I can see how this works...
The plant is recharged by specially trained and certified personnel wearing a fat suit stuffed with AA batteries
Leonardo Corp says it's now accepting pre-orders for its “energy catalyzer” product, with delivery expected within four months. The “Ecat” is a controversial product: although it's been claimed to deliver more output power than input power in “black box” experiments, the mechanism by which the “low energy nuclear fusion” …
Carrying a bunch of the raw materials I would think. They don't need to take in batteries, it sounds like the container *IS* just one giant battery.
I'm still involved in a several-year-old thread on a forum where some guy claims this must be proper cold fusion. Despite every demo being rigged / cancelled and Bologna University (where most of them took place) basically disowning the guy (and I have friends in Bologna who have worked at the university and they have heard NOTHING of this miraculous breakthrough in science...).
It's a scam. It's just a long, ongoing one.
When you start lying and get called on it, your only options are to admit you were lying, or keep lying even more. I bet my Bitcoin balance that the latter is happening.
"OK, that was funny as hell Bren, but seriously, bets on one of these units ever being sold?"
I'd bet real money that if there were any orders, the prospective purchaser would be informed of a massive backlog due to the mythical units popularity. All while not a single unit actually is sold and installed.
1.5MW rating, it's not mentioned every how often the technicians need to turn up. 1 month? 6 months? 1 year? Even going low-end, 1 month is around 9500 MWh. A high-capacity AA battery is rated at 3000mAh = 3Ah, @1.5V = 4.5Wh. Changing batteries every month you would need well over 2 billion AA batteries.
Wow, $1.5million is a steal for that. I'll take 2.
Erm.... I mean, they're going to have some VERY "fat" technicians :)
It's a bit too cheap compared to the current price tags for oh-christ-sweep-it-under-the-carpet-whatever-happens-next-this-is-officially-a-success lulus (e.g. think of big government IT projects, the War on Terror, Nokia's move to WinPhone, etc) - surely there's some risk that one gets bought and then talked about too candidly?
(or if it's all true then I'll be eating a succulent big humble pie, cooked by free-energy. And then some wise guy will use the surplus energy output to build nanobots that extend the e-cat factory and shortly afterwards the Earth is converted into a glider gun shooting out e-cat factories, as foreshadowed in the seminal reference "50 shades of grey goo")
If fusion of nickel (atomic weight 28) with hydrogen to produce copper (atomic weight 29) is so energy efficient....
...wouldn't you think that natural physics would have equipped STARS with the capability of extending their lives by doing just that, instead of choking at the iron (atomic weight 26) production stage and exploding into quintillions of teensy weensy bits????
I can almost see the mushroom clouds on the horizon now.....
It was my (childishly-low level) understanding that iron can't fuse with other iron atoms. One of my takeaways from that 'understanding' was that the nuclear fusion could, theoretically, continue if there was a fresh supply of protons - i.e. hydrogen.
Or is it that iron, no matter what you throw at it and no matter the temperature, won't fuse?
Note - my question comes from a desire to learn; would love the feedback.
I believe it's the net-energy balance that makes the difference. Below, Iron fusion releases energy. Above Iron you have to pump energy in.
Pump in enough (nova) and you can fuse all the way up to Uranium.
Fission is the reverse ...
What Fermi did under a stadium ..
Da deuteron ron ron da deuteron ron,
He did with heavy water and uranium,
Da deuteron ron ron, da deuteron ron ..
Pick one of the isotopes of nickel from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_nickel an note its mass. eg ⁵⁸Ni: 57.9353429 amu. Add the mass of a hydrogen atom (1.007825 amu) and subtract the mass of the corresponding copper isotope (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_copper) ⁵⁹Cu: 58.9394980 amu. For this example the result is +0.00367 amu, so the reaction releases energy. Convert to MeV by multiplying by 931.494061 (3.4Mev) so the energy comes out as a gamma ray.
If we walk past the magic required to get nickel to absorb protons at a useful rate (1.8x10¹² reactions per second per Watt), we still need another spell to convert the gamma rays to electricity with 100% conversion efficiency. Consider some of the consequences of failure. Pretend to device is only 99% efficient at absorbing gamma rays. That still leaves 150kJ/second. If you stand 100metres away, you get a very lethal dose of radiation every second. (A 1cm thick lead shield drops the gamma ray intensity by 50%, so a useless 99% shield is equivalent to 6.5cm of lead surrounding the reactor). The other problem is generating electricity. The usual way to do this in bulk is that the radiation heats a liquid that drives a turbine that spins a generator. If you get 1.5MW of electricity out like that, you also have to have to get rid of 3MW of heat. Again lets use magic to get 99% conversion efficiency. That still leaves 15kW of heat. I did not see any fans on that container, so park it somewhere cool.
Alternatively, as no-one has died from radiation poisoning, you can safely assume this E-Cat does not use a nuclear reaction.
"The usual way to do this in bulk is that the radiation heats a liquid that drives a turbine that spins a generator."
It'd long been a standing joke, we're still in the steam era.
For, regardless of *how* we do it, we still boil water to make electricity.
Be it by old fashioned fire or new fangled nuclear "fire".
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He can sue for breach of the NDA all he likes. Unfortunately for him, Australian consumer law will not only force him to offer a full refund, but will also invalidate the NDA as it can only be upheld should the equipment perform as advertised.
Then we have the entire aspect of civil lawsuits from the purchasers, which would lead to many public documents being created and accessed by the worlds media.
Ive got a tenner i can throw into the pot too.
<- Coat, cos its got all my tools in the pockets.
Nice try, but I'm not going to fund his retirement in exchange for a second-hand shipping container filled with odds and ends. It's not like this is the one-and-only looney that can be finally shut up, so it makes zero (=0.0001% minus entropy) difference to society at large.
Seriously, reg? What's next, a breathless article about these amazing penis enlargement pills you can buy?
These guys are criminals, plain and simple. Approaching them with the softball skepticism you did is, for this venue, tantamount to a flat-out endorsement. Are you so terrified of libel laws that you can't even run article about bald-faced liars and con artists without making them seem potentially credible?
Relax. The Reg didn't want to patronise its readers by pointing out the bleedingly obvious. The lines were fairly easy to read between.
Anyway, any article that mentions Disk Smith (who in addition to being a founder of the Australian Skeptics is also an entrepreneur, pilot, philanthropist and practical joker - he was on a double-decker bus that jumped sixteen motorcycles and bought a fake iceberg into Sydney Harbour) and promotes his work is a good thing. He's happy to call these charlatans on their bluff. The trouble is, they know it.
I would recommend this chummy interview between Dick Smith and the man who gave us the One Eyed trouser Snake song, fellow Skeptic Philip Adams, in which he recounts his solo round the world helicopter flight, a massive Electronic Dick and beetroot. You couldn't make it up. (MP3)
(The misspelling of Skeptic is a nod to a previous group)
Yeah, they were easy to read between, but the presence of an article that's this subtle raises the distinct possibility of a bunch of copypasta news sites rewriting it without the invisible bits - for audiences that don't know enough to realize how bad these people are. I'm all for subtlety, but these kinds of cockmongers deserve only to be either ignored or shredded. Surely there was an opportunity here for actual journalism to take place, research to be done, and dirty laundry aired; that's what journalism at its best is *for*. I have little doubt that the Reg could gather enough information to utterly tear up these losers, and given that they damage society not only by commiting crimes but by eroding the public's confidence in real science and engineering, I can think of few better targets. A wink-wink-nudge-nudge is, if nothing else, lazy, when The Reg's considerable aresehole tearing skill could easily have been brought to bear.
"The Principal of Firepower International made claims in relation to a “fuel pill” that could improve the fuel economy of motor vehicles by a large percentage. In a similar way to Rossi, no proper scientific tests were done – just lots of claims of tests and anecdotal evidence of how good the pills were. The Firepower claim was given great credibility by the Head of Defence in Australia investing in the company, with many other people – including politicians – being involved. The Principal of Firepower always promised that a definitive scientific test would be done, but this was delayed and delayed until the company eventually collapsed with something like $100 million being lost by mum-and-dad investors in Australia."
- Dick Smith
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"...but the presence of an article that's this subtle raises the distinct possibility of a bunch of copypasta news sites rewriting it without the invisible bits - for audiences that don't know enough to realize how bad these people are."
Frankly, anyone that is a big enough asshole to believe any such story as factual and pay for the thing deserves to lose their money to the fraudster.
But, at least then, the fraud would result in criminal charges.
What gets me most about this?
Why do you need anyone to buy one?
Build a small prototype (like they have supposedly done several years ago). Plug it into the grid, get yourself a feed-back tariff and sell the excess back to the grid. Eventually, you should make back enough to make a profit and therefore have the parts to build another. And another. And another. Everything after the first few should be 100% profit, really, no?
When you have filled your shed and made money for a few years, buy a warehouse, register as a business. Build a container-sized one. Use that to make enough profit to make another container, and another, and another. When you've filled the warehouse, sell the energy on direct to customers (e.g. other industries near you). When people start asking question tell them what you have, and they'll come running, but until then it's all personal profit, no need to trust ANYONE, no need to defraud ANYONE, no need to get investment from ANYONE.
And if it truly generates the excess they claim, they could do this in under a year, no help required. Just a guy or two building the prototype boxes and a sell-back electrical installation like everyone with a solar panel has.
Hell, the first we'd hear of a REAL cold-fusion home-brew kit would be the electricity companies asking why everyone on your industrial estate has stopped paying for electricity and there are cables strung between your building and they are powering all their equipment for less than the grid can sell it. And none of your neighbours are paying for electricity either. And your electrical bills have read overall profit for the last year.
If this stuff is so good, good enough to claim that you have to hide it and protect it in case someone steals it, why the hell do you need an investor or customer at all? Hell, you could make enough profit to buy an industrial estate, fill it with the things, and then pay someone to worry about all that paperwork that goes with being an electricity supplier and put armed guards on the boundaries to make sure nobody knows what's going on inside.
Thats like saying AMD is off its rocker for selling all of their GPUs, instead of repurposing them for bitcoin mining fresh off the production line.
How about blacksmiths? They used to make all them shovels and picks used for gold mining. Why did they sell them instead of using them themselves?
Perhaps because gold mining entails some level of risk. There's always plenty of gold miners willing to risk life and fortune in the hope of striking it rich, but the only guy with the guaranteed steady income is the one selling them shovels and gold panning gear, and when you have a family the guaranteed steady income is the one you are after.
The point here is that the way it works is a guaranteed steady income, if it worked. The other side is, if it does work, and can be demonstrated to work, keeping it secret is impossible if you are selling it, sooner or later the chinese, through some shell company, would get their hands on one and rip it apart (well actually the same goes for every country in the world I am guessing). So you can make money now selling them, and pretty soon find a thousand other manufacturers doing the same, or you could try and keep it an absolute secret by never selling any and just selling the power.
Of course this would all be illegal, breach of contract, court cases etc etc, but, if it worked, every country in the world would have an army of scientists whose only purpose would be to reproduce the process, and while you can patent a device, copyright a design, the process itself is free for everyone to take advantage of.
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"I make $500 a week working from home, I didn't believe how easy it was."
I'll happily contact you for the specifics when I get back from my free, all expense paid vacation, spending my millions of dollars from my Nigerian investment windfall and using my discount generic Viagra.
One mailing list I was on had a thread where we concocted stories based upon what was caught in our spam filters. It made for quite a few amusing stories.
I posted the mechanism on here a while back.
Seems that the secret sauce is terahertz radiation in the nickel lattice, the mechanism by which this is generated is a current area of study but it looks like Rossi is using tuned microwaves to stimulate parametric upconversion in the catalyst which is possibly 41K extracted from natural potassium.
The tricky part seems to be getting the exact frequencies as it has to be tuned very precisely indeed and if the frequency is off by 0.1% then nothing happens.
Best analogy is the green laser, 808-1064-532 or in the case of the Rossi reactor 10.250 GHz-some THz.
AC, because this is going to get me poloniumed for sure...
The "personell" will keep filling it with stuff that produces more output power than input power, people go "WoW" and as more people buy them, the money rolls in. Once they hit a certain amount and it has been syphoned off, they fold the company. When nobody comes a calling to "maintain" the magic box, it will stop outputting more power than goes in.
I find the idea of people making little machines that don't work so they can bilk 'investors' of their money rather interesting. There are surely easier frauds? See also, the Irish outfit 'Steorn'. In these scams, you have to wonder if they are just frauds or if the creators have just deluded themselves.
I came across an engineer about 10 years ago, through work - the company had dealt with him for 15-20 years.. He's a mechanical engineer, so obviously not chemistry or physics trained, but capable of reasonably complex calculations and you'd exepect to have at least some kind of scientific leanings.
Anyway he was chucking it all in, and taking early retirement. But would we fancy one last meeting before he did? Oh and I'm retiring in order to sell magnetic healing bracelets and magnetic gubbins that you put in your petrol tank, which improve fuel efficiency by 10%.
Although I suppose the water industry that I work in does have some fun with magnets. We have magnetic and electro-magnetic water conditioners. Some of which have been tested and appear to work, although no-one has a convincing theory as to why... And some of which are just some wire wrapped round a piece of pipe (or that you wrap round it yourself) and are sold to consumers at £200 a pop.
If Facebook has revealed anything to me, it's how gullible all my old school friends are.
From the crap about "Repost this and it will bring you luck" (and you have to include the line "3% of your friends won't repost this , will you?" or similar, apparently), through to religious nutters, through to attitudes about news stories, through to just plain junk that they watch on TV.
I think this is the kind of thing that Derren Brown plays on - there's just enough people in the world who you could convince to do anything. Not everyone. And don't give them a chance to think critically. And make sure you have a good sales patter. But, in the end, a proportion of people enough to accomplish your ends can be convinced to do totally worthless stuff with their lives / money.
I've always been amazed when watching sales negotiations that more people don't just go "No, look, stop. I don't want it. We both know it's a scam, so stop there and just take my money for the product I asked for." I watched a CEO of a office equipment leasing company try to sell a school bursar a device that plugs in and "conditions" the electricity so that you use less of it. There was lots of accompanying rubbish physics that tried to show how it worked, and even an offer of a live demonstration with a voltmeter, and everything.
Fortunately, the bursar used to design electrical installations for a living, and I have a grasp of physics that goes beyond looking at the voltage and thinking I'm saving "power" (I'm pretty sure he would have refused to let me turn the multimeter to reading "current" if I'd tried, but we'd already got rid of him by that point - hint: They were selling it on "lighting costs" - it may do something for certain incandescent bulbs at some point, but not enough to make money on, and it doesn't work on anything fluorescent with a proper ballast) but he was seriously trying to sell that to schools and I imagine more than one of them has fell for it or he wouldn't try.
It was just quite unbelievable that what I considered "Del boy" marketing tactics were trying to be employed while talking to a multi-million pound business. But, sadly, I could see that bursar's new replacement falling for it in a second (fortunately, I'm long gone from that place).
It is scary when you think how easily people can be "led" and how stubborn they can be when they get there.
It's interesting that in the previous tests (http://phys.org/news/2013-05-rossi-e-cat-energy-density-higher.html), current monitors were placed on the 3-phase live wires going into the device, but not on the neutral or earth wires. External testers were not allowed to add their own measuring equipment. Also interesting was the observation that the heat output was pretty much exactly what you would expect were you to stick 13A through said neutral and ground wires through the resisitive heating element that they have inside. I'm not saying that's what they did - God forbid, no, that would be a vile and scurrulous accusation. I'm just saying that's the easiest way to reproduce the observed results of the experiment.
There is a recent report from energy giant Vattenfall / Elforsk about this Ecat and several other competitors.
They have actually spend time reviewing all the sources, instead of dismissing it outright.
They do not think this is an obvious scam.
Highly interesting read: http://elforsk.se/Rapporter/?rid=13_90_
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"But thank you for joining the Register today to further this charlatan's progress."
In the report there is no mention of charlatans. No ridicule, no contempt.
If you would read the report you would find out that Elforsk is indeed investigating this topic, instead of dismissing it outright, like you do.
As they state in the report the scientific understanding of the phenomenon is still far from being settled.
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