Yesterday there were some interesting exchanges on the Journal of Nuclear Physics, and one that particularly caught my attention came from a reader who mentioned a number of companies that make gas turbines and jet engines, and explained that the biggest turbines are around 40 per cent efficient when generating electricity, while small jet engines can be less than 25 per cent efficient. Rossi responded by saying that efficiency is much higher, of course, when these turbines are used as co- or tri-generation plants — meaning the heat used to generate electricity is not wasted, but applied to some useful purpose such as heating, hot water, or other process requiring heat — and air conditioning, too.
Being curious about Rossi’s recent emphasis on cogeneration and trigeneration, I followed up with a question of my own:
a) Is your team still pursing the use of Hot Cats for electricity generation using steam turbines? or
b) Is your team focusing on co- and tri- generation plants as the path to commercial viability? or
Rossi‘s response was:
We are pursuing all the possible lines of development. The b) point is the more immediate.
I found that to be an interesting response, and it has me wondering why cogeneration might be the immediate priority. A few possibilities have crossed my mind. Maybe they have hooked up with a partner who wants to pursue this technology, and is willing to bring some resources to the table. Rossi has mentioned there is an outside partner involved in the testing of jet engines.
Maybe they see cogeneration as a more attractive market to go into — with better opportunities for commercial success in their first foray into the marketplace. Maybe the greater efficiencies in cogeneration make using the E-Cat more economically viable. A customer who can cut their electricity, heating, and cooling bills all at once might be more likely to sign up with IH.
Maybe they don’t yet have the energy efficiency with the hot cat (in terms of COP) to compete head-to-head with big electricity producers who use cheap natural gas these days.
There might be other reasons, but I find it an interesting development — and hope to learn more about IH’s reasoning soon.