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eCat’s Global Spread

July 28, 2011

An eCatNews What If? article. What if Andrea Rossi manages a successful eCat launch?

A common dream among optimistic Rossi watchers imagines home-bound eCats leaping from factories to purr warm and cosy under our stairs – someday soon. A number of Defkalion/Rossi comments could easily lead us to that conclusion but I’ve never been convinced we were reading the tealeaves correctly. AR has now tempered expectations in a Skype call to the 23rd July Viareggio conference. This is the Google Translation of a critical phrase from 22passi’s report:

…For home and will issue the certificates needed another couple of years at least…

This makes absolute sense (even through Translate ;-) ). Concentrate on the ‘at least’ bit. We all want this to happen quickly but it is easy to underestimate the challenges the eCat team faces. Is there a parallel in history where an individual has deliberately set out to create a trillion dollar business from scratch? Progress to-date is extraordinary. Through Defkalion and Ampenergo, we have a global call to action with finance to back it up. By ignoring the conventions of academia and concentrating on the practicalities of the product and business, Rossi has set a timeline punctuated by the irrefutable demonstration of a 1MW plant in a few short weeks. If successful, this demo will cut through a thousand arguments in one stroke.

As Dennis Bushnell almost said: The question of Is this real? will be over, the argument that there is no theory will be mute and on that day, all the plans of Andrea Rossi will be set on rails. On its own, LENR will have a real chance to solve all our energy problems and all our climate change issues. And it will happen fast.

With Professor Piantelli on Dr Rossi’s heels and the group-think blocking future alternatives removed, someday, with hindsight, we might say that it all changed in a blink. However, as we live it in real-time, when the public is enervated and then bored of the subject, the pace will seem measured. Problems will arise, controversy, patent wars, political wrangling, market manipulation, dirty tricks and evangelistic lobbying will shape the LENR world in ways difficult to predict. Periods of excitement will be strung with those of frustration. The global nature of any roll-out will mean that something is happening somewhere to keep those who care on the edge of their seats and it will be fun trying to predict what the market will do. Even so, I see unrealistic expectations regarding the global spread of LENR and the swift demise of oil. With that in mind, it’s worth exploring some of the issues that might determine what happens after a successful October demo.

If an Achilles Heel exists in the plan for eCat’s world-domination, it might be in the perception of safety. The shape of an LENR world will be determined by more than market realities. Government support or interference will vary from country to country. We might imagine two nations – Nation A is developing and Nation B is developed and rich.

Tightly controlled, Nation B can afford a measured approach to the eCat and we may see fevered research and a cautious roll-out that focuses on safe, centralised and highly taxed installations. This way, politicians get to make dramatic claims about climate-sensitive progress lowering the carbon footprint of millions at a stroke. In a society where you can sue a hardware store for hitting yourself with a hammer, the idea of installing tens of thousands of nuclear reactors throughout the country (using reactions no-one understands) is a hard sell that will take time. I hope I am wrong but, like a slow motion crash, you can see the politics unfold long before it happens.

What of Nation A?

Let’s assume it is a BRIC member. As the BRIC nations power their way to domination, a large part of their population live in a paradoxically primitive state. Frightened of the sudden and negative addition to the climate mix, developed countries caution Nation A to use clean energy when possible. Right now, that is an expensive route, one likely ignored beyond political lip-service. In the hands of an emerging economy (a potentially wealthy, hard-working and smart group of people who have not surrendered risk and responsibility to a nanny state) any cheap energy source will do. If that source is new, high-tech and clean then it will be hard to resist. While Nation B’s cities have legacy systems that have yet to pay their costs, Nation A is building towns and cities from scratch and will use the most cost-effective solution on the table at the time. The eCat requires no thousand-mile pipeline, no spider-webbed mass of expensive cables. Just as African villagers skipped a hundred years of phone technology with rapid adoption of the mobile, so might a billion people skip a century cloning the arteries that keep the traditionally rich fat and happy.

Andrea Rossi has many challenges ahead. Chief among them is proving that the cost, safety and utility mix is right for widespread uptake. If Greece awards Hyperion the appropriate certificates, the ball will roll fast for business use around the world. The global nature of commerce and the critical contribution of energy to the cost equation will force each nation to compete on an equal footing. If any country gains an energy advantage by using the eCat widely, it will force others to follow.

The imperative to install an eCat in every home in the West is weaker than the argument for its use in business and governments are likely to keep it that way until the device proves itself. In a few years, when lessons have been learned, when safety is proved, when high volume and competition bring down costs, when old systems need replaced and technology takes the Model-T eCat into the 21st century, we might get that cat purring where we want it.

I am going to take a risk. Assuming that the eCat is proven and Defkalion and Ampenergo launch their products successfully, I believe that a few pioneers with particular needs will install Hyperions in remote luxury houses or remote villages within three years. Within four years, the idea will spread but will still be the domestic exception.  Oil and other ‘traditionals’ will fight back and the cost-differential will not look so good. It will be five years before money, planning, experience, technological advances and political expediency see new towns and cities begin to incorporate LENR into the mix. About that time, prices will be low enough and safety proven so that home use (new and replacement systems) will be taken up by the middle classes everywhere except the developed world. My guess is that tightly regulated countries will run around two years behind the pioneers and so, if your neighbour is in a developed country, you are unlikely to see an eCat in his house in less than seven years. There will be earlier experiments but, I would be surprised if, say, we saw significant adoption in UK or US homes earlier than five years and more likely seven. Seven years sounds an incredibly long time but it is lightning fast; faster even than the uptake of computers in the home. Once the trend begins, it will take another ten to fifteen years for the life-cycle of old systems to run its course for replacement unless the government steps in with grants in a genuine effort to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

With luck, Greece or some other country will run ahead and prove the ground. If so, all bets are off and I will gladly accept my prediction wrong. I do hope so.

Posted by on July 28, 2011. Filed under Business,Defkalion,Piantelli,Rossi. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

22 Responses to eCat’s Global Spread

  1. Mike Edmonds Reply

    July 29, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Excellent crystal ball gazing! This is the most exciting thing I think I have ever witnessed. I still have to pinch myself to see if this is not a dream!

    • admin Reply

      July 29, 2011 at 10:57 am

      Thanks,Mike. With luck, we won’t wake up pinched and sore. Exciting indeed.

      Paul

  2. Sebastian Reply

    July 29, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Hey there, that was a really good article! The developments you describe seem very realistic to me.
    Rossi’s announcement that domestic use will take a few years seems reasonable to me, too. This is in total contrast to the Defkalion plans, of course. Sometimes it seems, they don’t really communicate well…
    In other forums (e.g. the die-hard-skeptics forum at randi.org) they are already celebrating that Rossi announced a “delay” concerning the domestic E-Cats. Let me clarify this: Rossi only always said that he would deliver industrial sized plants by the end of the year and always kept domestic E-Cats at a low level. So, there is nothing new in his statements.
    Can’t wait until October. Convince me, Mr. Rossi!

    • admin Reply

      July 29, 2011 at 11:09 am

      Thanks,Sebastian. I sometimes feel that we were seeing Defkalion engineers thinking aloud. If developments behind the scenes are moving fast, we might find enthusiasm running ahead of reality. That said, I would have bet against the Greek authorities moving so fast. If that pace continues then proof of safety and utility will come all the sooner. It really is an amazing achievement for Rossi to have made that coincide with the 1MW demo and launch (if indeed that comes to pass).

      Paul

  3. John Dlouhy Reply

    July 29, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Although I agree with you that the adoption will likely take some time, I can see one scenario that might accelerate its development. If it is real, and a large country decides to fast track its adoption, it would put other nations at a distinct strategic disadvantage. Dr. Rossi has said that the E-Cat can not be weaponized and Defkalion has indicated that it has no military use. This takes a very narrow view of its use as a nuclear bomb while overlooking its possibly more important use as a power supply in modern warfare. Ships, large land vehicles, and aerial drones that can function for many months without refueling would be a huge advantage to logistics, tactics, and even cost which is becoming an ever more important consideration.
    New technology like directed energy weapons, rail guns, and pain cannons are powered by electricity and would benefit substantially from an “endless” power source. Mobile campsites, plasma rockets on military satellites, and the newer concept of “stratellites” would likewise benefit.
    The decentralization of power production also reduces a country’s vulnerability the way the internet, a military development, decentralizes communication for the same purpose. I doubt that these and other potentials will be overlooked by the military of one country while another tools up for the rapid mass production of E-Cats. We may end up seeing a race to the New Nuclear, albeit more welcome than the last nuclear race for arms.

    • admin Reply

      July 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm

      HI John,

      Yes. In line with my caveat, if one country runs ahead, others will follow and accellerate the process. Even so, military procurement is slow and will only indirectly effect domestic take up.

      I like your thinking in reference to military use. Logistics is the top priority of any force and much effort will be put into the myriad potential miltary advantages LENR will offer. The idea of an arms race that has more civilian uses than direct killing functions is pretty cool.

      Paul

  4. Jim Reply

    July 30, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Steorn spread globally as well…..

    • Hal Ade Reply

      July 31, 2011 at 1:43 am

      Steorn? For the last 5 years or so, we’ve seen some evidence of possible over-unity of their device(s), but no incontravertible proof, let alone any productive generator. They seem to spend a lot of effort on splashy hype, instead of running a load, such as a simple dynamometer, for a very long time in a self-sustaining mode.

      • Jim Reply

        July 31, 2011 at 1:16 pm

        Uh yeah, my point exactly. Steorn is a 100% fraud yet they still have a website and are most likely still selling their ‘kits’ for a few hundred Euros a pop…

  5. maryyugo Reply

    July 30, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Talk about counting the chickens before they’re hatched!

    • Ben Reply

      July 30, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      Re-read….this is no mention of chickens or counting in this article at all.

  6. Peter Roe Reply

    July 30, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    In my opinion, I’m afraid that I find even this tempered piece of ‘futureology’ far too optimistic. After (and of course, if) it becomes impossible for politicians and the media to ignore this development any longer, then the system will move quickly to protect itself. The necessity for ‘safety licencing’ of a new technology is obvious, but I suspect that in this case it will be used by Western governments as a front for effectively seizing control by declaring this to be a ‘nuclear’ technology which as such, falls under existing legislation regarding nuclear (fission) power generation.

    This will allow them to pass monopoly control of this ‘potentially dangerous’ technology to their sponsors and friends in the power generation industry. They, (EDF and the likes) can then retro-bit existing power stations and build new ones to generate very cheap electricity, without of course passing along more than a fraction of their colossal savings to the end user. Or of course they can simply suppress it, claiming ‘technical difficulties’ or some other apparently insuperable problems.

    Once this process of seizure is completed, then of course it will be impossible to manufacture and distribute domestic or small scale ‘e-cats’ due to the non-availability of appropriate licenses to anyone outside the ‘system’ – thereby effectively preserving the status quo. The ability of individuals to disconnect from grid power supplies or run vehicles that require no fossil fuels (even indirectly) will simply never be permitted by the existing corrupt power structure in the Western ‘democracies’.

    • admin Reply

      July 30, 2011 at 6:48 pm

      Hi Peter,

      The only thing certain about crystal-gazing is that it will be wrong. I fear that your scenarion could easily turn out to be true, at least for the immediate future. The big hope is that other countries will run ahead – particularly so in industry. This will give them an advantage and that will be something hard to swallow in a global market. If so, eventually, those countries using safety as an excuse will look stupid if half the world has no problems and is (excuse the pun) steaming ahead.

      Peter

    • modernsteam Reply

      July 31, 2011 at 1:46 am

      Agree absolutely!

  7. Joao Dualiby Reply

    July 30, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Certainly considerations very lucid, in my country Brazil, although there are very distant communities with no infrastructure that would benefit immediately with E-Cat, but my government has a bad habit of over-value billionaire enterprises in place to solve problems with more localized solutions that can compete with the state centralization of resources and therefore taxes.
    Today my government has invested in massively on exploration of a vast bowl of oil that was found about 100km from the coast and are mostly located about 3000m deep in the ocean plus over 1500m of drilling in a layer of salt, imagine the price of extraction of this oil! Imagine if the government would also be interested in deploying a technology that competes with the sea of ​​money that represents this project!

  8. Pingback: eCat’s Global Spread | eCatNow! – Energy Catalyzer News

  9. Lande Reply

    July 31, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I also noted that Rossi stated investment costs for domestic units would be in the order of 2000 euros/KW, which is far above competitive levels compared to even the highest quality air to air heat pumps. They need to reduce the cost down to at least max. 500 euros/KW to compete with ordinary heat pumps.

    • John McManus Reply

      July 31, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      The cost to domestic users must come down with time, or maybe the units can be leased out with the fuel change/charge fee incorporated.
      Another angle. If some of the otherCos involved get going competition & quantity will also bring the price.
      Also worth remembering is that soner or later the know how to make theese unit will come readily available.
      Cheers John M

  10. Brad Arnold Reply

    July 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I am afraid the author underestimates the power of competition. How can any company survive when it’s competitor is using energy that is 90% less expensive?

    By the way, here is the full formula:

    Ni+H+KaCO3 (heated over 70C at 22 bars)=Cu+lots of heat

    The biggest barrier to LENR nickel technology is the ossified paradigm that people have been living their whole lives. Remember, a picture tell a thousand words, and when you get your @ss kicked by somebody, it is a VERY STRONG motivator to adopt their superior methods.

    • DanD Reply

      August 2, 2011 at 4:14 am

      Mr. Arnold – you’ve been spouting this ‘formula’ all over the net, but it’s more likely to result in chocolate chip cookies than a fusion reactor. ‘Ka’ doesn’t exist. Since you’ve propagated this same crap on many websites we can safely rule out a typo.

      Remember, the 2nd law of thermodynamics is worth 1000 pictures. Until someone demonstrates excess heat unambiguously, it’s not LENR.

  11. Luck Skywalker Reply

    August 1, 2011 at 11:09 am

    What chemical element does “Ka” represent?
    “K” is potassium
    “Ca” is calcium
    May the force be with you.

  12. Bruce W Reply

    August 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I appreciate your opinion of the future and look forward to a world that doesn’t depend on middle eastern oil. I believe that you left out one consequence of an irrefutable demonstration of e-cat. The price of crude oil is currently kept high because of the speculation that we will run out of it in the near future. Once the investors in oil realize that other technologies will substantially reduce the demand for oil, the price of oil will plument as speculators dump their holdings. Because of the high volatility of the commodities market, I believe this would happen in days, not months or years. The sudden drop in oil prices would be a great boost to the world’s economy. It would also slow the adoption of an e-cat based energy system as there would be less financial incentive to switch to the new technology. This, in turn, would allow e-cat to mature at a more reasonable and safe pace.

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