Just as scientists of the middle ages were obsessed with creating gold out of other metals – a process called alchemy – modern day scientists have striven to produce nuclear power through safe, non-radioactive cold fusion.
Cold fusion has been poo-pooed by some in the scientific community for about 20 years, but individuals and nations are still experimenting with the process. Even the Pentagon in the U.S. has a department that is working with the Italian government to develop a form of cold fusion. The concept it to use nuclear type reactions to produce massive amounts of heat without the danger of radiation normally associated with nuclear fission, or hot fusion. The elements used are different, but the heat produced is the same.
Andrea Rossi has developed a machine that can, apparently, do just that. The Energy Catalyser, or E-Cat, produces a low energy nuclear reaction, or LENR. This machine could revolutionize industry, transportation, and the energy consumption on a global basis.
Mr. Rossi, himself, describes the E-Cat as a heater. It produces its energy by fusing hydrogen and nickel. This fusion creates copper, which has a lower state of energy than nickel does. This means that excess energy is released. The released energy is in the form of a gamma ray, which is directed to a plate of lead. There, it is transformed into heat. This entire process is used to heat fluid that is passed through the machine. A very efficient process, this energy can be harnessed for both large and small scale applications. The core construction of the catalyzer is a secret, as the international patent is still pending. Once the patent is secure, and Mr. Rossi’s invention is protected, he seems to be willing to reveal how he has been able to do what entire governments have failed to do – create an alternative source of heating at room temperature.
According to its inventor, the E-Cat is being used, right now, only to produce heat. Mr. Rossi and his team are working with Siemens to develop a system that can turn the energy produced by the heat into electricity. When they are successful, they estimate that E-Cat generated electricity will cost about $10 USD per megawatt hour. Compare this with the cost of gas, which costs from between $66 to $103 USD per megawatt hour, and coal which costs from between $95 to $135 USD per megawatt hour. Even the highly touted onshore wind energy costs $97 USD per megawatt hour, while solar energy, which has been tried on everything from apartment buildings to cars, costs between $210 to $310 USD per megawatt hour.
Up until now, the cost of gas, even at inflated prices, is still less than any other power source. It’s no wonder wars are being fought as this article is written over rights to oil fields.
So far, all the public knows about the E-Cat is that some type of fusion is taking place. Rossi himself has said that the fusion, however, may not be the main source of energy. Rossi’s ideas about the fusion process have, admittedly, changed a great deal since he started his studies, but at this time, he is unwilling to elaborate on the lessons he has learned. What Rossi will divulge is that he is already producing 1 MW plants, and that the plants can be linked together to form even larger power plants. Not only that, the E-Cat power plant is significantly smaller than nuclear power plants or even fossil fuel plants.
Most LENR technology uses hydrogen and nickel, both in plenteous supply on the planet. However, Rossi doesn’t divulge the elements he uses in his E-Cat. Once again, science must wait on the law of patents.