Rossi Explains ‘Positive or Negative’ (So Far, So Good, But . . . )

As we head into the last third of the 1MW E-Cat plant test, it seems that the plant is still operating well. Andrea Rossi has mentioned lately that it has been ‘purring’ and running in long periods of self-sustain mode. However, Rossi is still not ready to give up on his qualifications that the test results could be positive or negative.

Gerard McEk asked Rossi on the Journal of Nuclear Physics about whether the positive record up until now should count for something:

How can the result ever be negative when you have a whole spare plant available, when things aren’t going as they should? And another thing: Suppose the plant breaks-down the last day of the test, would that also be a total failure? Are you really that harsh?

Rossi’s response:

It depends on the kind of insurgent troubles affecting the reliability. The problem is that if something troublesome happens that affects the reliability after, say, 10 months, maybe a kind of phenomenon that could happen anytime, not necessarily after 10 months: this could put a serious bump in the scheduling. Things are very complex, it is not as easy as to say ” if it worked well 9 months, then it means it can work at all”. I agree with you on the point that what we reached so far fulfills our plans, but still the situation is fluid and the final results coud be either positive or negative.

I suppose something could go wrong on day 349, but also on day 351. I don’t know how you would call the former case a failure, and the latter a success. My point is that 350 days is an arbitrary number; I’m not sure how they came up with it, but when you are drawing up a contract you have to pick some number. In my mind, even a month of successful plant E-Cat plant operation would be a tremendous achievement — something for the history books — but this is industry, and when it comes to operating a business you want consistent, predictable operations.

It sounds to me that when Rossi says “the point that what we reached so far fulfills our plans” means: so far, so good. He’s clearly stating here that the E-Cat works as claimed. But so far there has not been enough good performance to give him comfort. I am not sure what kind of adverse phenomenon he might be concerned about, but it does show there is still a level of uncertainty about the overall plant operation.

We have to remember this is pioneering work Rossi and his team is doing. This plant test is uncharted waters — no one has ever done anything like this before — and so it seems a wise policy not to declare premature victory.

UPDATE: I sent a follow-up question:

“So is it a case of the journey being so far so good, but there’s still a chance of a blizzard, tornado, or earthquake causing your car to crash before you reach your destination?”

Andrea Rossi
November 1st, 2015 at 6:53 AM
Frank Acland:
Warm Regards,

  • Doesn’t sound like Rossi responding, perhaps someone from IH.

    • Ecco

      Perhaps it’s Rossi who forgot to wear the Rossi hat.

    • Teemu Soilamo

      Good “ears”.

    • ecatworld

      I think it’s Rossi. His English is much improved over the years but this post has the usual hallmarks, including idiosyncratic grammar and vocabulary. I doubt anyone from IH would write about “insurgent troubles” affecting reliability.

  • Warthog

    “I am not sure what kind of adverse phenomenon he might be concerned about,

    I can’t guess as to the specific failure mode (only Rossi can do that), but if several of the E-Cat modules suffer a failure of a similar nature over a short time span near the end of the test, that would definitely be a negative. Such a failure would require either some re-engineering of some specific part or process, OR the customer will have to replace modules on some shorter time frame (less desirable by far).

    • Omega Z

      If there were multiple failures, they would need to determine it’s cause & go from there. Or not if it’s just the nature of the beast with no fix.

      “replace modules on some shorter time frame” That may be an economically unviable prospect.

  • LindbergofSwed

    For me the major important thing is that the phenomena of LENR is real. Then the rest is developing. And now we can say beyond all doubts that LENR is real however Rossi’s product is completed or not.

    • Stephen Taylor

      LENR most probably is real and may become a very important source of clean and cheap energy. Rossi has made demonstrations over the past 5 years or more that seem to show he is developing a good system. None of these demonstrations taken by themselves have been completely convincing. A really convincing demonstration could have been done but it has not been done. This is alarming.
      The current test is surrounded by secrecy, probably it will remain opaque when completed. Those of you who know me may be surprised at this much skepticism. Over the years my hopes for LENR have shifted away from Rossi and other secretive commercial efforts to the academic and open science efforts. I still cheer for Rossi and the rest but it’s been too long. Too much smoke, not enough fire. Progress and expanding involvement of government and academic institutions may find the answers. Perhaps we will thank Rossi for all the smoke that got their attention.

      • Axil Axil

        The route to scientific understanding of LENR won’t go through Piantelli or Rossi, it will go through Leif Holmlid. LENR is more than a new source of energy; in its understanding lay the path to the very mastery of the forces and creation of the universe. See my post today on EGO OUT.

        Title: LENR produces eternal cosmic inflation.

        • Stephen Taylor

          Just finished reading it Axil. Wish I had a bigger brain. Anyway, Holmlid’s work strikes me as extremely important. Your thoughts and all the discussion on vortex have been fascinating.

      • clovis ray

        Stephen, you wrote, A really convincing demonstration could have been done but it has not been done. This is alarming.
        Ask yourself, why would you give away your secret, to the most important invention for all time, for free, when you spent most of your live and wealth developing it, that would just be silly, we are all impatient, but good things have to have uninterrupted and secret work.

        • Stephen Taylor

          You would give it away because fission, fusion, LENR are not owned, they just are. They belong to nobody and to all of us. You would give it away because the continued existence of civilization may depend on it. Why would you keep it a secret? That is really the right question.
          Anyhow, a simple calorimetric demo on a black box gives away nothing.

          • clovis ray

            all those things you say that the rossi effect are, has not been proven.

            That the reason i say, you can give away something that has not been proven, what is it your giving away, you don’t know, and nether does axil axil, or Leif Holmlid. they need to demonstrate their finding and write a paper instead of constantly shooting their mouth off about something that has not been proven.

          • Stephen Taylor

            Leif Holmlid has six peer reviewed journal papers in 2015 alone. I, of course, have none. Rossi has done a lot in his life that deserves respect. Certainly I am not a detractor. Just now, after all the years of watching I have to wonder, smoke or fire?

          • clovis ray

            I believe it’s the new fire, not smoke, it’s been running and producing a product for 8 or 9 months 24 /7. and lots of people has seen it in operation.
            Dr. Rossi and I/H has every right to do what ever they wants, and don’t worry, the world will be getting the results of his commercial cat soon. we want something we all can benefit from, not just a few,

          • Stephen Taylor

            I hope it is a huge success clovis ray, and they do have every right to do as they please.

          • Jarea

            I have thought that the technology has always been a military and strategic advantage. I can understand that the government prefers not to show and use the technology in the public so long nobody else find that technology. That it is to say, the knowledge is power and the only way to force technology to appear is by leaking it out from the gatekeepers.
            It has been evident that US has very hard and strategic point of view about knowledge (i would say US is a gatekeeper). The knowledge is important, and only available for some strategic sectors or people who can pay it. Some examples is that some public scientific databases of the US cannot be acceded for free. The people who fought against that like the internet boy Aaron Swartz were blackmailed.
            All this is annoying because the knowledge is paid by the public but it is not available to the public. They will only release it (as also said by Ben Rich from Lockheed Martin) if it would be needed (war of disaster for the country).
            In other words, if you want the knowledge another nation different from US and friends need to discover it and publish it.

      • GreenWin

        Poster Lufong insists Rossi sold the first 1MW unit to US government. If so, government spent taxpayer funds and the device now belongs to US citizens. Maybe you or Lufong would write a FOIA petition to acquire details. It is alarming to think our government has done secret E-Cat tests and said nothing about it. IF they did such tests.

        • Stephen Taylor

          Hi GreenWin, Lou DeChiaro left a distinct impression that the Navy and NASA have a lot of positive things going on but are not ready or able to share yet. Sounds familiar. I guess everyone has their reasons for secrecy. Wish it wasn’t so. Not sure a FOIA would help the overall efforts. Might be a negative influence on funding? Nice to say hello.

          • Omega Z

            FOIA about Rossi’s E-cat.
            Nope Don’t no anything about it.

            You have to be very precise in FOIA word for word as there may be multiple subjects of similar technology. E-cat’s were just 1 of several NRL looked at.
            Also, many expenditures are obscure & the Government is likely involved in 100’s of such experiments at any given time.

            Also, FOIA is unenforceable in realty. They can merely deny & it’s up to you to prove your case. There are also several locations where FOIA are null & void. Cheyenne Mountain, Area 51 etc,,,

          • Eyedoc

            You aren’t seriously saying our US government would hide info , or deceive the citizens are you ? I’m sure a FOIA request would be quickly & honestly fulfilled.

          • Omega Z

            If I didn’t know better I’d think that was sarcasm. 🙂

      • Omega Z

        Academic institutions do not produce products. Just research & they can easily get tied up with minute things for ages before moving on.

        They were growing meat in a petri dish 10 years ago. To be fair, they have made progress, but from 1 looking from outside, it appears frozen in time. It’s like, is this ever going to happen.

        Petri meat & LENR have 1 thing in common. When they do start moving forward, it will happen quite fast. Until then, a watched pot will boil faster.

        • Stephen Taylor

          I need to stop watching the pot.

          • Omega Z

            Yeah, but we keep peeking. 🙂

    • Jarea

      The problem is that without a product it seems impossible to reproduce that effect

  • I suppose they will keep the plant running after 350 days to see exactly how long it will run efficiently before it needs refueling. They longer it runs, the lower the costs.

    • Jimr

      I doubt that they would keep it in operation until failure. That is the disadvantage of doing what I call Beta testing at a customer site, as opposed to Rossi’s site. The customer needs to keep operating.

      • Omega Z

        They have a full backup in the container
        52 20kW reactors that can be activated should the 4 250kW reactors fail.
        As to testing in a customers facility, It’s hard to replicate real world demands. The best test is in the real world. If successful, this will also likely be the 1st bought & paid customer product. If it were me, I’d hold out for the production version. Smaller & simpler.

  • Jouni Tuomela

    But we know so little. How many reactors have been replaced, how many times etc. Hope all the best for Mr. Rossi, but we just cannot be sure of the important details.

    • Omega Z

      From about a month ago, All reactors are still original with the same fuel charge. From another post, it sounds as if these are the only 250kW reactors built. There are no others.

      It’s highly probable that this was stipulated in the test. To be completed with the 4 original & only reactors used. That would be under the dependability portion.

  • Bernie Koppenhofer

    Could Rossi be worried about something in the theory he and Cook have been working on, an unsettling tendency that could make the E-Cat unpredictable?

  • BillH

    Expectations from as far back as 2011 were that reactors would be able to run for 180 days without refuelling. With the current reactor configuration have any of the reactors been able to run continuously without refuelling? If so this would be a good indication that things were working to plan. If you’ve been following the 1MW plant update thread you will see there have been several single reactor outages this might suggest that there are still some reliability issue to be resolved.

    • Omega Z

      The outages have been for the most part, external. None have been the reactors themselves the last time Rossi was asked about 1 month ago.

      As to the Charge, Rossi has said the charge was designed to operate for 1 year according to their knowledge of the process. However, It is not a certainty. The process may be different then they understand. Such questions as does SSM conserve the charge or accelerate it’s consumption. Just 1 of many questions to be answered by this test.

      • Daniel Maris

        All energy generating technologies have some downtime. Even gas, perhaps the most dependable, is something like 20% for maintenance.

        • Omega Z

          Gas is very dependable far beyond 90%.
          From the numbers provided, it would appear the E-cat needs to perform well at least 85% of the time.

  • Gerard McEk

    I must say that I expected an answer like this. The spare is installed just for keeping the customer happy during the test time. If real trouble happens (breakdown of a LENR reactor itself), than the test would fail (not the heat supply to the customer). So, if a conventional part like the water/heat exchange- or the sensor-, control- or electrical part would fail than the test would probably be successful.
    I am happy he did say that it still ‘fulfils plans’. Because AR is so reticent and not showing much ‘positive’ excitement about his 1 MW plant lately, I became a bit worried.
    So what things can go wrong on a LENR reactor?
    1. It can start to radiate in some ways (particles, X- or Y-rays)
    2. The LENR reaction may attack the reactor containment and break
    3. The LENR reaction may run out of control while nearing the end of the fuel life (becoming unstable)
    4. The LENR reaction may stop much earlier than expected

    Based on this I would:
    After the testing time and positive results: let the reactor run until it stops, carefully study the reactors in all details ,such as fuel (elemental and isotopic), reactor wall (microscopic, elemental and isotopic). Only after that he may be able to say that the reactor fulfils all expectations and that the test was fully successful.
    After testing with negative results: Find the problem, find a solution and test it again. Let us hope that will not happen.

    • Jimr

      I mentioned earlier it would be difficult to let Ecat run to failure or need to recharge, at a customer site that needs the heat. This is the disadvantage of testing at customer facilities.

      • Omega Z

        One of the purposes of the backup aside from breakdown is also the longevity of the fuel charge. If 1 goes down, it could be refueled, but if they go down domino style, the backup would be available.

  • Omega Z

    “In my mind, even a month of successful E-Cat plant operation would be a tremendous achievement.”

    True, but should the plant melt down 1 month and a day latter for some unknown reason, You have a big problem & the test would be a failure.

    Something unknown could also happen several years down the road.
    Like you point out yourself, You have to set a time.
    The 350 days is just a minimum for the test.

  • Omega Z

    Actually, A geothermal Heat pump COP=4 is the equivalent of Natural gas heat. Heat pumps also can’t produce temperatures nearly as high.

  • fritz194

    There is still some chance that the taken approach has not the amount of necessary intrinsic safety. You cannot sell a product/technology with intermittent runaway/blowup tendency. As long as there is no proof that it runs xxx hours without any unknown deviation from the underlying, empirical model – its not for sale. I think thats what Rossi means with negative outcome. A new technology – as brilliant as can be – has no commercial value if it cannot reach the standards of reliability needed in a certain application…..

    • Omega Z

      Yes, As Rossi has said, it’s time to see if it can pull the cart.

  • Omega Z

    From 1 of Rossi’s post a while back, It sounded as if these are the only 250kW reactors built. There are no others.

    Just a thought, It’s probable that it was stipulated in the test. To be completed with the 4 original & only reactors used. Dependability is an issue here & a reactor melt down or failure of some sort would be considered an (F9) failure.

    If this is the case, it is an issue that would keep Rossi on edge right up until the buzzer sounds.

  • Stephen Taylor

    bachcole, I will not criticize those two papers. There is no PhD behind my name. However, others with credentials have questioned the assumptions made regarding the emissivity of the tube as I am sure you are aware. This small problem and the lack of a calibration run up to operating temperature have been cited by others as rendering the conclusions dubious. There has been no response from the authors in all this time. Very disappointing.

  • I was mainly referring to the cost of the labor and operating time down costs involved in replacing the fuel supply. If you could purchase a power plant and not even have to think about refueling it for two whole years, that would be a strong selling point. Will Rossi’s fuel last 1 year, 18 months, 24 months? Who knows?

    • Brent Buckner

      I think that would be important for either niche or grid operations. Most other applications of which I am aware have scheduled shutdowns at least annually. (Open for correction on that!)

      • Omega Z

        Yes, Most manufactures usually schedule a week every year for major maintenance projects more or less depending on what they do. They also use this to get employees to use a portion of vacation time so vacations are less disruptive to production schedules.

  • Owen Geiger

    “The silence is deafening.” Not for much longer. When major investment companies like Woodford fork over tens of millions of dollars then you know things are heating up fast. IH is keeping a low profile to consolidate their lead.

  • Owen Geiger

    The scientists hired by Woodford to valid the product. We’re not privy to who they are, but obviously Woodford did their due diligence.

  • deleo77

    I think IH has plenty of money in the bank for what it is trying to do at this point. They need to know if an e-cat provides economic value to a customer. So would industrial users buy an e-cat for heat versus the traditional ways of doing it now?

    It appears 10 months in that Darden is feeling optimistic that the e-cat does provide this value, and that it is safe and reliable enough in doing so to go to the next phase. We got hints of that with the 20,000 SF lease that was just signed in NC. Why sign a lease for a space that size if they don’t feel like they are in a position to move forward with commercialization? Darden just wouldn’t sign that lease, which is a space large enough for manufacturing lines, without a clear understanding of the status of the current test, and that things look good.

    I don’t think that IH will do all of the building of the machine and the parts. That would be too much to take on, and there just isn’t a reason for it. There are many engineering firms who will do this. BLP is outsourcing all of their product engineering. If I had to take a guess I would say that IH is going to work with Siemens. They have a lot of people doing building systems work in Cary, NC. Cary is where IH signed their lease to ramp up commercial development. I don’t think its a coincidence.

  • Bob

    What is a bit frustrating and what we need to keep in mind and separated…..
    This “1 year test” is not to test LENR or if it is real. It is to test an industrial heat source for safety, reliability and cost effectiveness. (Also to improve design).
    As others have stated… if this plant runs for 300 days and then fails on day 301, it does nothing to prove or disprove LENR! That is what is so frustrating. I wish Frank or someone who has gained some of Rossi’s confidence as being valid and sincere journalist would ask him about this difference.. I.E. separate the Industrial 1MW heat plant from the Cold Fusion / LENR phenomena.
    1) 1mw plant performance aside. Can you confirm that the LENR / “Rossi Effect” has been 100% confirmed? After 200 days (of which significant self sustain mode), this must be 100% proven. No F9 here! It is either a non-conventional nuclear reaction or it is not. It either produces way more energy than chemical reactions or not. There really cannot be any question about this now. If there truly is a question over such a long period of time, then the COP must be so low that it would indeed put the commercialization at jeopardy.
    2) Is the third party “referee / monitor” only checking the commercial viability of the plant or is he also confirming the nuclear nature? (Not chemical reaction)
    3) Ask to confirm that the F9 is truly related to the commercialization viability of the plant and that after the 1 year test, could statements or even some data be released that the “LENR / Cold Fusion/ What ever one wants to call it” has been decidedly proven and all doubts cast aside?
    I would be very interested in Dr. Rossi’s responses.

    • Gerrit

      to 1) if the COP had been that low for all these months, it would already be a commercial failure and no longer F9

      • Bob

        I would agree, but what else could F9 be referring too? Surely he cannot say that after 8 months of testing, he cannot say for sure if “over unity” or COP significantly greater than 1 is the case? If he is stating the F9 is in regards to that the referee or the customer may still say… “Nope, we saw no more heat out than power in” would be an indication that either the COP is very questionable or that their methods of measuring is questionable.
        Whether the plant is durable (number of days running versus days under repair), may be F9, but surely there is no doubt now if LENR / Cold Fusion / “more out than put in” has been 100% proven by this time.
        Again if this is not the case, then either the COP is very low or the method of measuring is weak. Someone please ask Rossi if F9 is solely related to the commercial viability of the plant and NOT to the Rossi Effect / LENR process!.
        Possibly data confirming LENR might be released.
        I would ask myself, but I am not on the JOP and he would not know who I am. He might answer a proven source such as Frank.

        • ecatworld

          Bob, AR is fine with new people posting questions on the JONP. You don’t need any special account and he normally answers quite promptly. I see no reason why he would not respond to your questions.

    • GreenWin

      It is hard to patiently wait in the dark, without imagining goblins… F9.

  • Johnny Boden

    I saw it on SterlingSundaySchool, can you even Alpbabits?

  • Gerard McEk

    I think the control system cannot protect the reactor wall material that is being attacked by e.g. neutrons. When time goes by and the fuel runs to its end, circumstances may change and other than usual reactions may start to occur (1&2&3). As long as the whole LENR process is not theoretically known, all kinds of unknown things may happen. AR does these tests to get an long term insight in the operation of his reactor. All 4 points I mentioned, can occur and requirs careful examination at the end of the test.

  • psi2u2

    The shortage would appear to be expertise and experience more than money. Those are the two things that the year-long test is gaining, as well as proof of concept at a level that will attract the kind of investment of which you speak. I don’t hear silence; I hear people all over the world, increasingly established scientists and scientific organizations, scrambling to get into the act.

  • clovis ray

    I should think his team of about 25, that works with him , in lab and on site,
    plus there is cherokee investments ,Dardan and i/h, i assure you they wouldn’t buy a pig in a poke. and lots of others , you’ll have to do your on research . then there’s the customer , the referee, all the scientist, that have performed two or three, third party test. just to name a few.

  • Bob

    Wow…. I really have a hard time putting my head around that.
    8 months of a plant producing close to 1 mw of power. How could it be that one cannot tell if the power in versus the power out is of some significant ratio? I mean, if the COP was 1 : 1.1 then perhaps. The difference would be small enough that perhaps measuring techniques would be unable to accurately measure. 1 MW is a lot of power. However 1 : 1.1 would be of little financial importance. Especially if one considers gas much less expensive than electricity for heating purposes.
    However if the system is often in “self sustain mode”, to my understanding no power input other than possible computer controls AND this has been done over several months while there has been no charge replacement, then how can anyone realistically say “…I cannot exclude they are.?”
    I am a bit baffled. Rossi early on stated he would guarantee 6 to 1 COP. The past few months it seems to be higher, some hinting at 10 plus. This amount of over unity gain could not be missed for such a long time.
    This is why I am frustrated over the F9 statement in regards to LENR / CF. In regards to Commercial viability? Totally understandable. But to state that he cannot prove over unity at this point is simply inexplicable to my thinking!
    We continue to wait…..

    • Eyedoc

      I think these are excellent questions Bob. There really is a difference there. See if AR will answer you. He might, you won’t know unless you try.

  • Bob Dunnagan

    Based on my limited knowledge of statistics, a statistical analysis of the failure rate (or other time-based metric) is easiest to achieve by beginning with a preset time-period. Otherwise, there’s the possibility of accidentally (or deliberately) introducing a bias. The obvious example is choosing the best 3 month period of operation out of 12. But statistics can be subtle, so you can make your best case by using the simplest statistical method available – just pick a 12 month period and track the performance.

    • LuFong

      Based on my knowledge of statistics, you are not going to get a good sample from 1 1MW plant running for a year to predict what possibly millions of plants will do over 30 years. There is just no way any sane investor will invest in mass production of a device based on a limited run of a constantly changing prototype.

      • Warthog

        Doesn’t apply here, as the 1MW plant is comprised of many identical sub-modules.
        Even with the 250KW modules, that gets your statistical base up to four.

        • LuFong

          I guess If you say so.

  • gord

    does anyone know the answer to this question…I have not been following the details lately…
    is the ecat capable of delivering electricity that is “global warming neutral”, meaning, is there a way to run this thing that does not warm the planet but still generates electricity?

    • Pekka Janhunen

      gord: Production of electricity hasn’t been demonstrated yet, but it should be marginally possible with the COP and temperature of the Lugano device, and it should be economical too, if the COP is in the range 20-80 as rumours from Sifferkoll indicated last spring.

    • It’s a good concern gord. I’ve often wondered if with abundant energy, the temptation to heat swimming pools, driveways, more lighting, etc would be turning up the global heat.

      Looks like the future is going to require more consciousness when it comes to energy.

    • Observer

      We will make that which is too hot colder and that which is too cold hotter. What we do will be in the noise of any measured average global temperature. The relevance of an average temperature is dubious when it is the highs and the lows that will kill you.

  • Omega Z

    You can’t stagger them like that. You would be several months just getting to full output.
    Aside from that, Fuel longevity is 1 of the things to be revealed by the test. Rossi provided a fuel charge that should last 1 year. However, it is not a certainty. Just a guesstimate.

  • Omega Z

    On several occasions, 1 reactor has been down, Rossi says they can operate for a period of time(hours) on 3 of the 4 reactors. They have also had issues with leaks. This can happen in any operation of this nature, I suspect more so on this system as it is not a permanent setup. It’s temporary. Should the customer decide to buy, it will be a different unit that’s smaller & will be plumbed in a more permanent fashion.

    Consider, A Corporation builds boilers & has a professional installation team that travel around to install them. Once permanently installed, they maintain a trouble shooting team on premises for a few days. There will be issues. They may even leave 1 tech behind for a week or so to fine tune & fix minor issues.. They are professional. It’s their job.

    Now, you have Rossi & his team with a totally new technology. Even a professional installation team would have major problems. I can easily imagine Rossi & Co. having a very interesting 1st month or 2.. From this perspective, Averaging less then 1 issue a day overall isn’t that bad.
    From Rossi’s reporting on JONP, It would appear that serious issues are farther & fewer as time goes on.

  • bachcole

    The phenomena itself is a proven fact, for me. Whether he has a commercially viable product yet remains to be seen. But trying to develop a commercially viable product has put himself in the position of massively crushing the academic opposition, whether they know it now or not. (:->) So it could be said that part of the mission I have for him (toppling academic ivory towers) has been accomplished, although the results are not yet manifest.