Monday, February 14, 2011

Cold Fusion for You and Me, Kumbayah

The Good
1. The Italians are spearheading the advance in cold fusion. Scientists Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi have apparently demonstrated a working cold fusion reactor for the public on January 14, 2011 which is available on YouTube.  A press conference was held a day later.  I have embedded the demonstration video I located on YouTube which has English subtitles:

Hint: Click the CC button for the English subtitles.
2. The inventors claim that a working cold fusion reactor has been running for two years continuously, supplying most of the power for a factory, saving the energy expense there by 90%.
3. There is a power plant being constructed by Greek company Defkalion Green Technologies, which will generate 1MW of electricity. The plant is created by combining 125 smaller cold fusion cells and is due for completion in a few months. Click here for the Greek television broadcast and transcript summary. Once there is an operational facility up and running, this should put cold fusion deniers to rest.
4. The technology is apparently cheaper than all other conventional power sources based on the estimated cost of less than 1 cent per kWh. The demonstrated reactor produces 31 times as much energy out as is put in. The inputs are hydrogen gas and nickel along with other unknown catalysts (Rossi and Focardi are keeping this part a secret) and you get copper and a lot of heat out. According to the cold fusion scientists, elemental transformation of this sort is a good indication a fusion reaction has occurred.
5. The amount of reactants consumed (less than 1 g of hydrogen gas) is far less than a combustion reaction, yet a large amount of energy is output, indicating what is going on inside the reactor is not a conventional chemical reaction.
6. The reactor is shielded by lead, but no harmful radiation leaks out and when shut off there is no residual radiation left behind. No pollution or radioactive nuclear waste is produced whatsoever.
7. Embedded below is a radio interview with Gerald Celente of the Trends Research Institute who seems to think the development is legit:

The Bad
1. Mainstream science publications have maintained a high level of skepticism and a negative bent so far concerning the promising work the Italians are pushing forwards.
2. The specific theoretical understanding of the apparently working cold fusion reactor still needs to be nailed down. The inventors have had their paper rejected by peer reviewed journals and instead have self-published on their own site. However, the cold fusion scientists do seem to have the support of scientists at the University of Bologna in Italy assisting him in this respect, and tests such as measuring radiation will be performed on the reactor. In this case they have the egg but need to produce the chicken that laid it.
3. A patent application has been partially rejected. In order to gain certain types of patents it is not adequate to merely have a working device. The theory behind why your device works must be specified so that you can claim the intellectual property rights on your invention.

The Ugly
The original cold fusion claimants Stanley Pons and Martin Fleishman have had their careers destroyed by the mainline scientific establishment. A lack of open-mindedness and established interests/mindset (such as of the much more cost intensive hot fusion research interests) has probably set back the field of cold fusion more than a decade.

History/Background of Cold Fusion (courtesy of AlienScientist)

Click here for source article and text transcript.
Sources and Further Reading:
Directory:Andrea A. Rossi Cold Fusion Generator This Wiki is really comprehensive and updates itself
defkalion green tecnologies confirmed! Greek NET television broadcast is embedded in this guy's blog
Cold Fusion -- The answer to all our energy problems The AlienScientist video and transcript
Focusing on Gerald Celente 2011 Trend #6: Alternative Energy Links are included to Gerald Celente's 10 trends for 2011