Since Andrea Rossi has been discussing his plans for a public presentation of the QuarkX reactor there have been a number of posts on the Journal of Nuclear Physics about the possibility of using a ‘dummy’ reactor as a means of effectively demonstrating the ability of the QuarkX to operate with a high COP.
The idea is a simple one: compare the performance of an active QuarkX reactor to one of similar size and physical properties (this is the dummy), but without any of the QuarkX special sauce (whatever that may be) using the same energy input, and the same measurement instruments. If the QuarkX really does what Rossi has claimed, it will act very differently from a dummy.
Rossi had seemed to be resisting the idea of using a dummy, saying any system with a COP <1 (like a conventional heater) would be an appropriate comparison. But recently he responded to a question about using a dummy with this comment:
Not during the test with the independent engineer, but we made last week a dummy, just for curiosity: obviously a dummy has COP
Having followed the E-Cat story over the last six years, and knowing the skeptical stance of many people about it, it may be difficult to overcome that skepticism with a single demonstration. Whatever Rossi does or does not do (assuming there will be a public presentation) there will probably be people who will claim it is all theatrics, illusion, smoke and mirrors, etc.
Probably convincing the most skeptical observers will not be Rossi’s goal with a public presentation. It is probably not possible to do so in a staged event. He continues to talk about his commercial goals which to begin with are sales of industrial plants, and he will be likely thinking how he can best engage the curiosity of potential commercial customers.
Someone on the JONP asked if he was planning to do something spectacular, such as “such as run the QuarkX in SSM without any power input?” Rossi responded, “I think it will be interesting enough.”