Editor’s note: Physicist Sadri Hassani’s Skeptical Inquirer article “Why E-Cat Is a Hoax” (Hassani 2019) explained how Andrea Rossi’s claims about his E-Cat (energy catalyzer) device are at variance with well-established laws of physics. But occasionally new observations might suggest modifications to those laws (see three-legged stool test at end). This is especially critical when there is apparent verification of the measurements by independent scientists. This shows the importance of scrutiny by skeptical investigators. In this article, Ian Bryce relates the results of his five-year investigation.
The E-Cat (energy catalysis) apparatus is claimed to produce power through nuclear fusion, yet the operators somehow walk around it without any radiation effects. Fusion occurs in the center of the sun, other stars, and a hydrogen bomb, yet this device operates on a bench at room temperature. If it worked as claimed, it would require the rewriting of most physics textbooks. The inventor hopes for a Nobel Prize but lacks any science qualifications and has been incarcerated several times for previous energy schemes that were found not to work. Earlier cold fusion claims reported twenty-six milliwatts of power, but this one claims one megawatt. The evidence strongly suggests that the inventor was smuggling power in past the metering through a retasked earth lead.
On January 31, 2019, Rossi’s company issued a video demonstration and claimed the devices were now ready for the market (see sidebar “Rossi’s Latest Reactor ‘Revealed’ in January Video,” bottom of article).
Who could possibly fall for this claim? Many respected nuclear scientists from around the world it seems, some involved in awarding Nobel Prizes. Not only leading skeptics but some NASA officials and investors who poured in tens of millions of dollars (and still are) and promised hundreds of millions more have fallen for it. This has wasted money, time, and effort that could instead have been directed toward real improvements in energy production, with benefits for the planet’s ecosystem and human welfare.
This article traces the history of Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat and the officials who should know better but fell for it. It outlines the efforts of Australian Skeptics and philanthropist Dick Smith to expose the episode and reports on new developments. (Smith has long championed and supported skeptical investigations of extraordinary claims; Australia has designated him a “National Living Treasure” [Frazier 2015].)
Andrea Rossi obtained a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Milan in 1973. He also claimed an engineering degree from the University of Kensington in California, but this was exposed as a diploma mill. Rossi was (and is) an enthusiastic and accomplished long-distance runner. Through working in family businesses, the young Rossi became adept at building industrial plants. He traveled frequently, especially to Sweden and the United States. He now lives and works in Florida.
Rossi’s first major project was called Petroldragon. This was a plant intended to convert industrial waste into useable fuel oil. Despite large investments, it’s not clear if it ever worked. Rossi’s large stocks of waste (60,000 tons), including toxic liquids and rubber tires, burdened him with exorbitant disposal obligations he was unable to meet, for which he was prosecuted and spent six months in jail in 1995.
Rossi’s next project was a thermoelectric generator, intended to convert low-grade waste heat, such as from engine exhausts, into electricity. This is a known technology of very low efficiency, around 2 percent, but Rossi claimed to have achieved 20 percent.
He installed them in various diesel generators he was making and selling in Italy as a background business of Leonardo Corporation. In the United States, the device was promoted by his Leonardo Technologies Inc. (LTI). Twenty-seven units were tested by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), but none worked as claimed (Rossi 2019; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2004).
Meanwhile, Rossi was being prosecuted in Italy for many other matters, including bankruptcy, accounting fraud, money laundering, and dumping toxic waste. Some charges were dropped, on some he was acquitted, and on others he was fined. He spent a year in jail in Italy again from 2000–2001 (Lewan 2014, 31). Rossi had heard of the 1989 Fleischmann and Pons claims of cold fusion. Cold fusion is now more frequently called Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR). In anticipation of its thirtieth anniversary this spring, cold fusion was recently described and recounted in these pages (Ball 2019). Rossi used his time in jail to study this topic and decided this would be his next project.
Development of E-Cat
Following his release in June 2001, Rossi built some reactors and soon claimed to have generated “hundreds of watts.” In 2009, he reported holding successful demonstrations for various parties, including the Italian energy producer Enel, the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), and the Department of Defense (DoD) (further details of these and other tests and demonstrations is given in supporting documentation online).
Of more significance was a demonstration in October 2010 in Bologna for a group of eminent Greeks, including Christos Stremenos, a retired professor of physical chemistry and Greek ambassador in Italy. No results are available for this demonstration, but they must have been impressive because the group went on to form an alliance called Defkalion. They became deeply entangled with Rossi before splitting amid acrimony and hundred-million-euro lawsuits—more on this later.
Rossi had his marketing machine in gear by then and held a rapid series of demonstrations. These included one in December 2010 for a team of scientists, in January 2011 for the press, and on March 29 of that same year for some Swedish scientists. This was followed by a test in April for Italian TV and technology journalist Mats Lewan. There were more tests in May, June, September, and October 2011. The invited observers gave generally glowing reports.
These were all with one type of device and with similar results. I am going to focus on the March 29, 2011, test, which was the best documented and the one I exposed. But first let me introduce the main players.
Mats Lewan was a writer for Swedish technology magazine Ny Teknik. He was immediately convinced by Rossi and became his most loyal supporter. He readily and unquestioningly published Rossi’s claims in Ny Technik and on his own website. Possessing electrical knowledge, he attended tests in 2011 and photographed and filmed several of Rossi’s demonstrations. He introduced several relevant parties to Rossi. His book An Impossible Invention (Lewan 2014) reads like a Rossi love letter but contains useful detail on events.
Lewan’s gullibility toward claims of scammers and the deluded has no limits (Lewan 2014, 31). He presents as evidence for cold fusion reports from several “scientists” of biological transmutation. Chickens, when starved of calcium, are claimed to transmute the element potassium into calcium to make their egg shells!
Swedish Scientists Essén and Kullander
Hano Essén is a Swedish theoretical physicist at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He has been a president of the Swedish Skeptics Society—sister of Australian Skeptics Inc (ASI) and of the Center for Inquiry (CFI). Essén had read Rossi’s reports and commented favorably.
Sven Kullander (d. 2014) was an experienced nuclear physicist and published some ideas of his own on cold fusion. He was chairman of the Energy Committee of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, which is involved in awarding Nobel Prizes.
As professors of nuclear physics, these two were invited by Rossi (via Lewan) to view an E-Cat demonstration on March 29, 2011. Given the backgrounds of both Rossi and his claims, one wonders why they became involved at all.
They observed carefully and critically and provided a detailed report (Kullander and Essén 2011). They could see no hidden pipes or wires that could explain the ongoing energy production. This was widely published, along with media statements including: “My belief [was] probably … strengthened considerably when I saw and measured how it all works, that there is an energy release far beyond what one might expect.”
This authoritative endorsement soon had the blogosphere buzzing with expectations of solving the world’s energy problems. Rossi started offering franchises for licensing around the world. Investors were queuing at Rossi’s doorstep.
Swedish Reference Group
The Swedish scientists were so impressed by Rossi’s demonstrations that they persuaded other authorities back in Sweden. To properly evaluate the measurements and to investigate the theory, they set up an informal reference group at a meeting in Sweden on July 4, 2011 (Lewan 2014, 132). This also included other scientific authorities Lars Tegnér, Bo Höistad, and Roland Pettersson, all from Uppsala University in Sweden, and professor of physics Hidetsugu Ikegami of Osaka University in Japan. It seems they were blind to the fact that scientists can be fooled.
There was also an Italian physicist, the late Sergio Focardi, who supported Rossi by maintaining a blog appearing to be on the physics of LENR. This involved Widom-Larson theory but never achieved any credibility.
In contrast, there was at least one authority who was skeptical of Rossi’s claims from the start. Swedish physicist Peter Ekström published an article titled “Cold Fusion Once More Becomes Only Hot Air” in May 2011 in Fysikaktuellt (Physics News). He described Lewan as “like an embedded journalist—easily led by his hosts.”
Ekström pointed out to me that all properly observed nuclear reactions produce ionizing radiation and daughter isotopes, which (at power production levels) should cause death in seconds. Yet in all demonstrations, Rossi, his assistants, and his audience have always walked freely around the equipment with no sign of dropping dead. Attendees at key demonstrations are named in a longer list of tests (Bryce 2019a).
Australian Skeptics investigation
One would-be investor was Sol Millin, a retired technician in the hippie center Byron Bay. In December 2011, he approached Australian entrepreneur and philanthropist Dick Smith with a “highly lucrative trillion-dollar market opportunity.” Would Smith provide the AU$200,000 needed for the Australian license?
Smith replied “… If I invented such an incredible machine, I would make sure I would get a simple report from someone who is quite independent to say that it actually works. Can you send me a copy of this and I will send off the cheque?” So it was with some surprise that Smith soon received the glowing report by the two Swedish nuclear physicists. It concludes, “Any chemical process for producing 25 kWh [total energy over six hours, not power] from any fuel in a 50 cm3 container can be ruled out. The only alternative explanation is that there is some kind of a nuclear process that gives rise to the measured energy production.”
Smith approached the Australian Skeptics, which he helped found in 1980 and of which he is still a patron and supporter. Thus, the matter came to my desk (I have been chief investigator since its founding). I attended an investors meeting held by Millin—the Byron Bay connection is a saga in its own right, as reported in Australian Skeptic magazine (Bryce 2012). I also communicated with Rossi and wrote to the scientists.
My research uncovered at least seventeen scientists and engineers who had either witnessed a test or analyzed the results and gave some support for Rossi’s device called E-Cat (Energy Catalyzer) or for Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) in general (Bryce 2019b). Brian Josephson, Nobel laureate for his Josephson Junction quantum transistor, consistently supported Rossi’s claims in an interview. (Josephson has also long been criticized by colleagues and scientific skeptics for supporting mysticism, ESP, and remote viewing.)
Certain senior NASA scientists attended various presentations and demonstrations by Rossi and later gave glowing internal reports (Zawodny 2011; Bushnell 2011; Nelson 2011). They gave strong praise to LENR in general: “Over 2 decades with over 100 experiments worldwide indicate LENR is real, much greater than Chemical …” And specifically of E-Cat: “The many Rossi demonstrations in 2011 suggest LENR may produce ‘useful’ quantities of heat [up to 15KWs?].”
NASA even produced a concept of a spaceplane powered by LENR (Zawodny 2011). What next—flying carpets?
Hopefully these scientists will reexamine the evidence and retract their statements supporting E-Cat, giving some closure to the investors I know who have run up huge debts, jeopardizing themselves and their families.
Test Setup Described
What did the scientists see? We have detailed information from their report (Kullander et al. 2011) and numerous photographs and videos posted online by Lewan.
The small reactor sits on a tabletop. Rossi says there is an inner copper chamber containing nickel, hydrogen, and a secret catalyst, where cold fusion is claimed to occur. There is a port at the top for admitting hydrogen. This chamber is surrounded by a copper enclosure (visible in a bare unit also on the table), which guides a flow of water. In the operating unit, everything is wrapped in insulation.
The reactor has about six wires running from a blue box that is plugged into a regular Italian 230V power outlet. The power from the mains is monitored by voltmeter and ammeter and gives (on this occasion) 345 watts of input electrical power.
The blue box has been inspected and contains several power phase controllers (the industrial equivalent of light dimmers) controlled from an attached PC—certainly no significant batteries or other source of power.
Water is pumped into the bottom of the reactor, and (after fifteen minutes warm up) the supposed nuclear reaction sets in and a steam/water mixture issues from the reactor via a hose to a drain. The flow and temperatures are monitored—in this case 18°C (64°F) entering and 100°C (212°F) exiting.
Lewan’s detailed photographs and videos helped confirm that there were no hidden pipes or wires.
Rossi calculated the power generated assuming only steam out, which gives 4.7 kilowatts, showing a CoP (coefficient of performance) of 14. Several commentators have questioned this claim, but I calculate that even if only 10 percent of water is vaporized, the power is 1020 watts, giving a gain of 3.0. This situation prevailed for over six hours.
This represents a large production of energy, which Rossi attributes to cold fusion. The Swedish scientists, and many other observers, including me, have estimated the volume and mass of the equipment and hence ruled out (as the source of power) hidden batteries, phase change materials, chemical reactants, etc.
A similar setup with some variations was used in at least seven tests up to April 2011, with most showing a significant power production (under the most pessimistic assumptions). This resulted in all those observers supporting excess energy, which they attributed to a hitherto unknown source, such as cold fusion.
With a world-changing energy revolution in sight, the blogosphere went wild in a search for other explanations. Chemical and physical sources were postulated but ruled out. The tables had been searched for hidden wiring. One observer speculated that microwave power was being beamed into the reactor (at gonad level) from a powerful transmitter in the next room, even as the observers walked around!
Meanwhile, I continued to investigate. The blue box, in particular, held my attention. While not containing batteries, the wiring was a tangled rats nest, in contrast to Rossi’s otherwise neat constructions. Was that concealing something? James Randi often told us that a skeptic’s training should include vigilance for trickery. And the best place to hide something is in plain sight.
In January 2012, I reported to Smith that there were too many bad signs causing doubt that the invention is real. These included the out-of-character blue box, all of Rossi’s history, and the lack of a theory by which the energy output would be possible. Smith would not invest, and neither should others. This got good media coverage.
On January 19, 2012, the likely answer came to me in my sleep. My subconscious must have been working overtime.
The diagram in Figure 5a shows the relevant equipment layout, as all the scientists believe. The key is the measurement of electrical power from the Italian wall plug, which is clearly described in the reports and shown in photographs. A clamp ammeter measures the current in the active wire, while a voltmeter measures between active and neutral. Multiplying the two readings normally gives the power supplied. The earth wire is for safety protection and normally carries no current.
The diagram in Figure 5b shows how I believe Rossi could have generated his results. The earth wire can be retasked, by connecting it to the active pin in the power plug, and also to additional “B” power controllers in the blue box. Thus, it can be used to smuggle in extra power past the metering. This power goes to two of the controllers and their respective heating elements in the reactor.
How does the earth wire hypothesis fit the observations? A detailed account is given (Bryce 2019c). In summary:
- The maximum power capacity can be estimated. The earth wire could bring the total current to about thirteen amps without getting noticeably hot, making the total power around 3100 W. Actual results from tests range from 2000 to 3000 W. We see that all the figures for output heat (supposedly nuclear) are at or just below the capacity of the power outlet used to control the devices. This includes four models of reactor, which one would expect to behave differently.
- How could one conceal the changed wiring? Easy: make a tangle of wires in the blue box so the interior can be safely examined and photographed even during operation.
- The setup could survive the closest examination when offline, because the connections at both ends could be restored in a few minutes, leaving no evidence.
- And what if an observer should take the initiative to check the current in the earth? Rossi is seen to hover over the keyboard and would be able to turn off the extra controllers should a scientist approach the metering. This would restore the earth lead current to zero, while briefly reducing the heating. In fact, my estimated heat production graph shows just such a drop.
- His explanation for constant attention was that the reaction needed his diligent monitoring and adjustment. Could it be that the observers needed constant monitoring?
We reexamined all E-Cat demonstrations and found that all five documented tests from December 2010 to October 2011 were fully compatible with the earth wire hypothesis.
Earth wires are provided for a reason. When retasked, a simple problem in the wiring could now result in the entire apparatus (cases, copper, water) becoming live and electrocuting the observers. If it was retasked, one wonders what passed through Rossi’s mind.
On this basis, Smith and the Australian Skeptics went public with our hypothesis—an inadvertent misconnection of the earth wire. The blogosphere responded: “Don’t be silly, that could not possibly be accidental!”
It was time to set a trap. In February 2012, Smith offered Rossi one million dollars, with no strings attached, if he would let a scientist take proper measurements and examine the earth wire during operation (see “Dick Smith’s Challenge to Rossi” in Hassani’s January/February 2019 SI article, p. 40). Should Rossi be genuine, he would no doubt eventually get a Nobel Prize, and the skeptics team would be proud of having helped verify it. Instead, Rossi refused and said he would have nothing to do with the “Aussie roadkill.” He called Smith a “snake” and me his “puppet snake.”
That was the confirmation we needed; there was no reasonable doubt now. Needing a bigger impact on the global scene to stop further investment money being wasted on Rossi, Dick Smith got a media splash by declaring E-Cat a fake.
We prepared and distributed a detailed account with many reference documents. Our magazine carried the story (Bryce 2012).
Rossi then ceased demonstrations of the copper E-Cat. He came up with a second type—a large metal box, claimed to produce more heat at 27 KW. Several observers pointed out, and my observations have confirmed, many defects in the setup and measurements. No measurements of the earth wire were allowed.
Now, with hindsight, is there any doubt that Rossi was cheating? Possible explanations include:
- A real nuclear reaction—requiring new physics and an explanation of the missing radiation.
- Hidden energy storage such as batteries—ruled out by the scientists’ inspections and calculations.
- A secret source of chemical or physical energy—ruled out as above.
- Hidden pipes or wires—ruled out as above.
- Invisible energy input—the best the blogosphere could come up with was a powerful microwave transmitter beaming in power from an adjoining room, boiling water at gonad height while people walked around.
- Earth wire retasking—easily done and explains all the observations.
If this wasn’t enough, Rossi’s reaction clinches the matter.
Reactions to the Exposé
How did the world react? I wrote to NASA about their prior endorsement and received no reply. Regarding all seventeen scientists who supported E-Cat, I have not heard of any acknowledgement or retraction.
I contacted scientists Essén and Kullander on January 20, 2012, attaching my detailed hypothesis and asking them to check it. In their meticulous observations, did they see anything that would disprove my theory? The only response was “I guess not.” Would they retract or modify their glowing report? They never did. In fact, on December 17, 2012, eleven months later, on Swedish public television, Kullander reinforced his initial conclusion with “Something happened here which cannot be explained by the power injected, some internal process.”
It was a sad day for Swedish science, a skeptics society, and the Nobel committee.
Steven Krivit, a science journalist, runs the New Energy Times website (Krivit 2016), and is a long-time watcher of new energy proponents, including Rossi. It contains a very detailed timeline of the Rossi saga.
Although suspicious of Rossi and publishing many speculations, he was never able to find any trick in the demonstrations. I informed him of my findings and expected him to run an article, but he refused. Sour grapes, perhaps?
Mats Lewan (of the transmuting chickens) remained Rossi’s loyal supporter. He wrote his book, which is essentially an authorized biography listing the recollections of Rossi. Lewan contacted me, trying to disprove my explanation. I carefully supplied all backup sources.
Nevertheless, his self-published book fails to mention me, my exposé, or the earth wire explanation. At least the book includes some feeble expressions of doubt. I understand Lewan has recently parted company with Ny Teknik, which had been under fire from readers.
The top-class Swedish Reference Group persisted in trying to arrange a test to demonstrate the validity of the invention (Lewan 2014, 132, 226). The test was financed by the Swedish Alba Langenskiöld Foundation and performed at the accredited Svedberg Laboratory in Uppsala, just north of Stockholm.
Rossi and an assistant arrived with the E-Cat in a van. But several delays ensued, according to Lewan’s account. First, Rossi insisted on dismantling the E-Cat to show them the interior, but reassembly required sealant that took days to cure. Then Rossi refused to accept the semiconductor-type temperature sensors supplied by the laboratory and wasted another day obtaining thermocouples from a distant source.
The schedule required that the test take place on April 25, 2012. The observers reported zero energy production. Rossi blamed this on the uncured sealant coming unstuck. Thus, the test was declared null.
The affair was reported back to the Reference Group, but they were not deterred. They continued to attend and report on tests of later Rossi devices such as HotCat in 2013, thus providing solid credibility for an impossible invention. They never contacted me or acknowledged that all the 2011 tests (their raison d’être) had been shown to contain a major flaw.
The story of Rossi’s Megawatt Reactor is equally dramatic. Previous cold fusion claims reported very low powers such as twenty-six milliwatts. Rossi’s first E-Cat was claimed to produce around 30 kW. Not satisfied with that, his next model produced a claimed one megawatt—about 30 million times more. Now that’s ambitious. One was built comprising 102 small E-Cats in a blue shipping container.
Observers reported that there was always a 0.5 MW generator set running nearby and connected to it. Rossi claimed this was to start and control the reaction, but he refused to allow measurements. This one cold fusion plant was apparently sold and resold several times as investment deals went sour.
The Greek company Defkalion at first licensed Rossi’s technology following the demonstration in October 2010. They set up test labs and production facilities in Greece (as evidenced in glossy brochures). They claimed to be ready to produce reactors for the home, called Hyperion. However, they soon fell out with Rossi, and he accused them of stealing his technology. (The earth wire technology? I asked.)
A later Rossi version is designated E-Cat HT or HotCat for short. It glows visibly hot when powered from a control box. From November 2012 to March 2013, it was demonstrated for scientists largely from the Swedish Reference Group. They reported very detailed measurements (Levi 2013), but it seems noncritically, despite the earlier E-Cat exposure.
There is a link between Rossi’s E-Cat and the 1989 Fleischmann and Pons cold fusion claims (SI, January/February 2019). When Fleischmann died in 2012, unshakable supporters rallied to fund a Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project. They attempted to replicate Rossi’s E-Cat results. However, the attempt ended explosively in 2015 after the reactor heated to over 1000°C.
There is a growing community of dissatisfied investors. The latest saga is Industrial Heat, or IH (Lewan 2014). Representing international investors, this company formed an agreement with Rossi in 2012. IH paid a $1.5 million deposit to Rossi for a 1 MW plant, including a test with their engineer present. Results were not published, but IH accepted the test and then paid Rossi $10 million for the next stage. Rossi delivered the plant to IH’s site in North Carolina, for a one-year test. If the test was successful, $89 million was to be paid. IH would get a license to sell in many countries, plus full disclosure of the technology so they could manufacture it.
However, Rossi insisted the plant instead be moved to Florida, on the pretext that there was a customer who would pay $1,000 per day for the 1 MW of power. Rossi had total control over access to this site, which was tenanted by a Rossi shell company. The energy customer was never named or sighted, and someone pointed out a major flaw in Rossi’s story: a room that size could not absorb the claimed million watts of heat.
In February 2015, the test reportedly commenced. But Rossi prevented access for IH engineers to see their own reactor being tested (Lomax 2018)! IH declined to pay the $89 million, and Rossi sued them for it. It is reported that both sides settled in 2017.
Australian Skeptics have a simple test for evaluating extraordinary claims: the three-legged stool test. When faced with claims of new science, ask three questions:
- Is there real evidence it works?
- Is there a theory that at least makes it possible?
- Does the track record of the claimant support his/her credibility?
If all legs are sound, the claim stands up. If any leg is broken, it does not stand up now but might be worth watching. If two or three legs are faulty, it is not worth pursuing at all. Rossi’s E-Cat cold fusion claim is clearly left without a leg to stand on—there is no real doubt about it being a fake.
Who are the victims of Rossi’s claims? First, the investors of course. But why do they keep coming when a simple due diligence search would reveal the exposure?
Second, investment and research efforts have been diverted away from real green energy techniques, thus hampering the efforts to provide affordable energy. Such false leads also hinder measures to reduce climate-changing carbon emissions, to the detriment of the natural world and mankind’s future.
The endorsements of scientists, some NASA officials, a leading skeptic, and even a Nobel laureate have confused those striving to understand new technologies. Respect for science has been eroded.
We scientific skeptics must do more to separate real advances from the scams.
- Ball, David W. 2019. Cold fusion: Thirty years later. Skeptical Inquirer 43(1) (January/February): 36–41.
- Bryce, Ian. 2012. Going cold on fusion. The Skeptic (Australian Skeptics) 39(1) (March). Available online at https://www.skeptics.com.au/resources/Rossi/.
- ———. 2019a. List of E-Cat tests to 2013. Available online at https://www.skeptics.com.au/resources/Rossi/.
- ———. 2019b. List of scientists supporting E-Cat. Available online at https://www.skeptics.com.au/resources/Rossi/.
- ———. 2019c. Earth wire hypothesis for each E-Cat test. Available online at https://www.skeptics.com.au/resources/Rossi/.
- Bushnell, Dennis. 2011. NASA and LENR. LENR Workshop NASA Langley Research Center. Slide presentation (September 22), obtained from NASA through FOI by Krivit.
- Frazier, Kendrick. 2015. The planetary adventures of Australia’s Dick Smith. Skeptical Inquirer 39(2) (March/April): 7.
- Hassani, Sadri. 2019. Why E-Cat is a hoax. Skeptical Inquirer 43(1) (January/February): 36–41.
- Krivit, Steven. 2016. Andrea Rossi—Timeline of Events 2011–2016. Available online at http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/RossiECat/RossiTimeline.shtml.
- Kullander, Sven, and Hanno Essén. 2011. Experimental test of a mini-Rossi device at the Leonardocorp, Bologna 29 March 2011. Sourced from Researchgate, publication 265060454.
- Lewan, Mats. 2014. An Impossible Invention: The True Story of the Energy Source That Could Change the World. Self-published.
- Levi, Guiseppe, et al. 2013. Indication of anomalous heat production in a reactor device containing hydrogen loaded nickel powder. Unpublished but freely available online at https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1305/1305.3913.pdf.
- Lomax, Abd ul-Rahman. 2018. Cold Fusion Now podcast, Ruby Carat. Available online at https://coldfusionnow.org/author/rubycarat/.
- Nelson, Michael. 2011. Overview of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) as implemented by Andrea Rossi and Francesca Piantelli. LENR Workshop NASA Langley Research Center. Slide presentation (September 22), obtained from NASA through FOI by Krivit.
- Rossi, Andrea. 2019. Wikipedia. Available online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Andrea_Rossi_(entrepreneur).
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 2004. Application of Thermoelectric Devices to Fuel Cell Power Generation. Available online at http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/RossiECat/docs/2004Army-ApplicationOfThermoelectricDevices.pdf.
- Zawodny, Joseph. 2011. Low Energy Nuclear Reactions: Is there better way to do nuclear power? LENR Workshop. NASA Langley Research Center. Slide presentation (September 22), obtained from NASA through FOI by Krivit.
Rossi’s Latest Reactor ‘Revealed’ in January Video
Amid much fanfare, Andrea Rossi released a new E-Cat product to the world in a live video stream on January 31, 2019.
The video opened with a puppet show starring Rossi and Galileo in mutual admiration. Three hours later (for those still awake), it closed with a song “I Believe in E-Cat.”
The E-Cat SK was dramatically unveiled—a blue box with fittings and plumbing at the top. Rossi said he was naming it in memory of the deceased Swedish scientist Sven Kullander who gave unswerving support (see main article)—not an honor I would seek. It is reported “AVAILABLE NOW” for lease to factories as a source of heat. It will be controlled from E-Cat Central via the internet.
Much of the video consists of seven windows, each purporting to show some measurements of an operating E-Cat. Rossi starts the narration, but an American voice takes over.
There is no overall configuration shown—a common failing of Rossi’s documentation. The inputs, outputs, and measurement points are not defined, making the results largely meaningless.
A whiteboard of calculations is presented, suggesting that the core consists of a very hot plasma in a package of volume 1.0 ml (about a fifth of a teaspoon).
With the inside of the E-Cat revealed, the core is seen glowing brightly. A spectrometer shows the peak spectrum to be 0.36 microns wavelength (ultraviolet), from which the Wien Law gives the temperature as 8,111°Celsius (about 14,000°F). This is much hotter than the surface of the sun! Hence the radiated power is estimated at an astounding 22,000 watts. This matches the claimed overall performance.
Meanwhile, the input electrical power to the E-Cat is claimed to be 0.8 milliwatts. This gives an enormous coefficient of performance (CoP, or power gain) of 27 million.
Such an intense nuclear reaction must, according to the textbooks, release much deadly radiation. Yet the meters show zero ionizing radiation and no neutrons. Fortunate for the bystanders!
But wait … there is a problem. The temperature calculation relies on the source being a blackbody. An astute observer has commented that the spectrometer shows a spike at a single wavelength. This is characteristic not of a hot blackbody such as a plasma but a laser! Could the “reactor” contain only a simple light source?
Given that in eight years Rossi has failed to deliver a working product, we will not hold our breaths.
Note: The video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw_oa8MvdQk.