LENR Futures - what will they look like?

  • NZ /Aotearoa may be more flexible than South Africa and Australia

    due its circumstances

    especially the recent election of a very green Labour govt.


    There is no huge coal lobby.

    No nuclear.

    The gas will run out in about five years.. Since the new govt is discouraging more drilling.

    They have also recently committed to 100% renewable electricity by 2035 plus car electrification(more vague)

    Current total power is about 5GW but will rise up to 9GW with vehicle electrification.

    Geothermal can go up by about 1.5 GW

    Perhaps LENR can fill the gap more cheaply than wind/ geothermal.

    But it would take considerable lobbying for NZ to invest in LENR research.

    Especially with the greens.

    .

  • mean that large unit central power gen is easier and more cost effective

    solar and wind don't tend to be centralised


    cost effectiveness is a quantity that has a large number of variables..

    easier?

    hard to summarise in one post or agree with.


    numbers needed.


    In islands at low latitudes the wind is not so strong

    and solar is still expensive,,because of the battery bank


    Engie at al's cost effective showcase may not be cost effective

    when the effect of euro or chinese development loans

    on autonomy are factored in.


  • I am firmly of the belief that 'location location location' will be one key factor in rolling out LENR, and the key to where that location might be is how the economy is organised - or disorganised. For example, Nigeria would be an unlikely early adopter since the country has oil deposits belonging to the elite. But somewhere else in Africa - Madagascar for example might be more receptive. Per capita incomes are amongst the world's lowest and energy poverty is considerable- despite the fact that they seem intent on deforestation to expand palm-oil production. Most inhabitants depend on charcoal for cooking and kerosene for lighting -if they have any kerosene that is. Bhutan is another interesting possibility, where those who gain the ear of the king might find a smooth rollout is possible. And these places have little grid infrastructure (or indeed any other major infrastructure) to protect.


    But the other key factor is the first point I made. Until we know for sure what form a developed LENR system will take it is impossible to decide whether it would suit a distributed or a centralised system. The technology will decide, because technologies are not infinitely flexible. For example, Wartsila-Sulzer make the worlds largest diesel engines. 80-100MW and 2300 toms in weight. Really only suitable for supertankers where they burn some of the cargo as fuel and use cooled inert exhaust gas as a fire blanket for the tanks. Nobody will ever build one that size to use on land - it isn't practical.


    A Japanese relative (now retired) was a sarariman engineer at Mitsubishi Heavy Engineering and worked on the design team for (what was) the world's largest electric motor - also 100MW - for a rolling mill at Kobe. He also said that it was 'eggs all in one basket' so not a good solution, and Mitsubishi decided in future to use 10 smaller (10MW) motors instead- and supply a spare in case of breakdowns. Both electric and diesel motors are more practical and economic for most purposes if built at smaller scales. Bigger is not always better in every case.


    LENR might have the same limits for reasons we cannot be certain about, and the eventual practical form of the tech will determine how and where it can be rolled out. Making heat is one thing, extracting it from the hot-spot without disruption is another altogether. And there is the faint possibility of direct electricity production - I have certainly seen transient electrical signals in the disconnected heating coils of reactors with good fuel aboard. Not enough to light a cigarette but a glimpse of a possibility. Small systems that produce a few hundred watts for a hut would transform the lives of the poorest of the world's population, A village-sized 'no grid' system could promote social cohesion in ways we cannot yet imagine.


    So in conclusion, the practical system size and the particular needs of local economies and nature of political control will decide the locations and the roll-out method for us, all we have to do is create the damn stuff.


  • I agree there are many factors here, and too many unknowns to be definite.


    My view about cost effectiveness of this hypothetical scenario is that:


    (1) Whatever safety precautions are deemed necessary (e.g. extreme containment) will be cheaper amortised over large units than small.

    (2) Regulatory safety (if required) is easier to endure over few large units than many small ones

    (3) The pressure to go to new sources of carbon-free power is most intense for base load grid electricity: for example transitioning from oil or gas boilers to heat pumps domestically is doable.

    (4) Retrofitting an existing coal/oil/gas powered thermal electricity generation station with this new source of power would be very cost effective and immediately reduce carbon emissions.

    (5) Using this directly for domestic heat has additional regulatory and safety issues, but would of course be potentially much cheaper than grid-driven heat pumps and also carbon neutral.

    (6) Road vehicles are particularly highly regulated and fed by an industry which takes a long time to take up new technology - this would happen, safety issues allowing, but would be much more demanding.


    I guess the big win - otherwise ungettable - would be airplanes. In this case the safety issues are particularly difficult, I'd expect it to take a long time.


    Another possible great application because characteristics are otherwise ungettable would be space flight, but lots of unknowns here.


    Perhaps though the biggest unknown is that this hypothetical scenario requires something quite new in physics to be observed and controlled technologically. When understood that will mean new theory - since you just can't get the claimed characteristics out of existing theory. Usually genuine new physics has significant applications, not understood before it is developed, those might be quite different from a cheap heat source.


  • I agree there are many factors here, and too many unknowns to be definite.


    My view about cost effectiveness of this hypothetical scenario is that:


    (1) Whatever safety precautions are deemed necessary (e.g. extreme containment) will be cheaper amortised over large units than small.

    (2) Regulatory safety (if required) is easier to endure over few large units than many small ones

    (3) The pressure to go to new sources of carbon-free power is most intense for base load grid electricity: for example transitioning from oil or gas boilers to heat pumps domestically is doable.

    (4) Retrofitting an existing coal/oil/gas powered thermal electricity generation station with this new source of power would be very cost effective and immediately reduce carbon emissions.

    (5) Using this directly for domestic heat has additional regulatory and safety issues, but would of course be potentially much cheaper than grid-driven heat pumps and also carbon neutral.

    (6) Road vehicles are particularly highly regulated and fed by an industry which takes a long time to take up new technology - this would happen, safety issues allowing, but would be much more demanding.


    I guess the big win - otherwise ungettable - would be airplanes. In this case the safety issues are particularly difficult, I'd expect it to take a long time.


    Another possible great application because characteristics are otherwise ungettable would be space flight, but lots of unknowns here.


    Perhaps though the biggest unknown is that this hypothetical scenario requires something quite new in physics to be observed and controlled technologically. When understood that will mean new theory - since you just can't get the claimed characteristics out of existing theory. Usually genuine new physics has significant applications, not understood before it is developed, those might be quite different from a cheap heat source.

  • But it would take considerable lobbying for NZ to invest in LENR research.


    There is an enormous difference between known working new disruptive technology (even where the underlying principle of operation is not understood) and lab experiments which are claimed by some people to offer proof of concept but which do not withstand write-up, peer review, and critique, nor black box validation by robustly independent bodies.


    This thread is hypothesised on the existence of something that all will agree is real (though not necessarily agree as to whether it is safe, or why it works). In that case their would be no problem in getting arbitrary amounts of money from industry if not governments, and the only issue would be safety concerns and regulation. I'd not expect that to prevent scientific study.


    Though, mind you, look at the care the LHC had to take to prove it could not make mini-earth-gobbling black holes. I guess the same might be argued here that some new physics could generate new particles and set off some fast and irreversible phase change in the universe's quantum fabric. Such things have been hypothesised and it is difficult to rule them out once new physics induced technologically and never seen naturally is invoked. And before some here say that LENR has been seen naturally: well - in this hypothetical scenario - that might be the case. Or might not. And it would be very difficult to prove it had been seen naturally.

  • solar and wind don't tend to be centralised


    They are in the U.S. Especially wind, because of geography and weather. Wind resources are concentrated in a few geographic areas in the middle of the continent, from Texas north to Canada. In these areas wind it is tremendously profitable, whereas in places like Georgia there is no point to erecting wind towers. If you were to install wind turbines in North and South Dakota, only in prime locations, and not in national parks or places where there are environmental restrictions, and if you were to use the turbines to generate synthetic liquid fuel, that flow of fuel would be larger than all of the oil being pumped out the Middle East. It would put OPEC out of business. That is how concentrated wind energy is.


    See the U.S. Average Annual Wind Speed map:


    https://windexchange.energy.gov/maps-data/325


    In most geographic areas, solar energy also works best when centralized, because of the installation costs and the cost of inverters and whatnot in rooftop installations, and because most rooftops are suboptimal compared to centralized locations. That may change.

  • My view about cost effectiveness of this hypothetical scenario is that:


    (1) Whatever safety precautions are deemed necessary (e.g. extreme containment) will be cheaper amortised over large units than small.

    (2) Regulatory safety (if required) is easier to endure over few large units than many small ones


    That is not even slightly true. Regulatory safety for automobiles, computers and electric can openers it no harder or more expensive than it is for long haul trucks.


    (4) Retrofitting an existing coal/oil/gas powered thermal electricity generation station with this new source of power would be very cost effective and immediately reduce carbon emissions.


    It will be a dead loss. By the time you engineer large systems, the market would be gone. It would be a lot like re-engineering and retrofitting mainframe computers in 1987 in competition with personal computers. That's what IBM was trying to do in 1987, and that is why it lost the largest amounts of money in the history of corporations and almost went out of business. There is no point to investing in obsolete technology. It is like throwing money down a well. Small cold fusion generators will be 200 to 600 times cheaper than centralized electricity. (https://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJcoldfusionb.pdf) There is no way power companies can compete with that, or survive it. The day the first cold fusion generator is revealed will be the beginning of the end for them, and for the oil companies as well. It might take 20 or 30 years but they will be liquidated. In the late 1940s when airplanes began crossing the Atlantic, and radar controlled air traffic in the U.S. began, the demise of north Atlantic passenger steamships and U.S. long distance passenger rail traffic was inevitable. Nothing could have prevented those industries from going bankrupt.

  • I am firmly of the belief that 'location location location' will be one key factor in rolling out LENR, and the key to where that location might be is how the economy is organised - or disorganised. For example, Nigeria would be an unlikely early adopter since the country has oil deposits belonging to the elite. But somewhere else in Africa - Madagascar for example might be more receptive. Per capita incomes are amongst the world's lowest and energy poverty is considerable . . .


    This is like saying in 1975: "cell phones will only be welcomed in countries without a telephone network. In the U.S. we already have land lines, so we don't need them." People actually said that. In 1876, the head of the British Post Office supposedly said: "we don't need telephones because we have enough messenger boys" (A. C. Clarke).


    People everywhere, in every country, want cell phones. Cell phones are tremendously useful in both First World and Third World countries. They give Third World farmers access to market prices and conditions; families a connection to their friends and relatives; and children access to education. A few days ago they saved thousands of lives in the Indian cyclone. People everywhere want cell phones, and people everywhere will want cold fusion. There will be no selective "rolling out" of the technology. Millions of people will clamor for it and pay for it, while other people will make mountains of money overnight manufacturing and distributing it. Do you think you can stop that? Do you seriously think anyone can stand between a million people and $1 trillion in profit? Every industrial corporation on earth will either manufacture cold fusion-powered equipment or go bankrupt.


    This notion that people have a choice about deploying technology is mistaken. Soon after Charles Kettering invented the self-starter, Henry Ford said to Kettering, "I have decided not to equip my cars with your starter." Kettering replied: "You have no choice. You will equip your cars with this whether you want to or not." He was right. Major technology has a built-in imperative. You can more resist it, control it, or stop it than you can stop the tide from coming in. OPEC, the Koch brothers and the oil companies have no magic power to stop cold fusion, once it becomes generally known that it is real. No one cares about OPEC's sunk costs. No one will buy gasoline just to keep their fleets of tankers afloat. No one cares if they lose their money in a few years. On the contrary, many people would be pleased to see OPEC nations go bankrupt.

    I think you people fail to understand the scale of the technological revolution cold fusion will trigger -- if it is ever introduced. It may continue to be suppressed by academic politics, but if it is revealed, millions of people will jump on it, and things will be far beyond anyone's ability to control. In 1911, the Scientific American reported there were 500,000 people frantically working on aviation. That was 3 years after the world realized airplanes are real. Three years after it becomes generally known that cold fusion is real, there will be millions of engineers investors and others frantically working on it. It will be the biggest financial goldmine in history, for decades or centuries after that. Bigger than electricity, computers and the internet combined.


    Quote

    The other key factor is the system size. Until we know for sure what form a developed LENR system will take it is impossible to decide whether it would suit a distributed or a centralised system.


    That is not true. With the experimental data we have now, we can predict with confidence that a distributed system will be 200 to 600 times cheaper, and eventually thousands of times cheaper. We can predict the electricity itself will be safer than today's electricity, with low voltage and high amperage. We can predict it will be produced by a co-generator, because that saves thousands of dollars more in equipment, even beyond the savings from zero-cost fuel electricity.


    I have made all these predictions in detail in my book and paper. If you do not agree, I suggest you list some reasons why I am wrong. I find it annoying that you say "it is impossible to decide." Are you ignoring what I wrote, or do you disagree?



    Quote

    The technology will decide, because technologies are not infinitely flexible.


    I think I have a clear case showing that this one will be far cheaper in a distributed form.

  • I think you people fail to understand the scale of the technological revolution cold fusion will trigger


    I think that is very presumptive if you are including me in your list of 'you people'. I am not underestimating the scale of the project, I am only talking about where it might be begun. I see you mention Cell-phones. Actually the ?USA was years behind Europe when it came to adopting that tech. I can remember seeing people with up to three 'dumbphones' -particularly in Italy which was a very early adopter -when hardly anybody in the US had one. Why did they have 3? One for business, one for friends and family, and another one for their lover. I don't know why the slower adoption in the US was the case, but it certainly seemed that way. Maybe the fact that you had so many isolated networks rather than the common standard of frequency and interconnectibility the EU imposed early on. And in the beginning there was Nokia, too.


    That is not true. With the experimental data we have now, we can predict with confidence that a distributed system will be 200 to 600 times cheaper, and eventually thousands of times cheaper.


    I agree it would be cheaper and personally I think it would be more democratic and resilient than the grid. But...mini domestic steam dynamo systems might have been cheaper than cabling entire towns in the 19th century too, when every house had chimneys and there was a well-organised coal delivery system. But it never happened at any scale, because the tech naturally suited larger systems.

  • But...mini domestic steam dynamo systems might have been cheaper than cabling entire towns in the 19th century too, when every house had chimneys and there was a well-organised coal delivery system. But it never happened at any scale, because the tech naturally suited larger systems.


    Mini-steam engines were used in some of the first electric lighting systems. They were installed in millionaires' mansions in New York city, and onboard posh steamships. The electric wiring in J. P. Morgan's mini-system then set fire to his library and almost burned down the house. A typical setback for the cutting-edge high tech millionaire's toy. * See the book "Empires of Light." They began with small systems, and they continued to install them in isolated mansions outside cites, but it was clear to Edison and the others that a centralized system was better, for many technical reasons. The first larger system was installed in lower Manhattan. That was a good choice because those people had m-o-n-e-y, and because they included the New York Times, which gave electric lighting a rave review and good PR.


    There is no doubt in my mind that cold fusion technology naturally suits smaller systems, for the reasons I gave in my book and in the paper I cited. Perhaps you disagree, or you think my reasons are not persuasive. I think you should say so, rather than repeating (in various way) "we don't know, we can't say, it is impossible to predict." I have predicted it, so it is not impossible to predict. I may be wrong, but I find it easy to predict.


    I make several assumptions. I assume that cold fusion will be completely controlled, perfectly safe, and pollution free. If I am wrong about that, my predictions all go out the window.



    * In 1910, Charles Rolls of Rolls Royce experienced the ultimate setback with the ultimate high tech toy. He bought one of the first airplanes from the Wrights, and killed himself flying it. I doubt such incidents will occur with cold fusion. I worked with some of the early minicomputers and the first microcomputers. I burned up a few microcomputers. I worked with a Data General Nova minicomputer with 64 KB and RAM and 12 MB of disk. At another company, a service technician was killed by one of those machines. He had extended the hard disk from the rack and was lying down repairing it (which I did a few times). The machine tipped over and crushed him. That's how heavy those machines were. Data General send me some legs to bolt onto the front to keep that from happening. That is the only fatality I have ever heard of from a computer.

  • I agree it would be cheaper and personally I think it would be more democratic and resilient than the grid.


    If it is cheaper then it will win. As long as it roughly as safe, convenient, and reliable, cheap always wins in the end.


    Sometimes, when things are cheap enough, people buy them even when they are less convenient and less reliable. Computer printers in the 1970s were fast and reliable. They could go through a whole box of tractor feed paper without jamming. But they cost thousands of dollars. They were used with mini- and mainframe computers, serving many users on many terminals at once. In the 1980s, small printers were introduced for single users and people with personal computers at home. They were far cheaper per unit. But they were slow, unreliable, and they cost more per page. Users didn't care what they cost per page because they did not print many pages.


    I have heard people say "no one will buy a cold fusion generator because it will not be as reliable as power company electricity." Those people do not live in Atlanta, GA, where power company electricity cuts off for hours at a time, several times a year. (Because of trees falling and cars whacking to into polls.) Anyway, even if the power company is more reliable, most people would be willing to trade off some reliability for a much lower cost. I suppose a home co-generator would be covered by a heating and air conditioning company under contract. When our air conditioner fails, the company comes out and fixes it that day. Most people would be willing to sit at home waiting for the repairman every few years if it saves a ton of money on electricity and gas heating.


    Some critically ill people need electricity for medical devices. Nowadays, they have an emergency gasoline powered generator. With cold fusion, they would purchase two generators. Perhaps one would be smaller, for emergency use only.


    For critical applications in things like aviation perhaps they will develop duplicate generators similar to Tandem Computer fault-tolerant minicomputers. See:


    http://www.fundinguniverse.com…em-computers-inc-history/

  • People who think that electric power company electricity is reliable should look at this web site:


    https://outagemap.georgiapower.com/external/default.html


    Check it again after a winter storm hits Georgia. You will see thousands of customers without power, because wind, ice and snow topples trees and cuts power lines. Sometimes tens of thousands of people are without power. This all happens the same day. Those people without power are concentrated in a few places. This happens most often when the roads are impassable. The power company sends hundreds of trucks to repair the damage. It often takes hours, sometimes days.


    Think about how this would play out with cold fusion. A winter storm would not interrupt power because there are no power lines. Cold fusion generators are likely to fail about as often as furnaces, air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines and other appliances. If you maintain such equipment properly, it fails once every 5 or 10 years. After 10 years it becomes unreliable and fails more often. After 15 years it is recommended you replace it. There are 4.3 million houses in and apartments in Georgia, so if cold fusion generators fail once every 10 years, you would expect 1,200 failures per day. Every 5 years is 2,400 per day. The failures will be scattered around the state, not concentrated. Failures will happen as often during good weather as during storms. So there will be no emergency. The repair people will not be overwhelmed. It will take about as long to fix one in summer as winter.


    I suppose most generators will be covered by same-day service maintenance contracts from the same companies that service furnaces and air conditioners today. I suppose the machine will consist of a high tech cold fusion generator in a sealed module with no user serviceable parts, plus various conventional blowers and whatnot for the co-gen portion. If the cold fusion part breaks, the repairman will replace the module (the guts of the machine), more or less the way I replace a hard disk. With no skill and nothing more than a screwdriver. The more high tech things become, the less we can fix them. You might even be able to go to Lowes, pay $2,000 for the module, and install it yourself, like a large printer cartridge. I can imagine a unit fails 6 in the morning and you fix it yourself by 9 before going to work. That is how long it would take me to replace a failed hard disk or printer, which are the most high-tech gadgets in my house. Maybe it will be more like a dishwasher, which takes longer to replace. (Mine seem to break every year or so!) The dishwasher is a unit that the repairman installs in an hour. It is internally complicated with computer controls, but they usually just swap out the whole thing, so the complexity does not matter.

  • Nonsense. It would take one or more truly impressive demonstrations of heat production


    Depends what truly impressive means..


    something like Brillouin 2.7 COP ramped up to >4.0 for six months might be sufficient..to get some investment


    Other investors will react before any govt will blink an eyelid


    but I will keep my Aotearoan family/compatriots informed regardless..

    Solar panels look nice and shiny on their rooves.. I've even cleaned the moss off some of them

    but if they can save a dime with LENR they will.