Tom Conover's Multiple Reactor Meltdowns (Hank Mills)

The following article has been submitted by Hank Mills

Another individual has emerged who seems to be producing anomalous heat while utilizing combinations of fuel similar to that used in Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat. Tom Conover has reported performing close to two hundred test runs utilizing nickel powder, lithium aluminum hydride (LiAlH4), and sometimes other lithium compounds. Although he has not claimed to produce quantifiable excess heat over any significant period of time, he has witnessed dramatic surges in temperature that have repeatedly destroyed his reactors.

His setup is powered with alternating current from the wall socket. He uses an Arduino computer to monitor the temperature of the reactor, and to trigger an Ac Solid State Relay, which then allows A/C to pass through a thyristor circuit that powers the heater coil, somewhat similar to Alexander Parkhomov. The Arduino adjusts the input power according to the temperature of the reactor; hence, he does not have to continually observe an experiment and adjust input by hand. This power is fed into a coil of nichrome resistance wire that is covered in alumina paste and sandwiched between two alumina tubes — protecting the resistor from oxidations and rapid failure at high temperatures. Inside of the innermost alumina tube, fuel is placed and the ends are sealed. Optionally, a stainless steel or titanium tube may contain the fuel. If a metal chamber is used, caps are laser welded onto each end to seal the chamber. The Arduino computer is powered with a separate low voltage d/c power supply, and is used to measure and control the temperature ranges, and to provide a 5v signal to the Ac Solid State Relay to turn on and off the A/C that passes through the heater coil.

Conover expresses enthusiasm for the methods described in the charts published by Alexander Parkhomov and supported by in the “Thermal decomposition” section of this article that states that when heated LAH decomposes in a three-step reaction mechanism. Comparison of these three steps and graphs of temperatures published by Alexander Parkhomov during his experiments disclose time periods and temperatures that are pre-programmed into his Arduino computer, in order to assure that the LAH is properly broken down by the three-step reaction mechanism and during the process properly loads the nickel with hydrogen from the LAH.

Conover repeats that this section of the software is always present and operates in his experiments, and that additiona, custom changes that measure other areas of the experimental run are pre-programmed into the Ardruino before running each new experiment. If the computer idendentifies that additional energy is obtained from the fuel cartridge, it adds no power to the coil until the temperature needs more stimulation.

By comparing active runs to control runs, Tom Conover has observed no detectable excess heat before “ignition.” However, at a temperature that can vary between 850C – 1200C but most often above 1150C a massive burst of heat will make the reactor soar in temperature. Although he has not precisely measured the temperature at the time of burnout, he and a friend who is highly experienced in high temperature material science proposes the temperature could very likely be over the melting point of the alumina, which is 1725C. This would be explain the melt down and failure of his high purity alumina tubing.

His experience of observing massive bursts of excess heat fits well with many other accounts of how the earliest “hot cat” reactors operated. One of Andrea Rossi’s associates, “Cures” on the Cobraf forum, reported that hundreds of reactors melted down in a matter of seconds once an “ignition” temperature was achieved. After extensive testing of various fuel combinations they were able to find a compromise that allowed for both high temperatures and high COP. There are many other claimed E-Cat replicators who also have reported meltdowns that destroyed their reactors. Three that come to mind immediately are N. Stepanov’s group who reported a number of meltdowns, Alexander Parkhomov, and Me356. Sometimes excess heat is produced for a length of time before “runaway” takes place and other times it does not appear. But I would say that achieving runaway is a good first step towards producing measurable excess heat.

Tom Conover’s goal is to measure excess heat over a length of time before a runaway happens or to eliminate runaway all together. To accomplish this, he hopes to lower the operating temperature at which excess heat begins. One possible way of doing this is to add elemental lithium to the fuel mix.

Alan Smith of Looking for Heat — the only shop on the internet dedicated to offering supplies to LENR researchers — has graciously offered to a small sample of Nanoshell Passivated Lithium powder for him to test. Adding the lithium to the fuel mix may lower the operating temperature via a couple different mechanisms.

Two additional interesting aspects of Tom’s testing is that he bakes his nickel powder at 500F for one hour in a conventional oven. This may super heat any water inside of the nickel structure, convert it to steam, and allow for the creation of microcavaities and smaller nickel particles.

The evidence that a combination of nickel powder, lithium, and hydrogen can produce enormous quantities of excess heat continues to mount. Although we have a long way to go when it comes to making the reaction a hundred precent repeatable and controllable, the fact that obviously nuclear reactions can be induced on the table top for ridiculously small sums of money (compared to hot fusion research) is encouraging.

In the near future Tom Conover will begin testing a new design of reactor (smaller) along with additional fuel combinations. I feel optimistic that he will be able to measure excess heat for a significant period of time before runaway.

I’ve included the information he has provided me identifying his nickel powder and LiAlH4 at the end of this article. What we’ve seemed to learn over the past couple years is that a number of different brands of LiAlH4 will “work” along with different varieties of nickel powder. However, the results can often be hit or miss. Some researchers can achieve fantastic results quickly, but the majority see low level or no excess heat. My hope is that over the next several months that someone will figure out and publish a base set of guidelines that would represent a “guaranteed to work” formula. This would include fuel baking, cleaning, possibly pre-hydrogenation, fuel ratio, pressure profile, and optimal electromagnetic stimulation. Once such a recipe emerges, scientists, engineers, and qualified individuals across the world will be able to produce the massive excess heat produced by the Rossi Effect (beyond 1000 watts per gram of nickel).

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and please continue to give your support to replicators who are sacrificing their time, resources, and money to advance the LENR field.

– Lithium Aluminum Hydride Reagent Grade 10 Grams
– Nickel Powder (Ni) 100Mesh 99.9% Purity, 50g CAS: 7440-02-0