Heat your home with cold fusion

 If you're an energy geek like me, chances are you may have heard the rumblings over the past few weeks of the cold fusion device demonstrated by Andrea Rossi. The e-cat (energy catalyzer) is now available for sale to businesses on Rossi's Leonardo Corporation website.  From Rossi's website (which apparently isn't a valid version?):

The E-Cat utilizes small amounts of nickel powder, hydrogen gas, and a proprietary catalyst to produce a safe and clean form of nuclear fusion. This form of nuclear fusion requires no radioactive materials, produces no radioactive waste, and emits no pollution into the environment.

I try not to get too worked up over announcements like this, as claims of abundant, cheap energy have been made centuries.  In fact, our most popular posts are those uncovering free energy scams like Magniwork and HoJo motor.  But Rossi's e-cat is a little different in that the principal of nuclear fusion doesn't violate any laws of physics.  In fact, the E.U., Russia, India, Japan, Korea, China, and the U.S. are spending billions on demonstrating how nuclear fusion is the history of energy production.

To date, the e-cat devices have been shrouded in a bit of mystery.  There has been little third-party verification of Rossi's energy claims.  That is because Rossi is concerned about too much detail being released about the device's operation or because it just doesn't work.   It seems that Rossi has to be a little mysterious, because he hasn't been issued an international patent on the device.  From Wikipedia on Energy Catalyzer:

An application in 2008 to patent the device internationally had received an unfavorable preliminary report on patentability at the World Intellectual Property Organization from the European Patent Office, noting that the description of the device was based on "general statements and speculations" and citing "numerous deficiencies in both the description and in the evidence provided to support its feasibility" as well as incompatibilities with current scientific theories.

So either Rossi is trying to scam everyone or he isn't able to fully describe how the device works, he just know that it does.

But let's cross our fingers and hope....

If the e-cat is made available for homeowners to buy, how would they use it?  From the 5 kW E-Cat heater page:

This unit will be capable of providing up to five kilowatts of heat -- in the form of hot water -- non stop and continually, twenty four hours a day, if needed; or it can provide less heat, governable according to the demand. It is slated to be the first cold fusion product marketed to ordinary individuals, families, and small businesses, in the history of human civilization.

The home heating unit will require a connection to a source of input power, but will be guaranteed to produce a minimum output of six times the power consumed. In reality, the power consumption will be far lower, because the unit will operate in a self-sustained manner for extended periods of time. During self-sustained operation, the heat produced by the cold fusion reactions inside of the unit, will provide the energy needed to maintain operation of the device. In this self sustaining mode, without a need for any significant external power, the unit will continue producing up to five kilowatts of output. When external power is needed for a short period of time, onboard electronic controls will draw it from the grid.

So with this device you could have an abundance of hot water for your washing needs and you could also use it in radiant floor heating to heat your home.  But at what cost of an e-cat device would this make financial sense?  I'm guessing it wont for most homeowners, but it may make sense for large buildings like dorms or apartment buildings.  While you wait for a cold fusion heater, you could always check out a residential fuel cell!

The site has a nice link to many cold fusion forums.  Hopefully this is just one of many posts on this emerging technology, let's keep a curious, but cautious eye on this!

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Just so many holes in this ... lead lining to keep the radiation in - but if you open it, there's no detectable levels of radiation! How does that make any sense? "incompatibilities with current scientific theories" seems to sum it up well.
I've been following this one since March. He now claims 60-100 customers and the next 2 years production all spoken for. All the other free-energy inventions that people show me are easy to discredit on basic thermo- or magneto-dynamics. I have not detected an inconsistency that would crack Andrea Rossi's story. He is simply behaving in a manner that a confidant inventor does until his secrets are protected by patents or trade secrets. He is not an academic that needs to publish or perish. In thousands of posts on his web site there would have been something that was scam-like or repeatedly mis-measured. The only scam possibility left is that everyone looking at the instruments is seeing things that aren't there. Enough physicists have looked over his shoulder that some mis-measurement would have come out. The risk * reward is too big to ignore this one just because its "too good to be true" and uses a cold-fusion mechanism. I've already brought in treats at work to celebrate the near end of the energy crisis.
So how does it work? Claim is that the fuel is hydrogen gas and a nickel powder catalyst. Also claimed is that the fuel is not radioactive - so the 1g of hydrogen can't be the tritium isotope. That means it pretty much has to be deuterium (as plain hydrogen isn't much use as a fusion reagent outside of the temperatures and pressures inside a star). Only useful exothermic reactions for this device are thus De+De -> Tritium + proton, or De+De -> He3 + neutron. Both of which are going to produce significant radioactivity.
I hope you are right, but I am staying skeptical for now I'm afraid.
Rossi has not published his complete theory but prof. Focardi says that 2 of 5 common nickel isotopes appear to absorb hydrogen and become copper. Low energy x rays absorbed by lead shielding. That's all we know
ckmapawatt's picture
What is Rossi's background? Does anyone know how he discovered this?
Ni -> Cu ??? Those are both past Fe ... which is generally thought to be the high point for exothermic fusion reactions. Ni->Cu is the stuff of super-nova explosions in the hot-fusion side of physics. To see it in cold fusion would be even more surprising than De+De fusion.
I'm not a physicist and I came to this site via the forum on HoJoMo scam. I hope FloJo doesn't buy one by the way. The label on it saying "this is FloJo's HoJoMo" would make me wince. Does anyone every buy these things and check them out. I feel there's a lot of speculation on these inventions without anyone (trustworthy) saying "Look folks, I'm a scientist and I bought one of these and it's great! I don't use any of the power it produces I just plugged it back into the electricity grid and I invest what I make in another machine to do the same."
ckmapawatt's picture
Dave, for the HoJo motor, nobody has bought and tested it because you can't test anything. You can't build anything from the plans. That's why it's a scam. For Rossi's cold fusion device, he still hasn't let an independent lab test it, so we really don't know. But one reason he hasnt let anybody test it is that he isn't ready for anyone to know how it works.
Could this thing just be an air source heat pump? It requires some external electricity to keep it running and produces 6 times that much energy in the form of hot water. Those are 2 characteristics it shares with heat pumps although the efficiency is very high, most heat pumps are 400-500% efficient.


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