Prominent Gamma/L 0232 Flow Rate Test

  • Alan Fletcher

    Update of Alan Fletcher's flow rate data. The figure you see here shows Prominent pump flow rates as per the Prominent specs (in red), as previously published based on Alan's experiments in August (blue), and from Alan's most recent runs in November (grey). All configurations in the new series require the pump to lift the inlet water 26.5 inches before pumping it on. This is near the actual configuration that can be discerned in photos of the Doral setup.




  • If you scale or offset my curves to match prominent's at 0.5 bar the Gamma L can easily supply Penon's flows [if truly recorded, of course].

    Weather permitting I should be able to do run[s] on monday and wednesday.


    To match the flow rate of 36,000 L/day that Penon reported throughout most of Oct 2015 - Feb 2016, a time when only 18 pumps appear to be active, requires over 80 L/hr for each pump and I don't see that rate being approached even with adjustments.

  • I guess you can still pump water through a dead reactor.


    According to a daily log kept by Fabiani, the problem with the Big Frankie that failed (i.e., the bottom one) was that it leaked. It wasn't the reactors in it that failed, it was that the whole unit leaked. It doesn't make much sense to rectify this problem by completely flooding that Big Frankie and putting it under an additional head of pressure it wasn't under before. In addition, in pictures taken near the end of the 1-year test you can see that the sight glass mounted on the dead Big Frankie is clean and dry. If that Big Frankie was full, its sight glass should be full of rusty water.

  • According to a daily log kept by Fabiani, the problem with the Big Frankie that failed (i.e., the bottom one) was that it leaked. It wasn't the reactors in it that failed, it was that the whole unit leaked. It doesn't make much sense to rectify this problem by completely flooding that Big Frankie and putting it under an additional head of pressure it wasn't under before. In addition, in pictures taken near the end of the 1-year test you can see that the sight glass mounted on the dead Big Frankie is clean and dry. If that Big Frankie was full, its sight glass should be full of rusty water.


    And were the associated pumps also shut down , or merely switched over to sharing the load with the other pumps? It is of course impossible to say. One might as well try to draw firm conclusions from smoke signals, or indeed a clean sight-glass, which is mostly what we have.

  • And were the associated pumps also shut down , or merely switched over to sharing the load with the other pumps? It is of course impossible to say. One might as well try to draw firm conclusions from smoke signals, or indeed a clean sight-glass, which is mostly what we have.



    lenr-forum.com/attachment/4033/lenr-forum.com/attachment/4034/




    You see above, 2 pictures of the pumps sitting in front of their Big Frankie units. The picture on the left is from an early era in the 1-year test, the photo on the right is from a time after the bottom Big Frankie, BF4, had been taken offline (it is the same configuration as at the very end of the test). In these pictures it is possible to trace the plumbing for the output of the bottom row of pumps and this shows that the pathway fro water from the pumps to the BF units has not changed. The pathway is still from the 6 pumps, up into a common header pipe, then horizontally over to the left and then down and into the Big Frankie. If these pumps are still operating in the picture on the right, then they are pumping water into the leaky BF4. I don't see any evidence for the outputs of the bottom pumps bypassing BF4. Closeups of the same 2 photos are shown below with before aBF4 shutdown at the top and after BF4 shutdown at the bottom.










    I acknowledge that the connectivity of the plumbing for the bottom rank of pumps in the closeups looks quite different. But this is not because the pumping path has been changed. It is because all of the insulation has been pulled off the plumbing leading to BF4. In addition the entire pathway for water emerging from the bottom row of pumps and then heading towards BF4 has been disconnected from the vertical uninsulated pipe you see standing to the left. This pipe is a drain that was once common to all the BFs. I propose that the 2 changes just mention extend from the same cause. The insulation has been stripped away because the pipes no longer carry hot water and the drain has been disconnected because the BF has been permanently emptied and so doesn't need draining.

  • Thank you pointing those pictures out. Are your eyes good enough to see of all those pumps are running btw? Sadly, mine are not.



    Good question. Alan Fletcher is better equipped to make such calls because he has hands-on experience with these units. I would be interested in what he has to say.


    Ahlfors has provided a good picture to work from. It can be blown way up. When I do that it turns out that digital readouts on some of the pumps are readable (with difficulty) and most seem to say either "180" or "100". The images of the readouts on the bottom row of pumps are the most degraded but if pushed I would say that they seem to show the same as the pumps in the other rows. If someone has expertise in handling jpeg images perhaps sharper closeups of the readouts could be obtained.


    I think that the green lights on the pumps mean that they are plugged in. I don't think they mean that the pumps are actually pumping.

  • All working there, it seems. Is there a timeline?



    I'm unsure of the exact timeline but I think we can establish a sequence according to the successive dismantlings and stripping of insulation.


    Here is the earliest photo. You can see that the plastic tubing does not yet carry rust-laden water.



    Next (below) we have a photo with all insulation intact ...




    Then a photo showing changes to the system around BF4




    And finally 2 photos from Rick Smith's supplemental report which I assume were taken in February or March or 2017. I have just noticed that in these photos BF2 has received the same insulation stripping and detachment from its drain as BF4. So maybe both units were out of commission by the time the 1-year trial ended.


  • There is more information to be derived from the digital displays of the pumps than I had previously realized. Briefly stated, you don't have to actually read some of the words being displayed because simply their position on the display screen tells you what they are.


    The mode of operation is a good example. There are 4 such modes -- Analog, Manual, Contact, and Batch -- and they are displayed in exactly that order across the display screen of a Prominent Gamma L pump. Only one is active at any moment and so only one displays. Moreover, the display is such that each mode has a unique position on the screen. This is because, first of all, these labels always show somewhere just above the area on the display reserved for the large numbers that one can see most easily. That sets the vertical position of the mode information. But then next, each mode also has its own characteristic horizontal position on the screen. If you first imagine all 4 of the labels displayed simultaneously and then, in your mind, make 3 of those labels disappear without any compensation adjustment in position from the remaining one, you will see why this is so. Importantly for the present situation, the Manual mode indication always shows just above and slightly to the left of the large numbers (which seem to be showing stroke rate per minute in the Doral photos). And this is what I see in many of the pumps showing in Ahlfors' photo -- there always seems to be a smudge just above and to the left of the large numbers that appear most prominently in the displays. I am therefore assuming that all the pumps are in manual mode.


    And now here is the real game! There is another line of indicator messages visible on the Gamma L display that lie above the mode line and are tucked up against the top edge of the screen. I'm unclear exactly what the full extent of these messages is but they seem to have unique positions horizontally and there is one that gets my attention. That is the word Stop! This indicator shows whenever the pump is stopped. Depressing the stop/go button on the front of the unit then makes the Stop message disappear. There is no "On" message that replaces or turns on elsewhere, the way you know that the pump is in operational mode is when there is no Stop message shown. In the photos of the Doral setup the resolution is not great enough to show the Stop indication on the screen but because it has a unique position even a dark smudge showing in there is evidence that the unit is in stop mode.


    Applying this result to Ahlfor's image gives surprising results. The photographic quality of the displays for the bottom row of pumps appears to degraded even to discern the presence or absence of Stop indications (Unless someone can sharpen the image? Please!), but I do think I see such smudges in the displays of some of the pumps for the units in the top 3 rows!


    What! How can that be?


    Well I'll tell you what. There are 2 indications to me that most of the pumps at Doral were off most of the time. Here they are ...


    1) First is all those green lights that you see on the pumps. Those lights are ready lights. They are on when the pump is powered but the solenoid that does the actual pumping is in its docked position, it turns off briefly as the solenoid goes back and forth to complete a pumping stroke. You can see this for instance, at 6:15 in the video linked to below. Since I think that most of the pumps in the photos are set at 3 strokes per second (i.e., 180 strokes/min), these green light should be spending a fair amount of their time unlit. But in the photos every single one is lit up. Why? I don't think it is because the pumps are synchronized, as far as I understand they would be difficult to synchronize if they are all in manual mode. Instead, I think all the green light are on in the photos because none of them are in operation.


    2) Here is a passage from a memo that Joe Murray wrote (docket 235-11 page 30) summarizing what Doral test technician Barry West told him about plant operations in July 2015. It is point 5 in the memo....


    "The plant does not include the ability to continuously monitor or automatically control the water level in the E-CAT heater tank. From time to time an operator must enable the level indicator on the E-CAT heater tank. When this task is executed the operator determines if additional water is needed in the tank. If the tank needs water the operator will turn on pumps to move water from the the feedwater tank to the E-CAT heater tank. The time that the pumps are run is measured and an estimate of how much water is pushed into the E-CAT heater tank is estimated. The interval for checking the level in the E-CAT heater tank was not clearly known. Further, the need to fill the tank when there is no operator on site was not addressed."


    It seems nuts to say that the pumps were not used continuously, but this is in line with the evidence of the green lights and perhaps the evidence of the screen Stop indications. Engineer48 used to say that Rossi told him that most of the water pumped into the Big Frankies was not through the Prominent pumps, which were only for topping up, but via a single large pump somewhere. This new evidence is consistent with that although there is absolutely no photographic evidence anywhere of a single large feed that bypasses the Prominent pumps. Also, Rossi seems to have cooled on the idea and now puts a lot of weight on the over spec capacity of the Prominent pumps.


    Below is a good video to watch for the properties of the Prominent Gamma L display and the operation of its green light. Look at 6:15 for what seems to have been the operating configuration at Doral.



  • But in the photos every single one is lit up. Why? I don't think it is because the pumps are synchronized, as far as I understand they would be difficult to synchronize if they are all in manual mode. Instead, I think all the green light are on in the photos because none of them are in operation.


    Thanks Alan. Or the shutter speed of the camera was very slow in that gloomy looking container and it caught all the lights as they winked on....?