Lockheed’s Compact Fusion vs. the E-Cat (EV World)

Thanks to those who shared the following article by Bill Moore from EV World titled ‘Kickstarting the Atomic Age’ in which he notes the appearance on the scene of Lockheed Martin’s announcement of their ‘compact fusion’ plan to commercialize small fusion reactors within a decade, and also the publication of the Lugano report on the E-Cat.

Moore seems to be more skeptical of the Lockheed fusion technology than of the E-Cat, noting that the press release and video put out by Lockheed is short on details about how the will reach their stated goal.

“The most important question not answered by McGuire and the video also has to do with energy balance. Until recently, all previous fusion experiments have, as a general rule required more energy input than the system output. If it takes 10 units of energy to produce even 9 units power, what’s the point? There has to be a net energy gain for any energy system to make economic sense and so far nobody’s demonstrated that, other than for a briefest moment in time.”

Regarding the E-Cat, Moore understands the skepticism surrounding the results of the Lugano test, noting the main findings:

“The hydrogen-infused blend of lithium and nickel not only produced more heat energy than was used to begin and maintain radioactive-free generation, running at temperatures up to 1400C and producing some 1.5MWh of power over the 32-day test — but even more inexplicably, the composition of the material changed.”

Moore does not dismiss either claim, but acknowledges that any time someone makes a claim that flies in the face of accepted science, they will naturally run into opposition. He says that for now he is ‘hoping on Rossi’, and a low-temperature atomic future.

  • Freethinker

    Isn’t his 90% efficiency a little on the bold side?

    As far as I understand, they are no where near over unity, if taking into account all energy used to created the energy. It is a ridiculously low number.

    Let’s wait and see. As far as the compact hot fusion device goes, I will not put a bottle of Bollinger in the cooler just yet.

    • BroKeeper

      Wouldn’t that be -10% efficiency?

      • Ophelia Rump

        It would depend on how much of the input power was actually captured as output.
        90% seems far too efficient unless it is actually producing over 100% input power in a gross sense.

        If it will not exist for ten years. I believe the calculation works as follows.

        Nothing input, times nothing output, carry the zero, divide by Error, equals . . .

        • Freethinker

          😀 😀

          Yes….

          But don’t dis them completely, OR. There might be applications for hot fusion yet. See, if they manage to hit that sweet spot, and to so in a controllable fashion, it will likely outrun LENR.

          Do not hold your breath though. It may take some time.

          😀

      • Freethinker

        True, I meant 90% out of what goes in. Sry 🙂

  • Freethinker

    Isn’t his 90% efficiency a little on the bold side?

    As far as I understand, they are no where near over unity, if taking into account all energy used to created the energy. It is a ridiculously low number even “for a briefest moment in time”.

    Let’s wait and see. As far as the compact hot fusion device goes, I will not put a bottle of Bollinger in the cooler just yet.

    • Hador_NYC

      He didnt say 90% efficient. He said it takes 10 units of energy to make 9 in most fusion experiments. That means you net LOSE 1 unit of energy. Thats not efficient, nor is it a energy source. The COP is negative.

      • Freethinker

        True. My bad.

        Right now I think they are below 1% out of what goes in, so ….

        • Omega Z

          As it is theory & nothing built, It would be COP=0 or 0%

      • Omega Z

        COP=0.9

    • Brokeeper

      Wouldn’t that be -10% efficiency?

      • Ophelia Rump

        It would depend on how much of the input power was actually captured as output.
        90% seems far too efficient unless it is actually producing over 100% input power in a gross sense.

        If it will not exist for ten years. I believe the calculation works as follows.

        Nothing input, times nothing output, carry the zero, divide by Error, equals . . .

        • Freethinker

          😀 😀

          Yes….

          But don’t dis them completely, OR. There might be applications for hot fusion yet. See, if they manage to hit that sweet spot, and to so in a controllable fashion, it will likely outrun LENR.

          Do not hold your breath though. It may take some time.

          😀

      • Freethinker

        True, I meant 90% out of what goes in. Sry 🙂

  • Ophelia Rump

    Funding would be better spent on a fusion device which already works.

    LENR will enter the world like a mushroom.
    Kept in the dark and fed a steady diet of manure.
    And like a fungus it will pop up here and there unheralded and appreciated only by a few little piggies until the delicious secret is spread by word of mouth.

    • BroKeeper

      Yes, much better than beginning with a mushroom cloud.

    • Jonnyb

      More like a Truffle.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Good analogy Ophelia. “Whack a mole” also comes to mind. MSM’s pushing of hot fusion has only created more E-Cat fans.

    • Gerard McEk

      Delightful Ophelia, what a beautiful way to describe how LENR developes, but also how sad it is.
      I hope the glow of the LENR mushroom will overshine the Hot Funges a thousand times soon.

  • Ophelia Rump

    Funding would be better spent on a fusion device which already works.

    LENR will enter the world like a mushroom.
    Kept in the dark and fed a steady diet of manure.
    And like a fungus it will pop up here and there unheralded and appreciated only by a few little piggies until the delicious secret is spread by word of mouth.

    • Brokeeper

      Yes, much better than beginning with a mushroom cloud.

    • kenko

      Rossi has said , a long time ago, that the market will determine ecats success. One plants success becomes 2. Two plants becomes 4 and it grows exponentially. The reports merely confirm what Rossi has stated. The prototype factory may be further along than we are aware of. He talks of a year of plant development, but when did that year start?

      • Ophelia Rump

        You make it sound like Ebola.

        • kenko

          MSM has been on it like it was. EEEWWW LENR.

          • GreenWin

            Yep. EEEWWW, stop human suffering and all the money changing it brings??

        • bachcole

          Sort of Ebola in reverse.

        • Donk970

          If you are part of the existing energy infrastructure it’s a whole lot worse than Ebola. Let’s just hope that the E-Cat makes it into general production around the world before DOD and/or DOE decide to lock it up and throw away the key.

    • Jonnyb

      More like a Truffle.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Good analogy Ophelia. “Whack a mole” also comes to mind. MSM’s pushing of hot fusion has only created more E-Cat fans.

    • Gerard McEk

      Delightful Ophelia, what a beautiful way to describe how LENR developes, but also how sad it is.
      I hope the glow of the LENR mushroom will overshine the Hot Funges a thousand times soon.

  • Freethinker

    True. My bad.

    Right now I think they are below 1% out of what goes in, so ….

    • Omega Z

      As it is theory & nothing built, It would be COP=0 or 0%

  • Andrew

    What I find funny is sites like discovery and pop science will create articles on LM based off their claims without proof yet won’t say a peep about the Ecat with papers that give some indication of proof

    • Sanjeev

      Don’t forget that the hot fusion approach means huge, complicated and centralized power plants, which help to keep the status quo and will surely only benefit the top 1% of the wealthy.
      So now you understand why military, govs and msm fight so hard to encourage hot fusion and suppress any other form of it. Cold fusion means very simple, cheap (almost free) and distributed energy sources, giving social/political power and independence to all, a nightmare for ruling class.

    • GreenWin

      That’s called following orders. ):

  • Andrew

    What I find funny is sites like discovery and pop science will create articles on LM based off their claims without proof yet won’t say a peep about the Ecat with papers that give some indication of proof

    • Sanjeev

      Don’t forget that the hot fusion approach means huge, complicated and centralized power plants, which help to keep the status quo and will surely only benefit the top 1% of the wealthy.
      So now you understand why military, govs and msm fight so hard to encourage hot fusion and suppress any other form of it. Cold fusion means very simple, cheap (almost free) and distributed energy sources, giving social/political power and independence to all, a nightmare for ruling class.

    • GreenWin

      That’s called following orders. ):

  • Buck

    Frank, please include a link to the story on EV World in your article above: http://www.evworld.com/focus.cfm?cid=246

    Also, Frank you are going a phenomenal job. Kudos to you.

  • GreenWin

    Toast for breaky? Shall we use the toaster, or wait for a sunny day and surround a slice of bread with magnifying glasses?

  • GreenWin

    Toast for breaky? Shall we use the toaster, or wait for a sunny day and surround a slice of bread with magnifying glasses?

  • Jonnyb

    I would say, E-Cat is proven but Lockheed’s Compact Fusion is ‘Pie in the Sky’

    • Alan DeAngelis

      When the space aliens are finish reverse-engineering the E-Cat they’ll hand it over to the Skunk Works

      • Alan DeAngelis

        When the space aliens finish….

    • otto1923

      The lockheed device is based on the fusor which bussard, polywell, and many others have been working on for decades. Amateurs are generating significant neutron flux in their basements with these devices. In the lockheed vid you can see the guy holding a polywell-type ring. I think it is highly likely that this large company with large assets has finally discovered how to commercialize this approach.

      • Donk970

        Indeed, the Farnsworth Fuser has been around for fifty years. It doesn’t take much to build one. There have been a lot of people trying to figure out how to make inertial confinement fusion actually work and maybe the boys in the skunk works have. Entirely possible

  • US_Citizen71

    The Skunk Works has produced some incredible leaps forward in technology over its life. I give them the benefit of the doubt in this case because of that. I won’t hold my breath in anticipation of them making it work, but I won’t discount them off hand. I also have a nagging feeling that they may be the unknown power source that the US Navy is counting on to power their new toys. The DoD is far more likely to give them money for a black project like a new marine power source than any of the current known players in the field of LENR.

    I am not much of a believer in man being able to produce a continuous hot fusion reaction as all we have been able to do so far is produce explosions. The enormous energy release so far prevents continuous containment of the reaction. The only known examples of continuous hot fusion demonstrate that a gravity well the size of a star is required to keep the reactants close enough together for it to keep on working. This is hot fusions Achilles heel, much like the coulomb barrier is to cold fusion.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Hay, you guys at the Skunk Works are eager to tell us about interesting stuff.
      T T Brown’s patents are from the 1950s.

      Couldn’t you tell us just a LITTLE bit more about them.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw2DKhBHHXM

  • US_Citizen71

    The Skunk Works has produced some incredible leaps forward in technology over its life. I give them the benefit of the doubt in this case because of that. I won’t hold my breath in anticipation of them making it work, but I won’t discount them off hand. I also have a nagging feeling that they may be the unknown power source that the US Navy is counting on to power their new toys. The DoD is far more likely to give them money for a black project like a new marine power source than any of the current known players in the field of LENR.

    I am not much of a believer in man being able to produce a continuous hot fusion reaction as all we have been able to do so far is produce explosions. The enormous energy release so far prevents continuous containment of the reaction. The only known examples of continuous hot fusion demonstrate that a gravity well the size of a star is required to keep the reactants close enough together for it to keep on working. This is hot fusions Achilles heel, much like the coulomb barrier is to cold fusion.

    • jdituro

      Office of Naval Research has been a leader in the field of CF for the past 30 years. They also purchased one of Rossi’s Units and has had it running for the past year.

      • bachcole

        And you know both facts how?

        • US_Citizen71

          I think he may be rounding to the nearest decade on the first fact and accepting soft evidence of who attended various demonstrations as proof of the second.

          • GreenWin

            Or he could’ve followed the shipping manifest from Italy to… These dots are not far apart. 🙂

          • US_Citizen71

            No they’re not and that is why I agree with him in spirit. I just can’t prove it.

          • GreenWin

            It’s all there in the manifest. However, proof means little to artifice – since it can reprogram itself to define “proof” anyway it likes. Which kinda takes the fun outta the game!

          • bachcole

            I think that you may be right, Citizen71.

      • How do you know this jdituro?

        • jdituro

          I presented a paper in 1998 at an energy conference in Colorado sponsored by IECEC (the 33rd). I sat behind tome of the members of the audience who were going to attended my lecture. They were from FERMI, MIT, Brown CALTECH and ONR. They were having a conversation regarding their work in CR duplicating Pons and Fleishman’s experiments. To my surprise, all had done so and the fellow from the Navy said the key was to be sure to remove any impurities in the palladium electrode. You have to remember that at this time, as far as the public was concerned P & F were completely discredited and CF considered a fraud.

        • jdituro

          In 1998 I presented a paper at an aerospace and energy conference in Colorado sponsored by the IECEC (the 33rd). I sat in the audience before my presentation and a group scientists were discussing there work with CF. They were from FERMI, MIT, Brown,CALTECH and ONR. To my surprise they all had said that they were successful in duplicating Pons and Fleishman’s experiment. The Scientist from the Navy said that the key to success was to eliminate any impurities in the palladium electrode. You have to remember that at that time, P & F were completely discredited and CF was considered a fraud.

      • US_Citizen71

        The papers published by USN SPAWAR are what convinced me of Cold Fusion / LENR being a reality. The ECAT being the power source for the navy’s new toys has been a theory of mine for quite some time and still is my leading theory. But the DoD almost always pits more than one company against each other when developing new ideas and projects. Hearing that a leading member of the defense industry is working on something that would compete for the same role an ECAT would fulfill makes me think that they could be the stick to push Rossi / IH along but also it may be the reverse. The defense industry is primarily an old boys club breaking into it tends to be difficult. The USN being the unknown purchaser of the previous 1MW plant makes sense but I have never seen any hard evidence to back it up.

        • Donk970

          I’m with you on this, I think that the Industrial Heat and Lockheed Martin announcements constitute a mutual fire under the ass for not only LM and IH but also anyone else who is close to a commercial product. I don’t really have any preference for who comes out on top as long as someone does and this just about guarantees that it will happen sooner rather than later.

    • bachcole

      Even a gravity well the size of Jupiter is not enough.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Hay, you guys at the Skunk Works are eager to tell us about interesting stuff.
      T T Brown’s patents are from the 1950s.

      Couldn’t you tell us just a LITTLE bit more about them.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw2DKhBHHXM

  • sterlingda
    • Alan DeAngelis

      “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”

      Gravity’s Rainbow

  • bachcole

    The “as a general rule” part is a deception.

    And, the “If
    it takes 10 units of energy to produce even 9 units power” is sort of messed up. He is mixing up units. It would have been nice if he had explained what really happens so that the reader can be suitably disappointed in hot-fusion.

    • Donk970

      Indeed, the “as a general rule” part suggests that there have been cases where hot fusion devices have produced over unity. That isn’t the case. And as I think you are implying over unity isn’t useful unless it is way over unity. If you can’t generate more electricity than it took to achieve fusion then you are pissing in the wind and when you consider all the losses in causing fusion to happen and all the losses in converting the released energy to electricity you have to getting four or five times as much energy out as in.

  • Ophelia Rump

    You make it sound like Ebola.

    • Donk970

      If you are part of the existing energy infrastructure it’s a whole lot worse than Ebola. Let’s just hope that the E-Cat makes it into general production around the world before DOD and/or DOE decide to lock it up and throw away the key.

  • US_Citizen71

    The papers published by USN SPAWAR are what convinced me of Cold Fusion / LENR being a reality. The ECAT being the power source for the navy’s new toys has been a theory of mine for quite some time and still is my leading theory. But the DoD almost always pits more than one company against each other when developing new ideas and projects. Hearing that a leading member of the defense industry is working on something that would compete for the same role an ECAT would fulfill makes me think that they could be the stick to push Rossi / IH along but also it may be the reverse. The defense industry is primarily and old boys club breaking into it tends to be difficult. The USN being the unknown purchaser of the previous 1MW plant makes sense but I have never seen any hard evidence to back it up.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”

    Gravity’s Rainbow

  • Alan DeAngelis

    It seems as if they’re eager to keep us informed about what’s going on at the Skunk Works. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, would the Skunk Works people be able to tell us just a little more (not everything of course) about Thomas Townsend Brown’s work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRkvCLMzdhE
    (21:10 min)

    • Alan DeAngelis

      PS
      TT Brown’s capacitor experiments just triggered a thought about the E-Cat report. Rossi was surprise by the analysis of the ash in the report. Perhaps he assumed that it would be the same as it was in a metal tube. Because alumina could act as a capacitor and not a conductor (like the metal tube), perhaps some of the strange effects that Brown saw with capacitors are coming into play.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw2DKhBHHXM

  • Alan DeAngelis

    It seems as if they’re eager to keep us informed about what’s going on at the Skunk Works. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, would the Skunk Works people be able to tell us just a little more (not everything of course) about Thomas Townsend Brown’s work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRkvCLMzdhE
    (21:10 min)

    • bachcole

      I find it very interesting that the Skunk Works was ultra-black, top secret, and all that high security stuff, and yet now they just can’t wait to announce breakthroughs even before they have started to even weld the first piece of metal to another piece of metal.

      • GreenWin

        Recall the expression, “Talk is Cheap.”

      • Alan DeAngelis

        PPS
        This is the much better video about TT Brown and capacitors (He had to pulse the current to see the effect!).
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifEgGMFK-VU

      • Ivy Matt

        http://www.nature.com/news/lockheed-martin-s-fusion-goals-meet-scepticism-1.16169

        “The company currently has a roughly half-scale experimental device, and
        says that it is now gearing up to produce a compact 100-megawatt
        reactor.”

        Not to mention that there are pictures of the device all over the Internet, including on Sterling Allan’s website at the link just a few comments down. It appears to be made of metal, though I can’t tell whether any welding was done.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      PS
      TT Brown’s capacitor experiments just triggered a thought about the E-Cat report. Rossi was surprise by the analysis of the ash in the report. Perhaps he assumed that it would be the same as it was in a metal tube. Because alumina could act as a capacitor and not a conductor (like the metal tube), perhaps some of the strange effects that Brown saw with capacitors are coming into play.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw2DKhBHHXM

  • dbg

    Here’s a sceptical article on the Lockheed fusion thingy.

    http://theconversation.com/dont-get-too-excited-no-one-has-cracked-nuclear-fusion-yet-33132

    “I recently returned from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Fusion Energy Conference in St Petersburg, Russia, the world’s leading conference on the development of fusion power. There was no announcement of research by Lockheed Martin, and the company did not field any scientists to report on their claims.”

    The author is a senior research fellow in plasma research at the Australian National University.

    • GreenWin

      Unsurprising. They keep everything “secret” at Skunk Works. They have many “secret” military customers.

  • GreenWin

    Recall the expression, “Talk is Cheap.”

  • Alan DeAngelis

    PPS
    This is the much better video about TT Brown and capacitors (He had to pulse the current to see the effect!).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifEgGMFK-VU

  • GreenWin

    Yep. EEEWWW, stop human suffering and all the money changing it brings??

  • lifeswhatyoumakeit

    This is a really great quote from the article:

    “the LENR report was also met with its share of criticism, with the
    usual claims of fraud and trickery. The lesson appearing to be that if
    what you’re proposing doesn’t conform to our present understanding of
    how we think the universe works, then you can expect to run into a wall
    of negativity”

  • bachcole

    Even if I didn’t know of the E-Cat and that it worked, and I didn’t have a strong bias towards it, this Lockheed announcement is still all wet. I know that the Skunk Works has done some really good work in the past, but how are we to suppose that their next 10 years is going to be better than the 60 years of people focused on the hot-fusion problem? Yes, I think that it is some kind of PR tactic, not a real announcement of anything accomplished or anything even close to being certain to being accomplished. It is just some kind of PR stunt designed to manipulate someone.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Hat-fusion vs cattle-fusion

    . The all hat and no cattle version of fusion can be patented but the E-Cat can’t.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Hat-fusion vs cattle-fusion

    . The all hat and no cattle version of fusion can be patented but the E-Cat can’t.

  • Donk970

    Indeed, the “as a general rule” part suggests that there have been cases where hot fusion devices have produced over unity. That isn’t the case. And as I think you are implying over unity isn’t useful unless it is way over unity. If you can’t generate more electricity than it took to achieve fusion then you are pissing in the wind and when you consider all the losses in causing fusion to happen and all the losses in converting the released energy to electricity you have to getting four or five times as much energy out as in.

  • Donk970

    Indeed, the Farnsworth Fuser has been around for fifty years. It doesn’t take much to build one. There have been a lot of people trying to figure out how to make inertial confinement fusion actually work and maybe the boys in the skunk works have. Entirely possible

  • bkrharold

    I would not want to dismiss the Lockheed announcement, without giving them a fair chance to prove their claims. The press release is rather vague, but it seems that their main accomplishment is a method of containment based on a new magnetic-field geometry. However they do not claim to have exceeded COP 1, and they still need 10 years and many hundreds of $millions to prove their concept.

    A Thorium reactor would be much better. It would be cheaper, and can use nuclear waste as a source, completely consuming it and rendering it harmless. We desperately need a way to eliminate the mounting piles of radioactive waste. Thorium is much more abundant than Uranium, and cannot be used to make nuclear weapons.

    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/187917-startup-gets-funding-for-its-molten-salt-nuclear-reactor-that-eats-radioactive-waste

    I believe that LENR holds much more promise, than conventional fission, or fusion which is still problematical. It has now been authenticated by 2 separate third party independent tests, and has a proven COP > 3 over 32 days.. The advantages are very clear, unless you are being paid by the nuclear or fossil fuel industries.

  • Buck

    Frank, you have been swamped with all the news and messages here over the last two weeks. Before it gets too deep in the old post pile, please include a link to the story on EV World in your article above:

    http://www.evworld.com/focus.cfm?cid=246

    Also, Frank you are going a phenomenal job. Kudos to you.

  • Guest

    Frank, you have been swamped with all the news and messages here over the last two weeks. Before it gets too deep in the old post pile, please include a link to the story on EV World in your article above:

    http://www.evworld.com/focus.cfm?cid=246

    Also, Frank you are going a phenomenal job. Kudos to you.