From this exchange yesterday on the Journal of Nuclear Physics we can maybe glean something of Rossi & co.’s early commercial strategy.
September 5th, 2013 at 7:35 PM
Dear Dr. Rossi:
Are district heating and district air conditioning among the industrial applications that your R&D team are testing? It seems to me these are the sorts of industry applications that could be exploited the most quickly (short term).
Kind Regards; HRG.
September 5th, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Yes, you are right.
My understanding is that the Swedish pilot project that is planned by Hydro Fusion will be a distributed heating project in which the customer will use to sell heat to the end users. Andrea Rossi mentioned earlier this year that the first 1 MW plant that was built in Italy and shipped to the US was to be used by the American partner to sell heat to end users.
Since the output of an E-Cat plant is heat, the simplest application to engineer is going to be heating systems (air conditioning will take more engineering) and since the first plants to appear on the market will apparently be industrial models, it would make sense to install them in ‘district heating’ systems which are quite common in certain parts of the world — particularly in northern Europe.
Here’s a short definition of district heating from the European Association for the Promotion of Cogeneration.
District heating means a system supplying heat produced centrally in one or several locations to a non-restricted number of customers. It is distributed on a commercial basis by means of a distribution network using hot water or steam as a medium. As district heat is produced centrally, its use allows central removal of harmful substances, which leads to a better overall environmental protection level.
District heating systems can vary substantially in size, from systems supplying only a few buildings, to system that supplies entire capital cities.
From Rossi and co.’s perspective providing centralized heat could be attractive if they follow a strategy of not selling the plants, but selling the energy. They could enter into agreements with heating providers to supply them the plant, perhaps without cost, and then charge a certain amount on the energy used, thus retaining ownership and control of their plant as a way to help protect their IP.
UPDATE: Andrea Rossi responded to a comment asking whether heating for a condominium would be a form of district heat. Rossi responded.
No, is a different thing. Condominium is a domestic building, it is a domestic application, even if extended to tenths of apartments of a big condominium. District heating is a centralized heat distribution system in a district. In this case it is not a domestic application, but an industrial facility, which sells the heat to all the houses and the condominiums of a district. A district is a section of a town.