swartzI received from Alessandro Cavalieri the following contribute about the NANOR reactor developed by JET Energy, a clean promising energy multiplier very different from Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat:

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.

reactor_5

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.

form2

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).

energies_2

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.

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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.

Hag_nan2

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.


I found a document written in Italian and published online here by the retired physicist Camillo Urbani, who has been following for a long time the evolution of the “new energies”. It contains some interesting reflections resulting from the first Alexander Parkhomov’s report presented in Russia on a his successful replication of a Hot-Cat. I asked Eng. Ventola to translate it into English, also making all the necessary adjustments. Here’s the result:

I will illustrate a method proposed by Camillo Urbani to quickly test the fuel powders. It is based on the so-called “heat after death”, i.e. the heat progressively lost from reactor until it equilibrates with that of the surrounding medium, and with the “death” referring to cessation of electrical heating. So, now I report Camillo’s words, even though I made some little changes and integrations:

Heat_after_death_2The 8 minutes of “heat after death” are well visible in this chart of the Parkhomov’s experiment.

“In the above chart published in the Parkhomov’s report, showing the external temperature of his reactor corresponding to different constant values of power input, we see that, with the electrical power off due to the breaking of the heating element, there is a temperature collapse of about 100°C, then there is an up and down trend, followed even by a strange rise in the last part. Finally, after 8 minutes from discontinued power supply, the temperature sharply falls.

The point is that, without power supply, these things can NOT happen. Indeed, a hot body at a temperature of 1200 °C has walls which emit a huge amount of energy by radiation (about the 85% in the ‘Dog Bone’ reactor of Andrea Rossi illustrated in the Lugano report), while the remaining thermal energy is dispersed mainly by convection. Then the cooling should be relatively gradual, and the temperature curve should lack ‘ascents’.

The intensity of the temperature drop depends on 3 factors: (1) Mass: the greater is the mass to disperse and more heat is present, so that the cooling time is longer; (2) Temperature: the higher is the temperature and faster the body emits heat, with an exponential trend in which the exponent value is 4; (3) Emitting surface: more is extended and sooner it cools, so the shape of the container affects the trend (a sphere requires more time to cool).

I looked on YouTube some movies like this, in which pieces of iron weighing about 0.15 kg were heated at a high temperature. In such cases, the time of variation of their color, in general, does not exceed 10 seconds. So, the 8 minutes of ‘heat after death’ resulting from the Parkhomov’s experiment in my opinion cannot be explained with a known process.

ForgeA video showing a 15 kW induction forge. You can see it clicking here.

Assuming, hypothetically, that there is some repeatability of this phenomenon, it would be useful to have a valid instrument, based on such process, to assess the fuel’s efficiency in producing excess heat – that is the goodness of the test with regard to LENR reactions – with various mixtures of powders and different experimental conditions.

Since we can expect a low reproducibility of the experiment, given the precedents of many types of experiments with LENR reactors made in the world over the past 25 years, it would be even more useful to have a method of analysis as fast as possible to be able to make many attempts. So here’s a simple proposal of a fuel test that allows a high execution speed and probably is more sensitive to the “heat after death” with respect to a Hot-Cat reactor.

You put all in an electrical heater, which leads the reactor to a high-temperature. Then, turning off the power to the heater, you can track the temperature diagram vs. elapsed time, graph which gives important indications about the amount of produced excess heat, useful for comparing different combinations of fuel through a differential analysis of the output energy.

To speed up the test and simplify the setup, you could consider to use an induction heater (similar to those used for cooking), which uses the electrical currents induced in appropriate materials to generate heat. But we should first see what is the effect of its intense variable electromagnetic fields (with frequencies of hundreds of kHz) on the reaction. You have also to tailor the reactor and the materials to make them suitable for this type of use.

Induction_heaterAn example of an induction heater used for applications other than cooking.

If using the method of inductive heating the reaction on which the Hot-Cat is based still works, the advantage would be considerable: indeed, in a few minutes it would be possible to bring the reactor to the desired temperature and to plot the cooling diagram for the powder we are interested in analyzing. However, steel loses its magnetic properties when heated above about 700 °C (the Curie temperature), so we cannot heat it with this method above 700 °C.

In a little time, therefore, one could test a powder mixture, then another powder sample prepared in another container, and so on. A small group of researchers, in a few days, could test hundreds of possible variants assessing the different effectiveness. In practice, with the typical budget and equipment available in a research center, it would be very easy.

The first variable to be analyzed will be, possibly, the type of gas contained in the reactor. I imagine that the first test should be done by introducing the dust in the quantities suggested by Parkhomov in his presentation, then heating to 200-300°C and heat-sealing the reactor. In this way, the original air remained inside will be less than 5% of the normal one. If you want to try with other gases, you can introduce appropriate chemical agents that release them.

The volume of the reactor chamber in which the powder is placed is another parameter to be evaluated, or to take into account. Indeed, if the available space for the expansion of the gas doubles, the pressure will halve. Since the operating pressure may have its importance, one can use multiple cylinders different from each other as regards the volume of the chamber, or you can vary its volume with a threaded screw (see the picture below).

Reactor_fuel_5

The simple reactor for fuel tests based on “heat after death” proposed by Camillo Urbani.

The other variables to be analyzed, at this point, would be many. They include the variation of the relative amounts of the chemical elements already present (for example, the proportion between Nickel and Lithium Aluminum Hydride), the addition – one after the other, in rotation – of small traces of new elements (not only of new gas), etc.

The use of the induction heater would also have the additional advantage that the inductive pulse in the solenoid may then be modified, trying to get ‘Tesla-like’ pulses, characterized by a ‘hyper-current’ at least 10 times higher than the tolerable but maintained for very short moments, with a suitable dead time between a pulse and the other”.

Camillo Urbani – Physicist    (translated by Eng. Roberto Ventola, author of the book “Hot-Cat 2.0“)


I received from Eng. Ventola the following second article on the E-Cat technology: in this case, focused on a “Type II” design of the Hot-Cat reactor tested by third parties:

The picture here below, published in a skinny version in the patent application filed by Industrial Heat on April 26, 2014, shows a layered tubular reactor device (Fig. 4), also represented in cross-sectional view (Figg. 5 and 6). It can be described as Energy Catalyzer HT, where HT stands for “high temperature” and it is the second of three different embodiments described in such patent application, so hereinafter I’ll indicate it as “E-Cat HT – II“.

Fig5-6_Patent_2

Diagram of a reactor device E-Cat HT “Type II design”  (from IH’s patent, slightly modified).
You can use this image provided that you leave its attribution and a proper link.

This reactor, with the powder charge widely and uniformly distributed along the central axis of the reactor, was used in the second of the three tests, or “experiments”, described in the first Third Party Report (TPR-1). Such experiment consisted in a 96-hours run of the device continuously powered – i.e. never operating in self-sustained mode – and was performed, successfully, on December 13-17, 2012 in Ferrara, Italy (see table below about the TPR tests).

Test2_TPR1

All the tests described in the Third Party Reports released from the scientists Levi et al.

According to the dispersive description given in the cited patent and widely integrating the information contained on this issue in the TPR-1, the reactor device (200) used in this experiment was a layered cylindrical device having an inner tube (210). Such inner tube, made of AISI-310 steel, had a 3 mm thick cylindrical wall (212) with a 33 mm diameter.

Two cone-shaped end caps (214) made of AISI-316 steel were hot-hammered into the longitudinal ends of the inner tube, sealing it hermetically. Cap adherence was obtained by exploiting the higher thermal expansion coefficient of AISI-316 steel with respect to AISI-310.

As such, the inner tube constitutes a vessel sealed against ingress or egress of matter, including gaseous hydrogen. This represents a distinction of this type of reactor over previous reaction vessels (normal E-Cat or, if you prefer, E-Cat LT, where LT stands for ‘Low temperature’), that were preloaded with pressured gases such as hydrogen (see the previous Patent Application WO 2009125444, international extension of an Italian patent filed in 2008).

E-Cat_Type_II_3The E-Cat HT “Type II design” before the Third Party test performed on December 13-17, 2012.
You can see the black paint and the power cables to the three internal resistor coils.

The inner tube contained a powder reaction charge (216) uniformly distributed along the axis of the device, and consisting of a small amount of hydrogen loaded nickel powder. However the fuel was, more precisely, a mixture of nickel, hydrogen and a catalyst consisting, according to the TPR-1, of some “additives” pressurized with the hydrogen gas and not disclosed being an industrial trade secret (I hope to discuss this topic in a future article).

A silicon nitride cylindrical outer shell (222), 33 cm in length and 10 cm in diameter, was coated with a special aeronautical-industry grade black paint (produced in the N-E of Italy), capable of withstanding temperatures up to 1200 degrees Celsius. A cylindrical inner shell (218), which was made of different ceramic material – corundum – was located within the outer shell.

The inner shell housed three delta-connected spiral-wire resistor coils (220), which were laid out horizontally, parallel to and equidistant from the center axis of the device. The three resistor coils essentially run the interior length of the device and were independently wired to a power supply by wires (230) that extended outward from the reactor device (see Fig. 6).

The resistor coils within the reactor were fed by a Triac power regulator device (302, see Fig. 7) which interrupted each phase periodically, in order to modulate the power input with a controlled waveform, which is an industrial trade secret waveform. This procedure, needed to properly activate the powder reaction charge, had no bearing on the power consumption of the device, which remained constant throughout the experiment.

Fig7_Patent_3

The experimental setup of the second test on a Hot-Cat reactor described in this article.
You can use this image provided that you leave its attribution and a proper link.

Due to the failure in the first test performed in November 2012, when the primer resistor coils were run at about 1 kW, in this second experiment the continuous power input to the reactor was limited to a much lower value, 360 W, so the E-Cat HT’s hourly power consumption was 360 W. The E-Cat HT’s power production was almost constant, with an average of 1609 W (Fig. 8).

A wide band-pass power quality monitor (320) – a PCE-830 Power and Harmonics Analyzer produced by PCE Instruments – measuring the electrical quantities on each of the three phases was used to record the power absorbed by the resistor coils. It was connected directly to the reactor device resistor coil power cables by three clamp ammeters (326) and three probes (328), respectively for current and voltage measurements.

Finally, an IR thermography camera (306), model Optris PI Thermal Imager, was used to acquire a thermal image on a display (312) and to measure the surface temperature of the reactor device with a 2% precision of measured value, in order to make an infrared thermographic calorimetry. The thermal camera was positioned about 70 cm below the reactor device in order not to damage the camera itself from the heat transferred by rising convective air currents.

Fig_8_3

The almost constant radiative thermal power of the tested reactor, useful for estimating COP.
You can use this image provided that you leave its attribution and a proper link.

The Coefficient of Performance (COP) of the reactor device was obtained as the ratio between the total energy emitted by the device (radiated power + the power dispersed by convection) and the energy consumed by its three resistor coils. The resulting COP, with many conservative assumptions, was 5.6 +/- 0.8 (would be 4.5 taking into account only the radiative energy).

R. Ventola – Electrical engineer


I received from Eng. Ventola the following article specifically focused on the E-Cat technology: in this case, on a “Type I” design of the Hot-Cat reactor tested by third parties:

The picture here below, published in a skinny version in the patent application filed by Industrial Heat on April 26, 2014, shows a layered tubular reactor device (Fig. 1), also represented in cross-sectional view (Fig. 2). It can be described as Energy Catalyzer HT, where HT stands for “high temperature” and it is the first of three different embodiments described in such patent application, so for sake of simplicity hereinafter I’ll indicate it as “E-Cat HT – I’“.

Fig1-2_Patent_2Diagram of a reactor device E-Cat HT “Type I design”  (from IH’s patent, slightly modified).
You can use this image provided that you leave its attribution and a proper link.

This reactor, with the charge non evenly distributed but concentrated in two distinct locations along the central axis of the reactor, was used in the first of the three tests described in the first Third Party Report (TPR-1), performed in November 2012 (see the table below about the TPR tests on Hot-Cat reactors). Such test failed, due to the overheating and melting of the steel cylinder containing the active charge and the surrounding ceramic layers.

Tests_TPRAll the tests described in the Third Party Reports released from the scientists Levi et al.

According to the description given in the cited patent and integrating the info contained on this issue in the TPR-1, a sealed steel inner tube (110) included a cylindrical wall (112) that extended between two end caps (114). The inner tube contained reaction charges (116) in two distinct longitudinal locations. A first cylindrical ceramic shell layer (118) surrounded the inner tube.

Each of 16 resistor coils (120) extended the length of the interior of the reactor device between the inner cylindrical ceramic shell layer and a more outer cylindrical ceramic shell layer. The resistor coils were circumferentially distributed around the inner cylindrical ceramic shell layer to produce uniformly distributed heating when electrical current was passed through the coils.

According to the patent application, the resistor coils were operated continuously at about 1 kW to perform experimental investigations of heat production. Once operating temperature is reached, it is possible to control the reaction by regulating the power to the coils.

IR_ImageAn IR thermal image of the November 2012 test device. Area 1 is at 793 °C. The temperature dips visible in the diagram on the right are shadows of the resistor coils, projected on the IR thermal camera lens by a source of energy of higher intensity located inside the device.

The reactor device was charged with a small amount of hydrogen loaded nickel powder. However the fuel was, more precisely, a mixture of nickel, hydrogen and a catalyst consisting, according to the TPR-1, of some “additives” pressurized with the hydrogen gas and not disclosed being an industrial trade secret (I hope to discuss this topic in a future article).

The E-Cat HT-I is a further high-temperature development of the original apparatus described in detail in the old patent application WO 2009125444, which has also undergone many changes in the last years. As in the original E-Cat, the powder charge activated by heat produced by the resistor coils produces excess heat from some type of reaction.

As said before, the reactor was destroyed in the course of the experimental run.

Before melting, it looked just like in the picture below, where you can see the shining charges distributed laterally in the reactor and the horizontal darker lines, corresponding to the shadows of the resistor coils, projected outward by a source of thermal energy located further inside the device, and of higher intensity as compared to the energy emitted by the coils themselves.

E-Cat_HT_I_2The E-Cat HT “Type I design” during the Third Party test performed on November 20, 2012.

This is evidence of an exothermic reaction that occurred within the inner tube.

The test was fruitful also because it demonstrated in a more direct way, i.e. completely destroying the entire reactor, a huge production of excess heat, which however could not be quantified. The device had similar, but not identical, features to those of the reactors used in the December 2012 and March 2013 TPR-1’s runs, which I’ll illustrate in detail in my future contributes.

R. Ventola – Electrical engineer