LENR Futures - what will they look like?

  • Trying to decide on how, when and even if LENR research will emerge into the market is difficult. One of the key problems I suspect is that we are uncertain as to what 'shape' market-ready cold fusion might take. Will it be suited to a centralised grid-delivered financial model, or will it end up as a distributed system where heat/electricity is produced at the point of use and the means of production owned by the users? Away from this forum JedRothwell has emailed on this in the context of the US and an affluent US tropical island. But there is much more to the world than America.


    For example, my wife and I do around 350-400 total miles a week in 2 cars - mostly driving to work in my case and to care for her horse and supermarket visits in hers. Because of heavy traffic, gasoline taxes and the constant roadworks the UK specialises in this uses around 12 USg/week, say 50 USg/month costing us $450/month, $5.5k/year. And UK gasoline is not Europe's most expensive. We also spend around $2k/year on gas heating and $1k on electricity - which is not remarkable for a modest detached house here in the UK, even a reasonably well insulated one- with electricity costs running as high as $0.25c per kW/h and gas at US10c/kWh. So for gasoline and electricity we fork out $8500/year. Big difference I suspect!


    So like many others in Europe (forget Brexit!) I can see the benefits of change and of cold fusion cars and heat. But the development model I would like to see (and I work on) is not initially a European one, has nothing to do with cars, and co-incidentally is a model Russ George and I had been independently pondering for years. I first wrote a paper on this topic for private circulation some 15 years ago.


    Our objective is the 'LENR Lamp'. something like a big compact fluorescent light bulb that costs a few dollars and produces a few hundred watts of heat from a very small amount of electricity. Maybe it could be engineered to last for decades too. Sold initially in places where there is no grid - hence few sunk costs requiring recovery - it would be life-transforming in the developing world, ending the constant daily search for cooking fuel and clean water. Since it would enable the pasteurisation (at least) of surface water collected for drinking. All this reduces emissions and chronic respiratory disease and early death (from smoky homes). Add a few LEDs and you also end the need for kerosene lamps and the problems and emissions they cause. And if every blade of grass is not burnt for fuel it will re-green a lot of land and bring back insects and a suitable environment for people to keep (for example) chickens.


    To enable this to happen with less blow-back - assuming we can crack the engineering problems - we need to see these systems initially built in the developing world too, so that that members of the economy displaced by LENR energy (the 'by the half-pint' kerosene sellers and firewood collectors for example) can be re-trained and re-employed in completely new trades. Saving the planet and making a living on the side sounds like an ideal combination.


    The rest of the world will soon catch up. What do you think the future looks like ???

  • It is necessary to prohibit the extraction of oil! Oil is the blood of the planet Earth and pumping oil we kill the planet! Global climate change is proof of that! We are suicides!


    Надо запретить добывать нефть! Нефть кровь планеты Земля и выкачивая нефть мы убиваем планету! Глобальное изменение климата тому доказательство! Мы самоубийцы!


  • If you, or anyone (even Rossi) had a working magic heater - where I use the word magic technically here to mean something that works with sustained reliable nuclear levels of energy and power density but thermalises 99.999999% of output energy to soft x-ray or lower -


    then:


    (1) As soon as it were practically accepted that it existed it would be major front page news. A few reputable investigative journalists having such devices to give to others to test would be enough to ensure this.

    (2) After this there would be speculation as to mechanism, moves to check it was safe, and if apparently so, strong pressure to certify it so. Also strong calls to prevent its use because of possible dangers. Look at how the environmental movement prefers renewables to nuclear.

    (3) In parallel with this (since it would be available and not obviously dangerous by this time, not emitting known types of radiation) there would be strong pressure to utilise it in many ways to replace carbon-based energy sources especially by governments all under pressure to reduce carbon footprint.


    Since the physics behind this device would (presumably at this stage) not be understood and hence the exact behavior of the technology not known, I think it would be considered very foolhardy to give it to anyone in developed countries for personal use until it was more understood. By the some token it could not be given to anyone in developing countries. There would be a frantic and world-wide effort to understand the science and get some handle on whether this nuclear-level power and energy density could lead to chain reactions, and also whether it did in fact have any other harmful effects (ultra-high WIMP density capable of doing stuff?). While this was in process the immediate applications would be those best controlled and most needed, e.g. as replacement for gas in electricity generation assuming output steam could be extracted at 500C from the heat source, which seems likely.


    At such time as the devices are understood and (hypothetically let us hope) certified unconditionally safe they would replace thermal power stations first, industrial heaters second, home boilers third, and be used in the third world last because of the value/cost relationship and the safety issues. No reason not to do all three pretty quickly if the devices are known safe and (turn out to be) very cheap.


    For those who think it unreasonable to restrict such devices until they are better understood, how could you be sure they were safe? Looking at the LENR literature there is no agreement as to mechanism, some people have noticed unexplained thermal runaway, some people have noticed emission of particles that catalyse nuclear reactions. In any case the new devices would be working better than anything so far observed, and therefore might have higher risks attached. It is not inconceivable that some self-sustaining chain reaction could be setup and if so an explosion as in a fusion bomb is entirely possible.


    Anyone who does not take the risks of unknown new physics with the opportunities is working in wish-fulfillment mode. If you wish for ultra-high power and energy density from a mechanism that has never widely been observed in science and possibly never naturally occurred - then you cannot know when this is safe and when not till the underlying mechanism is well understood. Quoting the LENR literature as evidence the device is safe will not work since some of it (Holmlid UDD) is clearly not safe, and anyway the various observations are disparate and do not clearly predict how this new device would work.


    For those in the UK familiar with the Brexit unicorn herd it is like the Irish border: you can have any two of

    • no Irish sea border checks
    • no Northern Ireland - Ireland border checks
    • no UK/ EU Customs Union and regulatory alignment.

    But not (the unicorn) all three.


    Similarly you can have only two but not three of unknown physics / nuclear level energy density / known safety.


    THH

  • @THH and your point about my post above your is, exactly? The safety issues are the same wherever you roll it out. That's a given, I am not proposing that it should be tested on the poor and needy- that's a game for big pharma. I am just saying that there would be a smoother pathway to implementation in the developing world because where there is no infrastructure, you are not fighting what are known as 'natural monopolies'. And they will fight, believe me. They are doing it already against renewables.

  • Bringing a product successfully to market requires many skills.

    A great inventor will not likely get very far without good market strategy and good financial backing and money for good legal advice.


    Inventors like James Dyson who manage to achieve his level of commercial success are very rare and he has certainly had many battles to fight.

    Alan’s approach sounds more like Trevor Baylis who was more interested in helping his fellow man but I am not sure that he got much money from it.


    Making money may not be seen as an important personal goal for inventors but in the case of LENR I think, if it can be commercialized, there will be the biggest patent war in history.

    Many well intended inventions have been strangled at birth by large, aggressive companies like Microsoft and other entities that are nothing but patent trolls.

    So I am guessing financing to get things off the ground and to build momentum is critical from the start and not long after financing for legal battles.


    The easiest path may be to partner with some large corporation, but then you are supping with the devil. The sad truth is that an altruistic inventor will find financial backers (in general) and large corporations are not so much interested in humanitarian results as in taking the path that maximizes profits.


    Clearly Alan has been thinking about this much more than I have so maybe there are alternative paths, such as funding by a charitable foundation or some form of open source path.


    Anyway good luck.

  • @THH and your point about my post above your is, exactly? The safety issues are the same wherever you roll it out. That's a given, I am not proposing that it should be tested on the poor and needy- that's a game for big pharma. I am just saying that there would be a smoother pathway to implementation in the developing world because where there is no infrastructure, you are not fighting what are known as 'natural monopolies'. And they will fight, believe me. They are doing it already against renewables.


    I disagree with that. The safety issues - and the cost issues - mean that large unit central power gen is easier and more cost effective. We agree on that perhaps?


    Then the fastest route is retrofitting to existing thermal power stations in the West. Next most likely is building new thermal power stations. I'll give you that China could do it quicker - and would be as motivated to use it as well as in position of needing more new build.


    I see no fight against renewables in the UK. The success of PV and wind has been phenomenal: the NIMBY stuff about wind turbines is UK planning scelerosis and nimbyism - not specific to renewables - notice Germany does not have this.


    UK proportion of grid power from renewables:


  • Re developing countries: there are many schemes for local usage of solar + rechargeable battery based power allowing cheap electric lighting for all and making a big difference (for one student-led charity doing this see e.quinox).


    Replacing combustion for heating too would be highly desirable: but cost and safety constraints make this more difficult than the obvious use retrofitting thermal power generation.


    THH

  • More generally: the future for renewables in developed countries is bright. UK can be carbon-neutral by 2050 at a relatively small cost in terms of GDP (1-2%) even now, and likely technical advances will reduce that cost.


    Politically I'd say it is very likely that this will happen, and therefore that the necessary infrastructure will start rolling out in the next ten years.


    The problem of base load is largely (maybe wholely) solved by a smart pricing-based variable demand control system using (primarily) home heat pumps and EV batteries. This is superlatively efficient.


    Both solar and (to my happiness but surprise) wind renewables go on getting much cheaper - with off-shore wind looking now a good option for the UK.


    I'd also like to point out that fast reduction in agricultural methane is possible and has a very fast affect on global warming because of the short atmospheric occupancy time of methane. Unlike carbon, which builds up, methane emissions can be used to provide rapid control of the earth's temperature, and is doable more easily and cheaply than other forms of geoengineering. It looks like we will all end up mostly vegan, or eating dairy from industrialised cows with local methane capture.


    THH

  • I see no fight against renewables in the UK.


    I said in my first post on this topic that

    ....there is much more to the world than America.


    And there is more to the world than the UK too. For examples of the fight against renewables though look at S. Africa, where the battle is still being fought - and Spain and Hawaii where various regulations making it impossible for people to 'self-generate' are only now being repealed.


    'The Coal Transporters’ Forum (CTF), a lobby group for road haulage companies feeding Eskom power stations, has vowed to appeal a resounding defeat it suffered in court last week.

    The forum was trying to get South Africa’s massive Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme declared unlawful and force Eskom to cancel all existing contracts with companies supplying it with energy derived from wind and solar plants.

    The scathing ruling handed down last week dismissed all of the forum’s legal contentions as being “without merit”.

    “We will appeal,” said the CTF’s spokesperson, Tshepo Kgadima, who is a coal mining entrepreneur.

    He said that the judgment only dealt with “legal technicalities” and not the merits of the forum’s case.'


    Or this from the USA.


    'News that the Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts to the Energy Department's renewable energy and energy efficiency programs has thus far generated less outrage than the White House’s abandonment of the Paris Climate Treaty, yet has the potential to be far more damaging to efforts to respond to climate change.

    According to documents obtained by the Washington Post, the White House is seeking to slash the budgets by 72% in fiscal year 2019, which would cut research in fuel efficient vehicles by 82%, bioenergy technologies by 82%, advanced manufacturing by 75%, and solar energy technology by 78%.'


    Or the UK


    The UK will not have a renewable energy target beyond 2020, the government has said, though the EU-wide target set yesterday, requiring 27% of energy to come from renewable sources, will have to be met across the bloc.


    And while this fight is being won, can you not see the same thing happening again when cold fusion comes to town?

  • This will not save us, we need a completely new energy based on the model of the planet Earth, we will immediately get an electricity generator with ball lightning and a flying saucer (antigravity)


    Это нас не спасет, нужна совершенно новая энергияна основе модели планеты Земля-мы сразу получим генератор электричества на шаровых молниях и летающую тарелку (антигравитацию)

    Нефть - это кровь планеты, надо сделать модель планеты и мы получим генератор Тарасенко, эта энергия покорит вселенную! :lenr:

  • The future is going to depend on what's released, if anything, by the classified world over the course of the coming months or few years. Billions of dollars are going towards classified, highly compartmentalized projects that refuse to "read in" even the most senior of military and intelligence officials, claiming they have no need to know. If enough pressure mounts or certain of these projects - some of which have been sitting on fully functional revolutionary technologies for decades - start disclosing the keys to vacuum engineering, a revolution could happen that would make the leaps in computing technology that took place in the 1990's look slow and meager. You see, the "wheel" has already been invented and to some extent even the most revolutionary technologies we read about regularly like Brilliant Light Power's Suncell are not anything new to these top secret projects.


    If you are not paying attention, the U.S. Navy announced a few days ago that they have regularly detected unidentified craft intruding into their airspace. These vehicles have performance characteristics far beyond even that of our most sophisticated jet fighters. For the sake of this thread, forget the obvious implications and focus on what has been observed: instant acceleration at 200G (extremely conservative figure) to over 400G, seamless transition between media (space, atmosphere, and ocean), no conventional heat signature (meaning no rocket or jet engine), no flight control surfaces, etc. All in all, there's craft that currently exist in our skies with both energy and propulsion technology far beyond us. But these vehicles are not new - they've been spotted in our skies for centuries or longer. In the early 50's, Dr. Vannevar Bush, who had led the Joint Research and Development Board of the Pentagon, was in charge of a group investigating the phenomena. He started the investigation and now reverse engineering from crash retrievals have been taken place for a VERY long time.


    All of this is fact, beyond dispute. If you don't believe me, the evidence is online for anyone who wants to look.


    So when it comes to LENR, I strongly suspect that IF a disclosure takes place our research may be dwarfed by more "mature" technologies that were developed with billions of dollars of taxpayer money. Could this be a reason why cold fusion was suppressed in 1989? Because certain ultra-powerful black projects, with the power to threaten and intimidate even those that are supposed to be in authority over them, already had similar technologies they had chosen not to make public? All it would have taken would be for them to make several phone calls and the decision makers (for example those choosing whether or not to fund cold fusion research) would have obeyed them with little opposition.

  • Here is what I wrote elsewhere in response to Alan's message. This is somewhat out of context:


    Quote

    . . .One of the key problems I suspect is that we are uncertain as to what 'shape' market-ready cold fusion might take. Will it be suited to a centralised grid-delivered financial model, or will it end up as a distributed system where heat/electricity is produced at the point of use and the means of production owned by the users?

    I think it is certain to be a decentralized system, for the reasons listed in Table 14.1, p 112 of my book:


    https://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJcoldfusiona.pdf


    The table lists the main reason we have centralized electric power now: it improves fuel efficiency, reduces pollution, relocates pollution and danger to remote areas away from cities (such as Fukushima), and so on. None of these reasons apply to cold fusion. There are no technical or financial advantages to centralizing cold fusion. On the contrary, there are many huge disadvantages. The main disadvantage is the generators cost 200 to 600 times more per kilowatt of capacity, but unlike today's expensive generators they save zero dollars in fuel cost. The 200 times more you pay give you no advantage at all. There is no point to it. When you go to buy a sandwich and one store charges $5, and the other next door charges $1,000 for exactly the same bread and meat, which will you choose?


    It gets worse. The distribution grid costs about a third of what you pay for electricity. In the case of cold fusion, it would be a useless dead loss. It would be paying for something you do not need or want, that would serve no purpose.

    Quote

    Jed discusses this in the context of cars in the US and an affluent US tropical island [Hawaii] below. But there is much more to the world than America.

    The fact that Hawaii is an island is not the direct cause of the Hawaiian electric power companies' problems. The problems is, Hawaii has abundant sunlight and expensive electricity. It did not have to be expensive. They might have built a nuclear reactor years ago. The population is large enough to support that, unlike smaller island. If some part of Nevada had expensive electricity, the power company there would also be hurt by rooftop solar energy. In fact, many power companies in the southwest are being hurt. They are pulling strings and buying off politicians to change the rules, making it expensive and inconvenient to install solar panels. This is how established industries usually react to innovation that hurts them. They change the rules unfairly. It works for minor innovations, but it will never work to prevent cold fusion.


    The Trump administration, the coal and nuclear industries, and the U.S. Senator representing Big Coal tried to change the rules to give coal and nuclear power an unfair advantage. They would have succeeded, but they were up against consumers and the power companies, who are not willing to give them billions of dollars for no reason. If it had been a minor attempt at consumer theft, they would have gotten away with it. See:


    https://www.reuters.com/articl…lear-plants-idUSKCN1IX51Q


    Quote

    Our objective is the 'LENR Lamp'. something like a big compact fluorescent light bulb that costs a few dollars and produces a few hundred watts of heat from a very small amount of electricity. Maybe it could be engineered to last for decades too. Sold initially in places where there is no grid - hence few sunk costs requiring recovery - it would be life-transforming in the developing world . . .

    Customers do not care about "sunk costs" incurred by the companies they buy from. Sears and other big retailers have hundreds of billions in sunk costs in shopping malls. No one buys things from Sears for that reason. We go to Amazon.com instead. No consumer will spend an extra dollar supporting Sears or helping them out of the hole they have dug for themselves in the last 20 years. A few people may have bought General Motors cars out of loyalty, but not enough to save the company from bankruptcy. No one I know bought a mainframe or minicomputer in 1990 because we felt loyalty to IBM or DEC, or we worried about the sunk costs of their factories and R&D. That's why IBM almost went out of business. Their sunk costs were sunk into the deep blue sea, never to return anything on the investment. They were shoveling money down a well.


    Thirty years after cold fusion begins, the sunk costs in the power company grid will be worth no more than scrap metal. No one will care but the stockholders who lost their money, and the workers who lost their jobs. Former power company customers will not give it a second thought. People who live near abandoned high tension power lines will be glad to see the towers and cables cut to pieces and hauled off. Capitalism is unforgiving.

  • Customers do not care about "sunk costs" incurred by the companies they buy from.


    I agree, but powerful people like Koch brothers do. I am told (but don't know if it's true) that they spend $500M/Year lobbying politicians to go easy on their energy empire. Though the customers will not care about their losses in a LENR powered world their friends in the legislature will.

  • Virtually free transportation will remove the need for many roads and dramatically change the distribution of food and many other feedstocks to our cultures.


    It is possible that the value of money in all contexts may drop to zero.


    This is the future as I see it.

  • I agree, but powerful people like Koch brothers do. I am told (but don't know if it's true) that they spend $500M/Year lobbying politicians to go easy on their energy empire. Though the customers will not care about their losses in a LENR powered world their friends in the legislature will.

    They will have no influence, and they will make no difference. I am sure they will try, but they will be blown out of the water. Cold fusion will save the average U.S. person $1,000 or more per year. At least $300 billion. The public will demand that it be implemented. $500 million cannot have any effect countering that. The Koch brothers could not stop it any more than they could outlaw the use of the internet or ban the sale of hamburger meat.


    Wealthy people such as the Koch bros., company presidents, top politicians, regulators and others sometime imagine they have power over the market, but this is an illusion. They are slaves to their customers. Whatever the customers demand, they must provide, or they will go bankrupt or be voted out of office. In 1980, the managers at IBM thought they controlled the computer market. By 1990 they learned that the market controlled them. The company almost went bankrupt, after losing the largest amounts of money of any corporation in history. In ten years, IBM went from being the largest, most powerful, most successful computer company to the verge of oblivion. Another year of mismanagement and it would have been gone, the way AT&T and General Motors are gone. (Only the names remain; stockholder value was wiped out.)


    Any company that stands in the way of cold fusion will be destroyed the way IBM and General Motors were. You cannot defy market forces. You can never dictate to customers.


    There have been times when large corporations dictated events in the marketplace, but this was not in the free market. For example, after WWII, automakers clobbered the public transportation system in Los Angeles. Public transportation is not a free market. It is created and regulated by the government, so government and industry can interfere with it. It will not be possible for government or industry to interfere with something like cold fusion, because there is too much money involved.



    (The near-death destruction of IBM is described in the book "Big Blues:" https://www.amazon.com/Big-Blu…79/ref=asc_df_0517591979/)

  • Virtually free transportation will remove the need for many roads

    I should think it would increase the need for roads. Why do you say it will remove it? Do you mean airborne transportation, with gadgets like this?


    https://6abc.com/technology/bo…g-air-taxi-video/5107768/


    If I were to pay for all of the gasoline you consume, your car would still not be free transportation because of the purchase price, maintenance, and the fact that most cars wear out and are scrapped after 11 years.


    Until cars are self-driving, ground transportation will remain expensive because of the cost of accidents and insurance. That is about $1,200 per car per year:


    https://www.iii.org/fact-stati…statistics-auto-insurance