Andrea Rossi, the inventor and energy behind the E-Cat was interviewed by Gary Hendershot and Sterling Allan for the Smart Scarecrow Show last Saturday the 14th of January 2012. The headline remark was Mr. Rossi has sent prototypes to the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). As best can be determined, that remark is in the past tense.
The customary view is the UL accepts products destined for sale in the final form, which is a fact. However, the UL also offers governmental units assistance in establishing reasoned law, regulation and rules. For manufacturers the UL also extends more than just final product tests, they work with manufacturers at the design stage to assure that a final product will in fact achieve an UL label. It’s a highly likely prospect that the design stage is where the UL and Mr. Rossi have started the process. A quick review of the UL policy suggests that the E-Cat is substantially interesting enough to begin the UL Process and that Low Energy Nuclear Reactions are a new field.
For the cheering section, The UL will have to have a working unit running to establish their parameters on the terms set by the UL. At some point, if an application for certification is made, the certainty the E-Cat will offer an alternative power source is essentially – a sure thing.
The UL involvement follows news that National Instruments (NI) is working with Mr. Rossi in designing new control systems for the one-megawatt and home size 10 kilowatt (kw) E-Cat. In the conversation Mr. Rossi offered that now great progress is being made and on his blog he’s indicated that they have been able to achieve stable steam production of 400ºC. This will be important later for the efficient production of electricity.
The NI participation offers a technically proficient and sophisticated set of tools, expertise and products that will improve the E-Cat and impact favorably on its price. There are other hints in the conversation that suggest the operation of an E-Cat is going to be “Plug and Play”, so much so that a home unit is going to come very soon.
First is the E-Cat is being designed to self sustain itself after the first initial warm-up. For an hour the E-Cat is thought to need about 2.8 kw, or about the power of 28 100 watt bulbs. From initiation of self-power, the only requirement is going to be electricity for the electronics and control system. The home E-Cat will produce only heat for now.
It’s going to be very cheap heat. Mr. Rossi is suggesting he can sell the E-Cat for $400 to $500 using the best engineering possible of the production line, automation of all aspects of the factory, and the use of robotics. The goal is to make this technology so affordable that everyone will be able to purchase a system.
The next revelation is E-Cat units would be capable of being re-fueled by individuals, not by technicians – somewhat like changing the ink in a pen. After using a cartridge for 180 service days (counted up as the system is actively in use), the system will indicate it needs to be replaced. An old cartridge would then be sent to Mr. Rossi’s Leonardo Corporation to be recycled as much of the remaining nickel could be salvaged, and it would only need to be re-processed. Previous information has made clear that opening a cartridge is not a good idea as nickel while safe in sizes like coins isn’t when nickel is reduced to the particle size within a cartridge.
To begin with cartridges are expected to cost somewhat more than $10 and over time come down to the $10 regular recycled cost. If a home were to need one unit for both water and space heating at $500 upfront and lasting 5 years and $13 each six months the monthly cost would be $8.34 and $2.17 or $10.51.
The next revelation is the hydrogen needed to feed the reaction is going be sourced from within the reactor. The home E-Cat may utilize a material inside of the reactor core, which can release and absorb hydrogen. While the production of hydrogen isn’t made clear, the reactor may be producing it as well as using it, or some means of scavenging is being used. However its being done, very little in involved. A new core will be loaded with about 10 grams and only picograms are needed for driving the reaction.
The enticing clue for the disbelieving set is the proprietary radio frequency generator that has emissions to interact with the reactions inside of the core. Along with the catalysts this is information that will stay secret as long as possible. What did slip is Mr. Rossi compared the use of the radio frequencies to martial arts. Rossi explained that the radio frequency generator allows the forces that would normally prevent the fusion process from taking place (Coulomb forces) to work for you, and not against you. Rossi offers that the full theory of how the system works will be revealed, as he put it, “soon.”
By all means have a look at the full video of the interview. Its does run over 1:50, but for those with cause to be interested, this is a very good use of a couple of hours. There is also a transcript available too.
The Rossi interview follows a video from NASA that discusses the importance of proceeding with LENR research. The over reaction by some of those reporting on the video release is making more of a note than the original news. Or simply put, jumping to the conclusion the NASA video somehow supports the Rossi E-Cat is just false. The gentleman at NASA, Dr. Joseph Zawodny does not mention Rossi name, just that the preponderance of research has become many reasons to get to work.
The NASA video does point out one important thing. While the first to market will be forever a leader, the technology is just now taking off and where it will lead in the decades to come is today anybody’s guess.