E-cat inventor in live chat with the readers
Questions poured in when the Italian engineer, Andrea Rossi, the inventor of the so-called 'energy catalyzer' which may be based on cold fusion, met with Ny Teknik's readers in a live chat. Read all questions and answers here.
(Swedish version here. Italian translation here).
Rossi's 'energy catalyzer' was shown to an invited audience in Bologna in January 2011 and produces heat by an unknown reaction. The reactor of the device is loaded with nickel powder in the presence of secret catalysts, and pressurized with hydrogen.
Question: Dear mr Rossi! When can I buy a small energy-catalyst machine at about 7-15 kW to temperate my house? What will it cost? Are you going to construct a machine (for ex with a Stirling machine) which also can produce electricity enough for the private household? / Åke Östlund
Rossi: To produce Energy Catalyzers (E-Cat from now) for the households, it takes time for the necessary certifications. This is the reason why we are starting from industrial applications, or even centralized thermal energy distribution systems: in these applications the authorizations are less difficult, because the plants are operated by skilled professionals. Yes, we are also designing electric power systems, which use the well known cycles: Carnot Cycle, Stirling, etc. As for the costs, we foresee 1 cent per kWh for the electric energy, 0,3 cents per thermal kWh, 2.000 Euro per kW of power.
Question: Is the presentation of commercial units to the market on track, i.e., happening during 2011? / Göran Ericsson
Question: What is your main goal with this project? Is it to be extremely rich or do you want to help the common people? / Lars Lindberg
Rossi: This technology has been made to be useful to the Mankind, as every good technology.
Question: When people understand the magnitude of this it will be an extreme situation, considering even wars are fought about oil today, are you prepared for this? / Best regards and congratulation to the greatest technology invention in man’s history. / Lars Lindberg
Rossi: I made many battles in my life. This is not the first and will not be the last. Anyway, I got my precautions and I am ready to fight.
Question: Is there any weakness / disadvantage with your technique? / Björn Sjödin
Rossi: It breaks some classic rules of physics. And this unfortunately will raise resistance in the process of acceptation, I fear. I don't see any weakness in the technology as such, based on my experience. (this answer was edited by Rossi after the live chat).
Question: If present situation with co2-gases and potential global heating is taken seriously, would it not be better to find a way for faster implementation of the Catalyzer, i.e. by releasing all secrets and allow a massive global research as fast as possible? / Bertil Nilsson
Rossi: We are working 16 hours per day for the implementation. We also are waiting for the registration of the granted patent to release more information.
Question: How dangerous is amateur replication? / Edward Wall
Rossi: The replication of the effect along the patent has to be made by professionals. It is dangerous, if made by amateurs, because there are explosion dangers and because the nickel powders are toxic. The manipulations must be made in professional laboratories, with professional protection devices
Question: Do you see any potential co-operation with Swedish engineers and industry? / Per Kylemark
Rossi: Absolutely yes. We, as Leonardo Corporation, are searching a Partner industry to install a 1 MW plant. We are open to install the plant at our expenses, if the plant remains our property and we sell to the Customer the thermal energy. This way the Customer risks nothing and we earn from the energy we produce.
Question: One can think of many ways to transmit energy to the device. One could transfer chemicals or electric current within the water. Another method would be a high frequency component through the electric connection, some measurements might not detect it. There are also wireless means of energy transfer as Nikola Tesla demonstrated more than a century ago. My question is, have you or would you be prepared, to repeat this demonstration at a location chosen by someone else? / Djalal Mirmohades
Rossi: All these systems sound more Flash Gordon than real. None of these systems exists in the world able to produce 10 kWh/h, as we did and as we are doing. Besides, consider that: all the money spent up to now has been my money.
Furthermore: we are not searching venture capital, we want to sell our energy, taking upon us all the risks, we are paying for all the R&D activity, we are not asking money from anyone. Our Customers pay money only after successful testing of our E-Cats: the money, in case of plants sale, remains in the Customer´s escrow account until successful testing is made. So any stupid trick could only damage ourselves, not the Customers.
Question: If no gammas are observed, what is the reason to believe nuclear reactions are involved? / Göran Ericsson
Rossi: We observed gammas under the 300 keV range. We did not find, so far, the couples at 180 degrees at 511 keV, and the research we are continuing with the University of Bologna is aimed also to better probe the specter of the gamma produced. It will take some month of research, after which we will be able to better understand the theory at the root of the thermal effect.
We have to calculate also the recoil energy, integrated with the kinetic energy we produce. We want to correlate the thermal effect with the gamma specter we will define. We also are continuing to analyze the atomic and isotopical transmutation, to correlate it to the gamma and to the thermal effect. I want to know if Cu 59, 60, 61, 62 decay by electron capture, instead of beta plus emission; if so a very interesting consideration can be derived.
This is a very difficult research we are investing on (my money). And, at last, if we will not find high energy gamma and 511 keV couples, well, we will have to think about a new rule. It would not be the first time: they have digged a big hole, there, in Geneva, to understand things, and they are finding things that by the classic physics could not happen, particle that by the classic physics could not exist. But those things, evidently, are not good Physics students, so they insist to exist. Just read the "Nuclear Models" of Greiner Maruhn to get a taste of this.
Question: Would it be possible to power a car using the E-Cat? / Mats Johnson
Rossi: Maybe in the future, not in the next years.
Question: What is the technical reason for limiting the production to 10Kw-units? / Bengt Sundlöf
Rossi: Because this is the dimensions we have tested for years, and we know it very well; this fact allows us to guarantee the necessary reliability and for what concerns the safety and security systems and for what concerns the operational efficiency.
Question: What will you do with the Nobel Prize money? Fantastic discovery!! / Ted Olsson
Rossi: In Italy we say: NON VENDERE LA PELLE DELL'ORSO PRIMA DI AVERLO PRESO Translation: don't sell the fur of the bear before hunting him. The 50% of our profits is destined to the healthcare of children in the world whose parents have not the money to pay for it. Indipendently from events that are on the will of God.
Question: Did you ever have any instable power run away situation during testing?
Rossi: We must make a distinction between our research activity and the E-Cats we supply to the Customers. During the research I get my risks, and always, in those cases, I am alone. As for the E-Cats we make for the Customers, the control upon them is total, and I say this after tenths thousand hours of testing. I refer to the 10 kW module, which is the unit which we combine in series and parallels to reach higher power levels.
Question: How much nickel powder is used and for how long can it run before it needs to be replaced? / Jörgen Andreasson
Rossi: In a charge we put about 100 grams and we change the charge every 6 months.
Question: Thank you for answering some questions. How do you plan to prevent reverse engineering and production in places that ignore intellectual property protection? / Edward Wall
Rossi: I do not know. At the moment I am focused only to produce. For the moment we maintain the industrial secret upon the issues that improve the efficiency (nature of catalyzers for example). But the text of our patent will allow, before or later, somebody to replicate the effect and make what you say. But this is normal in the history of technology and I have to accept it.
Sooner or later we will get competition, and nothing will stop this. It would be like try to stop the Niagara Falls with an umbrella.
Question: Are there enough raw materials, e.g. nickel, in the world to run this technology in large scale for many years, or will certain materials be scarce? And what will happen with price of nickel? / Guest
Rossi: The price of nickel is so low (20 euro per kg) that it should have to raise of orders of magnitude to make this tech uncompetitive. Nickel is very common on the Earth, and with a tiny percentage of the yearly extraction of nickel it would be possible to produce all the energy needed in the World.
Question: What will happen if your patent application does not get approved? /TBTB
Rossi: Nothing. We will continue to manufacture our plants, of course in that case we will not have patent protection. More industrial secrets, though.
Question: Dear Sir, Do you get any "toxic" waste in the process? / Thomas Vilhar
Rossi: Not at all. We do not use radioactive material and we do not produce lasting radioactive materials. After a few hours all the radioactivity produced inside the E-Cat is turned into heat.
The editor: Dear readers, we have run the chat for one hour and it's time to round up. Here's now one last question.
Question: What did you made start investigating Ni-H reactions? / Jurgen
Rossi: The idea started from the premise that using very high pressure could increase the kinetic energy of protons to obtain nuclear reactions, since one can reach very high pressures with relatively low forces by reducing the surface area on which the pressure is focused.
At this point the natural candidate to provide the hammer exerting the pressure could only be hydrogen, while as the anvil on which to exert pressure, the atoms of the column number 10 of the periodic table of Mendelejev are most suitable for their high affinity with hydrogen. Obviously nickel is chosen for cost reasons.
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Note: After the live chat we sent another 36 of the readers' questions to Rossi. Here are his answers.
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READ MORE: Our complete coverage on Rossi's E-cat can be found here.