Rossi on the Duration of E-Cat’s Fuel Charge

One of the most important aspects of the E-Cat is that it requires such a small amount of ‘fuel’ to operate. The report of the Lugano test stated that only one gram of fuel (the weight of a small paper clip) was required for a run period of 32 days, and this fuel allowed the reactor to consistently produce more than 3 times as much energy as was input. The Lugano testers also reported that there was no reduction in the potency of the charge during the 32-day run.

Andrea Rossi was asked by a reader on the Journal of Nuclear Physics about the fuel used for the current operation of the 1 MW plant being tested at a customer facility — whether any fuel has been removed from, or added to the plant; if there were plans to add or remove fuel during the operation; and if the quality of fuel has met expectations.

Rossi responded:

Andrea Rossi

One of the things we have to test is the duration of a charge under the stress of a 1 MW plant in a long period. We plan not to change the charge until we have a decrease of efficiency, to check which is its real duration under stress. Due information about this issue will be given at the end of the test, probably within one year. Good question.
Warm Regards,

Again, Rossi emphasizes here that this is the first time a commercial-grade plant has been long-term tested ‘under stress’ (or under load) — meaning that the plant is currently doing work in a customer’s production facility, providing a constant output of steam to provide heat for some as-yet unknown purpose. So far, it sounds like there has not been any reduction in potency of the fuel, and from what Rossi has reported, it sounds like the plant has been running for a number of weeks now.

Rossi has said in the past that he expected that E-Cat charges would need to be changed every six months, but that was a conservative estimate, and the duration could be longer in real-world applications. This current operation will be very useful in determining the life-cycle of the E-Cat’s fuel.

  • Fortyniner

    Rossi’s answer seems to imply that it is possible to replace a charge during operation. From a practical POV, it seems unlikely that individual reactors could be refueled in situ but removal and replacement might be possible if the reactors are installed individually in the flanged casings we have seen, and are accessible from outside the (common?) heat exchangers. I suspect that the internal arrangement of the 1MW unit is very different from the multiple rack-mounted heat exchangers of the prototype(s).

    • Pweet

      Why are you “pretty sure the internal layout of the 1MW unit under test is very different from the rack mounted heat exchangers of the prototype”?

      • Fortyniner

        For the reason I gave: ” …which wouldn’t allow such replacements to be made while in use.” The early prototype 10kW reactors were each fully enclosed within individual heat exchangers, which in turn were plumbed into surrounding pipework, and replacing the reactor cores would have been impractical.

        As Rossi now seems to be suggesting that reactors will be allowed to run until a ‘decrease of efficiency’ is seen, at which point the charge will be renewed, then the design must have changed substantially. My reading, anyway.

    • mcloki

      These are still prototypes. I’m sure that once Rossi and IH get replication the engineers will take over and miniaturize each element down to the size of a Pop can with loadable cartridges of fuel. Or better yet create LENR “Batteries” “fuel cells” maybe? for the lack of a better word. A sealed unit that produces heat until spent then you just replace the unit.

      • Fortyniner

        Rossi’s comments seem to indicate that the current 1MW unit is a production prototype, i.e., that the design will be commercially replicated if/when the pilot is deemed successful.

        But I agree that this will be very much a ‘model T’, and that future reactor designs – not necessarily descendants of Rossi’s gadgets – will develop to improve output, stability and reliability, and to reduce manufacturing costs. Unfortunately it could be a very long time before the technology escapes the confines of heavy industrial and military uses, although the latter ‘market’ would probably want the types of development you suggest.

        • Omega Z

          I agree that it is or will be a flanged tube.
          The reactor will be inserted through a center hole maybe held in place with a snap ring or such. A porcelain plug maybe fitted over the electrical spades.

          As were just speculating & have few real details about how the reactor is designed, It’s possible the reactor could be 2 piece.
          The outer shell with electrical connectors & a simple disposable steal fuel charge. Load it like a shot gun.

          Either arrangement above could easily be recharged with a few simple tools although the latter would simplify the boiler design. I’ve worked around 1200’C furnaces & it all boils down to intent in design. On the Lt E-cat, were only talking 200’C. Piece of cake.

          Others have commented about scaling down the size. I believe the Alumina Dog Bone is part of the R&D for that purpose. “Based on Rossi’s postings on JONP” about improving power density.

          Maybe the Lt cat is half a Dog bone.

    • Billy Jackson

      Hmm depending on configuration. There is a good case for continuous operations. in the case of a 1 MW with multiple reactors you would simple disable them 1 at a time based on the run time of the fuel.. if you have 1-2 stand by reactors that are not active but in standby.. you activate 1 bringing it up to operating temperatures. then deactivate the one you need to change.. replace and now its the standby till the next one needs changed.

      • Fortyniner

        Yes, I think that’s pretty much what I was suggesting.

        • Billy Jackson

          sometimes i have to explain things even to myself 😛

      • bkrharold

        That is a good point. After it has been running for some time, the lifetime for a charge will be known. Then it will be possible to anticipate the need to replace an individual reactor, based on how long it has been running.

    • BroKeeper

      The charge could be replaced automatically for each unit simply by using
      an injection/rejection, first-in first-out replacement cartridge system. Perhaps like a mechanical pencil pushing it through slow enough to maximize its consumption. But that may diminish IH’s extra service/maintenance revenue.

  • bkrharold

    Thank you, happy holidays to you

  • bkrharold

    Thanks and best wishes to you