Comments on the QX Demonstration (Michael Lammert — aka Dr. Mike)

The following post has been submitted by Michael Lammert.

Comments on the QX Demonstration
Michael Lammert (aka Dr. Mike)
11/25/2017 

     The most importance result of the 11/24/2017 demonstration of Rossi’s QX device was that there was some new information revealed on the QX device and its control. The key new knowledge includes:

  1. The QX device is not controlled by a dc current. Thanks to Mats Lewan convincing Rossi to place an oscilloscope across the 1 ohm series sampling resistor, we now know that the QX device is powered by a moderate frequency signal (on the order of 100KHz), rather than a 0.1A dc signal as claimed in previously disclosed measurements.  It appears that Rossi was not pleased that Mats mentioned that the oscilloscope was set on a 100μsec scale as can be observed in the demo at a play time of about 0:38.  If Rossi was deceptive originally with his claim that the device operated on a 0.1A dc current, it also seems possible that the device is being delivered signals with frequencies much higher than the 100μsec scale setting on the oscilloscope would show.  The time scale of the oscilloscope should have been cycled through its full range to verify that no very high frequency signals were present (1MHz-100MHz) when the QX device was operating.
  2. The control box will need a lot of development to produce a useful system. Rossi claimed that there were over-heating problems in the control box that required a rather high use of power for active cooling.  Although the input power to the controller was not measured, it seems that the controller was drawing much more power than 22W of claimed output power for the QX devices.  Heating problems in the controller are just not consistent with the output power to the QX devices being less than 0.1W.   Until this issue is resolved, the possibility of the QX devices being supplied with a high frequency signal can not be discounted.
  3. The On-Off function was demonstrated. The QX devices started in an “off” mode, were turned on to heat the water, were turned “off’ at the end of the calorimetry test, then were turned on and off at least one time during the attempt to set up a spectrometry measurement.  This is adequate to demonstrate the “on-off “ function of the QX devices, but it would have been better if the spectrometer could have been used to measure the time it took to bring the devices up to full power.
  4. The controller does not appear to have any feedback from the QX devices. Based on Mats Lewan’s slide #5, which does not show any feedback going from the QX devices to the controller, it seems that the QX devices are controlled only by the output of the controller.  (Perhaps someone attending the demonstration can verify if they saw any feedback wires going from the QX devices to the controller.)  Obviously, some type of feedback will eventually need to be added to the controller system for a commercial product, possibly to automatically control the knob within the current controller that sets the power output percentage (30% for the demo).  One implication of operating a system in such a manner is that QX devices must be manufactured to extremely tight tolerances so that groups of devices can be operated in parallel with a common controller input.

 

There were several other general observations that I made in viewing the demo.  First, input power to the QX devices was not measured.  Rossi continued to use his approach of attempting to measure the power in a 1 ohm series sampling resistor, then claiming that the power to the QX devices is less than this power.  If Rossi’s claim that the resistance (impedance) of the QX devices is less than 1 ohm were verified by an independent source, his method of setting an upper limit for the device’s input power would be valid.  Mats Lewan attempted to validate Rossi’s claim by testing the controller with a short circuit and an 800 ohm resistor replacing the QX devices, quite a good idea!  However, check out the demo for running this part of the experiment, which starts at about 2:30.  At about 2:31 Rossi opens the control box and make some adjustments (maybe turning off high frequency supplies?).  It’s no wonder that the oscilloscope waveforms were entirely different for this control experiment.  Any data that one tries to use from this portion of the experiment to validate Rossi’s claims is invalid.  Perhaps meaningful data could have been acquired if this experiment had been run as follows:

  • Connect a shorting wire in parallel with an 800 ohm resistor in parallel with the operating QX devices.
  • Measure any change in the 1 ohm series resistor’s waveform with this effective short circuit added.
  • Cut one lead (or both leads) to the QX devices, leaving the parallel short circuit and 800 ohm resistor (effectively just a short circuit).
  • Measure any change in the 1 ohm series resistor’s waveform.
  • Cut the shorting wire leaving the 800 ohm resistor in place of where the QX devices were originally.
  • Measure any change in the 1 ohm series resistor’s waveform.

 

In Rossi’s defense of modifying the controller prior to the short circuit test, it seems likely that the controller really could not be turned on when only connected to the 1 ohm series resistor.  The controller was designed to expect to see a very high initial resistance of “off” QX devices at the time when it is turned on.

I’m sure that everyone will agree that the attempt to use a spectrometer to measure the device output power was a total failure, perhaps because the spectrometer could not be aligned carefully enough to get an accurate spectrum measurement.  However, Rossi gave us the result he expected (a calculated output power of 71W).  For this calculation Rossi assumed the emissivity was 1.0.  What is his basis for this assumption?  Then he claimed that the discrepancy between this calculated 71W and the measured 22W from calorimetry was probably due to losses in the heat exchanger.  Why would anyone use a calculation based on no observed data as a basis for saying that the one part of the experiment that seemed to go well (the calorimetry measurements) really wasn’t done correctly because the heat exchanger losses were not accounted for?  Unbelievable!  Of course, Rossi did not follow my suggestion of using a control heat source to replace the QX devices so that the errors in the calorimetry (such as heat exchanger losses) could be estimated.

It certainly is not clear why Rossi decided to run the devices at 30% power, assuming that this was an actual decision.  I had previously made a suggestion that the QX devices be operated a two different power levels just to demonstrate that the output QX device power is adjustable.  I would have much rather seen the devices ran at 70% power for 15-30 minutes at a steady state ΔT, then at 100% power for another 15-30 minutes at a steady state ΔT.

There are several other things that could have been modified to improve the demonstration, including:

  1. The input water thermocouple was apparently placed before the water pump, rather than right at the input to the devices.
  2. It seems the oscilloscope was not triggered correctly on purpose to obscure the real waveform across the 1 ohm series resistor.
  3. The power dissipated in the 1 ohm series resistance was apparently calculated as the peak voltage squared divided by the 1 ohm resistance. It should have been calculated as the RMS voltage squared divided by the 1 ohm resistance.  (The RMS voltage is unknown because the applied waveform is unknown.)
  4. The factor of operation with 3 seconds on and 4 seconds off does not appear to be included in the calculation of the power delivered to the 1 ohm series resistor. (A factor of 2 is used rather than 7/3.)
  5. Rossi should have been wearing a microphone for the entire demonstration.
  6. It might have been better to have a formal Q&A session during the 60 minute calorimetry period, rather than the free for all “come and see”.

 

Conclusions

Perhaps a few scientists and engineers are satisfied with the procedures and methodology used in the QX demonstration to show the capabilities of the QX technology.  However, I believe most scientists and engineers would agree with me that there are just too many unanswered questions to declare the QX demonstration a scientific success.   The methodology used to calculate the QX device COP assumes an unverified assumption that the QX devices have much less than 1 ohm of “on” resistance, and that the controller is not delivering any unmeasured high frequency energy to the devices.

One concern with the demonstration is Rossi’s “choice” to run the QX devices at only 30% of what he considers to be their maximum output power rating.  This decision says a lot for Rossi’s confidence in the state of the QX technology.  Perhaps the largest issue in the demonstration is the fact that the controller needs to be actively cooled when it is claimed to provide an output power that is less than 0.1W.  Of course one explanation for the high controller power consumption is that a really poor circuit design was used to create the output waveform.  A simpler explanation would be that the controller is delivering unmeasured high frequency energy to the QX devices.  Time will tell which explanation is correct.

The QX device COP as calculated using Rossi’s methodology doesn’t really seem very important when considering that the current system COP is most likely well less than one.  For Rossi’s technology to gain any acceptance in the scientific community, he will need to demonstrate a system using numerous QX devices with a reasonable system COP (maybe 10-20).  My guess is that he is 1-3 years from such a demonstration, but I certainly wish him good luck in achieving a reasonable system COP.

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