In an interesting and somewhat surprising move, Andrea Rossi now says that the home-based E-Cats he is planning to launch can be refueled by the customer. Rossi was asked by a reader of his blog how often and by whom the E-Cats would be recharged.
Rossi replied: ” 1- Yes, every 6 months the domestic E-Cat will have to be refilled. 2- the refilling operation will be made by the Customer himself or by his usual plumber, or installer. It will be a very simple operation.” (emphasis added)
The big change here is that previously, Rossi has always said that one of his agents would do all the refueling, even though the the procedure would be very simple. Rossi has always been very protective of his trade secrets, and the surprise here is that he now is going to let the customer handle the part of the reactor that presumably contains the prepared powdered nickel. Perhaps that reactor does not contain the secret catalyst, or perhaps he feels the refill is protected in such a way that it won’t be possible to uncover the secret.
To me, it sounds like this refill is similar to purchasing a tank of propane for a grill or camping stove. There are many outlets where you can turn in your empty tank and purchase a full one. Rossi has said in the past that the spent fuel can be recycled, so there might well be a system by which old reactors are sent back to Leonardo Corporation’s factory for reprocessing.
Anyway, it’s all very interesting to hear this change of plan. Is Rossi getting more relaxed about his secret? He has said that one of the purposed for going the lowest possible cost route for the E-Cat is that it will mean that no one will be able to compete with him commercially. If this is the case, maybe he’s not so worried about people stealing his secret, since he figures no one will be able to hurt his business.