July 30, 2011
Issue #37


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Zanchini - Krivit Meeting

Appendix 23 to New Energy Times Report #3

By Steven B. Krivit

On June 15, I went to meet professor Enzo Zanchini in the Department of Engineering at the University of Bologna.

My purpose in meeting Zanchini was to seek a better understanding of how steam enthalpy was calculated as it varied with liquid percentage. I was looking for conventional background information to support my understanding of the concerns of researchers from Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics and the U.S. Naval Reasearch Laboratory, as I have discussed in Report #3.

I did not ask Zanchini anything specific about the Rossi experiment, but to my surprise, he was familiar with the shape of the Rossi device, and he drew a sketch of it. He did not know any details of how the Rossi groups was measuring steam quality, nor did I ask.

He very patiently explained to me and Alex Passi, a linguistics professor at the university who volunteered to be my guide, the classical steam phase diagram. However, if we got to the point in our discussion about steam quality and its factor on steam enthalpy, I missed it. The information was new to me.

I cannot remember whether I showed him the INFN and NRL graphs. If I did, the graphs did not help him or me understand each other. He was generous with his time and extremely gracious. He permitted me to take the three pages of notes he made for me.

Later, I learned that steam quality is measured with the term "dryness fraction." 

Image courtesy Spirax-Sarco

On July 5, a former student of Zanchini’s, who preferred to be identified only as "PB," wrote to me about a statement that Daniele Passerini wrote on Passerini's 22 Passi blog in response to my preliminary report.

"You've omitted a crucial fact: the answer to your question by the professor at the university who is an expert on steam (Zanchini). Why?" Passerini wrote.

PB knew by this time, as all of us did, that Gilberto Galantini used an inappropriate instrument to measure steam quality. Steam is vaporized water; air is a mixture of oxygen, nitrogen and other gases. Steam is a different gas from air, and it has different characteristics from air.

"I really can't even imagine Zanchini saying 'A psychrometer* is the right instrument to measure the dryness fraction of a saturated steam,'" PB wrote.

"This is laughable,” he wrote. “It's just like trying to measure your height with a mass balance. They didn't' carry out that measurement. They used completely wrong instruments. What Rossi and Levi said and wrote was complete bullshit!!!!!!!!!

"I don't believe Zanchini knows what they said and approved it. He is a real expert. He taught us how to carry out dryness fraction measurements; it's a different world!"

Of course, the former student is correct. Zanchini said nothing about any instrument that Rossi, Focardi or Giuseppe Levi may have used to measure the steam quality.


* A psychrometer measures the relative humidity in the air - see here:


Brief Biography of Steven B. Krivit
Steven B. Krivit has performed investigative science journalism in the low-energy nuclear reactions research field for 10 years. He is the senior editor and publisher of New Energy Times. He also has published with John Wiley & Sons and Elsevier, among others.


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