Critique of the Smith Report from the JONP

Since there has been such a lot of discussion on the recently produced photos from the court documents, I thought the following comment by reader “DT” from the Journal of Nuclear Physics might be interesting regarding the report written by Rick A. Smith (expert witness for Industrial Heat) for readers here to read and discuss, since he includes some very specific calculations.

April 8, 2017 at 5:17 AM

“Dr Andrea Rossi:
Surely you have realized that the “expertise” of Mr Smith, super-expert-consultant of IH in the litigation, is a fraud. It is totally based on two issues, both wrong:
1- he says that a COP higher than 1 is against the principles of thermodynamic
2- he says the pumps of the E-Cats had a flow rate of 36 liters per hour and gives evidence of this fact by a photo of the label of a Prominent pump installed on the E-Cat.

“As a matter of fact, the cases can only be two: either Mr Smith is not an expert, and in this case the issue is over, or he is giving voluntary false information in change of money. In fact, it is impossible that an expert ignores that:

“1- the thermodynamic principles must be applied to a specific system and in the case of the E-Cat the system is nuclear, not chemical, therefore it is possible that the COP is higher than one, because the chemical energy at the input induces nuclear energy: the three thermodynamic principles are fully respected because of the Einstein equation.

“2- the Prominent pump , as every pump, has a flow rate that is in function of the hydraulic pressure: Mr Smith has hidden to the readers the fact that in the same photo that he reports in his “expertise” is clearly written that the pressure is 2 Bar at the flow of 36 liters per hour !!! Obviously if the pressure is lower, the flow rate increases. I have personally used that model of Prominent pump and at a pressure of 0.2 Bars its flow rate is about 90 liters per hour. If we look well the photo of the pumps system of the E-Cat we can see that the pumps have to raise the water of few tens of centimeters, while 2 Bars correspond to 20 meters !!!! At a rate of 90 liters per hour, the maximum flow rate of all the pumps combined is well above the 1,600 liters per hour necessary to the E-Cat to reach a rate of about 1 MW.
Not to mention other enormous errors, like for example the fact that the superheating of the steam must be made as he says: this guy does not even know how boilers work, or, most likely, lies in change of money.

“Besides, somebody has to explain to him that the steam at 103 Celsius at room P is dry by physics laws. Plus, in the documents published by the Court is clearly described that along the steam line there was a trap to check if water was contained in the steam.”


  • Stephen

    Well Bruce with respect for your own point of view I must say in my view I don’t agree that what is going on on the customer side is crucial.

    The parameters in the ERV report are completely sufficient for me. The important thing for me is that the data there is shown to be reliable and or verified nothing else. If you look at the data as presented every thing adds up. We may not know how the heat was handled by the customer but that is an entirely different issue to what the Santa says about the E-Cat.

    Even by assuming multiple failures in the data we can’t add up a solution with low delta T and the required flow rate with out additional pumps and associated head.

    If there is independent verification of steam in the steam pipe then it’s impossible for me to see any way there is no significant positive COP. 12kW of steam would be a minuscule flow rate.

    The issue with the accounting for the input energy if there is no LENR is just another verification for me that things don’t add up with the 12 kW heated water scenario.

    If some one wants to say the ERV report is faked then that’s another matter but to me after checking through it in my own way with my own crude analysis and trying to envisage every possible failure I can say it looks consistent to me so I have no reason to doubt it especially if it ends up being independently verified by other sources of data.

  • Stephen

    Regarding the lack of flooding of the mezzanine heat exchanger. Yup I agree with that.

    Apparently according GADAB there are also ways that it could be handled with out flooding at start up which was something I was wondering about.

    I’m curious how you would account for even 12kW heat loss though with out some kind of external heat exchanger.

  • Stephen

    Yup it’s interesting. And still a mystery.

    Andrea Rossi did mention in his dispositions (all of which are really worth reading I think) that the JMC plant had been used in different configurations the 4 lagged pipes configuration was the one being used at the time of that particular photo. There were also different materials being processed at different times… perhaps those pipes were used in one of the configurations… or are legacy equipment from an earlier design… or are there for increased production if required. Perhaps changes in customer arrangements and requirements also played some role… who knows.

    For sure those pipes would not work by them selves as a radiator as the container is itself is apparently lagged with very very thick insulation.

    If this pipes were used in unlagged configurations perhaps the whole container would heat to 100 deg C. In fact before seeing the arrangement in the container, I had assumed it was working that way. It did occur to me that perhaps in that configuration large amounts of product producing pipes could be arrayed in that container with out necessarily needing being in the steam circuit it self…. but here I would be speculating.

  • Stephen

    FWIW to me the “modifications” made by Andrea Rossi make total sense to me.

    The design that West mentioned that is in line with what he and Dameron envisaged seems to me to be close to that used in NC.

    However I would say the two systems in NC and a Doral are different and required different set ups.

    If you are an engineer you are probably used to working with Enineering models during the development, maybe stand alone prototypes and production prototypes that are designed for real life applications and the environment and usage constraints they introduce.

    I see the set up in NC as an engineering model probably with a very basic load on the output. Designed for shorter term fully manned and monitored tests.

    I think the what West and Damodred expected was based on this design.

    What Andrea Rossi implemented and what is included in the Penon design is completely consistent with what would be required for a real prototype taking into account customer usage of the steam. It is also very consistent with what would be required for a long term test.

    It makes total sense in this case to have a small insulated tank for the return condensate in the loop in a very controlled environment, rather than a large external tank especially if that tank was in insulated and open as used in NC. And if there are infact closed circuit flow pressure head issues due to the constraints of the customer plant then perhaps as E48 suggests they were better served by this design too.

    But quite apart from the design constraints introduced by the pressure head points raised here that may or may not play a role depending on your point of view and understanding. I can only imagine what discussions we would be having here about the reliability of the data if the original NC setup was used for this long duration test. The actual set up used seems to me far more self contained and robust.

  • GiveADogABone

    How to start up a once through boiler [1:], or
    how to change the E-cat test result from CoP=1 to CoP=83.

    CoP=Energy Out/Energy In= Mass Flow Rate x Specific Enthalpy Change/ Electrical Power
    If Mass Flow Rate and Electrical Power remain unchanged
    CoP(1)/CoP(2)= SEC(1)/SEC(2)= 7*4.12/(30*4.12+2257+3*2)=83

    What dictates if the plant is operating at CoP=1 or CoP=83?
    The issue is whether there is steam or water in the boiler discharge pipe and that is all.

    Reference [2:] states, ‘A significant part of the testing of the automatic start up phases involved boiler performance during the ‘boil-back’ process when steam production is initially stimulated.’. I can also vouch for this statement because I worked on this power station.

    ‘Boil-back’ is what IH do not comprehend. Conventional boilers do not do ‘boil-back’. IH show no signs have ever having heard of once through boilers, let alone understood their operation. IH have found the flooded startup system in the E-cat and their thinking then stopped. Big mistake! They should study the photo of the Boiler Start Up/Dump panel at Dunbar Power Station. Note the Start-Up Vessel controls on the lower near horizontal panel. Photo URL as Ref [3:].

    [1:] Once through boilers :
    The principle is that cold water enters a single narrow bore pipe and exits the other end as superheated steam, if the pipe is heated along its entire length. That said once-through boilers have to be started[1:]. Once through boilers can be started in the fully flooded condition, with circulating water flow whilst raising metal temperatures. This applies to the E-cat BF modules.

    So, with the main circulation system pipework flooded, with a circulation pump on (100% flow) and electrical resistance heating (12kw), metal temperatures will rise until the BF inlet temperature reaches the normal operating level of 70C. The outlet temperature is then 77C.

    This is the point at which IH’s understanding fails. Apparently, they can see nothing beyond this point. Reference [1:] states, ‘A significant part of the testing of the automatic start up phases involved boiler performance during the ‘boil-back’ process when steam production is initially stimulated.’. I can also vouch for this statement because I worked on this power station.

    In the case of the E-cat, additional, limited LENR heating would raise the BF outlet temperature to 100C. By then some cooling of the water in the mezzanine heat exchanger would be needed to return water at 70C. Further LENR heating would start to produce steam bubbles at 100C. Water would have to be drained from the circuit to make room. Gradual power raising and draining increases the steam fraction in the water/steam mixture that exits the boiler until the discharge is 100% steam at 100C. A little more power raising increases the steam temperature by a few degrees Centigrade. The superheat margin guarantees that the steam is dry (fully evaporated).

    Raising water from 70C to 77C requires a specific enthalpy change of 7*4.12=28.84J/kg.
    Raising water from 70C to 100C requires a specific enthalpy change of 30*4.12=123.6kJ/kg.
    Boiling that water at 100C requires a specific enthalpy change of 2257kJ/kg.
    The ratio of 28.84 : (123.6+2257) is 82.5

    by AJ MATHEWS – ‎Cited by 4 – ‎Related articles
    instrumented boilers, showed that the actual behaviour differed from the computer design predictions. A major temperature tilt existed across the boiler tubes …


    • Stephen

      Thanks GADAB, thank goodness you are here…. it’s a breath of fresh air to read real hard core engineers comments like yours and E48. It’s something i really appreciate about this site that experience real engineers post here.

      I’m very aware my own comments are relatively naive. And I apologies if they miss something.

      I’m wondering if during start up of the once through boiler if the whole Circuit would need to be flooded or if it could start with a smaller circuit..? maybe just the ECat and JMP plant without the bypass to the mezzanine or if it would be necessary to flood the whole circuit including the mezzanine?

      • GiveADogABone

        You could certainly start with just the E-cat and JMP container pipework in circuit until the BF inlet temperature reached 70C (outlet temp 77C). Then you have to ask yourself what is in the mezzanine heat exchanger circuit. Is it cold water or air or some of both?

        My guess is that it starts as air. The hot water that would be there in normal service is in the flooded BF units and the steam pipework. So simultaneous draining of the E-cat and JMP circuit is accompanied by filling of the mezzanine heat exchanger and its condensate downcomer. That might avoid the water storage problem. Also you get no condensation in the mezzanine heat exchanger until you remove the air. It seems to me that a small vacuum pump is needed on the top of the mezzanine pipework. Once vacuum is drawn, condensation can start and a trickle of cold water be bled into the main flow. The heat exchanger heat removal rate can be controlled by fan speed and by the water level in the heat exchanger. This is pretty much what the Start Up Vessel at Dunbar does, using the main turbine condenser as the steam and water dump.

        • Stephen

          In case it is relevant I think the external tank holds at most 3200 liters of demineralized water and this could possibly be just enough water to flood the system if just the E-Cat, JMP plant and connecting pipe work are considered (depending on the guage of the pipe work). I don’t think it could hold sufficient water to flood the pipes in the mezzanine as well though.

          But regarding drainage… it does look like there was some drainage pipework being worked on here:

          And could this be a drainage tank under the ECat container?

          • Bruce__H

            If the Tiger/BF units are insulated then I would imagine that their internal volume is smaller than you have estimated previously.

            I recall Barry West saying that tools, instruments, and disused piping were stored under the ecat container.

            • Stephen

              Well to me the possible water tank under the E-Cat plant ooks like it could be similar in size to the external container. So if looks to me that those two containers serve the purpose to fill and drain the system.

              It’s certainly true those Tigers would contain less than 420 liters of water if full if we consider insulation, heaters, sensors, stuctures such as fins and baffles etc and other things in those tanks. I have also mentioned much the same earlier. 420 liters would be the maximum. 4 x 420 = 1680 liters over all. If we consider just the insulation I guess it could be possible to estimate. I think it would be between 228 liters per Tiger with 5cm insulation. This would give some margine but I’m not sure if it would be enough to fill the pipes of an external heat exchanger.