News from Blacklight Power

  • I like keeping an eye on developments at Blacklight Power. In their demo on July 21st Mills estimated 16-18 weeks for an engineering sample. The end of that period has now come without a big reveal but there was a promising statement from Mills in the Yahoo Group:


    Quote

    The yield of H2O to H2(1/4) + 1/2O2 was advanced from 0.2% to over 20%. The power density is consequently higher.


    The greater reaction rate means that there will be less required flow, which may make the engineering easier (otherwise they wouldn’t have tried to find this improvement). I’m still a bit skeptical about some aspects of the engineering, in particular how they can achieve the rapid rate reloading without residual build-up that will compromise the reaction and energy yield. This discovery should make things easier and great engineers can often resolve even the trickiest problems.


    Blacklight Power has quite a few things going for it:

    • Three public demos this year with decision makers and other important people in the audience. Would they even turn up if it was an obvious scam?
    • A public demo of a working device which plausibly does what they say it does (still well short of a proof)
    • Fresh $16m raised this year in private financing, giving them plenty of runway to work through the engineering details. This is a major endorsement following what must have been extensive due diligence.
    • Strong industrial partnership with a contract manufacturer (Sanmina?) to help with engineering and later scaling up
    • Significant interest from the defense sector, e.g. Joe Renick of Applied Research Associates who spoke at the demo days and various mentions of visits from the DOD
    • A theory, extremely controversial, quite possibly wrong but also intriguing in its ability to explain certain things that mainstream physics struggles with
    • Academic support on the measurement side from North American universities
    • 20 years of history – Mills could have been a successful doctor making quite possibly more money practicing medicine. He wouldn’t still be at it if it was all a mirage or worse a con. The same goes for the highly qualified engineers and scientists working there.

    In new energy things always take longer than promised. Still there are many things to look forward to in the next 12 months:

    • Rossi’s 1MW plant will have been in operation for the specified year
    • MFMP should have results, hopefully positive
    • Blacklight's improvements will hopefully result in a device with undeniable and independently verifiable net (electric!) energy out
    • Brillouin has been on the road and busy in the lab, we may see something in the wild
    • Bill Gates’ endorsement (if only via funding) may open doors to wider acceptance and research
  • Don't forget LENR-Cities .
    Sure no reactor on short term, but... Oxford project of conference is only the symptom of something behind.


    About Brillouin question is whether they have a prototype on the way for few month to come or are facing intractable problems but will solve them in next few years.


    Bill gates is not the only name that may burst. Maybe there is bigger name who prepare their coming out.

  • Mills dismissal of CF research is rather nasty, making it harder to root for him here but I'm choosing to look past that as my main interest is in getting cheap, dense and unlimited energy into the market.


    It’s easy to get carried away with conspiracy theories but putting a few less well publicized facts together does paint an interesting picture. Mills himself thinks it unlikely but consider this:

    • Saudi oil minister Naimi in an interview says he’s ok with permanently low prices. In an interview on 23 Dec he also states the following at oilpro.com/post/9223/mees-interview-saudi-oil-minister-ali-naimi :
      Quote

      No, we wish prices would go back up. One has to be realistic. There are many things in the energy market – not the oil market– that will determine prices in the future. A lot of effort is being exerted worldwide, whether in research, or boosting efficiency, or using non-fossil fuels. All these might witness a breakthrough one day. Any strategy must be done in a way that allows it to be changed continuously.


    Of course it’s not very likely that customer conversations of one little US investment in the vast Saudi portfolio travel all the way to the top of the oil ministry but nevertheless interesting. Naimi’s language is extremely hedged and could mean anything but it’s still telling that he mentions breakthrough tech at all. They surely have detailed models incorporating game theory that try to predict the behavior of the largest producers of whether they would collude or renege at different price points, investment sensitivities, economic parameters and the likelihood of disruptive tech and response to it. Feed that into a giant Monte Carlo simulation over 10 million runs and you get a probability distribution. Maybe someone moved the disruptive tech probabilities a little higher and the optimal behavior for the lowest cost producer changed to flood the market.

  • There seems to be a strong correlation between the need for additional funding and media releases in mid 2014. Even though there was all this talk about a commercial prototype in 6 months, I suspect that we are unlikely to hear much at all until either the product is close to commercial release, or funds are running out and existing backers are looking like they aren't going to provide more funding. There is no commercial advantage of releasing any more info now as this is only likely to encourage potential competitors. I would not be surprised if we don't hear anything more until next year at least, if it proves to be viable.. ?( .

  • There are new statements from Mills:


    Quote

    The design has gone through many cycles of testing and evolution. Currently it has no moving parts with systems that should last at least 10 to 20 years before replacement with minimum maintenance required. The projected cost is small fraction compared to CPV which may be lower than $100 kW electric. This design should not require years of field tests and redesign. Our plan is to have tested commercial-ready technology before announcing it to the market.


    Quote

    We have innovated and successfully tested many systems that work, that have been validated by experts, that can be reproduced on demand. But, we needed to achieve the power density and cost required to be commercially competitive with fire in order to displace it. We broke through that impediment with the breakthrough that I made a little over a year ago. The SunCell produces massive power density and can be commercialized. We are about a year into a fast track to commercializing a technology which can be more than competitive than anything out there. I like where we are: theory, hydrino analytical, engineering, patents, and business wise.


    He's not going to have many fans in this LENR community as he again launched into a tirade against Rossi a few days ago but I'm happy to ignore that, in the end to quote Rossi "in mercato veritas" where both may eventually produce highly competitive devices.