This is a slide presentation from 2005, authored by M.Apicella(1), H. Branover(2), E. Castagna(3), I. Dardik(4) A. El Boher(2), S.Lesin(2),
G. Mazzitelli(1), M. McKubre(5), F.Sarto(1), C. Sibilia(3), E. Santoro(1), F. Tanzella(5), V. Violante(1), T. Zilov(2)
(1) ENEA Frascati Research Center V.le E. Fermi 45 00044 Frascati (RM) ItalyV. le E. Fermi 45 italy
(2) Energetics, Ltd, Omer Industrial Park 84965 Israel)
(3) La Sapienza University, Via Scarpa, 14 00100 (Roma) Italy
(4) Energetics LLC 7 Fieldview Lane, Califon, NJ 07830 USA
(5) SRI International 333 Ravenswood Ave, Menlo Park CA 94025 USA.
I’ve uploaded the file here. The occasion today is that Kirk Shanahan posted a commentary on this presentation on LENR Forum, in response to my suggestion that he read my 2015 Current Science paper — I had cited this document for a small part of it. Kirk commonly turns every conversation into his favorite topic, this was no exception. Perhaps we will learn something here.
Abd said I should read his paper, so I did. Nothing but recitation of what others say.
Indeed. It’s a review, not something new, and most of what is cited was quite old. However, what I wrote in that paper was considered significant by McKubre, enough to be mentioned in his 2016 ICCF-20 keynote.
In his review of helium-4 and heat correlations in 2015, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax states: “Miles was amply confirmed, and precision has increased. While there are outliers, there is no experimental evidence contradicting the correlation, and only the exact ratio remains in question. In this, we have direct evidence that the effect is real and is nuclear in nature; the mechanism remains a mystery well worth exploration.” For an experimental result of earth shattering importance, first reported publicly in 1991, it took until 2015, 24 years, for this conclusion to be stated with such clarity and conviction. Why? And even now not every researcher in the CMNS world would agree that helium-4 is the primary product, or even a nuclear one!
What was largely new with the paper was the title, “Replicable cold fusion experiment: heat/helium ratio.” This, unlike most LENR experiments, is quantitatively replicable.
He referenced a Powerpoint presentation by a group of authors whose primary CFer is McKubre that details some positive CF experiments (http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/ApicellaMreproducib.pdf) that I’d like to comment on.
“Primary CFer” is standard Shanahan insult. Because of language like this, I’m not about to take any issues that are legitimately raised here to the CF research community for comment, but if such consultation becomes appropriate, I’ll restate it all, leaving out the load of carp.
Many of the authors are familar names to me. Then again, I actually study the field instead of just throwing darts at it occasionally. Links added.
At the end in the background material there is a slide that actually has a calibration equation on it for their isoperibolic calorimeter. It gives electrolyte temp as a function of input power. The equation is: Telec = -0.1649 * Pin2 + 5.3636*Pin + 24.337, and it has a multiple R2 value of 1, implying it is a very highly precise equation.
The document doesn’t actually say “Telec” but it is probably the electrolyte temperature. It is the average temperature of two PT-100 sensors. The caption does not thoroughly explain what this is. “By electrolysis in LiOD” is vague.” It is presumably a D2O solution of LiOD. But calibration by electrolysis, if that is what they mean, would be problematic. It gets complicated with deuterium evolution, etc. I’d think they would calibrate with a resistor. So this is a question that could be asked of Violante.
That is a curve fit for calibration data, not precisely, only plotted. I’m not thrilled with the claimed R2 = 1, but it may simply mean that the behavior was within measurement precision. This wasn’t a scientific paper, it was a presentation at an APS meeting, by multiple authors working at different institutions. It was not peer reviewed, I expect.
“Their” refers to ENEA Frascati, i.e., Apicella, Santoro, and Violante, and to their Laser-triggered work using isoperibolic calorimetry. that also measured helium.
This can be reversed to predict Pin given the Telec values. I did it by computing Telec for Pin values of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6W, and then using the Excel fitting routine for a quadratic. I got this equation: Pin = .0022001*Telec2 +.0060493*Telec -2.6978, with an R2 = .99997 (I’m not sure why it didn’t give 1.0, probably round off error). Of course excess power (Pex) is given by Pex = Pout – Pin, and in calibration we set Pout = Pin.
The question is what a small change in calibration constants would do to apparent excess heat. So I started with the McK equation to compute Telec for the Pin’s given above, then changed the linear and quadratic term constants in the reversed equation by +1%, and recomputed the ‘new’ expected Telec.
A small problem. This is not a “McK equation.” This is for ENEA Frascati work. There is much more information on this specific work in Apicella et al, Some Recent Results at ENEA, 2005.
Then I went back to the original McK equation and computed the Pout values for those new Telec’s. At 6W Pin, the shifted equation gives an apparent excess heat of ~78 mW. In my Storms’ reanalysis, I found a +/- 2.5% shift, which translates here to a 195 mW 1 sigma value (for 2.5% shift). Thus the 3-sigma band is +/- 585 mW, which can be rounded up to 600 mW band. Thus theoretically the excess power signal needs to exceed 600 mW to be ‘out of the noise’ if a 1% CCS has occurred.
A signals has no need. We do, as humans. Need for what?
I would certainly not assert that the ENEA results are “major heat,” however, a 1% calibration constant shift would be large. Shanahan’s work and conclusions have never been confirmed. I have not verified his calculations here, but I have no reason to doubt them, they simply are not surprising, in themselves, i.e., Shahanan has been writing this for years.
In careful work, calibrations are not just done before an experiment, they will also be done after. Calibrations do shift, though the magnitude he is proposing seems high. Most electrochemists dismiss Shanahan out of hand, his CCS has been called “random.” However, in fact, he is proposing a systematic shift. If it is systematic it should not be difficult to confirm.
Shanahan’s complaints, though, are not likely to lead to that.
McK, et al have several slides claiming excess power. For example, their 3rd slide shows an excess power peak from a flow calorimeter of ~90 mW in a spike, smoothed I say more like 70 mW. This is approximately the same magnitude as the 1% CCS effect.
This presentation is not “McK, et al.” The lead presenter, by which the paper is cited, is Apicella of ENEA. Slide 3 should be compared with slide 2, which with H2O and 0.1 M LiOH. Notice how the cumulative energy out remains below the cumulative energy in, showing apparent calorimetry capture of 97.5%. There are lots of aspects I don’t like about the presentation. Slide 3 may be mislabeled, at least in the ICCF conference paper this is captioned as isoperibolic.
So … a 1% CCS effect is imagined to appear in the middle of an experiment like this, and then disappear? I do understand the irony: excess appears in the middle of an experiment and then disappears. However, Shanahan’s CCS is an anomaly that has not been confirmed by anyone. He then ignores most of the rest of the evidence.
Slide 6 show]s] “Excess Power at SRI”. They seem to plot an excess power (very noisy) and a smoothed version that apparently uses the right Y-axis based on the figure legend across the top of the graph. Those plots show peak values of ~55 mW (guessing at the units, since they stated ‘Total Power = 214mW’), which is within the 1% CCS 1 sigma.
I don’t know what we are seeing there, the plot is not familiar to me. Many SRI reports do show this kind of noisy power plot. To understand this, I’d want to see the history of this cell and run. It’s simply not there. Whether Slide 6 made for an effective presentation would depend entirely on what was said about it. I’d rather not guess.
Their 8th slide shows more calorimetric results for laser triggered experiments. They plot energy and power on the same graph. Of note is at the start the output power slightly exceeds input power (i.e. positive small excess power signal) but it basically tracks the input power, which is a good indication that the calibration is off or there is something else going on (Storms’ first data set for Pt-Pt F&P cell work showed negative input power feedback due to ground loops). Later on, they get spiky output power when input power is constant. The spikes are about 190 mW peak values (~2.5 times the 1% CCS effect (or just a 2.5% CCS as found in Storms’ results)).
First, see Slide 2. This is a hydrogen control. This is what zero XP looks like, for a few hours. I’d really want to see much more to be thoroughly satisfied, but this is what they have. Hydrogen does not present this messy power output.
Slide 8 does not show more than two days of startup. The scale for this plot was not designed to show what may have been early excess power, but the accumulated energy has deviated early on. The plots of total input energy and total output energy are confusing; cold fusion researchers don’t seem to recognize the communication problem. However, the XP they are concerned with mostly shows up in the last days of this experiment. This is not impressive power, for sure, but it becomes more impressive when compared with the helium measurements.
So my point is that the apparent excess power/energy values shown in these slides could *easily* be a very small CCS. It seems important to me that the reality of these signals need to be determined and not just assumed to be real excess energy.
I don’t assume it’s real excess energy. It is a set of real measurements; unfortunately, we don’t have them. We have calculations done from them. It would be enough for the most important purposes that these measurements are handled consistently. “Very small” is Shanahan’s own view, not some reliable measure. 2.5% CCS hardly seems small to me, for something routinely observed to be much more stable.
Since I am looking at the Apicella, et al, slides – some other points:
In Slide 7, they state some conclusions which I find contradictory. In the first line they say: “(D/Pd > 0.9 in some cases also with less loading) have been observed at ENEA.” Then in the 2nd line they say: “We can conclude that high D loading is a necessary condition for excess of power production during loading of Pd with D.” But if one can get apparent excess power at <D/Pd=0.9, then it is incorrect to conclude that that is a requirement.
Yes, and this indicates poor editing. However, this is the reality: for a very long time, high loading was considered completely necessary. Experiments without that high loading normally did not show excess heat. The apparent contradiction goes away if we think that, say, 85% loading is high, and, historically, it used to be thought that anything above 70% loading was impossible. And that is why the early failed replications stopped loading at 70% or so, and why, now, we can look at those and see the failures as highly predictable.
However, there is recent work by Ed Storms that indicates that once conditions showing XP are set up, the loading may decline and XP may continue, quite a distance below those high numbers. This is unconfirmed, so far, but … it does make sense, given some of the odd events that have been reported, such as the original FP meltdown in about 1984.
Of course they don’t specifically say right there that >0.9 is the requirement, but in Slide 12 they do. These slides were presented in 2005, and today in 2017 the mantra is still “>0.9”. I disagree, it simply takes a little more work to get the effect when the Pd loading is <0.9.
I suggest not confusing initial conditions with what is necessary for a maintained effect.
In slide 10 they show some 4He results for laser-triggered experiments. I note that the indicated background level is ~0.55e16 and the strongest result is 1.05e16, i.e., less than 2X background.
Helium is very energetic. So sue God.
I find that to be ‘working in the noise’, and I require much more replication to be convinced this plot shows anything of value. There’s also no way to evaluate if these signals come from leaks or not.
Leaks would be unlikely to match an otherwise irrelevant and minor excess heat calculation. That is a “way to evaluate.” If Shanahan isn’t convinced, I’m not offended. He has a right to not be convinced. However, how much funding should be allocated to convincing him? What has happened is that the heat/helium evidence was considered by those who fund research to merit replication with increased precision, the classic way to test “pathological science.”
Much weaker evidence was seen by Huizenga in 1994 to be astonishing. So Shanahan’s assessment of that nothing “of value” has been shown is itself without value, worthless, exaggerated polemic, a broken record that he’s stuck playing out, maybe for the rest of his life. Ah, what a dismal prospect!
Slide 11 shows results from the SRI “M4” experiment. I’ve noted elsewhere that I have looked at the calorimetry of this run, and determined that it could well be affected by a CCS. However, there is some *very* fancy data workup going on here, and I require a full explanation of that to be able to evaluate the data’s validity. I asked McK twice for that info and never got it. The He values plotted here never exceed the usual outside air value of 5.22 ppm, and there is no report of what the 4He concentration was in the lab at the time the experiments were run, so we can’t honestly reject leaks once again.
What did Kirk ask? The data in that slide presentation is skimpy. The full report is as shown in my paper. The chart shown is not the original calculation; apparently McKubre found an error in the headspace volume and recalculated. (Which drove Krivit bonkers.) I still consider this work more or less seat of the pants and approximate. I have far higher expectations of Texas Tech and ENEA this time around. I’m hoping they use more of the Miles approach, but Shananan’s ascription of his CCS hypothesis to SRI flow calorimetry is problematic.
If he can convince THH that this is worth taking further, I’ll support that. But, bottom line, the heat/helium data almost totally demolishes Kirk’s argument. It becomes very, very unlikely that bogus heat and bogus helium data would match as well as has been observed, as often as has been observed.
Their 4th slide shows excess power from the Energetics lab that uses the “Superwave” on the input, and they don’t explain the calorimetric method. The excess is about 2.5W on an input of 4W. This clearly needs to be explained further, and the accuracy and precision clearly established, especially when the “Superwave” is being used. Ditto on the 5th slide, which is another Energetics lab results slide showing even greater apparent excess power.
The Superwave work was later replicated by SRI and ENEA, with extensive experimental series; this was published in the ACS LENR Sourcebook, 2008. I haven’t heard much about Superwave lately. The ET work went to the University of Missouri, the SKINR lab there.
None of the scientific approaches, so far, show promise for commercial power generation. Cold fusion at this point is a scientific curiosity. However, sufficient potential is there to justify exactly what both U.S. DoE reviews recommended: further research to address fundamental questions. Originally, it was thought that neutron radiation was important, it is now know that this was a complete red herring. Helium is the identified ash, there really isn’t another candidate with serious support. So measuring helium does become a method of verifying the heat, if that is considered necessary. Because measuring helium is difficult and can be expensive, finding other correlated measures would be of high value for the research.
Aiming at “convincing skeptics” is an obsolete concept that can backfire. Nailing down what is known is of high value, increasing predictability and clarity..