I would like to resume and integrate the interesting paper “Dry, preloaded NANOR®-type CF/LANR components” by Mitchell R. Swartz (JET Energy, Inc., USA), Peter L. Hagelstein (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA) and others, recently published by Current Science.
Indeed, the ZrO2–PdNiD NANOR®-type reactor is a device capable of significant energy gain over long periods of time with reasonable reproducibility and controllability. So, it could be used, in the future, as an effective, clean, highly efficient, energy production system.
The NANOR® components are smaller than 2 cm in length, and with 30–200 mg of active LANR material. Their ‘core’ contains active ZrO2–PdD nanostructured material [Zr (66%), Ni (0–30%), and Pd (5–25%) by weight], loaded with additional deuterium (D) to achieve loadings (ratio of D to Pd) of more than 130%.
Indeed, nanostructured materials have incredibly large surface area to volume ratios. Second, many also have new unexpected quantum mechanical properties: they enable quantum confinements, surface plasmon resonances, and superparamagnetism.
A two terminal NANOR™ device containing active ZrO2-PdNiD nanostructured material.
The ZrO2–(PdNi)D is prepared in a complicated process that begins by oxidizing a mixture of zirconium oxide surrounding metallic palladium, nickel or Pd–Ni islands, located and dispersed within the electrically insulating zirconia dielectric.
The desired nanostructure islands of NiPdD have characteristic widths of 2–20 nm size. This nanostructure size is selected because it can react cooperatively, generating large amplitude, low frequency oscillations. The characteristic width is between 7 and 14 nm.
The zirconia dielectric matrix is insulating at low voltage and keeps the nanoscale metal islands electrically separated. It also prevents the aggregation of the islands. Each nanostructured island acts as a short circuit elements during electrical discharge.
The fuel for the nanostructured material in the core is deuterium, and the product is believed to be de novo 4He produced by the deuterium fusion. The ‘excess heat’ observed is thought due to energy derived from coherent de-excitation of molecule D2 to ground state 4He.
According to a previous Swartz’s paper, the helium-4 excited state is either the first excited state, or one energetically located above it, all at least 20 million electron volts (20 to ~23+ MeV) above the ground level. This is significant in magnitude and clearly we cannot say that they are “low energy” reactions.
Swartz adds, in the same paper, that “Melvin Miles of China Lake with Johnson-Matthey Pd rods was the first to show the correlation of heat and helium-4 production. Arata and Zhang reported de novo He4 with LANR, including with Zr2O4/Pd powder exposed to deuterium gas, but not with hydrogen gas”.
Well, the excess energy gain of a NANOR compared to driving input energy is up to 20 times. The reactor openly demonstrated an energy gain (COP) which ranged generally from 5 to 16, a much higher energy gain compared to the 2003 demonstration unit (COP 2.3).
Input and Heat Output of a two terminal NANOR™-type device Series 6-33ACL131C2 device, showing the calorimetric response at several input powers, for the device and the ohmic control.
The input powers were below 100 mW. Therefore, the output power of a NANOR, considering a COP of 20 and no more of 200 mg of active powder, would be about 2 W. It is interesting to compare this parameter with the E-Cat, a much larger device.
You have to consider that the Andrea Rossi’s Hot-Cat illustrated in the TPR-1 had a reaction chamber of about 200 cubic centimeters, which may contain about 100 grams of active powder. So, a NANOR using 100 grams of active powder would produce a thermal power of (100000 / 200) x 2 = 1000 W, or, more simply, 1 kW.
Thus the difference seems not so great. Indeed, in the test on a Hot-Cat performed in December 2012 the E-Cat power production was almost constant, with an average of 1609 W, as illustrated in TPR-1. So, there is approximately a factor 2 between the performances of the two different reactors.
Although small in size, the LANR excess power density of a NANOR is more than 19,500 W/kg of nanostructured material. According to TPR-1, the power density of a Hot-Cat can be estimated in about 50,000 W/kg for the test performed on March 2013. We find again a factor 2.
Photo of a NANOR reactor (credit: Barry Simon).
NANOR is a two terminal device in which the activation of the desired cold fusion reactions is, for the first time, separated from the loading. The proprietary prepared preloaded ZrO2–(PdNi) nanostructured materials are dry, and glued into electrically conductive, sealed configurations (see the photos).
According to Swartz’s papers, the production of the preloaded core material is a complex engineering problem, because it involves “preparation, production, proprietary pretreatment, loading, post-loading treatment, activation, and then adding the final structural elements”.
The NANOR reactor, which generates significant excess heat from applied electric fields, is driven by a high DC voltage circuit up to 1000+ V rail voltage, required to surmount the extremely high electrical resistance of the nanostructured material.
The reactor is easily activated, driven by an electrical circuit and controlled by an electrical driver. The controlled driving system uses pulse wave modulated microcomputer control of specialized very high voltage semiconductors linked to a current source driving system.
NANOR excess heat generation is produced thanks to complicated polarization/transconduction phenomena, including an avalanche transconduction electrical breakdown through the ZrO2-NiD Nanostructured CF/LANR component, as explained by Hagelstein at ICCF-19.
Peter Hagelstein illustrates the NANOR at ICCF-19, in Padua, Italy. See here the video.
As the voltage was increased to about 24V, the impedance suddenly decreased to very low values. It was shown theoretically that this sudden reduction can be attributed to an “avalanche effect” that is typical of the current–voltage behavior that occurs in Zener diodes.
Finally, I would add that the papers on NANOR by Swartz and Hagelstein lack of many details about how the reactor works and is made, so the just reported resume is, in reality, only a partial description. Rossi’s reactor is known in much more detail, thanks also to the public TP tests.
ALESSANDRO CAVALIERI is a physicist who teaches Mathematics and Physics in a secondary school, in Northern Italy. His cultural interests goes from Chaos Theory to the Mind-Matter connections. He loves to read books on the history of Physics.