interestedparty New Member
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Posts by interestedparty

    Unlike many, I am somewhat encouraged by this latest experimental set up and results, though there are some (apparent) anomalies which I would hope further experiments might address.


    Energy released
    First, the apparent measurement of 100 MJ of energy released puts the energy far in excess of anything that could come from a chemical reaction (about 30,000 x). It does seem that, with the calorimeter being calibrated to within 3% ( one can be fairly confident that this energy was released (notwithstanding comments about possible reactions of the water jacket walls with the fluid, which seem highly unlikely with liquid water below 100 degrees C, and the amount of material that would have to react).


    Coefficient of Power
    The “coefficient of power” being in the range of 1.2 says little about the viability of the reaction for energy production, and more about the relative values of thermal conductivity when “activating” the nickel (raising it to 1200 degrees C) and when extracting power from the nickel. It is clear that the input energy is almost entirely going directly into the output water bath, not changing the state of the Ni or LiAlH4 (otherwise, the input power would be HIGHER than the output power in the early phases of the experiment). Thus, with low thermal conductivity to the “output” in the loading phase, and conductivity such that the temperature is maintained at 1200 degrees in the running phase while delivering power, the experimental COP could be very high (apparently greater that 5).


    Experimental error sources
    No experiment is perfect. I daresay, if this weren’t a “cold fusion” experiment where some insist that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”, the representations made in the experiment regarding energy released would have been accepted at face value. The real question is, given potential sources of experimental error, are the conclusions of the experiment still qualitatively justified. I.e., is there a release of energy far exceeding what can be explained by chemical reactions. To answer this, one needs to quantify the consequences of experimental error vs reported (very high—3 x 109 joules per mole of nickel—assuming all the nickel reacted—vs what might be expected from a normal chemical reaction in the range of 105 joules per mole) total energy release. The only factors affecting the energy out and the energy in calculations are:


    Energy in: Voltage and current at the driving point of the wire wound resistor
    Energy out: Change in temperature and water flow rate of the calorimeter
    Leakage of energy through the insulation of the calorimeter (which would tend to decrease the apparent energy generated)


    To justify an error of apparent energy out-energy in/energy in of, say, 25% one would have to have a combination of flow rate error and temperature measurement error adding up to 25%. Though this is possible, this would be hard to believe given appropriately chosen flow rates and therefore temperature rises. If, for example the temperature rise were 15 degrees [Parkhomov says he has a 20 degree rise for maximum reactor temperature and power], measured to an accuracy of .15 degree (+- .07 degree), and the flow rate were constant to 1% , the energy error would be well within acceptable ranges (essentially +- 1.5% ).


    Parkhomov says he used an Oregon Scientific Rain Gauge to measure the flow rates, and that it’s accuracy is 1% (.1 cc in 10 cc’s). However, I haven’t found any Oregon Scientific Rain Gauges with a digital interface to a computer. This may imply that once the flow was set, the flow was assumed to be constant (as determined by a pressure head established by the tray visible above the experiment, and either a valve or resistance in the tubing). If so, this would be a dangerous assumption since water viscosity (and therefore flow rate) is a strong function of temperature (1.04 at 20 C, and about .6 at 40 C), which would result in inaccurate estimates of energy output (though one would think it probably would underestimate, rather than overestimate energy output). Either the flow has to be monitored continuously, or a positive displacement pump should be used to force a flow rate (and I didn’t see such a pump in the block diagram or photo).


    Measuring Ash
    One would like to measure the type and quantity of ash to discover what the reaction is.If one assumes for example, that each reaction produces 5 MeV of energy (8 10-13 joules), then the 100M joules should have required 1.25 1020 reactions out of the .034 moles of Ni, or .034 x 6.02 1023 atoms = 1.8 1022 Ni atoms present, or about .7% (by number, not mass) to react.Thus we should expect about this much ash of some isotope.If this amount is higher than 10% of the naturally occurring abundance, it should be easily detectable.For solids, this should be possible in most circumstances. For gasses, like He4 or Tritium, it should be difficult but possible. The volumes are about 1.5 ( for molecules) and 3 (inert gasses) standard cc’s over the life of the experiment, and would require sophisticated collection apparatus, and a good residual gas analyzer, which clearly aren’t built into the experimental setup.


    Measuring reaction temperature
    It isn’t required to measure reaction temperature to determine energy output, but it would be extremely useful to know the reaction temperature to calculate activation energies. However, since the reaction is extremely exothermic and the heat produced is large and probably non-uniformly distributed; the morphology of the reactants is likely changing and the conductivity of alumina is low…it is likely that temperature is not uniform across the reaction region.For example, if just 1 watt is placed across a ¼ cm2 cross section of alumina 1 cm long, the temperature differential is W l / A k,or 1 1 / .25 (.035) or 114 degrees C. There could easily be hot spots in the heat generating section.Further, the nickel will conduct in some regions, but not in others as it aggregates, leading to variability of perceived temperature in a small spot with time.This could lead the control circuit to apply power because of an apparent fluctuation of temperature at that location.In this way, the apparent temperature of the core could appear to be stable (as regulated by computer and measured by the controlling thermocouple), whereas the power output from the calorimeter could vary (normally one would expect the measured calorimeter power to track the reaction temperature). An improvement to the experiment could include multiple thermocouples, or external cladding to the inner ceramic that is highly thermally conductive, and a thin walled ceramic that minimizes the temperature drop from the heat generating nickel to the added highly conductive cladding.


    One issue that others have mentioned is the apparent increase in output power whilst the apparent reaction temperature is constant. One possible explanation for that has been given just above.Possibly related anomalies appear at 28.04 and 07.05, when the apparent heat supplied decreases, then increases in a step function.This could be the result of changing efficiency of the heater as heater coils displace, and the fraction of the heat going directly to the calorimeter (and not to raising the temperature of the reactants away from the thermocouple) changes.


    Summary
    The reaction has created much more energy than can come from chemical reactions—a very important result.The term COP is not a particularly useful measure of the viability of the Ni:H system as a power source—since COP is determined as much or more by the experiment configuration than whether the reaction produces a lot, or a little energy.Probably more useful in this case is the energy output per mole—which is apparently greater than 100Mj/.034 moles, or about 3 109 joules per mole. Controlling highly exothermic reactions is a challenge. Doing it by controlling reaction temperature probably isn’t a workable solution given the temperature rise occurring in a material of modest thermal conductivity. At some point hot spots may form affecting the crystalinity of the nickel.Possibly this could limit the reaction rate.