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Video from YouTube, transcript edited by Abd from YouTube closed caption. Slides from this PDF. Abstract from pre-conference distribution:

Nanosecond Pulse Stimulation in the Ni-H2 System
#Francis Tanzella1, Robert Godes2, Robert George2
1SRI International, United States
2Brillouin Energy Corp., United States
Email: francis.tanzella@sri.com [see Slide17 for new email]
Brillouin Energy and SRI International (SRI) have been performing calorimetry measurements on the Ni/ceramic/Cu coatings in a H2 atmosphere with nanosecond pulses applied between the Ni and Cu. The reactive cores have been described earlier [1]. We have been testing new materials, material fabrication techniques, and electrical stimulation methods to produce power and energy output in excess of that reported earlier. In addition to the pure metals, we have investigated systems using Ni-Pd coatings.

By applying fast pulses [2] of several hundred volts and tens of nanoseconds long, the current follows the “skin-effect” principle and is concentrated at the Ni-ceramic interface but returns through the bulk of the Cu. Two stimulation methods were used – steady-state and dynamic. In the steady-state method, the pulse power is measured directly using fast oscilloscopes that record the voltage across the core and a shunt resistor in series with the core. The input pulse power is determined by multiplying the calculated root-mean-square voltage and current and recorded every 10 seconds. Figure 1 shows typical waveforms collected from the oscilloscope and the calculated pulse power.

Using a sophisticated model of the calorimeter with up to 15 coefficients, the power reaching the five temperature sensors is determined during simultaneous continuous ramps of both heater and pulse powers. The power emanating from the core is determined during sequences of more frequent low voltage pulses (LVP) and compared to that found using less frequent high voltage pulses (HVP). The power determined during the more frequent LVP is set as the input power during that sequence. The power of the stimulation pulses during the less frequent HVP sequences is maintained equal to that during the more frequent LVP. Then the power calculated from the core is divided by that calculated during the reference sequences, giving a so-called coefficient of performance (COP). Table 1 below presents some of the recent results obtained using this dynamic stimulation method. Because the analytical method used for the dynamic stimulation is different from that used earlier with steady-state stimulation, a correction was applied for better comparison. The corrected results are presented in the last column in the table. The actual excess powers in the first column are up to three times greater than those measured earlier.

QREACTION
Watts
COP / using DS method COP / using legacy method
3.62 1.25 1.56
3.59 1.26 1.55
3.90 1.27 1.62
4.91 1.31 1.56
4.99 1.31 1.58
4.85 1.31 1.58

[1] F. Tanzella, R. Godes R., et al. “Controlled electron capture: enhanced stimulation and
calorimetry methods”, J. Condensed Matter Nucl. Sci., vol. 24, pp. 301-311, 2017.
[2] R. Godes, “Drive circuit and method for semiconductor devices”, US Patent 8,624,636, 2014


00:00 good morning! happy to see all 00:03 these nice friendly faces, 8 o’clock in 00:06 the morning.
Slide1

[all the original slides are “© 2018 SRI International”]

anyway 00:10 today I’m here to give you an update on 00:13 what we’ve been doing at SRI, relative 00:16 to Brillouin Energy experiments, since 00:18 ICCF-20.

Slide2

it is just a quick 00:26 outline, talk about some of the earlier 00:29 pressurized gas results, and the new 00:32 designs and calorimetry, and then give 00:36 you, hopefully, a taste of the results of 00:39 what we’re seeing so far, and, hopefully, a 00:42 little bit of idea what we’re trying to go 00:44 forward with.

Slide3

so, first a summary of 00:50 what’s happened before, up to about ICCF-20, 00:54 and that was about a hundred 00:56 experiments performed in ten cores,
and 00:59 I’ll explain to you what I mean by a 01:01 core.
and what we’ve been working, in the 01:05 nickel hydrogen system, at elevated 01:07 temperatures for over two years
so . . . 01:11 there’s enough excess power, and it was 01:13 reproducible enough, to convince us to 01:16 keep moving forward.
01:18 there are pulses sent through these 01:22 pieces of metal, and I’ll show you a 01:24 photo of a diagram in a minute, and 01:28 experimental results are consistent with 01:32 Robert Godes’s controlled electron 01:34 capture hypothesis, which I won’t go into 01:37 today just for brevity.
and by changing 01:42 the pulse parameters you can alter the 01:45 excess power by between twenty-five and 01:47 a hundred percent, and you can actually 01:50 turn it on and off, [while] putting in the 01:53 same amount of power by just changing 01:55 the parameters of the stimulation pulses.
01:58 you can turn it on and off.
Slide4
02:01 so this is more or less what one of them 02:05 looks like.
02:10 starting on the inside will either be a 02:12 metallic 02:13 or a ceramic tube, and sometimes there’s 02:17 a heater in the middle, but there’s 02:18 always a temperature sensor in the 02:20 middle.
on top of that, on the purple, is a 02:24 stripe of plasma sprayed copper, that’s 02:29 just a return line for the pulses,
and 02:31 then after that, which is actually dark 02:35 blue, but might be look black to you, is a 02:39 ceramic usually alumina, and that’s also 02:41 plasma sprayed, and then on top of that 02:43 is the nickel, 02:45 that’s plasma sprayed as well.
and those 02:49 numbers up there are approximate and 02:51 everything is porous, and the pulse is 02:55 sent between the nickel and the copper, 02:58 so it’s going through the dielectric.
and 03:02 these are fast rise time pulses and 03:05 they’re fast enough, 03:07 a few nanoseconds, that it induces the 03:11 skin effect, so most of the current is 03:13 within the first few microns of the 03:15 nickel, at the alumina interface.
Slide5
so 03:21 there’s an idea what the pulse looks 03:22 like.
we have a long dead time, 03:28 generally. the numbers are less than one 03:31 percent duty cycle.
they can be more 03:35 when we go to low voltages, so that we 03:38 keep everything constant.
the pulse 03:42 width can change, as [well as] the amplitude and 03:46 the dead time repetition rate.
this is 03:49 how we measure it. there’s a very nice 03:53 oscilloscope taking five million points 03:58 a second, no, five billion points a second.
04:01 anyway to give us — [we] want [it] to give us the 04:05 voltage at one end and then we get the 04:07 voltage at the other end, so in this 04:10 chart you see the voltages and the 04:14 current plotted on the left axis and the 04:16 power — instantaneous power — plotted on the 04:20 right axis.
so you measure v1 you measure 04:23 v2 that’s what they look like and red 04:25 and blue 04:27 v2 also gives you the current because 04:30 there’s a current shunt right up next to 04:32 that, into the core, and so that’s the 04:35 current down here in black, and then 04:36 multiply the difference of the voltages 04:38 times the current and you get this power 04:40 over here, this instantaneous power.
Slide6
this 04:45 is what the interface looks like we 04:48 measure 57 parameters in the sequence 04:53 that we use
we use sequences to 04:56 automatically stimulate it.
some of 04:58 them run for a hundred hours and we just 05:00 take the data and analyze it, when it’s 05:02 ready. there’s some loss in the 05:07 termination resistor that’s designated 05:10 here, and in the switching transistor as 05:13 you can imagine that these currents — 05:16 you’re getting a lot of heat there.
05:19 those actually have water flow heat 05:21 sinks, so we’re doing some mass flow 05:23 calorimetry, on those two thermal losses.
05:27 I was going to show there there are 05:30 temperature sensors all over. there is one 05:32 in the middle there’s a couple (or 05:35 sometimes two) in the middle, two in the 05:37 heat spreader, another two out here in 05:41 the aluminum.
between the heat spreader 05:43 and an aluminum shell is a ceramic 05:46 insulation.
outside the aluminum shell is 05:49 an acrylic shell. and there’s water 05:51 flowing there to keep it at 25 degrees C.
Slide7
05:55 this is just another way of looking at 05:58 it, and I’ll point out, there’s a 06:00 feed through up here to send in and 06:03 return the pulses. everything else is 06:06 pretty much same.
there’s argon actually 06:09 flowing through that ceramic insulator 06:12 between the heat spreader and the 06:14 aluminum.
and there’s argon outside the 06:17 reactor just for safety purposes, since 06:19 we’re almost always using pure hydrogen 06:21 or pure deuterium.
Slide18
so, 06:27 static gas — we 06:30 keep it at a controlled pressure, top it 06:33 up as necessary, which is very rare, it’s 06:37 not flowing.
operation from 200 to 600 [C.] 06:41 and you saw the outer block is constant [temperature] 06:44 so that’s our isoperibolic 06:45 calorimeter.
the pulse power from the 06:50 stimulating pulse is held constant by 06:54 changing the amplitude, the repetition 06:58 rate, or the pulse width. actual pulse 07:04 power as measured, as I showed a couple 07:06 of slides ago, directly and in your two 07:09 types of calorimetry —
— power compensation 07:12 calorimetry, where the heater power is 07:16 set to [maintain] a constant temperature, and as you 07:19 add pulses to it, it lowers the power 07:22 going into the heater, and that 07:24 difference is part of our calorimetry.
07:26 and the other one is constant heater 07:29 power calorimetry, as you normally do, and 07:31 isoperibolic calorimetery, you keep 07:33 the heater power constant, and just 07:37 calibrate it at different heater power 07:39 steps, so you can calculate how much 07:42 power is being put in by the pulse. as it 07:46 adds on to the heater power.
Slide9
operation: 07:52 again I guess it was mostly an h2 gas 07:54 sometimes d2 we found we don’t need to 07:58 operate in argon or helium anymore.
it’s 08:00 just the all the thermal parameters are 08:04 so different it just gets too confusing, 08:06 so we just leave everything in hydrogen 08:10 most of the time.
again 200 [to] 600 C, adjust 08:15 everything, so first you do that pulse 08:19 stream with low voltage pulses.
the 08:22 concept in the hypothesis is that, below 08:26 a certain threshold, 08:27 you’re not going to induce this 08:29 controlled electron capture.
and so you 08:32 do that, you get your constant pulse 08:35 power, get all your parameters calculated, 08:38 calibrate your system, and then you go 08:40 and do the exact same thing, at the exact 08:42 same pressure and temperature with much 08:45 higher voltage pulses.
talking somewhere 08:48 about 30 volts versus 350 volts.
08:55 and you measure and record everything, 08:58 more than everything you need, every 10 09:02 seconds, including the hydrogen and 09:05 oxygen concentration outside the reactor 09:07 for safety reasons, and then you compare 09:10 that output power or heater power 09:14 compensation, depending on the method of 09:16 calorimetry, of high voltage pulses 09:19 versus low voltage pulses, everything 09:22 else held constant
the assumption is you 09:24 should have the exact same thermal 09:26 response.
and occasionally we’ll go in 09:30 there and do a DC calibration, just by 09:33 passing a DC current across the nickel, 09:35 without touching the copper or the 09:39 alumina.
Slide10
so . . . we have two methods of 09:46 calorimetry, we’ve been employing the 09:47 steady-state, [unintelligible] 09:51 the relatively well-established 09:55 method, or you just put in, increase the 09:59 heater power and wait, and pending on 10:01 your time constants, you can wait several 10:02 hours and call that your steady state, 10:05 temperature versus heater power.
and then 10:09 you do that with the pulses, and again 10:13 the high voltage versus low voltage and 10:16 that’s how you calculate Q.
10:21 delta H of reaction is just what you . . . the 10:25 heater power compensation, how much it’s 10:28 been reduced for a low voltage pulse, 10:30 compared to how much for a high voltage 10:32 pulse.
and then you could call — they like 10:37 to use COP, not everybody likes to use 10:39 it.
but then you just get your 10:41 delta H that you calculated, divided by 10:44 the amount of power that you know went 10:45 in, from your low voltage pulse 10:48 stimulation.
another method we use is 10:54 what I call dynamic stimulation.
and 10:56 in this you’re sending in essentially 11:00 half sine waves of combination of 11:06 both 11:07 the heater and the stimulation power.
11:10 they’re changing all the time, there’s nowhere 11:13 near steady-state, and you do that for 40 11:17 hours, or up to a hundred hours, depending 11:19 on the design.
and this gets you an idea 11:25 of what the model is.
11:27 as it turns out there are only four 11:30 terms that are important. that is 11:33 the K, which is the delta T between the 11:36 core and the heat spreader, and the other 11:40 K, which is between the core and the 11:44 outer temperature, and then there are two 11:49 heat capacity terms, and in front of 11:53 those are actually all three-parameter-binomials 11:57 and then you fit that in a 12:00 MATLAB program, under low voltage power, 12:02 and in reality maybe nine of those 12:06 twelve or eight of those twelve fall out 12:08 as zero, and you end up with four 12:11 parameters that you know define the 12:14 system.
and then you do that with the low 12:18 voltage stimulation, and then you apply 12:21 those same coefficients that you got 12:23 from the MATLAB, and in the low voltage 12:25 stimulation to your high voltage 12:26 stimulation.
and then just divide that 12:30 by the low voltage stimulation.
Slide11
this 12:37 is just an idea of what the raw data 12:39 looks like. on the left axis is heater 12:43 power or temperature.
the heater 12:46 power is in blue, the temperature is in 12:49 green.
and then on the right axis is the 12:52 power, that’s measured by the 12:55 oscilloscope, going into the core.
and you 12:58 see that’s up to like six watts that 13:01 goes in.
Slide12
this is what some of the 13:07 steady-state results look like. so 13:09 instead of just doing it at two 13:11 different voltages we’ve done it in 13:13 several voltages.
so the y-axis, we’ve 13:17 plotted voltage of the pulse, 13:21 and the x-axis we’ve taken that heater 13:24 power compensation and divided it by the 13:27 power measured by the oscilloscope, and 13:30 so at, say, the green [red] line at 250 degree,s 13:34 down here about 35 volts, you get a ratio 13:38 of like 0.58.
but then you keep 13:42 increasing the voltage but maintaining 13:44 the exact same power going into the 13:47 system, and you see as you get up to 13:49 about 350 volts your way over here at 13:53 like 0.73 – 0.74.
so it’s not a great number, 13:58 but it’s a reproducible number, probably 14:00 25 percent, something like that.
and then 14:04 you see a very similar thing at 275 .. . 14:10 no at 300 [blue], and then when you get past 300 14:13 [green and black] interestingly, that ratio of the 14:17 heater power compensation is pretty much 14:21 the same at 350 volts as it is at 35 14:24 volts.
so it tells you that you’re not 14:28 creating excess power, and it also gives 14:30 you a built-in calibration that you know 14:33 what’s going on.
Slide13
and this is some of the 14:38 summary from the from the steady-state 14:42 stimulation results and it’s very 14:45 similar to what you just saw if you stay 14:48 below 350 [C.] you get numbers, COP numbers 14:53 that are over one, above experimental 14:57 error.
and then 350 [C.] and up the numbers 15:01 are pretty much equal to experimental 15:04 error.
so you don’t see those at excess 15:07 power.
Slide14
so this is what that pulse 15:14 stimulation looks like when we do the 15:17 dynamic stimulation, and this is a 15:19 combination of the heater and core power, 15:24 in blue, that was determined from the low 15:29 voltage pulses,
and then the delta 15:33 T, measured 15:35 in the high voltage pulses, had those 15:39 same coefficients determined from the 15:41 low voltage, applied to them, and that’s 15:44 the light green.
as you can see. there’s 15:48 no steady-state except I finally asked 15:52 them, why don’t you do something that 15:54 stands still for a while, so we can watch 15:57 it, instead of having to do all of this 15:59 computational stuff.
and so they held 16:03 this constant for about three hours and 16:06 as you can see the calculated power 16:10 output power, with the high voltage pulse, 16:12 is about five watts above what we got 16:16 with the low voltage pulse at the same 16:18 input power.
and, yes, those are similar 16:22 numbers over here, and you can see those 16:26 COPs are again — not overly exciting — but 16:30 between 1.2 and 1.3.
and over here. yeah. 16:36 same sort of number.
Slide15
so we’ve done that a 16:40 bunch of times, and this is what some of 16:44 the dynamic stimulation results look 16:46 like, and again at different temperatures.
16:51 but none of these are above 350 [C.], so all 16:56 of them are showing some reasonable 17:00 powers, that delta H, as I said, the 17:04 difference between the low voltage pulse 17:07 and the high voltage pulse, up to 5 watts.
17:09 and then calculating the COP, using that 17:14 method again, those numbers in the 1.2 to 17:17 1.3 range.
but interestingly enough, when 17:22 we did all of that we changed the way we 17:25 did all of our calculations, compared to 17:27 what we reported earlier, and so I went 17:30 back and used the earlier method, 17:34 essentially put in a fudge factor, so we 17:36 could compare it to where we were 17:38 earlier, so that at least we could see 17:41 whether or not we were making progress.
17:43 and when you do that and progress was — we 17:47 were getting numbers 17:48 about the same, about one-point-two when 17:50 we used the old method, when when we went 17:53 back and reapplied that method to the 17:55 new data we got numbers closer to 1.5 — I 17:58 mean at 1.6.
which was important 18:01 to convince us that we needed — that we 18:04 were making progress, so we could go 18:05 forward.
Slide16
so let me sum up what we’ve 18:12 learned.
so these are reactions 18:14 stimulated by electrical pulses, very 18:17 narrow, very fast rise time, electrical 18:20 pulses on coated nickel powders, and these 18:23 are very porous nickel powders. 18:26 for experiments [we did?] hydrogen, deuterium 200 to 18:29 600 C., and heater-only power and heater 18:33 and pulse power, and in our compensation 18:37 mode, 500 experiments on a hundred 18:41 different nickel coated cores, and six 18:43 different reactors, so in the last two 18:45 years, we’ve upped our game, by an order 18:48 of magnitude with respect to the amount 18:51 of runs being made, and again, COP 18:54 between 1 & 2, electricity in, heat out.
19:00 and of course, as everybody else is still 19:03 doing, we’re still optimizing our metal 19:08 metallic composition and metallurgy, and 19:12 also since most of the group is 19:14 electrical engineers, they’re always 19:16 tweaking the pulse parameters, finding 19:18 narrower pulses, sharper rise time pulses, 19:21 and we regularly update and improve the 19:25 calorimetry.
Slide17
I need to acknowledge 19:29 Brillouin for their generous support at 19:32 SRI. this is an old picture of the group 19:36 in their conference room. they actually 19:38 have a lab.
about half of the experiments 19:40 are being run at SRI, half are being run 19:43 in their third-floor walk-up, as I refer 19:46 to it, in Berkeley which is behind that 19:49 rear door, and I want to thank you 19:54 for your attention.
but first one a note 19:57 a personal note on the bottom 20:00 for your information.
and thank you.
[Frank Gordon:] I 20:09 want to thank Fran because he’s helping 20:12 getting us back on time. we do have 20:14 time for some questions
[1st question:] got any numbers 20:23 for the impedance or the RC 20:28 frequencies from the aluminum oxide, is 20:31 there a capacitance there? 20:32 have you tried to match it?
yeah . 20:36 like I say, we’ve got a roomful of 20:38 electrical engineers and that’s what they they do 20:39 for a living. the number, the impedance is 20:42 in the 2 ohm range.
okay.
and they they’re 20:46 always measuring TDR, and minimizing 20:49 capacitance.
have you tried using 20:53 multiple layers and going through them.
20:55 we have done that but they weren’t very 20:59 successful, so they gave up on that since 21:01 that’s a lot harder to make.
[2nd questioner:] uh, Fran, 21:07 could you say something about the 21:08 material, the pressure, post-analysis 21:12 helium, anything like that?
okay we’re not 21:16 doing any post analysis. we do have, in 21:19 two of the six reactors we have 21:21 an online mass spec, but it’s it’s just 21:24 an RGA so it’s not telling us anything 21:27 too anomalous.
I’m sorry, I should have 21:30 mentioned: most of this is done between 21:32 eight and ten bar of hydrogen.
21:37 analysis: we’re not doing any gas 21:41 analysis. my mass spec is still being 21:43 tweaked, and occasionally they’ve tried 21:48 to get people to do isotopic analysis on 21:52 the powders, but nobody really seems to 21:55 be interested, or capable, of telling if 21:59 anything’s happening to the nickel.
I’m sure Francesco has a 22:04 quick answer or question, because it’s time 22:06 for an orientation
[Francesco Celani:] One, good paper. Second one, 22:11 we have long experience about 22:14 pulsing palladium [unintelligible] and we found that 22:19 the surface temperature is really larger 22:23 than of the bulk, because skin effect. do you 22:27 have an idea which one is your surface 22:30 temperature?
in the nickel?
oh yes 22:35 where you give pulse
22:38 well, because a nickel is paramagnetic, it 22:41 has the skin effect, so most of the 22:44 current is going at the interface.
okay
22:47 but this is just plasma sprayed, so it’s 22:51 very random, there’s no controlled 22:54 morphology, or anything.
okay. thank you.
Slides not shown: Slide18 was blank.
Slide19
List of slides and slide text
Slide1
Nanosecond Pulse Stimulation in the Ni-H2 System
Francis Tanzella, Robert Godes, Robert George
Presented at ICCF21 / Ft. Collins, CO USA / June 5, 2018
Brillouin Energy Corp.
Slide2
Outline
Ø Controlled electron capture (CEC) concept
Ø Earlier pressurized gas phase reactor results
Ø New core designs and pulse stimulation methods
Ø Updated isoperibol (IPB) calorimeter and methods
Ø Results from IPB reactor/calorimeter
Ø Summary and future work
Ø Acknowledgements
Slide3
Summary of Earlier Results
Ø Over 100 experiments performed in up to ten cores
Ø Excess power seen in Ni/H2 gas phase system
Ø Excess power has been shown to be reproducible and transportable
Ø Pulsed axial pulses gave excess power in this system
Ø Excess power depends on pulse repetition rate
Ø Experimental conditions and results are consistent with CEC hypothesis
Ø Changing pulse parameters yield 25 – 100% excess power and allows for switching power production on and off
Ø Very dependent on material chemistry and morphology
Slide4
Brillouin’s 4th Generation H2 Hot Tube Cores
One example of a spray-coated core – some have more or fewer layers
Ø Metal and ceramic coatings are porous
Ø Pulse sent through outer Ni layer returns through inner Cu layer
Ø Fast rise-time pulse current is primarily at Ni-Al2O3 interface (skin-effect)
Slide5
Brillouin’s IPB Reactor Cores / Stimulation and Measurement
Slide6
Brillouin’s IPB Reactor/Calorimeter / Computer Interface
Slide7
Brillouin’s 4th-Generation H2 Hot Tube Reactor (Isoperibolic)
Ø Heater inside or outside core
Ø Thermocouple inside core
Ø Ni-coated tube core
Ø Core sheath inside steel block
Ø 2 Tinner sensors in steel block
Ø Ceramic insulation with Ar flush
Ø Al shell with 2 Touter sensors
Ø Constant T flowing H2O
Ø Pulses injected/returned at #15
Ø Ar flush outside reactor
Slide8
Brillouin’s Isoperibolic (IPB) Reactor
Ø Static H2 or D2 gas on high-surface-area Ni inside sheath
Ø Core temperature varied from 200° to 600°C
Ø Outer block temperature held constant by constant T-flowing H2O
Ø Core pulse power held constant at generator board or at core
• (Pulse repetition rate changes to maintain constant input power at
different pulse widths and/or amplitudes)
Ø Actual pulse power imparted to core is measured directly
Ø Power compensation calorimetry
• (Heater power changes to maintain constant core or inner block
temperature)
Ø Constant heater power calorimetry
Slide9
Brillouin’s IPB Reactor: Operation
Ø Operate in H2 gas using automated sequence and low-voltage pulses (LVP)
• Vary temperature from 200° to 600°C in fixed intervals (50°C)
• Adjust repetition rate for constant pulse power at each temperature
Ø Repeat in H2 gas using automated sequence and high-voltage pulses (HVP)
Ø Measure and record 57 parameters every 10 seconds
• Heater, pulse generator, and actual pulse powers
• All temperatures, H2O flow rates, and pressures
• H2 and O2 concentration outside reactor
Ø Compare calculated output power or heater power compensation (HPC) with
high-voltage versus low-voltage pulses
Ø Occasionally compare HVP outputs to DC stimulation results
Slide10
Brillouin’s IPB Reactor: Calorimetry
Steady-State Stimulation
ΔHreaction = HPC(HVP) – HPC(LVP)
COP = ΔHreaction/ΔHLVP = (HPC(HVP) – HPC(LVP)) /ΔHLVP
COP = (HPC(HVP)/ΔHHVP)/(HPC(LVP)/ΔHLVP)
Model used for Dynamic Stimulation Calorimetry
Slide11
Brillouin’s IPB Reactor: Results
Heater / Core Power / Temperature vs Elapsed time
Slide12
Brillouin’s IPB Reactor: Results
Voltage vs Power at 4 temperatures for Core IPB2-33
Slide13
IPB Reactor: Steady-State Stimulation Results
COP for 4 cores at 250° – 400°C
Slide14
Brillouin’s IPB Reactor: Results
Power v. Time
Slide15
IPB Reactor: Dynamic Stimulation Results
Qreaction with COP, two methods
Slide16
Brillouin IPB Results Summary and Future Work
Ø LENR reactions stimulated by electrical pulses on coated Ni powders
Ø Experiments in H2 or D2 gas at 200 – 600°C
• Comparison between heater-only power and heater and pulse power
Ø Isoperibolic calorimeter operated in power compensation or constant
power mode
Ø Over 500 experiments performed on 100 different Ni-coated cores in
six different reactors
Ø COPs from 1.0 to 2.0 measured depending on stimulation conditions
Ø No measurable consumables: Electricity in – Heat out
Ø Core composition/metallurgy and pulse generation still being optimized
Ø Calorimetry is regularly updated and improved
Slide17
Acknowledgements
SRI International, Headquarters: 333 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025
+1.650.859.2000. Additional U.S. and international locations www.sri.com
Special thanks to: Mike McKubre for the calorimeter design; Roger Herrera, Jin Liu, Mike Beaver, and Dave Correia
SRI gratefully acknowledges funding of this work from Brillouin Energy Corp.
I will be leaving SRI International on July 31, 2018. I will continue working in the field
New contact info: consulting@tanzella.name
Slide18 blank
Slide19
Brillouin Hypothesis: Controlled Electron Capture Reaction

Fake facts and true lies

This a little “relax after getting home” exploration of a corner of Planet Rossi, involving Mats Lewan — but, it turns out, only very peripherally –, Frank Acland’s interview of Andrea Rossi just the other day (June 11), and some random comments on E-Cat World, easily categorized under the time-wasting “Someone is wrong on the internet.” Continue reading “Fake facts and true lies”

Critique of the SRI Brillouin HHT report

The Report, December 2016, WordPress translated.

First impression: this Report does not read like a thorough and carefully professional, independent evaluation of the technology. It includes much peacock language. It seems to have been put together somewhat haphazardly, and includes typos or usages that would be rejected by a professional proofreader or editor. This has not escaped notice. “Per say” for “per se” stands out, and will be (and has been) used by pseudoskeptics to attack the Report.

It is bit of an exaggeration to call any SRI report on the Brillouin work as “independent,” because Brillouin retained SRI to support them. “SRI” increases credibility over what would be the case with some other independent expert, but this does not qualify as “fully independent.”

None of this, in itself, impeaches the accuracy of the report, but indicates some anomaly in the process. This is a Progress Report. It must be considered preliminary. It is entirely possible that this has not gone through internal SRI review, which is what McKubre cited when pointing out that his SRI reports were so vetted. It is not clear that SRI approved the release of this report, and indications are that it did not. Nor does Tanzella indicate release, this was a private progress report given to Brillouin. However, it is written as if the audience is broad, and the peacock language shows polemic intent. Tanzella may be personally enthusiastic, but would bridle that horse as a professional. He seems new to this, even though he has been working for SRI for many years. Previously, everything authored by him, listed in the lenr-canr.org bibliography, was co-authored with Michael McKubre.

I looked at a McKubre report done for EPRI. There are conclusions in that report that I could see as possible peacock language, so my identification of “peacock” here — by putting text in red — should be subject to judgment, particularly considering necessity. I.e., if the research program required making conclusions that are then reported, this may be fully acceptable. However, if they are not necessary, and if there is suspicion that they were added to promote SRI or the customer, it may be a problem.

Original text considered peacock is in red. Comments are indented and in blue.


SRI International

December 2016
Isoperibolic Hydrogen Hot Tube Reactor Studies

INTERIM PROGRESS REPORT FOR THE PERIOD 1 MARCH – 5 DECEMBER 2016

SRI International Project P21429

Prepared by:
Francis Tanzella, Principal Investigator, Manager
Low Energy Reactions Research Program
Energy and Environment Center
Advanced Technology and Systems Division
SRI International
Menlo Park, California

Sponsored by:
Brillouin Energy Corporation
Berkeley, California
Attention:
Mr. Bob George II, CEO
Mr. Robert Godes, CTO
Mr. David Firshein, CFO

SRI Interim Progress Report, Project P21429 December 2016

There is no indication of any review or approval.

Information in this report is Client Private and may contain Brillouin Energy proprietary information.

There is no indication of any review or approval. The report was fairly quickly released by Brillouin.


Contents

Executive Summary…………………………………………………………………………… 1 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………… 5 Experimental…………………………………………………………………………………….. 5 Analysis……………………………………………………………………………………………. 11 Results…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14 Conclusions……………………………………………………………………………………… 17 Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………………………… 17

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Introduction

In August 2012, SRI International (SRI – https://www.sri.com), was contracted by Brillouin Energy Corp. (Brillouin – http://brillouinenergy.com) to perform independent studies of Brillouin’s low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) reactors, as well as advise on related Brillouin LENR research. We have operated these reactors to observe, monitor, analyze, advise on, and independently verify Brillouin’s LENR evolving research & development work, test systems, and test results. This report documents the most recent results obtained in SRI’s laboratory, as well as verification and validation of results obtained in Brillouin’s laboratory over the course of the past nine months. Brillouin indicates that it has designed the control systems in its reactors to drive the underlying physics of LENR, as described in its Controlled Electron Capture Reaction (CECR) Hypothesis, which is how it believes its reactors generate controlled LENR Reaction Heat. This Report does not attempt to prove or disprove Brillouin’s CECR Hypothesis.

It would not appear to use the hypothesis at all (which is commendable, unless a report were designed to test the hypothesis. The report will confine itself to measuring heat and the relevant characteristics of the devices and processes studied.)

The systems tested and described in this report consist of three parts – cores, reactors and calorimeters. The cores are the reactive components of the system. The reactors provide the environment and stimulation that causes the cores to produce LENR reaction heat. The calorimeter is used to measure the thermal efficiency and absolute heat produced by the core-reactor system. The calorimeter was designed by both SRI and Brillouin personnel to be perfectly matched to the reactor for accuracy of measurement, whose results are described in this report.

That the heat is from a “LENR reaction” is assumed. The statement is conclusory.

SRI has brought over 75 person-years of calorimeter design, operation, and analysis experience to this process. We have used our expertise in LENR calorimetry – the ability to measure input and output power in the form of electricity or heat (energy balance power gain), to validate the results that are summarized in this Interim Progress Report. Brillouin’s system design relies upon compensation calorimetry, which is an accepted method of examining the variables that affect power gains.

It is not clear how LENR calorimetry differs from ordinary calorimetry. Heat is heat. Any assumption that heat is LENR-originated can lead to errors. Analysis may show that the heat is anomalous, and that can lead to a possible “LENR” conclusion, but it’s best for LENR study to look for and show correlated ash or other LENR indications. For this work, one would think that it would be enough to show the heat and correlation with controlled conditions. Anecdotal heat which could be cherry-picked as “best results” from many experiments is much less satisfactory. I have had the impression that McKubre showed all the experiments in his report on the Energetics Technologies SuperWave study. If so, that was highly commendable and gives much more information than a “best results” report (such as the parallel ENEA report).

Experimental

Since the start of SRI’s independent advisory and experimental verification and validation role in August 2012 to date, Brillouin has developed its uniquely fabricated, hydrogen “gas-based” reactors, known as its “Hydrogen Hot Tube” (HHT), in order to prove its Hypothesis that it can generate controlled LENR Heat on demand for potential industrially useful applications. During this time, Brillouin has run many experiments at its headquarters lab in Berkeley, as well as experiments at SRI, producing at various times a wide range of tell-tale indications of actual LENR Reaction Heat in its HHT reactor test systems.

Perhaps. “Wide range”? This is a report on BE work, not the SRI work, as I read it. Why is SRI telling BE what they have done? This is why I suspect the report was made to support BE publicity.

SRI has aided in the evaluation of the effectiveness of the two gas mass flow calorimeters used with Brillouin’s first generation (GEN1) HHT reactor using ConFlat® fittings. We have also been instrumental in the design and development of the isoperibolic (IPB) calorimeter used to measure and validate the energy balance of Brillouin’s second generation IPB HHT reactors. Brillouin had two identical IPB systems built, calibrated and tested at Brillouin’s lab. A 3rd identically built IPB HHT is presently completing its final calibration tests and is anticipated to come online before the end of 2016.

Why is the future being predicted? Why are construction details in the introduction?

Between the end of September and the beginning of October 2016, Brillouin further de-constructed [sic, deconstructed, dismantled probably better] and transported one of its first two IPB HHTs down to SRI in Menlo Park, and subsequently reconstructed the system, in order to allow SRI to run this IPB HHT independently. The transferred IPB HHT has since been used for the past two months to complement the experiments being performed at Brillouin.

The design of the Brillouin IPB HHT involves a conventional resistive heater used to maintain a constant temperature in the reactor while adding additional proprietary electrical “Q” pulses to the system to stimulate the specially designed core to yield LENR Heat. This becomes evident if the total output heat measured is greater than that from the heater and the Q-pulse power imparted to the core. Upon generating a positive LENR coefficient (excess heat), the system reduces the heater power input, by an amount equal to the excess heat difference, required to maintain the pre-set [sic, preset] temperature. By this compensation calorimetry method, the measurements of net input and output power are carefully measured to within 5% accuracy to assure an exact calculation of the LENR coefficient.

The heater is, I assume, DC-powered so that input heat can be precisely measured without assumptions. Input power to 5% is horrible, as to the heater power. Q-Pulse may be less precise, but with compensation calorimetry, in theory, that power could be measured to much higher precision. The description may be backwards here, I’m thinking (before studying the details in the report), rather, if the temperature rises, the compensation heater power is reduced to keep the temperature constant, and the reduction is then assumed to be excess heat. It would not be that excess heat is first determined, and then the input heating is reduced by that much.

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SRI has closely followed and advised on the evolution of Brillouin’s system design and materials and as such we are highly familiar with the history of their efforts to build and advance their test systems, test protocols, manufacturing techniques, specifications and core components. We closely studied Brillouin’s test data generated from extensive testing of their two IPB HHTs, especially over the past nine months since the beginning of March 2016, which is the period during which they have produced their most advanced and comprehensive test results to date.

Why is Tanzella telling BE this? And who is “we”? There is only one author of this report. Table 5 has a different person who ran some experiments.

Results

We report here on the most recent nine months of extensive testing in Brillouin’s two original IPB HHTs operated at its Berkeley laboratory, and in the past two months, with the second unit having been further situated at SRI. Brillouin has manufactured five identical metallic cores and has consecutively tested each one of them in its two IPB HHTs, seemingly producing the same controlled heat outputs repeatedly.

Within what precision?

Since its reconstruction and calibration, I have been able to corroborate that the IPB HHT system moved to SRI continues to produce similar LENR Reaction Heat that it produced up in its Berkeley laboratory at Brillouin. Together with my prior data review, it is now clear that these very similar results are independent of the system’s location (Berkeley or Menlo Park) or operator (Brillouin’s or SRI’s personnel). This transportable and reproducible reactor system is extremely important and extremely rare. These two characteristics, coupled with the ability to start and stop the reaction at will are, to my knowledge, unique in the LENR field to date.

Perhaps. Let’s see what is shown.

The results described in this report suggest that Brillouin can now produce repeatable, small scale LENR reaction heat on the order of up to several watts of power, on a fully controlled basis, on demand. Brillouin has posited that this specific heat production is being generated from its CECR process, based on its interpretation of the precise calorimetric measurements of the input and output power in its two IPB HHTs. This joint effort has generated extensive test data, which suggest that both of the IPB HHTs have produced similar LENR heat outputs, regardless of which system is being run, and using various different core materials (key components), so long as they are run the same way each time.

This would be consistent with a systematic artifact. How similar? Different core materials producing similar results suggests an artifact that does not depend on the core materials, unless this parameter space is well-explored. For a reductio ad absurdem, it produces similar results if I pack my lunch leftovers in the core? At this point, my commentary is quite critical, but I prefer to start there and back up. I will be looking to prove myself wrong.

Using different batches of the same materials and standard industrial processing techniques, processed to a proprietary set of customized specifications, Brillouin has produced relatively identical components for its HHT systems, including its test cores, which recently have consistently produced these same results.

Perhaps produced similar results. “Consistently” without definition is quite vague. Within a milliwatt? What? What is “relatively identical” compared to “similar.”

In my extensive review of the test data generated from both IPB systems, from test runs made continuously at Brillouin’s Berkeley Lab in the past nine months though the date of this report, the test data showed and continues to show that LENR heat outputs up to several watts were repeatedly produced from positive coefficients in the range of 1.2X to 1.45X, depending on various factors. We feel that the calorimetry was studied exhaustively and validated to an extremely high level of accuracy (see further discussion and test data review below). In addition, I have continued to run the IPB HHT system that was transported to SRI for the past nine weeks, and it has continued to produce same kind of results.

The focus on the most positive results is a common hazard in LENR studies. Up to several watts sounds more impressive than what could be the truth (i.e., as an example that fits the language): Of a hundred results, one was two watts. Most were less than a watt or even 100 mW.

After reviewing Brillouin’s IPB HHT test data and performance characteristics of reactors operated at both Brillouin and SRI, especially over the past nine months, and using SRI’s extensive experience in LENR calorimetry, we have found that Brillouin’s reactor test systems appear to be producing small scale

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LENR heat outputs – reaction heat, which translates to LENR coefficients of performance (COP) between 1.2 and 1.45 for stimulations designed to produce excess power – while finding COP’s of 1.00 to 1.05 with stimulation not expected to produce excess power such as at a 600°C temperature. A representative sample of these coefficients summarized in Table E.1, include those coefficients generated both before and after transportation of the IPB HHT to SRI. At least one core, having undergone special material processing explained in the technical section, has produced COP’s of 1.91 and 2.08. Several other test runs were above 1.5 or 1.6. However, these higher output results have so far been not as reliably repeatable. As core construction continues to improve and more protocols and parameters are tested and refined, we expect to see more of the higher COP’s. Regardless, the test results summarized herein are the basis for the conclusions in this Interim Progress Report, because of the extensive analysis they have been put through, including their repeatability and their accuracy. Brillouin and SRI are continuing to expand these test results with additional test core materials and data outputs at this time.

Including heater power in COP calculations can heavily understate COP. Historically, this has been done as a reaction to skeptical critique. If an experiment is maintained at 600 C, the heating it takes to do that is related to the insulation and is essentially the heat loss, and that has nothing to do with actual “input power,” which does work on the fuel. By including all power input to the system, a worst-case scenario is studied, instead of what an engineer would want, the actual excess heat compared to the mass of fuel. With pulse stimulation, the pulse energy may be considered as input power. In a mature system, if high temperature must be maintained, the system would have controlled cooling. Essentially, power lost in a particular design due to cooling and replaced with heater power is not “power input” for a better COP measure. (And heat-producing reactions may have very large or infinite COP.)

Rosy predictions of future results make me a bit queasy about the professionalism of the one making the predictions. COPs is the plural of COP. 

Table E.1 Summary of coefficients of performance (COP) of recent experiments

Temperature/°CPulse Width/nsCOP
3001501.41
2501501.44
3001501.21
6001501.03*
3003001.28
6001501.01*
3001501.43
* These cores have been shown not to produce Reaction Heat at 600°C.

Conclusions

The LENR coefficients of performance (COPs) that have been produced in the Brillouin IPB HHTs in 2016, and the related power output levels of a couple or several Watts, especially since March of 2016, are admittedly low and small-scale. However, it would be a mistake to discount them, in light of the accuracy of their calorimetry, the consistent repeatability of their production, their controllability, and the refinement of their manufacturing techniques, specifications, and components, all leading to the same repeated results as verified independently. The transportability of the system is also a remarkable achievement from an independent review basis. While these achievements are still being produced in a test laboratory at bench scale, they are uniquely pointing to an engineering pathway to evolve an actual commercial design. I know of no other independently verified results of this kind in the field today.

These results demonstrate:

  • That the repeatability and the consistency of the system output are similar, regardless of in which reactor, the core is being operated and which core components of a given design are being used, interchangeably.
  • To our knowledge, this is the first time in the LENR field that an independent examination of an entity’s reactor, i.e. Brillouin’s IPB HHT, is clearly demonstrating the production of a verifiable and repeatable LENR heat output with positive COPs, which are consistently initiated and uninitiated on command using system design control mechanisms.

This reads like a promotional brochure.

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  • In addition, Brillouin has invented and built a LENR reactor system that has been shown to be transportable from its own laboratory while showing the same positive results in its new laboratory. The unit was transported from the Brillouin laboratory to SRI, for purposes of independent operation, verification, and validation and produced similar excess power in both locations

Isn’t this repeating what he already said? I don’t think that “transportable” means much. Obviously, if an experiment cannot be moved, there is something drastically off. For something relatively small, transportation has not been much attempted, but it has been done. There are three issues: repeatability (same device produces similar results, or, more deeply, same construction produces similar results — showing control), reproducibility, moving toward a set of instructions being usable to create similar results, and replicability, meaning that the same set of instructions produces similar results in completely independent hands. Each of these represents progress in being able to control a reported effect.   

In summary, when using cores constructed from similar metal compositions and constructed to the same industrial specifications, the Brillouin IPB HHT LENR reactor has shown groundbreaking results that are potentially:

  • Controllable on demand
  • Reproducible
  • Transportable
  • Generated from multiple system components, made from relatively identical metallic compositions, manufactured to the same industrial specifications, producing the same LENR heat output results

“Potential” results are results that are considered possible, but that are not yet obtained. “Potentially,” here is a hedge word that contradicts the claims. All these claims are related to reliability.

Side note: The above positive COP results were primarily produced at operating temperatures of 300°C. The ultimate operating temperature of an HHT commercial system is primarily related to the COP produced, and other engineering factors, and is not in itself a limiting factor per say [sic, per se]. In fact Brillouin has had success using similar reactors and cores operating at up to 700°C, which is a much more desirable operating range for the commercial HHT systems that Brillouin anticipates building.

This is backwards. The COP is related to the operating temperature and “other engineering factors,” mostly insulation. If a higher operating temperature is desirable (which it probably is!), why were these tests mostly not done at higher temperature? Perhaps to simpify, but … I would expect much stronger reactions at higher temperatures, and the temperature is a function not only of input power but of insulation and cooling. Again, why is Tanzella telling Brillouin about their plans?

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INTRODUCTION

Since August 2012, SRI has been performing tests on two different versions of Brillouin Energy Corp.’s low energy nuclear reactors (LENR) under SRI project P21429. We have operated these reactors to independently attempt to verify results that Brillouin has found with these reactors and type of reactors. We have also monitored and advised Brillouin on the results found in reactors operated by Brillouin in their own laboratory. This report documents the results obtained by studies in SRI’s laboratory, as well as verification and validation of results obtained in Brillouin’s laboratory over the past nine months. Brillouin has indicated that it has designed the control systems in its reactors to drive the underlying physics of LENR, as described in its Controlled Electron Capture Reaction (CECR) Hypothesis, which is how it believes its reactors generate controlled LENR Reaction Heat. This study did not attempt to prove or disprove Brillouin’s Controlled Electron Capture Reaction (CECR) Hypothesis.

The last two sentences are repeated from above. In fact, this “Introduction” matches the introduction section in the Executive Summary. I haven’t check every word! But it’s basically a copy. So I’m not reviewing this introduction section again.

The systems tested and described in this report consist of three parts – cores, reactors and calorimeters. The cores are the reactive components of the system. The reactors provide the environment and stimulation that causes the cores to produce reaction heat. The calorimeter is used to measure the thermal efficiency and absolute heat produced by the core-reactor system. The calorimeter was designed by both SRI and Brillouin personnel to be perfectly matched to the reactor, whose results are described in this report.

SRI has brought over 75 person-years of calorimeter design, operation, and analysis experience to this process. We have used our expertise in low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) calorimetry – the ability to measure input and output power in the form of electricity or heat (energy balance power gain), to validate the results that are summarized in this Report. Brillouin’s system design utilizes compensation calorimetry, where the core and reference temperatures are held constant by varying the input heater power while applying different types of stimulation which also input power to the reactor/calorimeter.

EXPERIMENTAL

Design

The cores consist of a metal substrate, which in some configurations includes a heater and thermocouple, with several spray-coated layers. Generally, these coatings alternate between a hydrogen-absorbing metal and an insulating ceramic. One example is shown in Figure 1. Other designs may have more or less layers. All of the layers are porous, allowing the gas(es) in the reactor chamber access to all coatings. There is a heater and thermocouple in the center of the core. The power to the heater is measured directly from the voltage and current supplied by the direct current (DC) power supply.

A “metal substrate” will not “include a heater and thermocouple.” I worry a little about a heater and thermocouple in close proximity, but that’s a detail to be addressed later. Any change in the “configuration” may change the heat flow characteristics. I think that “includes” may have been “encloses.” The entire assembly is being called the “core” as it is a cylinder. The outer layers of the cylinder are the presumably active metals and the insulating ceramic. What kind of insulating? Electrical or heat? I think electrical. The heater is a cartridge heater, the construction may  be important. The thermocouple is placed how? Is the heater cartridge filled with a heat conductor?

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Figure 1. Example of Brillouin’s fourth generation Hydrogen Hot Tube Cores

Starts out at those dimensions? Where does it end up? What is the inner diameter of the core cylinder? Is this filled with a heat conductor? Is it a tight fit or loose? Thermal conductive grease?

A photograph of the reactor/calorimeter system is shown in Figure 2. The system is contained in an acrylic container filled with argon gas to minimize the probability of a hydrogen-oxygen reaction from any H2 that might leak from the system. A schematic diagram of the reactor/calorimeter system is shown in Figure 3. In a traditional isoperibolic calorimeter the reactor temperature is distributed along a massive thermal block (inner block) surrounded completely by a thick insulating layer, which itself is surrounded by another thermally conductive metal mass (outer block). This latter block is kept at a constant reference temperature.

Figure 2. Photograph of the reactor/calorimeter system

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Figure 3. Schematic diagram of the isoperibolic hydrogen hot tube reactor/calorimeter

Referring to the labeled parts of Figure 3, the core (4) is centered in and insulated from a metal sheath (1). This core/sheath combination together with the electrical connections (15) comprise the reactor. An annular copper block (3) is in intimate contact with the reactor sheath and contains a thermowell (2) and thermocouples and acts as the inner block. This copper block is surrounded by an annular ceramic insulator (14). Surrounding this insulator is an aluminum shell (5) with thermowell and thermocouples. This shell, kept at constant temperature by flowing temperature-controlled water between it and the outer acrylic sleeve (12), serves as the outer block. Argon gas is circulated through the chamber outside of the calorimeter.

Acrylic (above) or polycarbonate (diagram)?

Measurement

The outer active layer is stimulated by sending pulses through the outer layer or layers and returning electrically through the innermost layer. The nature of the pulses is such that its current travels primarily on the surface of the metal in contact with the ceramic (the “skin effect”). This effect is caused by the very fast rise time of the pulses. An example of this pulse design, which Brillouin refers to as a “Q Pulse”, is shown in Figure 4. The pulse width is from ~80 – 1000ns with a duty cycle of less than 1%. This example shows a pair of pulses with alternating polarity, although same polarity pulse trains have also been used

Rise time? “very fast” is vague. I expect that this thing might ring like crazy. I am unclear about how the circuit is completed. How does the current travel from layer to layer? Through capacitance?

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Figure 4. Example of Brillouin’s “Q Pulse”

An “offset” is shown. Offset from what?

The stimulation power imparted to the core is measured using a circuit shown in Figure 5. The pulse is generated by a proprietary Q Pulse board and delivered to the core using series and termination resistors which help match the load impedance to that of the pulse board output. Using a high speed oscilloscope, the voltage across the end of the core nearest the pulse board is measured as well as the voltage across the opposite end of the core across the termination resistor (Zterm). Zterm also acts as a current measuring resistor. The root mean square (rms) voltage across Zterm is then converted to the rms current.

Figure 5. Pulse power measurement circuit

Determining an rms voltage from an oscilloscope is an imprecise business.

The voltage across the core is determined using the method shown in Figure 6. Figure 6a shows the two voltage traces being aligned in a way that minimizes the time difference. This overestimates the power imparted to the core since any phase lag between voltage and current would impart less input power. This voltage difference is shown in the upper plot of Figure 6. The current is shown in the middle graph and the product of these two (power) is shown in the lower plot. It has been shown that the power calculation is essentially the same (within measurement error) whether it is calculated by multiplying the current and voltage plots point by point or by multiplying the calculated rms voltage by the rms current.

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Figure 6. Measurement of the voltage drop across the core

I am confused by the first plot. What does it show? Yes, voltage across the core at one end, and voltage across the termination resistor at the other. But what does it mean that the traces are “aligned”?

In compensation calorimetry the heater power is varied to keep the core at constant temperature, which generally keeps the inner block at a constant temperature. The difference between the heater power with and without stimulation determines the effect of the stimulation. If this difference is greater than the stimulation that reaches the core, then energy is being produced in the core. Approximately 50 different parameters are collected allowing for calculation of Reaction Power (the power produced by the process induced by the pulse stimulation). Several calculation methods are possible from these parameters. In the Analysis section we describe the two used in this report.

They are measuring stimulation power, it seems, by “simultaneously” recording the voltage across one end of the core, and then the voltage across the termination resistor at the other, which is in series with the return. What is the delay there? I’m not convinced that this matters, if whatever method they are using is calibrated using compensation calorimetry, and the termination resistors are within the calorimetric envelope (i.e,. will heat dissipated in them end up in the copper “inner block”?)

Operation

Figure 7 shows a screenshot from the specially-designed proprietary automation and data collection computer program used to control and collect results from the IPB reactor/calorimeter system. The program has several panes allowing for control of temperature, pressure, pulse voltage, pulse power, pulse width, and pulse repetition rate and gas composition. The program also collects the heater power, the pulse power at the generator as well as at the core, all temperatures, water flow rates and gas pressure. Hydrogen and oxygen concentration in the argon blanket are also measured and collected. In all approximately 50 different parameters are collected and stored every 10 seconds. A sequence file can be used to automatically change any or all of these parameters at specified intervals over a multi-day or multi-week period. The sheath containing the core is operated with a static fill of hydrogen, helium, or argon gas held at constant pressure up to 10 bar. The temperature of the core is held constant using its embedded heater and thermocouple and controlled from 200°C to 600°C. The outer block temperature is held at 25°C by constant temperature water flowing from a Neslab® chiller. The power emanating from the Q-pulse generator board is held constant as chosen by the program’s front panel or the sequence file. Generally the pulse amplitude (voltage) and pulse width are chosen. The repetition rate is adjusted automatically to maintain the chosen pulse power. Only a minor fraction of this power reaches the core as most of it is lost as heat in the electrical components and the transmission line. Of that reduced power only a portion of it influences the heater power as explained in the “Measurement” subsection above. The actual pulse power is measured directly via the methodology presented above. Operating in power compensation mode, the computer keeps the inner core temperature constant in its set point. When power is imparted from the Q-pulse the heater power is reduced to compensate and maintain a constant temperature. Hence the core temperature, and the inner and outer block temperatures are all held constant. First operating in He gas, a sequence was operated from 200°C to 600°C in 50°C intervals. At each temperature a given DC power was applied to the coating on the core. This process was then repeated but applying constant power pulses varying pulse width at each temperature. Finally, both automated sequences were repeated in hydrogen gas.

I like that temperature is controlled, for study purposes. I’m seeing a lot of variables, but hoping this was done carefully. What I worry about is that hydrogen gas may change the electrical  or heat transmission characteristics of the coax. How could such a change be distinguished from heat? They have the potential here of two partially independent calorimetric modes, i.e., compensation calorimetry, and flow calorimetry. Because of time delay, if there is a change in heat being generated, it will show up as a temperature rise before the compensation heater can change it. That temperature rise will be proportional to the change in heat, and that is isoperibolic, because the outer block is solidly maintained at a constant temperature — if it is — and there should be constant heat resistance between the inner block and the outer block. I thought the nature of the construction here should provide low heat resistance between all components except the ceramic insulator, which is basically a heat insulator, and which has a temperature difference across it of the inner block temperature minus “25 C.” In the system diagram below, it is over 26 C, and shown is a temperature difference between the internal heater and the cylinder of over 17 C.

The termination resistors and the Q-pulse PCB are separately heat-sinked to the chiller line, with separate flow meters and a pair of RTDs in each line.

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Figure 7. Screenshot of the automation and data acquisition computer program in operation

Room temperature 28.29 degrees C. That’s toasty! Why are they using a chiller? Perhaps they want to be ready for major heat… I think this is not the room temperature but the temperature of the argon atmosphere inside the plastic box.

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ANALYSIS

Method A

In our IPB design only a fraction of the stimulation power is imparted to the core heater control because the heater/thermocouple combination is only in contact with approximately half of the core’s length. The actual fraction imparted to the core is determined by resistively heating the core’s coatings using different powers sourced from a well-measured DC power supply and measuring the heater’s response at different temperatures. At each temperature, a linear function (Pdrop = m*Pcoating + b) is determined between the power imparted to the core’s coating via resistive heating and the power reduction in the internal heater necessary to maintain temperature. Representative linear coefficients at different temperatures are shown in Table 2.

If it has been verified that hydrogen loading does not affect the core heat conduction characteristics, as well as where in the core the heat is dissipated, this could be okay. However, this is starting to hurt my head, i.e., to become complex. Pure compensation heating requires locality; instead we have a complex structure with varying heat transfer functions between the parts.

How is direct current run through the coatings to heat them? The image I had was of electrical connections to the outer layer, on one side, and the inner layer, on the other. (perhaps no connection to inner layers?) If the inner and outer layers are each connected on each end, then current can be run transversely. This is different from the Q pulse power, which would be running between the inner and outer layer through capacitance. If there is non-uniformity in fabrication, the heat may not be uniformly distributed along the length of the core. I would really want to carefully study the behavior of this heating. Has that been done?

Table 2. Correlation of power imparted to the core’s internal heater by resistively heating its coating:

(Pdrop = m*Pcoating + b)

Temperature/°Cmb
1500.410.07
2000.440.10
2500.480.07
3000.510.06
3500.550.01
4000.560.03
4500.570.03
5000.570.07

What is it that changes with temperature here? The heat characteristics of the coatings? This may be sensitive to the particular fabrication.

The basic calorimetric calculations are shown in Equations 1 through 4 when the isoperibolic calorimeter operates in heat flow mode. Heat flow (Qflow) is measured using Kflow, which is determined via calibration and the temperature difference between the inner and outer blocks. Heat loss (Qloss) represents the heat loss to air that is not accounted for in Qflow and is also determined via calibration. The output heat (Qout) is the sum of Qflow and Qloss. The input heat is the sum of power applied to the heater (Qheater) and the amount of heat experienced by the heater from the pulse (Qpulse). Hence the heat due to the reaction (Qreaction) is the difference between the output and input heats.

Equation 1: Qreaction = (Qflow + Qloss) – (Qheater + Qpulse)

Equation 2: Qflow = Kflow(Tcore − Touter)

Equation 3: Qloss = Klos(Tcore – Tair)

Equation 4: Qout = Qflow + Qloss

We use the subscripts [superscripts] 1 to mean operation without Q power and 2 to mean operation with Q power. In power compensation mode, we compare the heater power imparted to the core with and without Q pulses applied. Because Tcore, Touter, Tair are held constant in this mode, Qflow and Qloss are the same with and without Q power. As such Equation 4 cannot be used to calculate Qout in power compensation mode. The difference between Qreaction¹ and Qreaction² is shown in Equation 5. When Q pulses are not applied Equation 6 defines Qpulse and Qreaction to be zero. This simplifies equation 5 to that shown in Equation 7 where ΔQheater is the difference between the heater applied with and without Q pulses and ΔQout is output power with and without Q power. The empirical determination of ΔQout is shown in Equations 8 through 10.

Equation 5: Qreaction² − Qreaction¹ = (Qflow² − Qflow¹) + (Qloss² − Qloss¹) – (Qheater² – Qheater¹) – (Qpulse² – Qpulse¹)

Equation 6: Without Q pulse: Qpulse¹ = Qreaction¹ = 0 W

Equation 7: Qreaction = Qheater¹ − Qheater²) − Qpulse + (Qout² – Qout¹)
= ΔQheater – Qpulse  + ΔQout

Replacing pulses with DC power through the core to emulate the physical source of the heat, as described in the measurement subsection, allows us to determine the amount of Q pulse power that affects the core heater power when Qreaction = 0. Rearranging Equation 7 where Qheaterdc is the heater power when DC power is applied to the core coating, Equation 8 allows us to calculate ΔQout at different applied DC powers (Qdc). Finding the linear fit parameters from the plot of ΔQout vs Qdc, Equation 9 shows us the relationship between applied DC power (Qdc) and the DC power output to the environment (ΔQout), which cannon [sic, cannot] be measured directly.

The same equation can be used to find ΔQout with Q power applied substituting (Qpulse) for Qdc.

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Equation 8: ΔQout = Qdc − (Qheater, − Qheaterdc)

Equation 9:  Since ΔQout = m(Qdc) + b then ΔQout = m(Qpulse) + b

Equation 10 shows the calculation of Qreaction when operating in power compensation mode where ΔQheater + ΔQout would equal Qpulse (or Qdc) when Qreaction =0. Equation 11 defines our effective coefficient of performance for the power compensation mode for our isoperibolic calorimeter system.

Equation 10: Qreaction = Δheater – Qpulse +ΔQout

Equation 11: COP = (ΔQheater + ΔQout)/Qpulse = (ΔQheater + m(Qpulse) + b))/Qpulse

Method B

The second method of analyzing the calorimetry is more direct in that instead of calculating the power loss by the calorimeter it determines the amount of heater power compensation (HPC) for different amounts of DC calibration power. In fact, this method is analogous to the traditional isoperibolic calorimeter analysis except that it substitutes heater power compensation for the temperature difference. In order to calculate Qreaction as output power minus input power, Method B compares the heater power compensation (HPC) from DC calibration to that from pulse stimulation. Using this DC calibration the relationship between input power and HPC is determined so that with input pulse power the HPC can be used to back calculate the power from the pulse imparted into the core.

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First the linear relationship between HPC and DC power (Qdc) is found by fitting a linear equation to HPC vs Qdc when Qdc is varied across the range of “pulse. These linear coefficients are then applied to measured Qpulse to calculate HPC(DC), the amount of HPC expected as if the pulse power were DC power. Qreaction is then calculated as shown in Equation 12, where HPC(Q) is the actual HPC measured when the pulse is applied. Equation 13 is then used to calculate COP.

Equation 12: Qreaction = HPC(Q) – HPC(DC)

Equation 13: COP = Qreaction/Qpulse = (HPC(Q) – HPC(DC))/Qpulse

The linear slope coefficient is similar to the value “m” used in Method A. Method A uses the fit to determine the input power lost to the environment and Method B uses the fit to determine the percentage of input power that interacts with the core’s heater and thermocouple. Table 3 shows the values for “M”, the linear fit coefficient from Method B.

Table 3. List of linear fit coefficients determined and employed in Method B:

 

Temperature/°C“M”
1500.45
2000.47
2500.50
3000.53
3500.57
4000.58
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RESULTS

Figure 8 plots the input and output powers versus time for a pulse sequence operated at 600°C as the pulse length is varied from 100 to 300 and back to 100ns while maintaining constant Q power. Note that the heater power is invariant with pulse length. Calculation shows that the reduction in heater power (power compensation) is essentially equal to the Q power that reaches the heater (i.e. no Qreaction)

Figure 8. Effect of varying pulse length at constant power on heater power compensation at 600°C

This is a horrific chart. The point of charts is to make information quick to understand. For me, this chart generates confusion that will require work to overcome. I am accustomed to seeing, for something like this, the controlled variable along the X-axis and the result plotted vertically. However, this is a time plot. So the variable is shown with different plots. With no clear relationship. With some consideration, I notice the labels on each side are colored the same as the four plots. I see they are controlling Qpower — i.e., Qpulse, if I’m correct — but that requires making other changes. Constant power can cause problems. Constant power is really constant current, with, then, the current setting changed to keep the power constant when the voltage varies, perhaps because of a change in resistance. Holding the power constant with a high-speed pulse train could be a mess. The proof is in the pudding: has all this been carefully calibrated and shown to be correct across varied operating conditions?

Keeping at it. The lowest pulse length is 100 nsec. This is also the chart outline, so is that a turn-on, or was this at 100 nsec from the beginning? When the pulse width rises to 300 nsec., excess power appears, called CoreQpow. It rises to about 5.2 W. However, the power rise seems to precede, by a couple of minutes, the pulse width increase. Maybe the device heard them talking about raising the pulse width and it got scared? What is going on here? (Is this merely poor charting? What?)

Then the pulse width is lowered to about 150 nsec. Nothing changes. Then to 100 nsec. The power increases to about 5.7 W. There are substantial glitches in the excess power when pulse width is changed. These glitches precede the pulse width change by a couple of minutes. When the power is increased, the glitch is a upward pulse. When the power is decreased, it is downward.

When pulse width is changed, it is an immediate change. It would happen first of any effect from the pulse width changed. Instead, the calculated reaction power changes first. If this was manually recorded data, or manually integrated from different recording systems, this could be a charting error. However, this data reportedly came from a single system and all the data would be time-stamped or recorded in blocks by specific time. In fact, there can be delays, but not several minutes. Something is very off here.

Setting that aside, the pulse width was increased back to 150 nsec. The output power went down to where it was at 300 and 150 before. Pulse width to 300 nsec, after the glitch, power roughly constant, then about 20 minutes later, the output power dives to zero, while the pulse width is still 300 nsec. There is no explanation for the obviously odd behaviors.

The heater power does change with pulse width. The effect is somewhat concealed by how the data has been plotted. Notice that at the second rise to 300 nsec, the heater power drops by maybe 300 mW, while the output power remains about constant. This indicates to me that the pulse power is not being held constant.

Figure 9. Effect of varying pulse length at constant power on heater power compensation at 300°C

The same issue here, the output power rises before the change in pulse width. The same glitches. I’m thinking that there are events happening that are not described, like turning on pulse stimulation, and this is a charting problem, cause by having the lowest value for pulse width being the same as the chart bottom. In fact, pulse width could have been a separate chart, say at the bottom. 

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Figure 9 plots the same sequence operated at 300°C. Note that the power compensation amount is very dependent on the pulse length. Although the total pulse power from the generator is constant the pulse power measured at the core does vary with pulse length. Still, the magnitude of the power compensation is a greater percentage of the pulse power at 100ns than at 300ns. Calculations show that at 300ns the Qreaction is quite small but is of much greater magnitude at 100ns. Table 4 summarizes the COP results from a single run calculated using Method A. Table 5 summarizes the COP results from six such runs

SRI-table4 (xls)

This all is the same core. The variation is mysterious. The controlled variable is the core temperature setting. To display this, I’d want to see, not a pile of confusing and largely irrelevant data, but a plot of output power, instead of COP. What this looks like is COP increasing to 300 C, then declining rapidly with just a little more temperature (to 350 C.) This is not expected behavior for LENR. However, they give an explanation later. Maybe this design does have a maximum temperature, but where then does the confidence come from, above, about systems at 700 C?

I suspect this is not six runs, it is one run, where for periods of time the temperature was set and increased, all the same day. The core might become exhausted, explaining the lower heat at higher temperatures. What would happen with the temperature starting out high?

Table 5. Summary of COP calculations from six Q pulse runs similar to that shown in Figure 9: 

Temperature/CPulse Width/nsCOP
3001501.41
2501501.44
3001501.21
6001501.03
3003001.28
6001501.01
3001501.43

Too many variables at once. This is a mess.

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It is important to note in Table 4 that the runs performed at 300°C showed COP significantly greater than 1.0 while those at 600°C are essentially 1.0 within experimental error. This can possibly be explained as the Pd inner layer totally de-loading its hydrogen as we have seen before at this temperature and the Ni, although retaining hydrogen traverses its Curie point, changing its electrical and chemical properties. Similar results have been seen from more than 50 runs performed over this period. Recently Method B was used to calculate COP from some more recent runs similar to that shown in Figure 9. As shown above operating above 600°C usually does not yield any reaction heat. Recent runs were operated only up to 400°C. Table 6 summarizes Qreaction and COP calculated from recent runs analyzed using Method B.

“Run” is not well-defined. I would want to see a “run” be an experiment where there was no variable in conditions, then a series of runs all the same. And a series of runs where only one variable (like set temperature) changes. And a series of runs where only pulse width changes.

Table 6. Qreaction and COP from recent runs calculated using Method B:

Temperature/°CQreaction@100ns/WQreaction@150ns/WCOP@100nsCOP@150ns
1500.730.881.241.33
2000.991.151.301.40
2501.181.511.331.47
3001.912.081.471.58
3501.411.651.371.48
4001.061.421.291.42

There are many more test runs that occurred with Brillouin’s IPB HHTs, which can be analyzed using these and other methods but the COP’s found in those tests are very similar to the runs that were examined and summarized in this Report.

I’d want to see for each run, comparison between the two methods of calculating heat production. “Very similar” is very unsatisfactory. If conditions are controlled, how similar are results? Individual core history may be important.

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CONCLUSIONS

Low energy nuclear reactions (LENR) can produce thermal power when Ni, and other metal, coated tubes are stimulated using fast rise-time pulses. These experiments operated in H2 or He gas from 200°C – 600°C. The exact same procedure was performed in each gas. Comparative thermal measurements were performed between heater-only power and heater and pulse power. These runs were performed in isoperibolic calorimeters operated in power compensation mode, where the heater adjusts its power to keep the inner and outer temperature-difference constant. Over 100 runs were performed on five different Ni-coated cores. Three additional cores were also tested for other experimental purposes. COP’s from 1.0 to over 2.0 were measured depending on stimulation conditions. Recent test runs have not averaged above 1.5, although the core’s coating composition and metallurgy are still being optimized. Better calorimetry is regularly being optimized and implemented.

The results of those comparisons with H2 and He are not shown. This is an independent calibration. Unfortunately, there can be variations in heat transfer from changing the gas. At these relatively low powers, strong evidence may require determining the ash and measuring it. Low-deuterium hydrogen can be used, with long accumulation times, in case the ash is deuterium.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to acknowledge Dr. Michael McKubre (SRI Emeritus) for his work on the calorimeter design. I would also like to thank Brillouin Energy engineers Cedric Everleigh and Jin Liu for their aid in the calorimetric analysis. And I would like to thank everyone at Brillouin Energy Corp. for their highly creative, disciplined and highly professional technical work, which continues to show that they are a leader in this field.

But maybe they actually are leaders. By comparison. I’m concerned about the lack of data here that would show the reliability claimed. If Tanzella has that data, he has not shown it. Why not? What was this report for?

He talked about 100 runs on five cores. How do results vary by core? Does a core continue to operate at the same level, or does this change with core history? Table 5 was called “six runs,” but it was all one one day. So 17 days of work? Or 100 days? The report is labelled “Client Private,” and if this is what I saw from all that work, I’d be quite disappointed. It looks to me like he is holding back data. Why? Yes, BE may want to not release some data, but …. they wouldn’t have to release his report and could ask him to write a brief summary for public release. So, again, something is off, something I don’t understand.

Summary so far: I am not impressed. However, now I will look at other critiques of this.

Tanzella response

When I wrote this, I decided to seek review before releasing it. Using a password provided by me, tt was read by several scientists and others. I was encouraged to publish it, and eventually I wrote to Tanzella and asked him if he’d like to see it first. He did and I gave him the password. Tanzella gave me various comments, and I thank him for his attention. He approved this for publication:

        One thing in the original critique that I must object to is the suggestion that SRI cannot execute an independent evaluation of a client’s technology when we’re being paid by the client. SRI does that for the government to the tune of 100’s of millions of dollars per year. We are trained to compartmentalize our efforts such that every program yields trustworthy analysis, regardless of who is paying. Without that reputation, SRI would never survive, and the US government would never trust any of the conclusions found by SRI.

I did not actually claim what Tanzella is objecting to. Rather:

It is bit of an exaggeration to call any SRI report on the Brillouin work as “independent,” because Brillouin retained SRI to support them. [SRI] increases credibility over what would be the case with some [other] independent expert, but this does not qualify as “fully independent.”

One more point: apparently there was an ICCF-20 presentation and will likely be a better-edited paper, possibly with additional results.

SRI Brillouin HHT report

SRI_Progress_Report_News_Release refers to SRI_Progress-report. The news release PDF links to the SRI Report, but is not properly formatted and so the link fails unless fixed. (restore the hyphen in wp-content). I have placed both these files in our Media Library here. If they are updated (or taken down) I will note that. [The link error was fixed.]

This is a study of the report, which will eventually include commentary seen in many places on this report. It begins with an import of the Report to WordPress. Continue reading “SRI Brillouin HHT report”