Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Did Andrea Rossi Jump the Gun with His 1 MW E-Cat LENR?

New information from fusion physicist George Miley (Vortex via EcatSite and helps to clarify a few matters regarding recent developments in LENR research.

Professor Miley and his students are proceeding with their own line of research into LENRs, and are making what is described as dramatic improvement. Miley's slides are available for download.
The slides show early runs. Recently they made a batch of material that
works dramatically better. However, they only made one batch so far and
they have run samples from it four times. They will need to make more
batches to confirm that they can reproduce this improved performance. Miley
is "optimistic but cautious" that the next batch will work as well as this
one did.

In the four runs they have achieved fairly stable output ranging from ~75
to ~200 W. The runs last around six hours. As shown in slide 48, the sample
first self-heats from the chemical reaction. Because the sample is well
insulated this heat is enough to trigger the anomalous reaction -- when the
anomalous reaction occurs. You do not usually need external heating
although the cell is equipped with a heater (slide 47).

The samples are ZrO2 with 35% Pd loaded with deuterium at 60 psi. They
range from 15 to 30 g. The starting material is of high purity and comes
from Ames National Laboratory. Additional processing is done at the
University of Illinois. Miley thinks that recent success is due to their
increased attention to material purity and improved manufacturing methods,
and a better vacuum pump. Quote slide 49: "Most effort has been to develop
improved nanoparticles by comparing and down selecting a series of triple

They are also making ZrO2Ni, to be loaded with hydrogen. I do not think
they have done this yet. We did not talk about that much.

...Based on Mizuno's data, I agree this is very complicated but on the other
hand it is also probably reliable, stable and repeatable. Mizuno tested
hydrogen, deuterium, helium, air, and a vacuum. He tested the gases over a
range of pressures. He found that when you use the same kind of gas at the
same pressure, a given power level always produces the same temperature
difference between the inside and the outside. So, when anomalous power
produces a certain temperature you can find that point on the output curve
and you can say with confidence that it is producing that much power.

Because of this complexity, Miley et al. do not know with accuracy how much
power the sample is producing. On the other hand they can be sure it is
producing heat because the sample chamber is much hotter than the outer
chamber. We know the energy is anomalous, because it produces a much larger
temperature difference than the chemical effect, and it lasts much longer:
21600 s compared to 150 s. The anomalous power continues when the heating
coil is turned off, so there is no possibility that they are mistaking
conventional electric heating with anomalous heating.

In other words, they can be sure there is anomalous heat but they cannot
say with assurance what the magnitude of it is. I think they would have to
do more calibration with a joule heater to establish exactly what the power
level is.

...Miley’s researchers are young. See slide 46. This kind of research should
be done by young people. Frankly, I would rather have one young person than
5 elderly scientists.

The material supplied by Ames Laboratory can be documented in great detail,
and probably reproduced. The additional processing performed by Miley et
al. can also be documented in detail.

Unlike Rossi, Miley et al. are willing to reveal all details of their work
and to share materials with other qualified researchers, so this material
can be independently tested by other laboratories
And so on. It is worth reading both the Vortex link above and the EcatSite link.

The impression one gets from all the information available so far, is that the science is still poorly defined, and the technology is still at an infantile stage.

It is not likely that Andrea Rossi's E-Cat reactors are ready for commercialisation or mass production. But Rossi has performed an important role by bringing this science and technology to the attention of the public and the media. Now, scientific researchers such as George Miley and others should more easily obtain funding for their research into both the science underlying LENRs and the technology required to efficiently develop efficient and reliable reactors to useful scale.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The calorimeter design being used by Miley can be modified to measure power output within a few percent by insulating the outer container and wrapping flow tubing about it to measure the heat generated in the reaction. Then the calorimeter constant can be established using an electrical resistance heater placed at the reaction cell location. This becomes a flow calorimeter and retains the ability to maintain the reaction cell at a preset temperature to measure power out from a reaction happening at that temperature. It is essential that Miley and team make modifications at the earliest opportunity, because it is precisely sloppy calorimeter results giving imprecise heat measurements that critics point at when denouncing research in LENR. And as scientists they make a good point. The Miley results can not be conclusively duplicated by other research groups unless measurements are accurate. And if the experiments can not be duplicated no body is going to believe the Miley results. In a way his results can be perceived as even less believable than those of Rossi. Miley claims comparable heat generation to the E-Cat fuel by morphology of the fuel alone. Rossi claims a "secret" catalyst is used in his E-Cat, but if the heat generation is a result of the physical morphology alone (that is, size and shape of particles, of an alloy), and not a result of any secret ingredient or activation procedure, then LENR is a purely natural phenomena, and can not be patented. The Miley work would prove that LENR is a discovery, not an invention.

6:45 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

Interesting, thanks.

No one will trust the results until they are achieved using the highest standards of measurement, and replicated.

I am hoping the phenomenon is real and that it will scale to industrial sizes. But I am not expecting an energy revolution from this approach anytime soon.

Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised. That would be nice.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Pipmon said...

All possible credence in a person's intelligence and credibility disappears instantly when that person says something so blatantly nonsensical as "blah blah...rather have 1 young scientist than 5 elder...blah blah"
If you've looked at all the posts showing pictures of all the researchers actively involved in LENR did you not notice that they were practically all very mature and even retired professors and scientists?
As a matter of fact the "establishment physicists" so rabidly denouncing the possibility of LENR are exactly the younger crowd!!! How does that fit in your cosmology? LOL

8:06 PM  

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