Sudden Interest in 1 MW Plant May Be Problematic

For some reason, there has been a surge in interest over the last couple of days in a page on Ecat.com where the 1MW low temperature E-Cat reactor is listed for sale. As I mentioned yesterday, this page is not new — in fact it has been on Ecat.com for about a year and a half — but for some reason the link has been picked up by numerous blogs as if it is a new development. Here are some of the sites that are talking about it.

Next Big Future
ExtremeTech

Gizmodo
21st Century Tech
World Future Society
Vice.com

You might think that sudden publicity of this kind would be good in building awareness of the E-Cat, but I see a few problems here from a PR point of view.

1. The site advertising the plant is a licensee’s site.

Ecat.com is operated by Hydro Fusion, the distributor for Northern Europe. The site is listed as ‘the official site of Andrea Rossi’s Energy Catalyzer’, but Hydro Fusion is just one among a number of E-Cat licensees. My understanding is that the licensees have a rather loose relationship with Rossi and the new partner, and as we learned yesterday, the German licensee, Gerd Neumann, has sold back his license (or maybe has had it revoked). From everything Rossi has said, production and commercialization of E-Cat plants is being directed by the still unidentified US partner, and the Licensees may be in the dark on a number of developments.

2. The advertised plant may no longer be available.

The unit showed on the Ecat.com site is an early model. Basically, these first units were hand built, and to the best of my knowledge, only two were ever completed. The first went to a military customer, and the second one (the one pictured on the site) was shipped from Italy to the USA after being redesigned. From my understanding, in the US facilities E-Cat technology is undergoing rigorous testing and redesign and I expect new plants will be quite different from the one listed at Ecat.com.

3. Not just anyone can get an E-Cat Plant.

There’s a caveat on the ecat.com site which states “Orders are accepted from all over the world and require a routine due-diligence process. Customers must comply with several criteria set by Leonardo Corporation in order to qualify for a purchase of a ECAT 1MW plant.”

I think at this point it will be very difficult to qualify for an E-Cat plant. The team is being very cautious about where this technology will deployed, fearing loss of the trade secret that covers this technology. Rossi said that due diligence on potential customers is the main means of protecting the IP — in other words, if they don’t trust you completely, you won’t be able to get your hands on a plant.

4. Lack of information and communication is causing confusion

At the moment there is an extreme dearth of information about the E-Cat. Andrea Rossi is the only person we know of who is aware of the inner workings of the new partnership — and he will not comment publicly on the business or commercial aspects of the technology, and because the partner does not want to be identified, there is no one to whom commercial questions can be addressed. So if there is misinformation or confusion among the public, there is no one available to set things straight in terms of business arrangements. As far as I know, even Rossi’s licensees don’t know who the new partner is — so if we are confused, it must be more frustrating for them.

Right now the public, businesses and the press are very much in the dark, and in this kind of environment it is understandable how confusion and misunderstanding can easily occur. Obviously, the E-Cat is not your conventional product — it is something that could turn the world on it’s head, and I understand Rossi and Co.’s desire to stay out of the spotlight for now, but I hope that we won’t be in this information wilderness for much longer, and that when the current testing is completed and the results are published, the partner will step forward and operate in a more conventional corporate manner with a public relations and communications department to help present accurate information to the public.

  • cx

    So much lazy writers just latching on to the extremetech story for page views.

    • mcloki

      I think it was because it came across as a Google news alert. It’s the way most tech writers get their news stories. Any news article that pops up they believe is a NEW story so they run with it. Factchecking be damned

      • Sanjeev

        Google sent out alerts on Elforsk report too (linked to ECW). I wonder why no one else picked it up. The bias is incredible.

      • Gerrit

        Yep – Flipping news burgers, as usual – you want more relish ?

  • cx

    So much lazy writers just latching on to the extremetech story for page views.

    • mcloki

      I think it was because it came across as a Google news alert. It’s the way most tech writers get their news stories. Any news article that pops up they believe is a NEW story so they run with it. Factchecking be damned

      • Sanjeev

        Google sent out alerts on Elforsk report too (linked to ECW). I wonder why no one else picked it up. The bias is incredible.

      • Gerrit

        Yep – Flipping news burgers, as usual – you want more relish ?

  • Sanjeev

    You can add beforeitsnews and peakoil forum in that list.
    It seems one clueless guy at extremetech found the ecat site somehow and wrote a story as if its news. The ecat.com page is not updated since one year or more and I doubt if the 1MW plant is available now. There is no production, no factory, no UL certificates, nothing so far.

    The others are simply copy pasting the same story. The guy at extremetech is so clueless that he points out the obvious power cable that is shown connected to the ecats as an evidence that it produces nothing and the heat comes from that cable from mains. Head Slap…..

    • artefact

      On the other hand, if ecat.com has the e-cat for sale on their page they can not complain about the media attention now.

    • Private Citizen

      The abusive comments on all of those sites show that the tar and feathers applied to P&F still stick. One day the ardent naysayers may well go the way of cocksure fission lovers who have retreated into shamed silence in the wake of the very unfortunate Fukushima disaster unfolding.

  • Sanjeev

    You can add beforeitsnews and peakoil forum in that list.
    It seems one clueless guy at extremetech found the ecat site somehow and wrote a story as if its news. The ecat.com page is not updated since one year or more and I doubt if the 1MW plant is available now. There is no production, no factory, no UL certificates, nothing so far.

    The others are simply copy pasting the same story. The guy at extremetech is so clueless that he points out the obvious power cable that is shown connected to the ecats as an evidence that it produces nothing and the heat comes from that cable from mains. Head Slap…..

    • artefact

      On the other hand, if ecat.com has the e-cat for sale on their page they can not complain about the media attention now.

  • Curbina

    Most Blogosphere inhabitants rarely take the time to thoroughly read anything and even contact the sources of information to confirm facts before hitting the send button. In that regard, Frank is an exception to the rule, and that’s why he is building a sound name in the LENR community. But for most bloggers the need to atract income is their master. I agree that there could be damage because of the untimely outburst of interest, but in fact the lack of news and follow ups about this event was already damaging by itself. I wonder if Hydrofusion is really functioning at all. But this is only one term on the equation, and we know that Rossi is hooked in a long term haul, not rushing anything now.

  • Curbina

    Most Blogosphere inhabitants rarely take the time to thoroughly read anything and even contact the sources of information to confirm facts before hitting the send button. In that regard, Frank is an exception to the rule, and that’s why he is building a sound name in the LENR community. But for most bloggers the need to atract income is their master. I agree that there could be damage because of the untimely outburst of interest, but in fact the lack of news and follow ups about this event was already damaging by itself. I wonder if Hydrofusion is really functioning at all. But this is only one term on the equation, and we know that Rossi is hooked in a long term haul, not rushing anything now.

  • Anonymous-with-a-reason

    The reason why the 1MW eCat plant isn’t selling to well is because of it’s price!

    Let’s say one doesn’t want to make a profit but is okay if one plays even in a timespan of 5 years the the following numbers do not deem the 1MW plant opportune.
    Costs

    1MW plant costs $1.500.000,- yearly down payment in euro say 300.000 eur.
    1 MWh electric industrial costs/pays say 0,05 eur/kWh 50 euro

    1m^3 gas industrial costs say 0,22 eur

    1m^3 gas convert to about 31,7 MJ -/ Hence, 1 MWh from gas costs ca. 25 euro (0,22/31,7*3600)

    Now if we forget about the costs for exchange of charges and assume the installation runs 8000 hrs/yr without problems then:
    -The electric driven 1MW plant per year would consume (1/6)*8000= 1.333 MWhr electric which would cost ca 66.666 euro.
    -The gas driven 1MW plant would per year would consume (1/6)*(1/31,7)*3600*8000= 151.500 m^3 of gas which costs ca. 33.333 euro.

    The current 1MW plant deliver relative low temperature and thus low grade heat which is in (industrial) co-generative terms worth less the 10 euro per ton steam where as the high grade 100 bar 500 degrees steam is rated 35 euro per ton.

    But let us base the calculation on a situation where co-generation is not an option and the need is only lower graded heat and we can thus express the benefit of produced enerergy as m^3 gas equivalent the 1MW plant then:
    we have a gain of 6x gas equivalent of gas driven version which convert to ca. 909.000 m^3 gas equivalent which “conventionally” would have costed around 200.000 euro……

    …….thus in the best case (to good to be true! ) a 1MW plant as currently “available” would be base on gas driven eCats and bring 165 kEuro profit and thus have a paybacktime close to 10 years. Since a ROI of approx 10 years is a long time and a lot can happen in that time like cheaper and better plants…. who is going to buy one one wonders….

    The real question is can we believe Rossi is not aware of this like many seem not to be or is it a way of delaying sales….. either way it frustrates a lot of us among for sure not the least a licensee that want to sell something.

    Defkalion’s specs and prices sound much nicer!

    • US_Citizen71

      Defkalion is vaporware at this point and they appear to be going bankrupt, so their product to be wouldn’t influence a decision by a buyer. Long ROI is normal for industrial equipment, so that is not as big as a factor as one might think. The 1MW is definitely a niche product, I think that is the true limiting factor on it’s possible sales.

      • Brian Fast

        Why do you believe that Defkalion is going bankrupt?

        • US_Citizen71

          http://www.e-catworld.com/2013/11/defkalion-update/

          The pullback from offering stock and the restructuring of R&D i.e. moving it to one location are the things ones does when money is short. People will not buy stock in a company that is losing money, so I assume they stopped the sale to save face. I have no specific fact to support my conclusion just my thoughts and gut feelings on the situation.

          • oreo57

            “People will not buy stock in a company that is losing money”…….
            err.. tell that to the biotech investors.. 😉 People do this all the time.. High risk, high reward philosophy. You sell stock to acquire capital.. Not that you are incorrect in your assumption (I’m currently neutral) BUT caveats apply.

    • Anonymous-with-a-reason

      Admin/Frank, could you perhaps make a topic where you invite the readers to make a more exact ROI calculation then the one that is presented here?

      • Omega Z

        It’s hard to create an Accurate ROI. To many variables.
        Each situation is different.

        A Major Variable is Electrical & Natural Gas costs. All dependent on ones geographic location & energy sources.

        Another is user demand. 24/7 or variable. 365 or seasonal. The start/stop times can be very detrimental to it’s cost effectiveness.

        The cost of the 1Mw is a start price with indications at this time that the price can be varied/negotiated.
        Longevity of the system. Still many unknowns dependent on final materials used & how it is manufactured.

        For a Home System E-cat.
        Where I live, By World Standards, I have both cheap Electrical costs & Natural Gas. Problem here is that 24/7 Continuous use makes it NON cost effective except for rare periods.
        So to be cost effective where I live, it would need to be instant on/off. Non of the Systems to date seem to have that capability. To be of benefit for me in continuous operation, it would need a COP>20 at the very least & the higher the better.

  • US_Citizen71

    As they say in Hollywood no press is bad press. The name recognition factor alone for the future is a good thing. Anyone truly interested will encounter the mass of blog posts, sites like this one as well as the third party report. If nothing changes toward the negative and the Ecats being tested for long term endurance produce comparable results to the ones in the Levi test then it will be game on for Rossi and his partners. A stand alone demonstration setup like Rosebud wants would seal the deal. I personally expect to see a stand alone demo, a commercial boiler replacement or both out by the end of the next year.

  • US_Citizen71

    As they say in Hollywood no press is bad press. The name recognition factor alone for the future is a good thing. Anyone truly interested will encounter the mass of blog posts, sites like this one as well as the third party report. If nothing changes toward the negative and the Ecats being tested for long term endurance produce comparable results to the ones in the Levi test then it will be game on for Rossi and his partners. A stand alone demonstration setup like Rosebud wants would seal the deal. I personally expect to see a stand alone demo, a commercial boiler replacement or both out by the end of the next year.

  • GreenWin

    The LENR story is no longer exclusively E-Cat. The Energy Catalyzer has
    already disrupted energy markets – especially utilities in the USA.
    The fact that giant Vattenfall endorses and invests in LENR has already
    caused a frenzy. Mainstream press is carrying the effect of this frenzy
    in stories like:

    Companies Unplug From the Electric Grid, Delivering a Jolt to Utilities Wall Street Journal

    http://www.offthegridnews.com/2013/11/07/walmart-safeway-others-unplugging-from-unreliable-power-grid/

    • Brian Fast

      I think you’ve jumped the gun a bit on this. The “offthegrid” website doesn’t mention LENR. It seems quite focused on solar and similar off grid solutions.

      When I search google for “Vattenfall LENR” I get rumors, not a formal endorsement.

  • Anonymous-with-a-reason

    Admin/Frank, could you perhaps make a topic where you invite the readers to make a more exact ROI calculation then the one that is presented here?

    • Omega Z

      It’s hard to create an Accurate ROI. To many variables.
      Each situation is different.

      A Major Variable is Electrical & Natural Gas costs. All dependent on ones geographic location & energy sources.

      Another is user demand. 24/7 or variable. 365 or seasonal. The start/stop times can be very detrimental to it’s cost effectiveness.

      The cost of the 1Mw is a start price with indications at this time that the price can be varied/negotiated.
      Longevity of the system. Still many unknowns dependent on final materials used & how it is manufactured.

      For a Home System E-cat.
      Where I live, By World Standards, I have both cheap Electrical costs & Natural Gas. Problem here is that 24/7 Continuous use makes it NON cost effective except for rare periods.
      So to be cost effective where I live, it would need to be instant on/off. Non of the Systems to date seem to have that capability. To be of benefit for me in continuous operation, it would need a COP>20 at the very least & the higher the better.

  • hempenearth

    I thought Hydrofusion was due to commission the 1MW E-Cat that was to be on display somewhere in Sweden about now. Wasn’t it the end of autumn? to be in time for the northern hemisphere winter?

  • SiriusMan

    The 1MW plant story has appeared on many sites in the last few days..just now I see it on PhysOrg! If nothing else, I suspect the wide coverage will put some pressure on Rossi & Co. to release some type of information….anything, please!?

    At some point in the near future, influential powerful people in business & government will start demanding information. As is noted above, the existence of this technology will be highly disruptive to economies everywhere. People in power don’t like surprises.

    But I doubt we will hear anything until after the holidays..they don’t want to throw the stockmarkets into turmoil just yet….

  • Joseph J

    CV Sten Bergman one of the researchers who wrote also the report.

    President StonePower AB http://www.stonepower.se/default.htm

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BzODrz_nSPxws6g6nSwPIToIscE7FWoXwXOFaxW8MRc/edit?usp=sharing

    • Curbina

      You refer to the Elforsk Report?

    • note that he was in japan managin techhnology watch, in the cold fusion period. in 1992, cold fusion was quite proven, and there was still hope for it to be recognized, since the etnic cleansing against cold fusion was not yet at full speed.

      maybe he was aware of LENR reality (like me in 1992-1993), especially in japan when the etnic cleansing was stopped by Japanese scientists…

      I suspect that like me, like Truchard and concezzi, there are many peopl who were simply convinced cold fusion was real, but who simply lost interest because it was not evolving (like plane before the Wright Brothers).

      now, many old apes will feel comfortable and will dare to lobby their boss, or they are the boss!

  • Omega Z

    Maybe this sudden interest is just a new wave of people becoming aware of LENR.
    There has been an uptick in the number of Publicly available conferences around the world, one of which is ICCF-18 & many others.

  • malkom700

    Big companies seem to have learned something about the early availability of real devices ECAT. So far, devices are not reasonably available.

  • malkom700

    Big companies seem to have learned something about the early availability of real devices ECAT. So far, devices are not reasonably available.

  • ecatworld

    Another article, this time from Phys.org: “Italian company to sell portable cold fusion plant deliverable next year” http://phys.org/news/2013-11-italian-company-portable-cold-fusion.html#jCp

    • Buck

      Frank, is Rossi willing to comment on this interesting turn of events? Certainly, the E-Cat website is under his control and presumably his partner’s control.

      • ecatworld

        I have tried to get a comment from AR without success so far, Buck. He doesn’t like to comment on commercial issues.

        • Buck

          I understand. It was a long shot.

          IMO, it again supports the perspective that Rossi’s handlers have done a very good job of persuading Rossi to be quiet.

          Also, it is interesting that Rossi’s partners have presumably decided not to respond or change the E-Cat website: Any LENR gossip/speculation is better than no activity?

          • ecatworld

            I don’t think that Rossi or the partners have control over ecat.com. It’s a Hydro Fusion site, and early on they billed it as the official site of the e-cat. Rossi has been very hands-off with the licensees, and basically let them publish what they want.

          • Buck

            Thank you for the clarification.

    • Iggy Dalrymple

      Looks like the media is trying to leap to the front of last year’s parade.

      • GreenWin

        Without doing ANY homework. Lazy shills or PR agencies??

        • Daniel Maris

          Or is a rumour going round – possibly with Swedish origins?

  • Frank Acland

    Another article, this time from Phys.org: “Italian company to sell portable cold fusion plant deliverable next year” http://phys.org/news/2013-11-italian-company-portable-cold-fusion.html#jCp

    • Buck

      Frank, is Rossi willing to comment on this interesting turn of events? Certainly, the E-Cat website is under his control and presumably his partner’s control.

      • Frank Acland

        I have tried to get a comment from AR without success so far, Buck. He doesn’t like to comment on commercial issues.

        • Buck

          I understand. It was a long shot.

          IMO, it again supports the perspective that Rossi’s handlers have done a very good job of persuading Rossi to be quiet.

          Also, it is interesting that Rossi’s partners have presumably decided not to respond or change the E-Cat website: Any LENR gossip/speculation is better than no activity?

          • Frank Acland

            I don’t think that Rossi or the partners have control over ecat.com. It’s a Hydro Fusion site, and early on they billed it as the official site of the e-cat. Rossi has been very hands-off with the licensees, and basically let them publish what they want.

          • Buck

            Thank you for the clarification.

    • Iggy Dalrymple

      Looks like the media is trying to leap to the front of last year’s parade.

      • GreenWin

        Without doing ANY homework. Lazy shills or PR agencies??

  • Private Citizen

    The abusive comments on all of those sites show that the tar and feathers applied to P&F still stick. One day the ardent naysayers may well go the way of cocksure fission lovers who have retreated into shamed silence in the wake of the very unfortunate Fukushima disaster unfolding.

  • GreenWin

    Crack news “editors” post year old E-Cat story. A trollish excuse to generate hate speech comments? Skep desperation soars!

    • Gerrit

      an opportunity !

  • GreenWin

    Crack news “editors” post year old E-Cat story. A trollish excuse to generate hate speech comments? Skep desperation soars!

    • Gerrit_II

      an opportunity !

  • JRT256

    This reaction produces Helium as well as heat. Is this just going to be a non-ionic gas that collects in the reaction chamber, or are they ions which could be collected by some method to produce DC electric power?