Help Wanted With Summary of the E-Cat Test

I would like to request the help of E-Cat World readers with a task I have set myself. I have been trying to put together a digest of the recent E-Cat test that might be more easily digestible for the non-expert reader than the full document. I hope this could be a useful resource for people investigating the topic. Being a non-expert myself I have found it quite a challenge to do this, so I would like to submit my first draft of the summary to readers here — many of whom have much more expertise in these things than me — for comment and correction.

The overall goal is to provide essential information for the lay reader in a reasonably short document. For further details (such as the mathematical calculations and images) people can refer back to the original document. Thanks in advance to all!

Abstract: The test is to discover if the E-Cat HT (Energy Catalyzer High Temperature) reactor produces anomalous heat — i.e. heat that cannot be explained by any other known process. The tube contains nickel powder combined with hydrogen and unspecified (secret) additives. The reaction is started by powering up resistors (electric heating coils) inside the reactor tube.

Heat was measured by taking pictures of the hot tube every second with a thermal camera. Electrical power going into the tube (input) was measured with a three phase power analyzer. Two tests were performed. The first lasted 96 hours, the second 116 hours. In both cases anomalous heat was produced. In the second run a dummy tube (with no nickel/hydrogen powder) was powered in the same way as the E-Cat and this produced no anomalous heat.

The energy density in the E-Cat was calculated to be far above any known chemical source. Taking into account any possible measurement error, and being very conservative in all assumptions “the result is still one order of magnitude greater than conventional energy sources.”

History of E-Cat is provided, citing work by Sergio Focardi in 1990s who later worked with Andrea Rossi. The E-Cat is an invention which allegedly able to produce heat in much higher quantities than any known process. Heat is produced by mixing nickel, hydrogen and a catalyst which is a trade secret, and activating it with electronic resistor coils inside the reactor chamber.

The purpose of this report is to determine for certain if the E-Cat works as claimed by very careful measurement of heat produced and energy input.

2 tests are reported in this paper:

1. Dec 13-17, 2012 by Levi and Foschi (96 hours)
2. March 18-23 by all authors (116 hours)

Both tests took place in the premises of EFA Srl, Via del Commecio 34-36, Ferrara, Italy.

In November 2012 an initial test was begun, but during the test the reactor was destroyed by overheating; it melted. In this test, the resistor coils were run at about 1 kilowatt, and the charge (nickel powder mix) was not evenly distributed within the cylinder. In later tests the charge was evenly distributed and power going into the reactor was limited to 360 watts.

Figures 1 – 3 are from the November test and show the reactor near meltdown, and data from a thermal imaging camera.

16 resistors are placed inside the reactor equidistantly along the axis of the cylinder and extending the full length of the cylinder, a fact that can be picked up on the thermal images where darker ‘shadows’ represent the placement of the reactors.

Part 1: The December Test

Reactor (known in this test as the E-Cat HT): Outer shell made of silicon nitrate 33 x 10 cm. Inner shell made of corundum (ceramic material) housing 3 delta-connected spiral wire resistors placed equidistantly and running the full length of the cylinder. These were fed electricity by a TRIAC power regulator which “interrupted each phase periodically, in order to modulate power input with an industrial trade secret waveform.” This procedure was needed to activate the E-Cat charge and did not affect the power consumption of the device which remained constant throughout the test.

Inside the cylinder described above was a sealed AISI steel cylinder 33 x 3 cm inside which were the powder charges. The outermost cylinder was coated by a black paint capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 1200 C.

They did not weigh the cylinder because the e-cat was running before the test began. They weighed a similar unit without any charge inside or sealing caps and the difference between the two was 0.236 kg — which would be the weight of the charge and the caps.

The reactor was placed on a metal frame with minimum contact points. Ambient temperature was an average of 15.7 C.

Measuring instruments were an IR thermographic camera to measure heat from the e-cat and a and a wide band-pass power quality monitor to record the power absorbed by the resistors.

The camera was located about 70 cm below the E-Cat HT, with lens facing the lower half of the cylinder to avoid rising hot air (to preserve the lens) The camera took readings once each second and sent data to a laptop which displayed the heat image throughout the duration of the test.

“Electrical measurements were performed by a PCE-830 Power and Harmonics Analyzer by PCE Instruments with a nominal accuracy of 1%.” and was connected directly to the E-Cat HT with three clamp ammeters, and three probes for voltage measurement. A video camera filmed the analyzer display and a wristwatch displaying the time once every second throughout the test.

David Bianchi set up instruments to detect radioactive emissions throughout the duration of the test.

Data Analysis

The E-Cat’s average hourly power consumption was calculated at 360 W.
Heat energy was considered to be mainly via radiation and convection. Very little conduction was possible because of the minimal contact points between the E-Cat and the support frame. “Energy emitted by radiation was calculated by means of Stefan-Boltzmann’s formula, which allows to evaluate the heat emitted by a body when its surface temperature is known”

The hourly power production due to radiation was calculated as 1568 W.
The hourly power production due to convection was calculated as 466 W.

Total calculated power production per hour = 2034 W

COP = 2034/360 = 5.6 ± 0.8
assuming a 10% error in the powers.

Ragone Chart

“Given the deliberately conservative choices made in performing the measurement, we can
reasonably state that the E-Cat HT is a non-conventional source of energy which lies between
conventional chemical sources of energy and nuclear ones.”

Remarks on the Test

Extremely conservative values were used in the calculation. The weight of the caps sealing the charge was added to the calculated weight of the charge. The choice of attributing an emissivity of 1 to the E-cat was conservative, too. The measurement of radiated heat did not take into account the surface of the E-cat that was blocked by metal struts in the camera’s line of view. “It is therefore reasonable to assume that the thermal power released by the device during the trial was higher than the values given by our calculations.”

PART 2: The March Test

A new design of reactor was used in this test (known as the E-Cat HT2) — it was a steel cylinder, 33 x 9 cm with a steel circular flange at one end 20 cm in diameter and 1 cm thick. The flange is for the purpose of being able to insert the reactor into a heat exchanger (not used in this test) The cylinder containing the powder charge is the same as in the first test: a sealed AISI steel cylinder 33 x 3 cm. A different coating was used for the outer shell — an enamel paint capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 800 C. It was not sprayed evenly on the cylinder.

The power supply was a “control circuit having three-phase power input and single-phase output, mounted within a box”.

The control system used in this test allowed the device to operate in “self-sustaining mode mode, i.e. to remain operative and active, while powered off, for much longer periods of time with respect to those during which power is switched on.” After a two hour start up period, the system went into an ON/OFF cycle in which the resistor coils were powered on for two minutes, and then turned off for four minutes. During the OFF part of the cycle it was possible to observe the temperature continuing to rise for a short time.

In this test a ‘dummy’ reactor was tested — i.e. a shell without a charge — to compare it to the performance of the active reactor.

Also, radiation emissions were tested for, but none above ambient background radiation was detected.

Emitted power was calculated as 816 W per hour, and power consumption at 322 W per hour, giving a COP of 2.9


The difference in performance between the two tests could be attributed to the overestimation of the weight of the charge in the first test, and in the design of the control system in the second test where the manufacturer is trying to enhance the stability of the system. Nevertheless, both tests show that the E-Cat is “outside the bounds of the Ragone plot regions for chemical sources.”

The next test is scheduled to start in the summer of 2013 and will last about six month — it will be of the E-Cat HT2 setup and “will be crucial for further attempts to unveil the origin of the heat phenomenon so far.”

  • Roger Bird

    The so-called Ragone Chart should be “cleaned up” and all of the storage units, non-primary energy “sources” removed. Only primary energy sources should be included. I suppose that there are already such charts, but I don’t know what they are called. Too much information is confusing and not helpful. Fly wheels, batteries, capacitors, etc. are not primary energy sources. Plutonium, gasoline, wind, solar, E-Cat, coal, natural gas, and perhaps others should be included.

    • fortyniner

      Agreed completely. In fact I don’t think including the Ragone chart is helpful at all in its present form. In general I think that much of the language that has basically been taken from the report could be simplified further, and some non-relevant detail omitted. The suggestion to get the authors to provide a synopsis seems good to me.

      • LB

        I think the Ragone chart is useful. It shows that whatever process is generating the heat, it is something very different from the sources we use today. The Ragone chart used in the Forbes article is very good as it has added Plutonium and the results from the report on the e-cat. Link to chart below.

        • Anonymous

          I don’t agree. Especially because the Ragone chart includes open reactions: To burn gasoline you need to add extra oxygen.
          I didn’t seen any mention whether the Ecat is a closed environment or not, but the steel casing suggests that it is closed.

          And, if it is a closed environment, you have to take also into account chemical reactions. Mass is preserved in a chemical reaction. If you stuff it full of thermite, you will get lot of heat without change in mass (and melt the steel). Maybe not enough to explain the results, but it makes the Ragone chart comparison very questionable.

      • Bernie Koppenhofer

        I found the Ragone chart in the Forbes article helpful for me.

  • Roger Bird

    “cannot be explained by any other known process” Any other what known process? Other than what. You need to say something like, “cannot be explained by any currently known process, including all chemical reactions.”

  • Roger Bird

    Three tests were performed. The first test was so successful that no measurements were possible; the steel cylinder melted, which the input power was incapable of causing. I don’t want that test to have been in vain.

    • Redford

      Indeed. This test can be seen as the most important proof. You can’t melt that amound of steel with 1KW and not whith chemical reaction. This is a visually striking proof.

      Actually, I remember Levi saying in an older video he tried to convince Rossi to make it explode, because to him that’s what energy generation can eventually do and there’s a lot to learn in the process. When I heard the first one melted I couldn’t help to think that Levi was very happy with that 😛

      • AB

        I appreciate this initiative. The average reader struggles to get a clear picture of the situation, with all the negative noise made by certain individuals, and Wikipedia being firmly in the hands of close minded editors.

        We should really try to prepare a document that offers an alternative view than the “mass fraud” explanation proposed by certain skeptics.

      • R101

        “and not whith chemical reaction”

        How about thermite? (Thinking out loud)Hmmm maybe something like that is the catalyst.

        • GreenWin

          The thermite proposal does nothing to explain Tests December and March average 100 hours at stable 300C. Thermite would melt stainless and weigh far more than 0.3 grams to do so.

          • Anonymous

            A thermite reaction doesn’t lose mass.

    • Herb Gillis

      Also note the un-evenness of the heating (in the “failed” test), despite the fact that the shadow of the resistor coils clearly run the length of the cylinder. The heat is clearly coming from where the fuel is, not the resistor. This test (of November-2012) is the convincer.

  • Roger Bird

    Explain to people what “one order of magnitude means”.

    • psi

      + 1.

  • Roger Bird

    I spend a great deal of time proofreading and I am very good at it. I also read very carefully and slowly. I will be happy to help by proofreading, Frank.


  • TheRealG

    Honest questions here:

    Does Rossi need to reveal the contents of his “black box” in order to patent his invention in the U.S. or Europe?

    Also, does will he need to reveal the contents of his “black box” to pass safety standards for commercial or residential use of his invention in the U.S. or Europe?

    Finally, why does Rossi need/want third party validation? Is this somehow part of the patent/safety verification process? Otherwise, why go the scientific route at all? He would be better off just getting a patent.

    What’s his game?


    • LB

      The idea with patents is, reveal how you did it then you will get the (time limited) protection of a patent. I think Rossi don’t want to do that because he is afraid of black market copy cats (no pun intended)

      • TheRealG

        Sure, but it seems to me that he needs to get a patent at some point before he intends on selling it. Actually, didn’t he already sell a device despite not having patent protection?
        Also, what about the point about safety? Can he sell his device without ever revealing what’s in the black box?


  • Torbjörn

    With power consumption by the E-CatHT2’s control device instrumentation:
    COP = 816/322 = 2.6 ± 0.5
    COP = 816/283 = 2.9 ± 0.3

    This is interesting: (E-Cat HT2)
    Before removal of the powder charges, the
    cylinder was weighed once again (1522.9 g), to compensate for the steel machine shavings
    lost. Lastly, the inner powders were extracted by the manufacturer (in separate premises we did
    not have access to), and the empty cylinder was weighed once again (1522.6 g). The weight that
    may be assigned to the powder charges is therefore on the order of 0.3 g; here it shall be
    conservatively assumed to have value of 1 g, in order to take into account any possible source of
    error linked to the measurement.

  • Pekka Janhunen

    Admin: have you considered asking the authors themselves to provide this kind of an “executive summary” or “press release”? They might be happy to do it. At least Essen, Levi and Höistad seem to have actively responded to interview requests and such – not to imply that the others wouldn’t. In my opinion, that would be the ideal way because then the text would be signed under by the highest level of authority (pun intended).

    • Pekka Janhunen

      … and you could perhaps offer to edit their raw version for English and iterate the final result with them once more.

      • Gian Luca

        I agree…this is the best way for a perfect divulgation to all over the world.

  • Thomas Conover
  • Fredrik Stadler

    There is no such thing as ‘watt per hour’. You probably mean watt (W) – power, not to be confused with watthour (Wh) – energy.

    Try to get those terms correct.

    • Thanks very much!

  • Donald Duck

    You use the term “AISI steel” to describe the steel cylinder. This should be AISI 310 steel. This is a type of high temperature stainless steel. You should just use the term ‘stainless steel’ to describe the material of the tube.

    The outer shell is described as ‘silicon nitride’ not ‘silicon nitrate’. The inner ceramic shell is described as ‘corundum’ which is a transparent crystalline form of aluminium oxide. Aluminium oxide is used as refractory material and has a melting point of 2000C.

    • Thanks very much for those useful corrections.

  • stuey81

    ask for a photo of the melted hot cat, heresay otherwise

  • daniel maris

    Looks like an excellent summary to me. I will leave it to others with more technical knowledge to comment on the technical aspects.

  • AB

    I appreciate this initiative. The average reader struggles to get a clear picture of the situation, with all the negative noise made by certain individuals, and Wikipedia being firmly in the hands of close minded editors.

    We should really try to prepare a document that offers an alternative view than the “mass fraud” explanation proposed by some individuals.

  • georgehants

    For the average person to take it seriously it would have to be included as fact in an episode of Coronation Street etc.
    For most scientists to take it seriously they would have to have their hands held by a positive article in one of their “premier comics.”
    All those capable of thinking for themselves already have open-minds, willing to look at the clean Evidence and take no notice of others.
    The numbers reading these pages is a fair indication of how many that is, maybe .000000000001% of the population.

    • Udi

      It’s actually much more than that.

      Let’s assume 2 billion people can read English, of them 1.5 Billion are over 15, and 3,000 read this article.

      That’s 2 in a million, or 0.0002% of the population.

  • Bob Greenyer
  • georgehants

    From TechEye.Net
    Panel clears “cold fusion” device
    At least 10 times more powerful than petrol
    23 May 2013 10:35 | by Nick Farrell in Rome | Filed in Science Europe
    Panel clears “cold fusion” device –
    A panel of researchers has released a paper confirming that a device made by a secretive Italian might be cold fusion.
    The paper, penned by a team of independent scientists, has yet to receive a peer review, but appears to suggest that Andrea Rossi’s cold fusion device might be the business.
    The cold fusion device being tested has roughly 10,000 times the energy density and 1,000 times the power density of gasoline. The paper said that even allowing for a massively conservative margin of error, the scientists say that the cold fusion device they tested is 10 times more powerful than petrol which is the best fuel readily available to mankind
    Read more:

  • georgehants

    Hopecell’s Blog
    Future of Clean Energy
    By Robert Vancina – Inventor of Hope Cell Technology / Entrepreneur – Beeing innovative means have mind-set ahead of your time regardless of controversy it cause.

  • georgehants

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013
    The Report of the Italian and Swedish professors that demonstrates the generation of massive excess heat and an amazingly high energy density is a serious very professional work.
    It is obviously not perfect; not a capodopera but this does not disturb me a bit. Its conclusions are unassailable and, I well remember that re-reading even my most successful research reports two weeks later, I usually have found lots of issues that could be done much better. Three months later, many times we were able to find a better way.

  • georgehants

    Cold Fusion
    E-Cat: what will change ‘after the publication of the new report?
    E-cat on May 22, 2013 –
    It was already ‘fully anticipated. The publication of the now famous report prepared by independent parties after completing the test sull’Hot Cat has triggered a new wave of comments on the ‘invention of Andrea Rossi.
    The fact that the test results are positive and confirm the claims made ​​by Rossi in recent years has created a split even more ‘deep among his detractors (some of which are reeling) and its supporters.

  • Sandy

    The first paragraph of your “Abstract” might be revised as follows:

    Abstract: An “Energy Catalyzer High Temperature” reactor (E-Cat HT) was tested to determine its heat-generating capacity. The reactor has a tubular shape, with the tube being approximately 5 times longer than its diameter. A disk-shaped cap on each end of the tube creates a closed chamber. The chamber contains nickel powder, hydrogen gas, and unspecified (secret) additives. The chamber also contains electric heating coils that, when energized, bring the reactor up to its operating temperature.

    • Very good! Thanks.

  • andreiko

    Nuclear Fission;Metaphor, cut potato, the contents of bothmasses can no longer be covered by the Peel so surpluscontent (consider content and Peel as forms of energy).2) nuclear fusion;Metaphor, add 2 potatoes together now creates asurplus of peelings.

  • HeS

    Or maybe there is a simple explanation of “surplus heat”:)

    Experimenters should install own short cables for energy measure.

    • Tony2

      Now you’re on to it. The fakery in the first tests back in 2011 was that there was nowhere near the voloume of water turned into steam that was said to be. Now the manipulation is in the input energy which is NEVER allowed to be measured and the device is NEVER allowed to be run or inspected outside of an AR-owned facility.

      Again, since AR says the ecat only needs heat to control the reaction why can not some of the excess heat be used to loop back into the control section to allow operation? You could then pull the plug and the thing should still work.

      The excess power may not be delivered just like the schematic shows but he’s got power coming in somewhere with his “industrial frequency” control box.That’s how it’s being done. And this test, again, uses a very questionable measurement methodology when a it would have been far more convincing to just heat a known volume of water to below 100C.

      This isn’t confirmation of anything other than AR’s mastery over the emotions of people who want desparately to believe.


  • lenrdawn

    You write:

    “In this test a ‘dummy’ reactor was tested — i.e. a shell without a charge — to compare it to the performance of the active reactor.

    Also, radiation emissions were tested for, but none above ambient background radiation was detected.

    Emitted power was calculated as 816 W per hour, and power consumption at 322 W per hour, giving a COP of 2.9”

    That makes it sound as if the dummy was running with a COP of 2.9, which it wasn’t, of course. You should move the sentence with the dummy to the end and emphasize that it was used as a control experiment to validate the measurements.

    • Mark

      How about adding a simple table to the March test section comparing the “dummy” run with the active charge results. This is imho the most salient eveidence in the report.

    • Yes, good idea.

  • lenrdawn

    “The choice of attributing an emissivity of 1 to the E-cat was conservative, too.”

    I think it has been sufficiently demonstrated on other sites that this isn’t conservative at all and that any lower value would result in lower power values, despite the camera’s corrective algorithm. I wouldn’t mention it at all. It is confusing, especially since they tried to actually measure emissivity in the second experiment and used those values rather than simply assuming 1, which they could have done if it was a sound way to do it in this setup.

    • AB

      I think you got that backwards. Lower emissivity would result in higher calculated power output. Emissivity 1 is as converative as possible.

      • lenrdawn
      • lenrdawn

        I don’t think I have. Obviously the Stefan Boltzmann law gives higher radiation energies with higher emissivity – and I am sure Levi, Essen and the others know that in their sleeps. They claim using emissivity 1 is conservative because if they retrospectively correct parts of a RAVI recording which has been shot with Emissivity 1 overall to an emissivity lower than 1, the temperature for that area is corrected so high by PIconnect that it more than outweighs the SB calculation. From all I know about IR cameras, that assumption is wrong. PIconnect only adjusts temperatures relative to the reference emissivity but still has to rely on that reference emissivity to be correct. In other words: I think that if they had shot the original video with a reference emissivity of .8 rather than adjusting it later for a sub-area, the temperature wouldn’t have been anywhere near 564 C as they claim.

        • AB

          You are correct, apologies.

        • AlainCo

          for the computation from het to power yes, but for the camera it is the opposite, and Jed Rothwell remind it elsewhere.

          the report as expected is right and conservative, and debunker as incompetent as usual.

    • It is strange that the physicist did make that 20% error upward, and publicly.

      The question is where the factor one is used. If used in the interpretation of power, increasing emissivity increase apparent power at known temperature .

      however increasing emissivity in the setup of the IR camera that compute the apparent temperature from the spectrum, might be the opposite.

      Note also that assuming higher or lower, have different effect if you do it on the blank or active run…

      What you claim is so great, so public, so evident for a physicist or an engineer, that it is hard to swallow.

      it cannot be a fraud because it is publicly said and would be fixed by peer-review in seconds.
      It cannot be an error because a student would think of it.

      best hypothesis is that as usual debunker are incompetent…

      we will see during the peer review. I have enough competence to know that indirect human factor evidence are sounder than reading the paper when you are either incompetent, or dishonest, which debunker are often both.

      if confirmed it will destroy the career of all the physicist and engineer who participated to the paper, and also to those who validated it afterward.

      Hard to swallow.

  • João Corvelo

    16 resistors are placed inside the reactor equidistantly along the axis of the cylinder and extending the full length of the cylinder, a fact that can be picked up on the thermal images where darker ‘shadows’ represent the placement of the reactors.(MUST BE RESISTORS )

    • Correct! Thanks for catching that.

  • Sanjeev

    Its still a bit heavy for the non-expert readers, if by non-expert you mean laymen. I would suggest making it 25% shorter by removing the details which are of no use for an ordinary person, e.g, the make, model and specs of the instruments, exact dimensions, various temperatures, setup details and how the resistors were placed inside and how they guessed that.

    Instead you can include basics, like what is COP, whats a Ragone chart etc, what was inside the tube, why the process is unknown etc.

    There were 4 tests, the meltdown (unintentional), HT, HT2 and the dummy. As someone suggested below a table will be more clear to show the results at a glance. Table may have columns like duration,power in power out, COP, power density, energy density etc.

    Another way is to write it in FAQ style, answering the most basic questions a common man can ask.

    Hope this helps. 🙂

    • Yes, Sanjeev, very much. Thanks!

    • psi

      Good suggestions.

  • Roger Bird

    I really like the Ragone chart also, but I think that it should be simplified by removing non-sources that are really merely storage devices. Simplified is always better. Just ask Occam.

  • zvibenyosef

    In the next test could they ask Rossi to provide his new “mouse” to be used as the activator for the main ecat. This will totally eliminate any reliance on an outside power source.

  • Anonymous Reader

    The Rangone chart and the COP is just extra unnecessary information.


    If the Energy Density is > 3X chemical (hydrogen combustion) or metal hydride, it means we definitely have something new.

    I am not convinced, as the second test shows an energy density 1000 times the first test. I think the second test’s method of measuring the fuel consumed is useless — weight before and after; as for example an exothermic hydrogen/nickel reaction would have the same weight before as after except for mc^2 energy mass stored in the “chemical” outer shells of the hydrogen and nickel electron orbits.

    How much energy is released by combusting both the nickel and the hydrogen in a loaded nickel metal hydride fuel in the presence of atmospheric oxygen? How much energy is released from combusting the steel chamber insides, plus the other secret ingredients in the device. After Iron is combusted to form Iron Oxide, does it’s weight go up or down?

    I would like these additional possibilities exhaustively eliminated as the source of the excess energy. I would also like the IR camera’s calibration issues with regard to emissivity work through, and the convection energy largely eliminated if possible.

    I believe that Mr. Rossi more likely than not believes he is seeing excess energy, as are the Professors. They need to sharpen their test, and better, do it without secrets, so that the world can believe it.

    Obviously if he could produce a commercial unit, Mr. Rossi would have already done it. So there has to be some issues (assuming good faith, which I will assume). There may be new physics here, or it may be an uncommon effect of the old physics — some kind of metal hydride or combustion not commonly seen and therefore surprising. I am hopeful it is new physics, but I need more data to be convinced as a scientist. I am hopeful for a high energy mass density and volume density even if it is life cycle energy negative (as the cost to charge the energy into the materials might not be free). I am more hopeful it is some new net energy positive physics.

    • Anonymous

      I agree that the energy density estimates for the Regione chart based on mass are misleading. They are computed with the measured reduced mass (0.3g), which is assumed to be solely responsible of the produced extra energy. I don’t see this as a valid assumption as there are other alternatives as well.

      If the ECat is studied as a black box, a chemical reaction in a closed environment would preserve mass. Therefore the total mass of the fuel should be considered, similar to how the total volume of the fuel was considered in one of the energy density estimates.

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