Skip to comments.The Fusion Revolution
Posted on 11/14/2011 11:34:43 PM PST by Kevmo
The Fusion Revolution
When the first human animal figured out how to make fire at will, life on earth changed forever. The fictional character Sherlock Holmes once said that "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." Using that logic, I have come to the conclusion that fossil fuels will soon become obsolete, and human history will again be dramatically altered. A total switchover to fusion power will take decades, but basic economics tells us that fusion reactors will win in the marketplace over their more costly competitors. Imagine a clean new world where oil and coal are only used to make chemicals, and where every nation on earth has equal access to low cost energy. Scientist Andrea Rossi's "Energy Catalyzer" (E-Cat) pressure fusion reactor promises to accomplish all of this and more.
Rossi states that he uses micrometer grain sized nickel dust enriched to contain more of two useful isotopes, N-62 and N-64. The nickel is then processed to increase the number of surface tubercles (protrusions) to provide greater area for heat producing reactions with hydrogen gas under pressure. Secret catalysts are added to break apart molecular hydrogen gas (H2) into atomic hydrogen (H1), and to make nickel more receptive to hydrogen nuclei. It has been speculated that the catalysts are iron dust (about 10% by weight) and very fine carbon powder. The iron dust might be added to break apart H2 into H1, and the carbon powder added as a "scavenger" for contaminating oxygen, and perhaps for other, less obvious purposes. Rossi states that the total cost of nickel processing plus the catalyst adds just 10% to the total cost of the fuel. Heat is applied to the pressurized nickel-hydrogen mixture to get the reaction started. The low energy nuclear reactions (LENR) that result drives the nuclei of hydrogen atoms into the heart of nickel, turning small amounts of nickel isotopes N-62 and N-64 into the copper isotopes CU-63 and CU-65. Every 6 months the fuel load is refreshed and the old metallic fuel is sold as valuable scrap metal.
According to Rossi, in the latest E-Cat design the ordinary resistive style heating elements are quickly turned off as the reactor becomes self-sustaining, then switched on again for ten minutes every half hour to keep the units operating in a stable, safely productive zone of pressure and heat. If Rossi uses higher pressures to output greater heat and produce continuous, totally self-sustaining operation, E-Cat output can become unstable, releasing too much energy too quickly, resulting in explosion. Rossi states that he has purposely exploded dozens of E-Cats during stress tests in order to determine the exact limits of safe operation. Rossi therefore operates his first generation E-Cats in a powered down mode, finely balancing pressure and heat. Future E-Cat designs, perhaps incorporating new construction materials, different reactor shapes, and more refined microprocessor controls should result in improved performance over time. The first internal combustion engine looks like a joke compared to today's designs, and Rossi's first generation E-Cats may look very primitive compared to what will be available in the world marketplace in the year 2021.
Rossi claims that nickel-hydrogen fusion can give the world electricity at a cost of just one cent per kilowatt hour when produced by large scale LENR (low energy nuclear reaction) power plants. Even if we skeptically triple that cost to 3 cents per kilowatt hour, it is still an incredible bargain. We currently pay at least 40 cents per kilowatt hour for intermittent electricity produced by solar panels, 15 cents per kilowatt hour for unpredictable wind power electricity, and 8 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity produce by natural gas fired power plants. Rossi states that just one pound of nickel can unleash as much energy as burning 517,000 pounds of oil, which is approximately 1,590 barrels worth. Fortunately, the earth has enough easily mineable nickel to supply all of our energy needs for millions of years.
In 2007 Rossi asked Professor Sergio Focardi to help him test his E-Cat prototype and verify that it did not emit dangerous radiation. Conventional "hot" nuclear fusion using lasers to super-heat deuterium and tritium creates so much radiation that it would be impossible to shield in a small, portable device like the E-Cat. Through extensive testing the two scientists found no dangerous levels of radiation escaping from the E-Cats lead lined fusion chamber. No radioactive materials are used in the reactor's construction, and the temporary internal gamma ray radiation produced by pressure fusion stops when the reactor is turned off, leaving behind no residual radioactive elements and zero toxic waste. After four years of studying the E-Cat, Professor Sergio Focardi gleefully declared that "This is the greatest discovery in human history," and went on to say that "The results will be immense: clean energy at (almost) zero cost."
The men behind the most important invention of the 21st century
Left Picture - Rossi on left and Focardi on right
Middle Picture - Stremmenos and Rossi working together, Focardi by fan
Right Picture - Stremmenos on left, Rossi in middle, and very interested Chinese official, Hauard Chen, on right
Andrea Rossi - Master of Science and Engineering from the Università Degli Studi Di Milan. His degree is also known as "Philosophy of Science and Engineering." It is a broad science and engineering degree, not a degree in classical philosophy. Andrea Rossi has been an accomplished engineer since age 22, starting and owning several energy related businesses.
Sergio Focardi - Professor Emeritus of Experimental Physics at the Università di Bologna and author of numerous books and scientific articles. Focardi has a history of researching nickel-hydrogen fusion even before teaming up with Andrea Rossi.
Christos Stremmenos - Former physics professor at the Università di Bologna and former Greek ambassador to Italy. Stremmenos has many social ties to the current Greek Government because of his history of valiant political opposition to the military dictatorship in Greece during the 1960s. Stremmenos researched nickel-hydrogen fusion before meeting Andrea Rossi.
Sometime in the year 2010, Andrea Rossi contacted Dr. Joseph Levi, a physics professor at the University of Bologna associated with the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN). After conducting preliminary tests in private, Levi set up an historic public demonstration on January 14, 2011, attended by 50 scientists from the University of Bologna and the INFN. The E-Cat produced 12.4 kilowatts of heat with an input of just 0.4 kilowatts, a gain of 31 times input power. In a third test conducted by Levi in which the E-Cat was setup to produce large amounts of hot water rather than steam, the E-Cat produced a minimum of 15 kilowatts of heat continuously for over 18 hours, and outputted peaks of heat up to 130 kilowatts. This experiment showed that a potential measuring error caused by the production of incompletely vaporized water, known as "wet steam", was not a factor in determining the E-Cat's energy output. Dr. Levi stated that "Now that I have seen the device work for so many hours, in my view all chemical energy sources are excluded.
On March 29th, 2011, two Swedish scientists participated in a test of Rossi's new mini E-Cat, which produced over 4.4 kilowatts of heat from a volume of only 50 cubic centimeters (3.05 cubic inches), just one twentieth the size of the original one liter E-Cat prototype. Hanno Essén is an associate professor of theoretical physics at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, and ironically a former chairman of the Swedish Skeptics Society. Essén stated that "In some way a new kind of physics is taking place. Its enigmatic, but probably no new laws of nature are involved. We believe it is possible to explain the process with known laws of nature. He went on to say that "We checked everything that could be checked, and we could walk around freely and have a look at most of the equipment."
Sven Kullander, a Professor at Uppsala University and chairman of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Energy Committee, also participated in the test. Kullander stated that "My belief that there is an energy development far beyond what one would expect has been strengthened significantly as I have had the opportunity to see the process for myself and perform measurements." Their group report stated that "Any chemical process for producing 25 kWh from any fuel in a 50 cm3 container can be ruled out. The only alternative explanation is that there is some kind of a nuclear process that gives rise to the measured energy production."
Sherlock Holmes would ask what are the odds that Rossi, Focardi, Levi, Essén, Kullander, Christos Stremmenos, and a dozen other top scientists could all go insane at the same time, deciding to throw away their reputations, careers, and scientific legacies by endorsing a fraudulent energy scheme. How could a public test closely observed by 50 scientists be faked? The E-Cat produced so much energy that if the power had come from the wall socket, the power cord would have melted. No tiny hidden battery could have possibly unleashed so much energy, and the small amount of hydrogen gas consumed during the reactor test was independently measured at less than 1 gram, thus simple combustion is ruled out as an energy source. Overall hydrogen consumption for the E-Cat is estimated at 0.01 grams of hydrogen to produce 10 kilowatt hours of heat. The only reasonable explanation for the excess energy produced is some form of low energy nuclear reaction (LENR). Thus, no matter how improbable it is that Rossi and others have discovered a new field of physics, it must be true according to the practical logic of Sherlock Holmes.
Unlike the notoriously flawed "cold fusion" experiments using deuterium and palladium conducted by Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann in 1989, Rossis invention is decidedly "hot" in that the reactor yields generous amounts of reliable heat. The reaction is so powerful that even a first year engineering student could easily measure the E-Cats healthy net energy gain. We therefore know with certainty that the E-Cats energy is real and not an illusion created by measuring error, a possibility that haunted the work of Pons and Fleischmann. Rossis initial scientific paper on the E-Cat was rejected by established journals because even Rossi himself could not come up with a sufficiently detailed explanation of how the E-Cat works. Building an E-Cat is easier than explaining what happens inside the E-Cats reactor core. Andrea Rossi's explanation below is from a recent EV World interview and has been edited for clarity.
"To make it simple, what happens is that nickel has a particularity that protons spread from it's surface with extreme efficiency very close to the nucleus, even if repelled by the so called coulomb barrier forces. When we inject protons of hydrogen at high pressures and temperatures, they go pretty close to the nucleus of the nickel. At those points we have nuclear effects that produce gamma rays which add more energy. We increase the pressure leading to extremely high pressures... similar to ones that happen inside White Dwarf stars. In that situation the so called Gamow Factor, which is a probabilistic calculation of the coulomb repelling forces, is overcome. At that point enough energy is produced to make it worth being recorded." - Andrea Rossi
Professor Christos Stremmenos has submitted his own ideas on how the E-Cat functions here. Purdue University Professor Yeong E. Kim's paper suggesting that Bose-Einstein theory may explain E-Cat phenomena can be found here. Remember that scientists and engineers do not invent the laws of nature and can only attempt to explain the functions of nature within the limitations of our mortal human abilities. Andrea Rossi himself has paid the University of Bologna to test the E-Cat and come up with their own theories on how it works in a year long study program to begin in November of 2011.
Much experimentation will be needed before the full potential of E-Cat technology is realized, and as always the original inventors work will be greatly improved upon by other scientists from around the world. As pressure fusion is a completely new, inherently nontoxic technology, there are no regulatory barriers to slow its rapid technological advance. The growth of E-Cat use may thus be as exponential in progression as the use of personal computers in the 1990s. E-Cats may end up being sold by large chain stores and familiar online retailers. No precious metals are used in the low cost, easy to manufacture E-Cats, and any company with the technological skills required to build an air conditioner can produce them in large numbers on assembly lines. That means even poor, relatively undeveloped countries will be able to manufacture them.
Finding safe ways to scale up E-Cat technology to the giant gigawatt size needed to replace major fossil fuel and fission nuclear power plants will take a few years of research by big corporations. If E-Cats turn out to be as economical as expected, they will eventually be used to power cars, trucks, trains, ships, aircraft, and spacecraft. Imagine a luxury sedan you could drive for thousands of miles without refueling, or a small aircraft you could fly from New York to Beijing nonstop at low cost.
The American based company, Ampenergo, will handle E-Cat sales and technology licensing contracts in the Western Hemisphere. A European based E-Cat licensing and manufacturing deal with the Greek company, Defkalion Green Technologies, has come into question after a dramatic argument with Rossi. Rossi accused Defkalion of not living up to their financial agreement with his own company, Leonardo Corporation, by not coming through with an expected lump sum payment. A conciliatory Defkalion claims that both Rossi and Defkalion are under great pressure from banks and major corporations interested in preserving our reliance on fossil fuels. See Defkalion's dramatic statement, as if lifted from a best selling novel, or even from the Keanu Reeves movie, Chain Reaction. Rossi states that "The issue (with Defkalion) is just financial, not personal, nor technological, nor scientific." Rossi has recently sold his own home in order to raise funds to finish his one megawatt E-Cat reactor, so all of his own personal chips are now on the table.
Defkalion states they are surging ahead with plans to mass produce their own unique version of E-Cats, which they call Hyperion Modules. [NEWS: See November 14th, 2011, Defkalion press release with pictures of their latest Hyperion Modules and lab equipment] Internet rumors suggest that Defkalion's fusion reactors perform even better than Rossi built E-Cats, and that Defkalion figured out their own "secret catalyst" without Rossi's help. I predict we will not know all of the real facts until a major motion picture is made of the birth of E-Cat technology, something along the lines of the 2010 movie, The Social Network, about the birth of Facebook. May I suggest to Hollywood movie moguls the working title, The New Fire. Dramatic tension continues to build, and the stakes could not be higher. With the world economy in shambles, E-Cat technology represents the only magic bullet solution that can lead us out of global financial and ecological calamity. What will happen next?
Rossi's recent October 6th public test in Bologna, Italy, of a single E-Cat reactor cell in "self-sustaining mode" produced energy for almost four hours with inconsequential energy input, which was carefully measured and subtracted from the energy output measurements. If the E-Cat was not producing heat from low energy nuclear reactions (LENR), then the constant flow of water would have cooled the E-Cat down to room temperature. Instead, the E-Cat maintained stable heat production and continued to boil water. As the E-Cat did not lose any weight during the test, chemical reactions can be ruled out as a source of the heat. Defkalion's public reaction (and here) to the October 6th test has added more drama and soap opera interest to this breaking news story.
An unnamed corporate or military customer (possibly DARPA or SPAWAR) tested Rossi's one megawatt (heat) E-Cat power plant on October 28th, 2011. The test was conducted by Domenico Fioravanti, who reportedly is a NATO colonel and engineer with 30 years of experience in thermodynamics. The reactor was run in half power self-sustain mode for over 5.5 hours. That means there was no energy input during 5.5 hours of continuous operation. "According to the customers controller, Domenico Fioravanti, the plant released 2,635 kWh during five and a half hours of self sustained mode, which is equivalent to an average power of 479 kilowatts."
Rossi states that the first E-Cat reactors he sells will be for heating and cooling, including a low cost home heating model, a 40 centimeter (15.75") cube weighing 60 kilograms (132 pounds). You can keep up with fast moving E-Cat events through e-catworld.com/ The Swedish engineering journal, NyTeknik, helped with the October 6th testing and has a news story published here, and a technical report here. Below is NyTeknik's graph of the October 6th E-Cat test with notations by Andrea Rossi.
If E-Cat technology works as promised, and as every public and private test to date indicates, then humans will gradually replace all fossil fuels with energy from nickel-hydrogen fusion. There will be no risk of radioactive pollution because E-Cats contain no radioactive or fissile materials. Fusion power will put an end to biofuels and all the environmental damage and food price hyperinflation they create. E-Cats will raise our standard of living by lowering the cost of food, shelter, clothing, consumer goods, transportation everything.
Andrea Rossi has potential competition in the design of very large scale nuclear fusion power plants. Tri Alpha Energy uses boron and hydrogen as nuclear fuel, which breaks up into three helium-4 nuclei and three alpha particles, a process that produces little or no radioactive waste. Rossi's reactor must heat liquids to push turbines to make electricity. Tri Alpha's reactor can theoretically create electricity directly with no turbine required, increasing efficiency while reducing size and construction costs. Tri Alpha's concept is so appealing that famed Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, has invested millions of dollars into the highly secretive Rancho Santa Margarita based company.
If nuclear fusion does not work as hope, then the next obvious alternative is the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR), which is the safest, cleanest, and most efficient fission reactor design available. After the serious nuclear accidents in Japan, however, any development of LFTR technology or other new fission reactor design will be painfully slow, perhaps too slow to avoid further dramatic collapse of the world economies which rely so heavily on affordable energy. Let us all hope that nickel-hydrogen fusion does work as claimed, because billions of human lives will be saved by a major reduction in energy costs.
Christopher Calder email = archive100 AT inbox DOT com
Rossi's paper - "A new energy source from nuclear fusion"
Interview with Andrea Rossi
Andrea Rossi's website - "Journal of Nuclear Physics"
Rossi's patent application
main website, with overview of all major energy sources - The Renewable Energy Disaster
Why are you Rossi cheerleaders so opposed to legitimate, critical scientific discussion of Rossi’s invention?
BECAUSE IT’S A SCAM, AND YOU KNOW IT.
Got no problem at all with "legitimate, critical scientific discussion". But I "do" have a problem with someone who wants to REQUIRE me to re-calculate, re-format, and re-peat the information before he/she will "deign" to bless it with the caress of his/her baby blues. I'm neither his/her (nor your) student or employee.
You should actually TRY posting some "legitimate, critical, scientific discussion".....you might be surprised at the response.
But continuously repeating "it's a scam", "Rossi is a crook", "Rossi has a fake degree" is NOT "legitimate, critical SCIENTIFIC discussion".
I’m touched, I thought you had me on ignore.
H3 on the moon is cleaner and a hell of a lot closer.....
Terrestrial nickel and producible hydrogen are almost infinitely cheaper when compared to either of the endeavors listed above.
I don't think has been proven to be a sure thing you can actually find and process/separate meaningful quantities of he3 from the lunar regolith. As for Titan, that sounds like you would need a space elevator to make the earthing of millions of tons of hydrocarbons fuels even remotely doable. Not to mention findinf, retrieving and transporting them.
Oh man, I detect a new urban legend coming...Fusion in your mouth and Pop Rocks add Coke and you can level your town!
He was robbed by Edison. Edison told Tesla that if he could increase the efficiencies of his generators and motors, he would give Tesla a $50K bonus. When Tesla succeeded, Edison weaseled out and said Tesla didn't understand American's sense of humor. Tesla quit and went to Westinghouse.
You might say Tesla was wrong or is lying but Edison was not exactly a Saint, ask G. Melies about that. He put all his money into a movie called, "A Journey to the Moon". Edison's techs paid a projectionist to allow him to copy the print and he played it in America and G. Melies didn't make a cent of profit. Classy move. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Trip_to_the_Moon
Oh man, I detect a new urban legend coming...Fusion in your mouth and Pop Rocks add Coke and you can level your town!It's true! It's true!
My cousin knew someone who's brother's best friend blew the top of his head right off!
Did either Melies or Tesla sue Edison?
Melies died broke, he expected to make is money off distributing his movie in America but since Edison beat him to it there went one source of money, however, WIKI has this: Le Manoir du diable (1896). A print of the film was acquired by Thomas Edison,
I've heard, seen and read in more than one place that the film he ripped off was, "A trip to the Moon".
Maybe WIKI needs better proofreaders or the story is so esoteric, few read it.
The above makes you seem quite the pompous ass. You seem to feel that WW is somehow required to serve you. How so? You are the one, among quite a few other flat-earthers, whose only contribution here is....well, you have no actual contribution that I can see. You are among the group bleating that Rossi has not provided you with any proofs (as if he has some obligation to do so). Well, the same goes for you, friend, where are your proofs that his claims are bogus? Wonder Warthog keeps trying to steer you to posted testing data. You answer him, repeatedly, with statememts like the above.
No matter, by all means, continue trolling, which is what many of the flat-earthers do on these e-cat threads, to one extent or another. I do not know the truth of it but we shall all know soon enough if this process and these devices are some very eloborate scam or if they will cheaply supply a significant portion of the world's energy requirements.
Aside: The funny thing is that HVDC is a lower-loss transmission method with losses of only ~3% per 600 miles. No need for step-up transformers, no parasitic capacitance problems. Of course, we’re talking voltage in the thousands of volts, versus Edison’s day.
I don't think there was a legal contract between Edison and Tesla either, and they later became business competitors, so who knows what accusations were made, and which ones were true.
Regardless, Tesla still got his big chance with Westinghouse and lost all the money. That's why I have doubts about Tesla being ripped off in the big scheme of things. It's too bad he didn't keep his focus on inventing, rather than competing with Edison in business. Tesla's bizarre behavior didn't help either.
More pompous ass talk. I don't believe you take yourself that seriously, Sherlock! lolol
PS Not trying to start a pissing contest but you simply make people roll their eyes. Have a good day, friend.
Has anyone ever operated an E-Cat for an extended period of time? Say, till it stopped operating for some reason yet to be determined? If yes, is there data?
Some observations. The calorimetry appears to be generally awful. I'd throw right out all of the phase change ones simply because you can have non-phase change measurements that aren't subject to dispute. That still leaves experiments where the excess energy relative to the input is interesting without having taken a detailed look at the possible stored energy. A detailed look is possible since that data is provided. Better heat measurements would be nice.
On a PR note, I'd lose all arguments of the form "how could your fool n scientists". As a scientist I would say that we are fooled pretty damn easily as a class. Nature is subtle, not deceptive and we aren't inclined to look for the lie. If I were an investor and could send one guy to examine the apparatus it would be the magician Penn Gillette. I'd tag along too of course, it's Italy.
Another thing I'd lose is the Conan-Doyle quote. When I have actually found myself in that situation in the past, having though I'd eliminated the possible, it was usually a failure of imagination. The more common error is to fail to see a possibility as existing at all and thus miss it.
Generally I'd avoid all appeals to authority as a form of argumentation. Some of the data looks pretty good. What is needed is more and better data to make the case. I trust the guys currently running the independent tests to do them honestly. Cases of individuals committing scientific fraud occur often enough that I have personally seen more than one. Groups of three I haven't seen or heard of yet so I am in principal happy with three guys doing independent testing. Most likely they are not colluding. Are there any plans to do more tests with better calorimetry?
This ends the quoted section.
I have actually been paid more than once by more than one company to analyze new technology. Numeric analysis of the latest and best data is possible and would take 2-3 days of hard cranking to do it right. Based on about 8 hours of serious reading of the data presented if I were working for a serious investor I would recommend hiring a technically savvy magician to evaluate the apparatus.
I might crank the numbers on the latest experiment, but it really is 20 hours work to determine if they really have something from the data presented. Any freep who wants a piece of the heavy lifting is more than welcome to freepmail me.
One of the things Tesla was working on was the wireless transmission of power. (This matter is supposedly in dispute) His Wardenclyffe Tower was supposedly being built for wireless transmission or radio. When his investors found out that he planned on creating wireless un-metered power, his backers cut off funding.
Interesting read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wardenclyffe_Tower
Despite Tesla's serious eccentricities, he was quite the genius.
There is a story about him working on an electric car. The story goes that the car's designer had everything ready but didn't have the power source. So, he took Tesla to the equivalent of the local Radio Shack. He bought some parts and when the device was finished it was a small box with what looked like two copper rods sticking out plus the connection to the car's motor. Tesla is said to have pushed in the rods and said, "we have power" and the car ran. If you've ever read Atlas Shrugged" it sounds like the power system John Galt designed.
Now, I'm going from memory so take it for what it's worth.
Pointing out that Rossi has a scam degree is indeed legitimate and critical discussion, if not directly scientific. I do hope that you have finally acknowledged and personally come to terms with the fact that your guy Rossi is pushing fraudulent academic credentials. As long as you agree that this is the case, I suppose I could see fit to stop beating the fake degree drum...
>> “Would it mean you think this is a chemical reaction?” <<
Chemical reactions do not produce new elements. It just means that producing copper is not a very energetic fusion reaction. Of course, other elements were also produced. This needs some serious investment into research to find out exactly what is happening.
The author is a freeper. But he doesn’t seem to post much.
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