The following post has been submitted by Mason Ainsworth
The recent Stockholm demonstration astounded me. By design, intuition, or simple luck, Rossi appears to be taking advantage of, if not pushing Big Oil towards a fracturing of a sense of coalition by presenting the means for attaining and possibly maintaining a competitive advantage for many years to come.
It is constructive to place this impression in context by quickly summarizing a personal perspective of the history of the E-Cat and Rossi starting with his 2011 public demonstration in Bologna. Consequently, relevant trends become evident, rendering a picture of important forces supporting this opinion. To do otherwise is to open one to imaginative arguments.
First, there is an abbreviated history covering the progression of the following: the E-Cat technology, the growth in reported COP, the forms of investor involvement, the forms of 3rd party and public demonstration and validation tests, the degree of acceptance for LENR science, Rossi’s use of outside consultants, and the apparent changes in Rossi’s public posture. It is abbreviated so as to not get caught up in analyzing the details.
Then, I address the current moment and what came out of the Stockholm demonstration. Due to the presence of Mr. Hurley, I layout my impression of the strategic health of the global Oil Industry, the economic impact of the QuarkX, a back of the envelope assessment of the oil industry strategic state of mind, and the political climate.
Finally, an opinion is then presented which hopefully is faithful to the picture painted.
We have patiently seen the progression of Rossi’s technology going from the original E-Cat to the Low and High-Temp E-Cats, and now to the recent E-Cat QuarkX. This progression includes the actual size of the reactor module, the refinement of the materials used for the reactor housing, as well as the controllability and reliability of the technology, which has just recently passed a 5σ threshold and shows “light switch” On/Off performance. Also, the E-Cat was originally presented as a heat engine. However with the very recent development of the Quark configuration, the forms of output have expanded to include heat, light, and electricity. But, Rossi is maintaining a focus on developing the E-Cat QuarkX as a heat generator
Of key interest to the practical minded, there has been a progression of the COP over the different incarnations. It seemed to start at around 3, then jumped to 10, and with the relatively recent 1-Year test 80. Now we have 500. This is not to ignore the Gullstrom-Rossi test with COPs of 2000 and 22,000. As a reminder, the following is a rough approximation of the impact of high COPs upon the transition from heat generated from grid-provided electricity and LENR generated heat.
COP stands for Coefficient of Performance and is equal to Energy Out/Energy In. A COP=80 means a significant economic benefit to an industrial operation that uses grid electricity to generate heat. When this operation switches to a LENR heat engine, $1.00 of grid electricity will generate “$80” of LENR generated heat, or the business will now only need to buy $1.25 of grid electricity to generate “$100” of heat. A COP=500 means this business now needs to buy $0.20 of electricity to generate “$100” of heat. Please note, in this simplification, the actual cost associated with the purchase of an E-Cat QuarkX heat supply is excluded.
The progression of different forms of investor involvement reflects a raw beginning with franchise investors and ending with the dissolution of the IH-Rossi license arrangement preceded by the buying out of most franchise investors. Now, there appears to be a new partner where the legal and financial relationship is undefined but presented in a positive light by Rossi, who implied that the recent 5σ effort was suggested by this mysterious partner. It is important to recognize that the final mutual agreement between IH and Rossi at the end of the IH-Rossi legal action fulfilled Rossi’s expressed goal, the full termination of all IH rights to the IP.
The progression of 3rd Party demonstrations and validation tests begins with the 2011 Bologna demonstration. In addition, with this progression, it should be noted that for each of these tests the number of new people directly involved with Rossi and the tests grow. There followed the two academic oriented tests by those who have been called the Lugano team, in 2013 and 2014. Then, there was the 1-Year test ending in early 2016, and now we have the recent 2017 Stockholm demonstration. It should be noted that the 2014 Lugano report presented information that simply baffled the supervising academic scientists. Nothing in their backgrounds enabled them to understand the isotopic transmutations of the isolated elements . . . and their conclusion indicated their acceptance of what they saw but a lack of ability to describe the mechanism, calling for further experimentation.
The progression of LENR science started with simple disbelief and now is accepted as a mysterious fact of nature, though this is not acknowledged in the mainstream. Many will say that Rossi helped to forge the way, citing the reported duplication of the Rossi Effect as an effective factor in this progression.
All of the above has had an effect on the progression of arguments presented by the Trolls/Skeptics, at least as seen here at E-Cat World. They first started with the grand posture of “it goes against the Laws of Physics” and “Rossi went to prison for wicked disreputable fraudulent reasons”. Now with the passing of time they have narrowed the focus on how each test/demonstration is unable to answer the flood of questionable questions, or lacks the validation of “true science” due to Rossi’s physical involvement and his withholding of critical proprietary IP information. The question of the LENR phenomena is no longer the question, only Rossi’s integrity. The attack is focused on specific details and not the broad inclusive context summarized here.
Rossi’s attitude has changed over the years. There seems to be a growing use of outside consultants on how to improve the E-Cat. We have seen that constructive outside perspective has aided in selection of the materials suitable for the extreme temperatures within the reactor (about 2600C), and the modification of the structure/form to support efficient heat dissipation. Rossi has described their expertise as coming from Aerospace, Robotics/Manufacturing, Nuclear Plant testing, and with the physical presence of Mr. Hurley at the Stockholm demonstration, Big Oil (Oil Refining)
Rossi’s change in attitude can be tied to a key moment, the successful resolution of the IH-Rossi legal action. There is the before. Now Rossi is clear that there will be no more direct involvement in outside validation or demonstrations. He no longer looks to academia for validation; he looks to the ultimate test of product acceptance in the free market. His focus is upon the industrialization with the strategic goal of being the extremely low cost producer. To this end, he is/will be contracting with the necessary engineers to optimize, to “productize” the E-Cat QuarkX and control box.
From the above, it is clear that Rossi has something real to share going into the demonstration. And his intent was to capitalize on the opportunity in pursuit of industrialization. He was focused upon signaling his intent. His choice of Stockholm is interesting and implies his wish to convey openness to a global audience and global opportunities.
The demonstration was astounding. Rossi told the story and demonstrated his ability to control a plasma which generated a COP=500. Further, he had William S. Hurley, an expert in oil refineries and an associate of a Fortune 100 Big Oil corporation Andeavor Inc., sitting to his right, in the “forbidden zone” behind the table.
As has been shared elsewhere, Andeavor is a corporation with about 1.2 Million barrels/day oil total refining production from multiple locations. William Hurley’s presence invites the question of how would Andeavor benefit from a LENR heat source with a COP=500? Estimates of annual costs saving have ranged between $1 and $4 Billion; estimates which, depending upon Andeavor’s strategic intent, could support debt of about $10 to $40bBillion, assuming a 10% cost of money, for various uses such as the ability to expand through price competition and/or purchase of other refinery assets.
The big problem Rossi arguably faces is “what would trigger the question in the mind of a corporate board of directors: would we be negligent or incompetent if we avoided LENR as an opportunity to address the growing pressure to act?” Rossi’s choice of staging the presence of Big Oil raises questions on the challenges the oil industry faces, challenges facing these corporate board of directors.
I won’t detail out formal responses to structures for analyzing competitive strategy that encompass: the threat of new entrants, the bargaining power of suppliers, the bargaining power of buyers, the threat of substitute products or services, the rivalry among existing competitors, and the formation of complementary coalitions or grouping of corporations. But, most of us are already aware of the changes impacting the global energy industry. Alt-energy sources such as solar have reached price parity with the least expensive forms of existing energy sources and are now moving towards a growing price advantage. There is an increasing probability expressed in the MSM for electric vehicles to dominate new vehicle sales in less than 10 years. The transition away from oil is an accepted though contested fact. The question is “When?” given there is a growing probability for global flat demand in 10 years or less and a growing probability for declining demand quickly after onset of this global flat demand. All of this suggesting that in 30-40 years oil demand will be driven primarily as chemical feedstock rather than as a source of energy.
This hypothetical board of directors also faces a global political landscape supporting these changes. Rossi has shown he is not isolated to USA. His outlook is global. He is willing to partner with those who behave as a trustworthy and trustable buyer, presuming a much stronger contract as compared to that of IH-Rossi. India and China are looking and are pursuing solutions to existing extreme air pollution problems. There is a growing emphasis on “quick” transition to electric vehicles and alt-energy. The examples are endless.
If the “Tipping Point” reflects a rebalancing of existing forces, then Rossi’s QuarkX’s evolution of a COP=80 to COP=500 materially changes the economic pressure supporting the implementation of LENR.
Rossi’s work with a representative of Big Oil integrates the simple unacknowledged fact that Big Oil is now planning, organizing, and acting in recognition of a foreseeable downsizing of global demand. A fact that nurtures the competitive mindset which is open to “creative destruction”; a mindset open to protecting the US oil industry at the expense of competitors, whether corporations or nations; a mindset that says “I’m going to eat your lunch and my lunch, before you can eat my lunch!”
Further, Rossi has the implicit threat of COP=22,000 for those holding positions of authority who act on the belief of protecting/managing the Status Quo, pushing them to accept a starting point for the integration of a new source of energy into the existing structure, guiding them to deal with the “small” rather than the “large” destabilizing force.
By design or intuition or simple luck, Rossi is forcing those industries and/or investors which care to put up or shut up for the simple reason: a COP=500 enables market place domination.
Will Rossi succeed? I want to believe so. Will his partner be with Big Oil? I don’t have an opinion either way aside from Hurley’s presence. Time will tell how Rossi’s story peaks.