It’s not too often that Andrea Rossi says much about technical aspects of his E-Cat reactors, but here is a little detail from the Journal of Nuclear Physics today.
February 20, 2018 at 7:02 PM
Dr Andrea Rossi,
Do you use a magnetic field to protect the materials of the reactor from the high temperatures reached by the QX?
Thank you if you can answer,
February 21, 2018 at 9:31 AM
I cannot answer in positive or in negative to this question, but it is true that around the plasma a magnetic field is generated
Rossi has said in the past that the QX produces electricity directly, so this could be connected with the magnetic filed mentioned. However a simple magnetic field of in and of itself does not produce an electric current, so there must be something else involved. As usual, we get very few details, but this might be something of interest to the replicators and theoreticians to think about.
I thought this was an interesting post by ECW reader Bruno who has attempted an estimate of the cost of a 1MW E-Cat QX industrial plant based on Andrea Rossi’s comment that the return on investment (ROI) would be less than two years.
With current US natural gas prices, the fuel cost is approximately $20/MW-hr for thermal energy (steam etc…). Dr. Rossi is talking about a 2 year ROI.
Let’s assume perfect 24/365 each year for two years, and no labor costs. If he plans to sell HEAT, but not the E-Cats themselves, to hit $20/MW-hr his capital cost would need to be $350,000 (fully installed). In reality, he’d need to offer a lower price than $20/MW-hr (let’s say $17), he’d probably need to take the E-Cats down a few days/year for maintetance (let’s assume 350 productive days/year), plus he might have part time labor costs associated with servicing the installation (let’s say $25,000/yr).
This means that the total installed cost for him would need to be on the order of $235,000 just to break even. I think that he needs to get LEONARDO’s capital cost somewhere below $150,000 (installed) to sell 1 MW of thermal energy profitably. So his cost per 1 MW E-Cat (uninstalled) will probably need to be on the order of $100,000. Of course, the capital cost could be higher if the payback period is stretched beyond 3 years.
Here are a couple of new pieces of information about the E-Cat QX plants from Andrea Rossi on the Journal of Nuclear Physics today.
February 16, 2018 at 12:53 AM
Dr Andrea Rossi,
Which is the max temperature you can reach on a secondary circuit?
February 16, 2018 at 7:17 AM
600 C degrees.
February 15, 2018 at 5:06 PM
Dr Andrea Rossi,
How much long you think will be the payback period of an indistrial Ecat?
February 16, 2018 at 7:18 AM
less than 2 years.
I take temperature on the secondary circuit to mean the temperature on the other side of the heat exchanger from the E-Cat QX reactors themselves, which Rossi has said reach 2600 C. 600 C would be enough heat to be able to provide steam heat at temperatures for the most efficient electricity generation. The production of supercritical steam, where water instantly becomes steam (thus no boiling occurs) requires 570 C.
A payback period of less than two years for an e-cat plant would seem to be an attractive investment option for companies. Andrea Rossi has stated that the cost of a 1 MW plant would be ‘much less’ than the $1.5 million he had priced the early shipping container E-Cat plants at — but so far he has declined to give any specific estimate of cost. Rossi has said that the costs for refueling the E-Cats once per year will be insignificant — so providing the plants work, this could lead to massive savings in future fuel costs for E-Cat users.
Five days ago Andrea Rossi was asked on the Journal of Nuclear Physics what chances he gave for getting the industrial E-Cats on the market in 2018, and his reply was “70 %”. Just yesterday when asked the same question he stated: “Today I think between 80 and 90%.”
I asked him what had changed his level of confidence and he replied:
February 15, 2018 at 8:02 AM
I am progressing at an exponential speed in these days, because issues that needed months to be resolved a couple of months ago now need less time. I give you a model from Dan Brown: to pass from the discovery of fire to the invention of wheel has taken millions years, but to pass from the invention of the wheel to the invention of an internal combustion engine it has taken thousands of years, and so on.
Obviously I can be wrong and find some unforeseen obstacle, by I am optimist: if you are not an optimist guy, you cannot be either an inventor or an enterpreneur, while I am both.
It does sound like the really hard work of inventing, testing and all the other R&D necessary for building an acceptable prototype (for the first product) has been accomplished, and now the focus is on getting ready for production.
Also, Rossi wrote this yesterday when asked where he expected the presentation of the first industrial E-Cat product would take place:
February 14, 2018 at 7:17 PM
As things have developed now, I think the first presentation of the product will be made in the USA.
Over the years many people have suggested that if the E-Cat Works as Andrea Rossi claims, and has a high enough COP, it should be relatively straightforward to use a portion of the energy produced by the E-Cat to generate the electricity needed to power itself — thus having a self-looped plant, without the need for any external electrical supply.
Andrea Rossi in the past has stated that this would not be feasible for “safety reasons”, without specifying exactly what those reasons were. I put a question on the Journal of Nuclear Physics about this issue in relation to the E-Cat QX, and this was Rossi’s reply:
February 12, 2018 at 1:22 PM
To make electricity we need the Carnot Cycle, then we can use the electricity to run the Ecat. Theoretically possible, but economically useless and complicated, so far.
What counts is the COP, with or without longer or shorted SSM. In future, after the launch of the product, we will spend time on this possibility, but I think in the short term our core business will remain to make heat, with which our Customers will make what they need.
Rossi is clearly focused on his first product which will be a heater, but if the plant works well and the COP is high enough, it won’t be long before people start using them to generate electricity. At that point I think it will be only a matter of time before Rossi, or one of his customers decides to work on closing the loop as it’s such an obvious thing to do. Rossi is not counting it out, but I think given his current ‘race against time’ to get production started this year, generation of electricity with all its implications is a level of complexity that he currently doesn’t need to deal with.
A new issue of the Russian “Journal of Unconventional Science” has been published which is dedicated to the topic of LENR. It can be accessed here: http://www.unconv-science.org/n17/
Along with some theoretical articles, there are two experimental reports.
Of particular interest to people who are interested in E-Cat-type replication is the article “Experimental studies of excess heat release in a Ni + LiAlH4 system” by I.N. Stepanov and V.A. Pancelug.
Of course the text is all in Russian, but here is an English translation (via Google) of the summary:
We investigated several variants of the reactor design, with the help of which the efficiency of a heat generator based on the reaction Ni + LiAlH4 was demonstrated. The conducted studies showed that the thermal yield of this reaction exceeds the power supplied to the heat generator by 10-50% and is in absolute terms 4.3 MJ (1.2 kWh). On the average, as follows from the estimates given in Fig. 4 and Fig. 7, a thermal cell containing 1.5 g of fuel mixture can produce 50-100 Volts of excess capacity (in excess of the power consumed from the grid). The results obtained so far, allow us to state the reality of excessive heat generation in Ni + LiAlH4- system. A quantitative evaluation of the characteristic value of this heat release and the study of its specific mechanisms require, in our opinion, further continuation of the currently ongoing experiments.
Here are some more questions that I asked Andrea Rossi on the Journal of Nuclear Physics, along with his responses. Question #1 refers to a comment he made yesterday in which he affirmed that they had determined exactly what the robots he plans to use in E-Cat QX production will have to do.
February 6, 2018 at 7:44 PM
1. If you have defined exactly what the robots will have to do, are there robots already available that can do the job, or do custom robots need to be made?
2. Has your workforce increased in number since the beginning of 2018?
3. Has your prototype been performing in a satisfactory way?
4. How would you describe the mood of your team these days?
February 6, 2018 at 9:54 PM
1- the software is custom, the robots are off the shelf
4- under strong pressure, because I am very nervous to succeed to sell the industrial plants within 2018. We re all under strong pressure, because every day that passes is a day less at our disposal. Time is not reversible, unfortunately. This is a race against time and relax is not an option
So it seems that a serious effort continues to get the production underway in 2018. We know that Andrea is a driven man when it comes to the E-Cat, and I can imagine that he makes sure that the people working on his team are well aware of his goals, so it’s probably a high pressure environment at Leonardo HQ.
I put a few new questions to Andrea Ross today about the E-Cat QX plants he is preparing for.
February 1, 2018 at 8:29 PM
1. Will the first E-Cat Plants be equipped with heat exchangers and plumbing that will allow them to produce easily hot water / steam?
2. Will you be able to easily attach the plant to the existing hot water / steam systems?
3. Will the first E-Cat Plants be capable of delivering supercritical steam?
4. Will it be possible for plant operators to adjust the temperature of the plant to meet their needs?
5. What will be the approximate cost of a 1MW plant?
February 1, 2018 at 9:42 PM
1- depends on the utilizations they are deployed for
3- see 1
So it sounds like the first E-Cat plants will be designed to be versatile, and controllable, and probably the plants will need different appendages depending on the use based on Rossi’s answers to questions 1 and 3. If they can be easily adapted to existing heating systems, and if the price is not prohibitive, replacing a gas, oil, or coal furnace with an E-Cat plant could be an attractive option for all kinds of operations. Rossi has said previously that the first plants will be rated at 1 MW, and that multiple plants can be combined for higher power.
The big question of course is whether these plants will actually appear on the market as projected by Andrea Rossi, and at what cost. We can’t know for sure at this point. Each person will have their own conclusion about that for now. But if they do end up becoming available, and the cost is not prohibitive, they could be a very attractive option for businesses who want to move away from fossil fuel powered furnaces to something cleaner and cheaper.
As usual, almost all the information we get about the current state of E-Cat process comes from Andrea Rossi via the Journal of Nuclear Physics. Of course it is information that can’t be confirmed from outside sources, but it’s the best information we have for now. As things stand right now, based on information that Rossi has provided, this is a summary of what we have learned.
It appears that the industrialization of the E-Cat QX will consist of the manufacture of independent units comprising of 100 individual E-Cat reactors electronically connected in parallel, all driven by a single control unit, and each unit will be rated at around 4kW. This means that each individual E-Cat reactor is rated at around 40W.
Rossi has said that when he presents the industrial product (he hopes it will be this year) he will be showing one of these ~4kW units in action. Rossi has not stated what the COP of this unit will be, and won’t disclose that until they are publicly presented. A 4kW unit could in the future be used for a small domestic heating device, but safety certification has not yet been obtained to use this product for domestic purposes, and so Rossi is concentrating first on plants for industrial purposes.
Rossi has said that these ~4kW units can be combined to make industrial E-Cat plants of whatever power rating is desired. A 1MW E-Cat plant will therefore require the combination of 250 of these units, each with its own control system. He has said, however the the control systems will be contained in a single box “much smaller that 250 x the box you saw in the Stockholm event at the IVA”. Apparently not only has the overheating problem that Rossi described in Stockholm been solved, but also the control system has been substantially reduced in size.
That is about the extent of what Rossi has reported thus far in terms of production plans. So far he has not stated that one of these units has been created by means of robotics, but that is his goal. Only when robotic production is underway will he make the public presentation.
Obviously with Andrea Rossi talking about mass production of the E-Cat QX using high tech ABB robotics, there are going to be steep costs involved, especially since he is starting from scratch. Here’s a question I put to Rossi today on this subject, along with his reply:
January 14, 2018 at 4:14 PM
If your goal is to produced thousands of E-Cat units during 2018, you are going to need substantial financial resources to do this. Do you already have the funds at your disposal to accomplish this, or will you need further investments?
January 14, 2018 at 4:23 PM
We have the funds.
This is remarkable, if true. To me, it means that whoever the new partner is, they must be fully convinced about the value of E-Cat technology to have the confidence to back him to begin mass production. The partner must be large enough to commit what I would expect to be millions of dollars to getting the factories built, robotics installed, employees hired and be ready to begin sales, distribution and support of E-Cat units.