Rossi on Scaling Down the E-Cat X to a Few Watts

Thanks to Stephen for posing some interesting questions to Andrea Rossi on the Journal of Nuclear Physics about scaling down the E-Cat X. Here are his questions, along with Rossi’s responses.

Stephen

I have a couple a small questions I have been curious about if I may.

1.Would the new materials developed for e-cat X also improve the reliability of the 1MW e-cat plant or are the issues there different?

A:  the improvements are applicable also to the 1 MW E-Cat

2. Is there a theoretical smallest size that e-cat X can be made. Could it work for example with 10 kW units or even smaller?

A: it could be scaled down to few Watts

If 2 is possible:

3. Would it still have the same operation life?

A: I suppose yes, but it has to be experianced

4. Would it scale down in size in proportion to the change in power

A: yes.

5. Could it be made much smaller for integration in small mobile or small distributed devices?

A: yes.

Best Regards
Stephen

This takes the E-Cat X in an interesting direction — moving away from industrial heating that is the purpose of the first E-Cat plants. If the E-Cat X is able to produce light and/or electricity as Rossi has hinted at, then there would be many potential applications it could be useful for, but one would expect there would be a lot of testing and refinement that would have to be done before putting small E-Cats on the market in consumer devices, since it is still in its very early stages.

I do think that in Andrea Rossi’s mind the E-Cat X is the future of his invention, especially if it is scalable up and down. It could fit the bill for large heating units as well as small ones.

  • Bob

    Pure speculation, but I can not imagine anything else…
    “… small distributed devices” … “Yes”
    .
    This would certainly have to mean direct electricity production. I cannot conceive any method to use heat in a hand held phone. Batteries can get hot enough the way it is!
    .
    Direct electrical production would be great! However, I hope he concentrates on getting at least something to market first before branching off onto unexplored territory.
    .
    This morning we continue to wait…

    • Pekka Janhunen

      Earlier Rossi has said that E-cat X runs at 1400 C temperature. This temperature is high enough that for example thermophotovoltaic conversion should be possible with useful efficiency. A thermophotovoltaic converter can be miniaturised, at least in principle.

      On thermophotovoltaics in general, see for example http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/green-tech/solar/thermophotovoltaic-device-has-potential-to-reach-huge-solar-efficiencies . This particular group estimates that 20% efficiency should be within reach at 960 C.

      • Bob

        The only problem is what to do with the escaped heat. Even now, some applications such as mobile phones, get hot not because of the used circuitry, but because of the battery simply getting hot.
        .
        Similar to an automobile. While the engine does indeed push the car down the road, a large percentage (I believe the vast majority like 80%) of the energy released by the gasoline goes up in escaped heat! Out the tail pipe, radiator etc.
        .
        If an method of conversion is 75% efficient (which I know of none that even comes close) that means 25% of the heat simply escapes to the casing and thus heats up the device.
        .
        Surely it must be direct production, but again I caution. He does NOT say that this will work, but only in theory. Hot Fusion works in theory, but we probably will never see it in actual use.
        .
        This afternoon we continue to wait…

        • Omega Z

          Bob
          The heat would only be in watts. Even if the micro tiny source is 1000`C.

          • Bob

            True, but again so much is unknown.
            .
            If the device requires 10 watts to run, then at an efficiency of 50%, that means 10 watts of escaped heat will be shed to the casing. At 25%, the best we currently have, 40 watts would escape. This would make any small case extremely hot over a rather short period of time. So it is not how tiny the reactor is, it is how much power the device needs to run and then the percentage of escaped heat to provide that power.
            .
            But I expect escaped heat is the least of the problem. The power source to start the reaction, the control system to control the reaction, etc. etc. all would have to be miniaturized as well. Probably not an easy feat. It appears controlling the large system is questionable today.
            .
            Frank stated that in Mr. Fabiani’s interview, that Dr. Rossi often envisioned things that engineers found impossible to construct. However, forward looking people are the ones that bring innovation and new technology. Those that built main frames in the 1950’s probably could not envision how a powerful computer could be made the size of a postage stamp, yet today we have them! So who knows what is possible in the future. Probably not possible today however.
            .
            That said, two things we must keep in mind….. Rossi stated it was only in theory, not that is was workable…. and it is almost certain that this will not come about anytime soon.. Probably several years if at all. Hot Fusion works in theory, but no one has succeeded in 50 years.
            .
            I hope he gets the current technology working before spending too much time on miniaturization.
            .
            This morning I (somewhat) patiently wait….

          • Pekka Janhunen

            A present-day smartphone uses only about 0.3 W electric on average, if one’s usage pattern in such that one empties and loads the battery once every day. (2000 mAh times 4 V divided by 24*3600 seconds=0.33 .) With conversion efficiency of 20%, that would imply only 1.6 W continuous 24/7 heat dissipation. Of course, the smartphone would also need a conventional battery for buffer storage, but one would never need to load it.

      • Stephen

        It’s intresting that even a small unit producing a few Watts would run at 1400 C. I suppose this would imply the active part is very small with very localised heating.

        • Omega Z

          active part at about 10 nano’s

    • pg

      Well, a heated phone is very useful if you are in the middle of winter, you are outside in the cold and need to send an urgent message or email without gloves. I think we got this niche covered now!!

  • Stephen

    I like the idea that it can possibly be deployed in a distributed format:

    Perhaps it can be used to light and in winter thermally heat roads and rail lines and if electricity is produced to inductively power or recharge vehicles travelling along it.

    • Omega Z

      How about we crack anti-gravity & hover.
      Then we need no roads. Just direction posts.

  • Stephen

    I like the idea that it can possibly be deployed in a distributed format:

    Perhaps it can be used to light and in winter thermally heat roads and rail lines and if electricity is produced to inductively power or recharge vehicles travelling along it.

    • Omega Z

      How about we crack anti-gravity & hover.
      Then we need no roads. Just direction posts.

  • Bernie Koppenhofer

    Wow, Rossi answered yes it could be scaled down to a few watts. This means direct electric production?

    • Warthog

      Swartz’s Nanor already does this size range.

      • Bernie Koppenhofer

        electric power production?

        • Warthog

          Thermal, but easy enough to combine it with a thermoelectric converter. The point is that there are other players than Rossi working at “small” applications.

          My own personal opinion is that in a fairly short time, we will have “LENR-on-a-chip”, with the nano-scale features of the NAE formed by photolithotgraphy and combined with solid state thermolectric features, all in an integrated device. It might even contain its own hydrogen supply using reversible hydride storage.,

    • That does seem to be the implication. While Rossi’s reply is still ambiguous, a small device producing a few Watts of heat energy would have limited uses (handwarmer? hot water bottle?), and a cold fusion light bulb would not have much utility, but the same output in electricity would of course be highly salable as a battery replacement.

      • Stephen

        I suppose if thermal energy is required then may be in some cases a deployed array of small units over a surface may have an advantage over a single larger hot source. But then again perhaps one source with heat ducting may still normally be preferential.

        If high temperature is required perhaps small heating units will allow interesting structure configurations souch as surrounding an object with them to maximise omnidirectional high level 1000 K heat transfer to the object. Having a cylindrical heat 1000 K source for fast flowing fluids passing through it may be another example. I can imagine useful industrial processes taking advantage of this.

        Perhaps there are heat transfer and heat flow advantages with having well placed small units for localised heating effects.

      • Pekka Janhunen

        How about cold fusion clothes that are thin, but keep the wearer warm, convenient and dry indoors and outdoors, in any weather. The clothes might have liquid circulating in them, like an augmented exterior bloodstream that transfers and equilibrates heat across different body parts. Or, if liquid circulation is cumbersome, perhaps the clothes would have carbon nanotubes in them which have about ten times higher thermal conductivity than copper.

        When it rains, one still needs something to keep the head dry, so that one can see through one’s eyeglasses and hair doesn’t get soaked. But that can be arranged.

        • artefact

          That reminds me of the jacket in the film back to the future part 3 when Marti’s Jacket was wet from the rain and it started to act like a hairdryer to make him dry.

        • Rheulan

          Well, here in Brasil, a device like the one you propose would sell like hot cakes if it could keep the wearer cool. I have to wear a suit even if the temperature is 40º C, like today! 🙁

  • HS61AF91

    Good for more development, alongside marketing heat making e-cats.

  • Slightly Skeptic

    There should be nothing preventing Rossi from making very small and low power devices of this type. As long as an adequate amount of insulation is available then most of the thermal input drive can be captured and applied to the core material.

    Positive thermal feedback is going to be present just as with his large design provided the geometry is carefully constructed. Of course the electronics can be shrunken when the drive power is significantly reduced.

    The battery required to initiate the reaction is likely going to be the main drawback. If a method of thermally recharging that device is found then a multitude of applications are going to arise.

  • Slightly Skeptic

    There should be nothing preventing Rossi from making very small and low power devices of this type. As long as an adequate amount of insulation is available then most of the thermal input drive can be captured and applied to the core material.

    Positive thermal feedback is going to be present just as with his large design provided the geometry is carefully constructed. Of course the electronics can be shrunken when the drive power is significantly reduced.

    The battery required to initiate the reaction is likely going to be the main drawback. If a method of thermally recharging that device is found then a multitude of applications are going to arise.

  • Mark Webber

    Actually I don’t care how many species the e-cat would be made, but the time when it will be sold in market.

  • Alan DeAngelis
    • Fibber McGourlick

      Clever satire!

    • Brokeeper

      You should see the 1GW version.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      PS
      Yes, it’s a bit flippant but even if this brute force approach works as promised is it preferable to LENR?

      I keep thinking about this analogy (that I’ve referred to before).
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgZ73Lc5VS8

      • Brokeeper

        Bravo. But nano scale is brilliant perfection.

  • Alan DeAngelis
    • Fibber McGourlick

      Clever satire!

    • bachcole

      You almost got me into trouble. My time now is 2:00 A.M. and I am not more than 20 feet away from my wife who is trying to sleep so she can go to work rested. That was the best gut-chuckle that I’ve had in a long time.

      • Omega Z

        It took about 20 seconds for this to soak in.
        Then I snorted my morning coffee.

    • Brokeeper

      Funniest comment ever.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      PS
      Yes, it’s a bit flippant but even if this brute force approach works as promised is it preferable to LENR?

      I keep thinking about this analogy (that I’ve referred to before).
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgZ73Lc5VS8

      • Brokeeper

        Bravo. But nano scale is brilliant perfection.

  • Agaricus

    Off Topic: Admin, the ‘Always Open’ thread appears to be empty and is marked ‘Comments are closed’. I think there may be a glitch that needs sorting.

    • artefact

      I faced the same problem like an hour ago. Then it worked again and now it is gone again.

      • ecatworld

        Thanks for pointing this out. It’s fixed now. Some setting had been changed accidentally. I wondered if we had reached a limit on that thread, but apparently not.

      • Pekka Janhunen

        Yes, cooling would be harder. I don’t actually have any good ideas how to integrate significant cooling into clothing. A heat pump would be too bulky, I’m afraid. Hmm…

    • Pekka Janhunen

      A present-day smartphone uses only about 0.3 W electric on average, if one’s usage pattern in such that one empties and loads the battery once every day. (2000 mAh times 4 V divided by 24*3600 seconds=0.33 .) With conversion efficiency of 20%, that would imply only 1.6 W continuous 24/7 heat dissipation. Of course, the smartphone would also need a conventional battery for buffer storage, but one would never need to load it.

  • Off Topic: Admin, the ‘Always Open’ thread appears to be empty and is marked ‘Comments are closed’. I think there may be a glitch that needs sorting.

    • artefact

      I faced the same problem like an hour ago. Then it worked again and now it is gone again.

      • bachcole

        I also experienced it. It is probably caused by too many comments.

        • Frank Acland

          Thanks for pointing this out. It’s fixed now. Some setting had been changed accidentally. I wondered if we had reached a limit on that thread, but apparently not.

  • Omega Z

    It took about 20 seconds for this to soak in.
    Then I snorted my morning coffee.

  • _Jim

    So, we are one step closer to a Mr. Fusion Coffee Maker that ‘runs’ on ambient room light?

  • _Jim

    So, we are one step closer to a Mr. Fusion Coffee Maker that ‘runs’ on ambient room light?