I allowed Ric Werme to post a couple of entries on the E-Cat “power reactor” by Andrea Rossi in the past, mainly to spur debate on whether this idea had any merit at all. I shut down comments on the last E Cat thread because it was getting out of hand. I expressed my doubts then that this was a viable energy source.
I think even less of the invention now after reading this essay over at Luboš Motl The Reference Frame. Follow the Joules. Excerpt:
So what Andrea Rossi has achieved was to use the electricity from the power outlet to heat the water right beneath the boiling point at a 75 percent efficiency; something that a good housewife should be able to do in the kitchen at least twice a day. If Mr Rossi has a genuine reactor, a simple way to disprove this description of the details of his stupidity (or his naive magic) is heat the water/steam to 110 °C instead of 100.1 °C using the same gadget. ;-) This is not too much to ask for: typical steam generators in nuclear power plants are pressurized at 60-160 atmospheres and the temperature of water and steam is 220-315 °C.
Maybe the E-Cat might be useful to Starbucks, but as for net positive power generation, it doesn’t seem even remotely plausible. Maybe Mythbusters will take it on for entertainment.