Also see :
eCat Steam Quality (with index)
eCat Steam Calculator

1. Introduction

The experiment is reported at New test of the E-cat enhances proof of heat and Report and on Radio24

Here are a couple of summary reports (NOTE: I don't agree with everything they say!)

Horace Heffner (Vortex) (reasonably skeptical, detailed plots, highlights deficiencies in the calorimetry)

New Energy Times (Extremely skeptical, and inaccurate. In particular, Krivit quotes Lewan's initial comments, but not the power estimates from all his data. Since then Krivit appears to have been on a vendetta against Rossi, and publishes nothing positive.)

ONE eCat module was used, discharging into a drain (with only two measurements), coupled to an external heat exchanger supplied by tap water and discharged to an external drain.

It ran self-sustained for about 4 hours with an estimated output of 3.125 kW -- but the calorimetry was very poor, and fakes can not be eliminated.

The main eCat was weighed (on a bathroom scale) and showed no significant change before and after. The hydrogen consumption and the heat exchanger were weighed on a precision scale.

According to Lewan's data the cumulative electrical energy into the system was 10.1 kWh, and the cumulative energy measured out of the heat exchanger was 32.7 kWh, giving a net excess energy of 22.6 kWh.

Bob Higgins did an extensive analysis Zip File of an Excel Spreadsheet -- taking into account heat loss through the insulation, leakage of some water -- and estimates the input as 8.97 kWh and the output as 34.53 kWh.

The heat exchanger and thermocouples were provided by Rossi, data collection was not automated, and gave inconsistent results.

The biggest calorimetric problem is that a counter-flow heat exchanger was used, and the position of the "output" thermocouple was close to the input (steam) flow, through a brass block, so the output temperature measurement may be unreliable.

I attempted a Spice Simulation of Heat Exchanger Thermocouple Placement in order to estimate the error in Delta-T due to the output thermocouple placement. But when I tried to callibrate the model I was unable to get reasonable results. (Rather, I was able to get any result I wanted by adjusting one parameter). Do NOT quote this Spice Model as "PROOF" that the Ecat is fake.

Note : the elimination of chemical fakes needs to take into consideration the starting time, not just the time that it becomes self-sustaining. For instance, Rossi says that the total energy output for the whole experiment was 25.8 kWh, and 3.9 kWh was input.

The main fakes which can NOT be eliminated are those which do NOT result in a change of weight of the eCat or heat exchanger. These include Lithium Ion batteries (feasible and concealable) and Boron burned with Compressed or Liquid oxygen (not feasible, concealable).

Note: Radio24 has a video of the "unwrapping" of the eCat and Heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a standard industrial model, so I have excluded the possibility that it contains fake material.

Dec 10, 2011 : The Swep E8T Heat Exchanger is actually made up of a stack of individual plates with alternating primary and secondary sections. It could in fact be taken apart and modified, for example, to contain "fakium", or by blocking or drilling holes between the segments to form a water-diversion fake. However, the volume of the primary and secondary outlet flows were measured occasionally by Mats Lewan, which eliminates water-diverion fakes. It was weighed before and after, eliminating many chemical fakes. The SWEP handbook indicates that heat exchanger should have been installed in a vertical position, with a vacuum breaker. However, these mistakes would probably give a LOWER output power than was recorded. (Or the output WAS lower, but the thermocouple placement made it read higher.)


2. Equipment

 

The "fat eCat is in the background. The heat exchanger is in the right-foreground.


The Ecat with its lid removed, showing the top heat exchanger.

Schematic (Not to scale)

Note 1 : it is not possible to confirm from the available photographs that there are fins on under-side. An observer told me that there are.

Note 2 : the pressure regulator is speculative.

3. Time Log

A spreadsheet of the data :

This is more clearly shown in a graph:

 

The experiment can be divided into several stages:

  • 11:00 to 13:00 (0-120 minutes) -- Start-Up.

    The eCat started cold and empty. The pump and the heating resistor were turned on, and at about 60 minutes the eCat's output temperature, T2, begins to rise. But nothing happens at the output of the heat exchanger. (The spreadsheet shows negative output energy at this stage, but this is most likely a thermostat callibration error, which has been corrected in the plot).
     
  • 13:38 (130 minutes) -- Heat Exchanger starts to operate

    Water and/or steam reaches the Heat Exchanger, so its output temperature starts to rise.
     
  • 13:47 to 15:56 (150-280 minutes)-- Attempts to get the Reactor to self-sustain.

    The Ecat continues to warm up, and appears to be producing excess power.

    There is a burst of power at 13:49 (170 minutes) , but it is not sustained, so Rossi switches the input power on and off several times.

    At 15:30 (280 minutes) there is another burst, which stays high.
     
  • 15:56 to 19:25 (280 - 480 minutes) -- Self-Sustaining.

    Input power is turned off, and remains off for the rest of the experiment. The temperature inside the eCat is fairly stable (110-120 C) but the temperature at the output (and hence the measured power) fluctuates.
     
  • 19:25 to 19:50 (480 to 530 minutes) -- Cool-down.

    The hydrogen in the eCat is purged, and the input flow rate is increased to cool it down. The output power peaks, and then declines rapidly.
     
  • 19:50 Draining (No calorimetry)

    The eCat is drained, but the amount of water and its temperature is not recorded.
     

The input and output energies are:

The eCat contains 30 liters of 100C water, and has a total weight of 98 kg -- which might hold a significant amount of heat (thermal mass). But since no calorimetry was done at this stage it isn't included in the overall energy budget, so the total excess power is under-estimated.

Bob Higgins estimates this energy to be about 2.2 kWh.

The results for the eCat will therefore be presented for several modes:

  • The total experiment
  • The 100-to-100 time, from when the eCat first heated to 100C, ending when it cools down to 100C again.
  • The stable 110-to-110 time, excluding the initial warm-up and the cool-down times.

4. Comments on Behaviour

The experiment and instrumentation was entirely set up by Rossi. The popular understanding was that Prof Roland Pedderson (sp?) would take charge of the recording.

However, once the event got under way, Mats Lewan realized that nothing was being recorded, and noted a number of measurements using good old-fashioned pencil and paper. He then combined these with Rossi's automated data for the eCat internal remperatures and issued the report for the experiment.

A tremendous opportunity was missed : the instrument used to measure the temperatures had FOUR inputs, so it could have been used to measure all the ports of the heat exchanger, and it had a slot for an SD card, so all these measurements could have been automated. Had that been done, and if the thermocouples had been properly callibrated, nearly all doubt about the eCat would have been removed.

The new eCat is now revealed to be a kettle boiler, so its analysis is in principal very simple -- there is no quibling about flow regimes in tube boilers.

However, there are still three big question-marks.

4.1. eCat Temperature

Rossi insists that the eCat is at atmospheric pressure. This is supported by the fact that the probe used to measure temperature is just inserted into a hole. Without special seals, steam would escape.

However, the temperature goes over 120 C, which implies that the eCat is pressurized to about 2 bar.

One possible explanation is that it is an artifact, because the probe is quite long, and could be close to the core or heat sinks.

4.2. The varying output power

The temperature of the secondary heat exchanger output varies widely, while the internal temperature varies slowly.

This could be because the output flow is "sluggy" -- with alternating water and steam.

The output temperature and/or heat-flow would then change with each regime -- but we do not know how fast.

It is quite possible that the output temperature varied quite rapidly (eg as a trapezoidal waveform), and because it was sampled only a few dozen times, the apparent power curve could be totally misleading.

4.3. The output thermocouples

The Secondary Output thermocouple was attached to the brass head of the heat exchanger manifold, and could possibly have been directly affected by the temperature of the incoming steam/water flow.

It should have been placed in the outlet tube, well away from the Primary Input.

5. Possible Explanations

Based on the recorded data the eCat is definitely producing excess energy.

6. Discharge at the End

This was not documented in this experiment, but is presumably similar to the September experiment.

7. Deficiencies and Missing measurements

As "usual" not everything was measured, and everything was not measured all the time.

a) The eCat temperature T2 was measured inside the eCat

b) The primary flow at the drain (primary outlet) was measured only twice -- once when it was self-sustaining -- 0.91 g/sec , and once when it was being cooled down 1.9 g/sec. These values are inconsistent with the power calculated from the secondary. Rossi's comments about the flow conflict with the measurements and with the specification for the pump. (Although the September experiment measured the flow at a rate higher than its specification).

c) The temperatures at the primary ports of the heat exchanger were not recorded, even though the instrument could support four thermocouples.

d) The temperatures at the secondary heat exchanger ports was recorded intermittently, by hand.

e) The temperatures at the heat exchanger were not recorded automatically, even though the instrument had the capability.

f) The outout thermocouples were not callibrated. Lewans tried to callibrate them with ice, but he used blocks of ice rather than a slurry, and could not get consistent readings.

g) The placement of the secondary outlet thermocouple is too close to the primary inlet.

Note: I have commented elsewhere that the "Delta-T" is too small, and that the flow should have been reduced. However, Rothwell notes on vortex that a small Delta-T (in the 5 to 10 C range) may be preferred.

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