Test of Rossi's 1 MW E-Cat fusion system apparently successful

Guest post by Ric Werme

Rossi 1 MW E-Cat reactor
Rossi 1 MW E-Cat reactor

Today is the customer test of Andrea Rossi’s 1 MW fusion reactor in his facility in Bologna, Italy. While Rossi initially expected to provide streaming video of the test, the customer nixed that because they didn’t want their people on a public video. (The customer has still not been identified.) Rossi also promised hourly updates during the test, but that didn’t happen, nor did I expect it too. In any major customer attending test, you just don’t take time off for that – the customer is far more important today than is the rest of the world!

I did promise in Tips & Notes to create this post this evening to provide a discussion forum, and a few details have made it out to warrant this post.

Bottom line – the customer will buy the reactor. The only thing that looks like a data point is that it was producing 470kW with zero heating power in (self-sustain mode). Given that one metric for a successful test was to produce at least 6X the input power, it certainly passes that test!

Rossi did get one blog post up (edited to convert all-caps to proper-caps and fix an obvious typo):

Andrea Rossi

October <28th, 2011 at 10:37 AM

First information regarding the 1 MW plant test:

We started regularly the test this morning . Everything is going well so far. The 1 MW E-Cat is working in self sustaining.

Tonight I will publish the non secret report that the customer will release.

Warm regards, I have to return to the plant. Sorry, I cannot answer to the many comments I am receiving. I will publish them probably I will never find the time to answer.

Warmest regards to all,

Andrea Rossi

That’s pretty much all there is from Italy so far. I don’t know if people measured 1 MW in powered mode, I assume somewhat more information will be released later this evening.

The naysayers are going strong, with comments like suggesting the customers consultants are in on the scam, and many calls to denounce the secrecy behind this test. Hey guys, this is a sales test, not a public event.

Even Jed Rothwell is upset:

[Vo]:Dismaying rumors about October 28 test

Jed Rothwell Fri, 28 Oct 2011 11:34:00 -0700

I have heard that observers of today’s tests are only being allowed to look at the equipment for a few minutes at a time, and they are not being introduced to the engineers who are taking the data. They are not being given a chance to establish the bona fides of these engineers, or to confirm that they are fully independent from Rossi.

If this is true then it goes without saying these results will have zero credibility.

If this is true then Rossi has once again taken a golden opportunity to convince the world his claims are true, and used it to make himself look like a crook.

I hope this is not true.

Whatever happens, I am sure we will get the full story. The reporters there can be relied upon to tell us the truth. If they are not allowed to interview the engineers and they cannot independently confirm the data, they will say so. I am sure Rossi knows they will tell the truth, so it seems unlikely he would impose such outrageous conditions. Unfortunately, he has often done outrageous things, such as telling people they are not allowed to measure the temperature with their own instruments.

– Jed

I’ll update this later tonight. In the meantime, discuss away, but please keep in mind this was not a science demonstration, not a public demonstration, but a step along the path to the first sale.

Also, keep in mind what this isn’t – it’s not an efficient electrical power system. The output is hot water or low pressure steam. While that can be turned into electricity, thermodynamics says it can’t be very efficient. There are plenty of applications for this sort of process heat, and that makes a fine initial target market.

Other sources of information include:

http://peswiki.com/index.php/News:October_28%2C_2011_Test_of_the_One_Megawatt_E-Cat

Sterling Allan from PES is on site.

http://www.e-catworld.com/2011/10/e-day-thread-rossis-1-mw-e-cat-plant-tested-by-first-customer/

One of the first independent blogs on the E-Cat.

http://www.journal-of-nuclear-physics.com/?p=516#comments

This is Rossi’s blog, where he expected to post hourly updates. He approves posts there, and he’s been too busy to do that.

Updates

Here are links to reports from two people who were observed the test:

Sterling D. Allan (who was present), with Hank Mills from Pure Energy Systems News reported:

It ran for 5.5 hours producing 470 kW, while in self-looped mode. That means no substantial external energy was required to make it run, because it kept itself running, even while producing an excess of nearly half a megawatt. Rossi explained the reasons for this in the presentation he gave, which I videotaped and will be posting later.

Early in the day with a glitch showing up, Rossi said that they had to make a decision about whether to go for 1 MW output, not in self-sustain mode, or with self-sustain mode at a lower power level. The customer opted to go for the self-sustain mode.

Mats Lewan of NyTeknik reported:

According to the customer’s 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 – just under half the promised power of one megawatt.

Rossi explained this with the customer’s priority to achieve self sustained mode, which supposedly makes the process more difficult to control than when electrical power is supplied to support the reaction.

“We had to decrease the power during self sustained mode as the temperature rose too much”, Rossi said after the test.

UPDATE: I’ve allowed Ric Werme to post articles on this, with trepidation (as he noted in his first and second article on it), on the outside chance that there’s something of value here. I wrote in the first article:

Foreword: I gave Ric Werme permission to do this essay. I don’t have any doubt that the original Cold Fusion research was seriously flawed. That said, this recent new development using a different process is getting some interest, so let’s approach it skeptically to see what merit it has, if any. – Anthony

After learning of some background on the inventor (which I wasn’t aware of before today h/t to Lubos)I have very large doubts now. While Wikipedia isn’t the best reference, if there wasn’t some truth here in this reference, I expect it would be removed as libelous:

Petroldragon was an environmental technology company, which through the 90’s aimed to develop oil, coal, and gas from organic waste. It was founded by, and used patents of Andrea Rossi, and Sergio Focardi. In the late 90’s the company was found guilty of dumping environmental toxins, as well as tax fraud. Its assets were seized. [1]

News of the Rossi procedure, patented in Italy, was reported by major newspapers. Jimmy Carter showed his interest in the technology, and offered Rossi a permanent entry visa to the United States.[1] After ten months’ work and a financial investment of half a billion Lire, Petroldragon had a facility that produced twenty tons of fuel oil a day, transforming one hundred tons of organic waste.

In 1993, the company created the Petroldragon Formula 3 racing team – racecars powered by waste-derived fuel that were able to compete with cars powered by the most common petroleum products.

In the late 90’s the company was found guilty of dumping environmental toxins, as well as tax fraud. Its assets were seized, as well as Rossi’s personal assets, and Rossi was arrested and imprisoned.

The track record of the man (combined with the current cloak of secrecy) suggests that this may very well be a scam. Unless there’s some open access and independent documentation of success, I’m going to prohibit any further articles. As I’ve said in comments, we try out ideas here. Based on what I know now, I think this one needs to be put aside as unworkable, and very possibly a scam until such time it is proven. When/if it is proven as scam or factual, we’ll have another report. -Anthony

Update by Ric:

I told Anthony I’d pull some stuff together looking at the allegations in better detail. It appears the only decent source of information is from a web site Rossi created a couple years ago to address the Petroldragon saga. The events in question mostly occurred before the Internet, so there isn’t as much out there as I thought. If you believe Rossi stuck Italy with huge amount of abandoned waste, you won’t believe Rossi’s explanation. If any Italian readers can comment on the events from their memory, please do.

Rossi’s web site is http://ingandrearossi.com/ . While there is an English translation there, a better one is at Steve Krivit’s http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/RossiECat/RossiPetroldragonStory.shtml

A timeline seems to be the best way to summarize things:

1971 to 1996: Created Dragon, a division of his family’s business and

manufactured waste incineration and smoke purification plants.

1978: Awarded patent for a process to convert organic waste material to oil.

Started Petroldragon to commercialize it.

198?: US President Jimmy Carter offered Rossi a permanent entry visa to the

United States to develop the process in the US.

1990 (this year doesn’t make sense): Bought Omar Refinery to process oil from Petroldragon into products for

sale.

1987: Raw materials for Petroldragon had been considered “secondary refuse matter” They were reclassified “toxic waste” as were all products derived from them. “In a very short time, all equipment was sequestered. The government then determined that tanks used for storing incoming raw materials were illegal dumps of toxic waste.”

“What followed was Rossi’s arrest and imprisonment, without any possibility to save the companies. The massive media smear campaign was successful in suddenly wiping out companies whose brand value was estimated at 50 billion lire (around 30-35 million USD in 1987) and which employed 150 people.”

The saga continues on with references to infringing on petroleum based producers and crime organizations entering the waste management business.

He continues “In the past 17 years, Rossi has been in 56 trials, forcing him into deep debt because of the financial disaster, and it is still not completely paid off.

Of all 56 prosecutions, the ones which led to imprisonment ended with acquittals; only 5 of the prosecutions for tax crime ended with convictions (with some custody imprisonments). All of the other prosecutions ended with acquittal or for statute of limitation. The same Petroldragon and Omar customers, even those who suffered factory seizures or prosecutions because of involvement with Rossi’s companies, testified as witnesses in favor of the defendant.” (The customers had products derived from “toxic waste” and those without waste handling permits were now in violation of the 1987 law.)

2000: During a journey back to Italy from the U.S., when he landing at Rome airport, he was served an arrest warrant for bankruptcy of Omar company and immediately imprisoned.

2009: Went back to the U.S. permanently and he directed the development of a new energy source. (I don’t think this refers to the E-Cat.)

As for the gold trafficking, all I can find points to an ingandrearossi.com page that is only in Italian. The Google translation is as difficult to read as any, but Rossi says the gold was recovered in the Petroldragon effort and claims “And documents deemed illegal sales of gold? All regular! Documents for import and export of precious? All regular! Cash payments? The money laundering? No trace of irregularity, because all economic transactions were made with credit and non-transferable checks, never cash!

The prosecution of Ariano Irpino, even myself, and acquitted all defendants in the investigation, not even get to trial on the grounds that: ‘… lack the evidence necessary to sustain the allegations in a process …’.”

So, was Rossi imprisoned? Yes. Did he break the law? Yes, but mainly because the law changed out from under him. Was he convicted? Yes, on less than 10% of the charges, and they were tax law violations, not a confidence scheme. Is he an evil person out to pull off the scam of the century? Probably not, as he seems to have not run afoul of the law before 1987. Does all this mean we should throw up our hands and write off Rossi’s LENR invention. I don’t think so, though it certainly adds a red flag. How about all the other evidence supporting LENR? I don’t think so. Does Lubos Motl know more about LENR than any of us? Probably, but I’m not convinced he’s right. Is Rossi or LENR too controversial for WUWT? Possibly, but I think it should remain because there are too many experiments with interesting results to be able to dismiss it.

-Ric

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October 28, 2011 4:12 pm

He’s been news on an Italian business radio. I’ll post a link later on for those familiar with the Beautiful Language.

cirby
October 28, 2011 4:27 pm

This whole story is just… annoying.
From the way they’re going about it, it just screams “SCAM,” but they’re also not doing anything that you can point to and say, “GOTCHA!”
What if the guy somehow, some way, stumbled on something extremely clever? Or an effect that (while not what he claims) pulls that energy from some unconsidered loophole in physics?
I’ve seen it before – a number of years back, there was one of those multi-level marketing companies, selling vitamins and such. They had one particular minor product in their line that was unique – they were literally the only company in the world that knew how to extract and package that one particular extract. It turned out that it really WAS a very good supplement, and they had at least a year of monopoly in front of them before anyone else could put it into production. They had a huge discussion on whether to stay a MLM company, or use that product to “go legit.” They stayed an MLM – but they were right about the science.
There’s always that small, obscure chance…

Colin in BC
October 28, 2011 4:28 pm

Interesting. I’ll follow this story closely.

CoRev
October 28, 2011 4:28 pm

I’ve been watching this progress for several months, and have some, but not major concerns that he has developed a working “cold fusion” heat source. I am more concerned that his attempt at controlling development and production may be slowing down progress and providing ammunition for his nay sayers.
With engineering improvements and economies of scale cost reductions, this may completely change the energy equations for the world. Just waiting. Watching.

October 28, 2011 4:51 pm

Thanks for the update. I have been following these kinds of developments for 5 years. Nothing ever comes of them. Happy to be proved wrong. In fact I will buy the pizza for the party to celebrate it. But I don’t have my hopes up.

Duke C.
October 28, 2011 4:51 pm

###########################################################################
Andrea Rossi
October 28th, 2011 at 5:33 PM
HERE IS THE DRAFT OF REPORT OF THE 1 MW E-CAT TEST of October 28th
http://db.tt/wu4OLbgk
PLEASE EXCUSE US FOR THE EVIDENT TYPOS, BUT IT IS PARTIALLY HANDWRITTEN AFTER MIDNIGHT FROM VERY TIRED PERSONS.
WARM REGARDS,
ANDREA ROSSI
http://www.rossilivecat.com/
###########################################################################

2kevin
October 28, 2011 4:53 pm

Bedini’s system seems much more simple. I suppose I’m biased since I’ve seen one working though.

mpaul
October 28, 2011 4:54 pm

We criticize Micheal Mann for not being transparent and for frustrating attempts to reproduce his results. So its quite proper to criticize this whole thing. I’ll believe it if and only if its independently reproduced. Web cams and ‘audience testimonials’ won’t do it for me. I’m more skeptical of this than I am of AGW.

DRE
October 28, 2011 4:54 pm

I am extremely skeptical about this device. Mainly about the way their patent applications are written. As far as I can tell they aren’t enabling and Rossi has even commented that there isn’t enough information in the applications to replicate the device, i.e. they knowingly submitted a unenforceable patent…why would you do that? Either keep it a trade secret or submit an enabling patent. It’s just suspicious.
In any event I hope it turns out to be a working device.

crosspatch
October 28, 2011 5:09 pm

From the way they’re going about it, it just screams “SCAM”

Sadly, that’s my gut feeling, too.

OK S.
October 28, 2011 5:15 pm

Thanks for keeping us updated. Exciting times. Maybe it’ll turn into someting.
Oh, and as for

(edited to convert all-caps to proper-caps and fix an obvious typo)

don’t worry about it. Most everybody who’s been around is familiar with TELEX, RTTY, TWX, etc. messages (See typical National Weather Service message). The only people who complain about all-caps have too much time on their hands for complaining.

Septic Matthew
October 28, 2011 5:17 pm

The output is hot water or low pressure steam. While that can be turned into electricity, thermodynamics says it can’t be very efficient.
It doesn’t have to be efficient in order to be a convincing demonstration; what it has to do is unambiguously put out more energy than it consumes. That could have been done months ago, and it was not done today (according to available accounts.)
As you note, it was a sales event. Everyone in the world wants to watch this thing work, but Rossi terminated the demonstration because a long run would be “boring”. There is nothing “boring” about watching a new device work for a long period of time.
I read the “report” (http://db.tt/wu4OLbgk). It does not show anything worthwhile.
I will say that, if it is a hoax, it is the most elaborate hoax I have ever read of.

P.G. Sharrow
October 28, 2011 5:32 pm

I recommend an open mind at this time. We will know soon enough if this is a real energy solution or just a dream. pg

P.G. Sharrow
October 28, 2011 5:39 pm

@ DRE; I am a patented inventor, have read the Rossi patent application and papers. As a person trained in the “arts” I feel that I can duplicate a working device if nesessary from that information. pg

ROM
October 28, 2011 5:40 pm

What i find intriguing is not Rossi but the attitude of Rossi’s critics.
Here we have one man who may have or maybe not have invented a significant new means of generating useable energy.
As the inventor he refuses to give open access to all and sundry, which hardly qualifies as a crime, and to all those hanger ons and would be experts who are demanding immediate access to his invention. For this he is pilloried and roundly criticised.
If the Rossi’s reactor works then the world will know sooner or later of his success. If it doesn’t then the world will just go on it’s way with barely a thought on what might have been.
Yet those same protesting and denigrating commenters who are demanding immediate and unrestricted access to Rossi’s personal property, his invention, are nowhere to be seen when public moneys are being spent by the US Navy on the Bussard invented Polywell reactor.
The US Navy is a bit big to take on and hang some ***** onto over non access by the public to another potential civilisation changing energy generator concept.
And the latest very brief report on the Polywell reactor;
“As of 2Q/2011, the WB-8 device has demonstrated excellent plasma confinement properties. EMC2 is conducting high power pulsed experiments on WB-8 to test the Wiffle-Ball plasma scaling law on plasma energy and confinement.”
Nor were those demands to see the inner workings of an experimental concept at all visible when the very large financial scamming outfit, Enron was spraying press releases around in bulk on how all it’s new financial instruments that nobody had ever used before were going to change the world.
Nope! There was far to much money to be made if you got aboard with Enron to question their motives or their untried products.
I just see gross hypocrisy in the comments from many observers of Rossi to give credence to their selfish demands for immediate access to his claimed invention..
Rossi may be onto something very significant or he could be a scammer but is it anybody else’s business or right to criticise him for his desire to keep his invention to himself, except for those who might invest in him and his invention?
Big companies retain research results as internal company secrets as a matter of course so why is Rossi expected to operate to different standards to those big companies?

DesertYote
October 28, 2011 5:47 pm

mpaul
October 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm
If you can’t see the differnce between the two situations, then your opinion on the matter is worthless.

slow to follow
October 28, 2011 5:49 pm

….”a step along the path to the first sale.”….
Ah, all bound to be tip top and above board in that case. And there was I feeling suspicious!
http://blog.newenergytimes.com/2011/10/28/energy-catalzyer-extraordinary-scams-require-extraordinary-claims/

MikeO
October 28, 2011 5:50 pm

It is okay by me as long as I do not have to pay taxs to support it, I am Australian you see. If it does work the Green side of politics will be against it!

Gail Combs
October 28, 2011 6:00 pm

Looks like the jury is still out.
If the customer buys and sets up a commercial model then we will know for sure.

Grant
October 28, 2011 6:01 pm

This is quite exciting, and seems less likely to be any kind of scam. Might be not what people think it might be, but I don’t see how he would scam anyone at this point. If it does heat water, it’s a huge game changer. It could be used to heat water and air in any building. I hope for the sake of all of us, that he is correct. One can dream…..

John West
October 28, 2011 6:01 pm

Very interesting, what’s being described is akin to a Muon catalyst nuclear reaction. What concerns me is the atomic mass of nickel and hydrogen (even heavy hydrogen) combined do not exceed the atomic mass of copper. The product copper could be an isotope with less atomic mass than the inputs, a requirement for the reaction to be an actual exothermic nuclear reaction. E=(delta)mC^2. If not, it’s just an exothermic chemical reaction, a trick.

BarryW
October 28, 2011 6:07 pm

One issue that was not addressed was that there is a cost to extracting the hydrogen and other components of the process. That takes energy and it doesn’t seem to be factored into the energy balance.
If he’s got a salable product and he’s not running off to someplace he can’t be extradited from, then he’s got something that actually works (whatever it is). Once the buyer has his own up and running then it will be obvious whether it really works or not. That’s assuming it’s not going to go into some black program somewhere.

DRE
October 28, 2011 6:22 pm

@P.G. Sharrow
I have three patents, two of the three were licensed to start-up companies. I wrote the vast majority of the specifications on all three and wrote 90% of one.
Apparently according to Rossi there is a catalyst that is needed for the device to operate. The specifics of this catalyst aren’t included in the patent applications. Patents have to be enabling i.e. contain all the information needed to build a working device. So I don’t think the patent is enforceable.
This is extremely suspicious. But as I said I hope I’m wrong.

bubbagyro
October 28, 2011 6:27 pm

John West says:
October 28, 2011 at 6:01 pm
As a chemist myself, I have seen cases like this in the past that involve a chemical exothermic reaction, also. Like Zn or a similar finely divided alloy in alkali solution that produces heat and hydrogen. A sacrificial anode which is used up in the reaction would be my guess as to the source of the heat, were it to be a scam. That is also just a gut feeling based on experience—yet I hope there is something real here!

October 28, 2011 6:39 pm

Alas, the INPUT POWER MEASURING is NOT well documented.
And the concept that the “Generators were on during the tests…”
Bad move. Fail. I’m very hopeful that this is correct. But Rossi must have a hole in his head if he thinks that this will prove anything, except (if it is true they had complete access) to the “customer”.

RockyRoad
October 28, 2011 6:41 pm

mpaul says:
October 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm

We criticize Micheal Mann for not being transparent and for frustrating attempts to reproduce his results. So its quite proper to criticize this whole thing. I’ll believe it if and only if its independently reproduced. Web cams and ‘audience testimonials’ won’t do it for me. I’m more skeptical of this than I am of AGW.

As I recall, Mann’s salary was at the taxpayer’s expense. Rossi has invested his personal fortune–even to the point of mortgaging his house to get to this point. Unless you believe private ownership is a bygone fad, I’d say you have not established any equivalency in your post. (And yes, we’ll all criticize M. Mann for not making all of his taypayer-subsidized information public–he wants to influence public policy in a big way, but not have to show how he came to his conclusions. I’d say Rossi has orders of magnitude more credability than Mann, yet even now Rossi’s invention has not absolutely been confirmed, especially the theory upon which it works which may take several more years to conclusively derive.)

Alan Millar
October 28, 2011 6:43 pm

Ho Hum.
Yet another perpetual motion machine.
Alan

Roger Knights
October 28, 2011 6:47 pm

crosspatch says:
October 28, 2011 at 5:09 pm

From the way they’re going about it, it just screams “SCAM”

Sadly, that’s my gut feeling, too.

Maybe, just maybe, he WANTS to convey that impression, to cool the interest of potential competitors until he’s lengthened his developmental lead.
He does come from the land of Machiavelli ….

bubbagyro
October 28, 2011 6:50 pm

Investing his fortune, and mortgaging his home, we have to take this at his word, I guess—but this could be bread cast on waters (this old expression comes from hunters, who cast bread to attract ducks to shoot). I am just a suspicious so-and-so, I reckon!

Tsk Tsk
October 28, 2011 6:54 pm

ROM says:
October 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm
What i find intriguing is not Rossi but the attitude of Rossi’s critics.
Here we have one man who may have or maybe not have invented a significant new means of generating useable energy.
As the inventor he refuses to give open access to all and sundry, which hardly qualifies as a crime, and to all those hanger ons and would be experts who are demanding immediate access to his invention. For this he is pilloried and roundly criticised.

———————————————–
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. There are few things more extraordinary than solving the world’s energy demands with a clean fusion process. We’ve been down this path before with Pons and Fleischmann. The community is justifiably skeptical as that makes good scientific as well as economic sense.
Personally I’m intrigued by Polywell and support the government support of its research, but I’ll remain just as skeptical of them until clear evidence of net power production has been demonstrated. More importantly, Polywell hasn’t claimed net power production so Rossi deserves and is receiving the proper level of scrutiny.

RockyRoad
October 28, 2011 7:03 pm

Alan Millar says:
October 28, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Ho Hum.
Yet another perpetual motion machine.
Alan

It is comments like this that stack unwarranted derision on Rossi and others working on LENR. Please avail yourself of the opportunity to investigate what’s on the Web regarding the aforementioned acronym before using disparaging descriptions that the inventors and other investigators in this field of science have never used and have never claimed.
Did you know MIT (yes, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) held a colloquium regarding the subject just this past June and that they do so on an annual basis? Check here for the latest results:
http://www.infinite-energy.com/images/pdfs/LANR2011Colloq.pdf
And that’s just the proverbial “tip of the iceberg”.

Mike in Oz
October 28, 2011 7:04 pm

I too have followed this story (and many of the preceding ‘cold fusion’ stories) with a certain degree of professional interest. In this case it seems to me that one possible explanation that fits the facts as I gleaned them off their Internet site is that they first make a metal hydride (by charging it with hydrogen on a previous occasion) then decompose the hydride during the demo. The decomposition is likely to be exothermic, especially of the hydrogen is converted to water at the same time. But this is just storage and then discharge of chemical energy, not fusion.
But of course, I too will buy pizza all round if I am wrong….;.

RockyRoad
October 28, 2011 7:17 pm

Tsk Tsk says:
October 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm

We’ve been down this path before with Pons and Fleischmann. The community is justifiably skeptical as that makes good scientific as well as economic sense.

Did you know Pons and Fleischmann were never refuted with science–they were the object of political refutation. Their breakthrough reaction (among those willing to do an unbiased investigation, such as the following investigation by CBS News: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNn_Z6wCIk) has been replicated thousands of times by researchers in multiple countries (and P & F weren’t the first, by the way).
But I hope we aren’t going down the same path the powers that be used to discredit Pons and Fleishchmann–primarily those concerned their $billions in government grants for hot fusion research would be tossed aside if energy could be generated with a simple apparatus on a desktop (or more to the liking of the critics: fusion in a bottle).
Cold fusion is a reality.
Don’t trust me, however-find out for yourself.

b a cullen
October 28, 2011 7:17 pm

THis device appears to be based on work by Randell Mills, long before BLP, for the Navy 20+ yrs ago which clearly did produce extra heat, exponentially so at elevated temps. Because the process is in the public domain it may be difficult for Rossi to get viable patents.
Remember, it doesn’t matter whether we believe (on faith?) this technology works or not or whether it is a scam, that is for the investors to determine, NOT us. If it is viable, and I believe there is a small probability based Mills’ early publication that it does, the human race is home free and the climate doomsters are going to have to find another bogey man to use in their quest for riches and world domination.
If it doesn’t; NEXT!

October 28, 2011 7:18 pm

Roger Knights says:
October 28, 2011 at 6:47 pm
Maybe, just maybe, he WANTS to convey that impression…

Yeah of course, only the true Messiah denies his divinity. Riiiiiiiight
This is a scam but it has shown one interesting thing; that the majority of “sceptics” who post on WUWT aren’t in fact sceptics at all but in reality are credulous believers. This is a sad day for truth.

u.k.(us)
October 28, 2011 7:19 pm

DesertYote says:
October 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm
==========
Rein that horse in, it’s a bit rank.
(Some horses pull hard and are head strong. They are difficult to gallop and to relax in a race. These horses are said to be rank. It is quite an art to try to settle a horse when galloping and breezing, but if they are truly rank its next to impossible).

October 28, 2011 7:22 pm

Every time there is an opportunity for Rossi to clearly show the effectiveness of his device, it become an event of obfuscation and secrecy. This is what concerns me about the device he produced. It would be very simple for him to answer these basic questions without revealing anything in the “Black Box”. But, he does not, and berates those who question the results, he doesn’t supply. Any person who invents something this dramatic and possibly game changing should be tripping over themselves to get this out. I think of Edison, Tesla, Moore, and multiple advancements in technology that trumpet their ideas and results to the world. Rossi, hides his results, uses nonstandard measurement methods, and makes it very difficult to even evaluate his “Invention”. If you want investment then you should make it easy for everyone technically knowledgeable to understand and promote your product. Why make it so hard if it works as claimed? The most obvious conclusion is that it does not.

Carbon-based life form
October 28, 2011 7:28 pm

About as much credibility as Jim Hansen, I’d say. Anthony, how about some technical vetting and “peer review” before putting this dubious gobbledygook up?
REPLY: That’s what this blog does – we try out ideas. Some like Willis’ recent paper on extinction and my surfacetstations project make it to papers. If you don’t like it don’t read it. cheers, Anthony

October 28, 2011 7:35 pm

mpaul says:
October 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm
We criticize Micheal Mann for not being transparent and for frustrating attempts to reproduce his results.
Mann was financed with public funds. Under law the public has a right to the data, methods and results. He is seeking to withhold from the public that which they paid for and have a legal right to.
No private inventor using private funds has any such obligation. They are well within their rights to defend their property from anyone that seeks access without permission.

P.G. Sharrow
October 28, 2011 7:38 pm

For over 50 years, main stream science has claimed that given a few more billion dollars and a few more years they would provide useable energy from “Hot” plasma fusion. Now the claim is ,after hundreds of billions of dollars, they may reach energy breakeven with another few hundred billions and 10 or more years effort. I think that we should give these LENR crackpots that work for nothing but insults a little slack. In a few years we will know for sure just which group is running a scam. pg

Doug Badgero
October 28, 2011 7:47 pm

Scam until proven otherwise. If it’s not, it will find me when they are willing to demonstrate publicly.

CynicalScientist
October 28, 2011 7:50 pm

I’m extremely skeptical. Does that make me a cold fusion denier?

bubbagyro
October 28, 2011 7:55 pm

Ferd:
I have contracted some of my inventions with large and small companies several times over the years. I have one such arrangement ongoing. In all cases, these dealings are kept confidential, to the point of initializing confidentiality agreements before any intellectual property is swapped. This is SOP for inventor-client relationships. If no CDA exists, then both parties are either conflating, or are lousy businessmen.
Once the deal becomes public, the relationship becomes a public relationship. That only occurs with consent of both parties. This is why this does not pass the initial sniff test.
My logical conclusion, based on this public disclosure behavior alone, is that both parties are in collusion somehow, to cultivate a bigger “duck” somewhere, somehow. My Dad always told me to “follow the money trail”. Who is the client? What is their history? Who are the principals? Who is the ultimate fish they are looking at?
My first (total speculation, of course) is that the “duck” is a government or government agency or Quango.

October 28, 2011 7:56 pm

ferd berple says:
October 28, 2011 at 7:35 pm
“They are well within their rights to defend their property from anyone…”

Of course he’s within his rights to defend his property but the fact that he hasn’t shows that he has nothing. If he had something he would have patented it. He hasn’t and therefore he hasn’t.

CoRev
October 28, 2011 8:02 pm

My understanding is that Rossi is trying to license marketing and production partners in various markets. He claims to have long running facility which heats a building, which I presume he shows these potential partners. These shorter term tests are to demonstrate independent operation of newer designs. He claims to have demonstrated this process many times for several years.
His low ball, shoe string approach appears to me an attempt to protect his device from piracy. He seems to know it works. It makes a difference with what, how long you make the confirmation tests, when a long working production system is already shown to potential partners.
But then my wife always claims I am too trusting. 🙂

ew_3
October 28, 2011 8:07 pm

If this device works, I’m curious about how it might be regulated and taxed.
Any thoughts on that?

October 28, 2011 8:10 pm

RockyRoad says:
October 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm
Did you know Pons and Fleischmann were never refuted with science–they were the object of political refutation.
Pons and Fleischmann results have been recreated, at least in part. The problem is more one of reliability. Sometimes the device works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Dan in California
October 28, 2011 8:10 pm

rpercifield says: October 28, 2011 at 7:22 pm
Every time there is an opportunity for Rossi to clearly show the effectiveness of his device, it become an event of obfuscation and secrecy. ……. Why make it so hard if it works as claimed? The most obvious conclusion is that it does not.
——————————————————————————
Another conclusion is that it is easy to replicate and AR knows the only way he can make any money is by keeping it secret. Working with early adopters would allow them to beat the competition to market. Selling it to big company makes it more likely they can keep it out of the public domain longer. This scenario also explains why Defkalion claims they can market a product without AR’s blessing.

jeff
October 28, 2011 8:10 pm

If it works, I’ll be more than happy to help make him the wealthest man on earth. If not, it really does not matter. Wait and see.

Mark
October 28, 2011 8:19 pm

LENR in general is an interesting, worthy and potentially fruitful area of research. However, I’ve been closely following first-hand reports of Rossi’s e-cat for the past 10 months or so and my opinion has turned from neutral to negative. It’s Rossi’s behavior that is the root of the problem. Initially I gave him the benefit of the doubt as perhaps eccentric and/or naive but it’s beyond that now. He’s being willfully obtuse and forgoing opportunities where he could easily win serious experts over to his side (which would help his business aspirations enormously).
Also, Rossi’s claims about other people are often inaccurate. Rossi claimed that NASA saw great potential in his device. When pressed for comment NASA said something to the effect, we saw nothing that would lead us to believe there is a working device. That’s a pretty big disparity.
When denying reasonable requests for modifications to the test protocol that would eliminate the opportunity for trickery, Rossi invariably implies that the skeptics are trying to steal his great secret. From what I’ve seen, every skeptic has been fine with testing the apparatus as a “black box”. No need to look inside. What’s needed is accurate measurement and verification of the external energy input and output. Why in the world would Rossi, who seems desperate for legitimacy, refuse reasonable requests to tighten up the very loose (or non-existent) controls on measurements that are entirely external to his “secret” machine?
Conceptually, measuring the energy input and output of a closed system is pretty easy. I’ve finally concluded that there’s too much “watch the pea under the shell” game going on. After every public demonstration Rossi’ does, skeptics have reviewed the photos (and video when available) and identified a clear place that the “pea” could be hiding (ie hiding extra energy input or masking lack of output). In the next demonstration, Rossi may have eliminated that method for potential cheating (or not) but a new hiding place for the “pea” is introduced to the rig and dutifully pointed out by skeptics. I’ve grown tired of it. I suggest ignoring this entire circus until Rossi allows a credible lab to test his device in their own facility, with their own measurement equipment and without Rossi being able to come near the apparatus. *If* Rossi actually has a working device, this independent test should happen very shortly (it should already have happened). If not, we’ll keep hearing about more uncontrolled, unverified “tests” which are meaningless.

Kozlowski
October 28, 2011 8:44 pm

I’m pretty skeptical about this too. That seems to be the general consensus around here. Perhaps a post should have waited a day or two until AFTER confirmation? It all seems a bit odd.
Also.. Poking around a bit, its not too hard to find out the customer appears to be one Manutencoop Facility Management. Here is info on them:
Manutencoop Facility Management S.p.A. provides management services for real estate, building, and equipment. Its services include management and maintenance of heat conditioning, air conditioning and refrigerating systems, antifire systems, electric and lighting systems, buildings, real estate, and technological equipments. The company also provides cleaning and pest control, hospital laundry and sterilization, office support, accessorial, catering and canteen, security, and night watch services; and real estate property services.
It was in properties of the Test_28_10_11.xls spreadsheet. Meh.

October 28, 2011 8:48 pm

Alan Millar says on October 28, 2011 at 6:43 pm
Ho Hum.
Yet another perpetual motion machine.
Alan

Care to place a wager, say, at 1000:1 odds (I say that Rossi is on to something)? I mean, if it’s such a “sure thing” (that’s it’s nothing but the usual perpetual motion scam) in your estimation, what could you lose?
Or, are we (you, actually) simply ‘all talk’?
(Funny thing, I couldn’t get any ‘betting action’ (that things would be okay) back prior to Y2K either …)
.

Septic Matthew
October 28, 2011 8:53 pm

p.g. sharrow: As a person trained in the “arts” I feel that I can duplicate a working device if nesessary from that information.
Can you get more than 2 watts output without knowing his still secret “catalyst”?
rocky road: Did you know Pons and Fleischmann were never refuted with science–they were the object of political refutation.
You’re kidding, right? No one was ever able to make one of those devices put out either heat or gamma rays reliably.
Cold fusion is a reality.
True, but it consumes more power than it generates, and other people who have devices like those Rossi is claiming to have (he claims extra output because of his secret catalyst) only get about 2 watts of output.
rpercefield: Every time there is an opportunity for Rossi to clearly show the effectiveness of his device, it become an event of obfuscation and secrecy.
That’s my take on his behavior so far.
Mark says:
October 28, 2011 at 8:19 pm
That’s a good brief summary of the last half year or so.
Rocky Road: It is comments like this that stack unwarranted derision on Rossi and others working on LENR.
Some LENR researchers are legitimate, and lab bench scale fusion has been demonstrated in numerous devices. What’s derided is the claim that any of them generate vast amounts of energy.
ROM: Nor were those demands to see the inner workings of an experimental concept at all visible when the very large financial scamming outfit, Enron was spraying press releases around in bulk on how all it’s new financial instruments that nobody had ever used before were going to change the world.
One scam does not justify another. The examples do show that, cunning devious people can outsmart honest, educated, smart people. Pons and Fleischman made substantial money off the State of Utah. Enough to retire to the Riviera. And still people believe that their device worked. Caveat emptor.

DesertYote
October 28, 2011 8:53 pm

u.k.(us)
October 28, 2011 at 7:19 pm
DesertYote says:
October 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm
==========
Rein that horse in, it’s a bit rank.
(Some horses pull hard and are head strong. They are difficult to gallop and to relax in a race. These horses are said to be rank. It is quite an art to try to settle a horse when galloping and breezing, but if they are truly rank its next to impossible).
###
Neigh …

Kim Moore
October 28, 2011 8:56 pm

If there was anything to this, Leonardo da Vinci would have drawn up instructions and we’d be using it today.

John West
October 28, 2011 9:15 pm

Looking for resulting copper isotopes, I came upon:
http://www.fysik.org/WebSite/fragelada/resurser/cold_fusion.pdf
which has some written in English:
“The detection of 10% of copper isotopes2 in the residue from the E-Cat is difficult
to understand, especially since only stable copper isotopes (63Cu and 65Cu) are
detected. The isotope ratios of the stable copper isotopes in the residue are the
same as that of natural copper. This is highly unlikely if the copper is produced by
fusion reactions as Rossi claims.”
AND
“Considering that the natural abundance of 58Ni (68%), 62Ni (3.6%) and 64Ni
(0.9%), it is strange that no 59Cu is produced from the abundant 58Ni and that
only the two stable copper isotopes are produced. It seems that nature by magic
has given 62Ni and 64Ni special properties so that stable copper isotopes can be
produced!”
Doesn’t look good for a nuclear reaction.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
October 28, 2011 9:32 pm

Report of test:
http://pesn.com/2011/10/28/9501940_1_MW_E-Cat_Test_Successful/

1 MW E-Cat Cold Fusion Device Test Successful
On October 28, 2011, Andrea Rossi demonstrated his 1 megawatt E-Cat system to his first customer, who had engineers/scientists on hand to test/validate its performance. Due to a glitch, it provided 470 kW of continuous power for 5.5 hours during the self-sustained mode.

By Sterling D. Allan (who was present), with Hank Mills
Pure Energy Systems News

There were some issues, so it couldn’t be run at full power in self-looped mode, but what it did do was plenty impressive.
It ran for 5.5 hours producing 470 kW, while in self-looped mode. That means no substantial external energy was required to make it run, because it kept itself running, even while producing an excess of nearly half a megawatt. Rossi explained the reasons for this in the presentation he gave, which I videotaped and will be posting later.
That’s half the rated capacity, but it is still a major accomplishment for the device that was completed earlier this week — the first of its kind on the planet.
Early in the day with a glitch showing up, Rossi said that they had to make a decision about whether to go for 1 MW output, not in self-sustain mode, or with self-sustain mode at a lower power level. The customer opted to go for the self-sustain mode. Nothing was said about the prospects of a follow-up test, though I would imagine that the customer will be running many tests to understand this gadget they have purchased, and that information will be conveyed to Rossi.

Radiation measurements were taken by Dr. Bianchini David, from the University of Bologna. He said no extraneous radiation was detected at any time emanating from the reaction chambers, or from the piping, or from the water tanks, or in the vicinity of the apparatus. Apparently, gamma radiation is produced during the reaction, which is shielded by water, iron, lead, and a final coating on the apparatus. David said that he has not measured gamma radiation from the device, because he has not had access to the reaction chamber while it has been unshielded.
None of the units were taken apart following this test, as was the one back on the October 6 test. I asked Rossi whether any radio frequencies were used in the test, and he said “no”.

Probably the biggest opening for skeptics will be the continually running genset that is probably rated for 500 kW (my guess), and appears to have been connected by cables to the E-Cat. “Where’s the mystery?” So knock yourselves out, skeptics. It’s the customer who has to be happy, and apparently this one was satisfied that those cables were not contributing to the 470 kW output during self-sustaining mode.

Has pics.
I find this part interesting:

Attendance at this test was limited for several reasons. (…) Second, the device is a nuclear device, and the regulations for a public demonstration are extremely stringent; so by making the event private, and only bringing one or two at a time to see it was a way to get around the safety requirements.

It’s a nuclear device. By the reasoning shown, if I was testing a small nuclear reactor, I could “get around” safety requirements by showing off the reactor to only a few people at a time. Does that make sense to you? How many safety regulations for nuclear devices are one allowed to “duck” by only having a small reactor with limited visitor access?
See the pics. How many people are wearing dosimeter badges?
The device is supposed to generate gamma rays, aka x-rays (the distinction is origin in the nucleus or by an electron outside of a nucleus). Radiation was not detected. Does it look like there was enough shielding?
The identity of the customer is still not known. One of the oldest pitches of hucksters is “I do have other customers,” add in the “I’m not allowed to reveal their names” qualifier to prevent checking of references.
I’m staying extra skeptical of this “discovery.”

vboring
October 28, 2011 9:38 pm

Nonsense.
If the thing were real, the scientists involved would do everything in their power to publicly prove that it works, knowing that they would be awarded the Nobel prize and/or silly amounts of seed money.
That would easily raise more money for development than going through these secretive pains to sell one unit.

gre
October 28, 2011 9:41 pm

Hard for me to understand why a skeptical site has so many people, including Anthony(?) reacting strongly to people expressing skepticism about the E-CAT. Seems like the only reasonable reaction given the lack of actual data and the extravagance of the claim. Even the headline seems inappropriate. “Allegedly” would be a better word than “apparently” as the claim really is anything but apparent at this point.

John West
October 28, 2011 9:42 pm

_Jim says:
October 28, 2011 at 8:48 pm
Care to place a wager, say, at 1000:1 odds (I say that Rossi is on to something)?

Is that offer open to anyone?
I’d take that bet as long as “something” is defined as a nuclear reaction capable of producing more power than is put into it over the long term including the energy required to produce the catalyst, hydrogen, nickel, and start-up/maintenance fuel.
I’m pretty sure he is on to something alright, a good scam. So, I’d wager $1,000 at 1000 to 1; can you cover that action? Or should we just make it a friendly $0.01 wager @ 1000 to 1? I’ll go anywhere in between. I’d make a bet for 12/21/12 too. I wouldn’t bet on “nothing” happening; but I’d bet on nothing globally cataclysmic happening.

crosspatch
October 28, 2011 9:47 pm

It doesn’t have to be efficient in order to be a convincing demonstration; what it has to do is unambiguously put out more energy than it consumes.

But is someone going to spend a million dollars on something that creates only a thousand dollars worth of energy? I mean, technically you are correct in the energy equation but there is also an economic equation that must be satisfied. We have already been stepping over dollars to pick up dimes with the whole “green” energy fiasco.
Look, conventional modern nuclear has the capability to meet ALL of America’s electrical needs if we want to. Reprocessing of the spent fuel means we have no spent fuel problem, either.
People in the future are going to wonder why we were so stupid.

Enginer
October 28, 2011 9:48 pm

I’ve been following Rossi for some time now,. In my opinion, as a scientist, it COULD be working. As an engineer and practical man, I think my behavior would be similar to his.
If I understand this technology, any one with access to a Fisher Scientific or even Cole-Parmer catalog could be generating heat in a few days. They would likely end up with a melt-down (no big shake…) or radiation poisoning The resulting bad publicity would impact negatively on Rossi’s attempt to commercialize this technology for the good of mankind.
I think there is a better than average chance that the government will try to corral or even ban the spread of this much-needed technology/process.

Daniel
October 28, 2011 9:59 pm

What people don’t see is his personal investment i.e he sold his house to finance some of the construction. Would you sell your own house if it was a scam?

Marc Blank
October 28, 2011 10:03 pm

Everything about this cries out “scam”. If he’s really on to something, he should INSIST on showing everything, asking everyone to reproduce his results; if confirmed, he would instantly become the most famous scientist in history, receive prizes galore, etc. It’s all laughable.

Typhoon
October 28, 2011 10:32 pm

How is this a supposed test that verifies the claims of Rossi et al?
The vague reports talks about hydrogen and nickel as being the basis.
The proton + proton fusion reaction has a very large Coulomb barrier to overcome:
http://goo.gl/Gvlrf
Two back to back 1.02MeV would be evidence of a fusion reaction.
Without such evidence talk of the power generated by a fusion reaction is meaningless.
Scam.

October 28, 2011 10:36 pm

I’ve read most of the LENR papers and I’d make the following observations.
1. LENR is definitely a real energy producing phenomena, although its not clear its fusion.
2. Without a theoretical basis, researchers are to a large extent stabbing in the dark in attempts to refine it and make it more reliable and produce more energy.
3. The composition of the catalyst seems to be the key to getting LENR working.
4. If this is a scam, its in the sense that they have don’t have a commercially viable energy source (yet?). Not that LENR setups can’t produce excess energy, that has been independently demonstrated dozens of times.
IMHO one important reason Pons and Fleischman were ridiculed and frankly persecuted was that LENR as a viable energy source would have derailed the trillion dollar CAGW gravy train early on.

Typhoon
October 28, 2011 10:39 pm

How can this supposed test be considered evidence of the claims of Rossi et al?
The vague report mentions hydrogen and nickel.
The proton + proton fusion [hydrogen + hydrogen] fusion reaction has a very large Coloumb barrier to overcome.
Wikipedia: http://goo.gl/Gvlrf
Evidence for such a reaction would the back to back production of two back to back photons with the characteristic energy, 511 keV, of electron + positron annihilation:
Wikipedia: http://goo.gl/SQ09v
Without such evidence, talking about the amount of power produced by hydrogen fusion is meaningless.
Pure scam.

R. Gates
October 28, 2011 10:59 pm

PT Barnum would be proud that someone is following in his footsteps…

Don Monfort
October 28, 2011 11:10 pm

Ric,
You are going to feel really stupid, when this fraud is exposed.

October 28, 2011 11:41 pm

People think its a scam because they dont understand the science behind it… Cold fusion is not really “cold”. It is hot fusion on a small scale. Some how the the Columb barrier is overcome either on a local scale by acceleration of the ion(electron) in nanometers to thousands of eV or the barrier is dropped by some sort of resonance between the atoms.. The events take place one at a time in the lattice unlike a H bomb or a Tokamak which is what everyone thinks of when they think of fusion…. Palladium and Deuterium at a 1:1 ratio works but its hard to make this happen consistently(Check out SPAWAR Labs). Nickle catalysts have been known for awhile. It was just a matter of time before some figured out how to make it work… Now here is the only thing, you might have to account for the energy by adding a parameter called “aether”, which by the way has not been disproved. You almost have to..
At Lenr you can check out some of the papers that people have published… These are not stupid people, they are actually some of the smartest….
Lenr-canr Library.
http://www.lenr-canr.org/LibFrame1.html

alex
October 28, 2011 11:46 pm

Very typical fraud.
“5 hours of heat production”.
Laugh.
It’s purely chemical.
Which woodenhead pays for this scam?

TimTheToolMan
October 29, 2011 12:37 am

This must (still) be a scam. There must be dozens of Hot Water -> Electricity , off-the-shelf solutions where Rossi could have generated the required electricity to keep using the so called “Powered Mode” and still keep it stable off the harvested energy its supposedly producing. That way he could have run it for days and then there would have been no doubt about the result.
He didn’t. Its nonsense.

October 29, 2011 1:31 am

“While Rossi initially expected to provide streaming video of the test…”
“Rossi also promised hourly updates during the test, but that didn’t happen…”
Don’t these give you even the slightest pause?

Peter Plail
October 29, 2011 1:35 am

I remain sceptical until the process is independently reproduced.
I view the comments of those who vehemently dismiss it as a scam the same way as I view those who propound anthropogenic CO2-induced global warming.
Genuine scams are designed to bring some benefit to the perpetrator. Rossi seems to be investing a lot of cash and energy into this for what? Any fame or reward will quickly evaporate if the scam cannot be sustained, or are the detractors suggesting that he is at the start of some Ponzi scheme that will suck in more and more investors’ money as he builds bigger and bigger reactors ad infinitum?
At worst, I suspect the man is deluding himself, at best he will satisfy the AGW fanatics’ search for a CO2 free energy source that will allow politicians off the hook over the ludicrous windmill/photovoltaic/big stick/industrial decline (sorry, I should say green) solutions that they now favour.

phil
October 29, 2011 2:07 am

Snake-oil like this does not belong on a blog of WUWT’s quality. If you understand the laws that govern thermodynamics, you should immediately realize this is a scam no different from AGW and carbon permits trading. There’s one born every minute…

Matt
October 29, 2011 2:15 am

“Hey guys, this is a sales test, not a public event.”
You must be reading your own article very different from anybody else. Because, you know, it was meant to be a public event. Everytime an event is intended to be streamed across teh intertubes, and hourly updates are planned, that makes it pretty much public. We are offered here the reason for not showing it after all is employee privacy concerns, not project concerns; and on the updates we hear, there’s simply not enough time for them. Other than that, they are public… yeah.
How do you know they output 6x the energy if you don’t even knowhow it works?
In a year’s time, we just need to check that customer’s balance sheet to see how much money they’ve spent on ‘fuel’ – then we will know how it works 😉
I have rarely seem people getting so excited about nothing – that is, you don’t know anything about it, but somwehow vouch for it without any good reason at all.

Logan in AZ
October 29, 2011 2:34 am

Roger Knights says:
October 28, 2011 at 6:47 pm
“Maybe, just maybe, he WANTS to convey that impression, to cool the interest of potential competitors until he’s lengthened his developmental lead.”
Yes, and there is a more extreme rationale. There are nations such as Venezuela, Russia, and Iran that depend on conventional energy revenue, and which have rather tough minded leaders. Perhaps Rossi hopes to calibrate his demos so that he can make a sale, but not alert the rest of the world while he is still a very small operator. The comments here show that his object has been attained, IF the ‘customer’ is not part of an extensive scam. The secret catalyst and customer are good support for the scam theory, together with a warmup generator that was left on during the self sustained run. And, of course, the setup should have been operated for more than a few hours.
The scam theory will remain viable until routine operation of an industrial facility is obtained. Rossi does not intend to produce a perfect proof or a complete patent, since that is not in his interest. He knows his system needs further development to stabilize a high level output. He would have no chance of beating the competition that would arise after an early academic demonstration that satisfies critics. On the non-scam theory he has exhausted his personal resources and is now in a weak condition.
And, there are other radical energy projects and historical claims, such as the Polywell mentioned by others here, E. J. Lerner’s dense plasma focus attempts, T. H. Moray’s repeated historical demonstrations, P. Correa’s contemporary claims, Black Light Power, and others. These efforts have been blocked or slowed to a crawl. No commercial device has appeared. Rossi probably knows that individuals have a very hard time advancing radical energy claims with revolutionary implications. And, if he can attain the commercial level, the other concepts will get renewed attention, with unknown results.

Dr A Burns
October 29, 2011 2:38 am

It absolutely screams SCAM.
“The 2008[4] patent application[5] claims “a method and apparatus for carrying out nickel and hydrogen exothermal reactions,” with production of copper”… at 40 deg C, yeh right
It doesn’t even derse space on this forum.

John B
October 29, 2011 2:41 am

You (some of you here, you know who you are) have a great learning opportunity: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. No such evidence is forthcoming. It’s a scam.
Now ask yourselves why you are prepared to accept that it might not be a scam when you are adamant that AGW is a scam despite mountains of evidence from independent sources in different disciplines all over thre world.
I would say the answer is that you like the potential outcome of this “research”, but you don’t like the outcome if AGW is real. I believe it is called “motivated reasoning”.

MrV
October 29, 2011 2:44 am

I thought it best to keep an open mind when this thing first came to light earlier in the year.
October was to be the date where all would be revealed to scientists/clients etc with a 1MW unit, and it was hyped as such.
The day has passed and very little new has really been revealed only we now have many devices creating an alleged and unverifiable 470kw, with a huge diesel generator out the back.
I’m sorry by extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.
Who can’t be sceptial when we have an average looking report and some amateur footage that does not show things with any sort of detail?

David Bailey
October 29, 2011 2:56 am

Everyone here knows how science can become corrupted, and I don’t think that corruption started with global warming. I don’t know whether this test will work out – I hope it does – but I remember clearly the way the original reports of cold fusion were handled – hasty refutations by organisations such as Culham with their hot fusion research to protect, after which the whole field became taboo.
It has taken years to recover from that situation. BTW, there is a theory as to how the Coulomb barrier is breached. It is based (I think) on electrons in the lattice having a large effective mass, so that they can orbit very close to the proton – thus screening off the potential until the proton and nucleus are very close. I don’t know if this is a valid way to use the effective mass concept. The whole field is known as LENR.

John Law
October 29, 2011 2:57 am

crosspatch says:
October 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm
“People in the future are going to wonder why we were so stupid.”
“Look, conventional modern nuclear has the capability to meet ALL of America’s electrical needs if we want to. Reprocessing of the spent fuel means we have no spent fuel problem, either.”
I agree, however with the current mindset of politicians, it’s unlikely that there will be many people around, to question our good sense.

MrV
October 29, 2011 2:57 am

A youtube commentor suggested the generator model is a IVECO GSC400EA
Output 400kW.
– Any of those believers even a little suspicious yet?

Blade
October 29, 2011 3:01 am

To quote someone else, ‘I guess you *can* fool some of the people all of the time. 😉 Where is the possible clue? Here it is: “Probably the biggest opening for skeptics will be the continually running genset that is probably rated for 500 kW”. Hmmmm. Something produces 470 kW while connected to a 500 kW generator. LOL.. You know, some scammers in the past really hid the mechanism well, but wait one minute and I’ll show you a great example …

Septic Matthew [October 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm] says: “I will say that, if it is a hoax, it is the most elaborate hoax I have ever read of.”
ROM [October 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm] says: “What i find intriguing is not Rossi but the attitude of Rossi’s critics. Here we have one man who may have or maybe not have invented a significant new means of generating useable energy.”
RockyRoad [October 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm] says: “It is comments like this that stack unwarranted derision on Rossi and others working on LENR. Please avail yourself of the opportunity to investigate what’s on the Web …”

All of you must, I mean *MUST* read about this unbelievable scam … THE KEELY MOTOR COMPANY. The benefit of the doubt can never ever be given automatically to someone in these circumstances regardless of the insinuation from those quoted comments. The benefit of the doubt has no place in Science. Nor does trust, or goodwill. Especially not when there is money to be made.
There is much overlap here with the AGW scammers. Suspension of skepticism just because you wish for an easy solution to a problem (no more OPEC!) is exactly what the AGW CO2 scammers prey upon (Carbon tax will save the planet!).
How do some of us fail to make this connection!

Les Francis
October 29, 2011 3:18 am

I wont believe it until I see Jamie and Adam test it out on Mythbusters.

Tufty
October 29, 2011 3:26 am

Nickel hydride appears to me to be the source of the energy. The E-cats will have been charged up with hydrogen beforehand. Applying heat starts the decomposition reaction, and this continues until the stored hydrogen is exhausted. With only a couple of tonnes of nickel, one could easily get to the sort of energy outputs claimed, but only for a few hours. The easy way to disprove this would simply be to keep it running.

oMan
October 29, 2011 3:29 am

I am loving this. It is a messy debate with bits of “fact” and BS flying all around the room; but the process works. It is dynamic and either it burns itself out (Rossi turns out to be a scammed, or we never get a clear-enough look behind the curtain) or it catches fire (he’s on to something new and strange). Is not this process of debate the way science itself works, or should? I am delighted that Anthony picked the topic.
I share the child-like sense of hope and wonder that LENR could work. It would solve so many practical problems. More philosophically, it would be a sign of “divine favor” that a bunch of stick-wielding simians had unlocked the doors of creation. That rhetoric is overheated to make the point: our collective self-regard, cultural confidence, excitement about our potential to “master the universe” would be transformed by this –not necessarily all for the good.
Of course, I am as hungry for a free lunch as the next guy and I grew up on a diet of science fiction, so I really hope it’s not a scam. But as a lawyer in the intellectual property world, and a guy who has heard the phrase “Coulomb barrier” once or twice, and who watched Pons and Fleischmann screw the pooch, I am going to wait and see. As others have said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Right now, there are too many hidden corners, extra wires and puzzling protocols for me to want to buy a ticket to the show. Secret process steps I could understand. Careless or too-clever patent claims I could understand. But secret buyers? Extra power sources to control the process but that require almost as much power as the process is said to produce? No detection of radiation for a nuclear fusion reaction –apparently because no instrumentation was used, or else because that step was super-secret? Not convincing.

commieBob
October 29, 2011 3:50 am

Chemical vs. Nuclear?
Chemical – If it runs only for a few hours
Nuclear – It runs for months
My bet, based on what we have seen so far, is that it is chemical with the ‘catalyst’ being the fuel.

Beesaman
October 29, 2011 3:55 am

I wonder how many jounalists other inventors such as Edison invited to trial runs of their inventions?

DirkH
October 29, 2011 4:30 am

kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
October 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm
“It’s a nuclear device. By the reasoning shown, if I was testing a small nuclear reactor, I could “get around” safety requirements by showing off the reactor to only a few people at a time. Does that make sense to you? How many safety regulations for nuclear devices are one allowed to “duck” by only having a small reactor with limited visitor access?”
He says he made it a private event, indicating that each visitor enters the room on his own responsibility. Makes sense. Rules for public demonstrations don’t apply in that case. Probably, if he lets the entire group in at once, it would automatically be classified as a public demo.

Roger Knights
October 29, 2011 4:41 am

acementhead says:
October 28, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Roger Knights says:
October 28, 2011 at 6:47 pm
Maybe, just maybe, he WANTS to convey that impression…

Yeah of course, only the true Messiah denies his divinity. Riiiiiiiight
This is a scam but it has shown one interesting thing; that the majority of “sceptics” who post on WUWT aren’t in fact sceptics at all but in reality are credulous believers. This is a sad day for truth.

Saying “Maybe, just maybe,” isn’t the language of a credulous believer. I was merely pointing out a possibility.
My hopes for this device have been diminished by Rossi’s behavior in recent days, as pointed out by some comments above.
I’m pleased we’ve had threads on this topic; they’ll provide a record of events and interpretations that people in the future can use to reconstruct how this device was being looked at by contemporaries.

Bob
October 29, 2011 5:02 am

A well-concealed experiment, to prevent theft, leaves me very suspicious. Just spent three years chasing double-dutch top secret processes that didn’t work. Hiding the process and results is the best way to cover up poor science and poorer measurements. Part of the time was chasing a novel and heretofore undiscovered property of zeolites. After months of obfustication of experimental technique and results, it turns out that we had been wasting time on measurement error.
This sounds much like my recent experience. Pardon me if I’m very skeptical. However, Rossi might want to talk to the owner of the company I work for, he is a sucker for non-experts who have secret processes and flashy stories. If he made his cold fusion machine out of junkyard parts, so much better.

October 29, 2011 5:23 am
Alex
October 29, 2011 5:32 am

smells like a scam

October 29, 2011 5:33 am

I don’t think the customer is Manutencoop. OTOH many unidentified Swedes were in attendance.

Jit
October 29, 2011 5:41 am

John West:
Regarding the Cu isotopes – that’s what made me convinced it was a fraud. It seemed as if Rossi had provided a sample of Cu filed off some plumbing pipework. That is not the balance of isotopes that would result from a nuclear reaction.
Unless he gave a fake sample to prevent anyone from deducing the underlying process – and I can’t see that happening.

phil
October 29, 2011 5:41 am

Seriously, I think this kind of article does not belong on WUWT, it just makes this blog look foolish and affects its credibility. In any case, what does this cold fusion article have to do with AGW? It’s a distraction from the focus of this blog. I’m especially surprised to see this article after reading how Anthony caught Al Gore’s scam ‘high-school physics’ experiment. I defo do not visit WUWT to read pseudoscience. Next thing, they’ll be telling us that perpetual motion machines and Tesla generators work. For those who need a refresher course in physics, see MIT’s free open courseware video lectures by Professor Walter Lewin.

RockyRoad
October 29, 2011 5:43 am

Septic Matthew says:
October 28, 2011 at 8:53 pm

rocky road: Did you know Pons and Fleischmann were never refuted with science–they were the object of political refutation.
You’re kidding, right? No one was ever able to make one of those devices put out either heat or gamma rays reliably.

Did you know that at the time, MIT was charged with “finding out” whether there was a reaction and they responded within two (2) weeks. They never called Pons and Fleischmann to find out it takes four (4) weeks to load the palladium with deuterium BEFORE the reaction would even start. But here’s the kicker–They never asked Pons and Fleischmann a single question about how to do the experiment. They just charged ahead and ignored the five years of research Pons and Fleischmann put into the experiment before they got the reactions they did.
Now wouldn’t you agree that’s an example of Epic Fail on the part of these so-called “researchers” at MIT? And did you know MIT had $billions of dollars in hot fusion grant money pending at the time? Would “follow the money trail” be a viable reason for their jumping the gun on CF? Indeed it would. The team of investigators at MIT that were asked to investigate this were part of its lavishly-funded hot fusion laboratory, then called the MIT Plasma Fusion Center. (They knew NOTHING about cold fusion at the time, by the way.)
http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/MalloveEmitspecial.pdf
Or you could read the companion article referenced in the link above written in 1999 by Dr. Eugene Mallove, who was the Chief Science Writer of the MIT News Office from 1987 to 1991 which says in part:

The record is clear: Had MIT researchers behaved responsibly and ethically as scientists in the spring of 1989, it is most probable that a position of open-mindedness by MIT on the difficult subject of verifying the Utah claims would have averted the highly negative U.S. Department of Energy Report drafted in the summer
of 1989. History would have been far different. Most likely, expensive engineering programs aimed at hot fusion reactors would have been cancelled in the early 1990s; plasma physics studies would have continued at MIT, and MIT researchers,
including those at the Plasma Fusion Center, might have become the most eminent cold fusion researchers in the world.
It was not to be. Cool heads could have reserved judgement. They could have followed the experimental facts where they would ultimately lead, but they chose not to. Heads were not
cool, they were hot. MIT could have been in the vanguard of the new scientific field as befits its leadership role in science, but this did not happen. MIT chose—and is continuing to choose—defense of its existing professional support from the Federal government over meticulously documented evidence of a new scientific field and the pathway to revolutionary echnologies.

It should be obvious to anyone so inclined to do the research that government funding of hot fusion, similar to government funding of CAGW, has corrupted the scientific process in that field. And similar to the current paradigm, those like Andrea Rossi who are willing to put their own money on the line in the quest for commercialization of LENR are no different that those of us getting big fat checks from “Big Oil” in the quest for the truth about global warming. (Obviously, my reference to “checks from Big Oil” is a crass ruse–just to spell it out for eveybody.)

Twobob
October 29, 2011 6:13 am

I have followed Mr Rrossie for some time now.
From trying to convert wast material into Petrol.
It was said that was a scam.
I understand that the Nickel has to be 999 nickel.
The last test for the buyer ran in self-sustained mode for 5.5 hours.
It produced aprox Half a Mega Watt.
There was 400 kwatt generator around back of the Unit.
( was this running at full blast for 5.5 hours :-] )
I think the Engineers doing the tests might have noticed if it was .
I hold an open mind that this is still to good to be true.
Oh! but please let it be True.
If the Leonardo Corporation does go into production of the 10kwatt domestic unit.
At the end of November, I will wait a year and the buy one.
Here’s hoping for a cheaper warmer future.

RockyRoad
October 29, 2011 6:14 am

Beesaman says:
October 29, 2011 at 3:55 am

I wonder how many jounalists other inventors such as Edison invited to trial runs of their inventions?

Or how many reporters attended the first flight by the Wright brothers? (Note: zero)

In years to come Dayton newspapers would proudly celebrate the hometown Wright brothers as national heroes, but the local reporters somehow missed one of the most important stories in history as it was happening a few miles from their doorstep. James M. Cox, publisher at that time of the Dayton Daily News (later governor of Ohio and Democratic presidential nominee in 1920), expressed the attitude of newspapermen—and the public—in those days when he admitted years later, “Frankly, none of us believed it.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wright_Brothers

Pierre
October 29, 2011 6:23 am

A complete waste of time until it is open-sourced or third party verified….move along please

wsbriggs
October 29, 2011 6:28 am

Having closely followed the low-energy nuclear reaction/chemically assisted nuclear reactions area for >20 years, I’m concerned that this is an unfortunate bit of promotion using a marginally effective reactor.
Arata in Japan demonstrated a reactor in 2009, publicly, and allowed photographs to be taken. His reactor has been replicated, however, the problem for productization will remain a full understanding of why it works. 95% success rate doesn’t cut it when you’re trying to produce consistent power.
The Rossi demo has too much showmanship for my taste, and continually cuts off prior to a drop dead, “Its got to be nuclear to run this long,” time. I’ve seen the number of 16 hours in the literature as I recall. Like they say, time will tell.

slow to follow
October 29, 2011 6:31 am

Blade October 29, 2011 at 3:01 am – re: Keely, fantastic link 🙂 Thanks for a fun read!
*******
Re: who is paying and investors –
Anybody have any idea how Rossi is set up as a trading entity?
Anybody know if Italy has similar schemes to this?:
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ct/forms-rates/claims/randd.htm
“Rate of tax relief or credit
The tax relief on allowable R&D costs incurred after 1 August 2008 is 175 per cent – that is, for each £100 of qualifying costs, your company or organisation could have its Corporation Tax bill reduced by an additional £75 on top of the £100 spent.”….

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
October 29, 2011 6:35 am

From Update, 2nd source:

According to the customer’s 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 – just under half the promised power of one megawatt.

From the “This is how the test was done” section on that page:

According to the controller Fioravanti, power from the genset was switched on to the heating resistors in the modules around 10.30, with an initial power of 120 kW, which was gradually increased to 180 kW.
At 12.30 began self sustained mode, which means that the power to the resistors which are used to “ignite” the process was shut down. The plant then ran without any energy input other than the fans and the pumps for five and a half hours.
The total energy released between 12:30 and 18:00 was calculated from the amount of water heated and evaporated. The water flow was measured with two water meters, and according to the controller’s report the energy amounted to a total of 2635 kWh.
Subtracting the energy for pumps and fans, amounting to 66 kWh, this equals a net energy of 2569 kWh, which corresponds to an average power of 467 kW.
Subtracting the energy supplied during startup, about 320 kWh at an average power of 160 kW, the net energy would still be 2249 kWh. In this case the energy output during startup should also be estimated and added.

So let’s say the total net output was 2500 kWh.
2500 kWh = 8,532,500 BTU (1 kWh = 3413 BTU)
1 gallon fossil diesel -> 130,500 BTU
(source)
Energy produced equivalent to 65.4 gallons of diesel.
A 500 kW diesel generator (the reported guessed-at size) at full load will consume approximately 35.7 gal/hr (source).
35.7 gal/hr diesel -> 1365 kW.
500kW/1365kW = 0.366.
Thus said diesel generator is about 36.6% efficient at full load.
Calculating fuel consumption for diesel generator to make as much energy as electricity as the E-cat rig generated as heat:
65.4 gal equivalent / 0.366 efficiency = 179 gal diesel.
Run time of said generator to generate that energy:
179 gal / 35.7gal/hr = 5.01 hrs
By current US standards (source), the minimum efficiency of a fossil-fueled boiler for heating is 80%. For a high-efficiency condensing unit the minimum is 90%.
Calculating consumption for diesel burned in a plain boiler equal to E-cat rig production:
65.4 gal / 0.8 = 81.8 gal
For condensing boiler:
65.4 gal / 0.9 = 72.7 gal
Conclusions:
1. All of the energy apparently generated by the E-cat rig could have been generated as electricity by said 500MW diesel generator.
2. It is more than twice as efficient to burn diesel directly for heat than to heat water with electricity from a diesel generator.
If they could get these E-cats running indefinitely, then they may well be economically worthwhile. From what has been shown, I can’t see any real advantage over a conventional boiler, especially over, say, a natural gas-fueled condensing boiler.

Dagobert
October 29, 2011 6:40 am

Wasn’t Andrea Rossi the guy who sat in prison for fraud for a couple of years when his waste oil invention imploded in the 80s? Apparently he used the time well and picked up some serious, nobel price worthy knowledge while reading some Planck and Heisenberg in his cell.

slow to follow
October 29, 2011 6:56 am

KD- “From what has been shown, I can’t see any real advantage over a conventional boiler, especially over, say, a natural gas-fueled condensing boiler.”
Entertainment? 🙂
More fun here:
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/

Luther Wu
October 29, 2011 6:58 am

Believe, doubt or know…
we can not know at this point.

kramer
October 29, 2011 7:10 am

I hope this works and can be used to provide useful electricity. I think a technological breakthrough like this would be great for all humanity.

Dave Springer
October 29, 2011 7:16 am

Link to US Patent Application:
http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220110005506%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20110005506&RS=DN/20110005506
I’m reading it. I’m the named inventor on four granted patents and was a member of the patent committee at a major corporation where I evaluated approximately 1000 abstracts and made a recommendation on whether they were suitable for filing. I approved about 300 for further development and filing and as far as I know every one of those 300 was eventually granted. Evaluation included value to the company, novelty, obviousness, and prior art. About 10 engineers from various disciplines, an IP attorney, and an IP paralegal constituted the committee.
I’m not a chemist or physicist so I can’t really say much about the feasibility or whether there’s enough information in the patent for someone skilled in the art to produce a working embodiment of it. Perhaps others here can.
Interesting I found it by searching for applications with the words nickel and hydrogen in the titles. I got 40 hits and they were all, except for this one, related to nickel metal hydride (NiMh) batteries which are the poor man’s choice when he can’t afford Lithium-Ion (LIon). Coincidently I was a key engineer in the development of the first commercially sold laptop computer in the early 1990’s to employ Lithium-Ion batteries and was involved with quite a few patents surrounding them all to do with microcontroller charge/discharge algorithms but not the actual chemistry or construction of the battery itself.
At any rate given nickel-hydrogen chemistry is a very common in rechargeable batteries probably second only to lead-acid in everyday use one might wonder if all the secrecy and short duration of demonstrations is because the heat being generated is coming from NiMh electrical generation rather than any exotic heretofore unknown low energy nuclear reaction.

DirkH
October 29, 2011 7:19 am

phil says:
October 29, 2011 at 5:41 am
“Seriously, I think this kind of article does not belong on WUWT, it just makes this blog look foolish and affects its credibility.”
It starts to get tiring to constantly find people telling Anthony what belongs on his blog and what doesn’t; don’t you people find a more original way of nitpicking. (I know, it’s hard, you don’t.)

slow to follow
October 29, 2011 7:24 am

Dagobert – “Wasn’t Andrea Rossi the guy who sat in prison for fraud for a couple of years when his waste oil invention imploded in the 80s?”
Could be – can’t know for sure at this point though:
http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/RossiECat/RossiPetroldragonStory.shtml
http://theeestory.com/topics/7700?page=1

jfab
October 29, 2011 7:26 am

Apparently the whole ‘customer’ story was a marketing thing, there is not customer at all. The customer ‘controller’ was Italian, yeah sure 🙂

DocMartyn
October 29, 2011 7:32 am

I think that we have some sort of choice in that the inventor is either a Bernie Madoff or a Nikola Tesla. I am not sure if the thing works or not, but I am sure that Andrea Rossi thinks it works. I don’t think he would invest this time and effort in a system that when sold, will be shown to be a hoax. As far as Andrea Rossi is concerned, he has made the biggest breakthrough since Prometheus. It is uncommon, but not unknown, for a crackpot to become a genius overnight. However, just because sometimes a genius appears to be a crackpot, it doesn’t mean that a crackpot isn’t a crackpot.
I withhold judgment, as it is clear that Rossi wants the money and the fame (and probably the babes), and does not trust the patenting system, governments, institutions or companies not to rip him off.

Prometeo
October 29, 2011 7:40 am

@kadaka
The efficiency of the eCat is irrelevant at the moment. The most important thing is to prove whether there are new physics we can take advantage from. The diesel engine is also irrelevant, if this technology is proven to be true you can use electricity from an eCat to start up more e-cats self-sustaining each other.
Was the airplane commercially viable when the Wright brothers made their first public tests? What was the point of flying besides a brief few minutes of entertainment?

daniel maris
October 29, 2011 7:50 am

People should understand that this wasn’t just Rossi’s effort. He built on the results obtained by Forcardi and others I believe. Whenever someone shouts “scam”, they have to accept that they are accusing the distinguished profs of being bamboozled or deluded or in on the scam – and not just once but over a time of years now, having seen the machine set up at close range many times.
I am not a “true believer” but my scepticism is met and disarmed to some extent by those thoughts. But on the other hand, all the attendant secrecy about customers and so on tends to reactivate scepticism.
It’s not an easy call.

Dagobert
October 29, 2011 7:53 am

The Wright brothers didn’t do anything that they (or anybody else with a halfway decent knowledge of physics) couldn’t explain. People have flown before – only not with an engine – and nature has shown long before mankind that flight is not only possible but trivial. And, of course, they didn’t hide their first 20 or so flights behind a large wooden wall on the beach and let only a few, hand picked spectators behind it to measure the skidmarks in the sand afterwards.

Dagobert
October 29, 2011 7:59 am

>> Could be – can’t know for sure at this point though
Actually that was a rethorical question. Andrea Rossi WAS the guy who sat in prison for a number of reasons (innocent as the driven snow, according to himself, obviously).

steve fitzpatrick
October 29, 2011 8:05 am

A bit of weekend humor, nothing more. What the heck, everyone needs a good laugh now and then.

Erik Ramberg
October 29, 2011 8:06 am

It is absurd to be discussing this scam. There is no question that Rossi is a fraud. He doesn’t even know how to talk: “..it generated 470 kilowatt hours per hour”. The video of the setup is hilarious. Large cables connected to generators which were on when the test was running. But of course none of that energy went into the buckets of water.
The test was so exhausting that he couldn’t talk about it, but had to go play tennis instead. What a joke.
You are certainly free to include whatever you want in this blog. But it ain’t science, that’s for sure.

Editor
October 29, 2011 8:15 am

OK it’s a scam.
Now what?

nutso fasst
October 29, 2011 8:26 am

Cirby: ” …there was one of those multi-level marketing companies, selling vitamins and such. They had one particular minor product in their line that was unique – they were literally the only company in the world that knew how to extract and package that one particular extract. It turned out that it really WAS a very good supplement…”
This could’ve be an interesting story if it included the name of the company and the product. As is, it’s a myth. Like the claimed efficiency of the E-Cat.

October 29, 2011 8:45 am

Anthony: “That’s what this blog does – we try out ideas.”
Oh, really, Anthony? But why are you “trying” this pure pseudoscience, without presenting any new scientific or factual content at all, for the fifth time or so? When will the readers be allowed to conclude that your blog has joined those that actively promote “green energy” pseudoscience?
One may say the same thing about the climate alarmists in general. They’re just “trying ideas”, aren’t they? Like the idea that the CO2 is killing the planet. Except that they have also been making living out of these lies for decades so they’re not just “trying”; they are actively cheating the world.
This article shouldn’t have been written because it contains no new evidence and it just repeatedly struggles to advocate the indefensible. It’s just another promotion of another theater of the very same type that’s been described many times: an uncontrollable “demonstration” that is claimed to have created energy but there’s no evidence one could actually verify. Obviously, the “anonymous consumers” have either been duped or they are a part of the game.
To support the idea that something like that could work, in contradiction with known laws of physics, one needs some genuine scientific evidence, under controllable conditions, instead of pseudo-evidence and “demonstrations” meant to bring profit to someone with religious “testimonies” and completely uncontrollable flows of energy.
You don’t have any evidence worth the name so given the knowledge science has, Rossi is a scammer unless proved otherwise. You can’t replace evidence by repeated pseudo-evidence and by implicit threats that those who don’t praise this complete nonsense are politically incorrect.

Barry R
October 29, 2011 8:52 am

I suspect that most readers of this blog are skeptical of the test and the “nearly free energy”, and rightly so. The comments make that pretty clear, in spite of the efforts of a few drop-in trolls trying to score points. At the same time, I think most of us are willing to be convinced by clear enough, extensive enough testing (which this last test clearly wasn’t), to give it a tiny fraction of a percent chance of being a break-through. Why not? I’m not going to invest money in it. Hopefully my government isn’t stupid enough to invest in it. So why not keep half an eye on it and quietly hope against all odds that it isn’t a scam or a mistake?
No downside, and if the million or more to one shot comes home we get to watch Mann and all of the others who are living off the Global Warming meme become irrelevant. Fine. We won’t burn any more coal because something else is cheaper. End of discussion. End of IPCC. End of Carbon Trading schemes. End of grants to prove global warming, with their accompanying distortions of science. End of gravy train.
That’s all fun to imagine, though most of us know that the chances of it actually happening are extremely low.

RockyRoad
October 29, 2011 8:56 am

Luboš Motl says:
October 29, 2011 at 8:45 am

Anthony: “That’s what this blog does – we try out ideas.”
Oh, really, Anthony? But why are you “trying” this pure pseudoscience, without presenting any new scientific or factual content at all, for the fifth time or so? When will the readers be allowed to conclude that your blog has joined those that actively promote “green energy” pseudoscience?

And when are you going to take the time to learn about LENR? Your inadequacies are showing in spades. Here, start with this, Lubos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNn_Z6wCIk and go from there! And if you still think it’s “complete nonsense”, then you haven’t done your homework (or are literally in the pockets of BIg Oil).
When you say:

To support the idea that something like that could work, in contradiction with known laws of physics, one needs some genuine scientific evidence, under controllable conditions, instead of pseudo-evidence and “demonstrations” meant to bring profit to someone with religious “testimonies” and completely uncontrollable flows of energy.

indicates you are completely ignorant of LENR. Get up to speed! “Known laws of physics” according to who? You? Laughable.

RockyRoad
October 29, 2011 9:04 am

Erik Ramberg says:
October 29, 2011 at 8:06 am


You are certainly free to include whatever you want in this blog. But it ain’t science, that’s for sure.

And I’m just as certain you’re clueless as to what LENR stands for and what happens when it works. So your conclusion that “it ain’t science” is a bogus one. Just as the flat-earther’s looked at the horizon, couldn’t see any curvature, and proclaimed the earth to be flat.

October 29, 2011 9:07 am

well this is exciting!
I love following the replies because therein is both wisdom and rubbish, and if I can handle the uncertainties of discernment myself, that all increases my skill in the scientific process, applied not just to the matter of LENR but also to our psychologies. Thank you Ric Werme. This is how science unfolds – daring to ask questions.
(1) The short, science-deficient replies tend to correlate with the replies saying Scam! vide warmists R Gates and JohnB.
(2) as the thread lengthens, the wisdom deepens. This shows through the following posts:
ROM says: October 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm
RockyRoad (various posts)
ferd berple says: October 28, 2011 at 8:10 pm
Mark says: October 28, 2011 at 8:19 pm
Philip Bradley says: October 28, 2011 at 10:36 pm
Logan in AZ says: October 29, 2011 at 2:34 am

I’d like to add some points (a) the claim that Rossi mortgaged his house, is surely checkable; (b) there have indeed been high-powered conmen, but the scientific answer to wariness is questions, not wait-and-see; (c) there are mysteries around Tesla’s behaviour too, that could be explained in many ways (eg see Logan-in-Az) that do not impugn his unearthly genius or the marketability of his work.
(3) I’d like to recommend two books at this point: Biological Transmutations, by C.L.Kervran; and Nuclear Transmutation of Stable and Radioactive Isotopes in Biological Systems, by Vladimir I. Vysotskii (Kiev National Shevchnko University) and Alla A. Kornilova (Moscow State University).
Both books demonstrate academically-recognized (and academically-forgotten or -suppressed) knowledge that nuclear transmutation already takes place in biological systems, obviously at cool temperatures.

Dr A Burns
October 29, 2011 9:10 am

For the other skeptics like me who picked him as a scammer:
“Twenty years ago he was arrested for illegal importing of gold from the Swiss.
“In the 1980s he was involved in a scam with industrial waste. It is a complex thing to explain, but the scam cost the Lombardy region € 25 million.

Rod Everson
October 29, 2011 9:18 am

Reactions of an observer not versed in the science:
1. If it’s a scam it’s both elaborate and foolish, for it’s hard to see how Rossi cashes out, especially if he’s in hock up to his ears already. If it doesn’t work, he’s broke, washed up, and will have lost all credibility. How does he make any money off of something that doesn’t work, unless he’s going for government funding, a la the Solyndra bunch? Yet there’s no indication that he’s doing so, that I can see so far.
Conclusion: Either Rossi, himself, must think it works, or Rossi is a complete crackpot who doesn’t care about his future, only about getting all the attention possible for a brief stint in his life. In other words, if it’s a scam, it’s not a moneymaking scam, but an attention-getting scam, certainly possible if he’s a big enough flake.
But, if he thinks it works, then he would know that the generator isn’t providing the excess power, and he would know that he hadn’t just created an exothermic chemical reaction. (If he’s just after notoriety, of course, he also knows that the opposite is true.)
As far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out.
2. Of course Anthony should cover this on his blog. If it’s a scam, we get another extended discussion on interpreting scams, and isn’t AGW one of the biggest scams of all time? [Aside: quoting Herman Cain on AGW: “It’s a scam.” Almost ensured my vote with that comment alone…]
As far as I’m concerned, one of the main topics of this site is scams…windmills, solar schemes, taxpayer holdups like cash for clunkers, AGW, the hockey stick, tree rings ignored, Climategate emails, heat islands ignored, polar bears disappearing, monitoring stations disappearing, sea level rising, etc.
And if it’s not a scam, great. Who could argue against the decision to discuss it here then?
3. It’s fascinating how the comments lead to further knowledge, or at least better information, in here. The MIT discussion alone made the whole thread worth reading, and makes me wonder whether it was Pons/Fleishmann perpetrating the fraud, or MIT? Given the power of government funding dollars, if I had to bet, my money would be placed on it being MIT.

Dennis Kuzara
October 29, 2011 9:18 am

Andrea Rossi’s patent application
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CARRYING OUT NICKEL AND HYDROGEN EXOTHERMAL REACTION
link is here:
http://tinyurl.com/rossi-patent

Dave Springer
October 29, 2011 9:19 am

Look folks, there’s certainly plenty of room for doubt about this e-cat device. It smells like a hoax from every direction.
Yet even though the phenomenon, if real, would be a new and/or unexplainable by current physics this is not in and of itself a valid reason for discounting it. It’s not a perpetual motion machine. No thermodynamic laws are being violated anymore than they are violated by a nuclear power plant. E=MC^2 explains where huge amounts of energy can seemingly come from nothing. It doesn’t actually come from nothing but rather comes from a miniscule amount of matter getting converted to energy. The trick is that most matter is very stable and doesn’t spontaneously turn into energy quickly enough to be useful except under huge extremes of temperature and pressure that are not easily generated or controlled.
Catalysts however are weird and often beyond our capacity to predict so we often find them the old fashioned way by trial and error sometimes with some clues to guide us and sometimes not. While catalysts usually denote something that speeds up chemical reactions there are plenty of weirdnesses at the subatomic level that defy explanations.
When I look at claims of LENR or cold fusion of course I’m skeptical but I also recall the skepticism over high temperature superconductors. To this day there is no theory in physics that explains high temperature superconductors and to this day we discover them mostly through serendipity guided only by playing around with the formulas for weird lattice structures that have known superconducting properties and hoping that we stumble upon something that works at a higher temperature than the antecedants. Occasionally some incrementally better structure is discovered.
Simply and truthfully put our theoretical models of reality break down at the edge of the envelope in the domains of the very small and the very large both in time and in dimension. Contrary to popular belief we don’t have all the answers and are not merely in the process of filling in the details with faster and faster computers to crunch the numbers.
But I don’t tend to put much faith in finding solutions via trial and error. A room temperature superconductor that is cheap and ductile might exist but in the engineering business you can’t predict how long it takes to get lucky when you’re just guessing or how long it takes to discover something that you have no knowledge of. This is why I pin my hopes on solving the long-term energy problem on a technology that is an engineering problem where there is no discovery needed but rather one that can definitely be solved with time and money. That technology is synthetic biology. Extant natural biology already proves that sunlight, water, and air can be turned into solid, liquid, and gaseous hydrocarbon fuels. The problem is merely one of modification of those extant technologies to suit human purposes. Hydrocarbon fuels produced by naturally occuring organisms are not usually a desired end product of said organisms but rather a metabolic waste product where producing more than a small amount, at best, has no survival benefit for the organism so in the harsh world of natural selection and survival of the fittest these biological products WE desire are minimized in nature rather than maximized. Since our synthetic organisms won’t have to compete in the wild and survive on their own we can modify them to maximize production of products that we desire. It’s only a matter of time as we engineer faster and better systems for cutting, pasting, and genetic modifications and inventory all the extant functionality in nature. It’s pretty much just a matter of engineering better, faster, cheaper, automated biology lab equipment -. a problem defined by time and money not basic discovery. The rate of progress in genetic engineering is incredible and reminds me of what happened in the semi-conductor world during the 40 years of my involvment with that. Already the Venter Institute has been able to assemble a working minimal bacterial genome from mail-order DNA snippets. This was a huge milestone. I suggest paying attention to it.
http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100526/full/465406a.html

Synthetic genome resets biotech goals
The assembly of a genome that can ‘reboot’ cells of a closely related species is one step in a much longer path.

Synthetic biology is the next big technological revolution and it’s going to make those that came before (even the biggies like metallurgy, agriculture, electricity & electronics) look trivial in comparison. We’re talking about being able to harness the energy of the sunlight that falls on the earth pretty for free and building anything we want out of naturally occuring materials pretty much for free. It all simply hinges on being able to customize and control self-reproducing micro-organisms. The range of capabilities and materials they already work with in nature is huge so it’s just a matter of modifying them with control programs like so many little self-reproducing microscopic factory workers that don’t need paychecks or pension programs.

RockyRoad
October 29, 2011 9:21 am

Dave Springer says:
October 29, 2011 at 7:16 am

Link to US Patent Application:

At any rate given nickel-hydrogen chemistry is a very common in rechargeable batteries probably second only to lead-acid in everyday use one might wonder if all the secrecy and short duration of demonstrations is because the heat being generated is coming from NiMh electrical generation rather than any exotic heretofore unknown low energy nuclear reaction.

Sorry Dave, that obvious source of the heat has been ruled out. Besides, we now have a well-respected researcher stateside that is claiming to have replicated Rossi’s e-cat cold fusion device. Here’s the link:
http://energycatalyzer3.com/news/some-of-rossi%e2%80%99s-cold-fusion-results-reportedly-replicated

October 29, 2011 9:26 am

Dr A Burns “Twenty years ago he was arrested for illegal importing of gold from the Swiss. In the 1980s he was involved in a scam with industrial waste. It is a complex thing to explain, but the scam cost the Lombardy region € 25 million.”
Correct. So it could be scam now. Or not. It’s also possible that these earlier accusations were false. Or true. He could be a Robin Hood. An innocent trying to help the planet. Or a showman and gambler. The book Secrets of the Soil tells many stories of suppression of inventions that would truly benefit the planet, because they got in the way of some big business. Heck I’m sure we all know such stories. Climate Science is full of them…
Questions, more questions, not naive acceptance nor naive rejection.

ChE
October 29, 2011 9:49 am

My quatloos are on scam.

noaaprogrammer
October 29, 2011 9:52 am

It is appropriate that this site make scientific posts of breaking news – whether of eventual substance or not – so that the skeptical community can openly discuss and debate the phenomena associated with the news, thereby honing such skills necessary for advancement. After all, what will this site be discussing after AGW is laid to rest?

October 29, 2011 9:53 am

I forgot to reply to Anthony’s sentence
“If you don’t like it don’t read it. cheers, Anthony”
to a critic of cold fusion (nicknamed Carbon-based life) which I view as an extremely dangerous one. It implicitly says that Anthony only wants the cold fusion articles (and maybe others?) to be read by those who are eager to say that this pseudoscience makes any sense. But you can’t get a balanced and complete evaluation of scientific problems if you impose these pressures, Anthony.
This pressure is *exactly* the way how the climate science was filled with alarmists. They would tell their potentially inconvenient colleagues: “if you don’t like it [the idea that CO2 is dangerous], just go away”. The result of this inverse selection is that after 20 years, about 97%-98% of the people employed in that discipline are completely insane. You have of course the right to filter people according to their emotional relationships to particular pseudoscientific claims but if you adopt the policy you suggested, Anthony, WUWT will simply cease to be an objective and sensible blog that is known for an impartial evaluation of claims.
According to all the available real evidence, removing pseudoevidence, the critics of these cold fusion claims are contributing much more to your blog than the mindless advocates of it. What I am experiencing is the increasing pressure that tries to gradually delegitimize the critics of this nonsense and give credit to Rossi even though there is absolutely no new evidence that would be supporting that there’s anything interesting going on here.
More comments:
http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/10/wuwt-forbes-wired-keep-on-pushing-cold.html
REPLY: Lubos, I think you over-analyse. It is a current news item of interest to many, a curiosity to some, and pseudoscience to others. You forget that I routinely cover pseudoscience in the way some over-hyped climate conclusions are presented, and you don’t complain about that, mainly because you publish on some of the same pseudoscience yourself.
I’m [no longer – see PPS] curious to see how it pans out. It is fraud? or is there some value in it? I don’t know but I want to find out. And when/if it is shown to be a fraud, WUWT will report that too. Right now, the question on E-Cat fits the masthead: “Watts Up With That”? -Anthony
P.S. When are you going to fix that psychedelically awful blog format of yours? I don’t like it, so I don’t often read it. 😉 Cheers
P.P.S. Update, despite the eye bending colors on your blog, I was able to read the first paragraph of your article, and noted the track record of the man you pointed out, which I wasn’t aware of before today. As a result, I’ve made an update above to the body of the article. I let Ric try out this idea, but had I known, I’d never have allowed the first article much less this one. If/when it is proven to be scam or valid, then I’ll have another report. In the meantime, I view it in the same vein as some climate junkscience. Thanks for pointing out the track record. Such character issues tend to persist, especially when large sums of money are involved. Cheers. – Anthony
Ric REPLY: There are a few comments about Rossi’s past in the older posts, I touched on a couple points in them. There are so many claims and accusations from both sides that I won’t be able to come up with a definitive statement. I’m disappointed that Luboš only gives one side. If you have faith in Italy’s government and legal system (and Italian business partners!) I may not have much to offer, but somewhere in there is how Rossi garnered enough wealth to fund this project. My conclusion is that Rossi is no saint, but was more victim than devil.
I’ll spend some time tonight pulling some pieces together, but several inches of global warming are falling tonight, and I have to get ready for that.

October 29, 2011 10:07 am

Rossi has been very picky about who he lets in; Enrico Billi, a nuclear physicist and friend of Rossi’s, who is presently living in China and helping to open doors there for this technology; Professor Christos Stremmenos, from the University of Bologna, who told me all about his theory of how the technology works; Pierre Clauzon, nuclear engineering professor from France, who told me about several theoretical physicists trying to understand cold fusion in general and the E-Cat in particular; Uzikova Irina, a nuclear plant designer from Russia; Stefan Heglesson, representing a Swedish interest in the technology; Loris Ferrari, Associate Professor of Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Bologna, who will be one of the five professors to do the two year test of the E-Cat, which hopefully will be funded as a result of today’s test. They will study both the “how” and the “why” of the technology.
You cannot just handwave a team like this away.

JJNV
October 29, 2011 10:09 am

It’s possible to be open to ideas while still maintaining a strong healthy skepticism. I don’t buy it. But I do enjoy alternative science, and it’s an interesting story. I’m curious to see how it plays out. No need to get nasty or rude. (The many reactions people are having are kind of interesting too.)

RockyRoad
October 29, 2011 10:09 am

Luboš Motl says:
October 29, 2011 at 9:53 am

I forgot to reply to Anthony’s sentence
“If you don’t like it don’t read it. cheers, Anthony”
to a critic of cold fusion (nicknamed Carbon-based life) which I view as an extremely dangerous one. It implicitly says that Anthony only wants the cold fusion articles (and maybe others?) to be read by those who are eager to say that this pseudoscience makes any sense. But you can’t get a balanced and complete evaluation of scientific problems if you impose these pressures, Anthony.

I’ve not seen any of these so-called “pressures” you accuse Anthony of, Lubos. The pressure I bring to bear is for everybody to get up-to-speed on LENR before shooting their mouths off–that’s the embarrassing part, not the fact that LENR is an interesting subject making headway, or that Anthony gave Ric a chance to update eveybody on a few of the latest happenings (and I think Ric has been pretty even-handed about it, too).
Me? Like my “realist” attitude about CAGW, I’m a “realist” about CF/LENR. I just happen to be a grad of the U of U so naturally the P/F episode strikes close to home, but from my own research over a number of years and involvement in materials science I’m what you’d probably call a “realistic believer”. But, like Anthony or Ric, I’m not forcing my opinions on anybody, especially you–just eagerly revealing what I believe to be logical or infomational shortfalls. And you may call me a “mindless advocate” if you want, but it is you who appears to be disarmed with the facts.

John B
October 29, 2011 10:23 am

Lucy Skywalker says:
October 29, 2011 at 9:07 am
well this is exciting!
I love following the replies because therein is both wisdom and rubbish, and if I can handle the uncertainties of discernment myself, that all increases my skill in the scientific process, applied not just to the matter of LENR but also to our psychologies. Thank you Ric Werme. This is how science unfolds – daring to ask questions.
(1) The short, science-deficient replies tend to correlate with the replies saying Scam! vide warmists R Gates and JohnB.
—————
Of course the “scam” replies are short. That’s because they all amount to saying “extraordinary laims require extraordinary evidence”. There is nothing more to say. If Rossi has something, all he has to do is demonstrate it. Properly.
How can a group of self-professed “skeptics” be so gullible?

davidmhoffer
October 29, 2011 10:26 am

For those certain that it is a scam – we don’t have enough information to draw that conclusion with any certainty.
For those that think there is strong evidence it works – we don’t have enough information to draw that conclusion with any certainty.
Much of my professional life was selling bleeding edge technology to bleeding edge R&D organizations, and I got to meet plenty of seriously smart people. Some of them were more or less normal (whatever that term really means when applied to the human condition) but a fair number of them were complete eccentrics…to put it mildly. Jerry Huff proudly showed me his method for building a touch sensitive switch back when no one had ever heard of such a thing being possible. I asked if he patented it. Nope, he said, but he wrote a letter to Popular Electronics explaining how it worked… John Carlson built an entirely hydraulic pump jack before programmable controllers came along that current technology still has trouble matching for functionality. He had a vision one night in which he insists his deity told him it was evil and that night he cut the prototype to pieces and destroyed the documentation.
I could go on, and on with examples but extreme intelligence frequently comes with eccentric behaviour. Couple that with someone who also has minimal business experience in comparison to their technical experience, and I don’t think you can point at that person’s irrational behaviour and poor business acumen to prove it is a scam.
Leaving the cables from a diesel gen set plugged in during the demo run? Well that certainly raises suspiscions, but on the other hand, anyone perpetrating a scam would probably go out of their way to hide those rather than waving their hands and saying “its ok, they’re shut off”.
As for his patent and the missing information, I learned something about patents a long time ago from having been involved in many research projects that wound up producing patented products or techniques. By filing for a patent, you are putting your intellectual property into the public domain where it is now governed by legal processes. As any IP lawyer will tell you:
“A patent is only as good as your ability to defend it”
If Rossi really has something (and I think he has SOMETHING of interest, just of what value I don’t know) he would do well to keep the “secret sauce” away from the public eye for as long as is practical…that being until he has sufficient financial backing to defend the patent.

CoRev
October 29, 2011 10:30 am

Ric, thanks for the article. I have been following this thing for several months now, and got similar comments back when I emailed to several friends and acquaintances the reference to the 10/6 test.
Only time will tell whether it is valid or not, but it sure is interesting to follow and necessary to resolve the questions.
Lubos, for heaven’s sake take a nap.

October 29, 2011 10:30 am

I’m amazed at the mindless, hostile skepticism expressed by so many here. I read WUWT because Anthony concentrates on presenting the science behind AGW skepticism. It’s not just mindless negativity like so many of the comments on this article.
I have no reservations about calling AGW a scam, because I have looked at the science on both sides and determined that the scam is obvious.
But on this thread, people are calling e-Cat a scam seemingly without any attempt to investigate the underlying science. At least a minority here have mentioned the long history of successful replications of LENR reactions. That’s a start. There has been enough verification and replication of positive LENR results that for anyone to call this “perpetual motion” as one on this thread, is just willful ignorance.
I have also seen no reference at all here to the work of Frank Znidarsic, which gives a mathematical framework of how LENR reactions work.
There is no longer any question that LENR is a real phenomenon. It has been replicated too many times. And now with Frank Znidarsic’s work, there is a theoretical framework to explain it. The only question is whether Rossi has managed to develop it in a form that is consistent enough and powerful enough to be commercially viable.

October 29, 2011 10:31 am

Anthony: “I’m curious to see how it pans out. It is fraud? or is there some value in it? I don’t know but I want to find out.”
How and why do you exactly expect that it will “pan out”? This guy has been doing the same trick – the same “demonstration” – for something like a year or more, without offering any real verifiable or detailed or otherwise credible evidence, and his clout has been growing due to uncritical promotion by people like you even though he’s still the same scammer or simpleton as he has been a year ago.
What will happen so that it “pans out”? The only thing that can happen is that someone finally starts a sort of prosecution against Rossi so that an investigation will begin but you are doing everything you can to prevent this from happening, even by threatening the critics who still realize that cold fusion is exactly as pseudoscientific as it was years ago.
Your lack of aesthetic sense for blog design has absolutely nothing to do with these issues so this addition of that remark at the end of your comment is a sort of ad hominem attack.
REPLY: See updates above, we wrote comments in passing. Hey it isn’t just me that thinks your blog format is hard on the eyes. Can’t you take a little fun being poked at you? But thanks for pointing out Mr. Rossi’s track record, I let Ric do these posts, but no more unless its proof one way or another. Now with the benefit of new info, I think it is likely a scam. – Anthony

Peter Brown
October 29, 2011 10:31 am

But, I want to Believe…..
So the eCat scam continues.
To the commenter Jim, I’ll be happy take your action (any one else too)! I’ll put up $1,000.00 cash right now, do you have any way of showing me you have $1,000,000.00 in liquid assets to pay for your loss?
I have actually look at putting this up on Intrade and create a line of betting.
But first we have too agree on what constitutes the bet.
For eCat to be considered successful, a device has to be well/correctly/sufficiently instrumented to measure all relevant electrical/fluid/gasses input/output for a sufficient period of time to validate some process is generating X more power than it consumes.
I don’t care what the “process” is, cold fusion or angels dancing on the head of a pin, just as long as it is generating energy.
The testing will have to be preformed in some form of “public” test by myself, with other WUWT skeptics and/or a trusted 3rd party (Underwriters Lab, National Institute of Science and Technology, etc). I have sufficient Shop space, net access to provide real-time camera feeds. I’ll need to help in system setup, getting the sensors wired to computer for data collection and publishing the results. What do you say WUWT community?
What do you say Jim, ready to put your money where you mouth is?
But back to reality.
It is really quite simple, Rossi has not now or ever validated his claim(s). Why is this so hard for you all to understand?
Mr Watts (Anthony) in a reply to a commenter says “That’s what this blog does – we try out ideas.” Well this is long past being just trying out ideas. The January or even the August posting one could say here is an idea/invention take a look. The lengthy discussion in August well documented Rossi’s lack of sufficient data required to validate his claims. Continuing to give him a forum simple aides the scam and reduces the “trust” in the WUWT brand (but it is Your brand too do with as you choose).
As rpercifield points out in today’s comment and from his, mine and other’s comments in the lengthy August posting about eCat. Rossi has simply refused to correctly instrument his device to validate his claim of energy production. He does not need to build a megawatt unit or a gigawat unit, he does not have too sacrifice a single bit of his intellectual property. He simple needs to take one of his devices, correctly instrument it and he will have PROOF of his device’s function. His unwillingness to do so should be taken as a scam.
As commenter Mark points out, we all should just ignore Rossi until he does provide real evidence.
Finally to Mr. Watts and WUWT credability, from the thread of comments here and from August, even in this community of Skeptics there is a strong thread of “But I want to Believe…” This is exactly how we get Solyndra’s.
Some true believer behind government doors says, yes but even the naysayers over at WUWT believe this guy Rossi so lets give him the $500 Million he needs to demonstrate his machine. You may laugh at the idea but I have been in the Federal Government and seen this kind of nonsense happen.
Pete

RockyRoad
October 29, 2011 10:39 am

John B says:
October 29, 2011 at 10:23 am


How can a group of self-professed “skeptics” be so gullible?

They can be up-to-speed on LENR. That’s what informed skeptics do. And you? Can I call you “gullible” for not being up to speed on LENR? No, there is a better term–(I’ll let you fill in the blank).

Septic Matthew
October 29, 2011 10:40 am

Lucy Skywalker: You cannot just handwave a team like this away.
If it is a hoax, it is the most elaborate hoax I have ever read of.
On the other hand, those team members are none of them close to the hardware when it is running.
A few of the posters do not seem to grasp or admit that what has been replicated that is “like” Rossi’s device (or devices when many are connected) is a device that produces very low power output. Low energy, cold, benchtop (etc.) fusion has been demonstrated. Not Pons and Fleischman (who did perpetrate a profitable hoax) but some others. Reliable stories appear from time to time (I read one in American Scientist about 15 years ago), and reliable devices are used to produce isotopes for medical purposes. They are consumers of power, not producers.
Now, back to the team. No one other than Rossi knows what is in his “catalyst”, so speculation about how the device manages to produce so much power, if it does, are pure speculation. Has anyone other than Rossi himself said what all those team members have contributed? Has anyone publicly claimed to know what is in Rossi’s catalyst?

Doug
October 29, 2011 10:45 am

I’m quite skeptical. Rossi continues to be weirder than weird, and I don’t see any long term performance ruling out an exothermic chemical reaction, If I had to bet, it would be that Rossi is sincere, but wrong.
I am quite happy to see it in discussed in this blog. There are not many places where curious folks from such diverse backgrounds converse. There is a difference in discussing nuclear and chemical reactions, and arguing about intelligent design. One can, and ultimately will, be tested and proven. What I am looking for in the discussion is:
–What evidence and measurements will give us definitive answers
–What news is out there that the evidence and measurements are coming available.
Seems WUWT is providing both.

TallDave
October 29, 2011 10:54 am

Anthony, re Rossi’s earlier troubles — I don’t see anything there that suggests the technology was fraudulent, it seems to just say that they didn’t follow environmental regulations and the tax code. It certainly doesn’t help his cause here, but I don’t think it should be viewed as disqualifying — I live a few miles from the mansion built by Insull before he was charged with fraud when the electricity bubble burst in the first half of the 20th.

TinOKC
October 29, 2011 10:55 am

bologna

Septic Matthew
October 29, 2011 10:57 am

Rod Everson: If it’s a scam it’s both elaborate and foolish, for it’s hard to see how Rossi cashes out, especially if he’s in hock up to his ears already.
We only have Rossi’s say-so on that one, don’t we? He only has to have one “investor” of some kind give him cash up front, not likely the State Gov’t of Utah, but perhaps a rich idiosyncratic technology junky like Howard Hughes, or a consortium of movie stars, or a credulous fund manager like the guys who cost Sumitomo, Orange County California, and Barings so much money. The list of “marks” goes on and on. Really, have not we all read of scams and thought: How could smart, well-informed people have fallen for such a scam?
Rossi only has to find one rich contrarian willing to lend him $2million up front. After all, if this thing works it’s worth lots more than $2million to start production under patent protection.
Paraphrasing Lincoln, you only have to fool one rich person one time.
If it works I’ll have to eat crow, but again remember the main issue at stake: low energy fusion has been reliably demonstrated; the incredible part of Rossi’s claim is a sustained high power output.

October 29, 2011 11:03 am

RockyRoad: “The pressure I bring to bear is for everybody to get up-to-speed on LENR before shooting their mouths off.”
Thanks for your advice. I assure you that I know about this business more than all the world’s champions of LENR combined.

Septic Matthew
October 29, 2011 11:08 am

As I’ve said in comments, we try out ideas here.
No quarrel from me. This has been a fun read. Statisticians tolerate a 5% false positive rate on new ideas, higher if there is a possible high payoff.

Jeremy
October 29, 2011 11:09 am

This is another pipe dream. The customer is either not a real customer but a plant, or they’re very stupid for offering any money.
I have friends with inventions that actually work, but they can’t get funding because when they talk to their funding sources they speak in caveats and realities. People like this promise those with money that they’ll be richer beyond imagination and they secure decades of income from what is ultimately a lie.

John B
October 29, 2011 11:09 am

RockyRoad says:
October 29, 2011 at 10:39 am
John B says:
October 29, 2011 at 10:23 am

How can a group of self-professed “skeptics” be so gullible?
They can be up-to-speed on LENR. That’s what informed skeptics do. And you? Can I call you “gullible” for not being up to speed on LENR? No, there is a better term–(I’ll let you fill in the blank).
—————–
Up to speed on LENR? OK, did that. If LENR is verified it would be the biggest thing since… Well, the biggest thing ever. We could stop burning coal for one thing, and start using virtually limitless, virtually free energy. It would be unbelievably huge!!! But, it goes against everything known to mainstream physics. That does not, in itself, mean it is wrong. After all, fission and (hot) fusion went against everything that was known at the time they were discovered. So Pons, Fleischman, Focardi, Rossi, just show the world a working, verifiable, replicable experiment. It doesn’t need to generate a Megawatt. A single Watt would do nicely, as long as it comes from a mechanism that can be exploited. Just like the Wright brothers’ flight only needed to last 30 seconds to be momentous.

John B
October 29, 2011 11:12 am

Septic Matthew says:
October 29, 2011 at 10:57 am

low energy fusion has been reliably demonstrated

—————-
Where? When? By whom?

G. Karst
October 29, 2011 11:18 am

I’m sorry, I just can’t see how Andrea Rossi can benefit from this, if it is in fact a scam. He would have to flee somewhere, with the money, to benefit. What country would shield him from such fraud recovery and/or prosecution (and who would want to live there, for the rest of his life).
That only leaves, self delusion, as a possible explanation for the scheme (other than it works). This would apply to Rossi, but certainly not the customer. The customer specifies what proof of utility, is required to satisfy his commercial viability. This is a financial requirement NOT a scientific requirement. Scientific principles are important, but function and results trump scientific principles – every time. Not understanding how color was encoded into color television broadcast signals, hardly made a difference, to widespread usage. Our visual cortex, just didn’t care. Until recent, new analysis data, bumble bees could not fly.
Does this mean that we should all start celebrating and jump on the bandwagon?
Of course not!
We should remain skeptical, until such time, utility has been demonstrated to US. At that time, many people will be scrambling to provide scientific explanations and we can then argue them to our heart’s content. We can not expect more from Rossi, unless we are willing to become customers.
This invention, IF as stated will upset many apple carts and will directly affect the livelihood, of many who blog here. Nervous… You betcha.
Btw, I would gladly bet $1000 at 1000:1 odds, that there is something here, just as soon as someone, provides proof that they are capable of paying the $1,000,000, in the unlikely event that the demonstration proves legit. Any wealthy fools out there? John West…? anybody?
In the meantime, I will continue to follow this project with proper skepticism and an open mind, until resolution. If that is being reckless… then color me reckless. GK

Septic Matthew
October 29, 2011 11:33 am

davidmhoffer: …that being until he has sufficient financial backing to defend the patent.
Precisely.
David Wood: I’m amazed at the mindless, hostile skepticism expressed by so many here.
By my tally, the skeptics are more mindful than the non-skeptics.
There has been enough verification and replication of positive LENR results that for anyone to call this “perpetual motion” as one on this thread, is just willful ignorance.
In that sentence you omit the necessity to document that the output energy has to exceed the input energy (the difference supplied by the masses of the fused nuclei.)

Doug in Seattle
October 29, 2011 11:38 am

I find it quite odd that Anthony is being pilloried by some for allowing this article to be posted.
The purpose, as stated by Anthony, of the posting is to allow resident skeptics an opportunity to deconstruct the premise that this Rossi LENR device works. That is pretty much what is occurring here.
The bulk of comments do not support the premise for the same or similar reasons most here reject the CAGW thesis. Too much reliance on “magic” processes that are either hidden by the proponent or are contrary to a basic understanding of physical processes.
While I admit that I harbor some hope that Rossi’s process might work, I do not find his most recent demonstration convincing – AT ALL. If Rossi wants to convince anyone he needs to be fully transparent from the get go – from set up to final results.

Ben U.
October 29, 2011 11:40 am

I don’t want to get caught in a passionate argument, but it has to be said: how is Lubos’s blog too “eye-bending”? it’d need a lot more psychedelia before it were enough for my taste. I even turned javascript on to make sure that I wasn’t missing something (besides the formulas).
Maybe I’m wrong about it and about Rossi’s claims’ being wrong and, if so, I’ll eat – not crow – but humble pie, by my surefire recipe: Toasted poppy or sesame bagel sliced into sandwiching halves, between which, place melted cheese, scrambled egg, and grilled bacon, ham, and sausage. Kim chee optional. No orthodox pie but it makes every prediction win-win.

RockyRoad
October 29, 2011 11:42 am

Peter Brown says:
October 29, 2011 at 10:31 am


This is exactly how we get Solyndra’s.

No, Solyndra was political payback for a campaign contribution. That’s a huge difference. (Looks like we’ll have a string of these coming up–next will be Sun Solar, followed by a bunch of others, to the tune of about $20 Billion!) So much for Hope and Change! (Now THERE’S a SCAM for ya!)

RockyRoad
October 29, 2011 11:48 am

Doug in Seattle says:
October 29, 2011 at 11:38 am


While I admit that I harbor some hope that Rossi’s process might work, I do not find his most recent demonstration convincing – AT ALL. If Rossi wants to convince anyone he needs to be fully transparent from the get go – from set up to final results.

Interesting, Doug. Rossi’s intent in this demonstration wasn’t to convince you, at all. He only needed to convince his customer, and he doesn’t even need to tell you who his customer is (or even how it works; I’m betting his customer doesn’t even require that). That’s how a lot of “business” as I know it around the world. I’m rather surprised Rossi let anybody from the public in to watch.

RockyRoad
October 29, 2011 11:49 am

Luboš Motl says:
October 29, 2011 at 11:03 am

RockyRoad: “The pressure I bring to bear is for everybody to get up-to-speed on LENR before shooting their mouths off.”
Thanks for your advice. I assure you that I know about this business more than all the world’s champions of LENR combined.

Thanks, Lubos, for the best laugh I’ve had in quite a while.

Doug
October 29, 2011 11:51 am

Luboš Motl says:
Your lack of aesthetic sense for blog design has absolutely nothing to do with these issues
———————————————————————————————————————-
Lubos, it is not just ugly, it locks up my computer more than any site I visit.

Septic Matthew
October 29, 2011 11:55 am

For John B, here is one account: http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/1999/7/fusion-from-television
The device makes a neutron beam for making medical isotopes. It is a net energy consumer, not a net energy generator. I have read of other designs, all small devices, all net energy consumers.

RockyRoad
October 29, 2011 11:59 am

Septic Matthew says:
October 29, 2011 at 11:33 am


In that sentence you omit the necessity to document that the output energy has to exceed the input energy (the difference supplied by the masses of the fused nuclei.)

Yet you apparently don’t require that of the $billions that have been and will be spent on the Tokamak and other hot fusion approaches. The only reason that approach is pursued is because we can all look at the sun and get the big picture, or the fact that H bombs have been tested and they work. But putting the sun in a bottle, so to speak, is proving to be far more difficult and expensive than ever imagined.
So why apply a more stringent approach to hot fusion than cold? Is it because the PTB are supported by those who receive grants for such work, and both groups work tirelessly to sway public opinion to be supportive of their programs?
Sounds just like CAGW.

Richard G
October 29, 2011 12:05 pm

“…the human race is home free and the climate doomsters are going to have to find another bogey man to use in their quest for riches and world domination. ”
Funny – but Rossi IS the new bogey man. The climate clan are leading the denial campaign against LENR – cause they cannot administer it through a UN or global guv’mnt. Rocky Road has this right, there are a minimum of 1200 peer reviewed papers documenting the LENR effect, readily available through science libraries e.g. LANL library. The 2009 CBS 60 Minutes Report “Cold Fusion is Hot Again” covers the last 20 years of research into LENR, the ABC-TV report on the Patterson Power Cell (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jze7KtdHfh8) covers tangential inventions (issued a US patent), we have confirmation of DOD R&D via FOI documents from Wright Patterson AFB, Randall Mills’ Blacklight Power has a remarkable record of peer reviewed confirmation of excess heat from Ni+H, and there are a dozen “inventors” of variations on Rossi Focardi, Mills, Patterson, et al LENR generators.
i.e. The EVIDENCE of a real, confirmed LENR effect is indisputable. So, why all the doubt? Getting the LENR process to “loop” or self-sustain, has been the stumbling block. Both Foccardi/Rossi and Randall Mills claim they’ve got a way to control this – which means the process and excess heat can be delivered for commercial use. But should we not have bonafide “scientists” involved? The CBS story addresses that issue and the recent statement by NASA Langley Research Chief Scientist Dennis Bushnell regarding LENR provides further clues:
“So I think were almost over the “We don’t understand it” problem. I think we’re almost over the “This doesn’t produce anything useful” problem. And so I think this [LENR] will go forward fairly rapidly now. And if it does, this is capable of, by itself, completely changing geo-economics, geopolitics of solving quite a bit of [the] energy [problem.]”
Energy Chair of the Swedish Academy of Science Sven Kullander and fellow physicist Hanno Essen have seen Rossi’s process and written a report:
“Any chemical process should be ruled out for producing 25 kWh from whatever is in a 50 cubic centimeter container. The only alternative explanation is that there is some kind of a nuclear process that gives rise to the measured energy production.”
The skepticism we have is that LENR will make it to commercial production without intervention.
“After a few more flashes in the pan, we shall hear very little more of Edison and his electric lamp. Every claim he makes has been tested and proved impracticable.” New York Times, January16th, 1880

October 29, 2011 12:06 pm

Luboš Motl:
RockyRoad says “The pressure I bring to bear is for everybody to get up-to-speed on LENR before shooting their mouths off.”
Thanks for your advice. I assure you that I know about this business more than all the world’s champions of LENR combined.

Please indicate. Enquiring minds like to know. Thanks.

Septic Matthew
October 29, 2011 12:18 pm

Rocky Road: http://energycatalyzer3.com/news/some-of-rossi%e2%80%99s-cold-fusion-results-reportedly-replicated
If you read the power point presentation, you will note that the inventor calls it a “battery”, and makes no claims that the net energy output exceeds the net energy input.

Tony Mach
October 29, 2011 12:18 pm

Good to read an open-minded yet critical/skeptical report.

Septic Matthew
October 29, 2011 12:21 pm

Rocky Road: Yet you apparently don’t require that of the $billions that have been and will be spent on the Tokamak and other hot fusion approaches.
Really? Have I claimed that those are net energy producers, or has anyone, as Rossi claims for his device?

R. Shearer
October 29, 2011 12:22 pm

Where did the expression a load of Baloney come from? Where does the E-Cat come from?
I’m in for $100 at 1000:1 odds against.

SidViscous
October 29, 2011 12:26 pm

I was surprised that Ric was writing in the “Isn’t this a great thing” vein. Just based on the surface I was somewhat skeptical.\
Then looking into it, the convincing bit for me. The guy that walks around with the video camera, spends more time looking at junction boxes and traffic cones than at the actual reactor.
Spend 10X more time looking at the bog standard generator.
From the non technical side it just screams scam. Blair Witch project was more realistic. And “Un named customer” give me a break.

RockyRoad
October 29, 2011 12:29 pm

John B says:
October 29, 2011 at 11:12 am

Septic Matthew says:
October 29, 2011 at 10:57 am

low energy fusion has been reliably demonstrated

Where? When? By whom?

In case you missed it, here’s an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNn_Z6wCIk

RockyRoad
October 29, 2011 12:36 pm

Septic Matthew says:
October 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Rocky Road: http://energycatalyzer3.com/news/some-of-rossi%e2%80%99s-cold-fusion-results-reportedly-replicated
If you read the power point presentation, you will note that the inventor calls it a “battery”, and makes no claims that the net energy output exceeds the net energy input.

Nor did I. I simply referenced that as confirmation of the process being nuclear fusion and not a chemical reaction. Rossi hasn’t divulged what he uses as the catalyst to leverage the reaction to achieve over unity.

October 29, 2011 12:42 pm

RockyRoad says: October 29, 2011 at 8:56 am
Luboš Motl says:…
And when are you going to take the time to learn about LENR? Here, start with this, Lubos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNn_Z6wCIk

This video is an excellent touchstone RockyRoad IMHO. Thanks.
Anyone seen this video and still thinks they can dismiss LENR? Still thinks they can dismiss P&F? Still thinks they can dismiss this topic as “unscientific” or “irresponsible”? Even if Rossi is dismissed as another fraudster, there’s more to LENR than this.

Septic Matthew
October 29, 2011 12:45 pm

Tufty said: The easy way to disprove this would simply be to keep it running.
Rossi said that would be boring!

Septic Matthew
October 29, 2011 12:51 pm

Blade,
I read about the Keely Motor Company. I had never heard of it. By that standard, this isn’t such a complicated hoax.
Like some others, I have been following the eCat story since early in the year. Each time Rossi has an opportunity to demonstrate that it works (while keeping the details secret), he doesn’t.

Septic Matthew
October 29, 2011 1:05 pm

RockyRoad says:
October 29, 2011 at 5:43 am
Nobody who has tried has been able to get a net energy out of a Pons-Fleischman device. Lots of people have tried. Do you really think that the people who are investing in biofuels, coal-to liquid, solar and wind would not gladly back a company or inventor that could produce working Pons-Fleischman devices? Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, Germans, Americans — no one has ever been able to get a net energy return from a Pons-Fleischman device.

dwright
October 29, 2011 1:21 pm

You don’t attach an engine to a dynamometer and then proceed to idle it for five hours. What does that prove?
My BS gauge is red lined on this one.

DirkH
October 29, 2011 1:35 pm

Richard G says:
October 29, 2011 at 12:05 pm
“The skepticism we have is that LENR will make it to commercial production without intervention.
“After a few more flashes in the pan, we shall hear very little more of Edison and his electric lamp. Every claim he makes has been tested and proved impracticable.” New York Times, January16th, 1880”
That’s a wonderful quote! And goes straight into my archive! Thanks!

kwik
October 29, 2011 1:40 pm

Septic Matthew says:
October 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm
“Each time Rossi has an opportunity to demonstrate that it works (while keeping the details secret), he doesn’t.”
Yes, that strikes me as well. Very dissapointing.
It would be easy to let it run in a small house for , say, a month.
With some 3’rd party monitor power in versus power out.
Noone needs to look into the house while it is running. (Since Rossi wants to keep the content secret)
But no, that isnt done. And that is quite telling…….
It means noone can be sure it is just using up the hydrogen, or not………

tenpoundsterling
October 29, 2011 1:59 pm

Making quicklime releases lots of heat,no electricity is needed!Place the bucket so it heats some water and HEY PRESTO!!! You’ve just invented a machine thats MORE reliable than ANY of the other so-called FREE ENERGY devices. Call it “THE QL CAT”….Can i get some money,please…p.s when you’ve made your quicklime then you can sell it to the plastering trade. win/win.
Send me £10 and i’ll tell you a secret.

Rational Debate
October 29, 2011 2:19 pm

re: DirkH says: October 29, 2011 at 4:30 am

DirkH re: kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: October 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm

“It’s a nuclear device. By the reasoning shown, if I was testing a small nuclear reactor, I could “get around” safety requirements by showing off the reactor to only a few people at a time. Does that make sense to you? How many safety regulations for nuclear devices are one allowed to “duck” by only having a small reactor with limited visitor access?”

He says he made it a private event, indicating that each visitor enters the room on his own responsibility. Makes sense. Rules for public demonstrations don’t apply in that case. Probably, if he lets the entire group in at once, it would automatically be classified as a public demo

In the USA at least, and I’m pretty sure most if not all other nations, if a device produces radiation it has to be liscensed. It doesn’t matter how well it’s shielded (that will be required anyhow as part of the safety requirements necessary to liscense), it doesn’t matter who you claim might be around it. Private, public, doesn’t matter. Safety levels will be different for occupational workers around it, compared to general public, and so on, but it would still require liscensing, inspections, yada yada. It would also require dosimetry to detect any exposure to occupational workers and any visitors. It also makes zero difference if visitors are willing to take complete responsibility – they’re not the ones expected to know and understand the risks, the liscensee is.
Now, maybe laws are different in Italy (I doubt it, not in any significant respect that is). Or perhaps he’s skirting the law by not applying for a liscense and so on – in which case he almost certainly risks arrest or at least consfication of the apparatus. Just like the guy in international news not so long ago from Norway or Denmark or something who was supposedly building a nuclear reactor in his kitchen. That was a ‘cold fusion’ experiment too.
Nations take these things very seriously now, particularly with all the concern about terrorism in general.

John from CA
October 29, 2011 2:42 pm

I was so hoping we’d get a follow up post related to Rossi’s effort and the notion of “Cold Fusion”.
I was exposed to the effort based on a Forbes article I read a week or so ago and of course came to WUWT to do a search for E-Cat and found the prior post and fascinating comments.
I got excited and took the time to read over the related material and discovered all the conflicting Science views, claims of fraud, and history of the “Cold Fusion” misnomer and related MIT testing debacle.
“Cold Fusion” is a misnomer because the term was created by the press to describe a poorly understood electro-chemical process that defies the understanding of Physics.
Additional reading implies, the Rossi “reactor” emits gamma rays and alters not only the nickel to copper and iron but the hydrogen atom as well. Yet, the nay-sayers contend the energy in is greater than the energy out and the design and pre-heating of the containment chamber results in the perception of a sustained reaction.
The process doesn’t require radioactive material and doesn’t produce any and even if the containment vessel is broken, it will simple emit a small amount of hydrogen and stop working. Talk about clean and safe energy?
Even if this is only a first step, what an amazing break-thru for Scientists who seek to dispel the old school status-quo in favor of observable fact and a new frontier.

Mark
October 29, 2011 2:54 pm

I’m glad to see that Anthony has revised his somewhat skeptical position on Rossi to very skeptical (which is certainly appropriate given the facts). I weighed in up-thread that the device is likely not really working. I’m posting again because upon further reflection this can be a useful incident in reminding all of us that being an effective climate skeptic requires the mindset of a skeptic in general.
I’ve been a traditional skeptic since the days of fraudulent psychics bending spoons on TV and the endless charade of UFO-nappings and perpetual motion machines. There have been skeptic magazines, clubs and societies long before climate change was an issue. To me there is no difference in principle between being skeptical of spoon-benders and being skeptical of ‘climate benders’. Just because climate scientists have a Phd and are associated with a large institution doesn’t make them right. What’s fascinating is that the climate issue has divided the traditional skeptic community. Many of these “traditional skeptics” are believers in CAGW. I think they’ve primarily been deceived by their natural disposition to support “science” (since that is usually what stands in opposition to spoon-benders etc). That naturally extended to supporting climate scientists with no deep questioning. It did for me too, until I started looking into it.
Traditional skeptics HATE that climate skeptics call themselves skeptics at all. They think “climate skeptics” have misappropriated a term that belongs to “pure skeptics”. Unfortunately, these traditional skeptics have let “agree with scientists” (which is usually correct), take the place of “question everything”. I think the real reason they hate climate skepticism is that it makes them deeply uncomfortable because it highlights their double standard. They *should* be questioning and investigating the science. Unfortunately, they do so no farther than the IPCC and other appeals to authority.

rabbit
October 29, 2011 2:58 pm

I know of too many crackpot energy schemes to buy this pig in a poke. Wake me up when there’s solid evidence verified by disinterested experts.

October 29, 2011 3:02 pm

“A well respected researcher is claiming that he has replicated some of the results that Andrea Rossi is getting from his e-cat cold fusion device. This could be an important development because it could verify Rossi’s claims and silence some of his many skeptics. Dr. George H. Miley a nuclear engineering professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Tsingua University in Beijing.” see here.
“George Miley is a far more respectable source and researcher than Rossi.”
Updated analysis of E-cat test October 6 by David Roberson, Oct 28, 2011 together with graph of Oct 28 output.
Cold Fusion Suppressed Technology

October 29, 2011 3:02 pm

Bewitching witchcraft?

October 29, 2011 3:04 pm

Happy Halloween!

slow to follow
October 29, 2011 3:09 pm

Rational Debate – I wondered about that. This paper:
“Nuclear signatures to be expected from Rossi energy amplifier”
Jacques Dufour.
CNAM Laboratoire des sciences nucléaires, 2 rue Conté 75003 Paris France
http://www.journal-of-nuclear-physics.com/files/Nuclear%20signatures%20-%20Jacques%20Dufour.pdf
concludes:
*****
9. Conclusion
Strong nuclear signatures are expected from the Rossi energy amplifier and it is hoped that this note can help evidence them.
It is of interest to note that in [3] a mechanism is proposed, that strongly suppresses the gamma emission during the run (it is the same mechanism that creates very low energy neutrons, subsequently captured by the nickel. This does not suppress the emission after shut-down, which should be observed, together with the transmutations described above.
*****

Kozlowski
October 29, 2011 3:18 pm

All,
The customer was perhaps unintentionally disclosed in one of the spreadsheets.
It appears to be: Manutencoop Facility Management.
Manutencoop Facility Management S.p.A. provides management services for real estate, building, and equipment. Its services include management and maintenance of heat conditioning, air conditioning and refrigerating systems, antifire systems, electric and lighting systems, buildings, real estate, and technological equipments. The company also provides cleaning and pest control, hospital laundry and sterilization, office support, accessorial, catering and canteen, security, and night watch services; and real estate property services.
It was in properties of the Test_28_10_11.xls spreadsheet.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
October 29, 2011 3:20 pm

From DirkH on October 29, 2011 at 4:30 am:

He says he made it a private event, indicating that each visitor enters the room on his own responsibility. Makes sense. Rules for public demonstrations don’t apply in that case. Probably, if he lets the entire group in at once, it would automatically be classified as a public demo.

You have completely missed the point. It is stated to be a nuclear device. Were it not for the shielding it would be releasing some amount of gamma radiation. In the US that would mean the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would be all over it, demanding whole forests be slaughtered to satisfy the paperwork requirements. And that’s before considering all the other federal, state, and local applicable public safety laws and regulations.
Plus I’m certain that somewhere there’s a bureaucrat who’s expecting some amount of fees and/or taxes to build and/or operate such a potentially dangerous nuclear device.
Could GE get away with building and test running a small nuclear reactor in a warehouse, let alone claiming they don’t have to worry about the multitudes of relevant laws and regulations to protect people and the environment because they only show it privately to a few people at a time, it’s not being shown publicly?
Also, note the most dangerous aspect of the E-cat, as demonstrated with this rig. They couldn’t run it at the full 1MW output in self-sustaining mode because they couldn’t control it, it made too much heat. What would have happened if the limiting controls had failed? How hot would the devices have gotten? What would happen when an E-cat device gets so hot that any water entering is instantly flashed into steam? How would a device fare when it looses the greater cooling power of circulating water and only has steam billowing through it?
Yes, there is the control of shutting off the incoming flow of hydrogen. At what temperature (and pressure?) will water dissociate, releasing hydrogen? Can the E-cat reach that condition? It does not matter much that the catalyst and the water are separated by design, as hydrogen is notoriously difficult to contain, and when the temperatures and pressures raise sufficiently then all bets are off. Plus there’s also the not-small potential of an overheated valve simply refusing to close completely if at all…
Now to propose a possible scenario, imagine a modified working E-cat in the trunk of car, just the catalyst part without any provisions for cooling, that has the hydrogen feed turned on, the reaction-initializing heaters turned on… With whomever started the device quickly achieving a safe distance, although it could be started remotely or by a timer…
And they are allowed to duck the regulations because it’s a “private” demonstration? If it works as they say, it is a nuclear device that generates heat and gamma radiation, that is demonstratively difficult to control at high output levels in self-sustaining mode… Not bloody likely.

kwik
October 29, 2011 3:20 pm

Rational Debate says:
October 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm
“Just like the guy in international news not so long ago from Norway or Denmark or something who was supposedly building a nuclear reactor in his kitchen. That was a ‘cold fusion’ experiment too.”
Come on now. He was swedish. And he collected americum from ordinary ordinary smoke detectors.. …..
http://world-nuclear.org/info/inf57.html

lemiere jacques
October 29, 2011 3:54 pm

skeptical…no evidence no transparancy …
why all those experiments of cold fusion or so, or new way to produce energy are so popular???Hope?

davidmhoffer
October 29, 2011 4:03 pm

Frankly, the more I think about it, the more skeptical I am, but the more strongly I feel that this story bears watching.
It seems to me that if Rossi is trying to pull off a hoax, he’s doing a very poor job of it. The whole thing does in fact smell like a hoax, and many of the things that raise the stench meters into the red zone could have been rather easily dealt with. If a hoax, why wouldn’t Rossi have taken the few moments required to, for example, hide those power cables from the gen set instead of leaving them in plain view? It seems to me that there are many possibilities as to what is actually going on, but two of them are more likely than the others:
1. Rossi has fooled himself.
2. Rossi has achieved a remarkable breakthrough.
Either way, worth watching to see how it comes out. Lucy’s comment regarding someone else having replicated the results suggests that the results Rossi claims are at least possible. I remain skeptical… but I’d hate to see WUWT fail to post stories on further developments simply because nothing is yet proven. For those who complain about the story not being worthy of this site…well, no one made you read it, did they? The scroll wheel was invented for a reason….

October 29, 2011 4:07 pm

If scientists would be really interested about this technology, they would attempted to test it already and published in peer-reviewed journals. Because the original experiments weren’t published with A. Rossi in January 2011, but before twenty years already in quite standard scientific way in official journal of Italian Academy of Science.
http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/FocardiSlargeexces.pdf
The person of A. Rossi is significant for acceptation of cold fusion in the same way, like the manufacturer of GPS satellites for acceptation of general relativity.

Gail Combs
October 29, 2011 4:08 pm

acementhead says:
October 28, 2011 at 7:18 pm
Roger Knights says:
October 28, 2011 at 6:47 pm
Maybe, just maybe, he WANTS to convey that impression…
Yeah of course, only the true Messiah denies his divinity. Riiiiiiiight
This is a scam but it has shown one interesting thing; that the majority of “sceptics” who post on WUWT aren’t in fact sceptics at all but in reality are credulous believers. This is a sad day for truth.
____________________________________
Credulous believers??????
That is not what I am reading. I see mostly open minds with a bit of cynic thrown in and a wait and see attitude.
This is the exact attitude I would want to see, open minds while looking for the scam.

Ian Hoder
October 29, 2011 4:17 pm

I would put this is pretty much on par with someone trying to sell me a perpetual motion machine.

October 29, 2011 4:31 pm

no i don’t believe it.
I urge you to be as skeptical as you are about the hockey team: first verify, then trust.

October 29, 2011 5:06 pm

A very interesting discussion.
IMO, a lot of the scepticism is misdirected, because Rossi isn’t performing a series of scientific experiments, he is trying to sell/commercialize a ground-breaking product. And you have to view his actions in that context.
He has to generate interest and publicity while keeping the ‘secret sauce’ secret as long as possible.
None of us has enough information to say for sure whether this works or not.
And Rossi’s best interest is in maintaining that uncertainty, because once it is clear it does work, dozens of competitors will spring up and he will lose a very significant commercial advantage. Not to mention a large amount of money.

davidmhoffer
October 29, 2011 5:59 pm

Philip Bradley;
And Rossi’s best interest is in maintaining that uncertainty, because once it is clear it does work, dozens of competitors will spring up >>>
Exactly. Without big bucks behind him, there’s no way he could possibly defend the patent. Nor could he enter the market on a shoe string budget hoping to build revenue fast enough that he was well positioned in the market with lotsa cash flow to fund legal actions. He’d be barely off the ground from a manufacturing perspective when one of the units he sells turns out to be sold to a customer who is a front for one of the big manufacturers out there…or maybe two, or five or ten. Energy generation is BIG business. Once the major players get their hands on one its only a matter of time before they reverse engineer it, come up with a slightly different version, and then Rossi is out of business because he can’t possibly compete with the sheer scale the big boys bring to the market nor defend his patent in court, that would take millions upon millions.
Those issues are probably on his mind (assuming that it isn’t a scam which it may well be) and would explain in part his mysterious behaviour. Is that the right way to handle it? Well, I’d certainly suggest his “sales and marketing” efforts leave something to be desired. Heck, if it is a deliberate scam his sales and marketing leave a LOT of room for improvment! I’d certainly go about it in a different way, but I can also see (assuming that it is not a scam) why someone like Rossi with insufficient funding and a monster market opportunity would go about it the way Rossi has.

John B
October 29, 2011 6:10 pm

RockyRoad says:
October 29, 2011 at 12:29 pm
John B says:
October 29, 2011 at 11:12 am
Septic Matthew says:
October 29, 2011 at 10:57 am

low energy fusion has been reliably demonstrated

Where? When? By whom?
In case you missed it, here’s an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNn_Z6wCIk
————————–
Oh, for goodness sake!

Ian Hoder
October 29, 2011 6:28 pm

I’m actually surprised that people who are skeptical of AGW are so willing to believe someone producing a Cold Fusion reactor. Even if you knew nothing on the subject, it smacks of SCAM. Do you really believe someone would sell a commercial version of something this controversial WITHOUT having it proved first? Unbelievable people.
As for Jim and his 1,000:1 bet… can anyone get in on this? I would also like to know what limit you could cover and then I would like to bet up to that limit.

Septic Matthew
October 29, 2011 6:58 pm

Rocky Road: Nor did I. I simply referenced that as confirmation of the process being nuclear fusion and not a chemical reaction. Rossi hasn’t divulged what he uses as the catalyst to leverage the reaction to achieve over unity.
Rossi isn’t selling a process, he is selling a power generator.
My bet is that he will have a 10MW demonstration and another customer in about February. And still nobody will be using one of his devices of any size to produce power for any purpose. That is, if he hasn’t banked a big investment. I doubt that he’d settle for a license and royalties on the sales.
This has been fun. The whole world is watching.

October 29, 2011 8:14 pm

Explanation of the physical model no. Explanation of the technical nature does not. Actual results do not. This is not the fusion process. It looks like a nuclear process, but the isotopes were detected. For a nuclear process, there are no physical conditions. Rossi’s hard to believe. Certification of no effect.

Martin Snigg
October 29, 2011 10:25 pm

I’m personally grateful for Ric’s efforts and Anthony making his site available. A science blog worth it’s name ought to demonstrate exactly how restrained commentary about cutting edge science ought to be conducted.
Dr Bushnell NASA Chief Scientist (quoted numerous times), and Dr Miley Prof. of Nuclear Engineering (recent powerpoint linked to numerous times) PattersonPowercell (TM) etc etc provide a reasonable basis for me as an amateur to listen to claims for and against. Unless those who claim expertise equivalent to these gentlemen provide demonstrable evidence against their claims a considered neutrality is warranted. Which, to Mr Werme credit is exactly the psychological balance he gives his readers credit for. I take it as an insult to my intelligence to be told, prior to refutation of Dr Miley et al, that it is too dangerous for me to read speech related to LENR.
No public money is being appropriated, nor enthusiastic culture war in the e-Cat’s name is being prosecuted. If the customer is foolish enough to be seperated from their money without proof then these posts serve another function – one that is WUWT’s raison d’etre. WUWT contributors are just the people to trust given their temperamental and intellectual ability to proportion scientific claims to the evidence.
As purely an exercise in the sociology of science it is of value, and given the very large vested interests in seeing no product come to market, especially various climate change carpet bagger, green energy schemers and the political class in general. I’m relying on WUWT to continue to treat me like a full fledged rational adult and allow me to make my own assessments.
So can I ask, is their any in principle reason for me to reject Dr Bushnell and Dr Miley regarding LENR? If not then it is an abuse of Anthony’s forum to attack speculative discussions about the phenomenon and how it relates to Rossi’s proposed invention.
It is of political interest, internationally recognised scientists are involved, reputable science and engineering publications, and world media including the Associated Press’ Peter Svensson. It is incumbent upon such an influential science blog to at least provide trusted information, especially the negative kind.
My hopeful spin: http://fruit-of-lips.tumblr.com/post/12094910322/cold-fusion-is-hot-again-rossis-e-cat

John from CA
October 29, 2011 10:35 pm

Ric Werme says:
October 29, 2011 at 9:18 pm
I don’t know, from some of the comments here and from my August post, I think there are people who could live in a house heated by an E-Cat module and still claim it doesn’t work.
===========
Ric,
Thanks for posting the follow-up. This is a very exciting event and it will be interesting to see who the mystery US investor is. If its GE, everyones tune is likely to change in a hurry.
The Rossi design is clearly in need of engineering for larger industrial applications, GE would be an ideal partner and in a position to mass produce for North America.
The units are being manufactured in Greece for the rest of the world. That should be interesting.

Typhoon
October 29, 2011 11:05 pm

Ric Werme says:
October 29, 2011 at 9:15 am

BTW, to save you and Typhoon the effort, I fear I am unrepentant:

Typhoon says:
August 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm
Not only do you not have any clue about the subject you’re posting about, it’s painfully clear that you don’t have a clue that you don’t have a clue.

It’ll be tough to improve on that, but give it your best.

Actually, you’ve make it rather easy to improve upon.
Not only do you not have any clue about the subject you’re posting about, it’s painfully clear that you don’t have a clue that you don’t have a clue.
Furthermore, having been informed of your situation,
you still can’t be bothered to make even a minimal effort to educate yourself regarding the basic physics of the claimed process, and continue instead to promote this obvious scam.
___
The process that Rossi claims is occurring in the device::
Ni58 + p → Cu59
Copper nucleus Cu59 decays with positron (e+) and neutrino (ν) emission in Ni59 nucleus according to
Cu59 → Ni59 + ν + e+
Then (e+) annichilates with (e-) in two gamma-rays
e- + e+ → γ + γ
1/ Clear unambiguous evidence the above claimed process is occurring would be the detection of back-to-back [by conservation of momentum] emission of 511keV gamma photons.
Why has this not been done? It is not a difficult experimental measurement to perform.
Until this experimental test is performed, all other claims of energy production are irrelevant.
2/ The device require a temperature of 40C or 313.15K to operate according to one report. The Rossi patent states 150C to 5000 C or 423.15K to 5273.15K.
Let’s try to give Rossi the benefit of the doubt and take the upper value of 5273K.
The mean kinetic energy of a gas as a function of temperature is 3/2kT,
where k is Boltzmann’s constant: 8.6173324 x 10^-5 eV K-1
Thus at a temperature of 5273K the kinetic energy of the hydrogen gas, the source of the protons in the above nuclear reaction, is
KE = 5273K x 8.6173324 x 10^-5 eV K-1 = 0.45 eV
However, the cross-section for the process Ni58 + p → Cu59 has been measured
http://postimage.org/image/aja3jf2if/
[Nuclear cross-section: http://goo.gl/DdKx8 ]
The lower energy cutoff for the nuclear reaction Ni58 + p → Cu59 is about 1MeV or 1,000,000eV [electron volts]
Thus the kinetic energy of the protons, of the hydrogen atoms, is about 7 orders of magnitude [a factor of 10^7] too low for the claimed nuclear reaction to have occurred in the device.
Conclusion: the claims of Rossi and his co-conspirators in this scam are not even wrong.

TimTheToolMan
October 30, 2011 1:56 am

Lucy Skywalker writes “You cannot just handwave a team like this away.”
You can you know. It effectively an appeal to authority and carries no weight.
Rossi set out to show the world his creation works and failed. If he’d run it for a week as a fully self sustaining process then he would have been up next for a nobel prize and had investors beating down his door.
Sometimes you dont need to look beyond the behaviour to understand whats happening.

Cirrius Man
October 30, 2011 2:29 am

You have to love this story as it plays out so painfully slowly. (Thanks Ric for having the cahunas)
AKA Climate change we see skeptics and believers of this newly claimed, yet unknow process.
Ironically, if the ROSSI device is indeed real and can be engineered to make cheap electricty it would probably end the climate change debate quite rapidly. It would also kill off much government funding for climate change related studies including the IPCC. Most western governments which currently have strong socialist agendas would also need to re-think their money raising strategy of using energy taxes to redistribute wealth.
If the device is a fake, then ROSSI will go down in history as the dumbest scam artist in history by creating the worlds biggest scam and then failing to make any money in the process. And by selling a commercial device paid for by himself, he actually leaves himself open to a potentially expensive lawsuit.
My own thoughts on this whole saga is that ROSSI is probably onto something as I really can’t believe anyone can be so stupid to try a scam in this manner. His actions create an impression that he has possibly used another inventor’s LENR process/patent in his device which is why he is closed to scientific scrutiny. He is probably hoping that he can manufacture a large number of units and pocket the money before the secret is out and the real inventer wants a piece of the pie.
The big difference between this and climate change seems to be the media reporting. Real or scam, this should be BIG news on CNN, BBC, FOX, etc. Perhaps the big media outlets are against running any story for fear it will gain huge momentum in the community regardless of which side of the story they report on due to the ‘hope it’s true’ factor. If this did occur it could destabilise the stock markets while the whole saga played out over a possibly extended period.

MrV
October 30, 2011 3:21 am

@davidmhoffer
I’m not sure about the whole patent/buyer/big business conspiracy you have outlined.
Instead of accurately demonstrating one individual single kW unit and getting all the patent legal protection solidly behind him, he has now made 50+ individual units and connected them together.
Given that access has been granted to a couple of low quality reporters, (or interested persons who as far as we know met him over the internet), if people really wanted to know where this location is and steal one of the e-cats I’m sure it would be ridiculously easy for them to have followed them there. Especially considering these same ‘reporters’ were basically posting all the details of where they were going on the internet weeks in advance.
We live in a world where (alledgedly) governments can deliver customized computer virus’s to cripple specific Iranian nuclear plant equipment.
A team of a few people could go and steal one unit, particularly now he has manufactured 50+ and have it in a lab somewhere before anyone even notices it’s gone.
You can’t claim to worried about protecting secrets while doing precisely the opposite.
In my opinion it would be easier to protect a single device rather than a shipping container full of them, where if a rogue obtained one they could reverse engineer the ‘secret’.

Dagobert
October 30, 2011 3:40 am

“So, was Rossi imprisoned? Yes. Did he break the law? Yes, but mainly because the law changed out from under him. Was he convicted? Yes, on less than 10% of the charges, and they were tax law violations, not a confidence scheme. Is he an evil person out to pull off the scam of the century? Probably not, as he seems to have not run afoul of the law before 1987. Does all this mean we should throw up our hands and write off Rossi’s LENR invention. I don’t think so, though it certainly adds a red flag. How about all the other evidence supporting LENR? I don’t think so. Does Lubos Motl know more about LENR than any of us? Probably, but I’m not convinced he’s right.”
What WOULD convince you? If you subtract Rossis own claims from what is known about his “research”, the Petroldragon story or even LENR in general – what is there in terms of actual, proven fact, known laws of physics and plain common sense that doesn’t cry out “its a scam”?

October 30, 2011 4:08 am

TimTheToolMan says: October 30, 2011 at 1:56 am
Lucy Skywalker writes “You cannot just handwave a team like this away.”
You can you know. It effectively an appeal to authority and carries no weight…

Agreed, that list by itself is an appeal to authority. And therefore you cannot just handwave it away. Warmists appeal to authority constantly but such appeals require answering, not handwaving. That’s why McIntyre and McKitrick’s work, and the work here, is needed.
But there’s more. We know that authority is suspect in Climate Science. So why not in LENR / Cold Fusion too? What I’ve examined re LENR, as a result of this thread, makes it very clear to me that a similar cloud of dark suspicion is hanging over “authority” regarding the dismissal of Fleischman-Pons and the ignoring of LENR. Follow The Money again.
It’s no good jumping up and down over the corruption in Climate Science and then passing over the weighty evidence of corruption over Cold Fusion. Why be skeptical in one and not the other? I wonder if it has to do with the presence in LENR of factors that overturn the current paradigms of physics, that allow the “denier”-like term “pseudoscience” to be thrown around.
Perhaps it’s this long shadow over Cold Fusion that makes a show-person like Rossi jump into the limelight first. But this fact should not deter the diligent pursuit of evidence. Search my name and RockyRoad, to find a lot of evidence-bearing references. It was new to me, this evidence for another area of money-led abuse of scientific authority. What was not new was the now-familiar pattern of tactics.

Dagobert
October 30, 2011 4:25 am

“I wonder if it has to do with the presence in LENR of factors that overturn the current paradigms of physics, that allow the “denier”-like term “pseudoscience” to be thrown around.”
For me its the lack of explaination that makes LENR and the AGW sides similarly “pseudescience” – not the paradigm or authority side of the game. AGW at least points to some sort of evidence – even if its just seriously flawed models – and provides some sort of rational and an unrefutable, basic claim (CO2 is a greenhouse gas – nobody doubts that). Rossi doesn’t do that. Or can he conclusively explain how or based on what principle his machine is supposed to work? If so, I must have missed it.

anna v
October 30, 2011 5:37 am

Lucy Skywalker says:
October 30, 2011 at 4:08 am
But there’s more. We know that authority is suspect in Climate Science. So why not in LENR / Cold Fusion too? What I’ve examined re LENR, as a result of this thread, makes it very clear to me that a similar cloud of dark suspicion is hanging over “authority” regarding the dismissal of Fleischman-Pons and the ignoring of LENR. Follow The Money again.
Hi Lucy,
Try not to make the logical mistake of “if A then B” means also that “if B then A”. The majority of people under a cloud have self generated it, and you cannot assume that because some are wrongly under a cloud, the same holds true for all.
When cold fusion came out every physicist I knew was following it avidly. The reason it went below the horizon, for me, is that the energies they were talking about were of the order of chemical energies attained in batteries etc. , not nuclear ones. That is when I stopped following the story. The fact that nobody is selling a cold fusion generator is indicative that the story does not work.
Now the energies claimed by Rossi are of megawat size, and that is another story.
As I said in my contributions to the previous thread, as an experimentalist I do not throw to the fire claims like this. It might be that they have stumbled by serendipity on a collective mode of crystal interactions that nobody else has seen. I know that one can use crystals to bend high energy muon beams, for example, where the particles follow the crystal axis. More outlandish, they might be milking gravitational waves, found access to a different vacuum, and who knows what: If the effect exists the theory will be constructed.
That is what is the crux. Does the effect exist? The flamboyance and secrecy of Rossi makes one doubt it, but they seem to be on schedule, There is also Defkalion in Greece and they also are on their schedule. We do not have long to wait. As we say in Greece, there will be either chickens or eggs ( on their face 🙂 ).
When they start selling the generators will be the time to see whether it is a frau$d or not.

J.H.
October 30, 2011 6:01 am

After watching the video of his earlier demonstration and seeing the glaring flaws in it….. His experiment relied on measuring the condensed steam to calculate energy output, but he had no valve to stop pumped water overflowing into the outlet and being pushed up into the condenser and collection point… The whole thing was embarrassingly stupid…… since then I am not interested in what Rossi says, unless someone else independently backs up Rossi’s claims, I’ll call this a scam in progress…. and not science.
I’m happy to be pleasantly surprised….. but in this case nothing is going to happen beyond money disappearing into thin air.

John B
October 30, 2011 7:09 am

@Lucy
There is certainly a parallel here between cold fusion and AGW, but I think you have got it the wrong way round. The cold fusion folk are making extraordinary claims that go against mainstream physics, those claims are made by a few “lone geniuses” who claim they are being ignored and/or supressed by the mainstream. Furthermore, they claim that there is a conspiracy to suppress their work and that all of a mainstream science is in on it. Quite why that would be is never made clear (most scientists do not work for energy companies).
In the climate world, AGW is the mainstream, the contrarians are the one who make claims contrary to known physics (e.g. greenhouse effect is bunk), hold up the work of lone geniuses (Svensmark for instance), claim their work is ignored or suppressed and see a global conspiracy against them.
Don’t ya think?

Dave Springer
October 30, 2011 7:38 am

Typhoon says:
October 29, 2011 at 11:05 pm
Don’t be so hasty. Nobody thought quantum tunneling of electrons was going to become a cheap widespread technology but you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a flash memory device these days.
Protons can tunnel too. It’s just a lot less likely because of the greater mass. But one must consider that the nickel in this e-cat gizmo is nano-particles. The surface area exposed in a tiny volume is thus enormous. Now say you have some estoreric effects from exotic lattice structures (which, by the way, we don’t understand otherwise we could design high-temp superconductors instead of finding them by luck) that are bringing the nuclei into some kind of critical alignment everywhere with tunnel length minimized, which maximizes the probability of a tunnel event. So, you got some lattice work going on that you don’t understand that minimizes the barrier potential for proton tunneling and at the same time you increase the ratio of surface area to volume where the tunneling can potentially happen. What you’d expect to get from this is heat.
I’m no physicist but it appears to me the equations you’ve laid out is conventional hot fusion which uses brute force to shove a proton so close another proton that strong force overwhelms electromagnetic repulsion of like charges and they fuse. Tunneling does an end run around the need to input enough energy to overcome electromagnetic repulsion by brute force so those conventional fusion energy equations no longer apply.

anna v
October 30, 2011 7:43 am

Typhoon says:
October 29, 2011 at 11:05 pm
Thus the kinetic energy of the protons, of the hydrogen atoms, is about 7 orders of magnitude [a factor of 10^7] too low for the claimed nuclear reaction to have occurred in the device.
I am not saying that their claims are true. I am also skeptical. But they are aware of the numbers you are using. Various people have attempted to explain the reaction as a sort of “total crystal” reaction, not individual hydrogen+nickel. A number of explanations are posted on the blog. As I said in my previous post there are unusual quantum behaviors in crystals that cannot be ruled out a priori.
The important question is the experimental results: Solid or scam?
In another six months the cat will be out of the bag, according to their timetables.
Calculations will follow if there exists a true effect.

Dave Springer
October 30, 2011 7:51 am

http://www.princeton.edu/chemistry/macmillan/group-meetings/DEC_tunneling.pdf
“Quantum Tunneling in Chemical Reactions”
Might want to skip down 1/3 – 1/2 way through the paper and start with:

Hydrogen Tunneling: First Experimental Evidence
􀀁 Investigations by Williams provided some of the first evidence of tunneling in organic reactions

Organic crystal lattices are involved and chemical reactions that physics (chemistry is explained by physics) say shouldn’t happen are observed to happen.
Contrary to urban legend humanity is a LONG way from having a theory of everything. We have working theories. We don’t have complete theories.

Mark ro
October 30, 2011 8:01 am

With regard to Rossi’s imprisonment there are two things that come to mind. First is the trial of the scientists for failing to evacuate a city before a quake. Second is the Amanda Knox trial. The efficacy of the Italian judicial system has to be taken with some grains of salt. Say for example the Bonneville salt flats.

Typhoon
October 30, 2011 8:10 am

Lucy Skywalker says:
October 30, 2011 at 4:08 am

TimTheToolMan says: October 30, 2011 at 1:56 am

Lucy Skywalker writes “You cannot just handwave a team like this away.”

You can you know. It effectively an appeal to authority and carries no weight…

Agreed, that list by itself is an appeal to authority. And therefore you cannot just handwave it away. Warmists appeal to authority constantly but such appeals require answering, not handwaving. That’s why McIntyre and McKitrick’s work, and the work here, is needed.
But there’s more. We know that authority is suspect in Climate Science. So why not in LENR / Cold Fusion too? What I’ve examined re LENR, as a result of this thread, makes it very clear to me that a similar cloud of dark suspicion is hanging over “authority” regarding the dismissal of Fleischman-Pons and the ignoring of LENR. Follow The Money again.
It’s no good jumping up and down over the corruption in Climate Science and then passing over the weighty evidence of corruption over Cold Fusion. Why be skeptical in one and not the other? I wonder if it has to do with the presence in LENR of factors that overturn the current paradigms of physics, that allow the “denier”-like term “pseudoscience” to be thrown around.
Perhaps it’s this long shadow over Cold Fusion that makes a show-person like Rossi jump into the limelight first. But this fact should not deter the diligent pursuit of evidence. Search my name and RockyRoad, to find a lot of evidence-bearing references. It was new to me, this evidence for another area of money-led abuse of scientific authority. What was not new was the now-familiar pattern of tactics.

Well, no.
1/ Pons and Fleischmann [P&F] of claimed cold fusion have more in common with Muller et al then the rest of the physics community.as they chose to publish by press release rather then go through the standard peer-review process.
2/ After hearing the news, which, if true, would have been as important as the discovery of fire, many physicists around the world dropped what they were doing and rushed off to reproduce the P&F experiment. As null result after null result was reported, skepticism started to grow and justifiably remains to this day.
Climate change is an observational science.
One does not have a set of earth’s wherein on can vary the input parameters and study the resulting climate change. This is the reason why computer models, regardles of their accuracy and merit, are so extensively employed.
Fusion is an experimental science wherein experiments, especially table top claimed cold fusion, can be independently reproduced and tested.
3/ As back-to-back 511keV gamma photons are the characteristic signature of the claimed Rossi process, neutron, proton, and gamma photon emission are the characteristic signatures of the process the P&F claimed were occurring.
D + D → 4He* + 24 MeV
to
4He* → n + 3He + 3.3 MeV (ratio=50%)
4He* → p + 3H + 4.0 MeV (ratio=50%)
4He* → 4He + γ + 24 MeV (ratio=10−6)
No one to-date has produced a statistically significant neutron, proton, or gamma signal from a so-called cold fusion experiment. Nor have the reaction products 3He, 3H, or 4He been detected at levels above background.
4/ The experimental null results are bolstered by theoretical calculations that show that the overlap between the wavefunctions of deuterium in palladium is far to small for D + D fusion to occur.
5/ At least one of P&F have continued to claim cold fusion, not unlike Mann et al and their discredited hockey stick plot, despite the lack experimental evidence.
_____
In the case of claimed cold fusion, there is no conspiracy rather justified skepticism due to the lack of non null results. In this case, science has worked as it should.

October 30, 2011 8:17 am

The problem is that it means “reversed alchemy” 🙂 , as it turns a more expensive material into a cheaper one (Nickel to Copper)…

Peter Brown
October 30, 2011 8:44 am

I have been trying to figure out why the I find this discussion of eCat drives me crazy, and Mr Werme rather snarky comment showed me the way.
Mr Werme “I don’t know, from some of the comments here and from my August post, I think there are people who could live a house heated by an E-Cat module and still claim it doesn’t work.”
Unfortunately you have it completely wrong, I am a skeptic, ALL I want to see is a real working unit, not some propaganda put out by Rossi, with your help. By the time eCat becomes a device I can have in my basement someone will have correctly instrumented one and will be able to factually say it generate power. Period. Then I’ll believe.
The problem Mr Werme is you, you are a Cheerleader, You Want to Believe. There is nothing more dangerous than a true believer. No amount of evidence, or lack of evidence will change your mind or convince you.
In my comments I have been critical of Mr Watts for continuing to post stories about eCat, I changed my mind on that. Please continue to post about eCat but for gods sake find someone who is going to write objectively about the thing and NOT a TRUE BELIEVER.
Pete

Alex
October 30, 2011 8:47 am

What impresses me is not Rossi’s claims but the support he is getting from some mainstream scientists such as Focardi, Levi, Stremmenos, University of Bologna, Swedish scientists…..
What is impressing these scientists? Rossi’s nice words or Rossi’s ‘indisputable’ COP of 6?
As we all know, Fleischman and Pons’ claims have been replicated, only the mainstream science/MSM corrupt tandem just destroyed their reputation making Galileos out of the two. Meanwhile many scientists have carried out research, funded from their own bank account proving the LENR’s, albeit at very low energy outputs.

October 30, 2011 8:50 am

back in the 80s A friend walked up and said. “buy pallidium” He brother was at some university in Utah. There was some big announcement due. Buy options on the strange medal.
Next day,…of course. Pons and the other dude made their announcement. Others made money. Pump and dump.
people wonder how this scam works.. Its not about getting investor dollars or scaming customers..
To do this right your early investors and customer are on the take.. I wonder what commodity is in the secret catalyst? that’s where you makes the scam money. In the end the device doesnt work, but youve made bank

Dagobert
October 30, 2011 9:07 am

“Hydrogen Tunneling: First Experimental Evidence…”
There is a difference between discovering something truely new in a lab and faking up a supposedly nuclear powered water boiler, letting it produce some steam for a couple of hours and then let people responding to a blogpost somewhere search google scholar for possible cutting edge explainations for how it may or may not do what you say it does. Reminds me of all those people jumping onto a stage whenever somebody invented yet another perpettum mobile and claim its really zero point energy – just because they happen to believe in it and hope against hope that somebody making a video of a wooden box in a garage has somehow cracked it. As yet – no.
Esowatch has a rather complete chronology of this particular scam online here:
http://www.esowatch.com/en/index.php?title=Focardi-Rossi_Energy-Catalyzer

RockyRoad
October 30, 2011 9:17 am

Steve Mosher, take 10 minutes and read this:
http://pesn.com/2011/10/30/9501941_Rebuttal_to_Krivits_Accusation_that_Andrea_Rossi_is_a_Fraudster/
I think there are better ways to “make bank”. Besides, Rossi has said the secret catalyst contains fairly common materials, so I don’t see much upside in a futures play on whatever it is. It reportedly isn’t some “strange medal” {sic}.

RockyRoad
October 30, 2011 9:21 am

Typhoon says:
October 30, 2011 at 8:10 am


No one to-date has produced a statistically significant neutron, proton, or gamma signal from a so-called cold fusion experiment. Nor have the reaction products 3He, 3H, or 4He been detected at levels above background.

Sorry, Typhoon. You’re wrong. And you’re either in the employ of Big Oil that doesn’t want to see cold fusion take off, or you’re clueless to the facts.
Let’s let time work this out and at that point you’ll look back and admit you were wrong.

Dave Springer
October 30, 2011 9:38 am

Dagobert says:
October 30, 2011 at 9:07 am
“Hydrogen Tunneling: First Experimental Evidence…”
“There is a difference between discovering something truely new in a lab and faking up a supposedly nuclear powered water boiler, letting it produce some steam for a couple of hours and then let people responding to a blogpost somewhere search google scholar for possible cutting edge explainations for how it may or may not do what you say it does.”
I always learn something in the process of looking into claims like this.
Did you know that hydrogen tunneling has been observed in organic chemistry? I sure didn’t. But I do now.

Typhoon
October 30, 2011 9:39 am

Dagobert says:
October 30, 2011 at 9:07 am

“Hydrogen Tunneling: First Experimental Evidence…”
There is a difference between discovering something truely new in a lab and faking up a supposedly nuclear powered water boiler, letting it produce some steam for a couple of hours and then let people responding to a blogpost somewhere search google scholar for possible cutting edge explainations for how it may or may not do what you say it does. Reminds me of all those people jumping onto a stage whenever somebody invented yet another perpettum mobile and claim its really zero point energy – just because they happen to believe in it and hope against hope that somebody making a video of a wooden box in a garage has somehow cracked it. As yet – no.

Bingo.
Diffusion of hydrogen in nickel can be calculated reasonably well ab initio – from first physics principles:
http://goo.gl/Rhl7o
Again, if the nuclear reaction claimed to be occurring in the nickel lattice
Ni58 + p → Cu59
Copper nucleus Cu59 decays with positron (e+) and neutrino (ν) emission in Ni59 nucleus according to
Cu59 → Ni59 + ν + e+
Then (e+) annichilates with (e-) in two gamma-rays
e- + e+ → γ + γ
is occurring,
then the basic physics of the detection, or not, of back-to-back [by conservation of momentum] emission of 511keV gamma photons [ γ ] should have been the first step in any proof of concept.
The fact that this has not been done is a massive red flag.
Arguments based on supposed power generation, appeals to authority, or invoking conspiracy theories are meaningless without this fundamental experimental test.

RockyRoad
October 30, 2011 9:40 am

Peter Brown says:
October 30, 2011 at 8:44 am


In my comments I have been critical of Mr Watts for continuing to post stories about eCat, I changed my mind on that. Please continue to post about eCat but for gods sake find someone who is going to write objectively about the thing and NOT a TRUE BELIEVER.

Are you saying the only people that could report on the launches of the Apollo missions were those that believed they weren’t going to the moon?
Are you saying Mr. Watts shouldn’t be reporting on problems with weather station sitings because he’s a true believer there are serious problems?
And are you saying we shouldn’t be fighting the Taliban because our commanders truly believe they are fighting a bloodthirsty bunch of terrorists?
Your requirements are outlandish. You’re requirements can’t be met (and shouldn’t be a requirement) in the real world.

davidmhoffer
October 30, 2011 9:50 am

MrV;
@davidmhoffer
I’m not sure about the whole patent/buyer/big business conspiracy you have outlined.>>>
Your premise seems to be that big business could simply steal one if they wanted. No, they can’t. That would be against the law. Further, they have no incentive. There’s no proof the thing works, and until there is, they won’t be much interested. Once the product hits the market and hurts their sales, then they might care. Maybe. Large companies are very slow to wake up. Remember Addresograph-Memograph? They had 100% of the calculator market which at the time were large mechanical devices with rows of button to enter numbers with and a large crank to add the current number to the running total. They went bankrupt while still explaining to their board of directors that those little electronic devices from TI and HP would never catch on.
Once the big boys catch on that there is a competitive threat, then they’ll arrange to get their hands on one by buying it “used” from someone else. No need to risk charges of theft, industrial espionage and so on until they’re actually convinced they have a competitor to be concerned about.

RockyRoad
October 30, 2011 9:52 am

Typhoon says:

1/ Pons and Fleischmann [P&F] of claimed cold fusion have more in common with Muller et al then the rest of the physics community.as they chose to publish by press release rather then go through the standard peer-review process.

Yes, Typhoon, and that “publish by press release” was a requirement of the “powers that be” at the University of Utah. It wasn’t what Pons and Fleischmann wanted to do but they were overridden.
You present all sorts of half truths to support your case, but if what you say is looked at in detail, it all falls apart. Seems similar to the story we’re told on CAGW.

Dave Springer
October 30, 2011 10:06 am

@Typhoon
There have been non-null results for P&F. Quite a few of them.
Here’s some very recent discussion:
http://www.rle.mit.edu/rleonline/ProgressReports/3696_48_PR152.pdf
The faithful come in two flavors, by the way. The “True Believers” and the “True Disbelievers”. Are you one of the latter? The usual place we experience this faith dichotomy is religion. There are those that believe there is a God and there are those that believe there is not a God. Both positions require faith. Science is agnostic and someone who respects it does not become a True Disbeliever in P&F but rather keeps an open mind and watches (even with a jaundiced eye) for further developments. Anyone that keeps up with physics could not help but know that P&F effect is still on the table with ambiguous, confounding findings of excess energy and ongoing research into it.

Septic Matthew
October 30, 2011 10:12 am

Ric Werme: “I don’t know, from some of the comments here and from my August post, I think there are people who could live a house heated by an E-Cat module and still claim it doesn’t work.”
It’s a testable hypothesis. Produce a house heated by an E-Cat module and we’ll see. We could have two identical houses in rural Minnesota or Sweden, one heated by electricity, and the other heated by the E-Cat, same indoor and outdoor temperatures, from October through May. The house heated by the E-Cat module should not use more than 16% (an expert can calculate a better value based on data of houses of that type in that setting) of the electricity used for the other house. (This can be modified if the E-Cat is to be started with gas heating instead of electricity — 83% gas savings.) But as I noted above, Rossi has spent the time since August NOT PRODUCING a house heated by an E-Cat module. It isn’t too late, though, and maybe he’ll have one ready by Jan 1, 2012, to operate through May. That would be an ok test.
Alex says: As we all know, Fleischman and Pons’ claims have been replicated, only the mainstream science/MSM corrupt tandem just destroyed their reputation making Galileos out of the two. If Pons’ and Fleischman’s claims had been true, we’d have fleets of vehicles of all sizes powered by Pons/Fleischman devices — city sewer systems as well, malls and large buildings, university dormitories, hospitals and assisted living facilities, PV panel factories, cruise liners and freighters, military vehicles. You’d need shielding from the gamma rays, but that is a cost way lower than the energy savings. There are many more consumers of energy than there are producers, and they all want cheaper energy. Even GE, Sharp and Siemens, who manufacture energy equipment, want cheaper inputs to their manufacturing processes, and they’d make a bundle selling the Pons/Fleischman devices.

Septic Matthew
October 30, 2011 10:28 am

Cirrius Man: I really can’t believe anyone can be so stupid to try a scam in this manner.
I think that arguments like that are comically inadequate. He does not have to scam everyone — he does not even have to scam many people, or even a few people. He only needs 1 rich investor. My belief is the opposite of yours — almost certainly there is at least 1 sucker out there with money. Suckers invest in mysterious hedge funds and mortgage-backed securities; how could Rossi be worse than that? Judging from their comments here, Lucy Skywalker and some others would invest in Rossi if they had the money.

Dagobert
October 30, 2011 10:50 am

“But as I noted above, Rossi has spent the time since August NOT PRODUCING a house heated by an E-Cat module.”
Funnily enough – he claims just that. In his patent application he wrote:
“A practical embodiment of the inventive apparatus, installed on October 16, 2007, is at present perfectly operating 24 hours per day, and provides an amount of heat sufficient to heat the factory of the Company EON of via Carlo Ragazzi 18, at Bondeno (Province of Ferrara).”
Makes you wonder how he still hasn’t got a clue how it works. What Province of Ferrara officials would say about an untested nuclear reactor running in their vicinity is another question. Probably they’d put him in jail again (or maybe they showed up on his doorstep with a Geiger-Müller counter and – just like everybody else – couldn’t find any evidence of a nuclear reaction whatsoever).

DocMartyn
October 30, 2011 10:58 am

There are lot of biological proton tunneling reactions; they are detected using D2O and T2O and analyzing the kinetics.
http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/12/5/055002/fulltext

October 30, 2011 11:25 am

Typhoon says:
October 29, 2011 at 11:05 pm
“Thus the kinetic energy of the protons, of the hydrogen atoms, is about 7 orders of magnitude [a factor of 10^7] too low for the claimed nuclear reaction to have occurred in the device.”
This “proof” is the equivalent of using 19th century physics to “prove” that the atom bomb won’t work.
LENR reactions are not hot fusion. You can’t judge them in the framework of hot fusion science. The fact that LENR reactions exist and have been replicated over and over can’t be “disproven” by trotting out a bunch of energy calculations based upon a theory that clearly doesn’t apply.
You seem like a person who understands standard quantum physics,Typhoon. Unfortunately standard quantum physics doesn’t account for LENR reactions. It is 20th century physics in a 21st century world, if you will. Fortunately, the physics that will define 21st century science has already been developed by Frank Znidarsic. If you want to understand the physics of LENR reactions, you need to study the work of Frank Znidarsic. If you understand his mathematics of the transition state (which is much simpler than you would expect, requiring only an understanding of high school algebra to understand), you will quickly see how and why the Coulomb barrier is not a factor under the conditions that Rossi is creating in his e-Cat reactors.

Typhoon
October 30, 2011 11:32 am

DocMartyn says:
October 30, 2011 at 10:58 am

There are lot of biological proton tunneling reactions; they are detected using D2O and T2O and analyzing the kinetics.
http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/12/5/055002/fulltext

Certainly.
However, nothing to with nuclear reactions of the type claimed by Rossi et al in their device.

phlogiston
October 30, 2011 11:38 am

Typhoon says:
October 29, 2011 at 11:05 pm
Ric Werme says:
October 29, 2011 at 9:15 am
The process that Rossi claims is occurring in the device::
Ni58 + p → Cu59
Copper nucleus Cu59 decays with positron (e+) and neutrino (ν) emission in Ni59 nucleus according to
Cu59 → Ni59 + ν + e+
Then (e+) annichilates with (e-) in two gamma-rays
e- + e+ → γ + γ

Positron emission here gives two big problems, if the above reaction is indeed to what Rossi attributes energy generation.
1. The 511 keV energy of the positron annihilation photons is quite high – very easy to detect externally by a geiger or proportional counter. These photons MUST be detected for Rossi’s hypothesis to be confirmed.
2. The 511 keV photons from positron annihilation cannot be the basis for heating of anything smaller than a very big building or a small hill. From an object of the size of Rossi’s units nearly all the 511 keV photon energy would escape.

Septic Matthew
October 30, 2011 11:59 am

I really can’t believe anyone can be so stupid to try a scam in this manner.
We should never assume that other people all think alike, and think like us. If he is a con artist, he thinks he can fool someone.
Last comment from me.

John B
October 30, 2011 12:04 pm

David Wood says:
October 30, 2011 at 11:25 am
“…Unfortunately standard quantum physics doesn’t account for LENR reactions. It is 20th century physics in a 21st century world, if you will. Fortunately, the physics that will define 21st century science has already been developed by Frank Znidarsic…”
———————
Warp drive is 23rd century physics. And equally grounded in reality.

R. Shearer
October 30, 2011 12:24 pm

Rossi claims to use a thin sheet of lead for radiation shielding and demonstrates no leakage with a detector. Why not place a detector inside the shield to demonstrate radiation concurrent with energy generation?
Besides being a convicted fellon, his degree in chemical engineering is from Glendale, CA Kennsignton University, a diploma mill closed by legal action in 2003.