Rossi: Research on QuarkX is ‘Jazz, not Classical Music’

Andrea Rossi has give an interesting reply on the Journal of Nuclear Physics to a question by Tom Conover who asked Rossi if he could disclose any more details, without revealing anything confidential, about his current work with the QuarkX, the current version of the E-Cat that is under development.

Here is Rossi’s response:

Andrea Rossi
September 28, 2016 at 7:23 AM
Tom Conover:
I understand and sympathize with you.
The work we are making in this period with the QuarkX is a continuous measurement of these kinds: spectrometric, calorimetric, endurance, on/off timing, selection and testing of materials, production of materials that are not in commerce…all this not with a well defined calendar, apart a summary strategy of R&D: it is not classic music, it’s jazz: you start with an idea of the musical theme you are going to play on, then measure by measure notes arrive unexpected and you have to play with them. Another good model is the one of a military battle: you start with an idea of the strategy, but then the battlefield continues to change dynamically and you have to adapt your strategy to the new unexpected events that necessarily arrive.
We had a major problem, basically connected with the reliability and the safety of the apparatus, days ago, emerged after time, and I lacked the knowledge necessary to resolve the problem, so I asked help from a top level specialist I knew 5 years ago and he taught me the science necessary to go through the mud I was stuck in.
I cannot disclose the particulars, for obvious reasons, until the product will be duly protected.
Anyway: I’ll see what I will be able to do to not to be boring…
Warm Regards,

It’s an interesting comparison and implies that Rossi is dealing with a reaction that is fairly unpredictable and hard to control; control and stability is something that Rossi has been working on for years now. Now at the higher temperatures (over 1400 C) the QuarkX is operating at, there seem to be greater difficulties connected with the endurance of materials.

It’s not clear here whether Rossi is still ‘stuck in the mud’, but it does seem that he is still in the R&D stage, and describing the calendar as ‘undefined’ implies that there is still work to do before the QuarkX can be incorporated into a product.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Wow, it’s half a century old! But I think that thinking about LENR is rejuvenating us.

  • artefact

    New court document [56] (thanks to thenewfire on twitter):

    Conclusion: “For the foregoing reasons, this Court should dismiss Counts I, II, III and IV of Defendants Second Amended Counterclaim.”

  • Gerard McEk

    I do not know clovis ray. The very high temperature of the QuarkX would make the E-cat reactor vessel unnecessarily expensive. Beside that, both types may have different applications: (E-cat just heating; QuarkX generation of electricity and mechanical traction).

  • sam

    “Optical fiber transmits one terabit per second”
    Does any one know if the above
    technology would benifit the Ecat
    Or is it for other types of technology.

    • TVulgaris

      WAY overkill on the bandwidth, and fused silica is about the only common glass that would tolerate the temperatures in or very near the reactor long enough- and it’s not easy to make optical fibers with it. Of course, it could be useful, but it doesn’t solve any difficulties unique to the eCat or LENR in general. No-one has yet pointed to any part of the spectrum in the 16-64 terahertz range that would suggest using this as an optimal solution. This is for bandwidth-critical data transmission, all the data streams in the eCat seem to lie in the kB range, and there aren’t many data lines.

      • TVulgaris

        I’d guess if you were only using 8-bit ADCs that might extend down to 8 THz.

        The big stumbling block, besides no outright need for such bandwidth, is the only special requirements of LENR technology are heat, rad, and particle resistance in the reactor environment, and there aren’t sensors and ADCs existing that will tolerate this environment.

  • LENR G

    It’s been strange for 5 years. I think you probably meant red herring, but it’s a strange fish indeed who goes to court just to expose its own fish guts.

  • sam

    This is part of a comment from Ego Out blog.

    For the Lugano test there’s no mention of needing goggles to look at the reactor. I’ve worked with stuff at around 1100°C and that needs goggles if you don’t want your eyes to dry out. At around 1400°C the need for goggles would be mandatory, yet it wasn’t mentioned. There’s no evidence of the paint on the support being charred. It didn’t reach the temperature stated, so didn’t produce the power calculated. Bad experimental technique to measure the temperature, made more obvious when you consider that the Type K thermocouple inside the reactor didn’t melt, where it should have done.

    Does anyone know if they are right and that goggles would be needed to look at reactor or about the thermocouple melt.

    • Obvious

      The type K thermocouple used in Lugano was tiny. I would expect it to melt: If the outside was 1400 C, then the inside, where the thermocouple was cemented, was certainly hotter. Type K thermocouples melt at around 1380 C, which is why they only list 1372 C as the maximum readable temperature. For constant very high temperatures, large diameter thermocouple wire is recommended. For >1200 C, typically 16 to 12 Ga thermocouples should be used, but smaller diameters will last a while, especially if they can be kept oxidized. I have a better photo of the Lugano thermocouple than appears in the report. I’ll change computers and post the thermocouple portion of it below in a few minutes.

      • Obvious

        Note the yellow Type K extension wire, and the small diameter of the thermocouple wire.
        (I thought this photo would be more clear than it is, when zoomed).

        • sam

          Thanks Obvious
          Even if I may not completely understand
          I appreciate the effort
          people make on this
          blog to answer questions I post.

      • Omega Z

        There are K type thermocouples that will operate at 1800`C and long term at 1400/1500`C(They’ve been doped). Of course, long term is a matter of perspective. Lasting months rather then days could be claimed as long term use, but for a consumer product not so much.

        • Obvious

          Are you sure those are Type K?
          There are many other types of thermocouples that can go much hotter than 1400 C, but each requires a different extension wire type.

          • William D. Fleming

            I wonder if the thermometer probe could just be inserted into a receptacle intermittently. Continuous readings aren’t needed anyway.

            • Obvious

              The Lugano thermocouple was cemented into the fuel fill hole, so it was there the entire 32 days. Continuous readings were neccesary because the thermocouple was used to maintain the temperature setting.

              Interestingly, nobody seems to care how Rossi’s controller had it’s temperature setting made. I mean, the controller must have been able to read the thermocouple temperature in order to hold the setting. And how did they set any particular temperature considering the thing could rise in temperature by unknown rates when power was increased?

              • William D. Fleming

                If continuous readings are needed, there could still be a receptacle so that the thermocouple could be swapped out as needed. Just an idea–I don’t know if that is practical.

                • Obvious

                  That is what Rossi did with some of his early reactors, using a metal ferrule and presumably a sleeve that passed into the water.

                  One of his patent applications used to mention a platinum “thermocouple”, which can handle quite high temperatures, but this was eliminated in an update.

          • Omega Z

            You know how when you’ve come to a conclusion and find out later you were wrong tends to stick with you? Yes, I’m sure.

            Long while back the K type thermocouples were discussed and I spent hours looking about. 1400 & 1500 degrees C was pushing the limits with short life-cycle. Months later while looking to something else, I came across a sight offering K type thermocouples good to 1800`C and recommended for regular use in the 1400 to 1500`C range. It did mention they were doped with something to make them tolerant to higher operating temps.

            A simple Google search of K type thermocouple suppliers and you’ll get 4M hits. That a product we need may exist doesn’t mean we will easily locate it. No one will check out all 4M hits. The most hardcore may only follow up a couple dozen links and move on.

            Rossi has stated many times that he learns much from those who follow and comment on JONP. Most people will disagree having read most of those comments overtime. A thousand people post links to mostly useless or even nonsense info. However, a single link among 1000’s can be pure gold. Probably at the time, I should have posted a link to my find on JONP. Yeah, hind sight can be 20/20 vision.

            Anyway, the internet needs an overhaul and a new search engine. There may already be a cure for most cancers, but we will never find it. 800 million hits in .58 seconds. Possibly only 1 has any relevance.

            • Obvious

              Doping a Type K thermocouple would change its electrical characteristics, making it unusable with a Type K thermometer that reads the thermocouple. The output voltage of each type of thermocouple (based on two wires’ chemistry) has to match within less than a millivolt across the entire measurement range. There were two types of Type K, once upon a time, one of which is obsolete, but now any significant change in chemistry/metallurgy makes for a new thermocouple Type. The output voltage for any given temperature for each Type of thermocouple must be within a very tight specification or they are useless.

              So I think you are mistaken, unless you can provide a link.

      • US_Citizen71

        The thermocouple may have been measuring something that was acting much like a heat pipe. That heat pipe could be at a lower temperature than the core due to cooling, poor conductivity etc… Rossi may have calibrated his sensors for Lugano like MFMP calibrated their GlowSticks sensors. So the thermocouple measures a temperature of say 800C at the heat pipe but the core being actually 1300C is possible. Control would still be possible that way, it just might not be quick to react when in self sustain mode. Lugano did not use the self sustain mode so the thermocouple would only likely be used to detect an over temperature situation when the power was constant.

        • Obvious

          The Lugano thermocouple went in the same hole as the fuel.

          • US_Citizen71

            That still does not prevent what I stated above. 1 cm of alumina between the core and the thermocouple would result in widely different temperatures when comparing the two locations.

            • Obvious

              Yes, there could be some sort of gradient towards the ends, making the thermocouple position fairly sensitive to its position.

              On the other hand, there is about 2 cm of alumina and alumina cement around the thermocouple, which is insulating it to some degree. Under 1.5 cm of alumina cement are the heater wires, which all three surround the thermocouple. I suspect that the thermocouple position and reactor geometry makes the thermocouple position approximately isothermal with the main coil section of the dog bone, but it is hard to say whether it is the outside or inside that would be closest in temperature.
              The Kanthal heater wires are definitely going to be hotter than the outside, and will be close to their melting point when the reactor is 1400 C on the outside.

    • Observer

      The filament temperature of a 100 watt incandescent light bulb is roughly 2550 degrees Celsius, yet we used them all the time without the need of goggles. The trick is to not stare at it.

    • sam

      Comment from Ego Out blog

      AnonymousSeptember 29, 2016 at 8:53 AM
      A better motto would be “stop believing speculation”, which is what your screed basically amounts to. But I will directly address one point:

      “For the Lugano test there’s no mention of needing goggles to look at the reactor. I’ve worked with stuff at around 1100°C and that needs goggles if you don’t want your eyes to dry out. At around 1400°C the need for goggles would be mandatory, yet it wasn’t mentioned.”

      No. I have had years of experience with temperatures from 1000C to 2500C, and temperatures between 1000 and 1400C do NOT require goggles. The system I reference specifically was putting 5000W of rf furnace energy into a bed of carbon chunks (cylindrical pieces 1/4″ dia x 1/4″ long, bed about 1″ dia and 4″ long) contained in a fused silica tube. Temperatures measured with an NBS traceable optical comparator pyrometer (NOT camera). 1400C is a pastel yellow, and NOT uncomfortably bright. Worked with the reactor running for hours on end…no dry eyes, no goggles…nor did any of the other folks who passed in and out.

      • Obvious

        I don’t really have an issue with the glow, other than the orange-looking reactor photos don’t seem to be at 1400 C. When they were taken is unknown, although one of them purports to demonstrate the shadows of the wires, so it must be sometime during the Active Runs.

        We went over this ages ago, and there were many photos posted. Digital cameras do funny things with bright and IR heavy objects. I could (and have) photograph the same 1000 C tube anywhere from barely orange to bright violet pink, depending on the camera setting and flash.

        1400 C is pale yellowish and rather bright, but probably not goggle territory, as the anonymous poster mentioned. But I would doubt it could be made to look dull orange. Note the heater wires are a nice orange also. (And they surround the thermocouple in three parallel runs, buried under 1.5 cm of cast alumina).

        • AlainCo

          I’ve caught two document about estimating temperature.

          One is about estimating from digital camera

          maybe someone can test their method on the digital photographies.

          another is estimating kilm temperature from your own eye

          Lowest visible red to dark red: 885 – 1200F (473 – 648C)
          Dark red to cherry red: 1200 – 1380F (648 – 748C)
          Cherry red to bright cherry red: 1380 – 1500F (748 – 815C)
          Bright cherry red to orange: 1500 – 1650F (815 – 898C)
          Orange to yellow: 1650 – 2000F (898 – 1093C)
          Yellow to light yellow: 2000 – 2400F (1093 – 1315C)

          thus calibration should be lowest visible red
          thomas clarke hypothesis led to (bright?) cherry red.

          Lugano claims led to light yellow

          • Obvious

            Sandvik (maker of Kanthal wire) says to avoid yellow hot wire, because it will fail very quickly.

        • TVulgaris

          The working distance from the reactor would nearly entirely dictate the need for goggles (ignoring UV)- from a meter away, watching something the size of the reactor core with focused attention at just red heat would be uncomfortably drying after more than a minute or two (you can test this easily with a radiant space heater, and any metalworker working hot will confirm this- you wear goggles for eye protection from objects, not light, unless you’re soldering/brazing/welding), at 2 meters it’s inconsequential. If you’re not staring at the workpiece, you most likely won’t need goggles if it’s not uncomfortable to exposed skin.

  • Alan DeAngelis
  • Alan DeAngelis

    Looks like the Chicago Museum of Science and Technology. I’ll listen to this and think about the QuarkX.

  • sam

    Andrea Rossi
    September 28, 2016 at 9:22 AM
    John Evans:
    1- no
    2- no
    3- yes
    4- no
    5- yes
    6- no
    Warm Regards

    John C Evans
    September 28, 2016 at 8:24 AM
    Mr Rossi
    It’s not my intention to be tedious but please suffer me these follow up questions. Seeing Mr Gerard MkEk’s comments on my last query at e-cat world made me think to be more precise.
    1. Does the thermal peak damage the reactor vessel?
    2. Does the thermal peak damage the reactor fuel?
    3. Are safe operations recoverable after the thermal peak?
    4. Does a thermal peak cause catastrophic failure?
    5. Are you working to anticipate the thermal peaks or react to them?
    6. Can the thermal peaks be controlled or avoided by modulating input power?

    Thank you for all your hard work

  • Gerard McEk

    This was a very good comment and call for infomation of Tom Conover in Andrea’s JoNP blog and in my view a honest answer of Andrea. Let us hop Andrea will soon finish the developments of the QuarkX.

  • Ophelia Rump

    It is one level of control to sustain a reaction. Yet another to sustain that reaction in a stable manner.
    Again yet another to get it to self sustain.

    Tuning the outputs of that reaction to stably get light, and electricity at whatever proportion is desired is an entirely new level of fine control over the subtle aspects of the reaction. No doubt the Good Dottore is now playing with subtler thresholds nestled deep within the complexity of the reaction. The subtlety of the quark must be exquisite. It will be akin to alien technology when it goes to market.

    I doubt that it will be susceptible to cheap clones, it will probably require precise duplication to function at all. Others may develop a LENR device modeled from it, but duplicating it’s functionality becomes progressively less likely. I think Dottore Rossi has past the point of worrying about competitors.

    • Gerard McEk

      That is indeed a good point Ophelia. The Ecat is probably much easier to copy than the QuarkX. Possibly another reason to continue so fiercely with the QuarkX deelopment. By the time the competitors have found the details, AR is mass-producing the QuarkX’s.

  • roseland67

    If the Quark Is still being tested, what are the “robotized” production lines building?
    Are they just building parts for the Quark?

    • Jimr

      Nothing, there are none as yet.

  • BillH

    One of AR’s more eccentric replies, very funny though, maybe that’s why so many people are still interested.

  • LION

    For me his HONESTY speaks of his INTEGRITY and is highly commendable. Andrea Rossi is the real deal. God Bless you Andrea.