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E-Cat Validation Creates More Questions
The Energy Catalyzer has been tested, successfully, yet again. However, the report has created more questions about the enigmatic
technology, such as how can the E-Cat melt ceramic -- with a melting point of 2000 degrees C -- when the fuel of the E-Cat, nickel, has a much lower melting point?
The Hot-Cat test setup.
By Hank Mills
Pure Energy Systems News
To me, and probably many other people, the saga of Andrea Rossi's E-Cat technology has been long and tedious. The reason I feel fatigued is not because I have been waiting for the technology to be proven to produce excess heat -- that was confirmed long ago in my personal opinion -- but because so many details of it are still shrouded in mystery.
Due to intellectual property issues, Andrea Rossi has been forced to explain the technology in a way that would not reveal critical trade secrets to his competitors; and, by doing so, has kept the world in the dark about how this invention works. I had high hopes that a recent report
describing three tests of the E-Cat might reveal more about how it works, but it has only created more questions -- in addition to another piece of confirmation that the technology is, in fact, real.
The report describes three tests that took place over several months. I am not going to describe each of the tests in detail here, but, in short, I will say that each one of them produced -- according to the authors -- a significant amount of excess heat. This heat production was far greater than could be attributed to any hidden power source: batteries, chemicals, gasoline, or anything else the cynics may claim was secretly powering the device. Also, although the exact amount of excess heat produced in the first test was not able to be determined, the power output was enough to melt the steel cylinders, the ceramic cylinders, and destroy the device, without releasing any measurable radiation. (An E-Cat does not seem to present any significant radiation hazards.) In the second and third tests, the power output was high enough to prove excess heat was being produced. There can be little doubt about this, because the power output was intentionally underestimated to make the experiment as conservative as possible.
However, regardless of the fact that the tests were successful and proved that excess heat is produced by the E-Cat, the report has generated more questions.
One of these questions is how can the E-Cat melt ceramic -- with a melting point of 2000 degrees C -- when the fuel of the E-Cat, nickel, has a much lower melting point? There is no way we can know for sure, due to the secrecy involved with the technology, but I see three possibilities. There could be more, of course.
One possibility is that the nickel is alloyed with a catalyst that gives it a higher melting point, such as tungsten. Such an alloy might be able to have reaction sites that are not destroyed at temperatures greater than the melting point of nickel. Another possibility, of course all of these are just guesses, is that the nickel may still be able to produce nuclear reactions while in the liquid form. Yet another possibility is that some other heat producing process is taking place that does not require nickel. I think this last possibility might be valid because Rossi has stated that the majority of heat produced in the E-Cat is not due to transmutation -- nickel being transformed into copper. Instead, it is another phenomenon that he will not detail.
It would be good to get a full explanation about this, but I doubt it will happen -- due to almost all detailed information about the E-Cat being confidential. There are other questions, however, that also need to be answered. One of these is why, in the third of the three tests, the temperature actually drops in self sustain mode.
This is a complicated issue. Originally, it has been explained to us that heat from the resistance heating coils produces a control effect, preventing the nuclear reactions from running away, and that radio frequencies stimulate the nuclear reactions. This made me think that in self sustain mode the radio frequencies would be constantly applied, and the temperature of the reactor would stay the same or increase. I also thought that when the temperature went too high, the resistance coils would be turned on, and the temperature would drop. But now, with the new E-Cat, this is not the case. Instead, during self sustain mode, zero power seems to be applied to the resistance coils that I think serve as the antenna for the radio frequencies. As soon as they are turned off, the temperature drops -- it actually increases for a few seconds -- and starts dropping until the resistance coils are turned back on, when radio frequencies start being applied again. At that point, the temperature climbs rapidly. I think what is happening is that in this setup, perhaps unlike other hot cats that could self sustain for hours, the radio frequencies are being applied at the same time as the heat. This way you have one mechanism stimulating the nuclear reactions and another mechanism controlling them, simultaneously. However, what is interesting is that even when the temperature is falling, according to the report, it is not falling as fast as it should -- apparently due to heat being produced. So the device is self sustaining, even when it seems to be sputtering out. It seems the newest E-Cat stays stable by every few minutes letting the reactions die off, instead of trying to keep them stable and continuous. Of course, this is just speculation, and I may be wrong.
I wish that the report would have shown a system self sustaining for a long period of time, at least an hour, without dropping in temperature. My thinking is that this could easily be done by simply applying the radio frequencies for the entire hour without applying the resistance heating coils. But this might create a situation like in the first of the three tests in which the reactor over heats, goes out of control, and destroys itself. I think it is clear that the enemy of control in the E-Cat is temperature, but at the same time the COP increases with temperature. So this creates an enigma -- how to increase temperature while maintaining control.
Personally, I wish the authors of the report would have included data from the first test. I know the data is incomplete, but I find it odd that they did not include it. The data could possibly show a system self sustaining while maintaining the same temperature, or even climbing in temperature, for more than a few seconds. This is not needed to prove that excess energy is produced, but it would have been absolute, irrefutable evidence that I don't think even the most die hard skeptics could ignore. I have wanted to see such data for a long time, and I guess I will have to wait even longer to see it.
I also find that there are no diagrams of the devices in the report. The scientists involved were able to witness one of these devices cut in half. They know how they are constructed, and I wish the scientists had taken the time to produce a few diagrams. Of course, they provided descriptions, but visual aids are an amazing tool that can aid comprehension.
Perhaps one of the greatest mysteries about this report is that the mouse and cat -- or activator and cat -- setup is not described. I thought this test (the third of the three) was supposed to be of a mouse and cat setup, but the authors only describe the central tube as having an active charge -- like in the ordinary hot cat. According to Rossi, the activator or central tube is only part of what creates heat in a mouse and cat setup. He claims that the cat or outer layer is what has a high COP. If the device used in the third test was the cat and mouse setup, the authors did not address the charge in the outer layers.
If the third test was indeed a test of the mouse and cat setup, we need to find out why the authors did not address the issue of the cat producing energy and not just the mouse. We also need to find out why the charge in the outer layers was not added to the mass of the charge in the central core.
All in all, I think, as a non-expert or engineer, the report was adequate to confirm the tech produces significant excess heat. And when tested at high temperature, can produce huge amounts of power. But at the same time, I wish the report had more details, more diagrams, and more explanations. My hope is that this report wakes up those who have been waiting for even more confirmation -- in addition to what already exists -- that the E-Cat works. The technology needs more development, but it seems to represent a solution to the energy crisis.
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PESN Coverage of LENR
For a more exhaustive listing, see News:Rossi_Cold_Fusion
LENR-to-Market Digest -- January 30, 2015 - New report by Alexander Parkhomov showing excess heat in E-Cat
LENR-to-Market Digest -- January 22, 2015 - McKubre reports on a variation of Rossi's 3rd party test in Lugano
A Late Night Speculative Raving From Hank Mills - (PESN; October
Andrea Rossi's E-Cat Devours Lockheed's Hypothetical Compact Fusion Reactor - (PESN; October
The Inconel Mouse of Andrea Rossi's E-Cat - (PESN; October
Hell Freezes Over: Brian Ahern's Doubts on E-Cat Test Resolved - (PESN; October
Leaked Second Paper With High Magnification of Rossi's Nickel Particles Brings Replication Closer - (PESN; October
Sterling Allan on Coast to Coast AM about E-Cat breakthrough - (PESN; October
Revealed The Four Horsemen of Andrea Rossi's E-CatLithium Iron Nickel
Hydrogen - (PESN; October 10, 2014)
Fuel Analysis and Validation Paper Posted October 8, 2014 - (PESWiki;
October 9, 2014)
Digest -- August 22, 2014 - Safety Certification Obtained for Low and High Temperature E-Cats
LENR-to-Market Digest -- April 9, 2014 - Rumblings about pending E-Cat test results
LENR-to-Market Weekly -- March 6, 2014 - Lattice Energy transmutation (PESN)
LENR-to-Market Digest -- February 20, 2014 - Rossi Hopes to Retrofit Coal Power Plants With
LENR-to-Market Digest -- February 5, 2014 - Nanors availability announced at Cold Fusion 101 at
LENR-to-Market Weekly -- January 30, 2014 - Industrial Heat acquires E-Cat
LENR to Market Digest, January 22, 2014
- Blacklight Power claims MW capability (PESN)
LENR-to-Market Digest -- January 6, 2014 - Cherokee identified as
Rossi's partner (PESN)