Self-looped E-Cat Plant ‘Theoretically Possible, but Economically Useless” – For Now.

Over the years many people have suggested that if the E-Cat Works as Andrea Rossi claims, and has a high enough COP, it should be relatively straightforward to use a portion of the energy produced by the E-Cat to generate the electricity needed to power itself — thus having a self-looped plant, without the need for any external electrical supply.

Andrea Rossi in the past has stated that this would not be feasible for “safety reasons”, without specifying exactly what those reasons were. I put a question on the Journal of Nuclear Physics about this issue in relation to the E-Cat QX, and this was Rossi’s reply:

Andrea Rossi
February 12, 2018 at 1:22 PM
Frank Acland:
To make electricity we need the Carnot Cycle, then we can use the electricity to run the Ecat. Theoretically possible, but economically useless and complicated, so far.
What counts is the COP, with or without longer or shorted SSM. In future, after the launch of the product, we will spend time on this possibility, but I think in the short term our core business will remain to make heat, with which our Customers will make what they need.
Warm Regards,
A.R.

Rossi is clearly focused on his first product which will be a heater, but if the plant works well and the COP is high enough, it won’t be long before people start using them to generate electricity. At that point I think it will be only a matter of time before Rossi, or one of his customers decides to work on closing the loop as it’s such an obvious thing to do. Rossi is not counting it out, but I think given his current ‘race against time’ to get production started this year, generation of electricity with all its implications is a level of complexity that he currently doesn’t need to deal with.

  • hunfgerh

    Once again. Following my theoretical and practical ideas
    in: https://sites.google.com/si
    it is possible to generate heat with a COP of 3 (nuclear reaction) in the superconductor side and current with a COP <1 (secondary side).

  • Stephen Taylor

    A remarkable admission of low cop. I’m quite surprised by his candor.

    • I don’t think he admitted a low COP. He said he wouldn’t be able to sell closed loop systems and it was an unnecessary complication at this point.

      • Stephen Taylor

        That doesn’t make sense and never has. If his devices makes heat at the temperatures he has reported then this heat can be converted to electricity by conventional, economically sensible, means. If cop is much greater than 3 the system is over unity resulting in a disruptive “free energy” scenario. Boilers and steam turbines are cheap. He can’t do it or he would have done. Sorry to be the messenger.
        I’m here since the beginning. Still hoping something good will happen. Not sure what is going on but maybe real progress will become evident. Certainty there is a lot going on in this field of lenr.

        • Pekka Janhunen

          Fission plants don’t self-loop either.

          • Mylan

            But there is no serious doubt that fission plants produce excess energy.

          • Ophelia Rump

            Among other things.

          • Omega Z

            Yes, Such as fissioning ourselves into non existence. 🙁

          • Stephen Taylor

            Good to see you Pekka, i don’t say much here anymore but have always enjoyed and respected your analyses. Time for me to get back to reading and stop writing. There’s a lot to read with this EVO twist.

            What do you think about the diamonds as electron emitters and this whole idea of creating charge clusters?

          • Pekka Janhunen

            Thanks, Stephen. About diamonds as electron emitters, they seem to be well known, for
            example
            https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925963598003872 . About charge clusters, I’m kind of still missing what is the anomalous claim. For example the patent drawings of Shoulders look like a zoo of electron guns to me.

          • The Director

            EVOs are totally different than individual electrons — although they do emit electrons at high energies. Kenneth Shoulders was able to eject EVOs from cathodes and have them strike anodes or target plates. Repeatedly and consistently, he was able to produce isotopic shifts and transmutations. Moreover, if his EVOs contained positive ions, he could accelerate them anomalously, for no extra input, to MeV levels of energy and slam them onto targets — producing traditional nuclear fusion effects. The list of anomalies continue. EVOs are also capable of boring holes through a variety of materials, melting substances like aluminum oxide in a non-thermal manner. Sprays of the material could be accelerated to perhaps one percent of the speed of light.

          • Pekka Janhunen

            …and by the way, I follow the pages but often remain silent nowadays because I have nothing novel to say (about E-cat and Rossi; I mostly ignore the other stuff).

          • Omega Z

            Our Grid power plants are also not looped for the same reasons Rossi gives. Stability and safety issues. This applies to Hydro-power plants as well. It’s what people do not know about electricity that makes them question the non looping. Electricity needs conditioned in multiple ways to be stabile and should the plant become unstable, so does the energy they produce.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          It is not that simple. Most likely he would need a buffer to ensure energy supply at peak load. Batteries might be too slow to (re-)load, capacitors are expensive and have low energy density. Also, he would need a more complex control system. All perhaps possible to build, but what would be the advantage if there is a grid in reach?

          • Stephen Taylor

            It is not self looping that I have a problem with. It is the fact that since Lugano and Ferrara tests, even earlier, it was clear that the parameters to produce abundant steam were present. It is easy to use steam to do work and obvious then to see if more work goes in or comes out.

        • Mylan

          The fact that he never presented a closed loop system, which would have been a very easy way to definitely prove a high COP, is a main factor that keeps me cautious regarding Rossi.

          • Stephen Taylor

            Yes, that and so many other failures to present a convincing demo have led me to worry that he is struggling to find a robust system. The demos, though flawed, may attract investors to support his efforts.

        • Best to not overthink it. Rossi has been relying on Fabiani to rig a custom control system for this non-linear beast he’s invented. If you were Rossi would you say, “Oh and hey Fabiani, strap on a Carnot engine and generate electricity to feed back into the system so we can really finally convince all those skeptics.”

          I wouldn’t.

          If I wanted to convince skeptics and scientists I would let a team of scientists perform months long tests on it without restriction.

          OH WAIT!

          • Stephen Taylor

            You make a reasonable point and I so hope you are correct. Meanwhile, as always, we wait.

          • There’s the issue of whether what Rossi says is true or not. We have proof that he sometimes lies and no real incontrovertible proof of over-unity after all this time.

            But as far as what he says, whether it is true or not, he is on record with triple digit COPs.

        • Omega Z

          On average conversion, COP=3 is break even. You need much more to make it economical. Otherwise its just a scientific curiosity.

          Note nearly every power plant in the grid depends on power from other power plants in order to operate in a stabile and safe manor. In fact, this includes nearly every hydro-power plant. Once powered up, technically these power plants could be self looped, but they aren’t because power plants can and do occasionally become unstable. If they were self looped, bad things can happen causing massive damages.

    • LarryJ

      Note that the average COP on the 1 year MW test reactor was around 80 and it seems unlikely that the new improved QX would come in with a lower COP. Here is a link to the official report of the ERV from the 1 year test as submitted to the court in evidence. If you look at the appendix you will see that the daily COP is recorded at around 80. I think it is safe to assume after watching the Stockholm demo that the QX will be much higher.

      https://ecat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Expert-Responsible-for-Validation-Ing-Fabio-Penon-Nuclear-Engineer-for-1-MW-E-Cat.pdf

      • Stephen Taylor

        Maybe someday we will see.

  • Jas

    There are enough schools, factories, hospitals, warehouses and shopping malls on the planet to keep the production line busy for many years. However portability of the device would really be the end of big oil. When the Quark X can be put into transport then no one will buy an ICE vehicle ever again.

    • Omega Z

      Big Oil will pass, but because of economic depletion, not LENR. At present use levels this will happen in about 40 years. As consumption is increasing by 2 mb/d every year, it is likely to happen in less then 40 years. Currently, about 15 mb/d are used as feed stock for 1000’s of products not energy related. Science will be very busy finding alternative sources to replace this loss.

      • Warthog

        Oil is NOT the preferred feedstock for production of chemical products…….natural gas is. Producing things like plastics from oil is far more difficult and energy intensive.

        • Omega Z

          Feed stock for plastics come from Oil, Natural gas and Coal. Plastics are just 1 of over 6000 products obtained from these sources that are not used for fuel. Anything that can be obtained from Natural gas can also be obtained from Oil along with many others not obtainable from N-gas. Note cost is the distinguishing factor in feed stock choice, but likely no 1 source can fill the demand by itself. Also. regardless of Oil or N-gas, they both require a cracking process.

          Interesting fact. Gasoline was once considered a useless byproduct of no real use or value. It was dumped into rivers and streams to dispose of it.

          • Warthog

            I worked for Dow Chemical in south Louisiana for many years. Their preferred feedstock was natural gas…period. That was during the peak period for the “we’re gonna run out of natural gas” meme. The company spent a LOT of money pursuing different feedstocks, including naphtha and coal. Neither was cost effective and required far far greater capital and continuing investment to use. And yes, being a chemist AND from south Louisiana, I am well aware of gasoline’s history as a waste product.

  • malkom700

    From the point of view of some investors it would be good to have a complex equipment, but for the world alone, and primarily the first operating machine, is the most important regardless of its economic viability.

  • AdrianAshfield

    I’m with Rossi on this one. His priority is to make QXs in quantity not work on probably less reliable engines to convert heat to power.
    In passing, some other company might look at making a “battery” using a singe reactor and bimetallic electricity production, even though that is very inefficient.

  • greggoble

    The Industrial Heat test was of the Hot-Cat which Rossi has been working on the longest, LENR Thermal.

    The QuarkX is a LENR Electric technology with direct conversion of nuclear reaction to electrical current.

    IF… the Hot-cat now has the bugs worked out why complicate certification by attaching an electrical generating unit?

    High process heat is the product, which has many uses in industry besides electrical generation. Let the customers do what they will with that heat according to their needs… Eliminating coal or oil as bunker fuel.

    The QuarkX may be better suited for a self (closed) loop system, running off its’ own current without a Carnot cycle. Heat will be a byproduct which can easily be converted (at low efficiency with a thermal electric blanket), delivering a bit more current. Heat management may still be needed, or utilized for cooling as a gas refrigerator does.

    It seems to me to be prudent to get the high process heat to market. They have been working on it the longest. The Hot-Cat may be less complicated. Plenty of large heat consuming customers to market to, get to market and make money.

    The QuarkX is likely more complex.
    It may have more bugs to work out.
    The QuarkX may enter the market afterwards.
    The QuarkX may be better suited for transportation or other non-industrial uses.
    Non-industrial uses may require more certification hurdles to address in order to market.

    • Frank Acland

      Rossi has said that these first QX plants will be thermal ones producing hot water or steam (temperatures can be regulated by the user). I’m not sure what the maximum temperature they will be capable of producing is.. He has said that the QX produce some electricity as a side effect, but they are not going to be putting them into the market as direct electricity generators.

      • greggoble

        Thank you for the clarification, I erroneously thought different LENR reactors were being developed by Rossi et.al.; each following different markets and each requiring separate certification. My thoughts on industrial use versus non-industrial use, high process heat versus electrical production still have me piqued. Your thoughts help me.

        One other question I have, As a direct conversion LENR reactor captures more reaction particles, converting them to electricity, will there be less heat?

        Study of the works of Liviu Popa Simil might shed light. Another question I have is, Are, to Quote Liviu – “…direct energy conversion nano-hetero structured meta-materials resembling a super-capacitor loading from nuclear particles’ energy and discharging as electricity…” an aspect of the inner workings of his QuarkX reactor?, and also, May the works of Liviu enhance what Rossi has in his QuarkX?

        Liviu Popa Simil and LENR Energy Direct Conversion to Electricity

        https://gbgoble.kinja.com/liviu-popa-simil-and-lenr-energy-direct-conversion-to-e-1822654638

        “Accelerator Enabled Nano-Nuclear Materials Development; Advanced NanoMaterials and Technologies for Energy Sector”http://sciedtech.eu/download/liviu-popa-simil-accelerator-enabled-nano-nuclear-materials-development-advanced-nanomaterials-and-technologies-for-energy-sector-201711-1-12/?wpdmdl=1157

        Abstract

        Nuclear renaissance isn’t possible without the development of new nano-hetero-structured materials. A novel micro-hetero structure, entitled “cer-liq-mesh”, nuclear fuel that self-separates the fission products from nuclear fuel, makes fuel reprocessing easier, allowing near-perfect burnup by easy fast recladding, being prone to improve the nuclear fuel cycle. Fuel heating analysis led to development of new direct energy conversion nano-hetero structured meta-materials resembling a super-capacitor loading from nuclear particles’ energy and discharging as electricity, prone to remove 90% of the actual nuclear power plant hardware, increasing the energy conversion efficiency.

        Usage of ion beam recoil analysis is used to measure and prove the nano-grains’ and nano-clusters’ special properties, such as shape-enhanced impurity diffusion and self-repairing in cluster structured fractal materials. The nanograin liquid interface is studied by ion beam simulation in order to develop a new generation of nuclear fuels with enhanced breeding and transmutation properties, able to directly separate the transmutation products, thus reducing the need for hard, hazardous chemical processes.

        Ion-beam channeling in material may be extended to neutrons and gamma rays, and using hybrid NEMS structures new applications may create novel solid-state nuclear reactor control reactivity system, radiation modulators for gamma, neutrino communication systems and ultra-light radiation shielding.

        • Frank Acland

          In the past Rossi has said in the past that he can adjust the ratio of heat and electricity, but has said that for now heat is the easiest thing for him to work with.

  • Dr. Mike

    I agree with Frank that if Rossi is able to achieve a system COP of greater than 10 or so, it seems possible that a customer might design and sell a system that generates electricity. Add some battery power for system start up and you have a closed loop system. The cost of the QX heating system, the system COP, and the reliability of the QX system would be the main issues in determining if electricity generation would be economically feasible. In my opinion, there won’t be any company designing electrical generation equipment using the QX technology until cost, system COP, and reliability data are available. Actually, it does not make sense for any company to plan on producing more than a couple prototypes of whatever product that they might want to develop using the QX technology until the reliability of the technology is proven. It may take a couple of years to establish reliability even if no engineering problems are encountered.

  • Omega Z

    No, In fact I would bet his control system uses the same open source codes used in Linux just as most everyone else uses including Microsoft in their gaming systems..

  • GiveADogABone

    Rossi states: ‘To make electricity we need the Carnot Cycle, then we can use the electricity to run the Ecat. Theoretically possible, but economically useless and complicated, so far.’
    This paints the picture in black and white but there are shades of grey.

    A large steam electricity generating unit preheats its boiler feed water using bled steam from the turbine in about nine stages in the units I knew. The first stage preheater heats condenser outlet water at about 35-40C. By the fourth stage outlet, the water temperature will have reached about 130C.

    The bled steam consumption could be replaced by LENR heaters, operating at up to 130C. Allowing the bled steam to stay within the turbine until it reaches the main condenser will produce more electricity for the same fossil fuel consumption. You have then efficiently generated electricity in excess of the previous scenario by the use of LENR in a Carnot (specifically a Rankine) Cycle. Part of the additional electricity output would be used in the LENR control system.

    Low pressure feed heating for big electricity generators would be a big market for low temperature LENR. It is theoretically possible, economically effective and simple; just a water heater with inlet water at 40C and outlet water at 130C.

    • Vinney

      We have said this from day 1 for the 1MW Doral and earlier Bologna 1MW plant.
      Rossi’s game plan is not to initially step on the large electricity producers, but to sell them thousands of the newer 1MW Ecat QX boilers to reduce their costs dramatically.
      Electricity prices should go down after the release of the QX, hard to know the exact figures but easily 30-50% (some developed world electricity prices are seriously overpriced) by the end of 12 months since release. Also because of the fact that electrical generators will have reduced CO2 taxes and environmental waste costs.
      Renewables won’t be standing still either, they will bring innovations 2 or 3 years forward, and implement many new marketing strategies that thusfar have only been ‘brainstormed’.
      It will be a race for survival amongst many of the renewables companies, dramatically lowered margins and ‘smart’ CHP and OTG solutions will abound, as the established generators will have to loose their ‘sacred cow’ status.
      They will also be looking for nascent markets in countries without an established or reliable power grid.
      All good for the consumer everywhere, and it will get even better the year after.

      • Vinney

        Many renewables companies that are also generators linked to the grid, will switch to E-cat QX power with natural gas providing energy to the last phase in the Carnot cycle.
        These plant have the advantage of being compact and can be placed near big power users (or even on the customers land).
        They can also be sited near population centres, are scalable to changing demand, and can form the basis of a smart grid that provides both heat (district heating) and power.

  • Gerard McEk

    Andrea just agrees that he will soon be able to deliver Ecats that can make suitable steam for high power electricity plants:
    Gerard McEk
    February 12, 2018 at 11:34 PM
    Dear Andrea,
    You replied to Frank Ackland that you do not yet develop Ecats for generating electricity, but if a customer wants to use an E-cat QX for generating electricity, would you be able/willing to deliver one with the right properties (i.e. High pressure steam/ 500 deg C) in relatively short terms after you have industrialized the QX modules?
    Thanks for answering our questions.
    Kind regards, Gerard

    Andrea Rossi
    February 13, 2018 at 8:32 AM
    Gerard McEk:
    Yes.
    Warm Regards,
    A.R.

  • Yes, that’s my memory of it. That’s pretty absurd to bash a “business model” for software that was designed to be open-sourced. I guess some people (capitalists like Rossi) just can’t think outside of the cash cash cash mindset.

    • Frank Acland

      Rossi often holds up Microsoft as a business model to emulate.

  • Omega Z

    Fulvio Fabiani is the Italian engineer who works with Rossi building the controls and does the programming of it per Rossi’s requirements.. I know he works with Linux as I’ve seen him discuss it on a blog a long while back.

  • Omega Z

    With any new technology, you need financial backers to get it off the ground. This relates to Rossi’s patents. Major investors want all the guarantees they can get as any such venture is already very high risk. Thus Rossi preferred business model. Microsoft, Apple ect..

    Linux open source just doesn’t work. Admit it, tho Linux is good for free ware, it has many issues that may or may never be addressed as it doesn’t have the backing and support that Microsoft has. Not I also have issues with Microsoft. Price and the continuous attempts of trying to force customers to comply to their thinking. Would be nice to have a 3rd option.