me356: Photos of AURA control unit

  • So, here are the SEM images of the Ni powder sample that Bob Greenyer sent me which he obtained from Alexander Parkhomov (for comparison to the Hunter AH-50). The morphology two powders look extremely similar, with the Parkhomov powder being somewhat larger granules on average.

  • I have put a short video tour of my plasma exciter prototype on Youtube. It is unscripted and has a lot of "uhhh" when I am trying to think of the next thing to say (so don't be too critical). It shows the use of the 13.56 MHz excitation to light up a gas plasma testing tube. Now I am going to mechanically mount the coil assembly to my vacuum fixture so that I can apply the RF to a tube containing Ni powder and H2 gas. I will put the exciter all together in its own assembly with a crystal oscillator source (instead of my waveform generator in the oscilloscope) and with a switching power supply. It would be nice to add a single button press for starting the plasma - easy to do.


    Video:


    One of the hard things in this was protection of the RF power amplifier. When the plasma snaps on, the impedance looking into the coil changes as a step, going from high impedance to low impedance. As you search the tuner to re-match into the lower impedance, I have had it burn out a power transistor in the output of the amplifier. Because of this, I put power resistors in the output of the amplifier to limit the range of possible impedance swing seen by the amplifier output transistors. While adding these resistors reduced the maximum achievable output power and reduced the RF conversion efficiency, it has been successful in preventing damage to the amplifier during tuning of the load.

  • can The intent is to begin by using the plasma exciter to treat the powder in 10-50 torr of H2. Then I will heat the powder in the high temperature insulated measurement system with H2 gas at somewhat higher pressure - about 200 torr to test for LENR. Additionally, I am looking at modifying my heater coil (kanthal) so that I can drive it with DC for heating and RF to stimulate a plasma in the test apparatus.


    I want to study the changes in the Ni powder under various durations of plasma treatment as well (SEM study).

  • BobHiggins

    It will be interesting to see if for example during the treatment H2 pressure will decrease in a way that could be interpreted as some sort of anomalous hydrogen absorption. In general, it could be worth monitoring that portion of the experiment as if it was a "live" one.

  • can Monitoring for the small amount of H2 absorption would be difficult. H2 is a very leaky gas and it would be hard to discern the absorption from a leak. Also, I plan to evacuate, load H2, and repeat as part of the process. I will monitor for radiations to look for activity. The initial preparation will be run in fused quartz tubes so that I can observe the plasma and how hot the powder is getting - ascertained by its thermal glow.

  • BobHiggins

    If it's absorption the process should be reversible, but perhaps that might be going outside the scope of your planned testing.


    By other kinds of testing indeed I previously meant for example somehow measuring the light output (without a spectrometer) while applying RF in a suitable transparent tube and with various gas/metal mixtures, which would initially be H2/Ni. The suggestion is that with anomalous heating perhaps also comes anomalous light output (besides thermal glow) and that it might be triggered already during the processing phase. Darden et al were looking at something similar few years ago, as it was revealed in the trial documentation last summer, but that was only while heating (reportedly), and RF stimulation could be as good as, if not better than, heat alone as a LENR trigger.


    http://coldfusioncommunity.net/darden-to-sloan-372014/


    Quote

    We are building tiny glass reactors for rapid testing purposes. Our cost per test has dropped from thousands of dollars to about $25. We have been seeing flashes of energy in the fuel when it is heated. Our goal is to be able to see and record the intensity of reactions occurring with different fuel materials. [...]

  • can You are right. There is certainly opportunity for LENR related effects to occur during the pre-treatment. Perhaps it would be good to record video so if something unusual happens there will be a record of the visual event as well as potentially any radiation event. It would be nice to have a thermal camera to record the heating, but I don't have one at the moment. I will see if there are any I can borrow.

  • BobHiggins

    An idea could be (or maybe it would even be better than a standard video in some ways) using time-lapse photography with the camera set in manual mode with fixed (not automatic) white point calibration, and fixed aperture+exposure time set so that the image will not be overexposed at typical glowing conditions. However that would require a more serious/advanced digital camera than the usual webcam or smartphone camera, plus some care in maintaining stable ambient lighting conditions.

  • Here is what I am working on for treatment. The lecture bottle gas is He right now and will be changed to be H2. Also, I am showing an alumina reactor tube going through the coil. The processing will be done in a fused quartz tube that is the same size. I have the fused quartz tubes but I need to epoxy on a connector. I am working on the 13.56 MHz crystal signal source right now so as to eliminate the need for the waveform generator in the oscilloscope. The SS tree on the right is my vacuum system which is on a heavy duty cart.




  • One of the hard things in this was protection of the RF power amplifier. When the plasma snaps on, the impedance looking into the coil changes as a step, going from high impedance to low impedance. As you search the tuner to re-match into the lower impedance, I have had it burn out a power transistor in the output of the amplifier. Because of this, I put power resistors in the output of the amplifier to limit the range of possible impedance swing seen by the amplifier output transistors. While adding these resistors reduced the maximum achievable output power and reduced the RF conversion efficiency, it has been successful in preventing damage to the amplifier during tuning of the load.

    Are these wirewound resistors? If so, each will add another lump of inductance into the equation. That may or may not be important depending on whether they are counted in the 'heat input' part of the experiment.

  • Are these wirewound resistors?

    Hi Dan, You are right that wirewound power resistors would introduce a lot of inductance. What I used were power thick film resistors, http://www.caddock.com/Online_…ktg_Lit/MP9000_Series.pdf , which are rated for 10nH of inductance. I don't intend to do calorimetry in this system. I am going to use this system to treat the Ni powder, and then put it into the previous insulated thermometry system to look for XH.

  • Here is what I am working on for treatment. The lecture bottle gas is He right now and will be changed to be H2. Also, I am showing an alumina reactor tube going through the coil. The processing will be done in a fused quartz tube that is the same size. I have the fused quartz tubes but I need to epoxy on a connector. I am working on the 13.56 MHz crystal signal source right now so as to eliminate the need for the waveform generator in the oscilloscope. The SS tree on the right is my vacuum system which is on a heavy duty cart.



    Have you found the excess heat?

  • lenrcentury In this line of plasma treatment, I am still working on the equipment to treat the Ni powder. In the previous Parkhomov-like experiments, I found no excess heat.

    There seems to be a heater inside the AURA reactor of me356. If you add a heater near the RF inductance coupling reactor, the effect may be better.

    Will the me356's AURA reactor be tested again in 2018?

  • lenrcentury Regarding the AURA reactor... Bob Greenyer, has not indicated that there has been a new invitation to test an me356 reactor. That doesn't mean that it won't happen, it just means that the invitation from me356 has not been given yet.


    The intent is to test the plasma processed powder in a separate reactor with a heater. A new heater is being constructed that will allow both the DC heating input and have an additional input to provide RF (using a bias-T). Both DC heating and DC+RF will be tested. A new heater coil is needed because the present heater coil is bifilar wound and cannot be driven to stimulate an RF magnetic field in the coil. No big deal to wind a new one.

  • Bob, I would like to make a few suggestion that you are welcome to utilize or take with a grain of salt.


    1 - Clean and degrease your powder before anything else.


    2 - Utilize a few cycles of heating and degassing under vacuum to remove trapped oxygen. I'm hearing this is important. Oxygen is a LENR killer.


    3 - Before implanting hydrogen utilize an inert argon gaseous environment to sputter clean the nickel oxide layer off the nickel. Argon is heavier than hydrogen so the cleaning will be far more effective.


    4 - Continue to sputter and simutaneously load protons into the nickel with a mix of argon and hydrogen in the RF or corona discharge (even more powerful). A final period with a high level of hydrogen may work well.


    5 - Minimize exposure to atmosphere during fuel transfer.


    6 - Apply lithium doped nano or micro-diamonds to the fuel. Patents exist that explain the doping process.


    7 - Use a positively charged plate or tube or wire around the fuel tube to attract EVOs (spheromaks) to the embrittled nickel. If no excess heat develops, reverse the polarity. Or try multiple cycles.

  • Director A couple of thoughts...


    The carbonyl Ni comes from the manufacturer very clean - direct from nickel tetracarbonyl decomposition. Experiments, particularly those of Jiang, suggest that as it comes from the manufacturer, the powder is pretty LENR active, but it quickly loses that activity, probably due to oxidation. Chemical cleaning is likely to leave the powder more contaminated than it was to start. Ni oxide is a weak oxide and pretty easy to remove in H2, particularly in an H2 plasma.


    Argon in a plasma has much heavier ions and because of this, when it strikes the Ni it is much more likely to knock off a pico-cluster of Ni atoms. This will have an advantage in Ni crystal growth and surface morphology change. It is surely worth trying - particularly a mix of Ar+H2. Ar+H2 is a common welding gas mix and should be readily available.


    I am not sure for what the Li-doped nanodiamonds are useful. The Li doping makes diamond into a semiconductor. If you use DLC, it is naturally conducting/semiconducting and will have its surface coated on some faces with small CNTs that become field emission sources. Diamond films have been used as field emission sources for vacuum tube operation, but it was DLC that was most effective in being an electron emitter. Doped diamond has been used mostly with single crystal diamond in making diamond transistors. Do you have a reference for use of Li-doped nano- or micro-diamonds to some particular LENR benefit aside from electron emission?


    Your 7) statement is a lot like the work of Peery and Suhas and others that ascribe electrical discharge stimulation of dusty plasma LENR. It could also be what Rossi is claiming in his QX. Electrical discharge is definitely worth trying.