JedRothwell Verified User
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Posts by JedRothwell

    It is interesting that "Ultra-Supercritical coal (USC)" is the cheapest coal technology listed by the EIA. It is not cheap at all! It is expensive compared to old fashioned coal fired generators. I do not know what the story is. I looked up this technology in places like this:

    Advanced Ultra-Supercritical Technology | GE Steam Power
    Learn about ultra-supercritical and advanced ultra-supercritical technologies from GE Power, including our leading SteamH technology. Find out more from GE…

    You can see it is very efficient. Perhaps it is more cost efficient over the life of the plant? Maybe less polluting?

    How much do ultra-supercritical coal plants really reduce air pollution?
    It’s not the difference in coal technology that matters most in reducing emissions, but regulation.

    Maybe the government wants all new plants to meet the highest standards for efficiency and pollution. As I said, I don't know, but the EIA data all comes from industry sources, so I guess this is the only kind they are still building.

    Anyway, this is the pattern you often see in the last stages of an obsolescent technology. The last generation of sailing ships were gigantic fore-and-aft schooners. The last ones were made around 1920, for bulk cargo. Why schooners? Because they needed many fewer sailors and they were a lot safer to operate than square rigged ships. You could raise or lower the sails from the deck without climbing the mast. You could do it with a deck engine. The sails were so big, you probably could not do it any other way. In other words, the last sailing ships had many of the advantages of steamships. They borrowed technology from their modern rivals, in the final flowering of the technology. Similar to the way hybrid automobiles use electric car technology to extend the life of the internal combustion engine a few more years. It has not worked out as well as Toyota hoped. That's why they are licensing the technology to other auto companies for free. Hoping they will buy parts. It does not seem to be working. I don't see new hybrids coming onto the market.

    The last generation of minicomputers in the 1980s tried to incorporate some of the advantages of microcomputers and personal computers.

    JCMNS reviewers made many valuable suggestions for my paper, "More about why cold fusion will lower the cost of energy." Among other things, I looked at the latest EIA data for utility scale power generation technologies, and I added another table. There have been dramatic changes in the cost of different generators. Here is the latest info from the EIA and Lazard, which I put in two endnotes:

    Capital Cost and Performance Characteristic Estimates for Utility Scale Electric Power Generating Technologies. 2020, Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department Of Energy…/powerplants/capitalcost/


    Table 1:…pitalcost/xls/table1.xlsx

    Levelized Cost of Energy Comparison—Unsubsidized Analysis 2021, Lazard…energy-version-150-vf.pdf

    Paper with new table on p. 8:

    Let me try tossing the tables into this message. First run them through Google sheets . . .

    Table 1. Generator cost per kilowatt of capacity for home generators (Lowe’s retail)

    Generator sizeCost per kilowatt
    5300 W$113
    3500 W$151
    800 W$230
    21,000 W deluxe standby$305

    Table 2. Power company generator cost per kilowatt of capacity (“overnight” cost). (Energy Information Agency) [6]

    Generator typeCost per kilowatt
    Natural gas. Combustion turbine—industrial frame$713
    Wind (Great Plains)$1,265
    Solar photovoltaic—tracking$1,313
    Natural gas. Combined-cycle with 90% CCS$2,481
    Coal. Ultra-Supercritical coal (USC) (cheapest)$3,676
    Coal. USC with 90% CCS (most expensive)$5,876

    Table 3. Unsubsidized, levelized cost of a megawatt hour of electricity from various generators. (Lazard) [7]

    Generator typeLowest costHighest cost
    Solar photovoltaic, Thin Film Utility Scale$28$37
    Wind, Onshore$26$50
    Natural gas, Combined cycle$45$74
    Natural gas, Peaking$151$196

    That works pretty well.

    This is geek humor, only slightly related to cold fusion. It is also kind of depressing. It took me several days to work this out so here it is.

    This is trivial, but it is the sort of thing programmers lose sleep over . . .

    Since 2004, I have collected 69,857,708 log file records at I converted them to MySQL records recently. This calls for some legerdemain because the desktop computer MySQL does not support that many records, and because sorting out what constitutes an actual download from a partial download or "just checking" by a robot is tricky. Anyway, after doing this I discovered a discrepancy starting in 2018. My ISP recommended that for security all websites convert to the https protocol, plus they should be checked and issued SSL/TLS certification, which costs $50 a year. So I did. You will see a small lock in your browser next to where it says ""

    That tells you the site is secure. You should think twice about visiting websites that do not have this. You can also tell by copying the URL: — A library of papers about cold fusion

    If it says "https," that's good.

    Anyway, since 2018, there have been tens of thousands of old programs accessing "http" instead of "https." The ISP automatically redirects, and all is well. This generates two records, which I knew, with status codes 302 and 200. But I did not realize that in some cases it generates more, separated in time, and in some cases it does not generate a 200 download, but my program thought it did. The status code for these misfires is "302 Found":

    302 Found (Previously "Moved temporarily")

    But it turns out that means "Not Found . . . Keep looking . . ." In the immortal words of the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force)

    302 Found
    The 302 (Found) status code indicates that the target resource resides temporarily under a different URI. Since the redirection might be altered on occasion, the client ought to continue to use the target URI for future requests.
    The server SHOULD generate a Location header field in the response containing a URI reference for the different URI. The user agent MAY use the Location field value for automatic redirection. The server's response content usually contains a short hypertext note with a hyperlink to the different URI(s).
    Note: For historical reasons, a user agent MAY change the request method from POST to GET for the subsequent request. If this behavior is undesired, the 307 (Temporary Redirect) status code can be used instead.

    Is that clear? Ask ChatGPT. It will tell you: "HTTP status code 302 means "Found" or "Moved Temporarily."

    As far as I can tell, a stand-alone 302 record means there was no download. So, anyway, I reduced the estimated number of downloads. One might as well know the truth. I have two commercial web log processing programs and they made the same mistake. So the total downloads at is depressingly smaller than I thought, but on the other hand the 6-degree polynomial trendline is going up, not down. Total Downloads

    To summarize, Status Code 302 means that if you are found, you are lost. Like in the movie Duck Soup:

    • Vera Marcal : Oh, for heaven's sake, whatever you do, don't make a sound! If you found, you lost!

      Chicolini : Oh, you craze. How can I be lost if I'm found?

    At the same time I received donation from Jed that covered costs for sent meshes. I have to thank you very much!

    You & Allen should let me know if you need more meshes. I understand that they are sometimes ruined. Experiments are done slightly wrong, leaving the mesh "used up." It is a trial-and-error experiment.

    E-cars will reduce the job numbers by a factor of 3 at least The maintenance is much simpler and does not need the manufacturer. No alternator, no oil/filter change,

    Right. Both maintenance and manufacturing labor are reduced, as are the total number of parts. That is why electric cars will be cheaper than gasoline ones, once the technology matures.

    Plus, manufacturing is becoming more robotic every month, so even if electric cars were as difficult to manufacture as gasoline cars, the number of workers would still decline.

    So the car mafia will loose a large part of its evil influence like once tobacco had to go through.

    (You mean "lose.") It does seem the manufacturers were opposed to electric cars for a long time. I do not know why. Perhaps they understood that electric cars will ultimately be cheaper? Some people say the Board of Directors and big stockholders at auto companies also held oil interests. That sounds plausible but I do not know if it is true. Anyway, all automobile company opposition to electric cars has now vanished.

    My response to their bullshit:

    You people need to review the literature more carefully before commenting on this subject. Cold fusion was replicated in over 180 major laboratories such as Los Alamos, China Lake, and BARC. These replications were published in mainstream, peer-reviewed journals by many distinguished scientists, such as the Chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission. Many of the replications were at very high signal to noise ratios, for example, with excess heat ranging from 5 to 100 W, and tritium ranging from 50 to 10E16 times background. Helium has been measured in many labs, in blind tests, at the same ratio to the heat as D-D plasma fusion. A review of the subject is here:

    Note also that funding for cold fusion by the EU, NASA, the Army, Navy and the DoE have increased substantially this year. The Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS), which is the European Commission's source of information on projects funded by the EU, recently described projects by 16 major laboratories at universities and corporations in Europe, along with the U.S. Army, Navy, and NASA and the DoE. See:


    “Indications of nuclear events, typically weak neutron emissions and strong anomalous exothermic reactions have been detected during experiments based on Ni/C, Ni/Cu, Ni/Al, and other catalyzing elements both under hydrogen or deuterium atmosphere. . . . During a significant number of successful experiments, strong [excess heat] have been measured, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of the applied reaction activating procedures.

    [T]he total absence of climate affecting emissions from the [fusion] generators could give a real, effective contribution to the containment of ongoing climate changes. . . .”

    Information on NASA, U.S. Army and Navy research projects is here:


    Gravity batteries needing the right location (mines etc)?

    Here is an amusing take on this idea:

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    Another thing:

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    The case for consciousness in machines.

    I agree with Arthur Clarke on this issue. He said something like, "I am sure that conscious, sentient machines are possible because I carry one on my shoulders." In other words, if biological neuron-based brains that evolved on earth can be conscious, we have no reason to think that similar brains based on other biology elsewhere in the universe are also conscious, or that technology-based machines with similar neurons cannot also be conscious. To say it is impossible is to imply there is something magical or ineffable about brain tissue that cannot possibly be replicated in other media. When I say "replicate" I mean something similar to the way electroactive polymers replicate muscles, or ventricular assist devices (VAD) replicate the heart. I mean they perform the same function, with the same outcome, even though the underlying physical properties are different.

    The "ineffable" hypothesis -- that there is something science can never understand -- has been applied to many phenomena in the past, especially the origin of life, genetics, and the ability of one cell to reproduce an entire complex organism. These things were once considered miraculous and forever beyond our grasp. Nowadays we know exactly how they work. The basic principles are taught in junior high school.

    To address the author's points:

    "a) We do not understand the neural basis of consciousness in humans, nor do we have a clear, uncontroversial philosophical answer to the hard problem of consciousness . . ."

    We don't have to understand it completely. No one knows exactly, in every detail, how combustion works. We learn more about it every year. Despite our incomplete knowledge we have been using fire successfully for 400,000 years. We do not know every aspect of E. Coli biology, but we know enough to control infections and use E. Coli to manufacture many useful things such as human insulin.

    "This makes a theoretical, top down approach to building machine consciousness difficult."

    So what? A bottoms up approach has worked for nearly every technology we use. We had no top down approach to fire, metallurgy, stone cutting or anything else before 1650.

    "b) We don’t know if building conscious machines is even compatible with the laws of nature."

    Of course we know this! There are billions of conscious machines all around us.

    "c) We don’t know if Big Tech will want to build conscious machines due to the ethical sensitivity of creating conscious systems."

    That is a completely separate issue, having nothing to do with the technical issues. If Big Tech in the next 50 years will not do this, perhaps it will 100 years from now, or 300 years from now. This is like saying big automobile manufacturers did not want to make electric cars in 1980. That is true, but it did not mean electric cars were not feasible or practical in 1980. Manufacturers made a business decision not to develop electric cars, which turned out to be a mistake.

    "d) We don’t know if building conscious AI would be technologically feasible — it might be ridiculously expensive."

    Of course it is not technically feasible today. This is like saying in 1960 that "a desktop computer than does 3 billion operations per second is not technically feasible." Everyone knew that back in 1962. It would have been ridiculously expensive. Such machines are everywhere today, and they cost practically nothing. There is no reason to think that a silicon based intelligent machine will take large amounts of materials, or large amounts of electricity, or expensive materials, or processing and manufacturing more expensive than today's computers. Obviously it will take techniques we have not yet discovered, but once you invent a technique it costs nothing after that. Once you teach a robot how to balance, deal with the center of mass, and dance, robots will be able to do that for the rest of history at no additional cost. (See the video below.)

    There is no reason to think that an intelligent machine with approximately the power of a human brain will be much larger than a human brain. Unless we happen to want one that is a million times more powerful than a human brain, which might be a handy thing to have. Sometimes it is useful to have a machine that is far more powerful than any human or biological equivalent, such as an airplane that flies faster than any bird, or a supercomputer that does more computations per second than the entire human race could with pencil and paper.

    Granted, some biological data processing devices are far better than human technology. DNA storage is so compact, all of the world's data could fit into a liter of DNA. It it longer lasting. DNA kept in proper conditions will last for hundreds of thousands of years. DNA is far ahead of human data storage today . . . but people are working on DNA storage, and similar molecular data storage. I expect in 20 to 50 years our data storage will be as good as DNA. It might actually be DNA. Prof. Church at Harvard has stored and reproduced book in DNA. Storage and reading back is slow, but reproduction is far faster than any human technology. It is likely that small, cheap machines to read and write DNA will be developed, giving us hard disk-like storage billions of times denser than anything we now have. There is no reason to think this will not happen.

    Dancing robots. This ability will soon be in all robots at no cost, like our ability to store gigabytes of data is in every computer, cell phone and camera, at practically no cost:

    Do You Love Me? - YouTube

    f everybody put in a couple of 12.5KW charging points that would mean additional potential demand of 2.5MW, even if it was just 1MW additional peak demand

    In Atlanta they dealt with this with smart meters. They charge much less at night. They have a special electric car rate at night. So there is very little extra demand during peak hours, which are in the afternoon. Also, you are not allowed to install a "Level 2" (7 kW) car charger unless your house wiring is less than 50 years old. (I think it was 50 years . . .)

    You can always trickle charge with an ordinary 110 VAC plug. (110 in the U.S.) I guess if you plugged in every night that would keep the car charged.

    My daughter lives in downtown Washington DC. She has the landlord install a 220 VAC connector in her living room, next to the window. The kind use for clothes dryers. She runs a wire out the window, across the sidewalk to the car parked in front of the house. They have permit-only parking, so she can usually park in front of her own house. The wire costs ~$100. She has to cover it on the sidewalk with a bright plastic cover used by construction companies and restaurants to power things across sidewalks downtown.

    I think I can read both a thermometer and a Geiger,

    I am sure you can, but the heat might have some prosaic source, and Geiger counters can indicate something other than what you thought. F&P made a mistake with a BF3 counter before they published their first experiment. Many cold fusion researchers have made dumb mistakes. As Bruch_H said, it is essential that you publish in detail, have others review the work, and then have them replicate it. We should never accept a result that has not passed these tests. We shouldn't reject it either.

    Absolutely correct. Only Hydrogen and batteries will survive. In the EU you can no longer sell gasoline cars after 2030!!

    They may stop selling them in 2030, but people will not stop using them. There are millions on the road. The average automobile lasts 11 years. So there will still be many in 2040, and they will need parts, service, mechanics and so on, in competition with hydrogen fuel cell cars.

    Furthermore, hydrogen cars have many disadvantages. They cost far more than electric cars, and they are not falling in price, whereas electric cars will soon be cheaper than gasoline models. Hydrogen cars require a new hydrogen distribution grid and fueling stations. Most electric cars can be charged at home. Once electric car range reaches 500 to 600 miles -- the most you can drive in one day -- the only major advantage of hydrogen cars will disappear.

    Toyota is also investing in a hydrogen combustion engine which will be able to fit with some of its long standing ICE component suppliers.

    Someone at Toyota is in love with this technology, but everyone else in the world knows it is a dead duck. They are selling only a handful each year, and the numbers are going down. They sold 2,094 in the U.S. in 2022. There is no chance this technology will survive. Even hybrids and plug in hybrids are obsolescent and will not be around for long. The market for any large scale technology can only support two standards. Electric cars and gasoline cars make it impossible for a third standard. Keeping inventory and training mechanics is too much of a burden on the manufacturers and distributers.

    It would cost billions of dollars to keep this on life support. Toyota is not going to spend that kind of money to keep long standing ICE suppliers alive. They might as well just hand them each $200 million.

    Japanese institutions have a bad habit of keeping dead technology on life support, but they can only go so far. They had a nuclear powered ship, the Mutsu, tied up to a dock for decades until 1995. They finally removed the reactor, decontaminated it, and renamed it Mirai as oceanographic explorer. I am sure it would have been far cheaper to build a new ship from scratch, but they did not want to admit it was a waste. ("Mirai" means "future" but in the case of the car and the ship it should be "the dead past.") Then there was the Monju breeder reactor. One of the most expensive technical fiascos in history.

    I suspect that hydrogen leakage would be a serious issue.

    I also wonder whether "embrittlement" of the piping would be an issue, or does that only occur when hydrogen is under high pressure.

    Issues like this have been addressed. There are technical solutions to these problems. They might not be cost-effective; I wouldn't know about that. See the book "Tomorrow's Energy" for details.

    A hydrogen distribution pipeline has been operating in Germany since the 1920s without any problems, so there is no doubt it can be done.

    Who is James Martinez? He thinks cold fusion developments in Europe are "very hush hush." I have never seen a hush-hush cold fusion paper, except perhaps whatever they are doing at Texas Tech. (Nothing, as far as I know.)

    The interviewer David Gornoski is a conspiracy theorist who believes all kinds of nonsense about mRNA vaccines and so on. Such people do not understand science.

    Apropos of absolutely nothing, see:

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