Some comments recently by Andrea Rossi provide a clearer picture of the makeup of the 1 MW E-Cat plant currently under test. From information provided by Rossi, it appears that the 1 MW plant has 1 MW of redundancy built into it in case of failure of the main reactors.
Here’s his explanation:
We have in the same container two sections, one with the small E-Cats and one with the 4 Tigers, each section with a power of 1 MW. The strategy consists in using the 4 tigers, maintaining as a reserve the small E-Cats.
The four “Tigers”, then are the 250 kW reactors shown in this picture. Then, as backup there are 100 or so small reactors. I asked Rossi why they did not automatically kick in when one of the Tigers was taken offline for repair recently. He replied:
I try not to consume the reserves, to maintain them intact in case of serious failure of one or more “Tigers”. For short reparations it is not necessary to turn on the reserve. That is my safety boat if the ship sinks. This is the strategy. As a consequence of this strategy, we do not use the reserve together with the fighting “division”. We turned it on for several days at the beginning of the test, just to check it working, then turned it off and used only the 4 x 250.
I followed up with another question asking if they might use the Tigers as backup reactors in the future, rather than the many small 10 kW reactors. He responded:
Yes, because they will be born in that perspective. Probably, from now on the industrial E-Cat will be made by 250 kW modules, as a consequence of the tests on course, provided the same tests will give positive results at the end of this 350 days cycle
So that helps clarify the setup of the 1MW plant. It has redundancy built in, with a full bank of reactors standing by in case of total failure of the main set of reactors. Regarding the tiger that needed repair, Rossi did not specify what the problem was, but did say “the problems were outside the reactors”.
Interestingly, Rossi mentioned above that the current test is on a 350 day cycle. The current test apparently started on February 20th of this year; 350 days would put the ending date on Feb 5, 2016 if there is no downtime. Today is day 165 of the test in progress if my calculations are correct.