Eliminating Hot Spots

Here’s an interesting exchange from the Journal of Nuclear Physics today on a topic that I don’t think has been acknowledged very much by Andrea Rossi.

1. Have you finally found a way to supply additional heat to specific regions of the E-Cat, after these last few years of trying? A. Yes.

2. Are the heat spots that we recognize in the various photos of the E-Cat, caused by the same phenomenon that you were trying to eliminate from the E-Cat over the last few years? A. Yes.

3. Do these heat spots damage the physical integrity of the E-Cat? A. Yes.

4. Will all the production models of the E-Cat, including the domestic, come equipped with the activator? A. Yes.

If we recall from the recently leaked photo of the hot cat pushed to an extreme there is an almost white hot region in one section of the hotcat which according to Rossi here is undesirable, and can damage the hot cat.


The issue that Rossi has always been fighting is that of control. It seems like the nature of the nuclear reaction he is working with is to roar out of control until it causes physical destruction of the reactor, which of course is unacceptable. The photo above is of the first version of the hot cat, which does not include the mouse and cat configuration, and perhaps part of the reason for the new version is to help eliminate this concentration of energy. In the answer to the last question Rossi indicates that all versions of the e-cat will now have an activator, so it seems to be something that is very important in optimum operation of these reactors.

  • Torbjörn

    Andrea Rossi about the picture:
    “Making that test we wanted to learn what our case, if we leave the self sustaining mode to go ahead without apply heat with the electric resistances, with what we call the mouse, and we learned from that kind of test alot.”

    He seems to say that the Hot Cat has a mouse but he did not use it at that particular time.


    • G_Zingh

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I guess I disagree for what I interpret as the popular opinion in this forum that the resistance element stops the ssm mode and that is how the ecat is controlled.

      I am under the impression that the white glow we see IS the ecat glowing ( about the size of a whiskey {shot} glass ). And that the mouse encloses the ecat. From the Peron report here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/105322688/Penon4-1 we can see the resistive element between the ceramic fittings.

      I think there is an ssm mode that decays naturally and needs the mouse to bring it to that state again and again. This is the level of control Rossi has today. I think there is a higher energy ssm mode that once the ecat achieves; it cannot be controlled. This is why we have a COP of 6 or 10 and not 200.

      Just my opinion worth about 2cents adjusted for inflation.

      • Barry

        Holy mackerel, Frank has this report ever been on ECW or am I just losing my memory. What a treasure trove. Thanks G Zingh

        • Hi Barry,

          Yes this was the report done last year on the hot cat. It’s a 3rd party report that people tend to forget.

        • GreenWin

          But wait Barry, anonytrol, bob, and lenrdawn say this report is not written on proper parchment, has no old school seal of approval, and does not display a sacred geometry tax number. It must be fraud!

        • Torbjörn
          • John L

            Thanks Torbjorn.

      • Bob

        I will cover your 2 cents and raise you 1 more.
        Since the Penon report has been mentioned, take particular note of the internal structure shown in the second photo on page 5.
        It shows the ceramic heater body and the proximity of the heating element to the outside stainless steel ecat casing.
        The power supplied to the heater towards the end of the test is reported as being 147 volts at 24.25 amps.
        That makes 3.56 kilowatts. !!!
        It is no surprise that an input of 3.5 Kw into a device of this dimension and design, standing in free air, would result in a heater failure due to hot spots developing. In my opinion it is pretty much guaranteed.
        If the input power was maintained at the levels given for the first four hours (below 1kw) the hot spots would not occur.
        It was only in the last two hours when the input power was progressively raised to 3.5Kw that the test was sure to result in hot spots due to the heater element being used beyond it’s capacity to dissipate heat.
        And before anyone says it, yes,.. 3.6Kw electric heater elements are used as a matter of course in ordinary water heaters and they last for years. However, it’s the water surrounding them which quickly takes away any excess heat from hot spots and prevents the hot spot from becoming self regenerative and hence self destructive. The same element in air will be dead in minutes or hours.
        From what I can see, all the photos which have been released showing glowing red hot spots are completely consistent with heater elements ont their way towards failure.
        I can understand why the test was terminated at 17.25pm

        Incidentally, I also notice from the temperature graph on page 11, there does not seem to be any sudden surge in temperature due to LENR or anything else. The temperature appears to climb completely in accordance with the power being applied to the heating element.

  • artefact

    I thought the spot was the reaction chamber. Now it seems to be only an overheated part of it.

  • Bernie Koppenhofer

    Admin….thanks, this is very revealing, along with Rossi saying he has a good knowledge of the theory behind what is going on in his reactors….exciting times.

  • Bob

    Electrical heating elements when overdriven into failure mode will always end up with hot spots and the failure occurs at one of these points.
    The reason for this is that once a section of the element gets even a little bit hotter than another part of the element then the resistance of this section rises slightly, taking more of the available voltage across it, which makes that section even hotter, and even more resistive, and so on until failure of the element. (provided of course that the element material has a positive temperature coefficient, and most of them do. That is, as the temperature of a section goes up, so does the resistance)
    Heating elements in close thermal contact with a cooling medium are protected from this failure mode due to any excess heat in hot spots being quickly dissipated into the cooling medium.
    Heating elements inside an enclosed structure which prevent them dissipating the extra heat which might be generated in hot spots, are particularly prone to this mode of failure, even when operated within the normal power ratings for the element. The failure might take hours, days, or weeks, depending on the thermal conductivity of the device and it’s effectiveness in conduction of the excess heat away from the hot spot. Once a hot spot begins it can only be controlled by reducing power to the element. If not removed the hot spot will eventually trend progressively faster towards destruction of the element.

    It is remotely possible the hot spot shown in the above photo could be from a Low Energy Nuclear Reaction, and if this sort of thing was commonplace then it might rate as a first guess.
    However, it is very possible and more than probable that what the picture shows is the final hours of a heating element in a confined space with limited ability to dissipate heat. The element would probably be much larger than the small red portion shown here. The small red portion shows the section of the element which is in failure mode. If the power to the element is left on in the condition shown, the element will fail in open circuit mode. It will certainly do this without any assistance from LENR.

    • Roger Bird

      Such expertise, and it sounds right on, except for one part: “It is remotely possible the hot spot shown in the above photo could be from a Low Energy Nuclear Reaction”. Just because you are an expert in electrical heat failures (or whatever you call it) does not mean that you have my permission to editorialize. (:->)

      • Bob

        Oops sorry sir.
        Pardon me while I nip out and shoot myself. 🙂

        • Roger Bird

          It’s OK. I editorialize like crazy. Like just the other day I was talking to someone about AGW and . . . . . . Sometimes I get sick of my sarcastic editorializing. Really!

          And you are one good sport!!!

    • John L

      The hot spot, you described, is normally a small red dot on the heating wire in the kitchen stove or heater. they are not a big patch with spread/dispersion (more like propagation characteristics in this case) but rather random in nature. The shape and dispersion (from intense to less intense regions) of Rossi hot spot suggests to me, it is a real exothermic reaction.

      • John L

        see, its clearer here on page9

      • Bob

        That’s true but the kitchen stove element has only one wire through the whole element and there is no way it can transfer heat to any other part of the wire to expamd the hot spot, so it stays where it started, in one small spot only.
        The heater element in the hotcat, as shown in picture 1 on page 5 and again in pic 2 on page 6 show there are multiple parallel element wires mounted on a ceramic base. This could allow heat from one spot on a wire to transfer to the steel case and then across to the wire on either side of the hot spot, in effect giving 3 adjacent hot spots on three adjacent wires. It would appear on the surface as just one hot spot with an expanding area. I would guess the longer it is left on with high power input, the larger the hot spot would become.
        It could conceivably move across multiple wires to a much larger area.
        All I can say is that the hot area in the photos is consistent with an electrical element overheat, but I accept that it could also be consistent with an exothermic reaction, as you say. I can’t prove otherwise because an exothermic reaction produces the same result as an excess of heat from an electrical element.
        If exothermic LENR’s were as common as electrical element failures I would have no problem in accepting the hot spot is from one of them. However, that is not yet the case so I choose to take the most logical explanation.
        If there was even one independent report to prove to me that kilowatt range powers were possible from a LENR then that would go a long way towards changing my view.
        Is the report released yet?
        Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? 🙂

  • clovis

    hi, everyone.
    It could be that the mouse is taking the place of the hot spot that we see,

  • Leo Kaas

    Perhaps the lack of control is what held Rossi back. Until he perfected the cat and mouse configuration, he didn’t want outside testing. Now that he can control the reaction, he has shipped another E-Cat and we are all patiently waiting for the third party report. Maybe patiently is the wrong word, I find myself on Ecat World several times a day. Anxiously waiting for the third party report. And I have a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge at work since the middle of April. Hope May is the month we can all Celebrate!

    • Tom

      Haha Leo that’s great! I also check every day for that report.. but I don’t have the champagne.. maybe I should..

      • Leo Kaas

        Tom, go ahead and spring for an expensive bottle. Make it a party, if, and I can’t believe I’m saying “if” again, but if the report comes out, I’m sharing champagne with everyone at my office. We have been waiting a long time, we deserve the good stuff when the report comes out. Enjoy!

        • Roger Bird

          I have no doubt in my mind that Rossi is very busy trying to make the E-Cat work. Whether he has control or not remains, for me, to be seen.

          • Leo Kaas

            Roger, I agree with you. I feel there is a lot that remains to be seen. But I am hopeful. After visiting the MFMP, I am convinced mankind has a new fire.

    • Rio

      Good point! Can’t wait to take that first sip of champagne!

      • Leo Kaas

        Looking forward to having toast to the new fire!

    • pachu on Xperia

      I have a beer waiting. In fact is waiting too much. Well … Going to the fridge see you later.

  • Barry

    I appreciate Rossi’s work, but I think most of it is much more in the research and development stage than he would like us to believe. Perhaps it’s a competitive nature inside him wanting to be ahead of the CF race. My fear is all of the other CD researchers- Mitchell Swartz, MFMP, Piantelli etc. are getting overlooked.

    • Alp

      Overlooked by whom? What, exactly, is being overlooked? Seems to me, good claims to LENR get reported here or by Sterling Allan or by Forbes or many other places.

    • Omega Z

      With All Due Respect, Barry,

      It’s just a matter of perspective.
      In the Mainstream ALL are getting overlooked.

      At ECW, the focus is on Rossi & most of all, Rossi chatters a lot & everyone else is mostly silent so it would be easy to get that impression.

      Ironically, If Rossi was silent, they would all be equally Ignored completely. It’s also very likely Few of us here would be aware of LENR. 🙂 Rossi’s E-cat works. It powers the Spot Light on LENR.

      • atanguy


      • Barry

        Points well taken. I just hope news that Rossi is on the brink doesn’t take the wind out of the sails of the guys at MFMP. Could still be a long road of R+D.

        • Zero

          I agree. We need MFMP and others like them to help develop competition I’m the LENR marketplace. Of they can succeed in open sourcing LENR then rossi and anyone else who comes along will be forced to keep prices low. We need people like those behind the MFMP.

      • Bernie Koppenhofer


    • AB

      Most of the other entities in this field don’t want to attract attention, or don’t care about the general public (which is a completely acceptable position in my book, afterall their job is research, and not PR).

      Actually, some guys from NASA did make a few public announcements and got blasted for it by the all knowing skeptics.

      • Jjaroslav

        This genie is out of the bottle and if not here then in “North Korea”. The technology is too easily accessed.

  • GreenWin

    Whatever method is used now to regulate the reaction will undoubtedly be improved markedly over the next couple years. If, for example some form of EMF/RF is used to generate surface plasmons (NASA’s theory) – modulating that field could control the reaction. The present version of e-cat will look like any early technology (Chicago Pile-1) in retrospect.

    Third party tests appear to run over periods of 120 hours at sustained and stable rates – so control may be less an issue than thought.

    OT: DNV KEVA is a large risk management firm specializing in energy. Rick Fioravanti has taken an interesting tack on handling the inevitable propagation of Distributed Energy Resources (micro-CHP, LENR, solar.) He sees the potential value-add in DER if handled with vision.

    “What this means for utilities is that this time, the probability of actual deployment of the [DER] technologies is much greater, and utilities will have to accommodate increasing amounts of distributed energy resources being deployed on their systems.”

    Indeed, a smart utility will retool and license DER for sale, install, and maintenance revenue. Smarter utilities will ditch the vastly over-engineered “smart grid” and move to micro-grids managed by end users and utils. A forward move now to establish micro-grid expertise will position central power players to survive the collapse of the outdated grid. The iceman is dead.


    • Jjaroslav

      If not an LENR in every basement then this and I agree the smart ultilities will pick it up here. Ultimately it’ll follow the computer path…big single source “mainframes” moving to full DER applications but with a much shorter innovation cycle. Then you’ll be buying them at Target.

      • AlainCo

        mainframe to departemental.
        departmental to destop…
        then desktop awkwardly connected to mainstrame…
        finally desktop working with serveur, then internet, mobile…

        with electricity it mean :
        – today big powerplant
        – then LENR around 50MW at district level
        – because of inflexibility of big electric companies refusing to dump their big plant, users disconnect from the grid and get to home energy
        – home energy is in fact harder than imagined, and some district level powerplant help local CHP, with a micro-grid.

        • GreenWin

          Agree with both Alain and J. There is one main difference in the computer analogy: early computers required large mainframes due to limited CPU power. As CPU semiconductor power increased, the size of the computer decreased.

          With LENR we have a basic unit that near-perfectly matches domestic demand, i.e. 10kW thermal. Ideally a match to microturbine, Stirling, free-piston, thermoacoustic etc. driven generator will yield 30% electrical.

          In other words, the e-cat hot cat is ideal for domestic application. The new “tiger” at 100kW is far better for building 50MW district units.

          LANL did some interesting work for NASA on a traveling-wave thermoacoustic power converter, scaling down a 1kW engine: http://www.lanl.gov/thermoacoustics/Pubs/HEPSFinalDraftU.pdf

          Minimal moving parts and low noise makes this a potential solution for domestic e-cat power.

          • AlainCo

            very interesting.

            the problem with LENR is convertion to electricity which for few kW is much much more expensive that LENR reactors.

            big turbines around 10-100MW have a more acceptable price, even if expensive compared to LENR.

            for pure heat application, I think that you are right. no need of mainframe. moving heat is expensive.

            for electricity we beend huge price reduction .

  • lenrdawn

    “It seems like the nature of the nuclear reaction he is working with is to roar out of control until it causes physical destruction of the reactor, which of course is unacceptable.”

    Yes, it would be. But I doubt very much that this has been a problem. Rossi made tests in front of people – himself included – and there wasn’t even a fire extinguisher in the room and the worst thing that happened so far was that he burned his finger. He may be crazy but I don’t think he plays with his and other people’s lives.

  • Ben

    I will be surprised if there is ever a 3rd party report.

    • Kim

      The Idea of LENR will reach critical mass.

      I do not know when this will be.

      A third party report WILL be given by myself
      if need be. But it will be given.

      I think people want to kick the tires.


      • Lukedc

        Those people kicking the tyres are the good old boys..
        Big oil, coal miners, coal seam gas extractors.

        • Kim

          Boy Ain’t that the truth!


    • SteveW

      I assume those writing the report will never be allowed to publish it on the grounds of national security. Or, will be persuaded to change the report to indicate no excess power.

      • GreenWin

        We have a winner!

      • Kim

        The fox guarding the hen house syndrome.


  • Roger Bird

    Leo Kaas, et. al.

    I admit that Rossi seems so improbable, except that the soft/social evidence is so compelling. I love these kinds of conundrums. They are like giant, living Zen koans.

    • Leo Kaas

      Haha Roger, good one, what is the sound of one hand clapping? Never really thought of Rossi as very Zen, but I like what you are saying.

      • Roger Bird

        So many of these mysteries come down to eye-ball reports vs. theory. Thousands of people have seen B1GF**T, but theory says that it does not exist. The same with U#Os. I myself have experienced OOBE, but “theory” says that it ain’t so. I don’t always come down on one side or the other. Often times I believe people’s experience; I just don’t believe their interpretation of their experience. (:->) I find it to be a gas.

  • Jacob

    I think the reactor is still in the development and improvements stage….Temperature control is now the first concern for this project.

  • John L

    The hot spot could be caused by unevenly distributed of hydrogen/catalyst and therefore heat in nickle powder, making the overall COP difficult to be determined by optical mean. Rossi’s solution, the cat-mouse setup,that may restrict the COP to a stabilized level.

    • John L

      The existence of the hot spot also suggests the reaction is dependent on surface-to-volume ratio or prorogation/penetration of one or more medium to another.

      • John L

        It is interesting to point out that the overall spread/dispersion of the hot spot is the same in the above photo and in this report’s photo on page9


        more intense at the bottom then reduced as it raised up

  • Kim

    I have always felt that if the Nickel was in
    plasma state. (the fourth state of matter)

    And then introduce the catalyst also in the
    plasma state with the hydrogen…

    Could pulse the catalyst and hydrogen
    a few nano grams at a time.

    Could be dangerous.

    I predict that ultimately this will be the
    true source of power for the technology.

    Containment? I will leave that for the experts
    to figure.


  • buffalo

    this is possibly how he discovered the effect in the first place i.e.seeing an unusualy hot spot in the raney nickel catalyst that was used in the petroldragon days.

    • Jim

      I like that thought. Everything comes from somewhere.

    • Peter Roe

      A contributor named ‘Linda’ has also speculated on this possibility on several occasions.

  • Iggy Dalrymple

    New York City Steam System
    “The New York Steam Company began providing service in lower Manhattan in 1882. Today, Consolidated Edison operates the largest commercial steam system in the United States. The organization within Con Edison that is responsible for the system’s operation is known as Steam Operations, providing steam service to nearly 1,800 customers and serving more than 100,000 commercial and residential establishments in Manhattan from Battery Park to 96th Street uptown on the West side and 89th Street on the East side of Manhattan. Roughly 30 billion lbs (just under 13.64 megatons) of steam flow through the system every year.

    Cogeneration and Heat Recovery Steam Generation (HRSG) significantly increase the efficiency of fuel usage and thereby reduces the emission of pollutants, such as NOx, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and particulate matter, and reduce the city’s carbon footprint. Approximately 30% of the ConEd steam system’s installed capacity and 50% of the annual steam generated comes from cogeneration. Con Edison is promoting the use of steam for cooling in the summer months, something that can be accomplished with the installation of absorption chillers. Such trigeneration systems result in additional energy and pollution savings, while reducing peak electrical loads.
    Clouds of condensation can sometimes be seen rising from manholes in Manhattan through red-and-white “chimneys”. This can be caused by external water being boiled by contact with the steam pipes or by leaks in the steam system itself.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_steam_system

  • Sanjeev

    The simplest solution that comes to mind is to have many small tubes instead of one large one and to immerse them in a heat conducting medium (such as transformer oil or mercury).

    In this way it will conduct heat away rapidly (more surface area), not allowing any formation of hot spots. Even if a spot forms (and it will) in one of the tubes, it will break, but the whole unit will keep working. The broken tube can be hot swapped with a new one.

    I guess DGT have such a design, they have a bundle of 9 tubes with charge.

    • Peter Roe

      I’m not sure that mercury would be acceptable outside a lab for ‘elf ‘n safety’ reasons, but as Rossi talks about 350C as the design (and stable) working temp, oil or HT glycols would be the obvious coolant for a 2-stage system. Higher temps might use liquid sodium, liquid salt or lead as the primary coolant.

      The latest short, flanged hot cat design (production prototype?) looks as if it is designed so that multiple units could be bolted into a box-type fluid heater, or directly into the end plate of a short, wide drum-type water boiler (Rossi seems to favour simple engineering solutions). Whether or not the latter is feasible depends on whether the prototype can can continue to function when heat is being extracted at a high rate.

      • Sanjeev

        Thanks for adding to the list of coolants. I’m no expert on that but I’m sure that there will be a garden variety of designs once this takes off. There are virtually no limits on the form factor here.

    • Mark

      Something to consider is that maybe even the tiniest over heating even on the microscopic level may cause failure or degradation. Think of it like a form of corrosion where the over heating transforms the physical structure or chemical nature of that layer and the entire unit fails in a similar way to an electrical connection if wire has become corroded no longer conducts electricity. I mention this because it seems that the physical configuration that maintains the ratio of catalyst and proximity of the catalyst along with the particle size of the nickel to be very important. Heat will alter the physical structure and if it relies on crystalline properties then that maybe altered at certain temperatures even for short durations on a tiny scale. My guess is the problem then would be that to introduce any compound, element or items into the structure may alter those ratios and proximities or introduce a form of contamination which negates the catalytic effect.

  • Zero

    There is an article on popular mechanics that writes off cold fusion. Please help let them know that cold fusion probably has a bigger cult following than hot fusion right now and it’s still alive and kicking. http://www.popularmechanics.com/_mobile/science/energy/next-generation/why-dont-we-have-fusion-power-15480435?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

    • Joe Shea

      It’s more productive to write off Popular Mechanics. They’ve been wrong like this a couple of time on important topics. There must be an agenda at work there.

      • Peter Roe

        +1 – there is no point whatsoever trying to bring those in the Robert Park camp on board. Their agenda will be fully exposed in due course.

  • Roger Bird

    My view of the report was sort of messed up. But I was able to read the conclusion: “The ”Rossi effect” is verified. The Power source can not be of
    chemical nature.” Let us debate this. I am satisfied. But, is it controllable?

  • LENR4you

    Put these LENR hotspot into a closed loop of a Stirling engine with contains H2 as working fluid. The hotspot will be cooled very good with the Gas Mixture. For small or mobile Systems: LENR Power will be converted without steam. –> the embedded LENR Stirling engine.

  • Barry

    You know all of this can’t be true, Why just yesterday I read in this months Popular Mechanics how “A Department of Energy review panel debunked the (Cold Fusion) evidence in 2004”
    Plus Steve Crowley said CF isn’t real. (I know, bad karma, but I had too)