The Market for Heat (Update — Rossi: Cooling “Easy Application” for E-Cat)

Learning that Andrea Rossi’s Leonardo Corporation is moving into the market for direct selling of heat has got me thinking about the possible uses of his technology in the first wave of E-Cat deployment. Rossi has said that with the rollout of the E-Cat in the marketplace it will be heat first, and electricity second. And in the first instance they are looking for industrial settings where low-grade heat (up to 120 degrees C) is needed 24/7.

One thing that is interesting about this plan is that it sounds like the upfront capital expenditure for the plants is going to be borne by Leonardo Corp, since they will own and operate the plants on the premises of the customers, or close by. Leonardo will certainly pass those costs along to the customer in the rates it charges for heat, but if the customers are cutting their heating bill significantly, it will feel like a savings from the start. This could really lower the barriers for E-Cat adoption.

Another interesting point from the post on is that they say that the E-Cat can be used with aleady existing heating systems: “The ECAT Heat Energy is delivered by steam at 100-120 Celsius and extracted through the customers local heat exchangers”. So it does not seem that there would need to be a massive retrofit of existing heating systems — it would be a matter of swapping out the fuel source — e.g. replacing gas or oil boilers with E-Cat ones.

So how big is the market for the kinds of heating that is being offered here? I don’t have a precise idea at all, but I think it could be very large. I have been trying to think of the kinds of places that would be suitable customers for this kind of heat, and here are some places that I can think of that use heat and hot water in large amounts, and could qualify for . Generally speaking, the further north (or south in the southern hemisphere), the greater will be the need. In summertime, of course, the need for ambient heat is lessened, but hot water is normally used year-round

General types of buildings:

Apartment buildings
Office blocks
Shopping centers
Military bases
Swimming pools

Specific industries:

Food processing
Paper mills
Power stations (preheating water)
Chemical plants
Textile plants

These are just some possible customers that come to mind — I’m sure there are many more. The point is, there is a very large potential customer base out there, and if the E-Cat is performs well and can significantly reduce heating costs, I think it could be a technology that will be widely adopted.

UPDATE: After Thomas Kaminski’s comment below, I posted a question for Andrea Rossi on the JONP. I asked “If the 1MW plant test proves to be a success, how suitable do you think it would be for cooling using an absorption refrigeration process?”.

Rossi responded: “Yes, it is an easy application.”

Absorption refrigeration is a process in which heat, rather than electricity, is used to drive the refrigeration cycle. Here’s a nice description of the process of absorption chilling, and when it might be preferred to using the more common electrical input. ( Here’s an excerpt:

When to use an Absorption Chiller

1. Consider using an absorption chiller when your electricity costs are high, but your fuel costs are low. This differential usually needs to be pretty large, as we’ll show in our example at the end.
2. Consider using an absorption chiller when you have adequate low grade waste steam or hot water available—especially during the cooling season. The key word here is “waste” heat. If you’re producing more steam than you would otherwise use just for the purpose of supplying the chiller, it’s not waste steam. You’re paying for the fuel to make it. Note that we have seen people fool themselves or be bamboozled by vendors because they did not understand this very key difference.
3. Consider using an absorption chiller if you have adequate capacity on your low pressure heating systems to produce excess heat during the cooling season. Make sure that items 1 or 2 also apply.

These criteria can easily be applied to the E-Cat plants, which would seem to be able to produce copious amounts of steam or hot water cheaply. It might not be too difficult to have one E-Cat plant switch between heating in winter and cooling in summer for air conditioning systems. And of course there are many applications which call for year-round cooling systems. So I might add some possible new industries to the list above, such as:

Data centers
Meat packing plants
Food warehouses
Ice rinks
Indoor skiing centers

I’m sure there are many more.

  • Iggy Dalrymple

    Plywood mills and lumber kilns require a lot of heat….however they generate a lot of heat by burning waste wood. If IH’s heat was cheap enough, they could use their waste wood for other purposes. Brick manufacturing uses a lot of heat. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns America’s largest brick manufacturer, Acme Brick. You mentioned universities. Many old universities are set up with central heating plants which send steam or hot air through tunnels or pipes. Same with urban heating districts. Finland and Denmark receive over 50% of their heat from central heating districts.

    • georgehants

      Just add to your last sentence the thousands of other good scientists who have been abused by their profession, Ludwig Boltzmann comes to mind, committed suicide after being constantly attacked by his colleagues and establishment etc. Alfred Wegener (continental drift) right up to P&F and Brian Josephson to name just a few.

    • bachcole

      Now that you mention heating districts, I recall that many building in New York City rely on a heating service to supply them with heat. I forget if it is a city owned or privately owned service.

  • Omega Z

    “Power stations (preheating water)

    Probably not. The water used in power plants is all distilled/demineralized. All the steam is condensed after it goes through the turbines & is recycled(A closed loop). It’s temperature would already be near the boiling point.

  • GreenWin

    Tom Darden (CEO Industrial Heat) is a principle in several international investment firms. For example Sovereign’s Capital has principles with expertise in Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America. Darden is also well connected in China. Rossi will have little trouble establishing leasing operations in foreign countries.

  • wonderboy

    I’m am confused. If Leonardo corporation is selling the product, what exactly does Industrial heat own?

    • ecatworld

      I’m not entirely clear how it all works, but I think what we have seen on applies to Europe only, since that is apparently Hydrofusion’s territory (and is their website). Industrial Heat has the USA and may run things differently here — or offer the same kind of service.

      • wonderboy

        Thanks.. This is why I love this site!

  • Adam

    Both Omega and Richard are missing the point. Heat is energy. The hydraulic oil pressurizes when subjected to high temperature -from the hotcat for example. So Rossi will be able to supply hi volume of heat energy that’s both high in temperature and intensity, on demand, and nearly free. FREE and ON DEMAND are the keywords. I think you guys want to think more about my question and example application in line of what Mytakeis is thinking. You can make diamonds now but creating them requires energy that is not FREE. Hence the point of LENR…

    • Omega Z

      At what point did I talk about heat being energy. Which it is.
      My point was that producing Diamonds at will would merely make them near worthless.

      Let me explain where I’m coming from. From time to time, Someone brings up making diamonds or mutating elements to gold or platinum. Now do you see where those people are coming from. They want to get RICH. Obviously, If everyone can do this at will, these elements become nearly worthless. And Imagine, Using $20 worth of Nickel to produce what now has become $1 worth of gold.

      • LilyLover

        As if that’s a bad thing… but then again – system apologists require status quo for continued profits without merit.

      • Adam

        Omega: The point of LENR is to make ANYTHING worthless. The diamond analogy is an extreme example to have people get this point. The energy is a REAL currency of the universe and once it becomes easily accessible, the cost of all things on earth including food should be very low! What’s priceless is our TIME on earth!

        • Omega Z

          You’re drawing unfounded conclusion.
          Just because something like diamonds can be made nearly worthless does not mean it has no cost to make. In fact it could easily cost more to make then it would be worth. Any idea what the press costs that applies a million PSI. Note that diamonds, gold etc have artificial prices to begin with. That don’t apply to everything.

          Energy makes up about 10% of World GDP. That is the possible savings you can expect. Nothing more & probably less. Cheap energy equals cheap food. Do you really think that farmers sell their crop based on the cost of energy. High energy costs can make food very expensive to grow, but it has no real correlation to what it sells for.

          A $3K a month apartment in New York will still be $3K. A $120 doctor appoint will still be a $120. A heating system is a heating system. Replacing the gas burners with an E-cat is still a heating system. Your savings will be the difference between E-cat fuel reactors & the natural gas. Not in the cost of the system.

          Due to LENR, there will be some savings in energy costs, but the big savings will be what would have been much higher costs in the future without it.
          Energy HAS been the currency due to it’s limited availability. When it’s plentiful, Not so much.

          • ecatworld

            In the long run with a new cheap energy source, I think that your savings are not going to be realized in just in lower utility bills.

            In any business, if your energy costs are reduced, then your overhead drops. This can lead to increased profit margins, if you keep your prices at the same levels. But if everyone’s energy costs drop, then competitive forces will lead to the lowering of prices across the board, and consumers will save.

            Since energy is used in almost every sphere of life, there could be substantial savings in lots of different areas — including at the doctor’s office, since their light, heat & cooling costs could be significantly reduced.

          • Omega Z

            Frank, I think it’s pretty much going to be a mixed bag but most of the savings will be gradual & most people wont feel it.

            If I’m the Technician that comes & works on your commercial freezer at $100 an hour, that I have a LENR powered vehicle that saves me $2 in gas getting there wont make a difference. It’s still a $100 an hour.

            If a product, Even 1 that’s considered energy intensive, from cradle to consumer goes through the supply chain, the lumber jack, the mill, the manufacturer, the distributor, the store, Even tho energy intensive, it is spread out. At each level, apply the Technician scenario above.

            Also, at some levels, they are just 1 contract or sale away from being insolvent. They will fight tooth & nail to hang on to any financial gain. As the technology spreads, competition will force some of this to the consumer, But, It will be a slow trickle. You will find this situation in many food processing product chains. Many are contracted by the big names we know. Many run on razor thin margins.

            Thus any quick benefits to the consumer will be in the direct energy sector. But likely, even this will be of a gradual nature. It will take time for this technology to spread. Wishful thinking wont change this.
            Note Some consumer benefit may be in the reduced future price increases or of a less frequent increase.

  • Adam


    “Is heat energy?” Really?

    “I think that Rossi’s reply to Lepczak must have been made when Rossi was tired.Ususally Rossi would reply more circumspectly to this type of assertion.”

    If you are asking “is heat energy?” then I am sorry but you should not be participating in this discussion and study physics man.
    You comments are a total garbage.

  • ecatworld

    Thanks, Hador — very interesting. I did not know this tech was so widespread. I’ve seen an old gas powered refrigerator, but they seem pretty rare.

    • Hador_NYC
    • Omega Z


      I’ve posted several times that heat absorption isn’t really economical at residential scale, but then individual/residential is usually the focus here.

      However, at industrial/commercial & very large complexes the metrics change, Even without readily available waste heat. Consider 3 units of N-gas to 1 unit electric conversion. There’s also benefit of scale. The larger the system, the lower the cost per Btu. Like buying a $30K car. Going from a 6 cylinder to an 8 cylinder only marginally increases the cost. You’ve already paid for the major bulk.

      I’ve an advantage when it comes to residential AC as I can obtain them cheaper & self install. <$1000 3-ton 15 seer rating. But beyond that, My monthly(at today's rates) cooling costs <$40 a month for about 5-6 months or <$240 a year verses a $30K investment in a heat absorption chiller. Note: SEER have improved substantially in the last few years, A new AC would cut my cooling costs by at least 50%.

      You don't even need a calculator to see it's not economical. Not even close. Heat absorption chillers also use electricity, so the savings are less then appears. You still have heat to dissipate & air to move.

      Most Low-rise apartments today use heat pumps for heating & cooling. Over all, it's much cheaper then large boilers & Heat absorption chillers. That's even before taking other things into consideration.

      There is good reason why large "OLD CITIES" have piped in heating/cooling. They were different times. Materials & labor were much cheaper. Moving coal & oil along with venting issues limited options & with a crowded population, piped in heating/cooling was the economical choice. As compacted as populations are today in places like New York, Chicago, Etc, It may still be the economical choice, But in the suburbs & rural areas it isn't. The cost per home is substantially higher. There are cheaper better options today. It all comes back to economics & convenience.

      • Hador_NYC

        right, but I don’t think anyone would assume that such a solution would work in a rural or suburban setting. In places like NYC, where the infrastructure is there, it makes sense to plug in, even if it is less efficient than modern alternatives, LENR produced steam replacing oil/NatGas produced steam as it’s still, to paraphrase Rossi “if this works”, it’s still better than dumping billions in existing infrastructure.

        In rural and suburban places, heat pumps, air to air for example, are already a better alternative. I, myself, and having one installed in my suburban home this summer.

  • Omega Z

    You got it.
    That is why when others talk of hoarding Gold, Silver & Diamonds should the world economy collapse, It has always been my position that I would rather have grain bins full of grain. My Golden grain will have value. Everything else is worthless. Note: A well of clean water would be nice also.