Post ICCF24 thread.

  • ARPA-E Perspective on LENR by Scott C Hsu, Program Director of ARPA-e fusion programs, who is winding down on that as he has a new role, new job. Dr. Robert Ledoux will take over the fusion programs at ARPA-E.


    ARPA-E assumes LENR is a hypothetical energy-producing process... [hypothetical?- Ruby]


    Funding Opportunity Announcement anticipated Aug 2022 gets a round of applause from the audience. They want to confirm and refute hypotheses, as opposed to open-ended exploration, identify and verify control of experimental variable / triggers, .....


    There will be two technical categories : LENR experiments and capability teams, who are specialists and experts in nuclear diagnosis, materials analyzation, modeling, interpretation of results.


    There is a real challenge to getting to net-zero by 2050. We need new innovative technologies to improve our chances. But, we must keep cost targets in mind. Less than 50 dollars a Mwh for grid electricity and even lower for other energy markets. That's why we're excited about the possibility of LENR, because of the cost, as well as super clean, energy dense and low captial costs. But LENR is at a stalemate. A lack of funding perpetuates the lack of recognition and activity.


    He shows the results of the DOE reviews from yesteryear claiming that the evidence did not support the conclusion of D-D fusion. But he says ARPA-E has a mandate to pursue such high-risk, potentially transformative endeavors and this can have profound effects. Thus, the objectives of the ARPA-E LENR workshop were to gather broad input regarding what is known. They want to now identify path /barriers for LENR to become a disruptive energy technology.


    They are being systematic to understand the problems in LENR. Lack of repeatability, inconclusive results, lack of tangible scientific progress, incomplete expertise, and inadequate peer review are problems they have given underlying reasons for, and have identified opportunities to move forward from.


    Moving beyond replication, he believes that we need more confirmatory research, which begins with an a priori hypothesis, and design experiments to determine what's up in regards to that. Convincing evidence will demonstrate:


    1 keV/amu/reaction output

    energy inputs ~ eV/atom

    statistical significant......

    .....

    Results should be presented at top conferences and journals, and multi-disciplinary teams will be positioned to take to forward.


    Particle detector systems for LENR, calorimetry, and LENR measurement and materials, are all areas that ARPA-E would like to see best practices established in. Reminder, we need eventual scalability to sufficient energy gain, and avoid premature attribution. What are the deficiencies in past results?


    He says don't call it cold fusion until fusion is actually established.

    Questions and the answers:

    No more workshops are planned, but they will be keeping in contact with the whole field.

    It's not the Journal itself, but the standards the journal holds. (someone asked about the problem of publishing).

    Larry Forsley asked about ARPA-E putting a conference together on the topic, but Scott Hsu says the field needs "more progress".

    The stalemate of the field stops things, he wants to establish more actual results over the 5-10 year timeframe.

    What kinds of teams are you looking for, was asked. Look at the Team-Partner announcement to see. Please register in the Team-Partner list so teams can form. People should have long LENR experience, ideally.

  • Ruby is doing a superb job as usual, keeping everybody up with the news.


    Other items - met with a few forum members this morning, including magicsound and fabrice DAVID . Apparently Jean-Paul Biberian is in SF but may be unable to attend in person as he has had a positive test. Frank Ling has asked me to be back-up if required.


    We were all tested before being allowed entry today. Attendance in-person here looks like 100-150 or so, actual numbers to follow.

  • Carl Page wants to speed things up and has a Prize Announcement. They are in the planning stages, a lot of things need to be ironed out, just like designing a game, so not a lot of details now. He says it's harder to convince something is possible than it is to get them to DO it, when they know it's possible. People run and hide from things that can really make a difference, he says.


    Benefits of a Prize Competition: something magical happens where something that seems impossible becomes inevitable. You don't need to wait for the Prize, but when you announce, and people start lining up, the objective can actually start to happen ASAP. People can ignore something that is obscure, but if more people looking at it, it can't be ignored.


    The Xprize fostered an important subgoal to space exploration. Lots of incentive prizes have been given out in recent times, more and more. He wants this prize to be directed to a third path for nuclear power, and they need to define that clearly because there are many LENR types, and products. They need to assemble a great review committee for the judging. They can have a "Red Team" to replicate the results. They could have a specific location where all contestants bring their devices, or, the judges can go to the lab. They have to figure all this out.


    But with an incentive prize you can drag some information that doesn't get discussed out into the open and create a lot more common knowledge. What kind of results do they want to see? Energy breakevens, or economic breakeven? There are different pathways. We can go to proof of concept to commercial protoytype, to an actual proto type all with a Prize.


    He wants to talk more about this, there are a lot of unknowns, and he wants input on this. The US government has a hard time working internationally, but an incentive Prize can be global to increase the collaboration. We could fund this many ways,including crowd funding. It's possible cash can be distributed to help people in the competition. A level playing field operates, and then the winner is chosen, and the information learned is validated.


    He estimates some months to get the criteria down, and have a contest over one-two years, but it might be three years. It could be even quicker if we evaluate things that exist.


    Someone suggested there be first prize, second prize and Miss Congeniality awards. Carl Page responds that in the Ansari prizes, even the losers got funding and the opportunity to move forward.


    Someone suggested a type of metric based on power density.


    This will be a great opportunity for the field when it happens.

  • there is good and less good, not convinced by this Arpa E guy, but everyone will have their own reading :)

  • More on Arpa-E

    ARPA-E LENR Announces FOA for LENR at ICCF-24

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — Dr. Scott Hsu, Program Director at ARPA-E, today announced at ICCF24 that ARPA–E is considering issuing a new Exploratory Topic to solicit applications for financial assistance in pursuit of diagnostic evidence of Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) that are convincing to the wider scientific community. Dr. Hsu, who is also Lead Fusion Coordinator in the Office of the Under Secretary for Science and Innovation, says this Exploratory Topic will be to establish clear practices to rigorously answer the question, “should this field move forward given that LENR could be a potentially transformative carbon-free energy source, or does it conclusively not show promise?”

    In addition to announcing a Teaming Partner list, Dr. Hsu noted that ARPA-E is “following up with a funding opportunity announcement anticipated in August 2022,” adding, “Why is there such hope for LENR? It may be the ideal form of nuclear energy if it can be demonstrated and scaled. It could be a disruptive energy technology that could have an influence on climate change and energy security.”

    Over the past 2+ years, ARPA-E has revisited the history of LENR as a field, studied the literature, released a general RFI on nonconventional fusion approaches (that received many LENR-related responses), and held a LENR workshop. The workshop was attended by 100+ people, including long-time and newer LENR researchers, non-LENR researchers from adjacent research disciplines, and other interested stakeholders.

    This ARPA-E announcement is to facilitate multidisciplinary teaming, especially among but not limited to LENR researchers and nuclear diagnostic experts. ARPA-E believes that such teaming will improve the chances of advancing the field of LENR. The FOA will provide specific program goals, technical metrics, and selection criteria.

    Any organization that would like to be included on the Teaming Partner list should complete all required fields in the following link: https://ARPA–E-foa.energy.gov/Applicantprofile.aspx. To access the Teaming Partner List for the FOA, click here.
  • Someone suggested there be first prize, second prize and Miss Congeniality awards. Carl Page responds that in the Ansari prizes, even the losers got funding and the opportunity to move forward.

    That is good news, and important. I have been telling Ed Storms that was the likely arrangement. It is not a winner-take-all prize. It shouldn't be.

  • Anyway, i think Carl Page should be a little alone when the cake will fall down back.

    In this way LenrForum should take its full place, also grow in order to help him in this prize, help also the ARPA E proposal if it's going on.

  • For the time being IMO it is better we keep everything under this threads umbrella. If all kinds of good news starts breaking out and we can't handle it in one thread, then we can start other threads as needed.

    That was quick. Already some big news today, so it already looks like we will need more threads to adequately cover it all. Good problem to have!


    After close of business today, I will start a thread on the ARPA-E, X-Prize news unless someone beats me to it. Gregory Byron Goble , be my guest if you like. Or anyone for that matter.

  • Ooops, missed the Peter Diamondis talk. I did just catch that "we need replicable experiments, if not replicated once, just preferably more."

    Q&A: What's the timeframe? No real answer, they are still figuring out the details. Peter D is working with Anthropocene to determine specifics. He would like to see $100 million prize. There needs to be a viable test lab to do third party independent testing.


    How do we generate the economic incentives? Peter D. makes the analogy of medical world, where someone can support a study and say, get treatment, or some other benefit. Peter says some people don't get involved in these types of things because they don't want to be embarrassed! Woah.


    Back to Peter. You can not announce a prize before the money is available. They kind of did that with the Ansari prize and people kept calling and calling is it funded yet? what's happening, etc, and he doesn't want to go through that again.


    Success in this field means a problem for other disciplines, they will be out of business. Some players may not want you to succeed.


    Huw Price closes up by thanking everyone.

  • Next up Jeffrey Bohn, a quantitative finance fellow, managing R&D groups for many years.


    He will talk about trends relevent to what people do who want to save the planet. We have a lot of data creating new opportunities in a space called ESG. This has spawned marketing trends, but that''s not what we are talking about for ESG. There are funds strategically positioned for ESG investments. He wants to bring capital together with the groups that need it.


    Climate change is changing the risk profile. Shifts in the insurance and investment industries:

    Understand and cover becomes predicate and prevent

    Individual entity focus becomes outcome focus.


    Data is the oil for machine intelligence: raw data multiplies in value after refinement.

    quantify, analyze, report, and monitor.

    Data are more important than models, he says.

    well0cruated data are most important as new tools become available.

    Increasing availability of guidelines.


    How do we measure sustainability. Claiming specific outcomes helps get partners for support.


    There is such a thing as "dependency risk". Warehouses near Fukushima were out of commission for a long time, but they did not get their insurance because their buildings weren't damaged. This is a problem. Data sets will help this. For instance, there are 630 million data points on seismic hazards. Resilience provides crucial difference. Two buildings compared for an example. See the slide or the video.


    He also uses an example of a Bond for resilience projects. he is running on this and I can't keep up. But he says he can build a solution for measuring ESG output. Identify focused, narrow, measureable and monitorable criteria and then certify and monitor compliance. Build incentives into instrument design. May need government or other multilateral entity backstops or subsidies. He can de-risk projects using parametric insurance, like flight insurance for a flight delay, for example.


    There is some discussion about "what can we do to not put our oil-producing neighbors out of work"? Jeffrey Bohn is diplomatic and says we need to identify the new energy technolog8es and transition over to them.


    Me Ruby says it seems that only older people are concerned about oil industry jobs. The vast majority of younger people who will have to live with the consequences of older peoples excess say let's go for it. We want new energy NOW!

  • Funding Moonshots with Carly Anderson is next.

    She will talk about her experience in funding moonshots.

    What are moonshots? Not small projects. Arpanet which led to the the modern internet is an example among others she listed. Human genome project which led to DNA sequencing is another.

    In most cases, moonshot activity achieves its goal, or, something else comes out of it.


    Future LENR companies must set cost targets that are competitive for the markets pursued. Moonshots are funded by bank deposits, pubic sector bonds, and other bonds, and private equity, etc... There are different funding sources for different risk levels. If you have science risk, sources can be philanthropic orgs, gov R&D Angels, etc. Engineering risk can get government Pilot grants ,early state VC or corporate VC. Commercial risk can get growth stage VC and crossover funds, etc.


    Tips for raising private capital. You can make Progress/Milestones and you can develop Credibility. Startup credibility can be peer reviewed pubs, reputation with field third party validation, etc.. Milestones consist of key metrics met, advanced component prototypes, ...


    Be sure to pitch Readiness: Do the people accept your thesis?

    Does your financial model fit the investor's return threshold?

    Can you clearly communicate the next and future milestones?

    Is the right team on board to achieve these milestones?


    She has a list on her slide of all the reasons she is interested in this field. I really like this slide. Number one, the pace of technical progress is accelerating, diagnostics are improving, etc. She is very curious about this field.


    1. Establish a firm scientific basis, 2. do high level engineering calculations, system cost, size, sensitivity analysis, 3. assess use cases and market sizes, 4. determine the key milestones and value inflection point to get there.

  • NASA Glenn research Center is represented by Theresa L. Benyo, principal investigator for Lattice Confinement Fusion Project. These are federally funded LENR activities at NASA.

    NASA requires novel power sources to complete missions in extreme environments. LCF fits the bill. Instead of heating plasma 10x hotter than the sun which cannot be controlled, on the contrary, LCF heats very few atoms at a time, approaches solar fuel density, and the lattice provides containment.

    There is electron screening and high fuel density, and together (plus a trigger) you get viable fusion.


    Gus Fralick started it all at NASA in 1989. Let's do gas cycling, he said. He saw heat produced when he was de-loading, but not loading the hydrogen. Repeating this pressurized cycling of D2 gas produced heat and surface transmutations on PdAg.


    In 2011 they got involved again with an Innovators Workshop. The situation grew from a few people to over 25 investigators today. There was an early exploration phase. Hydrogen purifier, slow codeposition, SEM e-Gun Exposure, x-ray exposure, are some ways they've investigated. They haven't quite done a lot yet with gas cycling Pd/Ni Alloys using powders and a calorimeter based on Ed Storms' design but that has started.


    They are using LINAC LInear Accelerator to look at Volumetric electron screening via gamma photons. They were able to scale things up with increased mass, beam energy, co-targets in the gamma beam. They created mo/99 for medical use.

    TiD2 showed excess of ~4W.

    PdAg showed excess ~24 Watts.


    Electrochemistry produced results. 6/7 cells produced sustained power.


    3 MeV linear accelerator has demonstrated nuclear reactions. They went to a linear accelerator on Long Island for a week every month to do experiments and found what they wanted.


    They contend that electron screening is the important player, reducing the Coulomb barrier, and shifts the Gamow factor exponentially increasing fusion rates, however, screening is only effective below 10 keV. Lattice and plasma screening provides up to 3+ keV screening.


    Summarizing, NASA Glenn has duplicated multiple nuclear reaction initiated by various experimental techniques. They didn't always get the expected reaction products. They found transmutations, and tritium. There is heat release as well. Codeposition and LINAC photon stimulation are highly reproducible. Importantly, they have developed a critical concentration of expertise in multiple disciplines and experimental and theoretical resources, and are following evidence-based approaches.

  • Oliver Barnham Project Manager for the USNavy. He knew nothing about cold fusion until the NASA Glenn crew gave him some literature. And then he got interested. He said, Let's start our own project! The lab replied, Sorry we don't have funding. Oliver decided to get some funding.


    They put together a team to get a project together. They did an Experimental and Theoretical approach. His title of the talk is HIVER Electrochemistry Energy Project Results. They went to DARPA to fund this work, who is not afraid to take risks. They said, put together a plan of action that tells us what you're going to do. They made a Teams-building approach. They got people from Experiments, Theory, and Materials Science from DoD, the US Dept of Commerce, NIST, Army Research Lab, and Industry and Academia, as well. They got this great team and started putting their proposal together. He says building broad coalitions and broad teams, with different backgrounds and skill sets to all focus attention on one goal.


    In private industry, they say that they can't publish everything, which is what Oliver wants. He responds and says to talk to academic professors and ask them to help you find a way to communicate some of what you can, because this helps everyone, which helps the private industry, which needs to raise capital. If everyone cooperates and shares info, that will help everyone, in academia and private industry.


    They are getting a patent, and have results in thermal and RF signals during the experiments, and used CR-39 to detect nuclear products.


    He says to everyone in this field, use the team-building approach. We can then realize the promise of this science.