Jun 07, 2013
Interest in LENR device resurges as independent report is releasedBack
Leonardo Corporation|National Instruments|Nuclear|Sweden|United States|Bologna University|Cornell University|Royal Institute Of Technology|Upssala University|Anomalous Heat Energy Production|Conventional Chemical Reactions|Electronic Equipment|Energy|Energy Catalyser|Equipment|Excess Energy|Low-energy Nuclear Reaction|Nuclear|Reactor Device|Technology|Thermal Imaging Camera|Andrea Rossi|David Bianchini|David Hambling|Evelyn Foschi|Giuseppe Levi|Lars Tegn|Mark Gibbs|Martin Fleischmann|Power|Roland Pettersson|Stanley Pons|The Forbes|E-Cat|Radiation
© Reuse this
To recap briefly, LENR is a process in which hydrogen is loaded into specially prepared nickel or palladium powder and subjected to an electrical charge in the presence of a catalyst. This triggers some sort of reaction that is not yet well understood but that releases ‘excess energy’ – that is, more energy than would be generated by conventional chemical reactions.
The LENR effect used to be called ‘cold fusion’, a label now regarded by those in the field as a misnomer, and one which tainted the field when early experiments, in 1989, by Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann could not be replicated.
Since then, however, the LENR process has been demonstrated experimentally hundreds of times, as documented in credible scientific journals and at exhibitions like that held last year by US technology firm National Instruments. But until recently, claims by several companies – including Rossi’s Leonardo Corporation – that commercially viable quantities of energy were being produced by LENR devices had not been independently verified.
Rossi allowed third-party investigators to test an improved version of the E-Cat unit he first demonstrated in October 2011, called the Hot Cat or E-Cat HT (where HT indicates high temperature).
The evaluation was performed by seven scien- tists: Giuseppe Levi, of Bologna University; Evelyn Foschi, of Bologna; Torbjörn Hartman, Bo Höistad, Roland Pettersson and Lars Tegnér, of Upssala University, in Sweden; and Hanno Essén, of Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology.
Their 29-page report, titled ‘Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device containing hydrogen loaded nickel powder’, was originally posted on May 6 on Cornell University’s scientific archive website, at http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.3913. A revised version was uploaded four days later, but it should be noted that the paper has not yet been through a scientific peer-review process, and so its findings should be regarded as provisional. The authors were careful with their use of the word ‘indication’ rather than ‘proof’.
Two separate tests were performed on the E-Cat HT – one in December 2012, which lasted 96 hours, and another in March, which tested an improved prototype running continuously for 116 hours. The scientists used a thermal imaging camera to quantify the heat output of the E-Cat HT, together with electronic equipment to measure the elec- trical power input that kick-starts the reaction. Both tests yielded evidence of so-called ‘anomalous heat production’ “in decidedly higher quantities than what may be gained from any conventional [energy] source”.
More strikingly, the authors conclude that “volumetric and gravimetric energy densities were found to be far above those of any known chemical source”. They state further that, “even by the most conservative assumptions as to the errors in the measurements, the result is still one order of magnitude (ten times) greater than conventional energy sources”.
Another scientist, David Bianchini, tested for any radiation emitted by the E-Cat HT but found none.
The coefficient of performance (COP) – the ratio of power output to power input – was measured as about 5.6 in the first test and about 2.6 in the second test, when the temperature was intentionally kept at a lower level. Interestingly, in both tests, the reactor was deliberately shut down after the specified interval, even though the reactor fuel was not exhausted. This suggests that the Hot Cat’s COP and energy densities could actually be much higher.
In its current configuration, the E-Cat HT is effectively a mechanism for magnifying the power output of some other energy source. Either electricity or gas is needed – albeit not continuously – to initiate and maintain the reaction taking place between the hydrogen and nickel powder.
The publication of this report has triggered an upsurge of debate in the blogosphere, although, thus far, it has largely been ignored by mainstream media sources, with the exception of articles by David Hambling in Wired magazine and by Mark Gibbs on the Forbes magazine website.
Some commentators maintain that the test might somehow have been rigged by Rossi, for example, by hiding an additional source of electrical energy input. In follow-up comments on the Web, the authors of the report say this is very unlikely.
In any event, the seven evaluators plan to con- duct a six-month-long continuous test of the Hot Cat later this year. If further testing proves that the E-Cat works as claimed, then the reported energy densities suggest that this could be a massively disruptive technology – and a clean one at that. Given how badly the world needs cheap and clean energy, it is a wonder that LENR is garnering so little attention.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Dr Jeremy Wakeford News
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
In the next 20 years, it was expected that, in Africa, more people would live in cities and towns than in rural areas, United Nations Habitat executive director Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira said at the Human Settlements Indaba that took place earlier this month in...
Tough-talking Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has committed government to building 1.5-million low-cost houses over the next five years, telling the Human Settlements Indaba in Johannesburg on Wednesday that the State would achieve this target through the...
Over the past 20 years there has been persistent concern about deindustrialisation in South Africa, as well as the fact that locally produced manufactured products have been increasingly displaced by imports.
Financial agreement for Ghanian independent power producer (IPP) Cenpower Generation Company’s $900-million, 350 MW combined-cycle gas-turbine power plant was finalised earlier this month, paving the way for the project’s construction to begin before 2015 in Tema,...
The revenue implications for South Africa of ‘base erosion and profit shifting’ by corporate taxpayers are firmly in the crosshairs of the Davis Tax Committee (DTC) and Judge Dennis Davis hinted last week that recommendations were being considered to “detect and...
Next ArticleCan Malawi leap-frog the fossil fuel age?