New Energy Times posted the following update on Dec. 7, 2010
In June 1998, the Electric Power Research Institute published Development of Energy Production Systems From Heat Produced in Deuterated Metals, Volume 1, TR-107843-V1, which provides a comprehensive overview of much, if not all, the SRI International LENR work. It includes detailed notes of the L-Series experiments, discussed in the Garwin-Lewis report below.
On the pdf page 188 (internally numbered 3-59), the authors explain a problem with cell L3 in detail and advise that, as a result, "the values of excess power displayed in figures [for L3] must be interpreted with caution."
For L4, the authors state, "The results, shown in figures [for L4], should be interpreted with the same caution as advised above for the results of experiment L3.”
Furthermore, according to this EPRI report, cells L1 and L2 did not show excess heat.
New Energy Times discovered these facts on Dec. 6, 2010. Until then, our interpretation had been that the SRI researchers had rigorously performed the L3 and L4 experiments and registered excess heat.
We based our interpretation on Garwin and Lewis' failure during their examination and review of the SRI lab and work to find any artifact responsible for the claim of excess heat, as well as their assessment of a small measurement uncertainty and of a strong signal.
Additionally, our view was but no longer is that Garwin and Lewis, to some degree, had witnessed or reviewed evidence for excess heat in those experiments.
Based on the newly uncovered information in the EPRI report, the results of cells L1-L4 no longer can be stated confidently as observations of excess heat. We believe that Garwin did not know the specific details of the artifacts for cells L3 and L4 until we found them in the report.
To our knowledge, this is the first public notice of the detailed artifacts with cells L3 and L4 as they apply to the Garwin/Lewis report below. New Energy Times thanks Garwin for information that led to the finding of these facts.
New Energy Times posted the 1993 Garwin/Lewis Report to the Pentagon, as well as the following excerpts, in 2004
A cover letter, written by EPRI's Tom Passell states:
"Garwin's draft report marks a major shift in thinking by crtitics of the SRI [cold fusion] work and is a credit to the investigators at SRI under McKubre's leadership."
Excerpts and highlights from the 1993 report to the Pentagon from Garwin and Lewis:
"Neither Nate Lewis nor I has any reluctance to entertain and recognize a purely experimental discovery. We don't need a theory to make us believe our eyes. But we do need a significant, reproducible effect, and that is what McKubre and his colleagues are attempting to produce."
"... we held one [a cold fusion cell] in our hands and are now quite familiar with its construction. We also had extensive discussions of data from one of these cells, which according to a summary chart has provided about 3% excess heat. This is not a derived kind of excess heat, related to the minimum electrochemical energy required to electrolyze water to produce dihydrogen(g) and dioxygen(g), but an honestly phrased fractional excess over the total power delivered to the electrochemical cell itself."
"The uncertainty in excess power measurement is about 50 milliwatts, but the excess power appears to be on the order of 500 milliwatts or even 1 watt peak. [10:1 signal to noise ratio.] However, excess power is still a deduced quantity and depends upon the calibration of the calorimeter." [Note: McKubre's first principles closed-cell, mass-flow calorimeter, features a 98% heat recovery and an absolute accuracy of < ±0.4%]
"... on cells L3 and L4, we note that a chemical reaction involving the Pd at perhaps 1.5 eV per atom would correspond to about 3.5 kJ of heat; this is to be compared with the 3 Mj [One thousand times greater] of "excess heat" observed, so such an excess could not possibly be of chemical origin."
"We believe that there are a few things (probably irrelevant) not very well understood by the experimenters.
"While cells that do not "load" the requisite 0.92 D:Pd level would indeed serve as controls, we believe it highly desirable to run a number of cells on light water equal to the number of experimental cells."
"This is a serious effort to obtain reliable calorimetric data on heavy water electrolyzed in a cell with a palladium cathode. It is larger in scale and has more electrochemical expertise than the work of Tom Droege of Fermilab, who obtains excellent data but no excess heat.
We have found no specific experimental artifact [i.e. error] responsible for the finding of excess heat, but we would like to see eventually (as would the experimenters) a larger effect and one that can be more reliably exhibited."