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You are here: > News > October 15, 2011

Cheap power: An overnight revolution -- Commentary

When considering the logarithmically diminished time it takes to achieve 25% market penetration since the automobile was introduced a century ago (it took a century for it to reach 25%), and more recently the mobile phone took just 13 years, and the web took 7 years; it's conceivable that free energy, starting with Rossi's E-Cat, could take just 3 years.


Full Disclosure:
PES Network is in process of seeking a business relationship with Andrea Rossi.

By Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News


Mark Gibbs, a columnist for NetworkWorld, has published an excellent article about Andrea Rossi's E-Cat technology, portraying how it could impact the world, if it is for real.  It was picked up by ComputerWorld in Norway. [And then a variant published at  Forbes Oct. 17.]  He compares it in its potential to various technology revolutions, hinting that it could surpass them all (something we certainly could use in this tanking economy).

It's one of the first articles from a more mainstream source that has given favorable coverage since the cold-fusion-going-commercial technology was announced last January.

In addition to providing the link: , I would like to cite some excerpts here and correct a few errors, and provide some commentary.  My commentary will be in [brackets] and indented.  Unless otherwise indicated, the text and links are as they appeared in Gibbs' article.

Hopefully this will be the beginning (after the Oct. 28 private test by the first 1 MW customer, which I will be attending) of a favorable barrage, long overdue coverage by the mainstream press and blogs.

Before going to Gibbs' article, I have to share this that Andrea Rossi just sent me in response to a review of this page.

It is a 1 MW plant.  The era of the small things is over. 
This changes completely the game's rules. No more time for useless chatters. It's time for real competition of LENR against other energy sources. The 1 MW plant, if works, is a real revolution.

Page 1 of 3

Cheap power: An overnight revolution

Gibbs Backspin By Mark Gibbs, Network World
October 14, 2011 12:20 PM ET

Every now and then along comes a technology that is revolutionary and changes everything. But a very few of these new technologies cause fast change. Mostly they seep out of the lab, into the arms of early adopters, and then ooze out into the world in general.

For example, the first internal combustion engine was (arguably) the Pyrιolophore invented by Nicιphore and Claude Niιpce in 1807, but car ownership wasn't really commonplace until the first decade of the 1900s.

IN PICTURES: 10 hot energy projects that could electrify the world [doesn't include E-Cat]

So, while the internal combustion engine is one of the key technological achievements that define Western culture, it took more than a century for the impact of the technology to become widespread. As technological revolutions go, that one was pretty slow.

The "Singularity is Near" website has a number of charts illustrating the pace of technology adoption. One of the most interesting concerns the mass use of inventions, which shows the number of years required for various technologies to be adopted by one-quarter of the U.S. population.

Here's the graph he's referring to, with some additions by Sterling, in red (and the E-Cat image).

Adapted from 

Mass Use of Inventions, Years until use by 1/4 U.S. Population, Logarithmic Plot, Page 50


Electricity, telephone, radio, television, mobile phones: FCC,

Home computers and Internet use: Eric C.Newburger,U.S. Census Bureau,“Home Computers and Internet Use in the United States: August 2000” (September 2001),
. See also “The Millennium Notebook,” Newsweek, April 13, 1998, p. 14.

Note: I've added a projection for the appearance of "Free Energy" technologies into the marketplace, and how long it will take to reach use by 1/4 of the U.S. Population.  I use the broader term "Free Energy" rather than just "Cold Fusion" or "E-Cat", because there are a number of breakthrough, exotic (which mainstream science has called "impossible" or "junk science" or other derogatory terms) free energy technologies on verge of emerging into the marketplace, which will compete with E-Cat, and contribute to widespread adoption of these "power to the people" technologies.  I go with the trend of increasing speed of adoption, but go somewhat conservative given that the collapsing economy by design of the powers that be will work against as rapid adoption as what might have otherwise been possible. -- Sterling


All the forgoing was just to provide perspective and frame what might be about to happen: a technological advance that in terms of societal impact could be greater and far faster than pretty much anything else we've witnessed in human history. That thing could come ... and I'm not kidding ... in the shape of a steam engine.

An Italian inventor named Andrea Rossi and his scientific consultant, physicist and emeritus professor, Sergio Focardi, have demonstrated a device called the E-Cat or Energy Catalyzer which, according to a 2008 patent application, involves "a method and apparatus for carrying out nickel and hydrogen exothermal reactions," with the production of copper as a result.

The device is said to work by heating hydrogen to an "ignition temperature" using an external heat source, after which a catalyst, which has yet to be explained, causes the hydrogen atoms to "penetrate" the nickel and transform it into copper, producing energy in the process -- essentially a nuclear fusion reaction -- that is self-sustaining (i.e. the external heat source can be removed and the device will continue to function).

Water fed into the reaction chamber comes out as steam with which you could drive a turbine, and voila! You have a generator. Or you could use it for motive power. 

The reaction chamber elevates the temperature of whatever goes through it (water, glycol, or other fluids), but not necessarily to steam, unless that is what you want.

You could also use the heat to drive a Stirling Engine, but for whatever reason, this option hasn't been much discussed.

Excellent point. Stirling engine technology would be a good pairing for this technology, able to extract energy from temperature differences, without having to go to steam.

Page 2 of 3

The whole idea of generating power from nuclear fusion has been, if you'll excuse the pun, a "hot" topic for a long time. Most attempts to build fusion power generators have been mainly "Big Science" experiments costing millions of dollars, such as the National Spherical Torus Experiment, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor and the Polywell.

All of these designs rely on the creation of extreme environments where a high-temperature plasma (a very hot "gas" of ionized particles) is confined by a powerful magnetic or electrostatic field. This is not engineering you do casually. Or cheaply.

But hot fusion is not what the E-Cat does[;] and, while much of the commentary on this device characterizes it as "cold fusion," Rossi claims that it isn't actually cold fusion at all but involves a Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction (I can't figure out what the difference between cold fusion and LENR might be from the research I've done).

People in this industry are conditioned to avoid, like a plague, the term "cold fusion" because of the conditioning that the naysayers have provided, slamming anyone and discrediting them if they should dare use such a heretical term. But it is the best and most accurate description of what is going on here -- a vindication, at last, of the many people who have been laboring in this field for all these years, at the jeopardy of their reputation with their peers.

Cold fusion, a nuclear fusion reaction at low energies or temperatures, is the alternative to hot fusion and includes Muon-catalyzed fusion and "generally cold, locally hot" fusion.

Experiments using these methods of cold fusion have, in common with hot fusion, so far not shown a net energy gain, although the experiments have been much cheaper.

Actually, there have been many repeatable demonstrations of net energy gain in cold fusion tests, as was pointed out in a 60 Minutes piece a couple of years ago.  The issues has been getting the gain up high enough to be commercially feasible. That is what Andrea Rossi appears to have achieved, going commercial with the first 1 MW plant in a couple of weeks.

Mitch Swartz, Ph.D. at MIT made history in 2003 by running a large public demonstration showing net gain of energy for five consecutive days at MIT.  He has been holding an annual conference on cold fusion at MIT nearly since 1989.

A much-celebrated claim for a working cold fusion reaction became a huge brouhaha in 1989 when two established scientists, Martin Fleischmann, one of the world's leading electrochemists, and Stanley Pons, also a respected electrochemist, claimed to have observed cold fusion in a table-top experiment.

Alas, after many attempts by other researchers to duplicate the findings, as well further work by Fleischmann and Pons at a cost of more than $44 million, it transpired that their results could not be replicated and they and their experiment were discredited ... as was the idea of cold fusion.

Actually, as Jed Rothwell, who runs, wrote on Jan. 19, 2011, 

"Cold fusion has been reproduced roughly 17,000 times according to an estimate published by the Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences." 

The "discrediting" was actually a malicious and fallacious move by the powers that be to try and marginalize this science that could put them out of business.  Thanks to the die-hard efforts of some courageous scientists, the industry did not die but is now maturing.

But all of these failures in both hot and cold fusion haven't stopped research because, if nuclear fusion can be made to work, we could have essentially unlimited energy for next to no cost beyond infrastructure costs (generator production, transmission, facilities, manpower, waste management and so on). So far, no joy. Not one experiment has demonstrated what is termed "over unity" output -- that is, the ability to produce more power than is input.

Ditto of above comment about many achieving overunity, just not enough to be economically feasible -- until now.

I should point out some industry hypocrisy here, too.  As we pointed out in a previous story, notwithstanding the many billions of dollars that have been dumped into it, hot fusion research and development has not achieved overunity yet, and doesn't expect to for many years.  The best they've done is 70%.

It is in this netherworld of physics that Rossi's system has appeared and, no surprise, along with it, a three-ring circus of media, science and speculation. At the center of the show is the E-Cat device which has been demonstrated a number of times and appears to be very simple.

One of the demonstration attendees, Bologna physics professor Giuseppe Levi, described as "an expert on nuclear physics, energy physics and sub-nuclear physics," has publicly defended Rossi and Focardi as well as the project.

There's now quite a furor over how the E-Cat might really work (or not), with some critics predicting that eventually the system will not perform as claimed and accusing the inventors of being deluded, or worse, frauds.

Page 3 of 3

The results of the demonstrations have received a tremendous amount of analysis and commentary but, for now, the metaphorical jury is out.

The analysis and commentary has been largely confined to the "alternative" news, blogs, and forums.  Hardly any mainstream press or scientific communities have covered this.

Rossi has another demonstration scheduled in Bologna, Italy, for Oct. 28 for which he has partnered with a U.S. company, AmpEnergo, to build what is claimed to be a 1MW plant in a shipping container. [That's our story.]

So, here's the question: Let's assume Rossi's E-Cat works. What then?

From the demonstrated prototypes it appears that you could build E-Cats small enough to power a car or a house. Bundle a lot of them together and you could power a truck, a ship or an office block. Imagine a data center where each row of racks has its own really cheap power generator.

Now you have a world where oil only matters as a raw product for things like plastics so the oil economy as we know it could be dismantled within a few months. 

I would guess something more like 3 years, along with other energy breakthroughs coming forth to help that revolution of "power to the people."

Production costs for anything would fall. The power grid would become obsolete. Power stations of all kinds would no longer be an environmental problem. The balance of economic power worldwide would change and, for example, OPEC would become a historical footnote.

The only risk, assuming that the E-Cat doesn't become horribly radioactive after extended operation or produce some other kind of hazardous byproduct, could be global thermal pollution from so many power generators (if they are very cheap and not dangerous then niceties such as minimizing waste heat would be ignored).

E-Cat doesn't involved any radiation, either in the minimal fuel it uses or in the by-products or in the assembly itself. The gamma radiation produced during operation is shielded by lead.

We could see a world where ubiquitous power generation is so cheap it wouldn't be worth metering (as a consequence, Rossi would become the wealthiest man in the world, assuming that all of the vested interests in the existing oil and power economies didn't have him bumped off).

The price is sure to drop with mass production and design improvements; but in the near term, it will just be slightly cheaper than coal- or natural gas-based power from the grid.

It remains to be seen whether this is really all some kind of mistake, which seems unlikely, or a hoax, which seems equally implausible because, if it is all bogus, then there's no obvious upside for Rossi or any of the others involved.

So, Oct. 28 will be a big day. If the [private, to the first customer's engineers] demonstration goes ahead as planned either we're going to be really disappointed or we'll be on the brink of something that will change the world forever.

You thought the adoption of the Web was fast? This could change everything overnight.

One thing that will slow down the adoption of cold fusion technology is its "nuclear" component that governments and bureaucrats are likely to resist, blocking shipments of components and finished units over unwarranted fears of anything "nuclear". Already, this has impeded this technology that was supposed to have been demonstrated in the United States, were it not for regulation issues in shipping it here.

Gibbs is hoping for the best in Ventura, Calif. Your doubts to

# # #

This story is also published at BeforeItsNews.

What You Can Do

  1. Pass this on to your friends and favorite news sources.
  2. Join the H-Ni_Fusion technical discussion group to explore the details of the technology.
  3. Once available, purchase a unit and/or encourage others who are able, to do so.
  4. Let professionals in the renewable energy sector know about the promise of this technology. 
  5. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay abreast of the latest, greatest developments in the free energy sector.
  6. Consider investing in Rossi's group once they open to that in October.
  7. Help us manage the PESWiki feature page on Rossi's technology.

PESN Coverage of E-Cat

For a more exhaustive listing, see News:Rossi_Cold_Fusion | Mainstream | News:Cold_Fusion  


See also

Resources at

Page posted by Sterling D. Allan
Last updated November 07, 2011 


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