Independent testing of Rossi E-CAT HT devices computes energy densities far above those of any known chemical source
Independent testing of two versions of Andrea Rossi’s E-CAT HT device resulted in computed volumetric and gravimetric energy densities far above those of any known chemical source. “Even by the most conservative assumptions as to the errors in the measurements, the result is still one order of magnitude greater than conventional energy sources,” the reviewers said in their open access paper, which is posted on arXiv.org.
The reviewers were Giuseppe Levi, Bologna University; Evelyn Foschi, Bologna; Torbjörn Hartman, Bo Höistad, Roland Pettersson and Lars Tegnér, Uppsala University; and Hanno Essén, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
Andrea Rossi claims to have invented an apparatus that can produce much more energy per unit weight of fuel than can be obtained from known chemical processes. His invention is referred to as an energy catalyzer named E-Cat HT, where HT stands for high temperature. The original idea behind Rossi’s invention goes back to experiments done in the nineties by S. Focardi at Bologna University and collaborators, in which they claimed to have observed an anomalous heat production in a hydrogen-loaded nickel rod. Later, an experiment was carried out by S. Focardi and A. Rossi using an apparatus with a sealed container holding nickel powder plus unknown additives pressurized with hydrogen gas. When the container was heated, substantial heat was produced in excess of the input heat. They speculated that a “low energy nuclear reaction” had taken place in order to explain the large amount of excess heat.
The E-Cat HT—a further, high temperature development of the original apparatus which has also undergone many construction changes in the last two years—is the latest product manufactured by Leonardo Corporation: it is a device allegedly capable of producing heat from some type of reaction the origin of which is unknown.
As in the original E-Cat, the reaction is fueled by a mixture of nickel, hydrogen, and a catalyst, which is kept as an industrial trade secret. The charge sets off the production of thermal energy after having been activated by heat produced by a set of resistor coils located inside the reactor. Once operating temperature is reached, it is possible to control the reaction by regulating the power to the coils.
The scope of the present work is to make an independent test of the E-Cat HT reactor under controlled conditions and with high precision instrumentation. It should be emphasized that the measurement must be performed with high accuracy and reliability, so that any possible excess heat production can be established beyond any doubt, as no known processes exist which can explain any abundant heat production in the E-Cat reactor.—Levi et al.
The review team conducted test measurements with the same methodology on two different devices, both built by Leonardo: a first prototype, termed E-Cat HT, and a second one, resulting from technological improvements on the first, termed E-Cat HT2. Both have indicated heat production from an unknown reaction primed by heat from resistor coils.
The E-Cat HT was a cylinder having a silicon nitride ceramic outer shell, 33 cm in length, and 10 cm in diameter. A second cylinder made of a different ceramic material (corundum) was located within the shell, and housed three delta-connected spiral-wire resistor coils. Resistors were laid out horizontally, parallel to and equidistant from the cylinder axis, and were as long as the cylinder itself. They were fed by a TRIAC power regulator device which interrupted each phase periodically, in order to modulate power input with an industrial trade secret waveform. This procedure, needed to properly activate the E-Cat HT charge, had no bearing on the power consumption of the device, which remained constant throughout the test.
Inside the structure was an AISI 310 steel cylinder, 3 mm thick and 33 mm in diameter, housing the powder charges. Two AISI 316 steel cone-shaped caps were hot-hammered in the cylinder, sealing it hermetically. The outermost shell was coated by a special aeronautical-industry grade black paint capable of withstanding temperatures up to 1200 °C.
The E-Cat HT was already running when the test began.
The E-Cat HT2 differed from the earlier version both in structure and control system. The steel cylinder was 9 cm in diameter, and 33 cm in length, with a steel circular flange at one end 20 cm in diameter and 1 cm thick. The powder charge was contained within a smaller AISI 310 steel cylinder (3 cm in diameter and 33 cm in length), housed within the E-Cat HT2 outer cylinder together with the resistor coils, and closed at each end by two AISI 316 steel caps.
The E-Cat HT2’s power supply differed from that of the E-CAT HT in that it is no longer three-phase, but single-phase: the TRIAC power supply was replaced by a control circuit having three-phase power input and single-phase output, mounted within a box, the contents of which were not available for inspection.
The main difference between the E-Cat HT2 and the previous model lies in the control system, which allows the device to work in self-sustaining mode—i.e. to remain operative and active, while powered off, for much longer periods of time with respect to those during which power is switched on.
Test results indicated that energy was produced in decidedly higher quantities than what may be gained from any conventional source.
In the E-CAT HT test (December 2012), about 160 net kWh were produced, with a consumption of 35 kWh, a power density of about 7 · 103 W/kg and a thermal energy density of about 6.8 · 105 Wh/kg.
In the E-CAT HT2 test (March 2013), about 62 net kWh were produced, with a consumption of about 33 kWh, a power density of about 5.3 · 105, and a density of thermal energy of about 6.1 · 107 Wh/kg.
The difference in results between the two tests may be seen in the overestimation of the weight of the charge in the first test (which was comprehensive of the weight of the two metal caps sealing the cylinder), and in the manufacturer’s choice of keeping temperatures under control in the second experiment to enhance the stability of the operating cycle. In any event, the results obtained place both devices several orders of magnitude outside the bounds of the Ragone plot region for chemical sources.
Even from the standpoint of a “blind” evaluation of volumetric energy density, if we consider the whole volume of the reactor core and the most conservative figures on energy production, we still get a value of (7.93 ± 0.8) 102 MJ/Liter that is one order of magnitude higher than any conventional source.
Lastly, it must be remarked that both tests were terminated by a deliberate shutdown of the reactor, not by fuel exhaustion; thus, the energy densities that were measured should be considered as lower limits of real values.—Levi et al.
Giuseppe Levi, Evelyn Foschi, Torbjörn Hartman, Bo Höistad, Roland Pettersson, Lars Tegnér, Hanno Essén (2013) Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device. arXiv:1305.3913 [physics.gen-ph]