Risks and Rewards For Businesses to Adopt The E-Cat

The most interesting piece of information, for me, to come out of my recent interview with Andrea Rossi was his answer to my question of how much money a customer will save by switching from their current energy source to the E-Cat. Rossi said the actual saving would depend on the specific situation, but said that the saving would be between 30 and 50 per cent.

That is the first time we have had even a ballpark number about how much the E-Cat would cost. It will be interesting to see how tempting that number will be to industrial customers. I would imagine that any industry, or any individual for that matter, would take notice if they were told that they could save up to half of their energy bill.

In many cases energy savings proposals come with an upfront cost, such as investing in a solar system, or a higher-efficiency furnace/AC unit. But Leonardo’s proposition apparently does not require any initial investment for equipment, since Leonardo will install the E-Cat hardware and will manage the E-Cats remotely at no charge.

There will be disruption required for the customer, which may come at some cost in time, space, and labor. They will have to find space for the E-Cat apparatus, and they will have to make modifications to their plants to incorporate an E-Cat heat source, and that might not be a trivial undertaking. They will also have to maintain a backup heat source and have it on continual standby in case the E-Cat goes offline — so that adds complexity.

Also, so far, Leonardo has no commercial track record. LENR is unknown to most people, and certainly not considered a real alternative energy source at this point. The customer cannot be sure how reliable the E-Cat will be. There is the risk that the E-Cat won’t work well for whatever reason, and the time and effort put into installation may not be worth it.

On the other hand, if the E-Cat system does work well, there are risks for customers not to give the E-Cat a chance. In industries where energy is significant cost of doing business, a savings of 30-50 percent could give a business an competitive advantage in terms of overall cost savings, allowing a business to provide products and/or services at lower costs to the end user.

There’s also the clean energy factor to consider. Again, if the E-Cat does work well, and it does not produce any pollution, it will be seen as an efficient way for a company to be environmentally responsible, which can count for a great deal in today’s economic and political environment.

It think it will be interesting to see whether the savings offered by Leonardo will be attractive enough for customers take them up on their E-Cat proposition.

  • cashmemorz

    So, all things considered, any potential customer would have to take several things into consideration. Some of those are detailed by Frank Acland. Also, as was mentioned by RENE in the topic preceding, the first thing to take into consideration, is “verify, verify.” There has not ever been any history to look at where a LENR device has supplied heat to a real business. The year long test is questionable in that regard. That year long test may even be the point showing that there was something unreal about Rossi’s heat supply. What I would want to see, as a potential customer, is a working pilot plant similar to the one to be working close to my facilities, and an expert of my choosing who would get to see the inside workings of that pilot plant. Knowing Rossi’s history, I doubt Rossi will allow that. Talking to Rossi’s experts would get some info depending on how much Rossi allows. In that case, the customer will have to go by second hand evidence or by touch and feel. So in the end take a calculated risk. The customer may just look at the character of the supplier. If they like that, then they make a deal based on just that. Looking at Rossi’s facilities may give the impression of a well organized research and development organization. And that is still a calculated risk. What else is there to look at? What other’s such as Brillouin are doing may be a more solid company to consider for that heat. The first customers may already be getting energy from someone else.

    • HS61AF91

      like Trump taking a chance on Kim Jong Un – “verify, verify.” Crazy the way similarities surface in different arenas. Hope the urge to take a chance for the better outcome prevails, in both.

  • MikeP

    This sounds more attractive for a big company than a small one. A big company can arrange a demonstration at one plant out of many. The impact of a partial/full failure would be manageable, while the benefits of getting to the head of the queue for full implementation across the company would be potentially huge.

  • Bob Greenyer

    This is a good point – When I worked for a pharmaceutical factory in UK, they replaced gas (for process heat) and electricity supply for a stealth bomber engine that provided 14MW of combined heat and power to run the factory – then they could buy cheaper gas for all their needs – installing gas storage on-site to ensure energy security.

    • Thomas Kaminski

      In March, 2016 the local IEEE Section toured the central heating/cooling plant for the University of Wisconsin, Madison campus. It produces roughly 300 MW of steam and could also use steam-turbine driven chillers for chilled water. The site was recently converted from coal to natural gas and the boilers could also burn fuel oil. Because the natural gas supply was on an interruptible schedule, they stored about US$ 4 million worth of fuel oil. On one particularly cold January weekend, they used most of the fuel oil up when the extreme cold required the utility to cut off their gas supply to maintain supplies for city residents. This newsletter (mid way down the page) has some information and pictures:

      http://ieee-msn.truenym.net/newsletters/IEEE-2016-04/

      My point is, the “backup” heating supply is often required for commercial customers to get the best utility fuel rates. Rossi’s “must have their own backup” plan is not going to be that restrictive. If he provides the capital equipment, the commercial users will have only a small cost (facility mods and space for the equipment) and if it saves operating costs for fuel, it will be advantageous.

      Supplying 300MW of heat, however with the current Rossi design might take a bit of work…

  • causal observer

    This is a numbers problem.
    1) how many potential customers are there in the total core easily reachable target market:
    1a) assume US only, hot water only (assume just below boiling point)

    2) how many innovators are there among that group?
    2a) assume 2.5%: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a74ea674fdee012717441aa050657421bc1f7944ff99149d57871317b633b89a.jpg

    3) what is the cost of a “megawatt” of hot water generated by natural gas (the largest, next most economical energy source, e.g. biggest competition?)
    3a) How to translate Rossi’s “MW” into therms?
    3b) How many therms are needed to raise input water temperature to boiling?
    3c) What is the average temperature of the input water?

    4) What is the range of initial cost to the customer of setting up the plant?

    You can believe that Rossi sees these numbers on the back of his eyeballs when he goes to sleep at night.

    • Piero

      Hey, MW is power not energy. It’s independent of time (check you physics book 🙂 )

      • causal observer

        Hey, that’s why I said I did not understand how to convert Rossi’s “1MW reactor” terminology into deliverable therms. Not going to be in a physics book, and still looking for an answer. Speculations welcome!

    • US_Citizen71

      Commercial laundries are the perfect first customers. They have all of the desirable traits. Hot water and steam needed in abundance and the energy used to produce it is a major business cost. The driers can and are steam powered for heat. Some even generate electricity from waste heat on the drier exhaust. Setup into the current system would be as easy as a T and a couple of shut off valves on the main lines as long as the business has space.

  • Max Nozin

    That just shows that Rossi never sold anything to any serious buyer. Otherwise he would now that sales story is always more complicated that just ‘i give you nice deal’ unless you are buying something like used car.

  • Rene

    This is one example of the kinds of power/heat generation systems in which an e-cat system needs to compete: https://www.ge.com/reports/supercritical-thinking-this-coal-power-plant-applies-bullet-like-pressures-to-steam-to-achieve-worlds-best-performance/

    Looking in the heat-only market is a decent start but he’s asking for them to have their traditional sources of heat on hot standby. These companies often cannot afford the losses in their processes should the heat stop for a couple of hours if they have to do a cold startup when the e-cat fails. So, the question then becomes, how many non-critical heat process companies are there? And, what do they expect back when a disruption happens? After all, though non-critical, there are downtime losses and those have a cost.

    With zero track record at delivering process heat, Leonardo LLC/corp/inc has a harder sell. Rossi could have had independent parties test and verify his earlier systems, he could have independent verifiers look at his current QX, but no, he has kept it all behind the secrecy wall. And so, he has to convince some company to take on an eclectic heat source on faith, with no proven record, with no independent statements of performance. If it works.

    • Vinney

      The customers have got no ‘capital costs’ and their existing heat generation plant is already 100% owned. They are only paying for the heat delivered, and he promises 30-50% energy (probably electric) savings on the total power consumption of their ‘aged’ system. The plant costs are bourne by Leonardo Corporation, the only customer expense would be some plumbing to divert from existing boilers, ie: $1000 maximum, and an Ethernet connection (say another $1000).
      Almost all businesses these days have reliable 24/7 internet access.
      The plant itself is going to be small, so will require very little additional space. It’s an attractive proposition to a majority of companies, including small companies.

  • Oystein Lande

    For electricity it seems there are only one future winner: Solar. The latest US PPA contracts are just amazingly low (ref nevada and Arizona bids). And when energy storage become cheap it will be unbeatable.

    Using lenr to produce steam to produce electricity in turbines is more expensive Even at no cost lenr.

    But still lenr will revolutionize physics, which is really needed, since they are in a crisis now…

    • causal observer

      I generally agree, however, Puerto Rico hurricane…
      And maybe 3D print Stirling engines? 3D print an entire electrical generator around a Stirling engine, and just stick an eCat(R) module the size of a small flashlight into the side of it every year?

    • I think solar and LENR could be an interesting combination in many applications, for example in electric vehicles. LENR would reduce the need for battery capacity to what’s needed for distributing peak demand, and it would eliminate the need for recharging, since charging can be done continuously.

      Have a look at research by Stanford researcher Tony Seba in 2017, claiming that no new diesel or petrol fuelled vehicles (ICE) will be sold anywhere in the world from 2024, since the cost of transportation with Transportation as a Service (TaaS) with self-driving electric vehicles will be so low (6.8 c/mile) that people will choose them of pure economic reasons. TaaS is just so much more energy efficient and overall optimised, with 40 percent usage time of vehicles and a total lifetime of 500,000 miles or more.
      Then add LENR…
      https://tonyseba.com/portfolio-item/rethinking-transportation-2020-2030/

      • causal observer

        Interesting article. I have little doubt that the technology will get here. I have more concerns about the possibilty that it will drive unemployment up to a steady Euro-grade 12%. The idea that there will be “new jobs“ implies that there are some kind of “new values“ that need to be produced and consumed. Well, if those new values are not clear now then when are they going to appear?

        • Causal observer, I agree. Just looking at the transportation industry, this report by ITF (International Transport Forum) shows a worrisome picture:
          https://www.itf-oecd.org/managing-transition-driverless-road-freight-transport

          However, there is some new value to expect: When transportation will be done through transportation services and not by privately owned vehicles, the focus will shift from hardware to services, before, during and after transportation. A little bit like the mobile industry went from hardware focused to software with the introduction of the smartphone.
          And there are so many services to be offered in connection with transportation that we really don’t imagine them yet.

          Also, transportation will go from the sum of single distances travelled to a optimised transportation system, which will require new skills and qualities. Not obviously more people though.

          But again, I agree, what will happen with employment is not clear, and predictions point in all directions. For sure, our idea about work will change, and also about how wealth distribution is organised.

          • “Jag bara undrar?”

            Of course, the transport industry is interesting for “cat manufacturers” but do not forget the cement industry where ABB develops control systems. The biggest risk for the “cat” is the political one. Why should Trump allow exports of “cats”? Before Russia is catching up

          • causal observer

            I saw one sliver of positive outcome. California has a severe housing crisis, involving high tech salaries, lack of real estate close to the jobs, gentrification leading to community break up, and long commutes. Elements of a solution include factory-built dwellings (which will yield more slowly to robots) and faster, more flexible, safer and less stressful means of transportation. This could create more housing in the areas where there is real estate and at the same time allow people to stay better connected to jobs and their original communities.

      • Rene

        Mats wrote, “I think solar and LENR could be an interesting combination in many applications, …”
        Agreed. My hope was to augment my off-grid PV solar with LENR. LENR was to provide mostly heating, domestic water, house heating, etc. And if only 500w-1KW, that would top off batteries during low insolation periods.

        PV works fine for me presently while LENR is still blowing in the wind. My 2011 order for 2 4KW e-cats is yet to be fulfilled. I stopped waiting.

        Discussions of what can be done with LENR are nice, but in the end they are fanciful entertainment. I do look forward to the open research reports as they are far better than the enticements of an unsubstantiated and secretive commercial venturist. If he has something, wonderful, great to see it in action. Until then, the pronouncements are zero value.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Will he have “first-mover advantage”? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-mover_advantage

  • GGluek

    Aiming too high. Imagine how much coffee you could brew with a Quark in every Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts in the country.

  • sam

    A thirty percent discount sounds good to me.
    A business with a big heat bill would be interested.

  • causal observer

    The tragedy is that LENR was not pursued vigorously starting in 1989. Might have saved several wars past, present and future.
    If Rossi had put everything on the table 8 years ago it would not have changed that.
    If solar beats LENR then that was going to happen anyway.
    And there is still a lot of energy poverty that could be quickly solved with LENR before solar gets fully deployed.

  • causal observer

    Robots, LENR, AI, oh my!

  • Alan DeAngelis

    In the future, its energy density will eventually become its advantage. Easier to transport.

    https://nationalpostcom.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/arctic-oil-rig.jpg?quality=75&strip=all

    • Vinney

      Another ‘vertical market’ for Ecat heat. Autonomous airships that use helium/hydrogen for buoyancy and hot air for lift to deliver containers in metropolition and surrounding areas. Will make travel safer for autonomous cars and buses. These ‘heavy lifting’ airships will also revolutionize construction, as large prefabricated elements can be delivered straight to construction sites that would not even fit on the roads. Complete storeys of a building can be delivered and fixed in position at once.
      As a consequence, buildings will make use of sronger and lighter composites and manufacturing techniques, controlled environments will make use of more 3D printing technologies, will be more thermally efficient, will have higher quality finishes, greater open spans will be possible (flexible use).
      This will also mean buildings can be easily disassembled for re-use or recycling in a similar fashion. The building industry will be unrecognizable in a few years.

      • causal observer

        Buckey’s aerostats!

      • Vinney

        Another side benefit of a flotilla of airships transporting heavy containers, and bulk goods, is that they can provide a wireless communication network, and as they are travelling at the just above buildings, they could transmit data using a benign microwave frequency between airships and even lasers (as they are below aircraft travelling height.
        So even as they a stationary over a delivered load, waiting for the container to be emptied, or for the next consignment to arrive, they are a node in a communication network.
        They are the missing link in a drone delivery service from Amazon and other delivery services, as authorised drones can hitch a ride on an airship to deliver a heavy consignment anything up to 70-90% of the trip, and fly back to base (unladen).

      • Iggy Dalrymple

        Isn’t lift and buoyancy the same in your post? With cheap heat, you wouldn’t need helium or hydrogen…..or is that your point?

  • Vinney

    I don’t see how solar is competition to LENR, where I reside I am seeing the city go up several levels very quickly. Solar may still be viable in the suburbs, but most global cities are built-up. How are solar panels going to provide even hot water to a modest size condominium. Most cities are changing very quickly now and are going to change even quicker in the future with new technologies starting to emerge. The norm is becoming medium density, and people like to ‘sunbake’ on space getting a lot of sun.
    Then there is competition from green roofs in these same medium density developments for the pleasant environment they provide the inhabitants. Where is the space to place solar panels to power more than a smartphone.

    • Oystein Lande

      I started this thread by stating that Solar seems to be the winner wrt electricity generation. LENR may well provide heat, but electricity is of higher value.

  • artefact

    On JONP:

    “Anonymous June 17, 2018 at 7:15 PM
    Dear Dr Andrea Rossi:
    Where and when you presume will be the presentation of the industrialized Ecat ready for the heat sale?
    Will be any of the readers of this blog to attend?

    Andrea Rossi June 18, 2018 at 3:41 AM
    Anonymous:
    I presume and hope between the end of December and the end of January.
    It will be in the USA, East Coast.
    All the Reafers that desire to attend can send a request of invitation to: [email protected]
    Obviously not all can be invited, but I will select the ones that I deem will have more merit, based on their sustain and suggestions.
    The attendance will be free.
    Warm Regards, A.R. “

  • Albert D. Kallal

    Solar works great, and the price points are rather amazing. However, storage is not affordable option yet. (So when you factor in this issue – then solar not cheap).

    LENR is heat – that means hot water, and significate industry uses, solar not going to cut it.
    (and you do point this out).

    So, I don’t think LENR has missed much. The major downside against solar is limits on “gathering” the energy, and THEN concentrating it, and THEN having to distribute that energy. These factors still limit solar.

    Energy that is “already” in a concentrated form is what gives it so much value. Solar not a form of concentrated energy. And worse it hard to tie up so many distributed systems – you try and build some power lines, and people will complain that some turtle or bug is endangered. So solar has lots of hurdles to hop over.

    And even in warmer climates, I can’t see a 12 or 20 story condo using solar for air-conditioning, but I can see LENR being used for both heating and cooling such buildings. And solar for electric? Well, ok but you have to build a solar farm someplace – and then you back to all those extra power lines that people don’t want.

    >> Nobody is going to buy his unproven black-box heating service for a 30% discount off of current prices

    Well, that’s why Rossi not selling the box – but you only pay for the energy you get and Rossi will own the box. It is a form of leasing and if you don’t get energy, then you don’t pay Rossi. Rossi not selling the box, but only the energy from that box. (customers will not care how Rossi makes that heat).

    The simple point and break though for LENR will be a commercial customer – after that then LENR becomes real and the stampede starts. We need that first commercial flight so to speak.

    Regards,
    Albert D. Kallal
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

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