Although Andrea Rossi has been focusing on the Hot Cat for several months, now, the domestic E-Cat is still much anticipated by the general public. While the Hot Cat will be available for industrial use, with the first unit going online in February, the domestic E-Cat is still awaiting certification.
The reasons for this are numerous, and have mostly to do with the unfamiliarity of the science taking place. Certifiers are reluctant to approve any kind of nuclear device for use by the general public.
The domestic E-Cat has been described by Rossi as a water heater. But, what a water heater! This device will do far more than keep a steady supply of hot water to your bathtub. The scope is much broader. The domestic E-Cat is capable of heating an entire house. It would replace coal-oil boilers in homes, sending heat through the existing radiator systems. One unit should be able to heat between 800 and 1200 square feet.
The hope is that the domestic E-Cat will be able to produce enough heat to generate electricity. This possibility was discussed briefly on Rossi’s site, the Journal of Nuclear Physics. Gherardo asked Rossi about the domestic model, and its use for producing electricity on the scale of individual dwellings. He focused specifically on the use of steam turbines to produce power, running off of the heat of the E-Cat:
“Mainstream turbines for the electricity production are quite large, noisy, maintenance intensive and need to spool up to start production. A 30kW steam turbine…would be uncompatible with an apartment installation and would have a steep cost.”
“Yes, you are right, it is unthinkable to make electric power with a domestic E-Cat, with the existing power production technologies. The Carnot cycle makes sense only for industrial applications, as you correctly think and all the direct conversion system are not mature, or can yield too low efficiency.”
Several months ago, Rossi had expressed the belief that the domestic E-Cat would be capable of producing electricity, but now seems to have changed his mind. The Carnot cycle, which has to do with the thermodynamic efficiency of expansion and contraction without loss of energy, is maximized at the industrial level, where higher temperatures are reached.
As for direct conversion systems, there are some engines out there that are said to run off of waste heat. Most of them are used in industrial settings, however. The use of such engines for producing power on a domestic basis is rare, and still in its infancy.
Perhaps if Leonardo Corp. had one of the small waste heat engines, the domestic development could continue. Then again, once the industrial units prove the reliability and safety of the LENR technology, the domestic units will no longer be such a mystery.