Rossi: Self Sustain Mode ‘By Far the Main Mode of Operation’ in 1 MW E-Cat Plant [Update #2: ‘ 2 hour’ run in SSM]

There’s another interesting Q&A on the Journal of Nuclear Physics today regarding the mode of operation in the 1 MW plant that Andrea Rossi reports is taking all of his attention at Industrial Heat these days.


In the 1MW plant operating in the factory of Industrial Heat’s customer will be the self sustaining mode important, or it will not be used, as in the Lugano test of the Hot Cat?

Andrea Rossi

The ssm should result to be by far the main mode of operation of the 1MW E-Cat. This thanks to the new control system and this also is the reason of most of the difficulties we have to overcome. Honestly, our Team is making a masterpiece, among many difficulties.
Warm Regards,

If self-sustain mode (where the electrical input is turned off) is to be ‘by far’ the main mode of operation, as Rossi says here, it would imply that COP could be much higher than the 3.2-3.6 that was measured in the Lugano test when self-sustain mode was not used at all. We must remember, however, that the reactors in the plant are low temperature E-Cats, not the high temperature ‘Hot Cats’ used in the Lugano test, so the performance could be different.

Rossi has said that in order the plant to be accepted by the customer (and for IH to get payment) it must meet certain contractual performance levels; also that it must be profitable for the customer. We don’t know what those required performance levels are, but if self-sustain mode is going to be used most of the time, it might mean that the customer is wanting the E-Cat plant to use a quite minimal level of input power to save them the maximum amount of money.


When you say “the ssm should result to be by far the main mode of operation of the 1MW E-Cat” does this mean that for the great majority of the time the input power is turned off?
If so, this should result in tremendous energy savings for the customer, shouldn’t it?

Many thanks,
Frank Acland

Frank Acland:
We are aiming at that.
Warm Regards,


There has been some discussion regarding the acronym ‘ssm’ which I asked Rossi about. According to what he said, it can mean both ‘self-sustain mode’ and ‘start-stop mode’, and according to Rossi’s comments on the JONP today, both modes are employed in the E-Cat. The start-stop mode is when the drive is turned on and off at frequent intervals, apparently to help control the E-Cat and prevent thermal runaway from destroying the reactor.

Self-sustain mode is when the reactor is able to maintain a constant temperature for prolonged periods of time without any electrical input applies

Hank Mills today asked Rossi about the use of self-sustain mode with the 1 MW plant they are working on.

In tests of the individual reactors that compose the plant, how long is the period of self sustain (in which the reactor maintains a constant or increasing temperature without input) that has been deemed to be safe for use with minimal risk of thermal runaway


Hank Mills:
The longest period of ssm we got so far with the E-Cats is 2 hours, but only after the end of the test period of the 1 MW plant in the factory of the Customer we will have reliable numbers.
Warm Regards,

In response to another question on the same topic, Rossi said that the control system that is being used in the 1 MW plant decided which of the two ssm control mechanisms are used with the reactors.

  • Albert D. Kallal

    Thanks for including that this plant is not using hot-cats.

    The self sustain mode not been made clear at all to most readers. The self sustain mode means input power is on for about 2-3 seconds, and then goes off for about 2-3 seconds.

    So if you run the e-cat for 4 hours in self-sustain mode, that does NOT mean the power been turned off all that time, but ONLY that we been “cycling” the power off and on. (so we in a different mode called self sustain). So the device does produces heat during a time in which no heating energy is required. But the cycle type is quite short.

    So when someone says the e-cat ran for 30 minutes in self sustain mode, it does not necessary mean no input heat was required, but only that we using the “cycle” mode.

    So self sustain mode is not something in which heating power is “turned” off for long periods of time.

    I wish someone had asked Rossi what is the “general” cycle time in seconds or minutes when power is removed to a heating element before power is turned back on? Is it in the several second range or in the several minute range?

    A “guess” would suggest this cycle mode likely doubles the COP. So we around 6-10 (a COP of 3 is barely viable for commercial use).

    Someone can correct me on the above “definition” of what self-sustain mode means, but from my reading the above seems to quite much define what self sustain mode means.

    If cycle times are larger then 2-3 seconds of no input (heating) power, then the COP would DRAMATICALLY increase and become very high.

    Albert k

    • pangoo

      It would be interesting to get an idea of the basic processes going on inside the e-cat. It’s essentially working on a boost cycle so?
      Heating the hydrogen to a certain energy level to generate reactions but then the heat from the reactions is not enough to sustain them somehow?
      Also would the nickle powder nanoparticles diffuse inside the reactor itself?

    • Iggy Dalrymple

      “The self sustain mode not been made clear at all to most readers. The self sustain mode means input power is on for about 2-3 seconds, and then goes off for about 2-3 seconds.”

      Why is this so much clearer to you….than to us?
      How do you know that the power is off for only 2-3 seconds?


      • Albert D. Kallal

        From the 2012/2013 test.
        From page 3 of above:

        In the ON/OFF phase, the resistor coils were powered up and powered down by the control system at observed regular intervals of about two minutes for the ON state and four minutes for the OFF state. This operating mode was kept more or less unchanged for all the remaining hours of the test.

        So I don’t recall where I read the 2-3 seconds, but my memory is rather good and I did recall reading that the cycle rate was not that long of a period. Thus it was not about 2 seconds, but about 2 minutes on, and 4 off for this so called “self sustain” mode.

        The self sustain mode mention is noted in the 2013 test outlined here:

        And specifically, the link to the self sustain mode and test from above is found here:

        And above quote is found on page 16 – 1st paragraph.

        It not known if the hot-cat has this same cycle time of 2 minutes – and my curiosity and question remains – what is the cycle time of the current plant, and do hot-cats have a different cycle time.

        The BASIC point here is self sustain mode is NOT a mode in which power is turned off for LONG periods of time. In the context of the e-cat, self sustain mode means this on-off mode for hours on end is on for 2 minutes, and off for 4 minutes.

        Albert D. Kallal
        Edmonton, Alberta Canada
        [email protected]

        • Fortyniner

          There is still a question about the EM ‘driver’ input that seems to have been a feature of LT e-cats since their inception. The required EM fields originally seem to have been generated by a separate external coil (the so called ‘auxiliary heater’) but may now arise from modulation of the current flowing through the resistance coils, or in a separate coil or RF antenna as in the prototypes.

          Unfortunately we don’t know whether such an input is used during the heating phase, during SSM, all the time or not at all, or if it is used, how much power may be required for this function. Without any firm information in this area, speculation on the operating cycle may be some way off mark.

  • Bernie777

    Hank. How do you know Rossi is referring to this type SSM?

  • Observer

    During the October 6th 2011 test of a “warm cat”. (Identical to the ones used in the 1st 1 MW plant), the e-cat boiled water for 3 hours without input power while fresh room temperature water wass continuously pumped into the boiling chamber. Do not assume the ssm of a warm cat is anything like the ssm of a hot cat.

  • timycelyn

    The COP that they are expecting to reach cannot be too high otherwise we would not be seeing the emphasis on the work they are doing on the Gas Cat. If they had really high COPs they would be working on electricity generation and then looping some back to drive the system.

    6<COP<10, perhaps ……..

    • Observer

      The warm cats do not get hot enough for efficient electrical generation.

    • Nicholas Chandler-Yates

      also consider the fact that a gas-cat could literally run without being attached to the grid at all. No AC power needed to keep them going. perhaps a small DC battery to run the controller. This adds to the portability and inherent reliability ALOT, as well as saving on cost. i suspect the COP is higher than 6-10.. probably double that or more in SSM. there are lots of reasons to go for the Gas-Cat.

      • Bernie777

        Yes, very important for getting power to off the grid populations without clean water and food.

  • Gerard McEk

    It is a bit difficult to define SSM with the Ecat. If you look to a passive system like an electrical fan heater, which is also on-off controlled, then you would not call the off-mode self sustained, because it cools down via the expected ‘no energy supplied curve’. The Ecat does not do that. In fact, the temperature seems first to rise a bit and then starts to slowly cool down, not at all according a ‘no energy supplied’ curve. Nevertheless, I would never call this a SSM, which implies that no energy is supplied at all.
    Maybe they also control the energy take-off (controlling the cooling fan??) with the purpose to drive the plant as much as possible in the SSM now? That would indeed make the system quite difficult to control.

    • Daniel Maris

      It’s a bit of a quibble really isn’t it? If the heating bills were reduced by 90%, say, we could fairly deduce that the E Cat was operating mostly in SSM.

      Of course, whether all this is credible, depends on a lot of factors including what equipment Rossi has on site. Obviously the bigger the output, the more difficult it is to perpetrate a fraud.

      I draw some comfort from the fact that IH must be aware of these claims.

      • Gerard McEk

        No, it’s not just a quibble. One would expect that Rossi knows what SSM means scentifically, but he seems to use this in another context. That is why I suggest the latter part (Maybe they …). If you insulate the reactor thermally, you may be able to reach SSM easily, but I guess that is not a stable way to control the Ecat.

  • georgehants

    Can I ask, assuming the Cats work as described could a fully self sustaining and self powered Cat be built, in theory, when and if all the technical problems are resolved?

    • Sean

      Sure they can. Nothing is impossible. There are no problems only solutions.

      • Bob Greenyer

        Unless it needs periodic electromagnetic alignment / shocks of the reactants to cause the reactions, which is quite likely and is a good thing, as it fails safe.

        This is not the case with a Fission reactor, they principally need moderation of fast Neutrons and appear simple by comparison to LENR in material science terms. If the moderation / cooling fails, then the reactors tend not to fail safe. Even a spent fuel pool without cooling could be a long term extinction threat (think Fukashima reactor number 4 spent fuel pool and the amount of plutonium in that)

        • Anon2012_2014


          Burned out cooling pond “extinction event”

          I don’t think there are enough Curies of radiation in the Fukashima spent pools to be an extinction event, any more than the burn down of the Chernobyl graphite pile reactor was an extinction event. There is plenty to make people sick who are a short distance down wind, and to kill those within the >>1000 Rad (fatal) shine zone. There is plenty of radiation fallout to make vast areas “uninhabitable”, meaning that no sane person who wants to not get cancer would live there. But the animals around Chernobyl thrived despite the radiation. Same thing if you were living more than a few dozen miles beyond the downwind pattern of Fukashima after the high intensity short lived isotopes burn out — you are just exposed to radiation. They treat people all the time with 400 to 500 Rads of radiation and they live long lives afterwords.

          People will survive just fine getting 200 rads of environmental radiation living down wind in a reactor fall out zone. No one would want to do it, but they wouldn’t go extinct.

          • Mats002

            The reason animals “thrive” in radiaton zones is the short generation span, ie they have offspring before the cells degenerate because of radiaton.

          • Obvious

            That doesn’t work.
            The more generations, the more reproductive damage that can accumulate (or sometimes resistance mutations can occur).
            It is not the currently walking around that get the most harm, but the developing offspring and unborn that are most susceptible to genetic damage by radiation. Their cells are dividing so rapidly that any gene damage multiplies rapidly until it confers increased survival characteristics (rare), decreased survival characteristics (more likely), or is fatal, (or total reproductive failure, which is equivalent > one generation).

          • Bob Greenyer

            Much less so now, as the pool has has a few more years to cool and it would have been a slow extinction over 1000s of years, but give me an extinction event that happened overnight

            There is lots of “information” on this topic – one thing has been proved in Fukashima – that is Tepco and the Japanese government have told lies.



    • bachcole

      There would be no means to get it started in the first place, but other than that, I see no reason why one could not work.

    • Hank Mills

      Start stop mode is easy but also low powered. You turn on the input, let the reactions start, turn off the input, let the reactions die off, and repeat. It offers 100% reliability and is 100% safe. Self sustain mode in which the reactors produce constant outout for hours, days, or weeks with no input offers nearly unlimited COP, but comes with a small risk of thermal run away. Self sustain mode is easy to start, but a method of controlling it needs to be figured out. I think the fuel needs to be designed so that over a certain temperature something is released that keeps the temp from going higher.

  • Sean

    I must say SSM is the way to go. As with our latest HMS Ambush (S120) with the Rolls Royce PWR reactor that goes for 25 years non stop and is inherently safe. I see no reason why any hydrogen Nickel reactor will not perform in a similar fashion. If the ECAT is producing thermal energy, then that same energy should sustain the reaction once started from an outside source. Especially due to the fact that the ECAT is in the same container as the heat. So to me something is amiss. But I take note that we know very little of Rossi,s IP and for very good reasons. P.S. Sad that we don’t have an ECAT in our Christmas stockings this year. Perhaps next?

  • Supplantor

    They need something like this to power the SSM

  • Daniel Maris

    That’s counter intuitive. Perhaps you meant “second” rather than “first”.

  • Private Citizen

    Wonder how many people know specifics about the commercial plant? Keeping a good secret between 2 people is difficult; each new blabbermouth in the chain reduces the odds. No ones life is at stake, no dire consequences, make it even easier to blab.

    Apparently nobody with even one investigative reporter to spare has the slightest interest in finding out. It would be trivial to follow Rossi or key employees to the site which they would visit at some point.

    Certainly any intelligence agency or unethical corporate interest with even a passing interest knows the whole e-cat technology, with the ability to tap phones, internet, stage break-ins, bribe, extort and blackmail insiders. So the only ones kept in the dark are us, who matter least.

    • Gerrit

      It would be trivial to follow Rossi and show that he is not working on any plant at all. I wonder why none of the true scam believers hasn’t done this yet.

      • bitplayer

        Seems like a snakey thing to do.

    • Hi all

      Keeping secrets that rely on incredulity is easy. In fact the bigger the secret is the easier it is to keep when incredulity is involved.

      “Only the puny secrets need to be protected. The big ones are kept secret by public incredulity.” Marshall McLuhan

      Kind Regards walker

  • kdk

    Truly self-sustaining mode is the like P&F one that went through the floor and apparently vaporized (or what?). I’m not sure that we could even do that with nanopowders… a resonant effect w/in a the lattice nearly or at 100% loading? Anyway, you’d want to be able to at least contain such a reaction so it doesn’t just melt through things, unless that would make the reaction more dangerous than letting the concrete or whatever effect it.

    With the powders, given the nature of cf, a truly self-sustain is probably impossible or at least very difficult and would require something like precise nano-manufacturing lining up the groups of atoms precisely (no longer powders).

    • Hank Mills

      Self sustain has already been done without any such accidents. The low temperature E-Cat Dr. Levi tested self systained for 18 hours with no meltdown. It produced up to 130kw of output with the only input going to the control electronics.

      The one megawatt plant that was demoed self sustained for hours with no input, but a few of the reactors started to overheat causing problems.

      However, there is a slightly higher chance of an E-Cat melting down in self sustain mode than start stop mode. Since Rossi is only concerned about safety and reliability, self sustain is not being used in the new plant. I think they should focus on making self sustain as reliable – meaning zero chance of thermal run away – as start stop.

      The result would be. …

      1 – Almost infinite COP.

      2 – Smaller device for same output.

      3 – No need for over 100 computers.

      4 – Less complexity.

      5 – No need for connection to the grid. A small battery could be used.

      • mytakeis

        ss (self sustain) with ss (start stop) as a fail safe, why could the two not combined?

      • Rene

        From what I’ve read of Rossi’s comments on self sustain mode, it looks like it is a nonlinear reaction that is quite sensitive to heat (and probably some other excitory activity). If the heat extraction rate is just right, self-sustain could be maintained for a long time, but in real world use cases, the heat demand varies, there are inevitable differences in heat conductance of each reactor block because of manufacturing process variations, so I can imagine the control system having to juggle a lot of factors to decide when it has to quench self sustain mode. Each block needs to be monitored carefully as the algorithm has to be tuned or learn the specifics of each block. I suspect the control logic has to react very quickly when self sustain goes exponential.

      • Bernie777

        Right, they should have at least one more trial installation going in parallel.

        • kdk

          I hope they’ve been doing this already in their own labs with more than a few reactors… Axil Axil has more than something I think.

      • kdk

        Thank you, I thought the nanopowder nickel would be hard to maintain in at least a somewhat self-sustain mode, but apparently, it’s at the point where it needs to be “cooled” down so that it doesn’t run away. Personally, I would be very interested to know what sort of vortex/swirling/catalyst is going inside the reactor, or how the heat and micro-explosions lend themselves to more reactions in the small scale. I suppose there might be some symmetry/dimensions/ratios to the reactor itself that might lend itself to more reactions.

        Miley’s experiments seem particularly relevant, especially where he noted that when his two micro-films were too close together that the reactions basically didn’t happen… there’s definitely a bigger picture to be had from all of the experimental evidence combined.

  • Mats002

    Peoples lifes are more valued today. We hold security so much higher nowadays.

    • Fortyniner

      While that is true, it is very easy to take suitable precautions when a danger is known. Safety therefore isn’t a limiting factor on rate of progress during R&D. Small team size (for security reasons?) and limited sequential development resulting from this constraint are though.

  • clovis ray

    your cool, smile

  • Albert D. Kallal

    As noted, the off on mode can mean more then one thing.

    However, note how Rossi “dodged” your question of the cycle on/off time when running self sustain mode. The new electronics is likely better then the quote form the 2013 test that mentions this mode.

    And the issue is with a load on a plant, we don’t know how many time units on vs time units off (be it seconds, or minutes etc.). And remember, 2 seconds on, 4 seconds off, or 2 minutes on, and 4 minutes off = SAME advantage).

    As noted, if time ratios are much different then what we saw in the 2013 test, then a gas-cat would not be required or even being considered by Rossi.

    Thus one can MUCH conclude the intervals are likely close to what we seen the electronics do in the past.

    And yes, of course anyone would realize that the eventual goal is always running with power off – but as noted, Rossi wisely did not give out the ratio of power on vs power off when running this system. This info would give away the existing COP he is likely to realize here.

    It possible with new controller software that we could see some “dramatic” numbers for how many units of time power is turned off vs on. However, practical reason suggests that little if any need for gas cats would have been mentioned by Rossi this ratio of time units off/on has changed much from previous tests/data. so two units on (be it seconds, hours, days) vs 2 or 4 units off suggests past seen ratios have not changed.

    Albert D. Kallal
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

    • Omega Z

      To keep it in perspective, It takes 3Kw of N-gas to produce 1Kw electricity, to make 10Kw of heat.
      Using N-gas directly would be 1Kw N-gas to produce 10Kw heat.
      That is a huge cost savings if your looking at Electrical generation.

      Add to that, there are those who are already jockeying to gradually push the cost of electricity up by 2x/4x what it is today. While N-gas may rise, it will be no where near that amount.

      And if this was a short term process it would be kind of silly, but the transition will take several decades. If natural gas can be used effectively in the mid term, it’s all positive.

  • BroKeeper

    Now he really has my attention. Two hours between the input is applied puts a different spin on what ssm (sustainable) mode effect has on overall COP. If the times of duration with input on and duration time off are even then I can see COP doubled.

    Now assuming the duration time off is much longer than time on I am guessing it places COP well over 10. This is of course depends how long the input is on which I doubt would be much more than a few minutes to place the temperature back to its optimum sustainable reaction.
    Can anyone here shed some light as to how long that input duration might be?

    • Fortyniner

      AFAIK there hasn’t been any specific information to answer your question. Although the acronym SSM appears to refer to two ‘modes’ that isn’t really the case – there must be a continuous spectrum from ‘on’ all the time (100%), to off all the time (0% – not yet achieved), so ‘Start/Stop Mode’ seen as a ratio over time may be the most useful interpretation.

      Rossi is attempting to push performance closer and closer to 0% but we don’t actually have any firm idea of where on the spectrum he is at the moment. As this factor can only be established over reasonably long run-times, and is subject to incremental software-driven improvement, Rossi himself may only have rough figures at the moment.

      It seems quite likely however that ‘on’ time has probably already been reduced to the point where COP is already a multiple of the 3-4 level previously demonstrated for LT e-cat systems, as you suggest.

  • georgehants

    We cannot be sure that we study something real, because we do not
    know what reality is; we can only be sure that our study will help us
    understand more, far more, about ourselves.
    Jacques Vallee

    • Obvious

      Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on Earth should that mean it is not real?
      -Albus Dumbledore

      • georgehants

        Obvious Agreed, as you know there is a very good argument that everything is created by the conscious mind.

  • Fortyniner

    Self-sustain mode is when the reactor is able to maintain a constant temperature for prolonged periods of time without any electrical input applies.

    I wonder if we are sure about that – it may only apply to resistance heating input. Rossi has confirmed that in addition to resistance heating, a separate input is required for some kind of ‘driver’ – an oscillating EM field (whatever the waveform). What we don’t know is when in the operating cycle this driver must be applied, or how much power it consumes.

    It seems likely that the control system may involve a complex feedback-controlled interaction between resistance heating and EM field generation, complicating the idea of a simple periodic on/off system. The only really meaningful number is therefore the overall COP over a given time period, regardless of the periodicity and nature of the control system.

  • Ophelia Rump

    Lets say you take a minutes approach to the question of COP in SSM.
    How long does it take to heat a device which is already pretty hot? I would say a minute might be reasonable. Maybe I am incorrect, maybe it is 5. So assuming this is not initial startup and we are running for six months total duration, the startup becomes insignificant to our numbers.
    the reactor begins to cool and the heater goes on for one minute, The reactor continues for 2 hours, what is our COP? Presume 100% of the heat for the one minute was from input. We cannot underestimate with this number. 1 over 120 gives us a COP of 119. Five minutes input power and our COP drops to a sad little 115 COP. Assuming that the device puts out no more heat then when the input is producing 100%.

    These numbers are difficult to argue with but please, go right ahead and try.

    • Fortyniner

      OK. What if the recycling of self sustained operation requires much more than a brief burst of heating? Forinstance, if some of the theories about surface phonons being necessary for a reaction to occur, then when the reaction dies back it may be necessary not only to re-heat the reactor, but to ‘re-cohere’ the phonon waves, perhaps by fairly prolonged exposure to some EM frequency. This could mean fairly extended ‘on’ periods during which heat must be input to maintain the IR environment, while the now random and dying phonon waves are brought back into synchronisation.

      • Ophelia Rump

        Then the device is useless for commercial production.
        You cannot have a critical system which simply cuts out for prolonged periods, we know that it must produce more heat than just the electrical heating element.

        That heat must be reasonably stable and predictable.

        • Fortyniner

          No, not so. Remember that the current reactor contains 110 ‘cores’. Part of the control system’s function may be to co-ordinate the operating cycles of each core so that at any given time, 100 of them are in self-sustaining mode (this of course would imply a ratio of 1 ‘on’ to 9 ‘off’).

          • Ophelia Rump

            If you were right there would only be a pathetic COP of 9.
            A tragedy.

          • Fortyniner

            As you say, no use at all.

          • Ophelia Rump

            But you are a gloomy gus tonight.

          • Fortyniner

            It’s morning here. I’m always gloomy before some coffee or tea – after that I’m downright miserable.

          • Freethinker


          • Ophelia Rump

            Yes I am an addict myself!

            One day I will sign myself into Maxwell House and get decaffeinated.

          • Hey hey, you Brits crack me up.

          • Fortyniner

            Actually it could just as easily be 90, i.e. gain = x89 – it depends on the figures. COP becomes meaningless in this territory: COP for self sustaining mode (90& of total running time) is output/0 x 100, i.e., infinity (percent), if COP during recovery (10% of running time) is 1 (heat in = heat out), then overall COP = (9 x infinity/1 x 1) x 100 = infinity – an obvious nonsense.

      • GreenWin

        I think you are on to something here Fortyniner. Nanoplasma experiments use laser to stimulate surface plasmon / polaritons – which appear to function like phonons. If one could withstand the high temp, a pulsed laser exciter would provide higher resolution EM, than a wave function. Variation in the EM frequency or amplitude may destabilize the reaction; making control logic extremely complex.

    • georgehants

      Ophelia, if you are even roughly on the right path then we all have something to be very excited about.
      Hope, hope, hope.

      • Ophelia Rump

        Georgehants, my logic is strong!

  • malkom700

    It is not difficult to understand that we’re still talking about a separate device but for hundreds of thousands of installations COP 3 is effectively equates to self sustain mode because at the same time the price of electricity will drop significantly.

    • Ophelia Rump

      When the input electricity comes from the output of another on the same grid, then the effective COP approaches infinite, which is to say it all comes from the devices.
      At that point the notion of COP becomes obsolete, there is no rational value in comparing input to output. There is only the value of desired output to consider and how many devices are required.

      • Fortyniner

        Agree. I would have preferred the concept of COP – designed for consuming electrical appliances – to have been dumped in favour of ‘gain’, i.e., power out minus power in over some set time period.

      • BroKeeper

        Bingo. After a year or two of energy savings will equate to initial cost = free energy + cost of maintenance.

  • georgehants

    Just say what a privilege it is for me to be able to follow a scientific discussion of the quality displayed by Ophelia and Fortyniner below.
    One day science will grow-up so that such a good debate can be held on any scientific subject.

    • Ophelia Rump

      Oh georgehants, you are so dramatic! You could always hold these discussions.
      Now we simply have the power to do it anonymously from distant locations, so the hangings and burnings at the stake are less frequent.

      • Fortyniner


        • Ophelia Rump

          They will be sending in the morale suppression trolls any moment, stay alert!

          • malkom700

            No one claimed that this is a scientific debate but in fact sometimes prevail morbidly arrogant people. This leads to further global warming.

        • georgehants

          Ha, Wonderful, Morning Peter.

          • Fortyniner

            And to you George. Make the most of it – apparently we are all going to freeze our butts off (as I understand our colonial cousins say) in a day or two.

          • georgehants

            It will still be warm and sunny in Penzance, and if not I have my new oil boiler working well.
            Nearly time for lunch and maybe a small red.
            Best to you both.

          • Come on guys, that’s much more polite than the way we say it.

          • Omega Z

            Yeah Barry, I think the word starts with an A & ends with a double S. 🙂

      • georgehants

        Ophelia, Ha, try having your discussion on one of the scientific comic’s Websites.
        If you could get even one comment on Cold Fusion that is not saying it is junk, I will send you a Christmas card.

  • Gerard McEk

    I hope that the Ecat plant still generates 1 MW while it is in SSM. If so, than it is impressive and I congratulate Andres Rossi and IH. Just ‘maintaining a constant temperature’ is irrelevant. The phrase should be ‘maintaining a continuous output energy’. To calculate the COP, you need to know what energy is required initiate a next SSM period.

  • psi2u2

    This is a great overview article:

  • Warthog

    Control has been the problem all along (for the E-cat/HotCat at any rate). It is FAR easier, more precise, and more accurate to control a flow of electric current (the ideal fluid) than it is to do the same for a “real” fluid (water, DowTherm, air,…..whatever). This is, I am sure, the basis of the “control by adding heat” that seems to confuse so many people, with a drastic increase in coolant flow reserved solely as “emergency shutdown mode” to keep the reactor from destroying itself (not exactly a desirable outcome, even though “intrinsically safe”).

    • builditnow

      Air flow could be switched very rapidly for the Hot Cat.

      For the 600C E-Cat, water tubes under pressure, or complete encapsulation with a water jacket would hold temperatures accurately and instantly to the pressure relief valve setting. The issue might be more about solid reliability during the certification stage. After certification, E-Cats on steroids can be developed and certified with much higher COPs.

      • Warthog

        Any mechanical control valve will be slower in action than changing an electronic device, and more prone to failure, no matter what the “coolant”. It is just “the nature of the beast”.

        • builditnow

          A water jacket would be faster, here is why.
          The water being in direct contact with the reactor would be exposed to a hot spot faster than the thermocouple would detect such a hot spot. The water would extract heat immediately, thus the system could be faster than electronics because of the direct contact will all possible hot spots. The thermocouple has to wait for the temperature rise to reach it before the electronics can start to respond.

    • Axil Axil

      The Rossi reactor is not “intrinsically safe”. The destruction of the nickel particles does not stop the reaction. Rossi’s opinion on this point is malarkey.

      • M.Fisher

        It would be easy to create a system that would shut the whole process down in the event of power failure. Come on, man…The really big question is can the process truly be industrialized? Can it be made into something the size of a small generator?

      • Zeddicus Zul Zorander

        After the last test I believe the same. First because the TIP report states that the reactor could be run at even higher temperatures; second because at 1422C there is possibly already melting of nickel going on in local hotspots but the reactor showed no signs of slowing down at all; and third there have been reports of runaway LENR reactions that have reached an estimated 2000C or higher, so a nickel based LENR reaction does not nessecary stop at the melting point of nickel. The problem may be controlling anything at that temperature. Also building a reactor that can handle those temperatures could be quite hard to do.

        • that is a good point.
          Thinking the reaction continue in liquid is very incoherent with LENR experiments.

          one possibility is that nickel is in a very heat resisting alloy.
          another is in an oxide, but since the atmosphere is reducing (hydrogen would react with any oxygen) It seems impossible…

          maybe some doping with bore, nitrogen…

      • Omega Z

        I believe when the nickel melts, the reaction stops, However, what has already been initiated will follow thru.

        I have trouble describing this with clarity so I’ll try this scenario.

        You have a running water tap 5 foot off the ground. For unknown reasons you have a major surge and You quickly turn off the Tap.
        But the water between the Tap & the Ground will still fall to the ground surge & all.

  • kdk

    I guess, at least for myself locally, that it’s time to start bringing this stuff to engineers rather than scientists. It seems like many people are at the stage where they could benefit more from engineering tinkering than from theory, as there seems to be enough of that to get some benefit from it and the scientists for the most part will be ignoring it until it’s glaringly obvious.

  • MasterBlaster7

    This is kinda off topic Frank…but could you look into this?

    Bernie Koppenhofer commented at Huffington Post…

    Testa showed Bill Gates the ENEA LENR lab in Italy, and made this
    comment about his lab and his scientists. “This is why the US has
    involved the Enea, only non-US agency, in a research program of great
    scientific importance in the field of Lern.” Exactly what “research
    program” is he referring to? Is there a secret US research program

    DARPA? Naval Research? possibly. Is this a legit slip of the tongue by ENEA?

    • ecatworld

      Good question, MB. That was a statement from a press release by the University of Verona — but it was never specified who in the United States Enea is working with (to my knowledge)

  • Jack T.

    I like the way he introduces himself as “Mike”. Leave my last name out of it just in case.

  • Anon2012_2014

    Jet = Mitchell Schwartz’s company. Very low power (under 1 watt) self contained LENR devices. About the size of a large power transistor.

    Not publicly released, so it is not exactly clear what these can do.

    What is interesting is that they would make a good self contained test subject for LENR if ever commercially sold.

  • builditnow

    I agree, however it would seem easy to have a secondary system to control peak temperature and allow cool down as well. For instance, for temperatures up to about 600C one could have small water filled pipes in the reactor and a pressure relief valve. If the reactor goes over the pressure, steam releases like on a steam train or a fission reactor when the turbines suddenly shut down. With additional control valves, cooling could also be achieved. For the Hot Cats, air could be the emergency cooling system or other fluids I’m not aware of like metals or salts that are molten metals liquid at the operating temperatures that can limit the maximum temperature and be used for cooling down.

    I do agree that to get certification initially, a conservative, automatically safe, approach is the best and this could likely be the rational for the current designs. Clearly, one can “always” provide sufficient insulation to cause a reactor to liquify the core and stop working.

  • Axil Axil

    Rossi has publicly stated that he is using over 100 computers to implement his latest control stratagem. From this meager bit of information we can deduce fairly much what is going on with the 1 megawatt cluster E-Cat reactor. That number of computers means he is using a SCADA system to do the command and control function to keep his creation in line.

    The term SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) usually refers to a centralized system which monitors and controls the industrial infrastructure of entire sites, or complexes of systems spread out over large areas (anything from an industrial plant to a nation). Most localized control actions are performed automatically by Remote Terminal Unit (RTU)s or by Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)s. These are computer boards which are controlled by a low level microcomputer usually housed in a rack mounted enclosure using a full duplex bus structure to communicate with a master control station(MCS). The MCS is a custom coded PC that hosts the bus network and provides a graphical user interface to depict the operational parameters and status of all the E-Cats. In a high availability application, the MCD runs in a ghosted mode with a hot backup PC.

    The cost of such a system(a high quality implementation) is substantial. This digital Command and Control(C&C) will comprise a large fraction of the cost of Rossi’s 1 megawatt plant. Even the best of such systems is prone to bugs, out of profile behavior and hacking attacks. Usually industrial customers will want to integrate the E-Cat cluster reactor into their factory wide SCADA C&C system.

    In my opinion, Rossi and Industrial heat have made a mistake in judgment on this reactor design decision. A simplified fail safe (as in a nuclear reactor) analog based control system is best suited to the 1 MW E-Cat cluster reactor.

    • M.Fisher

      I’m sure there is always risks generally speaking but you have developed such a huge straw-man argument that one could never answer such a question…

      • towerofbabel

        Totally hyped, I would have thought.

        • Axil Axil

          These marketing positioning considerations and tradeoffs are always part of developing a successful commercial industrial product.

    • US_Citizen71

      One simple solution. Airgap the entire system. Without a connection to the internet someone must access the controls in person to hack it.

      • kdk

        I’ve wondered for a while why any utility systems are hooked up to the some largish intranet, let alone the internet… accidents waiting to happen.

      • Axil Axil

        Home Depot and Target credit card operations were off the internet when they were hacked. But now these businesses are more careful about what third party companies they do business with.

        • US_Citizen71

          The credit cards systems themselves were not the source of the leaks. It was the accounting departments where the leaks happened.

    • Albert D. Kallal

      Let’s not be silly here.

      The adopting of microprocessor systems reduce costs. Recall the older “security” camera companies that spent HUGE costs having to write up video cameras. Now, they use independent microprocessor controlled cameras that are self contained. Each camera has its very own computer and are VERY cheap.

      The idea IH are necessary using a complex SCADA system is pure speculation and conjecture on your part. The idea that this that approach some kind of mistake is ONLY a HOLLOW claim being made by you and that HISTORY disagrees with.

      So adopting smaller computers to run security camera resulted in LOWER costs for security systems.

      And for cloud computing? Again, they simply use MORE AND MORE CPU’s to increase scale (again, using LOTS of small systems tied together won HUGE over using larger systems).

      And even with furnace systems, the trend is to using several smaller ones as opposed to one large one.

      Looking at the process of history, you seem to forget the advantage of using multiple smaller systems working together. History shows your view is EXACTLY backwards in the progression of technology.

      I much disagree this road is a mistake. A simply history and looking at the progression of technology shows that trending towards smaller units of production and then using these smaller devices together wins over that of one large device. You also “gain” scales of economy faster by adopting this approach. Of course this “assumes” the technology in question LENDS itself to smaller units with increasing output. In my example, it is CPU power, or the heat output of the tiny LENR reactor. The reactor area is VERY small.

      You have to provide a better historical example based on past history of technology why you feel using smaller units of production is bad or the wrong approach for the e-cat.

      And as for the hacking issues? Let’s not be silly as if this is ANY kind of issue for the e-cat. I dealt with such silly conjecture during my Y2K remediation at the industrial level. I am fluent at the assembler level for most microprocessors. I predicted EXACTLY what was going to occur at midnight for Y2K.

      Do cite history examples in a logical and reasonable fashion to support why you think using scalable smaller modules as Rossi is doing is the wrong approach, since past history does not agree with your view.

      Albert D. Kallal
      Edmonton, Alberta Canada

      • Axil Axil

        When a vender designs a computerize automation control system, the vender will be required to meet many industry standard specs to plug and play with other equipment in the factory setting. If a vender supports many of these interface specs, he has an advantage in the market place over vendors who only provides a proprietary solution.

        Here is a list of some of these specs required in the automation marketplace.

        • Albert D. Kallal

          This is silly. The idea that creating an industrial heating device has to interface at the INSIDE control level with the rest of the factory makes no sense at all.

          They can easy build their own custom control system.

          Dean Karmen built a FANTASTIC computer controlled Sterling co-generator. The control system built is REALLY amazing, but it has nothing to do with SCADA or any industry standard “internally”. The control system is exposed to the internet (if you wish), but the internal workings don’t need SCADA or anything else. Here is a video of Dean staring up the system:

          The idea that the INTERNAL system controlling EACH e-cat has to be interfaced with the rest of the factory, or be based on factory standards is outright silly. The above control system is 100% custom. (watch the video).

          The only interface exposed to the factory or “outside” of the reactor would be a FINAL control that asks for more heat or less heat. The control system INSIDE that 1MW plant is zero concern for the rest of the factory floor or interface standards..
          A whole computer system on a board like the Raspberry Pi is dirt cheap ($20) and it runs on Linux. It has HDMI, USB, micro SD card and networking. And 256 megs of ram. Building custom controller systems based on these types of computers are dirt cheap.

          Here is a video of such a computer on a board:

          So how they wire up and control the reactor system has ZERO to do with adopting an industry standard interface. No doubt that final interface can be EXPOSED to the factory floor.

          So final control box certainly might interface to the factory floor, but not the internal controller system they built and designed.

          Again – you not making any kind of solid case as IH’s approach being the wrong direction at all.

          Albert D. Kallal
          Edmonton, Alberta Canada
          [email protected]

          • Axil Axil

            What motivates factory automation is the reduction of the factory work force to the minimum level to optimize productivity and to minimize labor cost.
            If the Rossi reactor requires 3 to 6 dedicated operators reserved to the E-Cats constant maintenance and supervision, that would increase the recurring operating cost of the E-Cat by hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

          • Albert D. Kallal

            100% agree with you! It was just a few years ago that e-cats required Rossi to stand there and control the box by hand!

            The 24/7 plant and its challenges no doubt are due to this challenge. As far as we can tell, the Rossi challenge is your VERY point! So too much human intervention is THE problem.
            Based on Rossi’s statements, it seems he is tackling this challenge quite well. I have little doubt that the MAIN goals of this new control system is in fact a “suitable” operation not run on some lab bench surrounded by lab coats, but a “box” that just runs and runs without any human intervention for days on end.


            Albert D. Kallal
            Edmonton, Alberta Canada
            [email protected]

      • Axil Axil

        A reactor system that can produce a power spike of 100 megawatts in a few seconds is a different animal than a camera system or a solar panel. That much power coming from a volume of a cubic meter is an explosion. Extreme care must be taken when designing such a control system. A design mistake can kill people.

    • kdk

      Said hacker would have to understand cold fusion as well or better than anyone does now, at least. There may be built-in, ie hardcoded, or physically within the reactor itself, like a fuse-box, which would shut down the reaction before it could become a (large) problem. Truly, one of the main benefits of cf over any of the other nuclear (or zpe [to my very basic understanding]) reactions.

      • Axil Axil

        Its a simple hack. Just drive the LENR system to overheat and defeat all over temperature safeguards.

        • kdk

          If the safeguards are like a fuse-box where the fuse burns itself out and thus no connections can happen short of a much higher understanding of dimensionality and phsyics? (They would still have to happen before some critical point in the fuse melting or beyond that, so much finer control of matter that we can even understand on a very basic level at this point in time [and thus dimensionality]?) The only safer (in the much longer term, because this is more than safe enough for industrial power), would be the ones that would spell the doom of life as we know it.

          Hard (logic) coded into the circuits would also do the job, so long as the chips weren’t replaced w/o anyone noticing. I.e., the circuits can only fire a certain way (I suppose a hack of the sensors could happen, but if those connections are hard-coded too…).

          • Axil Axil

            Yes, exactly. what you say is what I was getting at by my statement:

            A simplified fail safe (as in a nuclear reactor) analog based control system is best suited to the 1 MW E-Cat cluster reactor.

          • kdk

            Still, to make a major reaction, one would have to overload all reactors in a timely manner (akin to an engine) such that they either lent themselves to each other or the setup would have to be something hooked up to heavier elements. Not to say that it’s impossible to make a major disruption, or that people might miss the possibility of such.

            CF reactions should always have a temperature based failsafe that would shut down the reactions, ideally.

            IIRC, Rossi has talked about these being in his reactors, at least the older ones.

          • Axil Axil

            Rossi has been trying to go the analog control route for many years now, and he cannot do it. This difficulty may be in the nature of the Ni/H reaction itself. But others in the LENR business say that they has done it with a different design. So his team was forced to go down the digital automation route. This automation route has its own dangers and costs.

          • kdk

            Perhaps you could correct me with me with a link, but IIRC, Rossi has talked about having a fuse-like mechanism w/in the reactor which shut them down before they could explode beyond the reactor (or simply melt through)?

            I don’t have a link, but that’s my recollection, beyond what might have happened since (and I’m thinking in the 6+ month range for him talking about the reactors which [physically/analogue] shut themselves down).

          • Axil Axil

            Rossi has stated that the reaction will stop when the nickel power melts. But this reaction break does not happen during a meltdown. After the meltdown begins, the reactor just vaporizes at least in part.

          • kdk

            As a point of curiosity, have you seen what Miley has said about how his two micro-films had a “sweet spot” and dead-zone for his reactions as far as distance between the two micro-films? There are dimensions there that I would think would be relevant to these sorts of reactions, if different for different materials, and environments as may be the case with the Ni-H/Rossi type.

          • Axil Axil

            I have not heard about size resonance points from other LENR developers outside of Rossi. The particle size of Rossi’s powder is resonant in the 2 to 5 micron range based on black body/operational temperature resonant conditions.

          • psi2u2

            I don’t know how you can say he “cannot do it.” The evidence suggests that he has not entirely conquered the control issue, but also that he and his team have made considerable progress towards that goal. The very nature of the goal, given the many poorly understood variables, suggests the need for incremental solutions developed over an extensive time period under load – precisely what Rossi et al are now apparently doing.

      • Axil Axil

        During the first third party test(TPR1), the test team melted down the Hot-Cat on their first attempt to startup the reactor. At that point, the meltdown condition became public knowledge and well characterized. Whatever Rossi had said in the past claiming total control of the reactor was now null and void since passive sail safe control was not demonstrated.

        For your convinence as follows:

        And on self-destruct — 1MW in 10 seconds !!!!!

        James Bowery
        December 28th, 2013 at 7:54 PM

        Dr. Rossi,

        When you say that reactors “explode” when out of control, do you mean they actually produce a loud noise? Or do they merely destructively over-heat? (As apparently happened to a HotCat in this photograph during the prior validation test:)

        Andrea Rossi
        December 28th, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        James Bowery:
        Very sorry, I cannot answer to this question exhaustively, but I can say something. Obviously, the experiments are made with total respect of the safety of my team and myself. During the destructive tests we arrived to reach temperatures in the range of 2,000 Celsius degrees, when the “mouse” excited too much the E-Cat, and it is gone out of control, in the sense that we have not been able to stop the raise of the temperature ( we arrived on purpose to that level, because we wanted to study this kind of situation). A nuclear Physicist, analysing the registration of the data, has calculated that the increase of temperature ( from 1 000 Celsius to 2,000 Celsius in about 10 seconds), considering the surface that has increased of such temperature, has implied a power of 1 MW, while the Mouse had a mean power of 1.3 kW. Look at the photo you have given the link of, and imagine that the cylinder was cherry red, then in 10 seconds all the cylinder became white-blue, starting from the white dot you see in the photo ( after 1 second) becoming totally white-blue in the following 9 seconds, and then an explosion and the ceramic inside ( which is a ceramic that melts at 2,000 Celsius) turned into a red, brilliant stone, like a ruby. When we opened the reactor, part of the AISI 310 ss steel was not molten, but sublimated and recondensed in form of microscopic drops of steel.
        Warm Regards,

        • bachcole

          Axil, after giving you a hard time (and what fun that was!!!), I realized that it all depended upon what we mean by the word “safe”. A drinking cup can be unsafe if a person decides to drink too much water. I think that probably the original writer means by “safe” was that there was no way for the E-Cat to go critical and cause a hell of a nuclear mess. Obviously, anything that can get up to 1000 degrees C should not be on the list of things that would be completely safe, and of course, what you have written above unscores the inherent unsafeness of the E-Cat (or any other furnace like object).

  • GreenWin

    It is rather amusing that Schwartz’s company name is the same as the 41 year old Joint European Torus (JET) project. The best this multi-billion dollar hot fusion gadget has produced is 0.67 Q or COP <1.0. Schwartz's JET NANOR showed an energy gain of 1400 to 1600%+ output beyond input at a recent MIT demonstration.

  • psi2u2

    A question to be asked.

  • builditnow

    Converting water into steam takes a huge amount of energy which means that it has a huge cooling effect. It takes 100 calories to heat water from 0C to 100C and takes 540 calories to convert 1 gram of water to steam at 100C. This is a huge cooling effect that occurs instantly at any point the cooling jacket attempts to go above the boiling point.

    With a pressure valve, the boiling point can be raised to the desired point, the constraints being the ability of the water jacket to contain the pressure and handle the heat. 600C is common in power stations. The steam pressure release system has the advantage of being simple requiring no fancy control systems. It’s a strategy used in every car radiator and every steam based power station including fission plants and the old steam trains and your hot water boiler in your house.