The Power Density of the E-Cat QX

A comment from Alberto on the Journal of Nuclear Physics came up with the following calculation

I understood that the E-Cat reactor has a diameter of 0.08 cm and a length of 0.6 cm. This makes a volume of 0.04^2 x Pi x 0.6 cm^3, which makes 0.003 cubic centimeters. The power that has been measured during the Stockolm test is 20 W. These two numbers make the power density of the E-Cat QX 20 W/0.003 cm^3. This energy density is stunning, it makes a power density of 333 x 20 W/cm^3= 6.6kW/cm^3
Now I understand why you are thinking to a jet engine operated by the E-Cat QX. We are at the eve of a new industrial revolution.

I asked Andrea Rossi if the calculations were correct, and he replied ” the density of power of the E-Cat QX is very high and yes, I think that jet engines or gas engines can be born by this technology. The numbers are what they are.”

If my calculations are correct, converting cm^3 to liters are as follows:

6600kW/l = 6.6MW/l

One point of comparison I have found is from Wikipedia here where it states that Plutonium has a power density of 38,360W/m^3.

In terms of m^3, the E-Cat QX numbers we are working with would be 6.6GW/m^3

Please someone correct me if I am wrong, and maybe there are some people out there who can help to see how this compares to other energy sources.

  • Corky Goss

    Bob, Please convert this to layman’s language. And congrats to Bob for reaching out to one of my heroes: The Mighty John Hutchinson.
    John’s willingness to work with MFMP is truly validation that open science is on track over and against dark science. Peace.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      A volume that is less than a keg of beer to fly a 747 (if I got it right).

  • Oystein Lande

    Another calculation: energy density.

    If the QX lasts one year the energy density would be 57.8 GWh/L (at 6.6 MW/L)

    Jet fuel has energy density of 10 KWh/L.

    Uranium fission breeder has 427 GWh/L.

    Ok, the web States one third of nuclear fuel rods are replaced every 6 months. This would mean uranium lasts for 1.5 year in a reactor. This would again mean power density of 32 MW/L…..

  • Alan DeAngelis

    A Boeing 747 jet has an average power consumption of 140 megawatts.
    And a good part of its weight is its fuel.

  • Pekka Janhunen

    Yes, correct. The plutonium value quoted is for its radioactive alpha decay, not fission. The power density of fission can be designed to be almost anything because it depends on how many neutrons are allowed to escape. If too little neutrons escape, one gets a bomb.

    6.6 MW/litre is roughly comparable to the power density of a rocket engine’s burning chamber. It’s high, but the E-cat device is larger than just the reactor core. Which is true for the rocket launch vehicle as well.

  • Buck

    Ragone plot of 2nd TPR, the E-Cat of the Lugano Report

  • Dr. Mike

    Although the calculation of the power density is correct assuming the QX device really has a maximum output of 20W and the internal volume is as Rossi now states at 6mm long by 0.8mm diameter, this power density does not have much meaning. The power density of a single device should be based on the external volume of the device, not an internal chamber within the device. Also, to get a useful amount of heat out of QX devices, an array of devices is needed. The devices must be placed far enough apart that the heat from one device can be transferred out of the module without heating adjacent devices. My guess is that the device spacing will need to be something like 3 to 5 times the external diameter of the device. To attempt to calculate a real power density we need to know the external dimensions of the QX device and the minimum spacing. For example, let’s assume the external dimensions of the QX device are 2cm long by 3mm in diameter and the minimum device spacing center to center is 1cm. The power density for a single device would be 20W / 0.141cm^3 = 142W/cm^3 (142MW/m^3). The power density for a single layer of QX devices in such an array would be 20W / 2cm^3 = 10W/cm^3 (10MW/m^3). In a real system one would need to add in space for wiring, space for the controllers for each 200 or so devices, spacing between layers of QX arrays, and perhaps the space taken by the heat exchanger. It seems possible that a product using QX devices can achieve a power density as high as 0.5-1MW/m^3.

    As a comparison to the Brilliant Light Power SunCell, my calculation of the power density at the surface of the 6 inch diameter graphite sphere operating at 3000K would be 335000W / 1853cm^3 = 180W/cm^3 (180MW/m^3). If the system volume is assumed to be about 0.5m^3, the system power density would be 335,000W / 0.5m^3 = 0.67MW/m^3. My conclusion is that system power density of a product using QX devices will be about the same as a SunCell system.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      The difference gets obvious when you look at the energy densities (see Oystein L’s and my comment below). Converting all hydrogen atoms in 0.003 cm^3 liquid water to the lowest hydrino energy level would theoretically release 8.2 MJ – that’s about 255 keV per atom. Actually, the amount will be much lower since according to Mills the deeper levels are not involved. In contrast, 20 W for one year correspond to 630.7 MJ. This seems to indicate that AR’s technology cannot be based on Mills’ hydrino reactions – provided, of course, that his numbers are correct.

      • Dr. Mike

        I agree that Rossi’s technology is not based on hydrino formation. Mills is only claiming achieving an output of a few hundred eV per hydrogen atom, whereas I would expect Rossi gets up to millions of eV per hydrogen atom. Although LENR ‘s energy density is several orders of magnitude greater than Mills’ technology, both technologies will be limited by the rate at which heat can be extracted. I believe both technologies will have similar initial “system” power densities.

    • Vinney

      In the recent Energy 2.0 interview, Rossi quotes the QX energy density at 30MW per meter cube.
      He must have made this calculation based on one of his recent reactors.

      • Dr. Mike

        We won’t know what power density Rossi actually can achieve until he demonstrates a reactor large enough that an independent calculation of power density can be made. There is no evidence that Rossi has determined what minimum spacing is achievable between devices to prevent one device from over heating an adjacent one. My calculation would have been 30MW/m^3 if I had assumed a QX device center spacing of about 6mm, however, this calculation excludes the space required for wiring and controllers, the space between layers of device arrays, and the space for the heat exchanger.

    • Piper

      Long story made short, guys on the SofCP forum advocating a gas turbine conversion instead of a PV based SunCell weren’t considering the relatively low rate of heat transfer available from a solid surface to a fluid. Requires a too-large heat exchanger for an aircraft, following conventional design approaches.

      A particle (droplet) radiator producing a finely divided dispersion of very hot ceramic powder or molten metal, might allow a reasonable sized heat transfer subsystem, which would substitute for the turbojet combustor burner-cans for a flying vehicle application.

  • Brokeeper

    Another perspective: The USA generated 1.08 terawatts of electricity in 2016. An average oil tanker capacity of 160,000 cubic meters carrying QXs would meet the current USA electrical needs for 978 years (assuming a very long shelf life).
    (6.6GW/1 m^3 * 160,000 m^3) / 1.08 TWs = 977.77 years.
    Merry Christmas to you all!!!

    • LesioQ

      You’re skipping the time unit [s]. Watt is not a unit of energy.

      • Brokeeper

        Talking about power density and the life cycle of E-Cat QX devices (1 year).

  • /* I understood that the Quark-X reactor has a diameter of 0.08 cm */

    According to this picture the diameter of electrodes should be larger Anyway the energy density achieved is high, if only would be completely trustful – the alleged 20 Watts of energy production could be easily provided by high frequency source of plasma discharge (which required 60 Watts just for its cooling).

  • Rene

    What’s happened with MFMP? Have they gone AWOL? What is their new line of investigation? Bob, any news? Not seeing much activity on

    • Vinney

      Christmas break, Bob is taking a well deserved break.

    • Jas

      The Super Nova is the next big project. Plus the added bonus of the Hutchinson samples.

  • scottlshman


    The first car Ferdinand Porsche designed, in 1897, was a fossil fuel-electric, series-hybrid, 4X4 car with hub mounted motors/brakes in each of the four wheels. It was so far ahead of its time that it only sold 300 units mainly due to the weight, 1,800 kg, and cost of the battery.

    Nowadays fossil fuel-electric series-hybrid cars are commonplace as the cost and size/weight of batteries has plummeted with Toyota claiming that a newly developed solid state battery can be charged to 80% of its capacity in a “few minutes”. They claim that sales of an all new car based on the fast charging batteries will start in 2022.

    So although Porsche’s idea was sound, contemporary technology couldn’t match his idea and it was possibly 125 years before batteries were sufficiently developed to match his foresight.

    The Lohner-Porsche series-hybrid design was studied by Boeing and NASA to create the Apollo program’s Lunar Roving Vehicle. Many of its design principles were mirrored in the Rover’s design. The series hybrid concept also underpins many modern railway locomotives, and interest in series hybrid automobiles is growing rapidly.

    A couple of days ago I drove a hired Toyota van to pick up an air/water heat pump. I drove there and back a total of 400 miles at 70mph, the heat pump plus storage H/W unit weighed 400 KG. The van gave an average of 53 mpg of diesel for the trip, this would have been impossible just a few years ago.

    .I hope it will not be 125 years before technology and materials science catch up with Andrea Rossi’s ideas.


  • Alan DeAngelis

    Airplane (8.22 min,)

    • Vinney

      In an Ecat QX based engine, electric fans force air through aerodynamically shaped vanes that are encrusted with QX reactors, that generate electricity from further fans and thrust for lift.
      If he can encrust QX reactors directly onto fan blades, that would be a material and engineering marvel (swapping the engine is also the bulk of the fuel).
      I know you have long advocated an Ecat demo using a RC flight device.
      Given the strength of many lightweight materials, and the power of the Ecat QX, there must be a size to weight ratio it is currently possible, possibly in the 10ft (3m) wingspan.
      And obviously this would fly for days (even weeks) and nearly all weather conditions.
      Obviously with future QX improvements, the power to weight ratio would improve.
      I think you are right in this capturing the public’s imagination.

      • Vinney

        Recently electric airplanes are interest to everyone, with many large corporations ( including Siemens) investing in startup as Lilum;

        A QX based airplane would similarly have numerous engines to obtain adequate thrust.
        With a design as follows;
        An added benefit of this design is VTOL is feasible.

      • Alan DeAngelis

        Yeah, I was just thinking that if one of these was retrofitted
        with some QXs (that make heat) it would make a nice and simple (and noisy)

        • Rene

          That’s a fun little jet engine, the P90. It consumes about one pound of jet-a1 fuel per minute at full power to generate 23 pounds of thrust. That burning generates 18500BTU/minute or 325KW. Now using QX at 60W apiece would require 5500 of them. Given the compact size of that cool jet engine, how would one pack all that many QXs around it?
          (Please verify the calcs)

          • Alan DeAngelis

            Yeah, I was going by bfast comment below where he said 6.6 Mw/l. That would still be a lot of volume. 49.2 cc if I got it wright. So, between 1and two shot glasses. Could it fit into the combustion chamber? Don’t know if this video is the P90 but it shows the cut away view at
            4:50. Yeah, may not be a simple retrofit. Maybe an external heating module would
            be needed.

          • Alan DeAngelis

            right not wright. Most have been thinking about the brothers.

          • Vinney

            Thinking about it, I can see why Rossi is interested in jet engines.
            In a closed loop they could use air to generate heat and power, eliminating a “phase change’ of water.
            High strength, high temperature ceramics would then be used rather than alloy metals (required for strength propelling water, or containing combustion in gas turbines).
            The cycle would be, air-intake-EcatQX encrusted ceramic turbines (generating heat)-alloy turbines (generating electricity)-extraction of as much heat as you want (for other industrial needs)-back to air intake.
            The whole Ecat-QX section is replaced to recharge the system.
            The QX fuel pellets are all replaced by robotic means.
            As a bonus, we get a compact EcatQX jet engine we can use in VTOL airplanes for up to 5 passengers.
            It should be safer than current executive jets, especially with so many independent power plants.

      • US_Citizen71

        “electric fans force air through aerodynamically shaped vanes that are encrusted with QX reactors” I love the inventiveness but you might want to lookup the KISS principle. The electrical connections and getting it all in balance for multi-thousand rpm spin would be a nightmare in itself. I think the heat exchanger and the reactor(s) will likely be stationary. They will just take the place of the burn chamber.

        • Vinney

          That’s what I originally thought, but then I thought you could have several wiring circuits to the QX reactors feed by the signals (EMF, RF and Voltage) at the rim (the cetamic turbine fans don’t have a tip, but a rim).
          Remember these ceramic assemblies ( which are the fuel) are replaced every 10,000 kms, for refuelling, so are built to withstand dozens of refuels, and partial refurbishments and cleaning of grime.
          The jet engine can also accommodate metal alloy fans at the first stage than minimize ”bird strike’ damage (they are easily replaceable) that force the air thru the ceramic turbines.
          But you are correct fixed aerodynamic vanes encrusted with QX reactors (replacing the burn chamber) are a simple early iteration.

    • sam
      • US_Citizen71

        Why not go a step even further. Heat Li7 and H to a plasma. Use magnetic confinement to compress and push the plasma through a magnetic venturi where the conditions are met to cause the Li7 + H -> Be8 reaction. Have the the magnetic confinement open up as a thrust nozzle after the venturi and if the timing and length of chamber are correct when the Be8 breaks down it should provide nuclear heated alpha particle thrust coming out of the magnetic thrust nozzle.

  • Frank Acland

    Thank you!

  • Vinney

    Certainly a necessity for preventing ice buildup on the wings, and include the air intake of the engine.
    But I not sure locating QX reactors in the wings will affect much lift.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Off topic but I thought this was a good nugget from Antony Sutton’s (pre Rossi) book, Cold Fusion: The Secret Energy Revolution

    “…without pollution there is no anti-pollution movement, and pollution free energy will remove one of the pillars that supports the environmental industry. In other words the environmental movement is an industry like coal and oil.”

    • Sumdum

      The last statement is absurd. Pollution is only one aspect of the environmental movement. Ecosystem integrity, species extinction, biodiversity, animal rights, and other aspects have nothing to do with fossil fuels or pollution. This is pure hyperbolic nonsense from a rank amateur who doesn’t understand environmentalism or the dozens of different subdisciplines within environmental science at all beyond the bumper-sticker sound bite level.

      • Bruno

        Sundum, the article said “one of the pillars”, not the entire foundation of environmental science. You have to admit that climate change (including greenhouse gases) is the environmental movement’s big mantra today. Plus they are banking on all of that money coming in from carbon trading and from alternate energy subsidies. I also make a distinction between environmental science (which has many valid aspects to it) and environmentalism which has taken on the characteristics of a pseudo-religion. You are naive if you believe that the environmental movement does not consist of at least a few very corrupt prime movers who stand to accumulate wealth or power by hyping anthropomorphic climate climate change as the biggest threat facing humanity.

  • Vinney

    You may be meaning the ‘indirect air cycle’ transfer of heat shown by this model (designed by USAAF for early nuclear airplane);
    Where ‘liquid’ metal is used to transfer heat to the combustion chamber of the jet turbine.
    This model would certainly be applicable to large passenger jets, as well as ‘direct air cycle’, to obtain enough thrust.
    This method would also work as a hybrid, as molten metal transfers in a jacket around the combustion chamber.
    But, a major benefit of the Ecat QX is that it has no harmful radiation (to be confirmed), hence the ‘direct air cycle’ should be explored to most advantage, as its also the easiest to build.

    • Vinney

      An explanation of a Turboprop T56 Allison (Rolls Royce) jet engine featuring a working cutaway.
      The fans run at 14,000 rpm, but interestingly, the combustion chamber heats the air to 2,000 to 3,000 degrees C.
      But with circulating air has to cool to only 900 degrees C (11.02min mark in video) when it reaches the thrust turbines.
      Any hotter and the thrust turbines would suffer heat damage.
      These temperatures are well within the capability of the Ecat QX.
      Interesting also, the 4000 HP capacity of this 900 kg Turbofan engine would be delivered by a diesel (piston) engine at least 10 times the size (14:50 min)

  • Vinney

    This interactive map shows that wind, solar and natural gas are the most economic sources of electricity in mainland US.
    Meaning coal based power plants are already ‘un-economic’ to newly build.

    • Vinney

      The coal based power plants need to be early adopters of LENR to reduce there costs and to grow their production of energy and at the same time reduce CO2. The Ecat needs operational hours for safety certification in wider applications. They need each other.
      Furthermore, the government may insist that the Ecat be centralised (at power stations) until more is known about it, prolonging the lease on centralised power stations.