Between November 2012 and March 2013 a group of scientists were involved in testing of some of Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat reactors with the purpose of determining if they truly were capable of producing anomalous heat as the inventor has claimed.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Who did the testing?
The testers were:
Giuseppe Levi, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Bologna University
Evelyn Foschi, Product Development Department for medical devices, University of Bologna, Italy.
Torbjörn Hartman, Senior Research Engineer, The Svedberg Laboratory, Uppsala, Sweden.
Bo Höistad, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Nuclear Physics, Uppsala University, Sweden.
Roland Pettersson, Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, Uppsala University, Sweden.
Lars Tegnér, Professor Emeritus, Department of Engineering Sciences, Division of Electricity, Uppsala University, Sweden.
Hanno Essen, Docent and Lecturer, Department of Mechanics of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
Where and when did the testing take place?
The testing took place between November 2012 and March 2013 in facilities owned by Andrea Rossi’s company EFA SRL in Ferrara, Italy.
Who funded the testing?
The tests were funded by a Swedish energy institute called Elforsk AB, and the Alba Langenskiöld Foundation, also from Sweden
What was being tested?
The team measured energy going in and out of a metal cyliner inside which was a sealed metal tube known as a high temperature E-Cat reactor, also nicknamed a ‘hot cat.’ The testers were not allowed to view the inside the tube. The inventor, Andrea Rossi, considers its contents a trade secret — but has said it contains nickel powder, hydrogen and an undisclosed catalyst.
What were the results of the tests?
After two separate tests, each lasting several days in length, the team concluded that much more energy was being produced by the E-Cat than could possibly have been produced by a chemical reaction. The team did not speculate as to what was creating this unusual amount of energy.
Where can I read the report?
Here is a link to a PDF of the Report which is titled “Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device ”: http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.3913
A summary of the test is posted below.
What has the reaction been to the publication of these test results?
For people paying attention to this there have been a range of reactions. Many people are convinced that the test provided solid evidence that Andrea Rossi has discovered a new energy source superior to any yet known. Others believe that the test results could be the result of fraud. You can check the main page of E-Cat World for latest discussion of the report. A good collection of articles discussing the test can be found at Scoop.it here.
Elforsk, one of the sponsors of the test put the following statement on their web site:
“Researchers from Uppsala University and KTH Stockholm has conducted measurements of the produced heat energy from a device called the E-cat. It is known as an energy catalyzer invented by the Italian scientist Andrea Rossi.
The measurements show that the catalyzer gives substantially more energy than can be explained by ordinary chemical reactions. The results are very remarkable. What lies behind the extraordinary heat production can not be explained today. There has been speculation over whether there can be any form of nuclear transformation. However, this is highly questionable. To learn more about what is going on you have to learn what is happening with the fuel and the waste it produces. The measurements have been funded by such Elforsk.”
Will more tests be performed?
A new test of a reactor which will last for 180 days is scheduled to start this Autumn.
Summary of the Report
This is an attempt to summarize the key points of the third party report to provide an overview. Go here to read the full report.
Title: “Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device containing hydrogen loaded nickel powder.”
Authors: Giuseppe Levi (Bologna University), Evelyn Foschi (Bologna, Italy), Torbjörn Hartman, Bo Höistad, Roland Pettersson and Lars Tegnér (Uppsala University), Hanno Essen (Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm)
Abstract: The test is to discover if a High Temperature Energy Catalyzer (E-Cat HT) reactor produces anomalous heat — i.e. heat that cannot be explained by any other known process. The tube contains nickel powder combined with hydrogen and unspecified (secret) additives. The reaction is started by powering up resistors (electric heating coils) inside the reactor tube.
Heat was measured by taking pictures of the hot tube every second with a thermal camera. Electrical power going into the tube (input) was measured with a three phase power analyzer. Two tests were performed. The first lasted 96 hours, the second 116 hours. In both cases anomalous heat was produced. In the second run a dummy tube (with no nickel/hydrogen powder) was powered in the same way as the E-Cat and this produced no anomalous heat.
The energy density in the E-Cat was calculated to be far above any known chemical source. Taking into account any possible measurement error, and being very conservative in all assumptions “the result is still one order of magnitude greater than conventional energy sources.”
History of E-Cat is provided, citing work by Sergio Focardi in 1990s who later worked with Andrea Rossi. The E-Cat is an invention which allegedly is able to produce heat in much higher quantities than any known process. Heat is produced by mixing nickel, hydrogen and a catalyst which is a trade secret, and activating it with electronic resistor coils inside the reactor chamber.
The purpose of this report is to determine for certain if the E-Cat works as claimed by very careful measurement of heat produced and energy input.
2 tests are reported in this paper:
1. Dec 13-17, 2012 by Levi and Foschi (96 hours)
2. March 18-23 by all authors (116 hours)
Both tests took place in the premises of EFA Srl, in Ferrara, Italy.
In November 2012 an initial test was begun, but during the test the reactor was destroyed by overheating; it melted. In this test, the resistor coils were run at about 1 kilowatt, and the charge (nickel powder mix) was not evenly distributed within the cylinder. In later tests the charge was evenly distributed and power going into the reactor was limited to 360 watts. (Images of that unit shown in the report)
16 resistors are placed inside the reactor equidistantly along the axis of the cylinder and extending the full length of the cylinder, a fact that can be picked up on the thermal images where darker ‘shadows’ represent the placement of the resistors.
Part 1: The December Test
Reactor (known in this test as the E-Cat HT): Outer shell made of silicon nitride 33 x 10 cm. Inner shell made of corundum (ceramic material) housing 3 delta-connected spiral wire resistors placed equidistantly and running the full length of the cylinder. These were fed electricity by a TRIAC power regulator which “interrupted each phase periodically, in order to modulate power input with an industrial trade secret waveform.” This procedure was needed to activate the E-Cat charge and did not affect the power consumption of the device which remained constant throughout the test.
Inside the cylinder described above was a sealed stainless steel cylinder 33 x 3 cm inside which were the powder charges. The outermost cylinder was coated by a black paint capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 1200 C.
They did not weigh the cylinder because the e-cat was running before the test began. They weighed a similar unit without any charge inside or sealing caps and the difference between the two was 0.236 kg — which would be the weight of the charge and the caps.
The reactor was placed on a metal frame with minimum contact points. Ambient temperature was an average of 15.7 C.
Measuring instruments were a thermal camera to measure heat from the e-cat, and a monitor to record the power absorbed by the resistors.
The camera was located about 70 cm below the E-Cat HT, with lens facing the lower half of the cylinder to avoid rising hot air (to preserve the lens). The camera took readings once each second and sent data to a laptop which displayed the heat image throughout the duration of the test.
Electrical measurements were performed by an analyzer which was connected directly to the E-Cat HT with three clamp ammeters, and three probes for voltage measurement. A video camera filmed the analyzer display and a wristwatch displaying the time once every second throughout the test.
David Bianchi set up instruments to detect radioactive emissions throughout the duration of the test. No radiation outside normal background levels was detected.
The E-Cat’s average hourly power consumption was calculated at 360 W.
Heat energy was considered to be mainly via radiation and convection. Very little conduction was possible because of the minimal contact points between the E-Cat and the support frame. “Energy emitted by radiation was calculated by means of Stefan-Boltzmann’s formula, which allows to evaluate the heat emitted by a body when its surface temperature is known”
The power production due to radiation was calculated as 1568 W.
The power production due to convection was calculated as 466 W.
Total calculated power production per hour = 2034 W
COP = 2034/360 = 5.6 ± 0.8
assuming a 10% error in the powers.
“Given the deliberately conservative choices made in performing the measurement, we can
reasonably state that the E-Cat HT is a non-conventional source of energy which lies between
conventional chemical sources of energy and nuclear ones.”
Remarks on the Test
Extremely conservative values were used in the calculation. The weight of the caps sealing the charge was added to the calculated weight of the charge. The choice of attributing an emissivity of 1 to the E-cat was conservative, too. The measurement of radiated heat did not take into account the surface of the E-cat that was blocked by metal struts in the camera’s line of view. “It is therefore reasonable to assume that the thermal power released by the device during the trial was higher than the values given by our calculations.”
PART 2: The March Test
A new design of reactor was used in this test (known as the E-Cat HT2) — it was a steel cylinder, 33 x 9 cm with a steel circular flange at one end 20 cm in diameter and 1 cm thick. The flange is for the purpose of being able to insert the reactor into a heat exchanger (not used in this test). The cylinder containing the powder charge is the same as in the first test: a sealed stainless steel cylinder 33 x 3 cm. A different coating was used for the outer shell — an enamel paint capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 800 C. It was not sprayed evenly on the cylinder.
The power supply was a “control circuit having three-phase power input and single-phase output, mounted within a box”.
The control system used in this test allowed the device to operate in “self-sustaining mode, i.e. to remain operative and active, while powered off, for much longer periods of time with respect to those during which power is switched on.” After a two hour start up period, the system went into an ON/OFF cycle in which the resistor coils were powered on for two minutes, and then turned off for four minutes. During the OFF part of the cycle it was possible to observe the temperature continuing to rise for a short time.
Also, radiation emissions were tested for, but none above ambient background radiation was detected.
Emitted power was calculated as 816 Watts, and power consumption at 322 Watts per hour, giving a COP of 2.9
In this test a ‘dummy’ reactor was tested — i.e. a shell without a charge — to compare it to the performance of the active reactor. It did not show any anomalous heat.
The difference in performance between the two tests could be attributed to the overestimation of the weight of the charge in the first test, and in the design of the control system in the second test where the manufacturer is trying to enhance the stability of the system. Nevertheless, both tests show that the E-Cat is “outside the bounds of the Ragone plot regions for chemical sources.”
The next test is scheduled to start in the summer of 2013 and will last about six months — it will be of the E-Cat HT2 setup and “will be crucial for further attempts to unveil the origin of the heat phenomenon so far.”