The big energy news this week is Tesla’s decision to locate its massive Giga Factory in Nevada. On Sept. 11, the Nevada State legislature approved a package of legislation giving Tesla Motors (TSLA) $1.25 billion in tax breaks and low cost electricity to build the batter manufacturing facility.
The Giga Factory could be a real game changer because it is designed to produce enough lithium ion batteries to store one billion watts or a gigawatt of electricity a year. That is enough to power 500,000 electric cars or provide backup electricity for 500,000 homes or business.
Now for the big question that nobody including Tesla Chairman Elon Musk has been asking. Where will the electricity to power those batteries come from? Solar panels probably wouldn’t do it and neither will wind mills. Musk also heads SolarCity (SCTY) the Solar panel company that uses Tesla battery packs for back up.
The North Carolina company that purchased Andrea Rossi’s e-cat Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) technology Industrial Heat LLC could have some connections to General Electric (GE) and a North Carolina company called Power Generation Services, Inc. or PoGens.
Power Generation which claims provide a complete energy management infrastructure could be the mysterious company where Rossi claims the one megawatt Ecat unit was shipped to for testing. Power Generation apparently provides a variety of services to utility companies. General Electric is not listed as a partner on Power Generation’s site.
Interestingly enough a company called PCX Corporation LLC according to its website PCX provides large scale generators or electrical distribution centers for data centers and industry. These include uninterruptable power systems which keep the lights on and the equipment working when the grid goes down. Pictures of some of the centers on PCX’s website show generation units that look a lot like some of the pictures we’ve seen of Rossi’s one megawatt ecat.
Investment and interest in all forms of energy technology and research is increasing at a breathtaking rate these days. Energy companies and products of all sorts are attracting a vast amount of capital which is good news for those interested in alternative power sources such as low energy nuclear reaction (LENR or cold fusion).
Some recent energy investments that have attracted a lot of attention include:
To understand the incredible potential of low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) and nuclear energy in general, you must grasp the concept of energy density. Put simply energy density means the amount of potential power contained in an energy source or the more density, the more power.
The best explanation I’ve seen of this concept so far is in Robert Bryce’s fascinating new book Smaller, Faster, Lighter Denser, Cheaper. In the book, Bryce shows that density is the key to energy success and demonstrates that most green power sources simply lack the density needed to power our modern technological civilization.
Among other things, Bryce notes that wind turbines provide an energy density of .9 watts a meter. In contrast a cubic foot of natural gas provides 1,031 British Thermal Units (BTUs) of power or heat. He estimates that a barrel of oil contains the equivalent of 529 watts of electricity and 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas provide the equivalent of 3,819 watts of electricity or 36.79 kilowatt hours of electricity. A standard lithium-ion battery like those used in electric cars or laptops has an energy density of around .25 and .73 kilowatt hours of electricity.
A new company called Phonon Energy has unveiled plans to create and test a low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) or cold fusion boiler. E-Cat World reported that Phonon will be working with Seattle University in its attempts to commercialize LENR.
The organization appears to be a purely American group that has some connection to Defkalion. Phonon’s Investor Relations page on the internet states that it is planning to purchase technology from Defkalion and conduct testing at Defkalion’s facilities. Defkalion’s North American operations are based in Vancouver, British Columbia, a short drive from Seattle.
Here’s what we know about Phonon from its Investor Relations webpage which is now online:
E-cat inventor Andrea Rossi made a fascinating claim on his Journal of Nuclear Physics Blog on June 15, 2014. Rossi claimed that four well-known multinational corporations are developing or research low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) or cold fusion technology. Here’s what Rossi wrote:
“. I know that giants are already working to compete with us: Shell, Mitsubishi, MIT, Volvo, ABB, NASA…and I am strongly honored to have inspired, in some way, their work; to be clear: should I have not broken the ice in three years of public work, since January 2011, none of these Entities would have taken seriously LENR in the measure they are taking them now.”
What’s intriguing is that three of these companies have not been mentioned as involved in LENR research before. The Japanese giant Mitsubishi’s involvement with LENR has been well documented in the past but I’ve never seen a mention of Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A), AB Volvo or ABB (NYSE: ABB), a Swiss power and automation company being involved in cold fusion work yet. Rossi didn’t say what these companies are doing with LENR. Shell and ABB are both members of the Fortune 500, Shell is one of the 25 largest companies in the world.
Our friends over at the Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project haven’t attracted the attention that Andrea Rossi has or major investments but they’ve made some impressive progress in their low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) research lately.
The most impressive thing about the Project is its ability to use limited resources, homemade equipment and improvised technology to achieve impressive results. More importantly its methods are being shared with inventors and scientists around the world in an open sourced experiment so their New Fire will be easily replicated.
The Fleischmann teams at the Hunt Utilities Group in Minnesota and the South of France have cobbled together some pretty impressive devices in recent months. The most interesting devices include:
Stainless Steel and Glass Walled Cells these look pretty impressive from the pictures. I imagine they’re new containers for LENR reactors.
Climate change caused by air pollution created by the burning of fuels is already having catastrophic effects on the United States a study mandated by the President has found. The National Climate Assessment prepared by a large panel of scientists provides even more reason to speed up investment in new energy technologies such as low energy nuclear reaction (LENR).
The effects caused by climate change include shorter and warmer winters, droughts, torrential rains, massive wildfires, flooding and the melting of glaciers, the Assessment found. Perhaps most troubling the scientists involved predicted that temperatures could rise by 10 degrees in the next century.
Among other things that could cause sea levels to rise by three feet and flood many cities including Miami Beach where ironically enough Andrea Rossi lives. Devastating droughts and heat waves that could kill crops and cause food shortages and higher food prices could also become more common.
Andrea Rossi made an extremely interesting and revealing revelation at his Journal of Nuclear Science blog the other day he admitted that he may not know exactly how his ecat low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) technology works.
Regular correspondent Steven N. Karels asked Rossi what temperature was necessary to trigger the low energy nuclear reaction inside the ecat. Rossi’s response was very intriguing. On May Fourth the inventor wrote:
“I cannot explain what happens inside the reactor.”
This is a fascinating response because there are two possible answers to it, both of which could shed a great deal of light on Rossi and his thought processes. The possible answers are:
The first major book about Andrea Rossi and his ecat low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) technology has been published. An Impossible Invention details Swedish journalist Mats Lewan’s investigation into Rossi and his cold fusion claims.
Lewan who has a master’s degree in engineering and physics became convinced of eCat’s authenticity after talking to Giuseppe Levi. Lewan started looking into ecat on behalf of Ny Teknik a Swedish technology newspaper that supposedly has 300,000 readers. That’s an impressive circulation figure for a publication in a country that has just nine million inhabitants – Sweden.
The first chapter of the book republished at this word press blog indicates tht Lewan was very suspicious of Rossi and his first ecat demonstration in October 2011. Lewan is well qualified to look into Rossi’s claims because he speaks Italian and his wife is Italian. He has also lived in the country in the past.