Lewan Rossi interview of May, 2016

This recent Lewan interview and comments on it led me to look back at an older one:

Rossi makes offer on Swedish factory building – plus more updates

Last week, Andrea Rossi made a visit to Sweden, and apart from meeting with the team of professors in Uppsala, with me and other persons, he made a trip from Stockholm to the south of Sweden to have look at a 10,000 square meter factory building for sale. The day after, assisted by his Northern Europe partner and licensee Hydrofusion, Rossi made an offer on the building in the order of USD 3 to 5 million. Negotiations are now ongoing.

This was before the IH Answer in Rossi v. Darden revealed that Rossi claimed to IH, in 2012, that he had created a fake test for Hydro Fusion to get out of his agreement with them. One wonders how Hydro Fusion reacted when they found out, assuming they did. Be that as it may, it seems clear that Lewan reports what Rossi tells him as fact, without verification. To be sure, perhaps he did verify, but … it seems unlikely. Then Lewan does not follow up. What happened to this deal? When an actual offer is made, normally there is a deposit put up. Or was this a real offer, or just an idea?

There are many “updates” reported in this interview. What else was there and how does it all look now, with far more having become public?

Even buying a factory building is no proof that production will start. Critics, accusing Rossi for being a fraudster, will assume that it could be a way to attract investors, but I honestly wouldn’t expect a fraudster to make use of such expensive schemes. Especially not since it would be quite fine just getting away with 11.5M without further trouble.

This is a classic argument on Planet Rossi. “I wouldn’t expect.” “Fraudster” is not well defined. Lewan’s expectation is an ungrounded fantasy. If a fraudster is someone who induces people to do what he wants by misleading them, there is plenty of evidence that Rossi has done that (including that Hydro Fusion affair, regarding which Lewan has direct knowledge of).

IH obviously didn’t expect Rossi to sue them, he’d have to be crazy. Yes. He would. However, maybe he gained something, he is now claiming that his goal from the beginning was to get the License back, though that does not match his actual behavior. However, once we accept the idea that someone might be literally insane, it is not necessary that anything make sense. What can be seen here is that Lewan is creating conclusions out of nothing.

I would take this as a strong indication that the modular Quark X, supposedly big as a pen, producing heat, light and direct electricity at variable proportions at a total power of about 100W, based on the E-Cat LENR technology with hydrogen, lithium, aluminium and nickel in the fuel, is real. Rossi, however, said that there’s still R&D to be done to get the Quark X ready for production. He also said that the ‘X’ had no other meaning than being a substitute for a final name.

And some other mystery ingredient, apparently, the most closely-guarded secret. Quark-X is now allegedly a 20 watt device, and direct electricity isn’t being claimed any more, if I’m correct. This is 14 months later. Sure, Rossi had an excuse, but … why does everything depend on Rossi alone? Doesn’t he have partners? Ah, well, questions, questions. What’s here.

After my meeting with Rossi (first time for me since September 2012), I have a few other updates.

Claiming that everything he said could be proven with documents (or that he otherwise would be lying),

Rossi lies, that’s not in question. That doesn’t show that any given statement is a lie, but what do we know about what is claimed here?

Rossi told me regarding the one-year 1MW test that:

All the instruments for measurements were installed, under observation of IH and Rossi, by the ERV (Expert Responsible for Validation) Fabio Penon, who had been communicating also with Darden, receiving technical suggestions from him on this matter. All communications with the ERV were made with both Darden and Rossi in copy.

Later email communications between Penon and Rossi (but before this interview) were not cc’d to Darden and were destroyed by Rossi, apparently. Rossi apparently removed monitoring equipment installed by IH, but what he has said here may be more or less correct. Rossi was, in fact, in full control of the “test.” IH never agreed that this was the Guaranteed Performance Test, and it was clear that Rossi knew that the opportunity for the GPT had expired, though IH was willing to negotiate for further payments.

The flow meter was mounted according to all standard requirements, for example at the lowest point in the system.

As soon as the “test” was completed, Rossi removed the pipes so this claim could not be verified.

The MW plant was placed on blocks, 33 cm above the ground, to make sure that leaking water or any hidden connections would become visible.

That would be the Plant. However, the full system was mostly hidden in the “customer area,” and there are various ways that what happened in that area could seriously affect measurements.

The two IH representatives present at the test were Barry West and Fulvio Fabiani (who worked for Rossi from January 2012 until August 2013, when the MW plant was delivered to IH in North Carolina, after which he was paid by IH as an expert who would make the technology transition from Rossi to IH easier). West and Fabiani reported to JT Vaughn every day on the phone.

I’m not sure about “every day.” However, calling them “representatives” is a bit deceptive. Both were tasked with assisting Rossi. Fabiani was an old friend of Rossi’s wife, apparently, and when things broke down between IH and Rossi, Fabiani, he claimed, felt trapped in the middle. In the end, he did not turn over the raw data that did, in fact, belong to IH, thus possibly protecting Rossi. We know that he destroyed that data, by his admission, and he destroyed his emails.

Rossi always pointed to the “two men” IH had in Doral. They were utterly ineffective at monitoring what was going on, because West, in particular, was not allowed to challenge Rossi on anything. Fabiani apparently threatened to harm West if he did anything to harm the “test,” though it’s not clear that he was serious. Fabiani was definitely a Rossi man, not IH.

Three interim reports, about every three months, with basically the same results as in the final report, were provided by the ERV during the test.

They were. Glossed over is the fact that Penon only visited the test maybe once every three months, and depended entirely, as far as we know, on Rossi for data. Many of these details, though, remain unclear because of the destruction of data and emails.

During summer 2015, IH offered Rossi to back out from the test and cancel it, with a significant sum of money as compensation. Rossi’s counter offer was to give back the already paid 11.5M and cancel the license agreement, but IH didn’t accept.

If this actually happened, it is odd that IH would later accept the settlement, turning the License over for no compensation at all.

At this point, making this claim, Rossi was suing IH — and other defendants — for a lot of money. Later, Rossi says, now, in the new interview, that his whole purpose was to get the licence back. IH had put about $20 million into the affair, so $11.5 million would be short. But how about $10 million plus some residual rights? Not requiring all the things that Rossi didn’t want, only providing a conditional payment to IH if Rossi hit the market with real product?

This alleged offer, now, looks like much better than IH actually got. Because this would likely have been used as a basis for improving the IH settlement, I doubt that it ever happened like it’s being said here. Rossi does that, reframes events according to his own narrative and the impression he desires to create.

The unidentified customer (‘JM Products’) using the thermal energy from the MW plant, had its equipment at the official address—7861, 46th Street, Doral, Fl. The total surface of the premises was 1,000 square meters, of which the MW plant used 400 and the customer 600.

We now know that there was no customer other than Rossi wearing different hats, when he even bothered to change hats. This story, like all the others told before the truth came out, strongly implies an independent customer, not Rossi himself. His story changed once he was under penalty of perjury, with massive evidence that he’d been lying. Some of his testimony, still, pushed that legal edge.

The equipment of the customer measured 20 x 3 x 3 meters, and the process was running 24/7.
The thermal energy was transfered to the customer with heat exchangers and the heat that was not consumed was vented out as hot air through the roof.

The “heat exchanger” mentioned here, with the function described, would not be the heat exchanger Rossi later claimed. This report directly contradicts the later story. The heat was, in the later story, blown out the front windows of the mezzanine, not through the roof.

The “equipment” was a collection of tubes in which other, smaller tubes were placed, to be heated. As this was actually operated, with only small amounts of “product” being involved — maybe a few grams! — this did not require anything remotely close to a megawatt. Rossi was here maintaining the fiction of a “customer” which was only Rossi, with full control by Rossi.

The water heated by the MW plant was circulating in a closed loop, and since the return temperature was varying, due to different load in the process of the customer, Rossi insisted that the energy corresponding to heating the inflowing cooled water (at about 60˚C) to boiling temperature would not be taken into account for calculating the thermal power produced by the MW plant.

This was Rossi controlling the ERV report. An engineering evaluation would aim for accuracy, and if some margin is to be added to be “conservative,” this would be applied later, not just to one measure, or mathematically to all, based on estimated error. Rossi’s insistence caused the performance data to be, possibly, partially hidden. By the way, the metering pumps had a maximum operating temperature of 50˚C, another example of the equipment operating outside the rated range.

The ERV accepted. (This was conservative, decreasing the calculated thermal power. The main part of the calculated thermal power, however, derives from the water being evaporated when boiling).
He also insisted that an arbitrary chosen 10 percent should be subtracted in the power calculation, with no other reason than to be conservative. The ERV accepted.

To be sure, at this point, IH was following a policy of not confronting or criticizing anything that Rossi did.

IH never had access to the customer’s area. At the end of the test, an expert hired by IH, insisted that it was important to know where the water came from and where it was used. The ERV explained that this had no importance.

Demonstrating that the ERV was, to use the technical term, a blithering idiot. Sure, if everything works perfectly, it should be possible to measure generated power with the “customer loop” being hidden.

However, there are possible error and fraud modes that would operate in the “customer area.”

Supposedly, the “customer,” JMP, was to independently measure the delivered power. Instead, Johnson, the President of JMP — and Rossi’s lawyer and President of Leonardo Corporation — was given draft reports by Rossi to send to IH for delivered power. Rossi later claimed, when it became apparent that his earlier descriptions were inadequate, that he had built a heat exchanger — an additional one — to dissipate the megawatt. The operating conditions of that heat exchanger, i.e., air flow rate and air temperature rise, would have been an additional measure of power, it would have been of high interest. But if it existed, it was hidden. Why?

Rossi’s description of what was said by the “expert” may not be accurate. This is the set of questions.

Nothing there about what Rossi says. We don’t know that, at this point, Rossi had seen those questions. We may suspect that Penon gave the document to Rossi, but the emails were destroyed, and Penon was unavailable to be served, apparently hiding in the Dominican Republic to avoid being sued.

In fact, Penon blew off the expert’s questions, refusing to answer them. This is not how an independent expert would behave. Questions were asked verbally, and the expert (Murray) wasn’t satisfied and put the questions in writing. No answers.

The average flow of water was 36 cubic meters per day.

Data collection from a test like this would properly be as measured (actual flow meter readings), not some “average.” This is all part of what was weird about the Penon report. That’s covered in many other places.

At the end of the test, the ERV dismounted all the instruments by himself, in the presence of Rossi and IH, packed them and brought everything to DHL for transportation to the instrument manufacturers who would recalibrate the instruments and certify that they were not manipulated.

This is the kind of claim that sounds reasonable until it is examined closely. When a lawyer saw this claim (not an IH lawyer), he immediately said “spoliation.” That is, evidence was removed. To be sure, no evidence appeared in the case about the results of those recalibrations.

“Manipulation” — or error — need not be of the instrument itself, but how the instrument is installed or how it is read.

One of the mysteries of the Penon report is the rock-solid 0.0 bar pressure reported. Assuming that Penon actually meant “0.0 barg,” this is astonishing, given supposedly superheated output. With superheated output, it is very difficult to maintain temperature control (unlike saturated steam, that will be rock-solid at a given pressure.) Murray raised certain issues with Penon, but there are more. In any case, imagine that the pressure gauge was screwed into a blind hole. No pressure. Nothing wrong with the gauge. Then just a little steam could raise the pressure enough to explain the temperature readings; setting up such a system to operate at 0.0 bar, precisely, would be extremely difficult, and why would one go to the trouble?

After the test, IH wanted to remove the MW plant from the premises in Florida, but Rossi would not accept until the remaining $89M were paid according to the license agreement.

The Plant clearly belonged to IH, which, by the Term Sheet, had the right to remove it. Rossi’s action was not legally sustainable, under normal conditions.

Rossi’s and IH’s attorneys then agreed that both parties should lock the plant with their own padlocks (as opposed to the claim by Dewey Weaver—a person apparently connected to IH, but yet not clear in what way—that ‘IH decided to padlock the 1MW container after observing and documenting many disappointing actions and facts’).

Dewey was an investor in IH, involved from the beginning of the affair, and a contractor to them as well. His statement is not contradicted by what is said about attorneys on both sides. (Both can be true.) This is Lewan arguing with Weaver, but, of course, Lewan disallowed comment on this post.

It’s obvious why IH would want to padlock the container, it would be to prevent spoliation. It seems they did not contemplate that Rossi would remove all the piping. There is a story that Johnson asked IH about starting up the plant again (possibly an attempt to support the “customer” story), IH indicated that could be done, and then Johnson withdrew the request. After all, the piping had been removed (and, as well, if the later story is true, the heat exchanger as well. Both were necessary for operation of a megawatt plant!)

Rossi claimed that the Term Sheet prevented IH from having access to the “customer area,” which wasn’t true. That provision was in a draft, but was removed before that agreement was signed. Nevertheless, IH did not attempt to enter the “customer area.”

I should also add that I have been in contact with people with insight into the MW report, that hopefully will get public this summer as part of the lawsuit, and they told me that based on the contents, the only way for IH to claim a COP about 1 (that no heat was produced—COP, Coefficient of Performance, is Output Energy/Input Energy) would be to accuse Penon of having produced a fake report in collaboration with Rossi. Nothing in the report itself seems to give any opportunity for large mistakes, invalidating the claim of a high COP (as opposed to claims by people having talked about the report with persons connected to IH).

Jed Rothwell somehow obtained a copy of a preliminary report. Lewan is here reporting a complex judgment with no attribution covering the expertise of those judging, this was vague rumor. If the data in the report is taken as accurate — which appears unlikely from internal evidence — sure. High COP. Lewan is completely unspecific. Rothwell claims he got the preliminary data from someone who got it from Rossi. When the Murray questions to Penon came out, Rothwell said that he had nothing more to add (Rothwell had seen spreadsheet data, but Murray describes it.)

The Penon report was filed in the court documents. There is also data from Fabiani. It all looks odd, but I’m not going into more detail here.

As for hints on the ERV Penon being incompetent, based partly on the HotCat report from August 2012, I would like to point out:

Fabio Penon has a degree in Nuclear Engineering, from Bologna University, with rating 100 of 100 and honors.

Goes to show. (Nuclear engineering does not necessarily prepare one for low-temperature steam power measurement and possible artifacts.)

He worked for several years in the nuclear industry with thermo mechanics.
When the nuclear industry was put on hold in Italy, he turned to work as expert on product certification, collaborating with entities such as Bureau Veritas, Vertiquality and Det Norske Veritas.

The HotCat report from August 2012, signed by Penon, containing a few notable errors, was not written by Penon. Penon assisted at a test on August 7, 2012, repeating an experiment made on July 16, 2012. The report was written on the July test, and Penon was only confirming that similar results were obtained on the August test. Penon told me this in an interview in September, 2012. You could of course accuse Penon of not having studied the original report sufficiently before signing it, but the errors were not a result of Penon’s work.

Sure. That signature, however, demonstrates a level of professional incompetence. He signed a report without verifying it. I’d be happier if he simply made some mistakes! Here, Mats is finding excuses, and that’s what one does if one is attempting to create or support some picture, some overall impression.

Penon’s behavior as shown by the lawsuit wasn’t … inspiring.

Two further remarks regarding earlier E-Cat tests:

[not copied]

I have contacted several experts to get a third party evaluation of the Lugano test report and the contesting papers by Thomas Clarke and Bob Higgins. Until I receive these evaluations I only note that the original result is contested, but that no conclusive result is agreed upon. The isotopic shifts remain unexplained, unless you assume fraud.

That is probably necessary, though the real point is that the samples were not obtain neutrally.

Mats never came up with the third party evaluations. That could have been an actual service.

There is more, confirming that Clarke and Higgens were correct, at least in round outlines. IH made the Lugano reactors, and claims that they were never able to confirm the Lugano results, in spite of extensive efforts. (It is possible that they had some original results later considered artifact, and the report of an accidental control experiment, mentioned in the recent interview, may have been a Lugano-type reactor with similar optical calorimetry. That kind of work must be fully calibrated (i.e., with control experiments at full input power, the basic and most obvious Lugano error.)

As to the isotopic shifts, Rossi, during this visit that Lewan is reporting on, provided another sample of ash to Bo Hoistad. This showed the same isotopic shifts. It was apparently from the Doral plant, though that’s not clear. The “same isotopic shifts” could indicate that this was from the same sample. If it was actually from Doral, Doral had operated for a year, whereas Lugano only operated for a month. One would expect more dramatic shifts from a year of operation, if this is an effect from whatever reaction is generating power.

§

Now, all this makes me conclude that the E-Cat is most probably valid and that the 1MW test was indeed successful.

It appears that the phase of the Moon led Lewan to conclude this. There was a major investor who devoted $20 million and years of effort to confirm Rossi technology. The investor failed to do so, and walked away with a complete loss. In the face of that, the vagueness Lewan asserts pales to insignificance.

What remains to be explained is why IH in that case didn’t pay Rossi the final $89M and continued to partner with him to develop and market such a disruptive, world changing technology.

Indeed. Something is wrong with this picture. To discover it, Lewan would need to set aside his own complex emotional reactions, and actually become familiar with fact.

After looking at it for some time, I tend to be skeptic about the conspiracy hypothesis, involving large financial and political interests being threatened by such a technology, even though I find it remarkable that IH has involved APCO Worldwide and Jones Day.

Sifferkoll really goes off the deep end.

APCO and Jones Day are not at all mysterious if one looks at who these people are. Darden is a professional investment manager, handling billions of dollars in investments. It’s surprising that they would hire professionals? Why?

I then ask myself if it’s really possible that it all comes down to money. That IH/Cherokee, as has been suggested, has a track record of putting up companies based on emerging technologies or remediation projects, collecting public and private funding (or also this link), making the funds disappear and then closing down the companies with reasonable explanations for unsuccessful development of the technology or of the project.

That is a cherry=picked story of what Cherokee does, often asserted by Sifferkoll and repeated among Rossi supporters as if it were established fact.

Cherokee takes on risky projects, setting up LLCs for each project. They put about $25 million of Cherokee funds in them. Each project is independent. Each project then solicits its own investors, generally from “qualified investors,” people who can take on major risk — and also people who may need tax deductions, another factor.

Money does not “disappear.” Rather, a few projects fail. When they fail, which isn’t often, — i.e., most projects make money, quite a lot — a project may be shut down. In some cases, liabilities may exceed assets, though that is not common, and then a project might go through bankruptcy. Like any corporation. Some of these projects obtain loans and governmental funding. As with any such loan or grant to a corporation (or individual!), there can be losses. All this has been exaggerated in the lists of alleged Cherokee misbehaviors. I’ve looked at each one I’ve come across, reading the sources, documenting fact. It’s classic mudslinging.

If Cherokee were ripping off investors, there would be investors complaining. If officers were absconding with funds, there would be prosecutions (and one of the stories does involve such a prosecution. An LLC hired someone who apparently wasn’t trustworthy. It happens. None of this has anything to do with Industrial Heat. Industrial Heat investors are not complaining about Darden. This was all FUD to support a Rossi narrative of these people being crooks, but the case documents simply don’t show that.

But Mats hasn’t read the case documents, he’d rather just see what is written on blogs and make knee-jerk judgments.

Admittedly, this could be a defendable strategy in some cases where results could be obtained. Still, if the E-Cat is really working as claimed, why wouldn’t they then take the chance to build it into a prospering money machine? Taking care of the magic hen that lays golden eggs instead of roasting it after having collected the first egg, as some would put it. I cannot figure it out.

The difficulty is arising because assumptions are being made that are contradictory. IH never collected any eggs, not even the first! Rossi claimed “unjust enrichment,” but they never sold Rossi technology. He claims that they “collected $50 million” based on the technology, but that was empty claim (sometimes supported on Planet Rossi by misquoting what Woodford wrote when they learned about the problems.) Woodford did not invest in Rossi technology, but in the general IH LENR activity, this is completely clear.

IH shows, at this point, a dead loss, IHHI still has funds, apparently, but much of the asset value carried may be the Rossi License, which will be completely written off.

In Mercato veritas. Will anyone else invest after seeing what happened to IH?

Clearly, such an endeavour would require investing a lot of money and work, spending large parts, if not all of the funding IH collected while boasting about the successful MW test, and also taking a market risk that it might not play out as expected.

Mats is telling the Rossi story, regurgitated. IH did not “collect funding while boasting about the successful MW test.” They didn’t boast about the MW test. They occasionally expressed some optimism, mixed with some concerns, but major new investment didn’t exist until Woodford invested, and that was committed before the alleged 1 MW test began. Woodford did visit, and Rossi said this and that about it, and some believe Rossi, including, apparently, Mats. There was no new major fundraising after the original $20 million stock offering in 2013, as far as I’ve been able to find.

But wouldn’t it be worth it? Becoming remembered for introducing a technology that could change and literally save the planet, from the climate crisis and from fossil fuel pollution? Rather than being forever remembered as those who only saw the money, and didn’t want to get involved in the technology project? I just cannot understand.

There are many internal IH communications, communications with investors, and the like, in the case documents. They obviously did not “see only the money.” Rossi made that up, and Rossi seems to have believed that they only cared about money (hence he imagined that they’d be happy that he chose them over Hydro Fusion, even though that affair reeked).

These people had concluded that LENR was probably real, and that it was possible Rossi had real devices, and they poured money and hope into that for years, tolerating Rossi’s “difficult behavior,” because if they didn’t, they knew what Rossi would do, and then then would not be nearly as certain as they did, later, come to be.

It’s actually not difficult to understand, if Mats would just take off the blinders and start looking at what he already knows, if he lets go of his attachments.

He doesn’t need to take it from me. He could see all of this for himself.

But, with this interview, he cut himself off from learning what was actually going on:

§

Finally—I will continue having the comments on this blog closed. The main reason is that few new facts have been presented, whereas unmanageable amounts of opinions have been posted.

That’s a characteristic of community discussions in general. However, Mats had no imagination. The problem on his blog was a linear comment model with no hierarchy. It created completely unmanageable discussions. Further, Lewan didn’t have time for this (and had no patience for those who did). What he could have done was to engage someone to manage the site for him. To develop useful crowd-sourced information requires structure and study and work. To let him know when there was something worth looking at.

What Lewan did isolated him from people who actually understood the case, perhaps only a few of those commenting. Lewan loosely followed E-Cat World, but not LENR Forum (far more neutral, with some regular participants being good writers and scientifically knowledgeable, still a huge mess).

If one doesn’t have the time to follow full discussions with all the trolls and nut cases, and if the topic is important, one needs help. Choose that help well!

I would like to apologise if I have hinted at Thomas Clarke’s having an agenda with his impressive number of comments. I want to assume that Clarke is perfectly honest in the significant work he has laid down on analysing the Lugano report and on commenting what, according to him, is probable or not. But I would also like to note that producing for some periods up to 34 posts per day hints at a position which I’m not sure if it should be called balanced. This, combined with obvious spin from a few people, apparently having an agenda in criticising some individuals, adds to my decision to keep the comments closed.

Thus suppressing genuine discussion of what is posted on the blog. This idea that there is something wrong with “34 posts per day” is a common one among shallow thinkers. That isn’t the Clarke norm, but that was a very hot discussion in a very hot time. I would have invited Clarke to write posts, not merely to comment, because his engagement in the routine cycles of insults common on blogs would be a waste. I would suggest to Clarke that he leave defending himself to others. That’s an old internet principle: don’t defend yourself, defend each other.

Mats doesn’t know enough about the case and case record to have informed opinions, he is entirely dependent on what Rossi tells him and what he’s seen on E-Cat world. He claims “there is no proof,” but he has not actually examined the evidence, it’s all vague. He only reports what Rossi Says, plus some shallow and uninformed conclusions of his own.

To do more would be too much work, my guess.

However, please share the post if you think t’s relevant, and feel free to email me if you have facts that you think I should be aware of.

I have posted a comment on his new interview post, still awaiting moderation approval, and, since he requested this, I’ll email him a link to this page.

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