuel in a stainless steel container would negate efforts to see the effect of adding an EMF stimulus in your “clamshell” reactor. I like your idea of using more fuel to maximize the opportunity for observing excess heat. Good luck with your experiments!
        Dr. Mike

    • I like the idea of very short (a few nano-seconds) EMF pulses. I liken it to the ringing of a bell. The pulse/clapper must get out of the way so that the bell can rebound and ring at its natural frequency. You may not need to know what that natural frequency is.

  • If there’s enough fuel available to ‘waste’ some, one or more calibration runs through the full temperature range with a fueled reactor — sans the hydrogen loading — would eliminate some unknowns.

    • Bob Greenyer

      Well I know that Bob has bucket loads of AH50

    • Well, this is a little complicated, and there are certainly intermediate possibilities. The fuel contain the LAH which has both Li and H2. The Li will melt and will affect the coupling of the Ni powder to the walls of the tube – so a best test would still need to include the Li. But then you have to bake out all of the H2 out of the LAH and you never get it all out. Can’t just use free Li because LAH doesn’t liquify until nearly 700C (whereas Li would be liquid below 200C). Also, the liquid LiH doesn’t wet to the Ni powder until the aluminum melts and the Li-Al will wet to the Ni powder. Trying to make an equivalent, but truly null fuel is harder than it sounds.

      • Yes, but previous runs have shown it takes quite some time and effort to load the hydrogen to a point where a reaction can start, so a straight temperature increase calibration run should approximate a null fuel. This would probably be corroborated by no sign of any excess heat generated in the calibration runs even though though they contained viable fuel.

        Doing so would lend some confidence that the effects on heat signature/conduction of the core and reactor during a straight ‘chemical’ run are understood. Using dummy cores of one type or another has been ok but has always left me wondering if something could be learned by doing it this other way.

        I’m suggesting doing this in addition to the usual calibration runs. Any differences would be interesting.

        • One possibility may be to run the experiment with the fuel continuously at vacuum. Any evolved H2 would immediately be evacuated. That MAY be a null experiment, but is not guaranteed to be because the liquid Li-H-Al will still have H in solution that will not come out even in a vacuum. Also, the convection of the H2 in the actual reactor will be different than the same with a vacuum.

          A proper null experiment would certainly help reduce the uncertainty in the measurement. But, I am hoping with the insulation present that the excess heat will be unmistakable (for example, a sustained COP=2). Then the excess energy for a sustained output over even a day (and I plan to run much longer) would rule out chemical. Of course, what I really want to see are radiations. Chemical reactions cannot produce gamma photon energies or neutrons.

          • Best of luck! That would be game over.

            Do you have a start date in mind yet?

            • Back to your original question for a moment. One of the things the SPICE modeling will provide is an opportunity for evaluating the experiment as a null during the segments when it is not producing excess heat.

              I probably have 2 more weeks of configuration, Labview SW adjustments, and calibrations/modeling before I am ready to begin the first fueled experiment. I have the fuel components on-site. I am trying to design for quick turnover to do a replication or new experiment. But, until you actually run a first experiment with this corrosive fuel, you never know what will happen to mess up your plan for quick turnaround.

              • Yes, exactly – as in my reply to LENR G. There will always be some H in the metals and it will be hard to guarantee a null experiment that way.

                • Perhaps semantics are getting in the way. It would not be a null experiment but instead a ‘no-attempt-to-load-the-hydrogen’ baseline which could be compared to both normal calibrations and runs where many cycles are spent trying to fully load the hydrogen.

                  I think it would provide meaningful information — or at least some additional confidence that a run that never has a chance to ‘ignite’ does not deviate significantly from the calibration runs when a real fuel cell is inserted.

          • Albert D. Kallal

            Recall the H loading into metal article that Bob Greenyer referenced here last month.

            The experiments from 1889 noted that not only did the metal absorbed as MUCH H as if it was turned into a liquid, but placing that metal block AFTER absorbing the H under a vacuum did NOT remove or suck the H back out of the metal! Most astounding!

            So even under a vacuum, the H remained in the metal lattice.

            So while H gas emitted from the fuel may well be evacuated by a vacuum, don’t assume that H absorbed into a metal will be pulled out by a vacuum. Some great experiments and data can be found in that 1889 article referenced by Bob Greenyer.

            I don’t have that link handy by BG – but the loading of H into metals has many experiments – many going back more than 100 years that explain the ins and outs of H loading into metals.

            Albert D. Kallal
            Edmonton, Alberta Canada

  • AdrianAshfield

    Bob Greenyer,
    I don’t know what the “porous refractory insulation” is that you are using, but as suggested some time ago, have a look at Microtherm. I have used this material in the glass industry and found that it had superior insulation at the time to anything else.
    “At high temperatures it out performs most alternative insulation materials by a factor of at least 3 – 4.”

  • Ophelia Rump

    Please consider adding a fail safe, out-gassing down vent hole in the lower half of the brick.

    • Bob Greenyer

      Bob Higgins has designed an open source computer controlled back pressure regulation system so, for instance, he can program a similar pressure profile to Parkhomov’s or GS5.2 or a new one and then each experiment would have the same pressure profile.

      This will be part of the (ClamShell) apparatus.

      • Bob

        Mr. Greenyer,

        A recent publication from Japan states that “Qualitatively, 100% reproducibility has been established.” See page 7.

        Since this is not a singular person making the claim, but an organization with good credentials, I would ask the following :

        1) How familiar with Professor Iwamura of Tohoku University and his process is MFMP?
        2) Since they are claiming 100% reproducibility and with a system that would seem “realistically doable”, is MFMP considering a near term replication?
        3) Since a big part of MFMP is to product a working “kit” to provide many researchers the ability to replicate, thus eliminating the main stream doubt about LENR, this method would seem a logical approach. Why try to “re-invent the wheel”?
        4) Does MFMP still feel confident that the “Rossi effect” is still likely real considering the current drama surrounding Rossi and should take a primary place in MFMP testing versus other designs? I.E. is the glow stick series considered to be based on eCat technology or does it have some other basis? Do I understand correctly that the glow stick tests are the main emphasis of MFMP at this time?

        As always, thank you for the goals and openness of which MFMP works. Also thanks to the MFMP volunteers that are doing much work “behind the scenes” as well.

        • Bob Greenyer

          1) We had been invited to look round their plant but declined due to a request to sign an NDA
          2) We are going one step further and planning to do a replication of the German patent as highlighted in my terrrible pre-Aarhus live video. It is essentially a combination of Canon, Clean Planet, what I consider aspects of E-Cat X and we have a good partner to work with on that – more to follow as things settle.

          3) We do not know all the details of any of these embodiments – though we are getting pretty skilled in the art so, for instance, when the German patent authors say that their Nickel-Zirconium Cathode is doped with “catalytic metal oxides” we’d have a shot with CaO. The point of the (ClamShell) is to answer many requests to see if we can increase the COP to levels that would inspire confidence in that aspect of the experiments. We understand theses types of systems a bit since we have experience with them, the CP/Mizuno route would be a new area and so it makes sense to work with new project participants on that.
          4) I do not think a legal case has any bearing on nature, we seam to have observed, like others, some evidence of excess heat. More importantly – like Canon did in their 1989 priority awarded patent and scores of groups since – we have observed photons at a range of energies, repeatedly in Celani cells and clearly in a Rossi analogue. In addition, we have observed thermal neutrons live, others have also observed these things. I do not think it is productive to engage in the nonsense surrounding the legal case, the focus in our group is to follow the evidence.

          We will be doing several experimental threads in coming months including that described above. We will look at latest Celani wires – and also something no one is expecting that is likely going to upset the apple cart a little!

          The *GlowStick* platform will, as indicated already, have a series of experiments designed to test the various theories out there.

          I will pass on your thanks.

    • Ophelia, Thanks for thinking safe. The bricks do not hold any pressure at all and could not.

      I am thinking of making the clamshell insulation cylindrical 2″ in diameter (the same as the aluminum supports) for insertion of the whole cassette into a future flow calorimeter.

      The insulating block is supported 2″ above the cinder block below. The cinder block are there to prevent fire in case of meltdown. In normal operation, they don’t get more than about 10C above ambient. Most of the heat comes out the top of the top clamshell insulator.

      With the Labview control I have for the system, having a fan that is automatically operated when the system goes over max. temperature would be an easy addition. I look forward to having that become an issue! I will want it to alarm as well.