It’s the last day of 2017 and a natural time to reflect back on the old year and look forward to the new. In terms of progress in the LENR field I have always thought that the most important thing is that the technology become commercialized in order to be put to use in the real world. So long as it stays forever in the laboratory it is interesting scientifically, but not of much practical use.
So has there been LENR progress in 2017? For me the answer is yes, but a big commercial breakthrough has not yet happened.
Research and Development
In terms of R&D, I think that it is very significant that Andrea Rossi has come to a point where he has settled on the E-Cat design that he wants to commercialize. For over five years he has been working with E-Cats that he was constantly working on, but which apparently were problematic performance-wise for one reason or another — and at last he seems to be satisfied with the E-Cat QX, especially after he has reached the Sigma 5 level of performance. With this decision made, he can now focusing his R&D efforts on miniaturizing the control system needed to operate the E-Cats, designing industrial-grade plants using the QX, and building the production system needed to get the benefits of economy of scale.
I think the most positive event that happened in 2017 for the commercialization prospects of the E-Cat this year was the settlement reached in the Rossi vs. Industrial Heat case. From all we learned from the documents produced in the court case the working relationship between the two parties was at such a low level that it’s hard to see how they could have successfully commercialized the E-Cat together. The initial contract between Rossi and IH was heavily in favor of Industrial Heat, and if Rossi had prevailed in the lawsuit, and was awarded the $89 million he sought, he would have likely been bound by the contract which gave exclusive commercial rights for the E-Cat to IH for North and South America, Russia, China and Saudi Arabia — a huge segment of the world’s economy.
In terms of E-Cat commercialization, the settlement wiped the slate clean and gave Rossi a fresh start with no restrictions on where he is able to commercialize the E-Cat. He admits now that he was naive in signing the IH contract and states that with the legal experience gained from the lawsuit his legal team is now prepared to help him negotiate better contracts going forward. Rossi states a new partner is now on board to help him start the commercialization process.
Is the E-Cat for Real?
After nearly seven years since Rossi first went public, that’s the big question that many people are still asking. I understand that many people still have at least some level of uncertainty, if not total doubt. The Stockholm presentation did not provide the final scientific proof that the E-Cat works as claimed, because it was not an independent scientific experiment, and that was disappointing to some. I don’t think that question will be conclusively answered for most people until commercialization is achieved, but speaking for myself, despite everything taking longer than I initially expected, I am as convinced as ever of the validity of the E-Cat. This was the year that I first saw an E-Cat for myself, and from the setup I saw it was clear to me that Andrea Rossi had been hard at work developing what has turned out the be the E-Cat QX. If the measurement instrumentation used in the test that I witnessed was accurate, then he has made a very important breakthrough in terms of energy technology.
So will 2018 be the year that the E-Cat finally hits the marketplace? Andrea Rossi says that this is his hope and goal, shared by his team and partner. He stated today on the JONP: “I am optimist about the fact that in 2018 we will reach the massive industrialization phase. In these 2 months after the demo at the IVA of Stockholm we have added much progress to the Ecat QX in the direction of its industrialization.”
I do hope he is right, but since these things always seem to take longer than initially projected, I am loath to make a prediction. We will just wait and see how things play out.
Other LENR teams
Of course Andrea Rossi is not the only operator in the LENR field. There are other teams at work such as Brillouin, Clean Planet, and me356 who claim to be working towards commercialization. Brilliant Light Power does not claim to be working in LENR, but they also are active in developing what could be a significant energy technology. They have said that they hope to have some products ready for field testing in 2018. None of these has broken out commercially in 2017. Possibly 2018 may see some progress.