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Second HotCat Test Report – Updated

October 8, 2014

Update 22 Oct 2014:

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the debate. Rossi continues to deliver even if it is not what he promised. Despite many sceptics deriding the man as a third rate showman, I tip my hat to his ability to keep this show going.  It is too easy to label anyone in his camp an idiot. That would apply to too many otherwise intelligent scientists. There are many lessons here but most of them revolve around human nature. We can pore over the minutia  of the report but the lack of genuine third-party scrutiny makes me suspect foul-play. Rather than provide clarity, he has once again failed to step up to the mark.

After all this time and solely as a nod to all those otherwise intelligent beings, I cannot proclaim this a fraud with certainty. However, I do lament the waste of all that talent. A child could prove that this is real and an independent lab under NDA could take a prep’d and sealed tube and attest to its reality without compromising the IP. The latest test appears to be designed to convince someone but I doubt the target is the scientific community. Without the ability to replicate, too much has to be taken on trust – something Rossi forfeited many lies ago.

The warning on this site still stands.

End Update




The long-awaited 2nd HotCat report is now available, although there appears to be some delay or problem holding it from arXiv.
It is lengthy and as is my usual practice, the aim is to report its appearance ASAP to let others discuss it. It is a pity that it appears to have been conducted by the same researchers – for no other reason that if there was any doubt about the veracity of the first report, that would have been mitigated by the performance of new actors.

According to the abstract, the test was performed over a period of 32 days and the fuel examined before and after for isotopic changes. Recording significant energy release beyond the capability of chemical reactions for the volume and significant isotopic changes, the authors declare the test a success. It will take some time to study and do it justice but I look forward to the more capable among us giving their initial impressions. While I sympathize with the disappointment regarding a lack of ‘fresh blood’ to the fight, please refrain from making unjustified attacks on those involved. I have no doubt that the material itself will provide enough meat for criticism. Make it constructive.

[[With thanks to Frank in the comments section]]

Posted by on October 8, 2014. Filed under Close Up,Hands-On,Rossi,Tests & Demos. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

8,968 Responses to Second HotCat Test Report – Updated

  1. Jason W

    July 30, 2015 at 4:11 am

    What type of black box test would conclusively prove the ecat is generating excess heat?

    • John Milstone

      July 30, 2015 at 11:09 am

      What type of black box test would conclusively prove the ecat is generating excess heat?

      Asked and answered at least a thousand times here.

      The E-Cat ought to be able to run in self-sustaining mode with ease. Just allow credible testers (i.e. NOT Levi) to set up the electrical connections, to make sure there aren’t any gimmicks, and then run it in “self-sustaining” mode for long enough to eliminate the possibility of any known power source.

      Rossi has steadfastly refused to do this in front of credible witnesses, although it would prove the E-Cat works without revealing any of the “secrets” Rossi claims to have (in reality, the only secret is that he’s cheating).

      Rossi claims that the E-Cat would blow up or some such, unless he pumps external power in (which is a laughable excuse), but it doesn’t matter. Allowing an E-Cat to melt into a puddle without any external power would be a useful demonstration. Instead, every public demonstration has showed the E-Cat to be as friendly as the electrical space heater, which is all it actually is.

      Actual scientists would want completely independent tests, with the E-Cat properly examined, but if Rossi wanted anyone other than the fools at ECW and Feng Shui guru investors to believe him, this is what it would take.

      • Jason W

        July 30, 2015 at 10:10 pm

        Thanks, what about brilliouns set up? How would you conclusively test this? They’re only claiming 100s of watts so self sustaining is not an option.

        • John Milstone

          July 30, 2015 at 10:27 pm

          How in the world is “hundreds of Watts” not enough to run it in self-sustaining mode?!?

          “Hundreds of Watts” is also plenty (unless they’re supplying gigawatts of power to accomplish it) to measure conclusively.

          I haven’t been following them, but just seeing that McKubre is involved is enough to convince me that it’s bogus. McKubre has endorsed such obvious frauds as the Papp Engine. He is either a shill-for-hire, or a nutjob, or both.

          I don’t suppose you have a link to a independent organization that has verified any such claims? If it’s just a press release from Brillouin, then it’s worthless.

        • popeye

          July 31, 2015 at 9:23 am

          They’re only claiming 100s of watts so self sustaining is not an option.

          Batteries producing only a few watts are self sustaining. Oil lamps are self-sustaining. A match is self-sustaining.

          You don’t need kilowatts to be self-sustaining.

          Don’t you find it implausible that they can produce 4 times more output energy than input energy, and yet they can’t power the device itself? What use is an energy source that needs an energy source?

          It’s one thing to claim a new scientific result with more power out than in (as P&F did), but Brillouin is claiming prototypes of a commercial product, and selling licensing agreements, meaning they think their accomplishments are market ready. And yet you have to ask how to prove it even works.

          It’s true that if their device requires electrical input (high quality energy), and produces thermal output (low quality energy), that a COP greater than unity (or even greater than 2) does not necessarily mean it can power itself. But in that case, it is also no better than a heat pump, and no one ever claimed heat pumps represent a revolution. Another way to put this is that if the electricity that powers the device is produced by burning fuel, the output does not actually exceed the thermal energy from the fuel itself. You could have simply burned the fuel to produce the same heat, and so the device is not really over-unity.

          The moment the COP of a device exceeds that of a heat pump, it can (ideally) produce enough electricity to power itself, and the moment that can be done, it will be done, because no one can dispute a self-sustained device, and everyone wants credit for the first verifiable device to do so (using nuclear reactions on a small scale).

          That’s why you can be sure that anyone claiming to sell a heater and claiming a COP is selling either a heat pump or snake oil.

          In any case, if Brillouin knows how to make a few hundred watts, they know how to make a few kW, or they are blowing smoke.

    • popeye

      July 30, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      What type of black box test would conclusively prove the ecat is generating excess heat?

      It’s the kind of question which, if you have to ask, means it hasn’t been done. And that, set against claims of market readiness, means it almost certainly never will be.

      And the same applies to cold fusion in general.

      It’s one thing for there to be disputes about who was the first to fly, because the definition of powered flight may not necessarily be agreed upon, and one person’s flight may be another’s bounce on a runway. But could the question of what constitutes proof of powered flight be asked at the same time people claim to be able to cross the ocean by airplane? Inconceivable!

      Regardless of one’s definition of powered flight, when the Wrights flew in Paris in 1908, there was not a witness present left with any doubt that the Wrights could fly. Others who had been working on the problem admitted they were but children next to the Wrights.

      Cold fusion would be no less obvious or easy to prove if the claims people make had any validity. Given that it is contrary to robust scientific generalizations already accumulated and verified (unlike flight ever was), persistent substantial but unprovable claims in the face of protracted effort can only be attributed to pathological science.

      Those who continue to believe in it with Branch Davidian intensity are forced to continually move the goal posts closer, and make excuses for why the evidence gets ever weaker.


      To answer the question, I agree with Milstone: If the many claims of cold fusion had validity, a completely isolated (self-sustained) device that could produce obvious heat 10 or 100 times its weight in chemical fuel would be easy to engineer and impossible to deny.

      But even short of that, it really isn’t that hard to measure input and output power, so demonstrating an excess beyond chemical could be made indisputable. The reason the claims are always associated with convoluted, indirect, secret or obscure methods of supplying power or of measuring it should therefore be obvious.

      • Al Potenza

        July 30, 2015 at 8:41 pm

        Storms actually used Seebeck effect calorimeters of commercial and home design. Those should have yielded accurate and reproducible results but I have never seen any such results from him.

        The direct answer as to method is calorimetry, not single point temperature measurement. And proper blanking and calibration which is not always as easy as it seems.

        And of course, it is essential to rule out sleight of hand trickery such as the infamous “cheese power” video.

        Rossi, Defkalion, Brillouin and most others have never met these criteria and obtained robust and positive results (defined loosely as 100 watts or more, 6 or more as the output/input power ratio, and sustained for days or weeks depending on the size of the apparatus).

        It’s not black magic to prove claims to robust cold fusion. It’s straight forward technology. When the method used is full of holes, you can guess why that is.

        • Jason W

          July 30, 2015 at 10:13 pm

          Can you please detail a simple yet conclusive test? I’m in discussion with Brillioun at the moment and want to make sure they are testing correctly.

          • John Milstone

            July 30, 2015 at 10:30 pm

            Let me get this straight…

            Brillouin is waiting for you to validate their testing protocol, and you’re asking random web blog posters for the expertise to do so?

            BTW, you’re misspelling “Brillouin”

            (P.S. I believe that there are a couple of people who post here who would be qualified to conduct a proper test. But not as anonymous web posters.)

          • Jason W

            July 30, 2015 at 11:00 pm

            No I’m not doing any tests. I want to ask them if they’ve done any conclusive tests. Not having much knowledge in this area I need assistance with testing protocols.

            I want to sign an NDA with Brillioun and investigate what they have further.

          • JNewman

            July 31, 2015 at 1:01 am

            What kind of discussions are you in? Are you planning to invest in them? Given that you claim to have little knowledge about any of this, you sound like just the kind of investor they are looking for. Caveat emptor.

          • Al Potenza

            July 31, 2015 at 2:36 am

            Before you can specify a test, you need to know what they are claiming to be able to do in some detail.

            For example, are they heating air, water, some thermal fluid or gas? Making electricity? Do they require power/energy input and if so what sort? How large is the device? How much power is it claimed to output? At what output to input ratio? How hot does it run?

            I am sure someone can think of even more questions.

            I would also strongly caution against investing without a huge amount of due diligence/testing which, if they can do, they probably don’t need you! Sorry.

          • Jason W

            July 31, 2015 at 4:32 am

            No, not investing but investigating. I’m a journalist. I want to cover the work they’ve done but want to ask some hard questions.

            I have a background in science but I’m not overly technical hence I’d like a bullet proof test which I can put to them and see what they say.

          • Al Potenza

            July 31, 2015 at 6:10 am

            I don’t think one can specify such a test before knowing what I asked for.

            You could ask them if they can run it without outside power for months and produce at least a dozen watts continuously but I already know the answer to that. Either it’s “hell no” or they’re scamming.

            Other than that, you need someone smarter than me to specify the test.

            BTW, most of us here are very skeptical of Brillouin since their first diagrams included typos for “hyrogen” and pluse (pulse) and their current digrams show one flow in a pump going the wrong way! At the very least, they’re extremely sloppy.

            Far as I know, there is no independent validation or replication (McKubre doesn’t count) and no real demo.

          • John Milstone

            July 31, 2015 at 7:45 am

            Jason, we’ve spent years providing all sorts of links to known and suspected scammers over the years. Here are the names of some of them:

            John Worrell Keely, Carl Tilley, Madison Priest, Joseph Newman, Steorn (Seán McCarthy), Blacklight Power (Randell L. Mills), Sniffix/ADE-651 and many others.

            Every one of them made millions of dollars over years or decades without ever producing a working device.

            You would be well advised to familiarize yourself with all of the above before investigating Brillouin.

            The short version is: if any of the LENR claimants actually had what they claimed, they would be shoo-ins for a Nobel Prize and billions in R&D money. If they aren’t eager to turn their gadgets over to credible organizations (not hand-picked individuals from credible organizations) for testing, then they don’t really have what they claim. Their claims are always of the nature: “Dr. Huff-n-puff, of has verified our claims”. Getting the endorsement of a particular individual who happens to work at a respected organization is not the same as getting the endorsement of the organization.

            Also, carefully review their previous claims, and compare them to their current claims. If the newer claims are less impressive, more tentative, then they are scammers.

            One final red-flag: If they are being hyped on any of Sterling Allan’s web sites, you are safe in concluding that they are frauds. HERE is Allan’s glowing write-up of Brillouin.

          • popeye

            July 31, 2015 at 9:26 am

            Can you please detail a simple yet conclusive test?

            If they must run with input power, then measure the input at the earliest possible stage at the mains line. This is not rocket science. If you can’t be sure that line has not been rigged, put an oscilloscope on it, but the best is for the skeptic to choose where the power is sourced from, and to supply all the measuring equipment.

            The output could be measured with flow calorimetry, preferably with no phase changes. Flow rates are easy to measure, and the temperatures of the input and output water should be measured with probes in the water. The best is to collect all the output water, in a huge tub if necessary, to verify the flow rate. The water can even be circulated through the device so you can see how much it heats up (see the yellow wood-fired hot tub in the article on hot tubs in wikipedia, e.g.).

            Don’t let him get away with obscure indirect measures based on isolated temperatures or complicated calorimetry. Godes is an expert at generating sophisticated sounding gibberish to impress and flummox the non-expert.

            Tell him to heat up 1000 liters of water from 20 to 40 C with 100 W line input in 2 days. That would take a COP of 4 (if I’ve done the math correctly), which is what they claimed recently. If he tells you the device is not suitable for heating water, he’s bullshitting you.

            Finally, realize that the above heating of 1000 liters of water by 20C can be done with a couple of liters of gasoline, so you have to make sure there’s no chemical source in the device.


            What all of this should make clear is how pitiful Brillouin’s claims are when you consider that they say they have conquered cold fusion, and learned to control it. Cold fusion represents an energy density a million times that of gasoline. You’d think they could at least exceed it by a couple of orders of magnitude, so your sort of question about a conclusive test would be as silly as asking for a conclusive test that man can fly.

          • popeye

            July 31, 2015 at 9:28 am

            I want to cover the work they’ve done but want to ask some hard questions.

            Ask him why if they are producing more output than input, they still need input.

            And when he answers that the output thermal energy is too low quality to make the electricity needed at the input, ask him what advantage his device has over burning the gas that made the electricity he uses to power the device. Or equivalently, what advantage his device has over a heat pump with an equivalent COP.

            Ask him what a Brillouin zone is, and how a particle can be confined to a zone in reciprocal space. And ask him how he can depict a zone in reciprocal space in a diagram of the lattice in ordinary space as he does in his video. Ask him if he knows what reciprocal space means.

            Ask him who the “eminent physicist in the field” is who said “the energy required to overcome the coulomb repulsion is not even possible to achieve in a Pd lattice although it is possible to localize several MeV”, as he writes in his “theory” essay. Because even in the sun, the energies are in the keV, and we know fusion happens there.

            Ask him why he spends most of his theory essay repeating standard text book material (mostly lifted from Wikipedia) as filler. Anyone in a position to understand his alleged theory does not need to have Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle written out, or have the Laplace operator defined. The sections on phonons, the Brillouin zone, the Hamiltonian, the uncertainty principle, and others are just straight excerpts from Wikipedia (the differences are probably due to recent changes in W), and should be common knowledge to anyone expected to apply the ideas in this context. Plus he copies a whole page from nuclear data sheet. Then he tries to connect them in some way to make it all look legit.

            Ask him why he repeatedly uses “nuclei” as a singular noun, indicating that he is not really conversant in the field, and that he has had no nuclear physicist read over the document for suggestions.

            Ask him why his theory of cold fusion has never been published in a refereed journal.

            Ask him if you can take the black box to NIST and have it tested by skeptics.

          • Jason W

            July 31, 2015 at 9:01 pm

            From what I’ve read heat generated from the supposed lenr reactions is not constant or stable which is why self sustaining is not easy.

            So if constant power must be supplied then please advise of an experiment which would be conclusive.

            Popeye, can you please cite the wiki copy and pastes.

          • popeye

            August 1, 2015 at 8:34 am

            my reply on the next post….

  2. Juaqina Park

    July 31, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    This story has lost its allure. In part because real engineers don’t know how to spell. Intellectually speaking. 😉

  3. Thomas Clarke

    August 2, 2015 at 9:50 am

    As you all know my interest in this story was in deciphering the surprisingly revealing data from the Lugano test. otherwise the Rossi story seems more or the same.

    But it has still some interest. You can make sense of Rossi’s comments (and the thinking of his followers) as primary process thinking in which association replaces logic. This is exactly how unconscious human thought works, and therefore many elements of demagoguery.

    The conscious arguments (which come out, when we put things into words) are then whatever is needed as path of least resistance to coincide with the associative truth. In this case the discordance between conscious arguments and logic is more jarring than usual.

    Rossi remains (to me) a mystery. He could be fully aware of his false statements and laughing at his followers. Or he could be caught up in the same web of non-rational belief that they are, although at a heightened level and justifying many lies to himself as expedient in the cause of the great effort. Don’t try to make sense of it, either way.

    • Al Potenza

      August 2, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      Rossi has an extensive and well documented and proven criminal background. He has no real accomplishments in technology whatever. He is not deluding himself. He is simply conning others as he has done in a major way at least twice before — Petroldragon and the thermoelectric scam.

  4. Jami

    August 10, 2015 at 7:12 am


    Sounds like the script for a bad porn film – only that would generate more interest with more people. This whole Rossi/LENR stuff is getting old fast. Time for some real news but the whole thing has somehow lost the last remains of the momentum it never really had anyway.