Wired UK has an article that summarizes recent developments with cold fusion / low energy nuclear reactions. They cover recent news from Rossi, Brillouin, Celani, Defkalion and others.
The weekend of 7 and 8 September saw a conference in Zurich on Rossi’s reactor, known as the E-Cat. The conference mainly preached to the converted, attended by licensees who market E-Cat technology in different regions, like E-Cat Australia and Hydrofusion in the UK. Rossi has refused to give public demonstrations or prove the technology to sceptics; he wants to let the market decide. However, at the conference he produced a brief paper with details of third-party tests of an E-Cat.
The device tested was a new high-temperature model known as a Hot Cat. Previous E-Cats have been confined to around 200C — useful for heating water but extremely inefficient for conversion to electricity. Since May 2011 Rossi has been talking about an improved version, and the new Hot Cat operates at a high enough temperature for electricity generation.
Although other scientists in the report have no known affiliations, one section was authored by David Bianchini, a radiation measurement specialist of the University of Bologna. The test, which ran for over six hours, measured an average temperature of 1,100-1,200C, and concluded that the energy output of the four-kilo Hot Cat was three 3.6 Kilowatts from an input of 1.28 Kw. Rossi says that a full scientific report will be available soon.
However, on 9 September Hydrofusion Ltd put out a press release about a demonstration of the Hot Cat in Bologna stating “early indications are that the results of the 16 July/ 7 August reports could not be reproduced.” Swedish science magazine NyTeknik reported that the test was overseen by Swedish National Testing and Research Institute who did not find the Hot Cat was outputting more energy than was input. As a result, a planned investment of 65 million Kronor (£6.1 million) was withdrawn. The investors are now considering whether this affects all E-Cats or just the new Hot Cat.
Rossi has responded by saying that Hot Cat validation will not be completed for another two or three months.
Sterling Allen of Pure Energy System News reported from the conference that a one-megawatt E-Cat will be delivered to a customer in Northern Italy within a couple of months, which will apparently be available for inspection by potential buyers and investors. According to Rossi, a previous one-megawatt E-Cat was sold to a secret military customer who could not be authenticated.
The science discussed September’s Zurich conference was evidently more persuasive. One time sceptic Enric Gunther now believes that Rossi has what he claims: “All his data he published fits with what other more scientific groups found.”
One of the criticisms has been that the 2.5 COP result (which is questioned) of the hot-cat third party testing is not very interesting and is seen as a let-down. However, they don’t take into consideration the very important point that the third party testing is being done with the throttle turned way down for safety reasons. Also, the testing is not done yet, nor is the report. Much higher output:input ratios have been achieve and can be pursued in the future.
A little secret I’ll let you in on is that Rossi does have self-looped data for the Hot-Cat, but chose not to release that at this time. Self-looped is effectively a COP of infinity. One likely reason for Rossi holding back on that data is that the present stipulation of the safety certification requires that the unit not be self-looped. This is partially because if the input is externally derived, such as from natural gas, then it can be shut off, stopping the reaction; whereas in a self-looped system, such a rapid shut-off would not be as easy.
Within a couple of months, a 1 MW unit is supposed to be installed in Northern Italy that will be able to be inspected by potential buyers. I talked to someone at the conference who may purchase one in Hawaii, and he would gladly let people come see it. Human nature is such that there are few who dare to be first, while most people race to be second.
The most significant point of data that was presented by Rossi at the conference was from the Ragone Plot of Energy Storage. The “Specific Energy” and Power Density put the Hot Cat data over in the region near nuclear — way beyond the range where chemical processes are found.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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