Posts by Alan Fletcher

    I was away for a couple of weeks ... and have a bunch of commitments through the first week of October.

    The last run didn't work, because surface tension stopped the water from pouring out at a known point. (I could see the meniscus moving up to odd places in the outlet tube).

    I need to redesign the "head" so that water pours out cleanly at all angles. I think a simple pipe will work. If it works then a "run" takes only a couple of hours.

    Annotated Suncel MHD generator


    The stuff at the bottom looks like an open-topped suncell.

    The output plasma (?) goes into a series of tubes between two magnets.

    The charge is separated onto two electrodes ... which also serve as the return for .... silver? .. back into the suncell.

    At the very top are two tubes for ... steam? ... which go into two turbines, with the condensate returning to the suncell.

    Chance of working within 20 years? I'd put my quatloons into QuarkX's

    Won't happen. Maybe a field test done by BLP or their paid for consultants. But production? Commercial launch? Almost certainly never. And absolutely certainly not this year or the next!! Want to bet?

    Usual MY careful reading. Those were the predictions in March 2016.

    Sep 2017 :

    -- Field test in 2H 2018

    -- Commercial launch in 2H 2019

    Interesting changes from
    May 2016 to May 2017 to Sep 2017

    May 2016 : 250kW electric as first phase. Hot and heavy on motive -- Project 300 units installed 2017

    Photovoltaics (PV) is 50% of cost

    Edit 2 :

    -- Field test in 1H 2017
    -- Commercial launch in 2H 2017

    May 2017 : Thermal as Phase 1, Electric Phase 2, reduced to 150kW -- no times on phases

    Sep 2017 : Talking about 6 months for III-V PV (Now Spectrolab/Boeing)

    Next generation : Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) --- directly from the reaction chamber?

    Edit Sep 2017 :

    -- Field test in 2H 2018
    -- Commercial launch in 2H 2019

    Is it just me .... a coupla few days ago I got a big database error screen. Now I don't see any new posts since Tuesday

    (Edit: oops .. that was my unread list ... I guess there have been a few posts since then. eg 7 hrs ago )

    I'm back home ... but lots of other stuff to do before I can get back to these tests.

    I *did* discover Rossi's sekrit heat exchanger *and* his lenr-powered jet engine test beds ... but you'll have to wait on those too!

    Edit : Cropped from 360mm equiv lens, contrast-enhanced.


    Libel is never criminal in the U.S. as far as I know. It is always a civil matter. I do not think it is a good idea to have the police involved. This web site is based in the U.S., so U.S. laws apply, and you don't need to worry about criminal libel.

    According to wiki 17 states have Criminal Defamation Laws. In Florida it's a misdemeanor Florida Statutes Chapter 836

    Lots of legal foo, but admins, note :


    836.03 Owner or editor of the paper also guilty.—Any owner, manager, publisher or editor of any newspaper or other publication who permits any anonymous communication or communications such as is signed otherwise than with the true name of the writer, and such name published therewith to appear in the columns of the publication in which said communication any person is attacked in his or her good name, or it is attempted to bring disgrace or ridicule upon any person, such owner, manager, publisher or editor shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree

    Tried a series, but the results look funny (mass and strokes didn't change between a couple of steps) . Repeatability?

    Have to RE-redesign the head to get a guaranteed overflow point ... who would'a thunk that the biggest variable would be surface tension !!??

    I think I'll have to keep the pipe running straight with an extension along the pole, change the piping for the last couple of feet, and put up with the dribble down the pole when it's vertical.

    Anyway, I've decided to watch the eclipse in Nebraska .. hard drive there, slow trip back via (??) Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. I'll be gone about a week.

    So you still believe Rossi's crappola even now? Wow. Metal stores heat, in case you didn't know. So do other substances. Rossi did not allow full inspection of the interior of the massive ottoman ecat.

    We actually have quite a lot of information about the contents of the "ottoman" :


    1. Mats' photo showing a) thin walls, 2) fins in most of the top half 3) a likelyhood that there are fins in the bottom half too and that there is a central "wafer"

    2. The volume from the time to fill the cavity

    3. The volume from the time taken to dump the water

    Also, see Bog Higgins' schematic


    It was most certainly not a block of solid metal.

    I agree on the thermocouple placement : I disqualified the experiment as "not proven" (subtly different from DIS-proven).

    Thinking aloud here.

    There's actually something funny with the vinyl tube I'm using (1/2 inch inner) : there's a huge surface tension effect (sort of like a meniscus, but at any angle).

    It only matters at the discharge head. Upstream of the meniscus the tube is filled with water. Then at the bottom of the meniscus water breaks free and runs (well, trickles) along the lower surface of the tube.

    I think I'm going to give up on the "arc" idea, and just add an extension to the pole (angled a bit so it doesn't pee down its own leg)


    When the pole is high it will pour out of the end of the tube, so the tape measure gives the exact height. When it is low I will measure the actual height at the miniscus point.

    Revised Discharge Head design.
    (My version 1 tried to do this, but I didn't have the right wood handy).

    Should give height +- 1/2 inch when the tower is high, +- 1/4 inch when the tower is low.
    NOTE: this design ONLY works properly until the beam is level. Maybe I'll extend the curved section a but so it has a specific "discharge" point even when angled down.

    Edit : I may as well make the head plate a bit taller, so I can reach 0.5 bar (203 inches) discharge pressure.

    I updated the spreadsheet to include an error analysis:


    Weight : manufacturer's +- 0.2 oz = +- 6g

    Time: I get the time from the camera :

    a) Find the frame where the pump light turns on/off ... read the Timer MM:SS

    Error: +- 1 frame for getting the exact moment of the change

    b) Step backwards until MM:SS changes to SS+1 (count-down timer, not clock).

    This gives the frame number * frame interval , so we know have MM:SS:FF

    Error +- 1 frame for getting the exact moment of the change

    Time is read twice, so we have a total error of +- 4 frames at 30 FPS = +- 0.13 seconds

    Height : (translates to bars).

    For the pump setup heights are good to 1/4 inch

    But for the outlet, I have two errors:

    a) My yard is not flat. I set the error to +- 1 inch, but it's probably worse than that.

    I can move the whole setup to my front yard (Though I'm not sure how to rig the guy rope)

    I *do* have a laser level somewhere ...

    OR I could lay a 2x4  guide-line across the yard, so I have a fixed height.

    b) When the tower is high I can't get an exact reading for the top of the pipe.

    The tape measure isn't at the optimal point either ... I have a fudge factor, and then

    add +-1 inch error

    I need to re-design the head.

    c) When the tower is low I can read the height exactly, so we only have the ground error.

    NOTE: getting the time off the camera is the longest job for the run (and error-prone).

    In the series 22 runs the Stroke count matched my prediction by volume, so for future runs I'll do the time calculation as strokes at 180 strokes/minute. I'll record the runs but not look at them unless needed.

    Anyway, that's pretty much it for now. I have to catch up with some other stuff and then decide whether/where to watch the eclipse.

    Alan Fletcher

    Alan - Do you see obvious reason why the pump is under performing? Could there be deposits inside the liquid end from this pump's previous life?

    There are maintenance steps in the Prominent manual that you might consider at some point. Not now though I think.

    Do you see obvious reason why the pump is under performing? No.

    Could there be deposits inside the liquid end from this pump's previous life? Maybe, dunno.

    So the expected is ~39.5 l/h at 0.5 bar back pressure, and observed is ~32.3 l/h at ~0.54 bar back pressure, which means that our prominent pump is operating at ~80% of expected (plus or minus a couple of percent). Did Alan S. send the adjustable back pressure valve over? Seems like that would be a good next thing to try, so that we test against the spec up to 2 bar.

    Haven't received a back-pressure gauge (yet). It's adjustable, but you need a manometer to adjust it. My $5 manometer is WAY out of spec.

    Well THAT was two hard days work!

    I did a full sequence.

    IMPORTANT : These are ALL into a 20-foot tube.

    Runs 22 B-G are normal runs

    Run 22 H has the outlet level with the center of the pump. So it is essentially seeing backpressure from the suction and the fluid resistance of the pipe

    Run 22I shows abnormal behavior : the output is below the pump, close to the suction level

    Note that the flow DROPS -- probably because the valves are not seating properly.

    Water runs down large sections of the pipe (it's not perfectly flat) There's probably suction at the discharge port, though bubbles aren't getting that far.


    NOTE : DO NOT PLOT RUN "I" ...

    (The spreadsheet is at…AXm9p9eU/edit?usp=sharing

    Nearly ready for a run 0 ... 0.5 bar
    Have a spreadsheet set up with one run per column.

    Summary of yesterday :

    Built the base of the tower.

    Glitch : didn't get the pivot-screw exactly straight. (1/4 in 6" off = 4% error)

    Not fatal, but tower tends to twist with height.

    Glitch: couldn't drive 3" screws into hardwood without a countersink

    Glitch: drew blood while cutting off stuck screws (never put a hand down-cut of hacksaw!)

    Glitch: suspension cord not strong enough : 135-lb paracord stre....e..tched! (Have to raid sailing kit).

    Glitch: had to cut down some branches to lower the tower.

    Safety notes : don't stand under tower when suspended by cord

    Safety notes : thunderstorm in the distance. Lower pole for storms.

    Hmmm ... 20 foot tower with a water-filled hose to ground. What's the conductivity of tap water?

    I was thinking of a shortcut for the next trial (multi-height) ... Jerry Built AND Jury Rigged.

    But I've decided (mostly for safety reasons -- that pole KICKS if you hold it wrong) to go with a proper carpentry base. Don't have the right screws, washers, cleats ... so off to the (5-miles away) hardware store.

    Edit : I can't decide whether to call it a big, beautiful tower, or ... a magnificence.

    After a coupla false starts .... I have a full-tower-height run, where everything matches (camera and timer, stroke counts). I checked the stroke counts every minute : correct within 2 frames per minute.

    Off to hardware store, radio, poetry ... and perseids. Will try to get a full series tomorrow.


    Discharge : 196.25 in 0.49 bar Suction -27 in -0.07 bar = backpressure 0.56 bar

    Flow : 32.89 l/hr


    Yes ... BUT in my latest full-height run (timed from my TIMER) I got a discrepancy between actual strokes and expected strokes (at 180/minute).

    20C ALSO has a time/pulse discrepancy .... best to flag those results as "Preliminary".

    Avidemux is reporting (I think) different frame rates for different runs, so for now I'm going to use my $1-timer as the master clock! Timing is MM:SS:FF where FF is frames from when the timer changed. (Have to change my spreadsheet from count-up to count-down).

    I'm going to have to set a camera for the WHOLE run and see if/when Gamma is dropping strokes. (And right now my biggest problem is reflections off the screens and the contrast between the GPS and timer screens).

    Running out of time for today ....

    Edit : I'm going off to get ready for my 3pm gotta-go. I need ONE MORE plumbing part! (L-connector for manometer).

    So .... don't expect any more results today.

    Alan Fletcher

    Alan - Do you see obvious reason why the pump is under performing? Could there be deposits inside the liquid end from this pump's previous life?

    There are maintenance steps in the Prominent manual that you might consider at some point. Not now though I think.

    No. They offer a repair kit (both valves and diaphragm) -- never did get a quote from Prominent/California.

    Ad the results for 20C : (Timing off Android, but GPS and Timer recorded)

    Discharge : 159 inches = 0.3961 bar Suction : -27 inches = - 0.0763 bar Total 0.4363

    Flow: 32.44 l/hr


    Edit -- I didn't enter the stroke counts in the spreadsheet (not used).