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A Conversation With Thomas Blakeslee
Blakeslee Contacts Krivit about His News Coverage of the Andrea Rossi Story

Back to Andrea Rossi Energy Catalyzer Investigation Index

 

Thomas Blakeslee, a writer and investor in alternative energy, contacted me two weeks ago with his concerns and critique about my news coverage of Andrea Rossi, inventor of the Energy Catalyzer. We exchanged several e-mails.

Unlike some Rossi fans, Blakeslee has expressed his point of view in detail and with sincerity.

Blakeslee has stated many points and expressed perspectives that I do not agree with. Blakeslee has made statements about Rossi and his device that appear to be unsupported by fact.

However, Blakeslee has not hidden behind an anonymous screen name, but instead, he has taken personal responsibility for his views and statements. I respect this. Our exchange is listed here.

(Tom openly discloses his phone number and city on his Web site.)

 

 

Subject: Re: A big misunderstanding
11/19/2011, [Thomas Blakeslee] wrote:

Dear Steven,

You are quickly squandering your credibility. I don't understand why you keep repeating this nonsense:

In your Nov 8 post on Physorg you said:

"In his 2010 self-published paper, he claimed an energy gain of 213 times. Yet, in January 2011, Rossi downgraded the claim to a 30 times energy gain. In April, he downgraded his claim again, to 6 times."

These energy gain numbers are chosen operating points, not "claims." Rossi's reaction rate increases with temperature so thermal runaway can occur, melting the nickel. He therefore must chose a safe operating point that will produce as much energy as possible without risk of going unstable. The energy yield is momentarily infinite when meltdown occurs. If you still don't understand this I will be happy to explain it to you on the phone 310 301-4477

Your web site is a very useful resource but I think your emotions are clouding your logic and ruining your reputation for objectivity.

Best wishes,

Thomas Blakeslee
The Clearlight Foundation

Subject: Re: A big misunderstanding
Nov 22, 2011, Steven Krivit wrote:

http://blog.panorama.it/italia/2011/04/22/parla-lo-scienziato-che-ha-inventato-la-fusione-nucleare-a-freddo/

"[The Jan. 14, 2011 demo used a] starting energy of 1 kilowatt and later, after a few minutes [input went] down to 400 watts to produce useful energy gain of 14 Kw, 31 times higher than the electricity input."

"31 is not the maximum factor that we have obtained, in other experiments we have arrived at 200."

Subject: Re: A big misunderstanding
11/24/2011, [Thomas Blakeslee] wrote:

Steven,

He is talking about stable operation but he has had many meltdowns where the nickel melts and stops the reaction. The stable operating point is a design choice. If it is set too high the process could easily go unstable. The electric heater and the water pumping rate is what they use for control. The heaters give instant control of the operating temperature making it possible to operate closer to the runaway temperature. In the self-sustaining mode the only control is through the water pumping rate. That's why they had to run it at half power.

I'm sure future designs will be much more sophisticated in their control design.

Rossi is a stubborn man with his own idea of how to do things. Annoying, yes, but that stubbornness paid off in success where others failed. I'm looking forward to seeing what other, less flamboyant scientists will do with his ideas. I think we have an exciting future.

Best wishes,

Thomas Blakeslee
The Clearlight Foundation 310 301-4477

Subject: Re: A big misunderstanding
Nov 24, 2011 [Steven Krivit] wrote:

Dear Tom,

I reported that the duo has claimed up to 213 times energy gain. Here is a transcript reference from my video with Rossi (Video Part 4, 6:53):

Rossi: As you have seen yesterday, the E-cats that we produce now have an excess which is six times, an output which is six times the input
Krivit: The numbers on here, this is 200 times, the average here is 200 times -
Krivit: Yes, yes, but yes we cannot work in a product for the public in that way.

You seem to be very passionate about arguing with me that Focardi and Rossi have not claimed a 200x energy when, they clearly they have done so, even on videotape.

Are you trying to tell me that Focardi did not tell Panorama they got a 200x gain?
Are you trying to tell me that Rossi did not tell me on video they got a 200x gain?
Or are you nitpicking about their written claims, which I calculate as a 213x gain versus their verbal claims of only 200x?

I am VERY confused.

Steven

Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2011 10:22:25 -0800
Subject: Re: A big misunderstanding

Dear Steve,

I am trying to tell you that the energy gain is a matter of choice, not a limitation of the Ni-H reaction. They have had many meltdowns during testing which represent essentially infinite energy gain momentarily. With accurate temperature sensing controlling the heater they could easily run at 213 times energy gain but they chose not to for a product because they want to have a wide safety margin. The engine on my car could probably run at 10,000 RPM but we never run it that fast because it could easily blow up.

The decision to operate the e-cat at a conservative gain of six came just after Levi was left alone with the unit at night during the 18 hour test and reported very high energy gains. He said, "Initially, the temperature of the inflowing water was seven degrees Celsius and for a while the outlet temperature was 40 degrees Celsius. A flow rate of about one liter per second, equates to a peak power of 130 kilowatts. The power output was later stabilized at 15 to 20 kilowatts."

I think it scared Rossi that a customer fooling around could easily cause a meltdown which would require replacing the reactor core.

If you run at a gain of 213X, if the water pump slows for any reason it could cause a meltdown failure. At 6X it is not so touchy.

So my answer is that yes they have mentioned operating at many different energy gains but that is not a bad thing but just a matter of deciding that reliability is more important than efficiency at this point. If they ship a unit and it fails it would be a big black eye.

Rossi is stubborn and goes out of his way to annoy those who attack him. He knows that he will have the last laugh and enjoys letting critics dig themselves in deeper.

If I were you I would purge your excellent blog of the emmotional attacks against Rossi and just accept him for what he is. An excentric who stubbornly ignored critics and showed us how to make LENR produce significant outputs. I expect others to quickly produce even better results.

Best wishes,

Tom Blakeslee
The Clearlight Foundation
http://cleancheapnuclear.blogspot.com/

Subject: Re: A big misunderstanding
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2011 14:13:13 -0800

Thomas,

We agree, to use your words, that Rossi and Focardi "have mentioned operating at many different energy gains."

We disagree on language. I use the term "claims." You prefer the term "chosen operating points."

This doesn't explain why are you so concerned.

Steven

Subject: Re: A big misunderstanding
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 12:23:08 -0800
From: "Tom Blakeslee"
To: "Steven Krivit"

Steve,

Claims implies dishonesty. With a new product you have to learn from experience. The Levi test scared him into extreme conservatism because it would be disastrous if the first product they shipped suffered a meltdown. As the product evolves they will think of other ways to safely control the reaction. That will make higher gains possible but for now preventing meltdowns is more important. The present device is very primitive and will certainly be refined by others. I just think your attacks are not constructive and based on emotions. It's a great breakthrough from a stubborn man who succeeded because of his stubbornness where many others failed.

Tom