AC/DC and the E-Cat [Updated]

There have been a few comments on the Journal of Nuclear Physics on a technical detail that Andrea Rossi brought up over the weekend: that the E-Cat cannot run on DC (direct current) electricity; only AC (alternating current).

I posted the following question on the JONP to try and to get some more information from Rossi about this:

You say that the E-Cat needs AC current to operate. My understanding is that the electricity is needed to run an electric resistance heater — could not DC current power a resistor and achieve the same effect?

So what is additional purpose behind the need for AC?

Rossi responded, but didn’t really address my question, simply saying again that the E-Cat needed AC, and could not run on DC.

Rossi has said that they are working on using heat from natural gas to drive the E-Cat, but it appears that there is still work to be done to perfect this process. Rossi said recently “We have an R&D section working on gas activated E-Cats, and I think we will be able to resolve the problems we have.”

Heat is heat, regardless of the source, but maybe heat from natural gas is not so easy to control as heat from electrical resistors.

The issue raises the point that it seems that there is more involved than heat in making the E-Cat work. We know there is a control panel involved which needs (according to the first third party report) around 100 Watts of power to operate, and maybe it is simply this control system requires AC to operate. Regarding the electricity supply, Rossi also said, “it must be e very elastic source, due to the control system technology.”

Today Rossi mentioned that AC at frequencies of either 50 Hz or 60 Hz will allow the E-Cat to work properly.

UPDATE: On the Journal of Nuclear Physics, Hank Mills made a comment/question regarding this issue:

The requirement for AC makes me think an magnetic field, altering in polarity, may be needed to stimulate the reactions until they reach a certain level at which they become self sustaining. Another possibility is that the resistor coil acts like a helical antenna emitting an RF signal into the reactor. This second possibility seems less likely, due to the possibility that red hot resistors might have such a great resistance they may not transmit well. Can you elaborate at all on this? As always, I understand if you cannot.

Rossi responded: “In your question there is the answer. Obviously I cannot comment. Our Team is making all the necessary work to make the E Cat operate.”

So it does seem from this response that there is more to the AC power issue than just providing heat and powering the control module. To me, it looks like he is dropping a hint that Hank is onto something here; the AC could be providing either an alternating magnetic field or important radio frequencies to help stimulate the reaction.

This could help explain why IH is having problems with the Gas Cat, if more than a simple heat source is required.