MFMP Runs New Live Glowstick Test [Update: Test Ends after Component Failures]

A new live test of the Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project’s Glowstick reactor has started in California, being run by Alan Goldwater. Earlier this they ran a test on the same reactor that is being tested tonight, but only heated it up to approximately 960 C.

From what I have heard, in this test they will raise the temperature higher — to the levels reached in the test they did in Padua during the ICCF 19 conference, where the reactor reached over 1300 C. It’s going to take many hours before they reach those temperatures, but it will be interesting to follow the progress of this test on the livestream below.

Alan said this about the reactor before the test began:

“After reconnecting the data system, I find that the fuelled reactor still had 13 psi of positive pressure after sitting idle for 28 days. The pressure was 32 psi at the start of this period, so there has been some permeation into the Alumina and/or continued absorption by the fuel. ”

Livestream #1

Livestream #2

Livestream #3

Livestream #4

UPDATE: The test has ended. Here is Alan Goldwater explaining what happened.

“The thermocouple finally failed at 18:00 UTC and appears to have fried the input side of the HUGnetLab board and possibly the PID controller as well. So obviously the test was stopped at that point.”

“After everything cools down, I’ll do some surgical disassembly (hammer and chisel) to see what caused it. The cell will be further disassembled later to extract the fuel for analysis, and the data file will be posted for analysis by the crowd. Thanks for watching!”

  • LCD

    Off topic a little, has anybody done or is there a plan for a pre/post isotopic analysis of parkhamov yet?

    • Josh G

      There already is. He sent his ash for analysis, and it came back showing isotopic changes. But that was from only 1 lab. He apparently sent samples to two other labs (I think), and those results haven’t been released yet AFAIK. Or maybe he hasn’t gotten those results back. The MFMP glowstick right now is to continue ‘baking’ the Parkhomov fuel they tested in Padua. They want to heat it for awhile, probably a few days I guess, and then send it also for isotopic analysis.

      • Ged

        It’ll be interesting to see if the behavior of a restarted reactor is any different to the virgin run.

    • Bob Greenyer

      Good news – Peter from NeoFire has received the Parkhomov Nickel I sent him and will do a ToF Sims on it – so we will have isotopic data for the nickel to compare to Parkhomovs independent lab data. He is also hoping to do Auger electron microscope analysis also.

      SKINR intends to do ICP-MS

      • LCD

        Any news

  • pelgrim108

    Alan, can you please enable the text chatting ( chatbox ) for your next live stream on youtube.

  • Gerard McEk

    I hope you will succeed now Alan, it is about time for a geat success for MFMP!
    Just a question: The glowstick seems separated into two halves, what is the reason?

  • magicsnd1

    I’ve started a new Youtube stream (#3) for the GlowStick2 restart test now running:

  • bfast

    Question, what would “excess heat” look like on the graph?

    • pelgrim108

      Average Heater Voltage going down and Core Temp going up.

      • MontagueWithnail

        Agree, but the different scales are re-adjusting to keep all the lines in the same visual range so I don’t think it will be easy to notice from the graph. Maybe Alan can be persuaded to add a new line of core temp as a function of V – perhaps with some averaging to account for the more erratic nature of the voltage – then we can see if/when the relationship starts to change.

        • pelgrim108

          I agree with you, and would also like core temp as funcion of V line in the graph.

    • Sanjeev

      Thanks for the efforts, I must say you are very patient with these slow experiments which takes hours and days….

      For the next build, I suggest using two TCs for redundancy, at least one that is type-B, since you are trying to go 1200°C. The TCs must not cross paths with the heater wire and should be secured in place with alumina cement instead of a metal wire.

      I guess these are the obvious improvements that you already know. I also suggest trying a closer replication to Parkhomov’s setup. Using an SS tube to contain the charge, which will minimize hot spots and reactor tube failure. Try to have a single outer tube rather than a split design and try to match the dimensions to Parkhomov more closely, so we have similar pressures inside, which will minimize the risk of leak or explosion due to high pressures.

      He has already arrived at a good design which works, so there is really no point in inventing a new design with new points of failure every time. Now that you have his exact powder, the chances of success are more, so lets save time by learning from his design.

      • Alan Goldwater

        Good points Sanjeev. As you can see from the photos, my design does use
        alumina cement to encapsulate and protect the TC. The design has worked
        well three times now, but only for a single heat cycle. A better cement
        should help and further tests will use one.

        The image shows an arcing track through the porous alumina cement, probably caused by migration of the melted Kanthal 30 gauge tie wire. Who would have guessed this could happen?

        Parkhomov’s most recent design uses three alumina layers instead of my two. He basically
        builds a small tube furnace type heater, with alumina inner sleeve and
        outside cement coating. Then he inserts the alumina tube cell to hold
        the fuel, with the TC sandwiched between it and the heater inner tube.

        It’s a good design and worth emulating, but it separates the core from
        the heat source with another layer of alumina, so it needs higher power
        density to reach the temperature required. If you recall, his last
        attempt to reuse a heater also failed before completing the test.

        At these temperatures there is no easy solution. The Silicon Carbide
        heaters Bob Greenyer proposes will handle the temperature, but mounting a
        thermocouple will be even harder. And type B thermocouples are $400 a
        pop and are quite fragile. We destroyed one in a test at HUG in

        • Sanjeev

          If the tie wire was really Kanthal then its a miracle that it melted at such low temperature… or did the temp went above 1200°C at that spot ? Its puzzling, and if it did reach 1200, the heat must have come from inside, which is amazing if true, but its a speculation at best.

          Anyway, this design has revealed a point of failure, which needs to be eliminated somehow. If you wish to avoid the expensive type-B, then the only way is to use a type K at a cooler spot and infer the core temp via measurement. This can be hooked to the PID. A second, “sacrificial” K-type can be at the hot spot and if it burns out (which it will at 1200C), nothing will be affected.

          The last experiments by MFMP and others have revealed the issues one by one.
          1 – Heater burn outs (Solution : use SiC, which you say you will)
          2 – TC burn outs (Solution: use B-type, or K-type at cooler spots)
          3 – Pressure leaks (You have solved this nicely, no more an issue)
          4 – Reactor tube failure (Solution: use a thin SS tube to avoid hot spots and alumina melting).
          5 – Instruments burn out (Solution: proper isolation)
          6 – Junk data (As happened in Padua with power data, solution : Proper checks)

          What has happened is, most of the experiments did not reach the stage of “sweet spot” and failed earlier due to one or more such reasons. You already have a robust design , it just needs some more tweaks before it can become a reliable apparatus. I agree that Parkhomov’s setup is not free from such issues, but he has more success rate. He went through all these issues one by one and arrived at a solution. We need to take it and start from there. Of course, if these problems can be solved in a better way , that will be ok too.

          • Bob Greenyer

            Good point Sanjeev – there are a good number of groups looking to start testing more developed versions of this design – like SKINR and Open Power Association – so it is just as well we are sorting out all the bugs – and having the keen eye of you and others on solution finding will help us get there faster – thank you.

          • Bob Matulis

            Hi Sanjeev, a while back some people mentioned the use of laboratory tube furnaces for testing. Would heating from the exterior of the core eliminate hot spots and be a plausible option in testing? If the oven temp is set to 1200 C over time it would become evident if less power was required to maintain temperature. Thanks, Bob

          • Sanjeev

            Yes, for those who can afford it, a tube furnace is a ready made test bed with everything in place, except the reactor core. If the local hot spot is due to lenr, then the method of external heating will have no advantage, the core can still fail if it gets too hot at a single point. That’s why Parkhomov used the SS tube inside the core for uniformly spreading the heat that came from lenr. The lenr generated heat will be the major source once the reaction starts, the heat from external heater will go down as the power gets automatically reduced, so protection of the core due to lenr heat is the point here.

          • Bob Matulis

            Thanks for the reply. You mention the hot spot at a single point. Since the method of heating is not introducing heat in the inside wouldn’t a hot spot failure be indicative of LENR (compared to a method that introduces heat internally)?

          • Sanjeev

            I guess it would indicate that some anomalous event happened, thats all. If the hot spot failure is accompanied by a drop in input power then it will be a more believable evidence. But will still not be good enough to rule out any chemical origins. To rule that out, the setup must show a drop in power for many hours. And that’s why it is a necessary requirement that the core must not fail as soon as the lenr starts.

          • Alan Goldwater

            Sanjeev, your summary is a good one. I have to point out that this is primarily an engineering problem, where the usual trade-off is time vs quality vs cost. An old joke say “quick, cheap, reliable – pick any two”. This case is no exception, and with a modest budget cheap and reliable means sacrificing quick. We solve the problems as they arise by looking for clever and robust solutions to challenging design problems. Every test leads to progress, as you others have pointed out.

          • Obvious
  • magicsnd1

    The thermocouple finally failed at 18:00 UTC and appears to have fried
    the input side of the HUGnetLab board and possibly the PID controller as
    well. So obviously the test was stopped at that point.

    everything cools down, I’ll do some surgical disassembly (hammer and
    chisel) to see what caused it. The cell will be further disassembled
    later to extract the fuel for analysis, and the data file will be posted
    for analysis by the crowd. Thanks for watching!

    • Ged

      Thank you for the run and putting on the show! Sad the little thing died and took equipment put with it. We need to find a way to prevent all those expensive losses.

      • magicsnd1

        Yes, it needs a better (and safer) way to attach the thermocouple. Expense-wise, the PID controller is about $70. HUGnetLab data board was donated by HUG and I have a spare on hand. If it had been a NI Labview system, that would be another story!

        So an important lesson was learned at reasonable expense, pointing out a key advantage of open science done this way.

        • Ged

          So very true. It’s a wonderful learning process for all.

    • Bob Matulis

      Keep up the good work! New info for improvement.

      • Sanjeev

        FYI all, Denis Vasilenko (Firax) will start his new experiment on Saturday. Stay tuned for more. These are fun days.

        • Bob Greenyer

          Great news!

  • hempenearth
    • Great vid hamp, thanks.

  • James Thomas

    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
    ― Thomas A. Edison

    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill

  • Zeddicus Zul Zorander

    I feel your pain bro…

    I do think you underestimate how difficult this still is. Although we now have a reasonable understanding what is needed to replicate the effect, the material control, the way to heat up the reactor and dozens of other parameters are still very difficult. This is were Rossi has the advantage.

    It also shows how good Parkhomov’s replication was. Did you know he also had dozens of failures before he came up with a working replication?

    These MFMP guys are really, really competent in what they are doing. And although I’m convinced Rossi has a working product, tor me the ultimate confirmation of the Rossi effect is their replication. I have every confidence that they will succeed at some point in time. And at that time also, the whole world will be able to replicate their success because that is what their goal is all about.

    Even though superficially a replication seems quite straightforward, MFMP shows us it really is difficult to define all the parameters for a repeatable successful replication. But when they figure it out, things will really speed up. This is what I believe.

  • Ged

    Can always build your own, if you know a better design and set up to try. The materials are pretty cheap–nothing to stop you there hopefully.

  • Gerrit

    I am happy there are a growing group of experimenters having a try.

    The e-cat looks very real to me, but we’ll have to wait for at least another 7 months and even then we might not know for sure.

    Parkhomov might present more and better data in future, but we’ll still need a widely reproducible setup for success.

    I am also not interested in the failures, but I would be very interested in an unambiguous and repeatable success. Unfortunately the failures are part of it.

    • Bob Greenyer

      Every step, every slip up, every fall one makes as one tries to climb a mountain is a failure to reach the top. Only getting there is considered a success, but the story of the journey, the documenting of the pitfalls, the dead ends the bad choices of direction or equipment, when documented and shared, can help others to safely and surely reach the summit.

      This is an adventure, achievement of the goal would be nothing if it was easy.

  • Stephen

    Hi Alan G
    Is the radiation detector you use just a gamma ray counter or is it also a gamma / X-ray spectrometer?
    I’m just thinking if you do detect radiation of some kind at particular times during the experiment the spectrum might be interesting to help find out what is going on inside, it might help identify excited states of isotopes for example or if it also able to operate at 10s or 100s KeV show if X-ray Bremstrahlung radiation is occurring.

    In my work I have often seen that even when test “fail” they give a wealth of peripheral information which we might not otherwise have an opportunity to see.

    Good luck with your remaining tests. I’m impressed with your methodical approach.

    • Alan Goldwater

      Stephen, the detector is a simple Geiger Counter, a GMC320+. I’ll post the data log along with the temperature and pressure data from the experiment, some time next week. A sample of the fuel will be sent for analysis eventually, through service donated to MFMP. Not sure of the details yet.

      • pelgrim108

        Watch Live Data stream in of a new replication experiment by Me356

        Experimenter on this Forum thread:

      • Stephen

        Thanks for that Alan. I’ve been wondering how I can contribute something to your work. Since I’m not an engineer I’m not really able to do a replication. But maybe I can contribute something towards a gamma/ x-Ray spectrometer if it is useful to you. Can I do that through the MFMP site?

        I’ve looked on the Internet and there are a lot of options available with different sensitivities, and some with particle detectors as well but also a large range in prices. But some seem affordable. I’m not an expert so maybe you would want to choose the right one. I think an ideal one should work at low keV (10s keV) as well as the higher energy gamma, and may be if possible detect neutrons as well.

        Maybe if there is someone who knows more about these devices they can recommend an affordable model?

  • scientist_1

    only after the hydrogen adsorption.

  • ecatworld

    Many thanks to those who are entering data into the spreadsheet. I don’t know who is doing it, but it’s not a job for one person for an extended period of time. To keep the ss up-to-date we’ll need round-the-clock monitoring of the YT feed. Any suggestions on how we can make sure we cover the test?