Frank Gordon's "Lattice Energy Converter (LEC)"...replicators workshop

  • I had a brief conversation with Larry Forsley about the LEC. He was thinking that the conduction channels are being opened by thermionic emissions. Has this notion been explored yet?

    There is that possibility, I have thought about it and so have Frank and Harper. Work function via different materials and temperature vs output experimentation might help clarify that.

  • I had a brief conversation with Larry Forsley about the LEC. He was thinking that the conduction channels are being opened by thermionic emissions. Has this notion been explored yet?

    Thermionic emission would imply emission of electrons only. If so, the LEC would behave unidirectionally, like a diode. Instead it shows a very symmetric conduction capability. This imply that both positive and negative charges are present, and that there is no preferential emission from one electrode (i.e. most probably charges are created in the gas).

    Work functions are for sure involved in the generation of the voltage, but we don't know if they can affect the generation and amount of ionization. However, we will have some answer for both these questions: in the forthcoming weeks (months?) I will try to add some low work function elements during the co-deposition process (mainly calcium) and I also plan to scan an active electrode with a FLIR thermal camera (if hot spots will be present they may be responsible for a thermionic emission).

  • Frank has said that the present LEC is 9 orders away from producing 1 kW, which he called a "practical" level of electricity. That's a lotta orders! He thinks they can close that gap by a number of methods that he discussed in the presentation. However, I quibble with the idea that 1 kW is the lowest practical level. I think it is much lower. I wrote to him as follows --


    A hearing aid battery produces the most expensive electricity


    Frank,


    You mentioned that you need to increase power by 9 orders of magnitude to reach a "practical" level of 1 kW. That's not strictly true. Actually, far lower power levels are not only practical, they are extremely valuable. The most expensive electricity a person can buy is produced by a hearing aid battery. This is around 5 or 10 mW. They last about 5 days, so that's 1200 mWh, or 0.0012 kWh. You can buy that from the power company for $0.00017 (0.017 cents), whereas a battery costs $0.50, I think. That's 2,900 times more expensive per watt-hour. That is quite a heck of a market.


    A miniature LEC that produces 10 mW of electricity would sell like hotcakes at a huge premium. If it lasts for 5 years -- which I think is possible -- that would be the equivalent of 365 batteries, costing $183. Granted, you can get rechargeable hearing aid batteries for $10 each, but a LEC version would be more convenient and would probably last longer than rechargeable batteries. I think you could get at least $100 for it.


    There is a similar market for wrist watch batteries. They consume 10 microwatts. Your present LEC can almost reach that.


    There is a gigantic market for cell phone batteries. Cell phones consume 3 W at peak. A thermoelectric chip with a heat-producing cold fusion reaction would make the cell too hot to keep in your pocket. A LEC might be ideal.


    A cardiac pacemaker battery costs a fantastic sum of money. Power levels are 10 to 50 microwatts. A LEC would be an ideal power source, because replacing a pacemaker calls for surgery which is painful and can be dangerous, so it is better to leave it in place indefinitely. Of course you have to meet very high performance and safety standards, so it would take a long time to develop this and have it approved, but it would be worth millions. Over a million pacemakers are implanted per year. They cost between $4,000 and $6,000 each. Much of the cost is probably for the battery. I expect you are looking at a market worth $1 to $2 billion.


    So, anyway, when you present the LEC to venture capitalists, you should not say that 1 kW is the lowest "practical" level of power. 10 microwatts is a practical power level. Not only practical, but per watt, is it is worth thousands to millions of times more than power company electricity.


    - Jed

  • The point I am trying to make here is that people such as Brillouin and even Mizuno should stop thinking they must scale up before venture capitalists will fund them. If a venture capitalist tells you "you must produce 1 kW before anyone will buy this," he is wrong, and he does not understand the market for energy.


    The problem with today's experimental cold fusion devices is not that power levels are low. The problem is, they are not reliable. Power is not constant, and it cannot be controlled. If it could be controlled, and if the device could be miniaturized, it would have enormous economic value, and many practical applications. So, when you talk to venture capitalists, do not sell yourself short. You should not think that the only commercially valuable form of cold fusion will be in the kilowatt levels.


    Frankly, I wish the people at Brillouin and even Mizuno would grasp this fact. There is no need to scale up at first. What we need is control. Scaling down to microwatt levels might actually bring in a lot more money at first. Billions of dollars!



    Brillouin is wasting their time in any case. They should not even try to make it into a practical source of energy. That is not their job. If an industrial company becomes interested and starts to develop this in house, they will make more progress in one month than Brillouin would make in 10 years.


  • JedRothwell, I agree with you: even generating a small electrical power would be enormously valuable if it can be made reliable, long lasting and physically small. However, the latter attribute probably is hardest to achieve for many systems. You have physical constraints that do not allow to scale down dimensions. Probably you can power a smart watch right now with the BEC HHT+thermoelectric generator, but you cannot wear it on your wrist... :) So it is somewhat easier to scale up the power to circumvent this limitation (also because most LENR systems output thermal energy).

    The LEC (as well as few other systems) is somewhat different in that: the output is close to be practically useful and dimensions can be probably scaled down. It's a good option.

    I also agree with you that some attributes such as reliability, useful life, industrial scalability, are even more important than power level.

  • I agree with Jed: generating a power of the order of 1 microwatt is not ridiculous, since it is the power of a wristwatch or that of many electronic devices of everyday life. (Thermometer, fire alarm, calculator, etc.) Results showing and confirming Frank Gordon's observations as well as improving the results obtained were presented at ICCF 24.



    On the other hand, I do not think that this current is caused by the ionization of the gas by an ionizing radiation emitted by the palladium. Far too high dose rates would be needed, higher than those observed in the buildings of the Fukushima plant! You know that I was a molecular biologist before my career was broken into pieces by LENRs. So I propose a different explanation: according to me, the current in the Solid-State Fusion Diodes with hydrogen gas is produced according to a mechanism close to that observed in the solar diodes of Grätzel. In Grätzel dye solar cells, organic dyes are adsorbed on the surface of titanium dioxide nanoparticles stuck to a transparent electrode. The counter electrode is made of platinum. Between the two electrodes there is a solution of iodide ions. Organic pigment molecules capture light, and the excited form of the pigment oxidizes iodide (I-) ions to triiodide (I3-) ions. The triiodide ions diffuse in the liquid phase and will be reduced on the platinum counter-electrode. The electrons pass through the external electrical circuit where their energy is used. There is a rolling cycle of oxidation/reduction inside the solution. I like the rolling circles, like in my isothermal DNA PCR-like process or in my rotative Engine...

  • I think the diodes used by Frank Gordon work in a similar way. But obviously, as in the Solid-State Fusion Diodes with solid semiconductor, in this case, the energy does not come from the sun, but is brought by the Down-Conversion of the energy of the LENR which takes place in the nanocrystals of palladium.




    Before the complete Down-Conversion of Hagelstein and before complete thermalization of the LENR energy, under 0.1 eV, the energy is harvested at the level of electron-volts.



    In a gaseous diode that Frank Gordon calls “L.E.C.”, the active electrode is made of metal covered with palladium by electroplating in an aqueous medium. This palladium obviously contains hydrogen and a small amount of deuterium. The counter electrode is made of copper. (or other metal) Between the two electrodes there is hydrogen gas. Low Energy Nuclear Reactions take place in the active electrode, according to theoretical modalities which remain to be defined, but which produce energy. This energy undergoes the "Down-Conversion of Hagelstein», and the energy is used to oxidize on the surface of the active electrode the molecules of hydrogen H2 into H2+ ions. The H2+ ions diffuse in the gaseous phase and will be reduced on the copper counter-electrode. There is another “rolling circle” cycle of oxidation/reduction. (Like in a rotating ATPase of the membrane of a living cell, to take the same exemple as Georges Egely does.) It’s a biochemist point of view. The electrons pass through the external electrical circuit where their energy is used.


  • Could you enlarge on that idea a bit?

    Here is the logic chain. The LEC depends on ionization to carry potential difference. Ions must move in the atmosphere between electrodes for electrons to move in conductors between electrodes. NAE, nuclear active sites on one electrode provide the means of that ionization; otherwise, the control would show electrical potential. Rout et al provide the most complete analysis of the radiation from cold fusion. They could not identify the type of radiation but could provide a characterization of the radiation or process to transfer energy that would develop a film. Transfer of energy to develop a film could transfer energy to create a potential difference.

    Per Rout et al the energy transfer process appears to require a porous pathway. That implies that the gas fills the role of an electrolytic fluid. Hence the question: what elements in the gas are critical to ion transfer? Per Rout et al’s table one, atmospheric gas is better than oxygen is better than hydrogen is better than nitrogen. Air is better than oxygen and nitrogen by itself is useless, but air is mostly 4 parts nitrogen to 1 part oxygen. Therefore, logic suggests that nitrogen requires oxygen to create the energy transfer that makes air better than oxygen. (Provided that water (hydrogen) isn’t disproportionately important, which I seem to remember was shown in this discussion). It then follows that whatever the radiation or energy transfer means it involves electron transfer between oxygen and nitrogen.

  • Yes, the observations of the “L.E.C." operating in air observed in particular by Jean-Paul Biberian can be explained in two ways:


    1) The occluded hydrogen is gradually released, undergoing the oxidation/reduction cycle detailed in the image above.


    2) Gases present in the air also undergo a similar oxidation/reduction cycle. Of course, the prime suspect is argon, due to its ease of ionization.



    I bet a bottle of champagne that experiments with an L.E.C. diodes filled with an argon/hydrogen mixture will give very good results, superior to diodes filled with air or filled with pure hydrogen.


    We will drink it together in Stettin.

  • Drgenek Thank you for your contributions. In conversation with Frank he mentioned to me that hydrogen/air was better than pure hydrogen, so you may be onto something.


    Other gases and vapours (possibly including fabrice DAVID 's Argon) may also be interesting, Polar solvents like acetone and Iso-propanol certainly work, and I plan to try a protic vapour like ammonia. Many experiments. so little time.

  • fabrice DAVID, I agree with the first part of your explaination: LENR and "down-conversion" that cause the ionization of something. However, since the device is almost perfectly symmetric in carrying the current, a symmetric mechanism and probably an equal number of positive and negative charges are requires to explain the conduction.

    Drgenek, I confirm that air works better than hydrogen (with reference to voltage, actually current would be a better indication) and, as said by J.P. Biberian alcohol or acetone works even better. I will be not surprised at all that a mixture of air or hydrogen with argon or xenon will provide very good results...

    BTW, there are some curious similarities with the behavior of the Celani constantan wires: he reported too that acetone increase the effect, that its wires are able to dissociate water and that a very small voltage appears along the wires...


    EDIT: just to back up what Jed wrote: Prometheus — MATRIX: Self-Powered Solutions (matrixindustries.com)

  • I would be remiss not to mention that several new conventional ways to power cardiac pacemakers have been proposed, such as:


    Thermoelectric from small temperature differences within the body, or piezoelectric devices


    Pacemakers charging using body energy
    Life-saving medical implants like pacemakers and defibrillators face a big drawback that their batteries eventually run out and patients require frequent…
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov


    Itty-bitty turbines driven by blood flow!


    Engadget is part of the Yahoo family of brands


    Extraction of chemical energy from blood glucose!!


    Russian nuclear scientists are developing a new method of generating electricity from human blood to allow pacemakers to work without replacement.


    Energy from blood: How can we turn our veins into power plants?
    Russian nuclear scientists are developing a new method of generating electricity from human blood to allow pacemakers to work without replacement.
    www.rbth.com


    Creepy, eh? Just what you expect from nuclear scientists.

  • Frank told me that he is not ignoring low power applications such as hearing aid batteries. He says they are thinking about them. My response to him --



    Yes, I realize you are not ignoring this. I meant that in general, people overestimate the need for high power in the initial phases of development.

    In your comments to me before the conference, you mentioned the need to increase power by 9 orders of magnitude to reach a "practical level" of 1 kW. That is a practical level for most macroscopic applications, such as running a kitchen blender or turning on the lights. Obviously, for cold fusion to succeed everywhere it will eventually have to be boosted up to megawatt levels. But as Feynman said, "there is plenty of room at the bottom" for microscopic applications. Plenty of profit as well.

    Many companies such as Brillouin seem to be holding back from commercialization until they can achieve high power levels. That is my impression, anyway. I think a better strategy is to stick to low power, ~10 W, and to concentrate on improving control and reliability. Then hand off practical development to large corporations.

    The Clean Planet Roadmap for product launch slide describes a 2.8 kW prototype, and a project with Mirura boilers to produce industrial scale equipment by 2025. That's grand if they can pull it off. I have no objection! But suppose they don't? I fear they may put too much effort into scaling up, rather than improving control, reliability (and also replicability, robustness and so on).

    I do not understand why anyone thinks that a 1 kW reactor is more convincing or closer to being a practical device than a 10 W reactor. This is confusing an unimportant attribute (high power) with the all-important engineering parameters (control, etc.). Improving the so-called COP is also a useless distraction. Increasing power with today's devices brings you "closer to the goal" only in the sense that walking a few hundred feet north brings you closer to the North Pole.

    Granted, heat below 1 W can be difficult to measure. 10 W is much easier. 1 kW is actually more difficult to measure accurately than 10 W.


  • Thank you to everyone for your interest in the LEC. This post addresses several questions and comments that have been posted and also some that came up during discussions at ICCF 24.


    With regard to thermionic emissions, we have considered this possibility and we don’t believe that the effect is produced by electrons that are ejected. However, another possibility we are considering involves thermal energy in the lattice ejecting hydrogen ions from a vacancy at the surface. Most lattice vibration models show linear chains of atoms vibrating in a string. This may accurately describe the situation in the bulk but is it accurate at the surface? In sonar, the water surface is a pressure release surface. Is there a similar effect at the surface of a metal hydride lattice? Why would the atoms, particularly a hydrogen atom that is much lower mass than a Pd atom, vibrate in a linear string at the surface? Would the energy in the lattice favor the hydrogen atoms to vibrate out of the plane of the surface of the lattice? Is there enough energy that the hydrogen atom could be ejected from a vacancy with enough energy to ionize the gas? Could the hydrogen atoms that are vibrating perpendicular to the surface produce electromagnetic energy sufficient to ionize the gas? Many of these questions could be resolved if we can determine the source and type of energy that is ionizing the gas.


    Alternatively, keV electromagnetic energy radiated by the working electrode could emit energetic photoelectrons from the counter electrode which would have sufficient energy to ionize multiple gas molecules. As a matter of interest, in the experiments by Thomson and others, care was taken to be sure that the Roentgen rays did not impinge on the electrodes because they didn’t want photoelectrons to be produced and corrupt their results. In the case of the LEC, the photoelectric effect could be a primary source of ionization.


    LEC experimental results appear to be consistent with the description by KK Darrow. He describes a diffusion driven device where differences in ion mobilities and ion density gradients lead to the production of a voltage and current. In this regard, gas mixtures could be important. It is known that electronegative gases such as oxygen, have a greater affinity for electron attachment than hydrogen and thus in combination with the positive hydrogen ions would produce a gas mixture with a greater difference in ion mobility and diffusivity than that which hydrogen gas alone would produce. Similarly, a Penning gas like mixture involving inert gases (argon, etc.) might also produce differences in positive and negative ion mobilities which would be helpful.


    Our experimental results also indicate that the LEC behaves as if it is a current source under load and a voltage when open circuited. This complicates approaches to scaling up the usable voltage through an external load, of LEC circuits. The LEC appears to operate as a temperature dependent, diffusion driven current source, shunted by a voltage dependent conductance.


    Several people have suggested that LEC output is the result of dissimilar metals that are insulated from each other in the presence of water vapor which as Darrow describes which contains ions of different mobilities and diffusivities. This is a real effect that we have observed. An open circuit voltage in the presence of a small current, proportional to the number of ions present per unit volume, will deliver power to a load. However, the density of ions in a LEC is several orders of magnitude greater than that which can be attributed to water vapor at a similar temperature. E.g. A LEC operating at -55 °C conducts current even in the absence of any water vapor molecules. Two Carlon papers are attached for reference.


    A common comment that we have heard is that LEC voltage and current is the result of hydrogen outgassing from the lattice. We have observed LEC output decaying over time in cells exposed to air where insufficient hydrogen is diffusing into the lattice to make up for the outgassing. However, it should be pointed out that the conventional description of outgassing of hydrogen is that the hydrogen atoms sit on the surface until they join with another hydrogen atom to become H2. It appears that the conventional description of outgassing is incomplete when vacancies are present. Also, if this were the only process, the LEC would behave as a diode which we don't observe so there must also be a complimentary gas ionization process occurring simultaneously in order that the conduction be bi-directional as we and others have observed. These results suggest that flux could be important and this may provide an opportunity to scale up the output.

  • LEC experimental results appear to be consistent with the description by KK Darrow. He describes a diffusion driven device where differences in ion mobilities and ion density gradients lead to the production of a voltage and current. In this regard, gas mixtures could be important. It is known that electronegative gases such as oxygen, have a greater affinity for electron attachment than hydrogen and thus in combination with the positive hydrogen ions would produce a gas mixture with a greater difference in ion mobility and diffusivity than that which hydrogen gas alone would produce. Similarly, a Penning gas like mixture involving inert gases (argon, etc.) might also produce differences in positive and negative ion mobilities which would be helpful.

    Thank you for your very complete FAQ above. I think that we are now looking at a materials science project that extends into the realm of both metals and gases. There is much to do.


    BTW, my copy of KK Darrow arrived today, Published in the USA in 1932, my copy is 'ex libris' from the University of Cape Town, (S.Africa) and sold to me by a UK book dealer. ;)

  • LEC experimental results appear to be consistent with the description by KK Darrow. He describes a diffusion driven device where differences in ion mobilities and ion density gradients lead to the production of a voltage and current.

    I think it is marvelous that you are looking at old literature to understand this! Martin Fleischmann strongly recommended doing this. He said there is a lot of forgotten science in the back issues of Nature circa 1900.

  • He said there is a lot of forgotten science in the back issues of Nature circa 1900.

    Indeed there is, and in the public domain content of 'proceedings of the Royal Society.' and the patent databases. People published scientific discoveries and explained them carefully, often not realising that they would eventually become useful or important commercially.