A poster on Andrea Rossi’s Journal of Nuclear Physics site asked a very interesting question about the nickel fuel in the fuel container. The poster, Herbert Gillis, points out that the temperature of heating elements typically are not consistent across the entire surface. Since the temperature may vary, some of the nickel particles will get hotter than others, possibly even to the point of melting, while others may stay too cool until they circulate around to the external heat source.
One question Gillis has is whether or not there is degradation in the fuel core as a result of this unequal heating. This would mean that the efficiency of the unit would degrade over time, as particles of nickel become overheated and fall to the side without being utilized as fuel. This would be similar to the weakening of a battery over time.
He speculates that if the fuel degradation is minimized, higher temperatures could be achieved. Of course, at this time there is no indication from Rossi that there is a problem with fuel degradation. Gillis is working on a “what if” platform.
Could this be leading to gradual fuel degradation, and resulting loss of overall performance, over long operating times? Would it be possible to operate at even higher temperatures if these limitations could be minimized?
However, he does suggest that if there is degradation, that perhaps the nickel could be “encapsulated” in a porous matrix made of graphite, silica, or some other material that has a higher melting point than nickel. This would not only allow the heat to circulate around the fuel material, but if a portion did melt, it would not melt into chunks, thereby being ruined. Gillis also mentioned that although the COP 6 is very good, even more would be better.
Rossi found the idea of a porous matrix interesting. Of course, he was unable to enter into discussion on the matter due to the confidentiality of his invention. He also made an interesting comment – that there are “strong reasons” for which COP 6 is a limit.” Hopefully, Rossi will be able to make an announcement soon that will give us a little more information about the heating structure of the fuel core and the reasons for limiting COP.
That, in itself, is almost a turn-about. Nuclear energy is lucky to achieve 1.1 COP in some instances, and here, with the E-Cat, we’re talking about limiting the unit to COP 6
Possibly the clearest explanation so far regarding COP and the E-Cat comes from Hank Mills (former editor at PESN-Wiki):
The Very High COP of the E-Cat
Recently, there has been a lot of talk and discussion about the COP of the E-Cat. The term COP stands for coefficient of performance. Basically, it means how much power you put in compared to how much you get out. With the E-Cat, you are guaranteed to get out six units of power (thermal) for everyone one unit of power (electrical) you put in. This means that a minimum COP of 6 is guaranteed.
A few individuals have been trying to spread lies saying that a COP of six is low. However, it is not. A COP of six is actually very high. For decades hot fusion scientists have attempted to build reactors that can exceed a COP of 1.1, and have not been able to do so. They have not been able to do so despite billions of dollars in funding. However, the current models of E-Cat that are soon to be commercialized can produce an average COP of six which is tremendously higher than any attempt at hot fusion has ever been able to produce. In addition, this COP of six can be produced utilizing only tiny amounts of fuel, without producing any nuclear waste, and without producing any radiation that can escape the reactor.
With a COP of six and 600C steam the E-Cat technology can change the world. A higher COP is not required. Consider the following example.
A one megawatt plants produces one megawatt of output power in the form of steam, while consuming 166 kilowatts of electrical power. With 600C steam a turbine can produce electricity with approximately 45% efficiency or greater. However, to be conservative lets say the efficiency is only 40%. This means that 400 kilowatts of electrical energy is produced. 400 kilowatts of output minus 166 kilowatts of input equals 234 kilowatts of excess power.
Basically, a first generation one megawatt E-Cat can produce 234 kilowatts of excess power. This is enough power to run a small neighborhood of homes. It is also enough power to run a medium sized business or a shopping mall. This power will be produced with almost zero fuel cost (maybe $20 dollars a year), no pollution, no nuclear waste production, and the only cost will be the purchase of the system and maintenance.
The price of the first systems will be economical, but not as low as the price will be once the scale of production is increased. Once they are mass manufactured the price will go down even more. Eventually home E-Cats that can produce electricity will be mass manufactured, and the price will go down to the point that energy will be dirt cheap.
However, a COP of six is not the limit. In the past E-Cats have produced COPs of 200 or more during periods of self sustained operation. During self sustained operation the electrical resistor is turned off, which is what consumes the majority of the input power. The only power consumed is from the radio frequency generators, sensors, and whatever pumps are needed. The result is that a huge amount of output can be produced with very little input.
Right now, an E-Cat cannot run forever in self sustained mode. Every so often power has to be applied in the form of a “drive.” Otherwise, the reactors can become unstable, the nickel powder can melt, and the reactor can go dead. Resolving this is just a matter of engineering and research. I am sure that in future generations of E-Cat the self sustaining periods can be made longer, and the COP will become even higher.
So in fact, the E-Cat can produce a very high COP right now, but only for certain periods of time. Then the COP will go down when an input is applied. This is not a big deal, because the average COP will always be at least six. A few years from now, the average COP may be 10 or 20.
But again, a COP of 10 or 20 is not needed. A COP of 6 is very high.
It is high enough to produce all of the world’s electricity.
It is high enough to desalinize ocean water.
It is high enough to provide all of the world’s heating.
It is high enough to be incorporated in vehicles.
It is high enough to end the energy crisis, and end the use of fossil fuels.
A COP of 6 is high, regardless what the skeptics or competitors say.