NYT: “Tragedy of Germany’s Energy Experiment”

An opinion piece in the New York Times by Jochen Bittner highlights some of the problems that are faced when policymakers seek to move away from carbon sources of energy. Bittner discusses the case of Germany where there is a strong push by the government to move to renewable sources of fuels, while at the same time rejecting nuclear power.

He writes that Germany is struggling to meet the commitment of reducing carbon emissions by 40 percent by the end of this year, and that some Germans in rural areas are tiring of the increasing number of wind parks that are being built.

From the article:

“The tragedy about Germany’s energy experiment is that the country’s almost religious antinuclear attitude doesn’t leave room for advances in technology. Scientists in America, Russia and China believe that it is possible to run nuclear power plants on radioactive waste — which might solve the problem of how to store used fuel elements, one of the core arguments against nuclear. Certainly, these so-called fast breeder reactors have their dangers too. But as we transition to a completely renewable energy supply, wouldn’t they be a better alternative to coal and gas plants?”

The problem of what to do with nuclear waste is the main objection to nuclear power, but we have been hearing of promising work of how some efforts of using transmutation (e.g. SAFIRE, Cardone, et. al.) to remediate nuclear waste could be promising. It would be interesting to see how things might change if the nuclear waste problem turned out to be solvable.

U.S. Department of Energy Launches Energy Storage Grand Challenge JANUARY 8, 2020

The following news release was published January 8, 2020 by the US Department of Energy here:
https://www.energy.gov/articles/us-department-energy-launches-energy-storage-grand-challengehttps://www.energy.gov/articles/us-department-energy-launches-energy-storage-grand-challengehttps://www.energy.gov/articles/us-department-energy-launches-energy-storage-grand-challenge

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette announced the launch of the Energy Storage Grand Challenge, a comprehensive program to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of next-generation energy storage technologies and sustain American global leadership in energy storage. The Grand Challenge builds on the $158 million Advanced Energy Storage Initiative announced in President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request.

“Energy storage is key to capturing the full value of our diverse energy resources,” said Secretary Brouillette. “Through this Grand Challenge, we will deploy the Department’s extensive resources and expertise to address the technology development, commercialization, manufacturing, valuation, and workforce challenges to position the U.S. for global leadership in the energy storage technologies of the future.”

The vision for the Energy Storage Grand Challenge is to create and sustain global leadership in energy storage utilization and exports, with a secure domestic manufacturing supply chain that is independent of foreign sources of critical materials, by 2030. While research and development (R&D) is the foundation of advancing energy storage technologies, the Department recognizes that global leadership also requires addressing associated challenges.

Using a coordinated suite of R&D funding opportunities, prizes, partnerships, and other programs, the Energy Storage Grand Challenge sets the following goals for the U.S. to reach by 2030:

1. Technology Development: Establish ambitious, achievable performance goals, and a comprehensive R&D portfolio to achieve them;

2. Technology Transfer: Accelerate the technology pipeline from research to system design to private sector adoption through rigorous system evaluation, performance validation, siting tools, and targeted collaborations;

3. Policy and Valuation: Develop best-in-class models, data, and analysis to inform the most effective value proposition and use cases for storage technologies;

5. Manufacturing and Supply Chain: Design new technologies to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and recyclability, and to reduce dependence on foreign sources of critical materials; and

6. Workforce: Train the next generation of American workers to meet the needs of the 21st century electric grid and energy storage value chain.

The Energy Storage Grand Challenge is a cross-cutting effort managed by DOE’s Research and Technology Investment Committee (RTIC). The Department established the RTIC in 2019 to convene the key elements of DOE that support R&D activities, coordinate their strategic research priorities, and identify potential cross-cutting opportunities in both basic and applied science and technology.

In September 2018, Congress passed the “Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act” codifying the efforts of the RTIC. The Energy Storage Subcommittee of the RTIC is co-chaired by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Office of Electricity and includes the Office of Science, Office of Fossil Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Office of Technology Transitions, ARPA-E, Office of Policy, the Loan Programs Office, and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

As a first step in the Challenge, DOE will soon release requests for information (RFI) soliciting stakeholder feedback on the key questions and issues the Challenge seeks to address. Over the coming weeks, DOE will host also host a series of workshops with key stakeholders to share information about various storage technologies, learn more about current barriers to deployment, and help shape the work that will bring those technologies to market. This work will inform the development a coordinated R&D roadmap to 2030 for a broad suite of storage and flexibility technologies. This roadmap will be guided by a set of use cases that describe ambitious grid applications that can be accomplished with advancements in these technologies.

As the Grand Challenge develops, DOE looks forward to engaging with stakeholders to develop a complex-wide strategy to position the U.S. for global leadership in energy storage. Additional information about the Grand Challenge and upcoming events can be found here.

###

Rossi Working on Improving Power Density of SKL

True to form, Andrea Rossi is not going to stop working to improve his latest E-Cat, it seems. On the Journal of Nuclear Physics today he answered a question about what he is working on currently:

Nolan
January 6, 2020 at 4:56 AM
Are you also working during this period on the reduction of the dimensions of the module, maintaining the same power ?

Andrea Rossi
January 6, 2020 at 5:26 AM
Nolan:
Yes,
Warm Regards,
A.R.

I asked a follow-up question on this topic:

Frank Acland
January 6, 2020 at 8:42 AM
Dear Andrea,

You reply to Nolan is interesting. Does this mean that you have enough satisfaction with the original E-Cat SKL model, to now work on improving the power density?

Andrea Rossi
January 6, 2020 at 10:01 AM
Frank Acland:
Improving power density is always important. During the tests we continuously discover things.
Warm Regards,
A.R.

However he does seem to think there’s a limit to the power density he can achieve:

Szymon Blachuta
January 6, 2020 at 10:02 AM
Do you think the Ecat SKL can be scaled downt to be able to energize like watches, phones etc ?
Szymon Blachuta

Andrea Rossi
January 6, 2020 at 10:04 AM
Szymon Blachuta:
No.
Warm regards,
A.R.

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E-Cat Testing and Presentation Status

We’re now into January, and on the topic of the E-Cat, I think the question on most people’s mind is what’s going on with the testing of the E-Cat SKL that Andrea Rossi said would take place this month, and when the projected Stockholm conference will take place. Steven Karels asked about this on the Journal of Nuclear Physics today:

Steven N. Karels
January 3, 2020 at 8:35 PM
Dear Andrea Rossi,

1. Given your plans for a presentation of the SKL next month, are SKLs already undergoing testing by the independent evaluator?
2. Are you still planning a Feb 2020 presentation

Andrea Rossi
January 4, 2020 at 3:59 AM
Steven N. Karels:
1 confidential
2 so far, yes
Warm Regards,
A.R.

Rossi’s first answer shows we aren’t going to be given any information about the testing until it is completed. I think the timing of the presentation is going to depend on how the testing goes, and how long it takes. Rossi has said that if the testing is negative that there won’t be a presentation.

So all we can do is just stand by and wait. If a presentation is announced then I think that is a good indication that the testing has gone well. It’s possible that a report will be issued before a presentation is announced, but Rossi has said he did not know if that would be the case.

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Paper: “The Astonishing 63Ni Radioactivity Reduction in Radioactive Wastes by Means of Ultrasounds Application” (Rosada, Cardone and Avino)

Thanks to Curbina for mentioning in a different thread this paper, published on ResearchGate in November 2019, which I had not seen before.

Title: “The astonishing 63Ni radioactivity reduction in radioactive wastes by means of ultrasounds application”

Authors: Alberto Rosada, F. Cardone, Pasquale Avino.

Link:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/336249156_The_astonishing_63Ni_radioactivity_reduction_in_radioactive_wastes_by_means_of_ultrasounds_application

Abstract:

Nowadays, the radioactive wastes production is certainly one of the main issues along with their storage. The most interesting way to treat them would certainly be the radioactivity reduction. In this paper we show that the ⁶³Ni radioactivity reduction by ultrasounds is not a violation of the exponential decay law but can be explained by the Deformed Space–Time theory. The cavitation procedure under the DST conditions achieves a radioactivity decrease around 14% in 200 s. Comparing these results with the theoretical ones obtained by the decay law, we earn more than 20 years in the ⁶³Ni radioactivity decrease. For confirming the data, ICP-MS measurements were performed on cavitated and no-cavitated samples: once again, the 14%-difference (with CV 5%) was obtained from the analyses of both samples. Even if the data are not definitive, the new idea is that a radioactive substance can be “normalized” by its transformation into a normal stable one without radiation emission overcoming the traditional approaches (dilution, inertization, radioactive transmutation with fast neutron irradiation) and avoiding the use of large deposits or big reactors. Our results may be considered as starting point to pave the way to new methods to treat useless harmful radioactive substances from nuclear or medicine industry.

Here is Curbina’s comment on the paper:

“As the reality of radioactive waste remediation by means of cavitation or HHO treatment is taking long to be accepted, I think increasing awareness of this technological solution to the biggest issue with conventional fission is something we should all embrace as a primary task. Mainstream Acceptance of this should also pave the way to widespread acceptance of LENR as a reality.”

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How to Power the 2020s?

As we step into the 2020s there is a lot of discussion in the media about the decade that has just passed, and what we might be looking forward to in this new decade in terms of technological development.

There are some general themes that keep cropping up as people make forecasts about which technologies will be increasingly incorporated into daily life. Here are a few that I have noticed seem to keep cropping up:

– Increased use of artificial intelligence in all aspects of life

– Increased use of networked surveillance technologies for governmental purposes

– Increased use of robotics in the workplace and in military/law enforcement settings

– Increased use of electric vehicles

– Increased use of virtual reality

– Introduction of new types of flying vehicles such as sky taxis

All of the above developments will require energy to make them possible, and as we know, energy is a hot-button issue internationally as more and more emphasis is placed on the impact of energy on the climate. How will this energy-hungry future be powered, and what will be that impact on the environment?

There is a lot of discussion and often a lot of consternation about how we power the present and future technologies that are becoming so interwove into our lives in an environmentally friendly way. But there is not really a consensus on how it will be done. There are lots of competing interests around the world with many energy-rich countries and energy companies trying to maintain their economic and political advantage.

Renewable sources (and sometimes nuclear) are favored by many because they are carbon emission-free, but they each have their own drawbacks in terms of cost and efficiency compared to traditional fossil fuels.

So the problem of how to power the future that is in some ways already upon us, is not resolved — unless a game-changing clean technology that is obviously cheaper and more convenient comes on the scene. Many of us are holding out hope that the E-Cat and/or other similar tech will come available in this decade, and it will be interesting to see what happens.

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Rossi Sees ‘Pico-Chemistry’ As New Field of Science to Explore E-Cat Reactions

It is unusual these days for Andrea Rossi to engage in discussion about his theoretical understanding of what is going on inside the E-Cat. Normally when questioned about theory on the Journal of Nuclear Physics he will cite his most recent paper and tell people to refer to it for answers.
But there has been an exception to this pattern in the following exchange with JONP reader Mattias Andersson who asks some specific questions about topics in his recent papers. I have included Rossi’s responses to each question below:

Dear Andrea,

Some questions related to two of your papers:

1. In [2] you investigated possible transmutation paths of Li and Ni in the E-cat as a source of energy. Was this line of research abandoned in favor of the theories presented in [1]?

AR: 1 Even if I am not currently following this line of research, as you have seen on [1], I consider the pico-metric neutral aggregates described in
http://www.researchgate.net/publication/330601653_E-Cat_SK_and_long_range_particle_interactions
as the best candidates to support the hypothesis of a transmutation paths of Li and Ni: see equation 49 of “Electron Structure, Ultra-Dense Hydrogen and Low Energy Nuclear Reactions” in JCMNS Vol 29

2. What are the benefits of the lattice-IPM model when reasoning about long range particle interactions (if any)?

AR: 2 Norman Cook’s lattice nuclear models, based on a pure electromagnetic interpretation of nuclear force, have inspired the hypothesis of a possible balancing of Coulomb repulsion between electrons in dense clusters by a Lorenz force generated by the Zitterbewegung currents

3. What is the significance of nucleon excitation states when reasoning about long range interactions?

AR: 3 The idea of interactions at picometric scale between electrons and nucleons open the door to an entirely new field of science ( pico-chemistry ) where the possible formation of new nuclear isomeric states cannot be excluded.

4. What is the significance of short range binding energies in long range interactions?

AR: 4 Accepting the ZBW model for the elementary particles, the range of the electro-magnetic binding energies is inversely proportional to the size of the ZBW current loops. For this reason, the short range nuclear binding energy should be at least three orders of magnitude stronger than in pico-metric aggregates. The orders of magnitude are:
1 eV chemistry, 1 keV pico-chemistry, 1 MeV nuclear chemistry

Thank in advance,
Mattias

[1] Andrea Rossi. E-Cat SK and long range particle interactions, 2019.
[2] Norman D. Cook and Andrea Rossi. On the nuclear mechanisms underlying the heat production by the E-Cat, 2015.

There is a lot of complex terminology in this exchange, and one would need a lot of background in the subjects to make sense of it all, but if Rossi has what he claims, there’s going to be a lot for scientists to explore to explain how the E-Cat does what it does. Rossi seems to be partial to the Cook hypothesis of the lattice structure of the nucleus which is apparently not a commonly held position in the scientific community. Maybe the E-Cat, if finally demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt, will spur a new way of looking at nature.

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E-Cat Demand Could Rise to 3000GWe/year as the SKL Electrifies Everything (Aljobo)

The following post has been submitted by ECW reader aljobo 

Details about the E-cat SKL have emerged that allow us to build a better picture. With some added assumptions it would be interesting to look at all applications for the device and the likely final market size. Before the official unveiling of the SKL this may be getting ahead of ourselves and all predictions are at best highly approximate but it is nevertheless useful to get a sense of magnitudes and how a transition could play out.

The E-cat SKL is a 10cm x 10cm x 10 cm, i.e. 1l device of unknown weight, without the control unit. Some comments seem to suggest that the output of the device is in the 1-3kW range. 70% of output is electric. With this information let’s assume that each 1l cube outputs 2kW total energy or 1.4kW electric.

Weight information is missing but a first guess could be the density of a laptop, another device with metal casing, some dense components (metals 7-9 kg/l) and some empty space. The latest Macbook is approximately 1.4kg/l, i.e. just a little denser than water (it will sink) so for simplicity let’s assume 1.4kg/l or 1kW/kg.

This does not include any cooling or control units. For simplicity let’s assume that we need to add 50% for cooling and controls in both weight and size. This easily fits all mobile applications, including airplanes.

Let’s look at the end markets. They break down into static and mobile.

Static markets are easiest to transform. Central electricity generation capacity is 7TWe globally. A 10 year transition would result in 700GWe annual demand. Decentralized electricity generation in homes and businesses will happen but only towards the end of that transition when prices are lower and no engineers are needed to supervise.

For heat (industrial and space heating) looking at the US energy balance rejected heat accounts for almost 2/3 of the total energy production. With decentralized installation of E-cats that waste heat could be put to far more use, at the same time we’re only looking at 30% waste heat from the E-cat SKL. Even so, there will be significant extra demand for heating, perhaps less annual production than electricity but more concentrated in time (in cold seasons) so for simplicity let’s assume global electric capacity at 7TWe again. Some may be in the form of highly efficient heat pumps so that could reduce demand. Air conditioning is electric so doesn’t come into this equation, evaporative a/c is quite a lot more expensive and not worth it if electricity is cheap. To transition this, let’s assume 10 years as well for another 700GWe annual demand.

Moving on to mobile applications, the first to transition could actually be marine. Engines are already diesel/electric so the combustion engine doesn’t drive the ship but a generator instead. The global fleet is 2bn dead weight tons and a reasonable estimate of the required power is 0.15kW/dwt, yielding 300GW of installed power. As combustion is only 50% efficient we need only 150GWe to electrify global shipping, over 5 years this is 30Gwe. I’m assuming a faster transition as there’s much greater urgency here to get costs down, increase ship speed at no extra cost and comply with tough emission standards.

Next, cars are in the middle of two transitions. First, electrification and second, autonomy. For more detail on robo-taxis see rethinkx’ study but given a $0.20/mile plausible cost in the long term private ownership will disappear fast. Currently 100m cars are sold per year and many studies predict that 1 (robo-)taxi will replace 5 cars, cutting the new car demand to 20m – existing ICE cars will still run for the rest of their average 15 year life but will not be replaced. The robotaxi roll-out will be even easier as no charging infrastructure would be necessary and operations could run 24/7. Using a Tesla Model 3 as the the state-of-the-art example we can see that the car consumes roughly 40kW at 80mph. This is the lower bound for continuous power which needs to be provided by the E-cat units. These units amount to 10s of kg and liters and would replace most batteries that are in the hundreds of kg and liters. To provide peak power of 100kW+ we still need some batteries (and potentially supercapacitors for “ludicrous” human-driven luxury versions). Given that the battery packs are much smaller now (5-10kWh) these need to provide more cycles and higher C rates of 10 or more when compared to 50-100kWh designs. A positive side effect would be that this would enable a switch away from cobalt to less dense but more performant, longer-lasting and cheaper LTO or LFP chemistries – battery raw material constraints always made full electrification doubtful, with only a fraction needed for each car and no Cobalt this issue disappears. 20m cars/year * 40kW = 800GWe.

Moving on to trucks we don’t have good data on electrification yet but comparing mileage between large trucks and current ICE cars we see a 4-5x drop. Applying this to 3m trucks sold per year and adjusting the blend to include medium size trucks we get 150kW * 3m units or 600GWe.

Diesel trains are not a large feature in the energy balance outside the US (where they transport 40% of tonnage) so the likely requirement there is in the 10s of GWe, let’s add 20GWe here.

Finally, airplanes are the toughest to transition. According to a 2017 NASA study a 300 seat plane requires around 60MW of electric power. There is some concern about weight but research indicates that 10kW/kg is a medium term minimum so the turbines would only weigh in at 6t, compared to a max take-off weight of over 200t for a Boeing 787. More research into large MW sized turbines, not just small propellers is urgently needed as safety testing must be extremely rigorous. Currently this is not happening fast enough as batteries are seen as the only electrification route and have nowhere near the capacity to power large planes. Reliability of the SKL units would also have to be proven over many years, though the fact that tens of thousands of units generate power independently should enhance safety greatly (chance of power<90% for 50000 units at 99% reliability is very small) – note the word independent though, any run-away reaction affecting neighboring units could be catastrophic. Airbus and Boeing are currently not working on any major new designs, waiting instead to see how electrification is playing out (hence the lazy 737MAX upgrade that proved fatal). E-cats to power 60MW engines would fit space and weight-wise into an existing 787 frame (90t or less weight with cooling is less than fuel capacity). A 10+ year design timeline is common, so any new planes would only show up in the mid-2030s at the earliest. Demand in 2040 is forecast to be around 3200 planes/year, assuming an average 200 seat configuration at 40MW demand could be at 128GWe.

As an aside, there is still a large fossil fuel base of planes, cars and trucks continuing to operate for 1-2 further decades. Synfuels based on carbon could potentially be very competitive at electricity prices of 0.01c/kW. There is no reason to switch to NH3 or hydrogen as we’re just looking to extend the lives of the existing fleet a bit. YCombinator backed start-up Prometheus is indicating a possible price of $3/gal for gasoline, which could drop a bit further with lower electricity costs and could undercut drilled oil (outside the Middle East). If the technology is proven to work, applying this to total remaining fuel /petrochemical demand this could add many GWe in demand.

Putting this all together we get roughly roughly 3000GWe of demand for E-Cat SKLs. At 1.4kWe per device this would mean 2.1bn devices/year. For an order of magnitude this is in the range of global cell phone production. Contract manufacturing should be scalable within a few years to rise to this challenge.

Checking on any potential commodity constraints, 2.3m tons of Nickel are mined every year. If 10% were allocated to E-cat production 230000 tons / 2.1bn devices would yield around 100g/device. The true number is likely to be far less so there should not be a problem. The only caveat would be that if it needed to be enriched and reliant on specific isotopes this would become less viable, I seem to remember though that this was no longer necessary in the latest versions.

Prices for prototype E-cats have previously been set at $1000-$1500/kW. While this early pricing would already be attractive to utilities, marine and trucking applications where utilisation is high, mass production and economies of scale have almost always resulted in cost improvements of 10x or more. Similar to cell phones, contract manufacturers could be the low value-added end of the process, with a licence fee paid for the control software owned by the owner of the E-cat patents. $10-$20 per unit (or less for an annual subscription including recharge) could open up a pure profit stream comparable in size to annual Windows sales (I’m aware this is not agenda now but could be in future). It would also allow for different prices to be charged according to application and to the development level of the country where it is used, a potentially large benefit to poor countries.

At $100/kWe the total expense for 3000GWe would amount to just $300bn/year, a small fraction of the estimated $6+tn/almost 10% of world GDP currently allocated to energy.

With this scale of production we could transition almost all energy production to this new device within 10+ years, with some laggards in transportation. If we start in the mid-2020s we could be largely done by 2040. Thanks to superior economics of this dense, always available, portable energy source the environmental and health benefits of this revolution will be just a very welcome by-product rather than a difficult trade-off with terrible politics. Meanwhile the whole world will enjoy much more widely available and far cheaper energy.

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More Data Showing Excess Heat from Mizuno Reactor Experiment

Jed Rothwell and Tadihiko Mizuno have updated their paper “Supplemental Information on Increased
Excess Heat from Palladium Deposited on Nickel” to include new data and a schematic.

https://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/MizunoTsupplement.pdf

The paper includes calibration and excess heat production data from experiments done with Mizuno’s own reactor at Hokkaido University of Science in Sapporo, Japan.

They did test runs at 72 W, 345 W and 750 W. Below are the calibration and excess heat graphs from the paper from each of the experimental runs.






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MFMP Video: “Looking back – looking forward – Let’s make 2020 the year of LENR”

Bob Greenyer did a livestream video yesterday and here is the recording of it. Sorry I missed the live broadcasting of it.

Here is his description from YouTube

ERRATA: Around 30 mins Bob says “Saltpeter” when he meant “Potash”, at the end of the video he correctly calls K2CO3 – potash.

NOTE: The best kind of Potash for these experiments would be made from burnt wood as it would have 14C baring carbon. This was the kind as used by the Alchemists.

Here is the English translation of Parkhomov paper – there will be an update with links to videos of many of the tests.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zK3dzv-boDsAjtUEozJlixOKe2maicfN/view

Silicon is synthesised from fusion and 2:2 of 16O
Ca from fission of Mo

http://www.nanosoft.co.nz/

Logic – most common isotopes in reagents that produce most energy (solution to putting into small box), evidence in nature of abundance of products matches prediction and outcome.