Posts by ajb

    Big news if it pans out:


    There are new statements from Mills:


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    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.


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    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.

    Without reference to older interviews or presentations what is the status of the reactors they are currently testing:

    • reactor size in kW
    • internal temperature and temperature at heat exchanger
    • COP
    • repeatability/consistency, operating hours
    • startup/shutdown time
    • any external verifications
    • initial target market and timeline to commercialization

    Even a partial answer to these questions would be great to get everyone up to speed again as to where they are at now. It would be great to separate plans of where they'd like to be and what they're achieving in the lab right now.

    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 :
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      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.

    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:


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    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

    The additional detail is really quite exciting, I'll look to do some back-of-the envelope calculations on the costs of the setup shown but it can't be much given the following facts:


    1. Both Nickel and Lithium are not enriched, the isotope distribution appears to be close to natural, which cuts down very significantly on costs
    2. The particle size shown in the pictures is somewhere between 50 and 100 micrometers, far larger than commercially available Nickel powder in <100nm size http://www.canfuo.com/NanoNick…OGIkoasncECFSoOwwod8YQA4A . LiAlH4 costs almost exactly the same at under $1000/kg http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/aldrich/199877
    3. The pictures show no expensive instrumentation connected to the E-Cat. This means that the control box must be operating on some fairly crude feedback mechanisms via the wires only to regulate the stimulus. As a result whatever is in the box (frequency generator and other electronics) can't be very expensive. My only question would be why it's so large - are there large capacitors inside? Again, this could not be very expensive.
    4. The physical ECat is very simple, the powder can just be poured into the rod, seems like there are no specific manufacturing requirements other than the ability to withstand 1500C.


    The only big cost component therefore will likely be the IP that deserves a huge reward for the persistence against all odds. As @barty mentions this will hopefully trigger many replication attempts. IH and Rossi better get their patents approved quickly!

    There will be some people who take notice but it will probably result in a similar reaction to last time. This is merely a stepping stone. Skeptics will again find some obscure, random and easily refutable reason to dismiss these results and everyone will just move on.
    And you know what? IT DOESN'T MATTER! The report is good enough for a few more thousand people to sit up and take notice, among them a few brave investors or managers who will be able to push this all the way to market, either via financing or industrial collaboration.
    All that really matters at this point is that IH and associates have enough resources to see this through to a self-sustaining setup hooked up to an electricity generator. Once we have a closed loop of 24/7 off-grid power there will be no more denying, only tears from the people who ignored it and continued to bet on fossil fuels.

    From a quick scan:


    Similar format to 2013 report
    No theory provided, just measurements
    Test not tuned for maximum COP
    Measurements again via thermal cameras
    DC concerns specifically addressed
    ECat heat at 1290C - 1410C (own note: this bodes well for electricity generation)
    ECat slimmed down to a small rod weighing only 452g, outputting net 1600 - 2300W
    Again no harmful radiation
    Evidence of isotope shift in Nickel from 58/60 to 62, Lithium 7 depletion
    Industrial Heat provided financial support for measuring radiation

    In positioning investments ahead of the coming energy revolution it’s far easier to bet against the losers than it is to pick winners. Only one of the many potential breakthrough technologies needs to work out to undercut fossil fuels (coal first, others later). LENR is merely the most plausible near-term one.


    In this context there have been two interesting bits of news recently:


    First, there’s this story about the Stanford university endowment that’s now divesting its $18bn fund from anything coal related. I’d like to add that on top of climate change coal is also responsible for billions of life years lost in China. University endowments have often seen trends early and have generated better returns than most investors, including the professionals.


    Second, global index provider FTSE has announced a new series of fossil fuel free indices that allows investors to track markets without exposure to this group of companies. The literature is explicit about the potential for assets to become stranded, based on political action around climate change.


    A good paper on stranded fossil fuels can be found here, showing $674bn annual investment on finding new reserves.While climate change is a worthy reason readers on this site will probably just cite poor economics that make fossil fuels too expensive to extract if LENR reactors can provide all the required energy at a fraction of the cost. Just imagine what even a fraction of that fossil fuel investment could do for commercialization of LENR or other non-fossil fuel technologies.It appears that an increasing number of people are starting to prepare for a post fossil fuel future even if many of them may be unaware of the LENR short cut.


    It appears that an increasing number of people are starting to prepare for a post fossil fuel future even if most of them may be unaware of the LENR short cut.

    What hasn't been picked up in the discussion yet is the comment in the chat on the side at 20 mins, repeated in the Q&A at 33 mins that Lockheed Martin is looking at this too. This is the biggest name mentioned in connection with LENR yet and is potentially huge - I don't think the comment refered to the hot fusion reactor they're designing as that's probably not suitable for aviation.


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    Chris Snyder (GRC): NASA and other groups are working their own efforts to identify / understand these systems (try to determine if real or not). Nothing to report (yet - as far as I know). So the future is unknown.


    Khomaza Dmitry: thank you. As far as I know there is a similar initiative in Lockheed Martin//


    Of all the designs shown it seems to me that the VTOL / ramjet one looks most suitable to LENR: pure heat in a ramjet (though it remains to be seen if temperatures above the Nickel melting point are required) and no moving parts means no electricity is required beyond keeping the reactor going during cruise. For take-off driving the rotors should have lower power requirements than a jet take-off and could also be smoothed out with battieries. Transition at 0.5 Mach doesn't seem a great speed for ramjets yet but maybe enough to get them going. The supersonic speed and ability to take off and land anywhere just a nice bonus.