The following article was written by Alan Smith who is reporting for E-Cat World at the ICCF Conference in Padua
Yesterday — Wednesday, April 15, during the course of a little light sight-seeing and a pleasant private lunch I had the chance to ask Dr. Alexander Parkhomov some technical questions about his replication of the Rossi E-Cat.
There has been quite a bit of discussion in various replication groups about the key ingredients required to operate an E-Cat successfully. The answer is simple: nickel in powder form, lithium aluminium hydride, and a “dirty” chopped AC waveform of the type obtained by using a thyristor controlled power supply. That is all. Regarding the use of iron in the reactor, AP said that it was not necessary to get a reaction; he has never used iron as an ingredient.
A thyristor power supply gives an oscilloscope trace similar to an interrupted sine wive. Even though the base frequency is only 50 or 60 c.p.s, such a system produces a broad range of harmonics. It is these multi-frequency harmonics which trigger the reactions.
So Nickel, LithiumAH and a noisy power supply is the trick. Parkhomov also uses ‘super kanthal’ wire for the heater coil. This may be just a Russianism for ‘heavy duty wire’ though. I also asked if there was any need to purge air from the reactor vessel – which of course is mostly oxygen and nitrogen etc. The answer was comforting. Purging makes no dfference that he knows of, and is not required. There may even be some water vapour present but this is not detrimental.
The inner reactor can be steel or alumina, though you need to get a high melting point non-magnetic steel. Alumina is simpler in many ways. The temperature needs to build up slowly – I heard this from other scientists at the conference too – to allow time for the hydrogen to be adsorbed into the nickel. Look at the timeline in AP’s data for information on this.
The system begins to produce anomalous heat at around 4-500C (as far as can be determined) but starts to ‘go critical’ and produce a more rapid thermal output at around 600/700C. then the thermal output takes off until you reach around 1000C. At this point the reaction may go ‘supercritical’ with a very rapid temperature rise until the fuel melts at around 1450+ . Even this is not guaranteed to stop the LENR process and there is a possibility of containment meltdown. Best to keep the temperature in the lower zone, perhaps 800-900 C
As for pressure, the breakdown of LAH with the thermal expansion of the gas and ‘ambient’ air inside the reactor causes the pressure increase. Absorption of these gases by various parts of the system cause the pressure drop. The negative pressure data that he has reported is a mystery but might be caused by poor calibration of his pressure gauge.
We might speculate that slow application of heat at the beginning of the test allows time for the Nickel powder to adsorb the hydrogen fully. This also seems to be a theme of other experimenters’ work. If you heat the newly-fuelled reactor too fast, you perhaps get a thin ‘skin layer’ of highly saturated nickel/LAH that may then inhibit the adsorption of hydrogen into the nickel matrix. This may then be the trigger for a ‘flash bang’ event. We might compare this runaway event to the effect of pouring Kerosene over a pile of logs and immediately throwing on a match. The slow heating is analogous to allowing the gasoline to soak into the logs for a while – you get a more controlled but still very hot burn.
A final comment. AP seems to me to be a quiet, gentlest and most genuine and kindly kind of chap. Not at all bombastic, he has stamina – as I found out yesterday – that belies his 70 years. A good and useful day here in Padua all round.