A 1-kilowatt cold fusion reactor was demonstrated at the Power-Gen '95 Americas power industry trade show in Anaheim (December 5-7, 1995) by Clean Energy Technologies, Inc. (CETI), of Dallas Texas. The cathode is composed of thousands of 1 mm diameter co-polymer beads with a flash coat of copper and multiple layers of electrolytically deposited thin film nickel and palladium. CETI holds three U.S. patents on the beads, with additional patents pending. During the demonstration, between 0.1 and 1.5 watts of electricity was input, and the cell output 450 to 1,300 watts of heat. In April 1995, at the Fifth International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF5) CETI demonstrated a cell with input of 0.14 watts and a peak excess of 2.5 watts, a ratio of 1:18. In October 1995, at the 16th biannual Symposium on Fusion Engineering (SOFE '95) the University of Illinois showed a CETI cell with 0.06 watts input and 5 watts peak output, a ratio of 1:83. Ratios at Power-Gen ranged from 1:1000 to 1:4000.
The ICCF5 and Power-Gen calorimeters were designed and constructed by Dennis Cravens. The SOFE '95 calorimeter was constructed by George Miley's group at the University of Illinois.
The Power-Gen cell and calorimeter are much larger than CETI's previous cold fusion demonstration devices. The cell is 10 cm long, 2.5 cm in diameter, containing roughly 40 ml of beads. Previous cells had about 1 ml of beads. The cell itself is wrapped in opaque foam plastic because the cell geometry has been improved and the improvements are not yet covered by patent applications. Other components in the calorimeter are made of clear Lucite plastic. (Photographs of the device can be seen on the World Wide Web address below.)
The flow calorimeter reservoir holds 2.5 liters and the flow rate is set between 1.0 and 1.5 liters per minute. A control cell is mounted parallel to the hot cell. The flow to both cells is regulated with precision valves. The reservoir and pump consist of a Magnum 220 aquarium pump with a micron filter attachment, with an additional Lucite cylinder built on top of the pump unit to hold a cooling coil, gas trap, and a 3.5 watt computer cooling fan. Water is circulated by a magnetic impeller pump, driven by a 50-watt motor mounted underneath. Static in-line mixers ensure mixing. (These are plastic objects about an inch long with vanes to stir the flow.) A few weeks before the conference, Cravens decided to increase the flow rate in order to keep the temperature below 50 degrees C. The new flow rates exceeded the capacity of his flowmeters. He was not able to procure a bigger flowmeter in time for the conference, so no flowmeter was installed. Flow was measured by turning stopcocks to redirect fluid from the cell outlet tube into a graduated cylinder for 15 seconds. This test was performed many times, and the flow rate was not observed to change measurably, except when it was deliberately adjusted between runs. The water hose from the pump is coiled in an air cooled box on top of the reservoir. Air is drawn through the box by the cooling fan. The pump, cooling fan and DC power supplies electrolysis all have one common AC cord, which is monitored by a Radio Shack analog AC voltmeter and a multimeter. Total power consumption by all components is 85 watts.
The Delta T temperatures and reservoir temperatures are measured with K-Type thermocouples, with Omega Model HH22 Microprocessor Thermometers. Power is measured with Metex M 3800 series multimeters.
The first test was marred by a malfunction in the control cell. The control cell consisted of tin plated shot, arranged as an electrochemical cathode, in the same configuration as the smaller CETI thin film beads. During tests at the lab leading up to the conference, this produced no excess heat, as expected. However, during the first test at one point produced a Delta T temperature as high as 2.6 deg C. Cravens suspected that the flow was blocked and the cell short circuited. Later that evening he confirmed both suspicions. When he opened the cell he found that some of shot had corroded after weeks of electrolysis in warm water. The tin plating had peeled off. When they set up the cell in the afternoon, they made the flow rate in the control cell 300 ml per minute, the same as the live cell. Later on, the flow slowed down and the cell was shorted out by loose tin and debris and power consumption went up. In retrospect, this was a poor choice of materials for the control cell. The control cell was replaced with a joule heater for the remainder of the conference, which raised the water temperature the normal, expected amount.
Later on, in subsequent tests, I was able to observe the machine closely, and to make direct measurements of its performance with my own instruments. I tested the flow rate on the cold fusion cell side several times. As noted above, I did not see any measurable variation except when the flow was deliberately changed from 1,300 ml to 1,000 ml per minute by closing the valves. I checked the thermocouple readings in the reservoir, inlet and outlet with two thermistors and a thermometer. They agreed closely with the thermocouple readings. The reservoir temperature can be taken by removing the cooling loop section on top and inserting the thermistor probe directly into the water. Measuring inlet and outlet temperature required a little more ingenuity. I confirmed the outlet thermocouple reading by taking a 250 ml sample of water from the outlet pipe during a flow test and immediately measuring the temperature before the sample cooled significantly. I confirmed the cold fusion inlet temperature by turning off the control side joule heater and taking a 250 ml sample from the control outlet pipe.
The reservoir temperature ranged from 32 and 35 degrees C, 10 to 15 degrees above ambient. This indicates far more heat than the pump motor alone could supply. When you circulate water in a closed loop with an off-the-shelf aquarium pump and filter, it does not raise the water temperature 10 to 15 degrees above ambient. If aquarium pumps raised the water temperature that much they would invariably kill the fish.
Here is some sample data:
Test 1, December 4, two hours
Measured AC: 0.7 A * 120 V = 84 W
Electrolysis: 0.18 A * 8 V = 1.4 W
PEAK OUTPUT POWER
Flow rate 1200 ml/minute (300 ml/15 seconds)
Delta T Temperature 16 to 17 deg C
1200 ml * 16 deg C * 4.2 = 80,640 j/min = 1,344 W
Cravens later told me that this 1,300 watt burst lasted about a quarter hour. The rest of the time the cell was running at about 500 watts, as it did in subsequent tests.
Test 2, December 5, afternoon, 30 minutes.
Measured AC: 0.7 A * 140 V = 98 W
Electrolysis: 0.02 A * 3.9 V = 0.1 W
Flow rate 1000 ml/min (250 ml/15 seconds)
Delta T Temperature 6.7 deg C
1000 ml * 6.7 * 4.2 = 28,140 j/min = 469 W
CETI plans to follow up on this with demonstrations of prototype consumer products, including larger cells for space heating and heat engines. They are working to develop these devices as rapidly as they can. They estimate that it will take six months to one year to make suitable prototypes. CETI is now engaged in joint R&D projects with five corporate and university strategic partners, including the University of Illinois and the University of Missouri. All five have independently verified the excess heat. The University of Illinois group has fabricated beads from scratch using a sputtering technique rather than electrolytic deposition. They have observed excess heat from their own beads as well as beads provided to them by CETI.
Akira Kawasaki and I took many photographs of the calorimeter. I scanned four of them, and John Logajan uploaded them in his home page:
WWW URL = http://www.skypoint.com/members/jlogajan