Important Update from Mats Lewan of Ny Teknik at end of this post.
Hydrofusion, the company behind Andrea Rossi’s official web site at ecat.com (and his N European rep) has issued a press release indicating that it cannot support Rossi’s claims for the HotCat. As I always caution against jumping to positive conclusions on flimsy evidence, it is also too early to tell how significant this announcement is. The wording is curious. Some commentators think the press release is framed to distance the company from the claims while one individual claims that a minor technical glitch (ac input) lies at the root of the failure. Started by a small group of Swedish scientists, Hydrofusion is uniquely placed to make a call one way or the other. They fully understand the controversy behind these extraordinary claims and must know that such a statement will be pounced upon as tealeaves to be read.
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Hydro Fusion witnessed a new independent test of the high temperature ECAT prototype reactor on September 6th in Bologna. Although no full report has yet been received, early indications are that the results of the July 16th/August 7th reports could not be reproduced.
Hydro Fusion cannot at this stage support any claims made, written or other, about the amount of excess heat generated by the new high temperature ECAT prototype.
The timing is curious. Hot on the heels of his Zurich appearance, AR was keen to yell the following:
- Andrea Rossi
It is necessary that I repeat the following statement:
THE HOT CAT ( REACTOR AT HIGH TEMPERATURE) HAS NOT BEEN YET VALIDATED, BECAUSE THE TESTS AND THE MEASUREMENTS HAVE STILL TO BE COMPLETED, AND TO COMPLETE THEM WILL BE NECESSARY AT LEAST 2-3 MORE MONTHS. I SAID THIS IN MY REPORT IN ZURICH AND I REPEAT THIS HERE.
THE PROFESSORS AND ENGINEERS WHO ARE MAKING THESE TESTS ARE SPECIALISTS AND THEIR WORK IS COMPLEX. FOR EXAMPLE, THE MEASUREMENT OF THE ENERGY CONSUMED HAS TO BE MADE IN A WAY THAT IS BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT, SO NOW WE ARE REPEATING THE MEASUREMENTS USING A VARIAC TO AVOID THAT ENERGY USED BY THE RESISTANCES IS NOT MEASURED BY THE VOLTMETER AND THE AMPEROMETER ( THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE MANY ISSUES THAT ARE UNDER PROBE). THEREFORE IT IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG TO USE THE EXPRESSION ” THE ENGINEERS WHO PERFORMED THE PUBLISHED VALIDATION”, WHILE IS CORRECT THE EXPRESSION ” THE PROFESSORS AND THE ENGINEERS WHO ARE PERFORMING THE VALIDATION IN COURSE”.
THE FINAL RESULTS WILL BE PUBLISHED IN A SCIENTIFIC MAGAZINE ONLY AFTER THE VALIDATION WILL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED.
I AM RECEIVING FROM MANY PERSONS THIS QUESTION: ” IS IT POSSIBLE TO INVEST IN THE HOT CAT”? MY ANSWER IS: NO, IT IS NOT, BECAUSE THE REACTOR FOR HIGH TEMPERATURES IS NOT READY, IS NOT AS PRODUCT, IS A PROTOTYPE SUBJECT TO RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND I WANT NOT TO PUT ANYBODY AT RISK BEFORE THE HOT CAT IS NOT YET A PRODUCT. OF COURSE I BELIEVE IN IT, I AM INVESTING MY MONEY IN IT, BUT I WANT NOT TO PLAY FOOT BALL WITH THE BONES OF THE OTHERS.
To be fair, he did say at the conference that these were preliminary results that required confirmation (even as he said he believed them). If we step back, however, I could not help but wonder why the inventor would arrive at the first meeting of licensees who are reported to have paid real money to ride this train and talk about anything but tangible business stuff. When he announced his million-unit factory, Autumn 2012 was touted as a target for results. What those results were to be is a little vague but most observers expected to see some sort of proof that such a project really does exist. Of course, although there has been no official announcement that his ‘plans’ have changed, it is not too big a stretch to guess that a lack of certification might put a damper on things.
On that subject, I read many people talking about the claimed certification for the 1MW plant. When referring to the CE label, it is important to note than in Europe, this can be done in-house. As long as you have a device that you can categorize on the list of official product descriptors (tv, fridge, boiler etc) you can stick the CE label on your product self-confirming that it conforms to requirements. Voila! It is certified. Rossi confirmed this during his talk on Sunday. He added that the company also requested external certification but it was not clear exactly what that entailed. He did point out that since the eCat does not use radioactive materials, does not produce any and the device does not radiate outside its enclosure, it falls under normal rules for conventional non-nuclear machines (such as microwaves and phones).
It was a curious talk and curiouser still that the audience did not tackle him on details such as roll-out plans. I can only guess that back-channel communications are being used for such commercial-in-confidence talk but nothing would surprise me in this ever-surprising saga.
Hydrofusion’s speedy press release may or may not be a warning shot of things to come. Leaks are beginning to appear as more and more actors come into play and one man finds it impossible to cover all bases. As is my refrain, it is always possible that we are reading the signals incorrectly – but the battleship does appear to be listing. I genuinely hope that our worries are unfounded and reserve the final leap for the upcoming promise of UniBo’s validation. If he delivers, nothing else will matter and, if not, I predict an eCat exodus.
[As an aside, it appears that Domenico Fioravanti, the engineer Rossi claims acted as the secret customer's rep at the 1MW acceptance test last October (and was outed as the source of the original HotCat leak) is also one of the engineers behind the latest HotCat tests. This was spotted by a vigilant e-catworld reader: Screenshot of filepath and the original HotCat file. Note the name 'Cures' at bottom left on pages 9 and 12.]
With thanks to Mats Lewan at Ny Teknik, he has just informed me that the Swedes have halted their eCat investment after the failed tests. The article is in Swedish but Google translates it well:
[Note that the currency is Swedish Kronor]
‘Swedish investment in E-cat halted after test’
From that article:
Investor Group had instructed the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, to monitor the measurement, and the researchers who attended measuring an input electrical power that was two to three times higher than Rossi himself measured.
Despite this, Rossi presented a measurement report September 9 based on earlier tests where a lower input power and an energy surplus reported.
This is about as bad as it could get and may short circuit all other considerations if it is verified. The company stresses that the tests were for the HotCat but it is interesting to note that they are halting their investment [until further notice?]
[With thanks to Mats]