Progress accelerates as a year long study of Andrea Rossi's Nickel-Hydrogen Cold Fusion technology (energy catalyzer) at the University of Bologna is announced. The birthplace of higher education has become the developmental womb for a game changing technology!
The saga of Andrea Rossi's Nickel-Hydrogen Cold Fusion technology is only accelerating and not slowing down. Physicists are warming up to the technology, new calorimeter tests are forthcoming, media announcements are on the way, and a year long testing program at the University of Bologna has started. With a demonstration of the one megawatt system in the USA in the works (before it is shipped to Europe) and the opening of the one megawatt plant in Greece by late this October things are only going to keep moving faster.
Let's get down to business. We have some ground to cover!
One Year Research and Development Program
Andrea Rossi has announced a one year program is starting at the University of Bologna to study his cold fusion (LENR) technology. Apparently, this is happening as we speak. Here is the quote from his blog. (slightly edited)
Dear Renaissance Man:
Thank you for your kind blessing. I always appreciate it. I need it.
We are now doing R&D work with the University of Bologna. It will last one year, during which we will make through tests. The results will be published at the end of the research. In the meantime, we will start up our plant of 1 MW we have to deliver to our Customer in Greece. After that, our product will be in the market.
This is very good news. It indicates that the University of Bologna is taking his technology seriously. This should be the case since the most recent publicized test of his technology produced a minimum of 15 kilowatts of continual thermal output for 18 hours with only an average of 80 watts of input (sometimes as low as twenty). Thankfully, Dr. Levi who was one of the independent scientists who witnessed this experiment is planning to report on upcoming experiments (which may be happening as you are reading this). The following is Levi's statement.
"No official reports will be issued about this experiment. But we will report on upcoming experiments soon to be performed in cooperation with the University of Bologna's physics department." (Ref.)
A Few Tidbits of Over-looked News
We have another source of information on this team-up between the oldest university in the world and Andrea Rossi. An Italian journalist/blogger named Daniel Passerini, who has blogged extensively about the E-Cat (Energy Catalyzer) technology, and has interviewed Andrea Rossi multiple times, had the opportunity to visit the University of Bologna and see the device in operation, and seems to have a line of communication with many of the people involved in this saga. If you look at the comments on his blog you will see he has released many important bits of information that have not been broadly discussed. The following are a few of his statements.
"Friends, the precise contents of the research contract between the University of Bologna and Rossi, will be known soon as the parties will make it public. When that happens I will give wide coverage here on the blog." (Passi)
"Just wait a couple of weeks – there will be some announcements that will comfort those who are hoping the E-Cat is real but they will not please those who think it may prove to be a hoax." In response to a question about the nature of the announcements he states… "Experimental in nature, that is linked to experimentation." (Passi.)
"There are a lot of people around now who saw it, and not only in Italy. (The one seen in Bologna it's not the only E-Cat around). Obviously I do not have any credibility in your eyes, but I assure you that according to the information I have it is much more than a hoax. In mid-March there will be a couple of news (and I plan to give them first or among the first) to be a great blow to all the "doubters" which now have much on which to ruminate! And you do not know how much I would like to tell you now already. But as I said earlier, if this blog has had (and still has) the chance to scoop this story, it is because I have shown my informer that I am able to keep his confidences. Now, given all the controversy going, the announcements are made moments before, not weeks before, to avoid certain chaos. But then again, in mid-March there will be a couple of interesting news and then … finally we start with real experiments!" (Passi.)
The above indicates that in the near future there should be more test data published and the exact nature of the one year research program should be revealed. One can speculate about what test data might be revealed next. In a recent post, Rossi revealed that his system produces mostly low energy gamma rays. Previously, he mentioned they would be releasing more information about the exact nature of the radiation produced inside of his device (which the 2cm of lead shielding prevents from escaping). Could he finally reveal some detailed measurements of this radiation? This could provide even more proof (along with the fact that only a nuclear reaction could produce the amount of energy the E-Cat generates) that the reaction is nuclear and not chemical.
Perhaps the upcoming announcements and tests will mention the new control system Rossi has mentioned on his blog recently. (slightly edited)
I thank you very much for your suggestion. Actually, you are right, our control panel needed upgrading. The new control systems for our reactors will be designed by the same Company who designed the control systems of CERN’s Collider: the new control systems will be designed in the context of the R&D program we have with the University of Bologna. But please send me a link to find a presentation of your work, so that I can understand if we can cooperate. I always study with attention the potential partners.
Regardless what the announcements might be, it looks like March is going to be a busy month!
Skepticism Eases and Optimism Grows
There have been several supportive statements made by various individuals about Rossi's E-Cat technology in the past couple of weeks. Optimism seems to be growing. Here are a few samples.
Recently, in Bologna, there was a demonstration of energy production probably from nuclear-temperature environment. The result was a power output, and monitored continuously, twenty times higher than that released for operation. The inventor of the method (referred to as "catalytic power") is the engineer, Andrea Rossi; while the measurements and theoretical studies have been carried out by the team led by prof. Sergio Focardi, and coordinated by prof. Giuseppe Levi, both of the Department of Physics, University of Bologna, in collaboration with the INFN Bologna. I will not elaborate on details, but I think it's useful for those who frequent the forum to have this news, which was already disclosed by the Carlino and local editions of other newspapers (including the CDS). The doubts about the origin of this emission of energy (in the shape and thermal absolutely "clean") are not completely excluded, but if the tests will lead to confirmation, the catalyst of energy would be the ultimate solution to the energy problem. I think the public should start to talk and to be involved: this is the only way to avoid a "cover up" by the powerful current and potential exploiters of energy for military purposes (which in the past seems to have been the case about cold fusion). At the same time, the interest of public opinion through the media can stimulate public and private institutions to invest some money in this research, which has so far been carried out on a shoestring budget. The other advantage would be to get a certified and unequivocal demonstration of reliability, efficiency and safety of use by independent researchers, and subjected to public scrutiny.
Regards and best wishes – my fingers are crossed.
Associate Professor on the Structure of Matter, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Department of Physics, University of Bologna. (Corriere.it)
"Well, I think they used a fairly scientific approach. But above all that, they have heated a building and have done so for one year (according to Rossi), and have run the experiment for ten hours without any electricity other than 80 watts to power the instruments (the most recent experiment in Bologna on 10-11 February)."
" Previously, all problems of cold fusion have been that it was intermittent, it worked for a while and then stopped. But this time it seems that they have continuous (power), and have attained consistent results in repeated tests. That also makes it interesting. "
"I have the impression that Rossi is serious. I think he is an interesting person to talk to, and I find it hard to imagine that he has masterminded a scam."
Sven Kullander, Professor Emeritus at Uppsala University and chairman of the Energy Committee of the National Academy of Sciences (Passi)
"Yeah, this area of research has long suffered from similar incidents. But what I felt different this time is that another physicist, Giuseppe Levi, was allowed to test the process independently, by measuring the input power and output."
"And it seems replicable. And there's a device. It has now been tested for a longer time. This is a big difference that seems crucial."
"It seems very unlikely that it is a pure fraud."
Here is a video of the above two scientists, Professor Sven Kullander and Associate Professor Hanno Essen discussing Rossi's technology with a reporter from Ny Teknik.
“We’ve arrived. It’s interesting we’ve arrived in a different car than we thought we were. Cold fusion started out using deuterium and palladium, and then Rossi found that it worked quite well in nickel and light hydrogen.”
Of course, he’s taking orders, and I’m sure there’ll be people from all over the world, where regulations are not so quite severe, and minds are more open than they are here, and they’ll buy units, and put them in their factories; and suddenly, the cost of energy to those companies will go down significantly, and all of a sudden people will panic, and then there’ll be a stampede to buy these things.”
Dr. Edmund Storms, cold fusion researcher and author of “The Science of Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions." (Cold Fusion Now)
“Now that I have seen the device work for so many hours, in my view all chemical energy sources are excluded.”
Dr. Giuseppe Levi, Physicist from the University of Bologna (Ny Teknik)
The reality of this exotic new technology seems to be sinking into the minds of many. Fewer individuals seem to be screaming "hoax" or "fraud." More people seem to be accepting the fact that all the evidence so far indicates this technology is real and potentially game-changing. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi once stated, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." I wonder what stage cold fusion technology is at right now. Could it be that we are near the last stage?
A Potential Replication – The Race Could Be On!
On a related note, Jed Rothwell, who has contacts throughout the "cold fusion" or LENR community, has reported that an outside group has had some success replicating the E-Cat (Energy Catalyzer).
"It isn't all that secret. I have known that it is Ni-H cold fusion for a year; and people in Italy have known for 2 years. Groups there and in the U.S. are working somewhat frantically to determine what the other 2 elements
are. One of them told me that they have achieved the equivalent of 800 W per liter of powder (with a smaller actual volume), which is not far from what Rossi reported."
A Demonstration in the USA
In the past Andrea Rossi has stated that there would be no additional public demos until the one megawatt plant opened in Greece. However, this may no longer be the plan. Jed Rothwell who runs the LENR-CANR website (which is an online database of cold fusion information) and is a long time and well trusted cold fusion researcher has reported the following news: "Rossi told me he will demonstrate the device before shipping it to Greece."
If a demonstration is held in the USA it will probably be in Florida, because the 125 modules that will compose the 1MW plant are being manufactured in Miami, Florida. Rossi also has a factory and lab in New Hampshire, but it would not make sense to ship all 125 units twice (if the demonstration in the USA would be of the complete 1MW system).
In addition to being exciting, a demonstration could potentially create a very interesting situation that could be a win-win for Rossi. A demonstration of a 1MW system would be very impressive and difficult to deny as being something extraordinary. However, there has been speculation that it might be very difficult for him to get approval to use his reactors in the USA due to safety concerns. What if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or another agency tried to come in and stop the demo? That could be a win for Rossi, because they would have to admit they were concerned about the exotic nature of his technology. If the NRC stepped in they would be forced to admit that the E-Cat is indeed a NUCLEAR and NON-CHEMICAL technology! Otherwise, they would have no jurisdiction. The NRC has no power to regulate performing tests of chemical reactions involving nickel and hydrogen. Any interference could equal instant validation!
Time Frame for Implementation Everywhere
The world needs this technology ASAP. We actually needed it many years ago. So how soon can we expect this technology to "get out there" and actually start making a difference. To start with, I think the aspects of this technology that would facilitate rapid dispersion and implementation should be listed.
1) High power density – A minimum of 15KW of constant thermal output from a reactor with a volume of one liter is tremendously impressive. This can go even higher (up to 130KW or more), but that produces safety concerns. Even with the added equipment needed to produce electricity, that kind of power density would allow for a lot of energy to be produced in a small area. That small area could provide power for a large area such as a factory, community, or city.
2) Cheap Fuel – In this system it is claimed that one gram of nickel powder can produce as much energy as burning 500 barrels of oil. (Ref) Nickel is very common in the Earth's crust and is not expensive (as of the time this article is written the price is about 14 dollars a pound). Basically, the fuel cost of nickel would be very low. The cost of hydrogen would be almost zero due to the fact you could use a fraction of the energy output to produce your own from ordinary water. The catalysts are also supposed to be dirt cheap. The economics of this system cannot be beaten by any other mainstream technology.
3) Easy and Cheap Construction – The reactor is not complicated. It is probably much simpler than an internal combustion engine. From what we have been told, it is constructed out of ordinary materials using ordinary methods. There is nothing exotic about the construction of the device itself. The only thing exotic is the fusion reaction that takes place. Mass manufacture of the reactors would probably be much easier than setting up a plant to produce millions of a new automobile engine.
The above three aspects of the technology are big boosts towards rapid implementation. However, there are also reasons why implementation may not progress rapidly everywhere. Here are a few of them.
1) Radiation – Rossi claims that no radiation escapes the two centimeters of lead shielding. However, the very fact that it produces radiation could scare some people and could make certain governments jump to heavily regulate the technology. I think the USA is a place where that might occur due to the fact many citizens here are willing to give up everything (including personal freedoms and dignity in airports) in the name of safety. The good news is that many other areas of the world such as China would probably have more common sense regulations that would allow for this technology to be quickly implemented in their nation. Once that happens the USA would be forced to relax their rules or be quickly left behind.
2) Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) – Cold Fusion has been around for twenty years, but the world does not accept that it exists at this moment. When the world suddenly recognizes it exists, certain pundits, media personalities, and politicians will try to explore every possible negative aspect of it. Someone will be bound to try and claim a "dirty bomb" could be built with it and used by terrorists (even though that is impossible because there is no radioactivity remaining in the device only minutes after it is turned off.) Because it is so "new" some of these individuals will actually spread fear of cold fusion. The fact of the matter is though in our current global economic situation many nations including the USA will not have any other choice but to start utilizing the technology.
3) Not Open Source [Yet] – Andrea Rossi and Defkalion Green Technologies control this technology at the moment. No one but them and perhaps a few other business partners have knowledge of the catalysts that allow this system to produce a practical amount of heat. Because of this an open source development movement to develop and utilize the technology cannot begin. Hopefully, when the patent application covering the catalysts is approved, an open source project will be organized that would help people replicate the technology for themselves in a safe and low risk way. [Editor's note: a superior alternative to patents, that we announced today, the Intellectual Passport, could satisfy Rossi and his team's need for intellectual property protection.] I think a set of plans that stress safety precautions would be much more preferable than just having every amateur experimenter building their own version of the reactor with various levels of safety precautions.
Overall, I think the favorable aspects of this technology will win out; and once the 1MW plant is opened and the patent is granted [or an Intellectual Passport is filed instead], it will spread quickly. The truth of the amazing potential of this technology will win out in the end. My guess is in five years it will start having a significant impact reducing the use of fossil fuels. In ten years I think the price of oil will start to come down dramatically as less vehicles will be using gasoline. I think we can accelerate this process if an open source movement organizes quickly when the missing details of this technology (catalysts and other details we are lacking) emerge.
Alma Mater Studiorum
The University of Bologna was founded in 1088. It has literally been a center of higher learning for almost a thousand years. It's motto, "Alma mater Studiorum". which when translated from the the Latin means "fostering mother of studies." It seems appropriate to me that the world's first *almost* free (or really cheap), clean, and plentiful energy technology is being studied there.
In the weeks and months to come, we will likely witness an acceleration of news and information coming from the University of Bologna.
Exciting times are ahead.
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Correspondence from Rossi
The following correspondence arrived after the above was published.
From: "Andrea Rossi – Leonardo Corp."
To: "Sterling Allan"
Sent: Monday, March 07, 2011 11:52 PM [MST]
Subject: Re: Invite to Rossi to join me on Free Energy Now show (phone interview)
Dear Mr. Allan,
I am sorry to inform you that I prefer not to make interviews until October , when we will start up our 1 MW plant.
Therefore I kindly ask you to defer our contact to the end of November. I will only make an interview to an European radio because I already got this engagement a month ago, but that will be my last communication before end October, unless I will have something new to communicate. I prefer to work and not talk, until I start the industrial production and operation of my plants.
Nothing is in program for March, but our regular work for our Customer, which I am doing 16 hours per day and nothing new I have to communicate until end October.
I thank you anyway for your attention, and I am sure you will not have a lack of talkers in this field, that, when it turns to talk, is very densely populated of highly educated persons. […]
– – – –
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 12:05 AM
Subject: Re: Invite to Rossi to join me on Free Energy Now show (phoneinterview)
In any case, please read hereunder the answers to your questions, if they can be useful to you:
> Some of the questions I typically ask are: > > – How does the technology work (overview)?
PLEASE SEE THE FOCARDI-ROSSI PAPER ON WWW.JOURNAL-OF-NUCLEAR-PHYSICS.COM IT IS IMPOSSIBLE RESUME IN FEW WORDS
> – Where are you in the process of implementing it commercially?
BY THE END OF OCTOBER WE START UP OUR FIRST 1 MW PLANT
> – What kind of data have you accumulated?
PLEASE SEE THE REPORT OF OUR TESTS ON THE SAME JOURNAL OF ABOVE
> – Independently tested?
BY THE UNIVERSITY OF BOLOGNA, WHICH IS CONTINUING THE TESTS FOR AN R&D PROGRAM WHICH WILL LAST ONE YEAR
> – What price point do you expect to start out at in terms of cents/kw-h?
1 CENT PER kWh
> – How much might this price change in the next 5 years?
I DO NOT THINK IT WILL CHANGE MORE, IN PERCENTAGE, THAN THE AVERAGE OF THE LIFE
> – How does your technology compare to others like it out there?
I DO NOT COMPARE, IT IS NOT UP TO ME. SO FAR, ANYWAY, I DO NOT SEE COMPETITORS ON THE MARKET, IF THE MARKET IS INTENDED AS A PLACE WHERE REACTOR ARE GOING TO WORK INDUSTRIALLY
> – What are its strengths?
> – Weaknesses?
NECESSITY OF USING SMALL MODULES CONNECTED TOGETHER TO MAINTAIN TOTAL SAFETY AND SECURITY. WE NEED MORE EXPERIENCE TO SCALE UP THE SINGLE MODULES, WE ARE WORKING ON IT WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF BOLOGNA
> – How might someone invest in the company?
FOR NOW WE PREFER NOT TO HAVE INVESTORS. WE FINANCE OURSELVES SELLING OUR PLANTS
> – How can someone purchase a unit?
WE WILL START THE SALES IN NOVEMBER, AFTER THE FIRST PLANT OF 1 MW WILL BE IN OPERATION. YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PUBLISH THE ANSWERS ABOVE.
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This story is also published at BeforeItsNews.
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