The McEk LENR Controller (Gerard McEk)

The following article was submitted by Gerard McEk

Since Andrea Rossi presented his E-Cat in 2011, there were rumors of him using a kind of additional control other than just the triac-based heater coil controller. Many people saw the E-Cat nearby, but there has never been a serious indication that such an additional device was installed or needed, although Defkalion did add such an apparatus to their Hyperion, and Brillouin also use some kind of electromagnetic stimulation.

It is not unlikely that EM or just magnetic fields may play a role in LENR. About a year ago Rossi has mentioned that the E-Cat requires AC and not DC. This and the other issues like the recent LENR replication failures of MFMP and others, as well as discussions I had with various people on this and other sites have brought me to the thought that LENR may require some magnetic stimulation (high δI/δT) as well as some control to dampen LENR when it starts to run away. Recently these thoughts have cumulated to a novel  LENR controller design, which should have all the features in it to stimulate and damp the LENR process and that is what I like to present on this forum. I would welcome your opinions to help me come to a final design. I know this is not a cheap controller. It is meant for properly equipped labs to give them handles to change some (maybe) essential parameters ‘on the fly’. Please see the drawing below.

I can clearly not give any guarantee that this controller enhances the probability of a stable LENR reaction, but it has all the features to prove or disprove that LENR can be influenced by short current pulses and short circuiting the heating coil.

The controller has the following features:

  1. Frequency control from 50 to 1000 Hz (AC). ( I could have added DC also to it, but I do not want it to make more complicated than needed and Rossi said LENR only works on AC).
  2. Manual temperature setting. (I do not want to build-in complex temperature trace control yet).
  3. The output power to the heating coil is AC Pulse Width Modulated. Depending on the set temperature and the measured temperature a build-in PID loop controls the width of the opening. Too much power (5 or 3 kW) or current will shut-off the IGBT’s at all times.
  4. The PWM power pulses can be as short a 10 µsec and the current up to 300 amps. This type of control will generate a lot of harmonics and these are obviously linked to the chosen frequency.
  5. There is a manual control for the DC voltage. The thought behind this is that you adjust this voltage such that you never exceed the maximum current of 300 Amps. It also directly influences the proportional factor of the PID loop which is compensated for this to avoid an unstable control loop.
  6. Two types of Thermocouples can be connected: a T-type (till 1200 oC) and a S –type (till 1600 oC). It has further an analogue input, in case another type of temperature measurement is used (0-1500 oC = 1- 10 V). The controller includes a selection switch for this.
  7. The controller shall have a check on the proper working of the thermocouples. In case of failure the controller will switch off and signal this.
  8. The controller can be connected to standard mains (240 V AC 50 Hz Phase/Zero) or in another version to power mains (400 V AC 50 Hz 3Ph). Proper switches and fusing shall be supplied.
  9. As long as the temperature is less than 5 degrees over the set temperature normal PWM control is maintained. Above that the two top IGBT’s switch off and the two bottom IGBT’s start to PWM control a short circuit (SC) of the heater coil. The coil is fully and continuously short circuited if the temperature is more than 100 degrees in excess of the set temperature (Tset), in a simple linear control (Tset ->Tset+100 = 0% -> 100% SC).

mcek

In the past I have worked with companies able to make these type of converters quite reliably. I will try to involve them in this design.

  • Stromer

    Hi Gerard, I think it’s a good idea to do have a controller for the E-CAT replication.
    But why not use a Standard Motor Controller like the Omron MX2. This is cheap industrial device, is programmable and has diverse Bus connections. Here’s the link to the spec:
    http://industrial.omron.ch/de/products/catalogue/motion_and_drives/frequency_inverters/compact_solution/mx2/default.html
    The device can generate a three phase AC (0..400Hz) Output Signal from single phase 220V/50Hz. It has some inputs (one for a thermocouple), can be programmed with PID functions, has a break function (with external break resistor).

    • Gerard McEk

      yes, I am sure this can possibly be reprogrammed to fit some of our requirements and will be more affordable than the McEk controller, but especially the high currents I have in mind, cannot be achieved with this. For the McEk controler, powerful IGBT’s are required and you will not a commercial controller with the powerful IGBT’s and a small sized rectifier stage in it. But it was a good thought.

  • Publius

    Brillouin is there with patent http://www.google.com/patents/US8624636

  • sven

    It is a good idea to be able to control the coil harmonics and explore the influence of them on the process. When Parkhomov was running his successful experiment, his laptop didn’t work when connected to the mains, maybe indicating severe transients on the grid. Maybe it affected the process as well? However, if it is the case that magnetic stimulation plays a part, the heating coil is not necessarily the best origin of the magnetic pulses. Why not use an independent multi winding coil on top of the heating coil to have full control of the pulse forms and positions, allowing higher magent field strength through the higher number of windings?

    • Ted-X

      What about connecting a variable capacitor to the ends of the coil? The resonance and the harmonics could be controlled by changing the capacitance.

      • sven

        I imagine that if the frequency matters in stimulating nanopowder, that frequency would need to be in the microwave spectrum. Maybe it is the “kick” that maters, so the closer to impulse shaped form we get the better, a little like laser that charges but doesn’t fire until the kick comes. As nobody knows what is going on, the best design would allow the most freedom of choice.

    • James Andrew Rovnak

      Yes Parkhomovs thyristor power source had a lot of high frequency content probably required to support LENR power generation process! MFMP variac was to low in content! check out DBs https://youtu.be/Qc21l31iSiQ

    • Gerard McEk

      I believe that a high dI/dt (dH/dt) could be the key. That is not reachable with multi winding coils, because of the inductivity of this coil, unless you use a much higher voltage.

  • Sean

    There is a lot more to the ECAT invention and a lot more EM frequency trial and error should be made up to the gigahertz range. Other quantum elements are at play including electromagnet stimulation. I have been reading about the EM Drive by British aerospace engineer Roger Shawyer. Nasa has now proved its existence and despite similar scepticism like Rossi had with his ECAT invention, Roger Shawyer
    has also been proved right. Studying the science behind the EM drive, there is mention of the effect being made in tune with the right frequency and resonance. This is what seems to be needed with the ECAT. So there is lots more room for all to experiment including your circuitry. As the EM drive has shown signs of a warp bubble inside the chamber, along with the fact that that if Roger Shawyer plans to develop a EM drive at a potential trust to a magnitude of 5, the ECAT will go hand in hand with the EM drive. Keep up the good work. The future is with us.

    • Facepalm

      “Roger Shawyer has also been proved right.”
      When?

    • artefact

      When I read on the spaceflight emdrive page that they want to use a magnetron next because it produces a bit dirtier spectrum (which seems to work better) than what they use now I had to think of the e-cat replications and the use of pid controlers now to get dirtier input.

    • Gerard McEk

      I agree that LENR may be more effectively triggered by other (higher) frequencies, however, Rossi seems to have succeeded without it, or by using low resistance coils in combination with triac based power controllers. My thought is that maybe high dI/dt (and controlled short circuiting of the coil) could be the key and that is what I like to pursue.

    • James Andrew Rovnak

      I think you are right on Sean! I know Godes & Rossi have used high frequency EM both mentioning it in the past! The Deep Breather paper at ICCF19 also goes there!

  • Sean

    There is a lot more to the ECAT invention and a lot more EM frequency trial and error should be made up to the gigahertz range. Other quantum elements are at play including electromagnet stimulation. I have been reading about the EM Drive by British aerospace engineer Roger Shawyer. Nasa has now proved its existence and despite similar scepticism like Rossi had with his ECAT invention, Roger Shawyer
    has also been proved right. Studying the science behind the EM drive, there is mention of the effect being made in tune with the right frequency and resonance. This is what seems to be needed with the ECAT. So there is lots more room for all to experiment including your circuitry. As the EM drive has shown signs of a warp bubble inside the chamber, along with the fact that that if Roger Shawyer plans to develop a EM drive at a potential trust to a magnitude of 5, the ECAT will go hand in hand with the EM drive. Keep up the good work. The future is with us.

    • Facepalm

      “Roger Shawyer has also been proved right.”
      When?

    • James Andrew Rovnak

      As Dr Godes suggested to Rossi a few years back RF frequency content was key to the LENR reaction & after that I remember improvements in Rossi’s E Cats uing proprietary RF. Note pulsed current output contains a lot of higher frequencies, but whether enough to stimulate LENR is the question? Note Discrete Breather paper shows resonance phenomena very at very high frequencies but just may be relevant here. https://youtu.be/Qc21l31iSiQ

      • _Jim

        The high-frequency pulsing probably acts to ‘agitate’ the powder owing to the magnetic field produced by the 300 Ampere current pulses. This would be almost a continual mixing or vibration action assuring eventual exposure of all sides of a Nickel element to other elements in the e-cat (like H gas). This probably assures a nice, continual generation of heat that way too. This was probably the last piece of the puzzle that Rossi had to solve.

        • Mats002

          Might be so. I wonder if a physical vibration stirer could achieve the same result with less energy input. After all, we are talking about a few grams of fuel in a light weithed vessel.

    • artefact

      When I read on the spaceflight emdrive page that they want to use a magnetron next because it produces a bit dirtier spectrum (which seems to work better) than what they use now I had to think of the e-cat replications and the use of pid controlers now to get dirtier input.

      • _Jim

        A Magnetron’s frequency (and therefore the RF output spectrum) is determined by the size of the cavity that the electrons enter into in their ‘arced path’ they travel as they transit to the anode from the cathode in the magnetron; this could hardly be termed a ‘dirty’ spectrum. What is probably thought to be operative is the *shorter* wavelength of the EM waves compared to the much longer wavelengths that exist from just the switching transients when the IGBTs or FETs (etc) are switched on and off.

        I am of the opinion that the ‘switched’ magnetic field, if any, is to agitate the Ni fuel et al within the e-cat to enhance even heat production and exposure of the Nickel to other elements. It may be that this ‘mixing’ is needed initially, and periodically, during e-cat operation. I don’t see uWave wavelengths as being a benefit in this scenario, if the intent is to stir or agitate the Ni powder et al in the e-cat.

        _Jim

        • artefact

          For the magnetron I ment “wide frequency spectrum” in opposite to a narrow frequency they used before in the emdrive.

    • Gerard McEk

      I agree that LENR may be more effectively triggered by other (higher) frequencies, however, Rossi seems to have succeeded without it, or by using low resistance coils in combination with triac based power controllers. My thought is that maybe high dI/dt (and controlled short circuiting of the coil) could be the key and that is what I like to pursue.

    • James Andrew Rovnak

      I think you are right on Sean! I know Godes & Rossi have used high frequency EM both mentioning it in the past! The Deep Breather paper at ICCF19 also goes there!

  • Ted-X

    What about connecting a variable capacitor to the ends of the coil? The resonance and the harmonics could be controlled by changing the capacitance.

    • sven

      I imagine that if the frequency matters in stimulating nanopowder, that frequency would need to be in the microwave spectrum. Maybe it is the “kick” that maters, so the closer to impulse shaped form we get the better, a little like laser that charges but doesn’t fire until the kick comes. As nobody knows what is going on, the best design would allow the most freedom of choice.

  • Gerard McEk

    yes, I am sure this can possibly be reprogrammed to fit some of our requirements and will be more affordable than the McEk controller, but especially the high currents I have in mind, cannot be achieved with this. For the McEk controler, powerful IGBT’s are required and you will not a commercial controller with the powerful IGBT’s and a small sized rectifier stage in it. But it was a good thought.

  • Robert Ellefson

    You can usually switch faster with mosfets in your hbridge rather than igbts, and that edge rate is what determines your maximum stimulus frequency, rather than the repetition rate of the pulses. It’s all about dI/dt, so you want big fast voltage swings just until inductor saturation, then reverse the h-bridge polarity for the next half-cycle, until the inductor current stabilizes again at saturation. The natural response time of the inductor is thus measured and the switching frequency is established as a consequence.. To gauge inductor current, a shunt resistor works well. To change the primary stimulus frequency, you would then want to modify the mosfet gate drives impedance, to slow-down or speed-up the load coil’s dI/dt, and the system switching frequncy will then follow suit based on the new response time of the inductor.

    • Gerard McEk

      You would not find mosfets capable to handle that kind of voltages and currents. I believe IGBT’s are the best choice, but I surely will discuss this with the supplier, thanks for your comment.

      • Robert Ellefson

        The voltage isn’t a problem for mosfets, but the 300A current creates exra challenges. I don’t think you need anything close to that much current, however, and certainly not in continuous conduction. What prompted you to specify 300A?

        • Gerard McEk

          I want to have something in excess of what Andrea uses. This is quite special and there are not many firms in the world who can make this for the specified voltages and currents. The company where I will go to has this expertise and I hope they will be co-operative in this challenge.

          • Robert Ellefson

            I think you are optimizing for the wrong parameter here. More current does not equal more goodness, if you are seeking magnetic stimulus. Half the current with twice the number of turns in your coil will produce the same field intensity, for example, and reducing your coil diameter will strengthen it even further without altering the current. You need to design and specify your coil before you can optimize the coil driver like this. I strongly suggest you consider optimizing dI/dt instead of maximizing I.

    • James Andrew Rovnak

      Yes! I think higher frequency content will stimulate DBs or SPPs to initiate & control the LENR process producing power. I think both Godes & Rossi use EM stimulation in their systems.

  • Thomas Clarke

    300A from a standard 3kW or so mains supply (with average current limited to 15A or so) is problematic. Without filter on the mains input the I^2R heating in leads is 20X higher than expected for a normal mains load. In fact a typical 0.5 ohm total mains wiring resistance would lead to a 150V drop, though it is the mains wiring getting too hot that is the real issue. In practice any wire fuse (which will also get too hot) will blow. I’m not sure whether electronic fuses will similarly blow – maybe not. And if fuses don’t blow mains wiring will get too hot.

    So for this design to work safely you need a decent LC filter on the mains side. If the triac controller does not have this you must add it.

    • Gerard McEk

      Indeed, the rectifier stage will include an inductor and a considerable capacitor bank.

    • _Jim

      Doing the math, 300 Amperes at 300 VDC works out to a peak power of 90 kW (90,000 W); surely this is a short duty-cycle pulser on the order of a RADAR modulator.

      Some readers (if not commenters) may be familiar with how a PFN (pulse forming networks) and a Thyratron (used as a ‘switch’ to kick the energy stored in a PFN into a load e.g. a magentron or even a pulsed TWT) are used together to deliver multi-kilowatt pulses of energy in microsecond time frames at relatively low rep rates (repetition rates) such as a few hundred cycles per second up to a few kilohertz to a ‘load’.

  • Gerard McEk

    You would not find mosfets capable to handle that kind of voltages and currents. I believe IGBT’s are the best choice, but I surely will discuss this with the supplier, thanks for your comment.

  • Gerard McEk

    I believe that a high dI/dt (dH/dt) could be the key. That is not reachable with multi winding coils, because of the inductivity of this coil, unless you use a much higher voltage.

  • Just a reminder:
    5 Feb 2013:
    Q: “I have a specific question that may have interesting implications: does the E-Cat and the HotCat need AC electric power to work, or also DC power can be used? You said that also the gas powered models need an electrical drive: is it also AC in this case?”
    A: “AC or DC are both usable, with specific adaptations.” (A.R.)

  • Just a reminder:
    5 Feb 2013:
    Q: “I have a specific question that may have interesting implications: does the E-Cat and the HotCat need AC electric power to work, or also DC power can be used? You said that also the gas powered models need an electrical drive: is it also AC in this case?”
    A: “AC or DC are both usable, with specific adaptations.” (A.R.)

  • Twobob

    I just use a 110 amp 24 volt dc alternator take out the rectifier and you have three phase.
    Use a electronic relays on each phase for zero switching.
    Controlled with treble five timer circuits.
    You can not get Fuzzier than that.
    Should see the ringing. LOL.

    • James Andrew Rovnak

      Great idea !

    • clovis ray

      There was something said, about the ac signal being dirty, at first, maybe after it starts, you can shut the ac down, and control it by controlling the temp with cold water bath, I know it helps me if I see a beautiful women, lol

  • James Andrew Rovnak

    Yes! I think higher frequency content will stimulate DBs or SPPs to initiate & control the LENR process producing power. I think both Godes & Rossi use EM stimulation in their systems.

  • Gerard McEk

    I want to have something in excess of what Andrea uses. This is quite special and there are not many firms in the world who can make this for the specified voltages and currents. The company where I will go to has this expertise and I hope they will be co-operative in this challenge.

    • Robert Ellefson

      I think you are optimizing for the wrong parameter here. More current does not equal more goodness, if you are seeking magnetic stimulus. Half the current with twice the number of turns in your coil will produce the same field intensity, for example, and reducing your coil diameter will strengthen it even further without altering the current. You need to design and specify your coil before you can optimize the coil driver like this. I strongly suggest you consider optimizing dI/dt instead of maximizing I.

  • clovis ray