Where Next for Replicators? (Nigel Appleton)

The status of attempted replications of the e-cat is disappointing. Using all the information available we are apparently little or no nearer to making an e-cat lookalike, despite there being many very capable scientists and engineers involved.

The Lugano team, using a reactor and fuel supplied by Rossi appeared to have achieved sustained excess heat – but questions have been raised over the emissivity value used to determine the reactor temperature. As far as I know, this question has not been resolved in favour of there having been excess heat; and at last report, that team has not managed to repeat the feat.

In Russia, Parkhomov claims to have demonstrated excess heat in a stainless steel cell loaded with nickel and LiAlH4. He used calorimetry to measure the energy produced. So far as we know, he has neither consistently repeated nor refined his work. He has admitted to slagging many reactors, as might be expected from an active researcher.
In China excess heat was claimed in a nickel cell. The set-up burnt out quite quickly.

Despite admirable persistence by MFMP, nothing other than perhaps a hint of excess heat, and many burnt-out reactors, has been achieved.

(Please note: I do not discount the valuable additions made to the totality of knowledge on the subject by all the workers in the field. Furthermore, there is likely to be intensive work going on that is not being reported).
With respect to isotope analyses on ash samples:

The Lugano ash showed major shifts in both lithium and nickel isotope ratios. However, the sample tested was very small and sampling error or partitioning effects cannot be entirely ruled out. If there was no excess heat – if the emissivity value used was indeed wrong – then this is hard to explain!

The Chinese ash showed minor shifts, said to be statistically significant; but the test did not run for long.
I do not recall seeing isotope ratio reports from Parkhomov’s ash.

None of the above has got to the really important stage of demonstrating self –sustaining excess heat generation.
Now, according to Rossi, he can routinely achieve excess heat; long periods of self-sustaining operation; and, in later iterations of his technology, he seems to be working at temperatures that are difficult for would-be replicators to achieve, let alone sustain.

All of this makes it obvious that Rossi has revealed nothing like enough information for quick replication. In particular, assumptions have been made about the Lugano fuel content analysis, which, whilst being entirely reasonable, may nevertheless be erroneous. We have no information on possible pre-treatments of the fuel. His latest patent suggests more lithium than was initially allowed for by e-cat watchers, but we should note that it is not a patent about the fuel, but about a particular design of reactor/heat exchanger. Finding that the fuel composition was in fact different to that mentioned in the patent would not invalidate the patent.

Reproducing Rossi’s work on the basis of what is known and what is thought to be known is not easy, then. There is very little solid information to work with, and no real theoretical framework.

I can only urge those interested to think again, more deeply and widely, about the fuel; since straightforward nickel/hydrogen/lithium mixtures have not so far been productive. How important, for instance, are the other elements reported in the Lugano fuel analysis? Are they contaminants? Are they components of a nickel stabilisation system? Are they purposeful additives? How likely is it, indeed, that Rossi allowed such an analysis of his “best“ fuel? Was there anything already inside the “dogbone” when it was loaded at Lugano by Rossi?

Where next?

Nigel Appleton

  • Jarea

    Good post Nigel thanks for your thoughts!

  • f sedei

    Once the E-cats reach the market, they will be reverse engineered, and serious replication will begin. (2016 ?)

    • Roland

      Which is why the business model advanced by Rossi is for the sale of heat; not hardware.

  • Gerard McEk

    Nigel, I am also disappointed the replications of the Rossi effect has not really taken place, dispite the ‘simple’ example shown by Alexande Parkhomov. I am sure many active replicators are also disappointed that is no significant results are booked. To me it shows that the ‘finishing touch’ (Rossi’s secret) has not been hit. Your suggestion that the tube eas not empty has also crossed my mind and in fact I have suggested this on this site as well. I have said that it seems to me plausable that in the first ’empty’ test in Lugano the reactor tube already contained metal Lithium, that evaporated along the inner side of the reactor tube during the initial temperature test (or before that). I also said that the strange behaviour of the heating coil resistance may have been influenced by the Lithium coated reactor tube which may start to conduct more at elevated temperatures. For that you need a good contact between the heating coil and the reactor tube

    • US_Citizen71

      As a photographer I have to remind you that you can not trust pictures. The look of the Lugano Reactor depends on many factors, when the image was taken (was it fully hot) and how it was processed. I can turn a blue object red or reduce the luminosity of an object to make it appear cooler with a few simple clicks of a mouse. I can also do it so well that you would not be able to tell it was done without detailed analysis by someone who is an expert in imaging.

      • Obvious

        I experimented with my hot tube, and was able to produce a full range from faintly orange to violet-white images of the tube at the same temperature by either using or not the flash, different exposures, different light settings on the camera (incandescent/ fluorescent/ daylight), different distances (how much the tube filled the frame), etc. No post processing is needed. I could make it look as hot or cold as I wanted pretty much.

        • US_Citizen71

          Definitely agree all of that and more. Quick an easy method with a dslr is to take a bracket of shots at different exposures and combine them into a hdr and then edit freely before converting it to a jpeg at a lower resolution. The resulting image will pass most computerized detection for alterations.

  • Freethinker


    Replicators success or non-success, rest on pretty much on your own expectations. If you expect to have a look-alike Rossi E-cat, well, then you are right. I guess it is fair to say, we are not there yet.

    I you expect to have furthered the understanding of the underlying problems and more experience under your belt, and perhaps reach a stepping stone in proving to oneself and others, that LENR actually is real, I would say every otherwise failed experiment is a success of kind and a step on that way.

    I myself cannot claim excess heat yet, but I am confident enough to say that my very first run showed on some heat anomalies, however hard to put on an absolute scale. Further I have, from a SS tube loaded with LiAlH4, Al2O3, and Ni (baked), measured a distinct elevation from background radiation, as much 120 cpm where normal average is 25-35, with a 5 cpm sigma. This has been repeated several times, and has also been seen on my last Li+LiAlH4+Al2O3+Ni(baked) run, albeit peak cpm’s being lower. It is at least gamma/x-ray, but there is a distinct likelihood that that larger peaks represent beta events. Not much. But still enough to elevate it distinctly above background. For something that should not radiate, I find this very promising…

    I think we must manage our expectations, and see that repeating what took Rossi and other several years to refine, may not be done in mere months, even if we now have the patent of Rossi and a very active help from Piantelli and others. Also, individual replicators may have constraints financially, time, education, experience, and what their own expectations are, that in the end limit the chance of having a E-cat lookalike on the work bench. It is the nature of DIY garage science.

    And as a final note, successful replicators may not necessarily be prone to immediate and absolute disclosure. Potentially, there may be revenues in this, one way or the other. It may be a hard decision to ignore people willing to invest in you, if and when you have found the solution, and instead benefit the open source community. Just saying…. Don’t take it for granted.

    • Nigel Appleton

      I agree with just about everything you have said here – and I am well aware that you are one of the most persistent experimenters!

  • Redford

    I am a bit surprised by this post. I didn’t follow very accurately all the report but I was under the impression replications were quite convincing, especially Lugano and Parkhmonov. It’s the first time I read about a possible non result on Lugano because of a wrong emissivity which seems pretty surprising as the excess heat seemed to be important enough to be far beyond any error margin. I also hadn’t heard about a second attempt failed – pretty much the opposite, more people, money and institutional support have been pushed in and AFAIK no other deadline were on the radar.

    Parkhmonov himself produced a few results and it seems a bit strange to expect that he would repeat them. You can ask for scientific publication but in his shoes, it’s pretty natural to assume he’ll now be after new experiements.

    It doesn’t sound realistic to expect industrial replication rather than scientific replication. If you consider excess heat has been reach by Parkhmonov or isotope transmutation by Lugano, then you have some scientific evidence. Industrial replication ie sustain result isn’t only needing way more time, it’s also out of the scope of those researcher. If it happens, it’s somewhere in a company, small or large, that won’t tell you until ready to reach the market.

    Anyway, can anyone confirm that Lugano or Parkhmonov results are as flimsy as portrayed by OP?

    • Nigel Appleton

      I don’t know about “flimsy”. I just think that there are unanswered questions, which is perhaps not surprising given the fragmented nature of the “amateur” LENR community and its followers.

      • Mats002

        Who is not “amateur” in the LENR+ game? The field is wide open for deeper discoveries and the “amateurs” of today might well be the nestors of tomorrow. I can understand your disappointment with the open experiments but I think that you are underestimating the challange. Radiation is a clear proof of nuclear reactions and that is in itself a great accomplishment!

        You should applaud the results instead. Cry and come again Nigel!

        • Nigel Appleton

          Mats, I thought I’d made it clear that I regard all the work done as valuable, and do applaud it.
          I just have questions, is all – and I wonder if the fuel everyone seems to be using is the “right” one.

          • Omega Z


            The problem is Rossi has provided a cake recipe with his measurements.
            A dash of this, a sprinkle of that, a jigger of this, and half a dollop of sauce. And the sauce needs to be pre marinated for a short time before mixing.

            Your cake may look like his and taste somewhat like his(?), but something isn’t quite the same.

            My dash, my sprinkle, my jigger and my half a dollop measurements tho close will vary from yours.

            Rossi has provided just enough that those who are patient & replicate as close as possible will get an effect of COP>1. It is not & never was Rossi’s intent to give them the prize. Even if one was lucky, the best you’ll get is something comparable to the Lugano test.

            Rossi’s frosting is a total mystery. How does he stimulate the process. EMF’s, RF frequencies & what feedback does he use to know when to boost the effect & when not to. There is more involved then just monitoring temperature.

            As to Parkhomov, the other Russian’s & the Chinese, It’s very likely they had positive results prior to what they disclosed & likely more since then. I don’t expect regular updates from them at this time. They are to busy trying to learn to repeat the results at will.

            I would bet that if Rossi’s pilot plant results are positive & starts product production, you will hear much more from many parties. They will be trying to attract funding so as to catch up.

    • Obvious

      The Lugano report is indeed shakey. The resistance issue might be caused by either a wye to delta wiring change or an artifact of strange waveforms, or peculiar data compression used for the report. It has never been adequately explained.
      The emissivity problem is also a real problem, and has never been addressed or even admitted to by the authors. There may be outstanding issues that affect the final heat output calculations, but we have no other information on the specifics of the materials, especially transparency and broadband heat output details.
      The chemistry used is only guessed at by analyses which are both partial and selective in the report. The spectral patterns may even have deleted traces.
      The isotope displacement is extreme, and from a very limited sample size. While it may be representative, this cannot be decided without further analyses from more samples.
      The test itself, although long in duration, is only one test which has not been replicated, so these and other issues (above) are unlikely to ever be resolved without a total release of data collected and further tests on the components used.
      Insufficient information was supplied to actually do a faithful replication in order to settle the outstanding problems and questions raised by the report.
      As such, the Lugano report is both uniquely informative and uninformative simultaneously.
      A follow-up report (rumoured to be in the works) that would address these issues would be greatly appreciated.

  • US_Citizen71

    In my opinion the lack of a good replication is due to replicators not fully replicating the Lugano or Parkhomov setups. The big difference I see in the replications I have watched is the use of a PID controller. Rossi’s first tests as well as the Parkhomov initial experiment used constant power. It is my belief that the use of the PID controllers are killing the reaction as it starts or just not creating the right conditions for it to begin. PIDs might very well be the answer to increased efficiency eventually but one must know how the reaction works before the correct programming of one can be done. I see their use as attempting to run hurdles before you can crawl. The waveform seen in the Lugano test suggests to me that the power controller may have actually been a PWM AC motor controller. I am giving some serious thought into attempting my own replication in order to test my theory about why others are failing. I will keep the group informed if I do.

    • tomconover

      I agree with the PID observation and concur that I am one of the replicators using PID vs constant power. I think the magnetic influence may be dramatically reduced by using PID vs constant power, and I am creating an updated software program to control the power input instead of controlling the temperature.

      Today I tested the (ebay version) nickel powder I had against a laboratory version of nickel powder, and found a dramatic difference in response to magnetic fields. So I will have to start again, using only the HQ nickel powder I have finally located.

      • Freethinker

        I too use both constant power and temperature regulated via PID. It is still uncertain what will trigger what. I have been able to detect elevated background radiation on X-ray/gamma for both scenarios, although the radiation most notable was measured using constant power levels. Note, baked (200C 2h) Ni seem to be a pre-requisite for elevated background. Regarding chemicals, I wish to dissuade people from buying from EBay or similar as the origin and actual composition is more in doubt. If possible try to acquire what is needed from rock solid chemical distributors, like Alfa Aesar and Sigma Aldrich, etc etc.

      • US_Citizen71

        Instead of writing a software control you might try using something like this: http://www.amazon.com/SMAKN%C2%AE-0-220V-Modulator-Electric-Controller/dp/B00UKK50UK/ref=sr_1_1?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1443214495&sr=1-1&keywords=10000w+pwm+speed+controller

        It is what I am considering to control the input power if I do I replication attempt. I am going with the 10kW version as it is cheap and my father the power systems engineer always taught me to over design when dealing with power. It should stay cooler on long runs compared with one designed to handle the 1kW or so that I will actually max out at due to the resistance and residential power source.

        • Obvious

          These or similar work well also, with the giant heat sink as recommended.


          • US_Citizen71

            A refit kit for a Espresso maker? Bad link?

          • Obvious

            ….Missing one digit… fixed it.
            The dial adjustment is very smooth and remarkably precise on the one I have. It could be controlled by PID with some finessing.

          • US_Citizen71

            I will keep that in mind as well if the other doesn’t work out. I want to try the PWM controller first because I have convinced myself that the trace in the Lugano report was one cycle of a single phase being pulse width modulated. : )

            But thanks for the link.

          • Obvious

            To me, the trace looked like a modified square wave, which is probably in combination with PWM.
            I think you will find that a typical PWM will slice up the AC sine wave several times per wave, at least until the duty cycle is a high fraction of full output. Depending on the circuit, the resulting pulses may or may not end up as desired/anticipated, especially at lower duty cycles. I would recommend asking the vendor what the waveform would look like with a purely resistive load before purchasing a PWM speed controller. A motor changes the discrete pulses into a smeared out bumpy waveform with an average lower voltage due to inductance. A resistive load will keep the pulses fairly close to the ideal. But 1200 very short pulses per second might occur, instead of 60 fat ones, for example.

        • tomconover

          thx for the link, but I like my unattended runs an automated data recording too much to give them up this late in the game.the program is already written, and it only needs a small change.

      • VisionandWisdom

        If you had just discovered and un-touched and rich gold mine………….would you then immediately draw everyone a clear map on how to get there so they can mine your gold and get rich from your discovery?

        Do we not think that there is a very likely situation here that Rossi et al have tossed us a few exciting but already explored experiments to keep everyone going excitedly down the wrong path for long enough for them to obtain patents and sow up any other intellectual property control on this new type of energy?
        Experiments that perhaps Rossi did many years ago which showed promise but were ultimately failures?

        Perhaps this is a reason why the replication attempts have not worked?

        Has our optimism and excitement blinded us to this seemingly obvious possibility?

        • Obvious

          To the first question: Yes, for a 1.5% N.S.R. That’s pretty much my job description. With 4000 people working on it, I might get paid in my lifetime after financing and permitting enable the removal of 5,000,000 oz. I might only get a few thousand oz working hard for the rest of my life going it alone, if I don’t get sick, injured, or too worn out. But some people like to do it the hard way… I’d rather do it 20 times in new places instead of being stuck on one thing forever.

          But I do get your point.

  • Sanjeev

    I agree with most of the article and share a similar impatience, a solid confirmation of lenr has not happened for us “outsiders” sooner, like we wished for. Its a matter of time, it will happen via a proper open experiment or via a commercial launch.

    There have been many claims of replication, AP’s is the best so far, but for some strange reasons, these replicators either remain silent when questioned or disappear completely. Some are working completely in secrecy and may come out if they get some success. I draw no conclusions, because nothing has been proven or disproved thoroughly. Wait and see.

    Note that E-Cat is a closed sourced tech, so its not straightforward to replicate it, there are many many unknowns compared to the known and perhaps there is some disinfo too. Its logical that it will be a hit or miss game. Its been only 9 months since AP started the race, which is a short time given the complexity and lack of information about this tech. The Lugano report and AP’s descriptions are valuable sources and should not be thrown out simply because someone questioned them. Patents are another important source.

    BTW, The Lugano report is not completely erroneous, I think the conclusion of emissivity study was that an error was made but it only overestimated the COP, which should be between 2 to 2.5, so its not a complete failure. The ash analysis could be wrong, but there is a lot of difference between “could be wrong” and “is wrong”. Its merely a matter of repeating the ash/fuel analysis. This, unfortunately, has not happened, because as I said, the testers went into secrecy mode and refuse to talk about it. Same with the Chinese experimenter, he did not repeat his successful experiment himself. May be he did, but went silent, as the trend is.

    Those who are open, and we are very grateful for that, are doing a great job, but imho, most of them are shying away from a proper calorimetry and insist on measuring temperatures at random point on the reactor, which was shown to be a completely unreliable method in recent tests by MFMP. Note that AP did simple calorimetry first and then tried to do the “short cut” tests, which I also find questionable. So if the replicators adopt a proper method of energy measurement, we may see something, else it all depends on luck.

  • Mats002

    You ask a question, where next? Before doing anything, think of what the open experiments have accomplished, given us insights in:

    – How to make a gas tight vessel
    – How to heat it to challanging temperatures without breach for days
    – How to control with PID, that in itself took several months to refine
    – How to measure output, what is prone to error and why?
    – How to measure input, what is prone to error and why?
    – Which actionable parameters are in play as leading, trailing and why?
    – What material pre-processing is needed?
    – … the list goes on and all this made in about 6 months from volonteers

    The engineering result is great! The LENR result is – well LENR! Because the latest experiments show radiation and probably transmutations in fuel vs ash.

    Is it scientific evidence? No, because then the same results must be repeated many times.
    Is it good enough to merit further work? Absolutely!

    To get higher yield, the list of untested parameters is still quite large, EM stimulation is a parameter space not explored yet. I vote for that. Brillouin have sharp EM as their core solution, named CECR.

    • Nigel Appleton

      EM stimulation most certainly is a space to be explored. Rossi himself mentions “resonance” and “orchestration” as being important, suggesting a frequency component.