Rossi: Photon Direct Conversion Research Underway at Leonardo

Here’s an interesting exchange from the Journal of Nuclear Physics.

Q: In previous discussions you have expressed an interest in high energy photon direct conversion by means of a photo electric cell similar to the one described in expired U.S. patent 4178524.

Have you made any progress in this regard?

A: We have a team who is working specifically on this issue. Yes, we made progress, even if we are not ready with a working prototype, bu we have obtained a direct current someway. Much work to do. Honestly, we started from an idea of yours that I read on a paper you sent me.

The patent referred to here is for a “Radioisotope photoelectric generator” issued to James C. Ritter in 1979. The summary reads:

‘This device is a remote electrical generator which makes use of radioactive isotopes in combination with high-Z and low-Z materials to generate an electrical output voltage. X-rays or gamma rays emitted by the radioactive isotopes produce electrons in the high Z material which are captured by the low Z material to produce the output energy. The high-Z and low-Z materials alternate and are connected electrically together to form a “battery”.’

Direct conversion of high energy photons produced in E-Cat reactions to electricity could be a tremendous achievement, if it could be done efficiently. While the hot cat seems well suited to be coupled with steam turbines for electricity generation (a well understood process), direct conversion is certainly an attractive area of research. A solid state E-Cat generator without involving the expense and complexity of steam turbines could eventually prove to be the optimum means of electrical production.

For Leonardo to be devoting a team to work on this process shows that they see its potential, but I expect this could be a side project, while work continues on the more traditional steam-based electricity generation.

  • Didn’t Rossi claim explicitly the lack of radiation to be charateristic of E-cat?
    Can we derive from this that Rossi also found a way of producing radiation rich E-cats (and thus knows how the radiation level is controlled)?

    • Carl

      Neutron generation in LENR cells has been known for ten years at least. The key seems to be deuterium … which has a logic of course.
      Interesting option for electricity.

      • Alan DeAngelis

        Could the neutrons in Mizuno’s experiment be formed in a two step reaction?

        For example;

        H(2) + Pd(110) > Ag(112)* step 1

        Ag(112)* + H(1) > Cd(112) + n step 2
        H(2) + Pd(110) + H(1) > Cd(112) + n 14.6 MeV

    • Daniel M. Basso

      1. Only when maintaining a lower COP.
      2. Sure, and that means you could get heat and electricity at the same time. And cancer, if not properly shielded.

    • Rossi has always said that soft X-rays (below 100 keV or so) are present when the reactor operates. Shielding against them is easy. The claimed lack of nuclear radiation refers to a lack of neutrons and high energy gammas. Neutrons and gammas would be more difficult to shield.

      • I’m very very skeptical about that claim of “photo voltaic” gamma/x conversion…
        It seems another red-herring lie of Rossi, like the lead shielding (inexistent, lie) the heating through gamma (negligible,lie) the copper (wrong, mistake?), the COP limited to 6 because of a theory (wrong, lie).

        ther is not enough non-thermal radiation to make usefull photo-voltaic conversion.

        however making Seebeck or alike conversion is clearly an idea to test… ask to Nicolas Chauvin at LENR Cars, who logicall think about it…

        anyway it is not simple since the efficiency is low, and anyway below carnot cycle limit (no machin can convert heat to mechanic better than Carnot efficiency)…

        • Iggy Dalrymple

          The early ecats did appear to be wrapped in lead tape, but it may have been for diversionary purpose.

        • Ged

          Rossi switched from lead to tungsten (which has basically the same gamma ray shielding ability as lead, but the thermal ability to survive the hot cat temps) to shield any gamma rays, so that isn’t a lie nor inexistent (even previously, only a centimeter of lead would be necessary to shield a low temp E-cat).

          Nothing has said heating through gamma is a lie (in fact, if there are gammas being absorbed, they are being turned into heat!), but what contribution they make to the total heat production is indeed unknown. It could be major, it could be minor. Most likely it is a minor contribution, and it’s direct lattice vibrations that are doing most of the heating.

          The copper was just a mistake, from all we’ve seen. Side fusion reaction transmutations are common in LENR, at very low rates, and it’s possible he saw some that changed the copper ratio a little bit, and immediately thought that meant that was the main mechanism (the UniBo report looked at the copper isotope ratios and found them changed, so that’s probably where it originated). However, that doesn’t happen all the time, or even most of the time, it seems, and not at a substantial rate. Ergo, it is indeed not the mechanism.

          As far as we know, COP has always been limited to six mostly for stability reasons of the reaction. The Hot Cat is pushing that a lot higher with relative ease, but the low temp E-cat is limited as far as we’ve ever seen. No wrong or lie there, just a change in information as the tech has matured.

          You’re right about all else. I’m not sure how a photovoltaic could be pushed to have sufficient efficiencies to be a useful conversion method, but there are new highly exotic technologies emerging that may do just that.

        • buffalo

          indeed alain.for example if u take a lump of pure radium,98 percent of the energy of the collapsing nuclei is released directly as heat,the rest as gammas,photons, when we deal with lenr then its pointless to even consider radiations for photovoltaic conversions.seebeck is the only way worthwile

      • GreenWin

        The soft X-Rays are also confirmed at SPAWAR and University Missouri experiments. Soft X-ray is a signature continuum of hydrogen transition to low ground state or Hydrino, according to Randell Mills. Ed Storms seems to think this in part explains the release of heat in metal hydrides.

        Should there be a clouds of energetic particles (classical appearing particles) that contribute to the anomalous heat effect – it might be possible to direct that energy as one could in a (vacuum tube,) or tokamak prior to CF thermalization. The goal would be direct conversion to electrical current.

        George Miley and Ralph Moir at LLNL have done work in this area for hot fusion. Moir has published a paper that theorizes about electrostatic and magnetic compression of plasma as methods to directly convert fusion energy to electric.

        The key for LENR would be to manipulate high energy particles (eg. like those in SPAWAR-Boss exp) before they are absorbed and thermalized by cell structure or other nuclear products.

    • Omega Z

      SynergetX HP

      Rossi has Both Gamma & X-Rays. It’s shielded by the Lead wrap.
      He therefore has no Radiation outside the E-cat above normal Background levels. He also has neutrons at High COP levels.

      • Pedro

        I think for the hotcat they need a different shielding than lead because lead has a low melting point (some 350 degrees celcius).
        Also… we have seen pictures of the working HotCat and there was no visible shielding. What’s a save distance from the hotcat in this test setup with only the wall of the HotCat and the air to shield???

        • Peter_Roe

          I think the ‘hot cat’ uses tungsten for gamma shielding. Rossi’s patent application also mentions tungsten so it seems he may also use this metal in later versions of the ‘low temp’ e-cats (reaction chamber, replacing stainless steel?).

          The application also specifies boric acid for neutron shielding, presumably ‘just in case’!

          • Ged

            Yep, seems he’s moved to tungsten from all he’s said. Which is a much, much better choice than lead in every regard (safe, basically just as effective, and the most thermal stable metal). So that change has just been a wise evolution of the tech.

          • GreenWin

            Interesting it is W that Prof Abundo has been using as a nuclear active host cathode in the Pirelli HS Mizuno cell.

          • Peter_Roe


            At one point in an earlier thread I speculated on the same basis that the tungsten inner tube of the first hot cat might have been the active surface. Sadly no-one else seemed to think that this suggestion was as brilliant as I thought it was.

            Unfortunately I think Rossi may have subsequently re-stated that the fuel is nickel, but it seems that a number of metals may need looking at in this context.

          • GreenWin

            Peter, odd, just as I was writing my post I thought, didn’t Peter mention a while back that tungsten could be a component of the e-cat reactor? Brilliant I thought, now that people have forgotten it, lets take all the credit…

            Alas, you found me out!

        • Omega Z


          Sorry, I was speaking of the low temp E-cat. As Peter says, & I think I read in the report that Rossi uses Tungsten in the Hot-Cat for the shielding properties.

      • Chris

        So what will they call the electric cat? The e-cat? 😀

        • Ged

          The Eel-Cat 😀

          • ET

            El-Cat = Spanglish

          • clovis

            Top cat- final up grade or black cat in a box

  • artefact

    Outside yes, inside no.
    Inside there are X-rays and low level gamma. Same with Defkalion.

    ( answer to SynergetX HP )

  • AstralProjectee

    Wow, so if Rossi could do that. That would put them Rossi up there with BlackLight Power, as BLP can make both heat and electricity. Cheaply too.

    • Voodoo

      BLP is capable to producing 8 milliWatt (see their patent)

      • GreenWin

        It is not too difficult to scale this process.

        “Moreover, an improvement of five order of magnitude, which is not unprecedented in the heterogeneous catalysis literature between the first “hit” and the optimized catalyst, would result in a 3.6mW test cell becoming a 360 W cell, and a mere ten of these cells stacked together would produce 3.6 kW.” Dr. Henry Weinberg, Prof. Chemical & Materials Engineering University California SB.

        • good to notice that others also share a delight in the works of BLP

  • Another alternative to direct conversion would be thermophotovoltaics. The hot 1050 C surface of reactor could be coated by microscale antennas made of tungsten or other material which emits well only at a chosen infrared wavelength, or more conventional coatings for this purpose also exist. The resulting nearly monochromatic IR would be turned to electricity by photovoltaics made of semiconductor whose bandgap is just below the emitter IR wavelength. One would have to cool the photovoltaics from the outside by water because at higher temperature its performance degrades. The device would produce electricity and warm water. Besides the water circulation pumps it wouldn’t contain moving parts.

    Compared to solar power thermophotovoltaics concepts (, the HotCat application would have the performance benefit that the emitter wouldn’t lose heat by radiating back, because backradiation in this case would go back to the reactor instead of the atmosphere.

    • Omega Z


      Some posts on Rossi’s blog that maybe you can make sense of or interested in.

      Steven N. Karels
      November 4th, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      Herb Gillis
      November 4th, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      Daniel De Caluwé
      November 4th, 2012 at 6:18 AM

      I’m curious as to if you think these Guys are close to whats happening. A couple of them have been questioning hard in certain areas for a while now. Rossi is just plan shutting them down now with It’s Confidential.

      • captain

        I agree, the sooner the better.

        Too much is too much, there’s a limit also to questions.

  • georgehants

    I know I am being unfair but until Mr. Rossi confirms his high output technology, we can not fully condemn such ventures as reported below.
    5 November 2012
    Laos approves Xayaburi ‘mega’ dam on Mekong
    Widening of the Mekong River in Laos The dam is due to be finished by the end of 2019
    Laos has given the go-ahead to build a massive dam on the lower Mekong river, despite opposition from neighbouring countries and environmentalists.

  • Maybe the X-ray conversion efficiency is not very large. However, a benefit of it is that it could be combined with thermophotovoltaics or other technique without reducing the other technique’s efficiency. This is because the direct-converted part of the X-ray flux doesn’t reduce the temperature of the wall, only the total heating power applied to it from inside.

  • kwhilborn

    It seemed obvious that Rossi did not have a stable device during his first year when his longest demo only went 18 hours. Defkalion says he forfeited $15,000,000 because he could not run it 48 hours. This became admitted fact only after he claimed to have solved the stability problem.

    I still think he should publicly prove he can run it longer than 18 hours for legal reasons, but I think he has beaten that. I also believe he is running at high temperatures.

    Although the temperature is high at one point it must be too small a surface area to heat water significantly or he would hook up a steam engine at the earliest opportunity. I have learned to view what Andrea Rossi does not say as much as what he does say.

    • Ged

      Good points.

      This is probably why a lot of units beyond linear numbers are necessary to work in parallel to reach 1 MW. I think the reaction might be highly sensitive to temperature fluctuations beyond a certain range — what that is I’m not sure though, but it probably limits the sort of load rate the cats can handle.

    • kwhilborn: This became admitted fact only after he claimed to have solved the stability problem. This sounds new to me. Perhaps give a link?

      I could be wrong, but I suspect that the reason he didn’t allow to run for more than 18 hours in that phase was because that was the maximum time one can stay awake and watch the testers.

  • clovis

    Hi, guys.
    Photon direct conversion, i like the sound of that, and now that our fearless leader has some backing, He can get the best equipment money can buy , things will get better, fast, look for this upgrade, coming soon,—-BIG SMILE

  • GreenWin

    There is a lot of work being done on this by PV technology developers:

    This would be a Phase 2 or 3 level product. Ideally there will be a complete understanding of the process, allowing focused amplification of the spectra most efficiently converted. I seem to recall reading a McKubre paper on realizing direct conversion of LENR to electrical current – even at scales as small as a standard D cell battery.

    All very good goals to work toward as this remarkable new source of energy addresses the needs of millions of human beings.

  • Kim G. Patterson

    when LENR community starts talking
    Electrical units instead of thermal units
    as the output, then people are going to get
    excited. Both the mafia and the common man.

    its the golden currency of energy ect…


  • Alex

    Check out this POPSCI article on this upcoming months issue. The E-cat is featured in the magazine. Here is the link:

    • daniel maris

      It’s been featured before…

      • freethinker

        It seem familiar somehow. ROFL to the third power. 😀

        Mr Featherweight knows how to produce compelling prose…

        Nice to be able to laugh at it, as one goes through many of the – and I do so mean it – imbecile comments from some of those so called sceptics.

    • Joel C.

      Did you all read the comments under this article? I’ve never seen this much knee-jerk reactions of skepticism in a short span of time!

      • artefact

        The comment by Le Clair is very interesting!

        • Filip48


        • freethinker

          In fact it is. Not only for smacking maryyogo in the face, but for being a story told so in a manner of fact way that it is believable. Does he mean that navy people would have given AR information? Or is he refering to some other company/group…?

      • GreenWin

        “knee-jerk reactions of skepticism…”
        The best money can buy.

    • clovis

      HI, ALEX.
      Man all the whakos came out for this article , krivit and mary ug go, smile, if you take out those two and a few more like them. you get a realistic cross section of general scientific minded public,
      Man, are they in the dark on this subject,
      i’m so glad pop sci is taking an interest in lenr, , i think they will come around because the editor has seen enough real science to know the real thing and when he hears the truth. i was going to comment but i decided not because i get to irritated, and don’t need that.—smile.

    • Alex

      Yeah, I had been following this website since June 2011. I have been gone for several months now, and only recently came back from a trip to Venezuela. Not sure what has been posted, and thought this article was very honest. The author leads into it like the sun has already set for Rossi, but then can’t be sure, as if only he were to climb to a different height and still see a sliver of the sun. I tried my own experiments with this in early September after the Italian high school revealed there experiment. I was not as successful, but saw a 0.8 watt power increase over my 400 watt input value. I am not sure what caused it, and did not continue to try different things to get more power, however it really put things into perspective for me. I know this is a real possibility, and so I can wait, patently, for those to choose to continue.

      • clovis

        Venezuela, interesting.
        Yep,pop sci, got it wrong about a few thing, but the article’s are getting better.
        Great to hear you are replicating the cat, please keep us informed on any experiments, on going or in the intake hopper, smile. do you know about the f&p memorial project,, a few dedicated scientist doing great work.
        And yes we only have to wait until sometime in feb to get our first look at a 1 mw plant in operation in some big power plant here in the U.S.
        i guess that is about the latest, read a few back articles to get caught up.
        and welcome back, don’t be a stranger.-smile

        • Omega Z


          I think Rossi might be overly optimistic on the time-frame. Even so, it will have to run for several months before outsiders are selected to see it.

          • clovis

            You could be right,just thought if someone gets a look, that they might video the whole thing and give us all a look see. It would be nice to see one of these devices hooked up in place and doing work, all nice and shinny, I wonder if they make any sound when it’s in operation. I hope they are quite can’t think of anything that would make any sound can you,?

          • Omega Z

            The Cat may have a hum during power drive, Kind of like a transformer. The Turbine & generator will create a racket I’d guess along with pumps & so forth.

  • Derek Watson

    It seems possible thermionic emission similar to the operation of a vacuum tube could be used. The hot cat operates at over 800C which is the minimum temperature for thermionic emissions from oxide coatings, and assuming the hot cat is made from tungsten (used for gamma ray shielding due to high atomic number) the process for attaching the barium oxide to the tungsten is a known process . This big hurdle may be dealing with the heat bridge between the hot cat and the vacuum filled housing. Ultimately it should be a cheap and easy experiment to perform to see if it has any merit.

    Another conversion possibility is the usage of free-piston stirling engines. It appears NASA has experimented with converting heat from PU-238 to electricity using one of these. This is important because PU-238 is not being made so much these days.

  • New interesting (IMO) interview of Aldo Proia,
    beware, google translate seems to get some sentences upside down

    • Peter_Roe

      Its interesting that Proia confirms that the replaceable cartridges contain the entire reactor (as many had supposed) and so the upgrade path is automatic as cartridges are replaced.

      This does rather presuppose no change in form factor or control requirements and connections, so I would imagine that upgrading a 1MW unit would only be possible for as long as these do not change. At the apparent rate of development that might not be a long time.

      The Google translation is non too good as Pekka says, but Proia seems to give the impression that there is not yet much interest in buying the 1MW units. Maybe one of our Italian-speakers could take a look and provide a human ‘take’ on this?

      • Omega Z

        Notice that Cures made this statement.
        “The pioneering phase is over …”

        Maybe everything to come is just about producing marketable products.

        • David Farnsworth

          I would be more than happy to help Andrew Rossi and Defkalion if they would like to contact me directly if they have any interest , that I might help them with their project and help them understand more in how their Technology Works related to photon activity and interaction. It was myself and Paul brown back in the 70 through a company call PSI that I started out of my garage and we took the company public. I was half owned at the time including a company called newcell incorporated in Boise Idaho that develop the resonant atomic battery this was all long before the company became Nuclear Solutions in meridian Idaho and they created the contact potential battery which by the way I thought was a wonderful invention of Paul and he was also the best at nuclear remediation it is also my humble opinion that this is what got him killed. I raced with Paul many times in Idaho and Paul was the best at what he did he would never forgets something as simple as checking his car over to make sure it was in perfect working order to this day I find his death extremely strange, it was myself back in those days that made the atomic battery work for Paul brown at PSI. At the time that Paul brought the battery to us at PSI it was nothing more than a Hubbard coil Until I developed the electronics to drive the technology to make it work.(And believe me when I tell you you can not believe the amount of energy that it developed in the few minutes that it ran at our company in Portland on mark street it was unbelievable the amount of current and voltage produced was out of this world it through arcs of electricity everywhere.) When I left the company they did not work on the resonant atomic battery again and no one got it working I was the only one that truly understood how it worked . It was then that I discovered that there was more photon interaction than anyone realized at the time so I went my direction and in all these years had been studying the phenomena. (A personal comment, Paul made a lot of mistakes like we all have but when I worked with Paul brown I found him to be one of the best inventors that I ever worked with, the way his mind worked was inspiring. When he died the world suffered a great loss.) I always wanted the very best for him and his family.
          The battery used The Beta Voltaic Effect and at the time I was just starting to understand the effect of photon interaction with materials. Everybody else went the wrong direction when I left the company.
          (just so you all understand I never stopped the work even after Paul died) I discovered a great many things in all these years later and one of the things that I have discovered is that you do not need radioactivity or a source to produce The Beta Voltaic Effect in materials that is if you understand photon inner- action and resonance. (let’s see if you get this one)
          Always remember that mechanical energy, sound, electro-magnetic energy and Light are all one in the same thing except and only except for the mass that it goes through, and as well you must remember that the type of mass that it goes through that also includes gas, air, liquid and so forth. But sadly enough there will be few people that do not understand what I mean. (on the other hands there will be a few absolutely brilliant scientist that will get exactly what I’m saying and those are the people that I hope to talk to one day)
          This is how I was able to produce a thermoelectric chip with zero differential. The same technique can be used for a reaction chamber related to high Z components and low-Z material. But in order to do this you must understand what is truly taking place at a molecular level.
          So if Defkalion and Andrew Rossi has any interest they might wanna contact me because I can take them beyond black body capability. and COPs up to 250 and above very very safely.

          At no time in history have I ever claimed to be someone that I’m not the things that I know I’m self taught I have no education from any institution in the land everything that I’ve learned I feel I was blessed by the Good Lord and I would read a lot and I would ask for his guidance. And I was always given the help that I needed from above. To some of you that may sound corny or strange it’s just simply the truth.

          I will only speak with qualified people and no one less.

          Qualified people who are truly interested in anything I have to say we’ll know how to get ahold of me.

          I wish them all the best and warmest regards
          Dave Farnsworth

          If my Grammer or spelling was not exactly correct O well !! I was never really that good at that either.

          I have a lot of faults but no one ever said I was perfect and people that know me will tell you that’s true… I simply do the best that I can for a old man. (Isn’t that absolutely hilarious)

          Ps. I have demonstrated some of my techniques to a variety of very important people in the world and they know that this technology is real. So I will not answer stupid questions and ridiculous comments from the trolls that are on this blog.

          • Please contact Andrea Rossi through the Miami-based Leonardo Corp. What you have to offer may be critical. I understand the impulse to wait until someone calls on you to share your knowledge, but mankind doesn’t have the time. Paul Brown sounds like a wonderful man.

          • David Farnsworth

            I did say that if there is any interest Defkalion and or Rossi have to contact me themselves. I will not go after them.
            My warmest regards to all.

          • zvibenyosef

            Your post made fascinating reading, if only I had the background to fully understand what you have accomplished. From what I read, it appears you are able to generate electricity efficiently, by the action of photons on a solid state device called a beta voltaic battery.
            I can understand your reluctance to approach Rossi, however I urge you to at least try. We are on the brink of global climate catastrophe, and it is everybody’s duty to do all they possibly can to avoid this impending disaster.

          • For great thermoionic conversion of heat to electricity look
            We are in interesting times.

          • Steve

            In times of War – technology is not suppressed.
            In peace-time – the natural order is suppression.

            This is the World-Order truth.
            It is no wonder that we see a proliferation of technology in times of World-War.

            Just the observations of a 51 year old man!

          • Steve

            Like the article.

            Here’s an idea:-

            Why not use solar PV to split water in the most efficient HHO cell. Collect and compress the Hydrogen and voila – free energy – just capital expenditure.

            Sometimes we overthink a problem!!

      • Omega Z

        First sales of a new technology are always of a leeriness sort. A lot of If’s to consider.

        Add to the Mix is selective customer sales. Leonardo will decide who gets them first. Not Necessarily who wants it.

        The World Economic system is very shaky. Those who Rossi would sell to maybe afraid of taking that Final Leap Even if they have no doubts about the product.

        I don’t think there’s a lack of interest so much as a concern of where things are headed. Cheaper products don’t mean much if your customer doesn’t have the money to purchase it at any price.

        Most of the World is running in Economic fear mode. Purchase only what is absolutely necessary. Even the Rich are in fear. Most or all of their assets could vaporize to zero value tomorrow.

        The only true wealth in the world is Food or the means to produce your own. Everything else is based on pure speculation. Money, Gold, Stocks, whatever, all can become worthless tomorrow, But food will always have value. Food equals survival.

  • Roger Bird

    Rossi’s credibility with me has suffered so greatly from neglect and looking like a con artist with all his promises and hot air that I think that this site should rename itself “LENR World”.

    • freethinker


      we all find ourself in that place from time to time, being fed up and too restless to wait.

      In the end, it doesn’t really matter what this site is called as long as it has this content, so let’s stay out of trouble and leave the name be. Also, nobody asked you to wait for this to unfold, certainly not AR.

      Enjoy the fact that we live in interesting times, that LENR is real and think positive thoughts 🙂

    • Rossi claims COP ~ 6, this is not so different from COP = 3 of Piantelli or COP > 14, claimed with Hagelstein at MIT. Even Defkalion claims COP over four at nickle. Why just Andrea Rossi is untrustfull in your eyes after then?