Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

1 MW Cold Fusion Plant Supposedly To Come Online 828

First time accepted submitter Jherico writes "Andrea Rossi (covered here a few times before) is scheduled to bring his 1MW plant online Oct. 28th. This will likely either be the point where 'unexpected technical difficulties' unmask this for the scam it is, or the presence of an actual 1MW plant with no chemical fuel source will silence a lot of skeptics. What would you do if it were real?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

1 MW Cold Fusion Plant Supposedly To Come Online

Comments Filter:
  • Have a party (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dr_Barnowl ( 709838 ) on Friday October 28, 2011 @06:13AM (#37866462)

    If it works? Have a party of epic proportions. Or possibly just epic intensity with a few select friends.

    Given the history of the man, I don't hold out MUCH hope. But the prize is so great that I can't help but hope a little.

    If it works, the future for my daughter will be more likely to be safe and secure. We might even have a stab at world peace.

    If it doesn't work... well, it's a shame. It gives the people who are really trying a bad name, and fewer chances at funding.

  • by queazocotal ( 915608 ) on Friday October 28, 2011 @06:15AM (#37866468)

    /me strokes evil white pussy.

    And it's not quite true that 'he would have published if it was real'.
    If you have sufficiently ridiculous claims, journals may not accept your paper. [] - as one example of work ridiculed at the time that went on to win a Nobel prize.

    Unfortunately, for example, there are also people that write letters like this: []

    If it is true, I would send the guy my heartfelt thanks, and not buy the expensive heatpump for this winter.

  • Sadly its not real (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hAckz0r ( 989977 ) on Friday October 28, 2011 @07:27AM (#37866830)
    I work at a physics lab, and I can assure you that the cold fusion effect is very real, but nobody can explain yet why it works, ...sometimes. It is difficult to reproduce and with varying degrees of energy production. The biggest problem is that nobody will touch the technology with a ten foot pole as far as funding just because the original researchers did such a poor job of their documentation, and others were completely unable to produce anything. Trying to find out why it works, sometimes, is tantamount to committing career suicide. You will loose your funding, even on your other research projects, and most likely your job as well. You are better off researching this technology in your basement if you want a good respectable career.

    That being said, this one is obviously a scam. Why do I say so? Dig back through the previous stories and you will see a picture of a shipping container full of little black plastic buckets in racks, which is supposed to be a 1MW reactor. Excuse me? You but 1MW of thermal energy in a confined space like that and it will heat up so much that all the liquid would evaporate and the steam would kill anyone attempting to maintain it. The reaction produces heat energy, and plastic buckets aren't going to last very long. These CF reactions have been known to scorch the tables that the apparatus were sitting on. A plastic container is just plain stupid and this photo only demonstrates a man with a limited intelligence at work. Also, where is the generator? The reaction does not create electricity, it produces thermal heat. You need a generator my friend, and preferably a brain containing half a conscience would not hurt either..

  • geothermal? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by madbavarian ( 1316065 ) on Friday October 28, 2011 @07:29AM (#37866836)

    Is this plant built where one can extract some geothermal energy from the ground? 1 MegaWatt isn't all that much to scam. The only problem would be getting rid of all the sulfur and mercury that comes up with the steam without anyone noticing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 28, 2011 @07:45AM (#37866948)

    What would you rather watch - the wreckage of someone's revolutionary rocket-powered flying submersible consisting of two bathtubs welded together, or said vehicle as it's launched over the ocean?

  • by Baldrson ( 78598 ) * on Friday October 28, 2011 @08:50AM (#37867432) Homepage Journal
    hAckz0r writes:

    The biggest problem is that nobody will touch the technology with a ten foot pole as far as funding just because the original researchers did such a poor job of their documentation, and others were completely unable to produce anything.

    A commonly held myth among apologists for the scientific establishment.

    The reality is that CalTech, MIT and Harwell all attempted to replicate P&F's results nearly a year prior to P&F's experimental protocol being published, and P&F were restricted, by University of Utah legal counsel, from making any disclosures beyond their "preliminary notes" issued along with the press conference.

    It is generally recognized, even by the pseudo-skeptic "authorities" such as the DoE's chair of its cold fusion panel, Huizenga, that for all practical purposes, the prestigious institutions' failure to produce "nuclear products" (even though P&F IN THE ORIGINAL PRESS CONFERENCE said that neutrons were a factor of a billion too small to be explained by conventional nuclear fusion) closed out the entire affair WITHIN FIVE WEEKS of the press conference.

    The claim that these ridiculous "experiments" (using speculative protocols), conducted to ridiculous expectations (totally ignoring evidence of excess heat), somehow "falsified" P&F's experiments is triply corrupt:

    1. You can't claim to attempt to replicate an experiment for which you don't even know the protocol.
    2. You can't "falsify" in the P-pperian sense, an experiment with another experiment. P-pperian falsification applies only to theories being falsified by experiment.
    3. Looking for a phenomenon that is a factor of a billion smaller than another, clearly measurable (not to mention practically valuable) phenomenon -- HEAT -- while ignoring that other phenomenon, smacks of precisely the kind of "pathological science" that the pseudo-skeptics accused P&F of promoting.

    There is simply no excuse for the scientific establishment's handling of this affair.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 28, 2011 @08:59AM (#37867526)

    Andrea Rossi is his own worst enemy - his arrogance, paranoia and lazy approach to instrumentation (as well as a total inability to accept advice) has resulted in something like 11 inadequate demos so far, any one of which could have made him a billionaire if he had only spent another few hours setting up to take measurements of demonstable veracity and run the thing for half a day or more rather than a couple of hours. He can't even be bothered to record data during his demos, even when all it would take is the insertion of an SD card into his thermometer! He basically expects the world to take him at his word (in spite of his history of scam-like behaviour), and while supreme belief in one's own correctness is a useful attribute as an inventor, it is hurting him badly now - he has had to sell his house to keep going.

    That said I have spent a lot of time trying to forensically extract answers from the crappy data and other info gathered during his demos, and his latest on 6th October looks pretty convincing - it ran for 3 hours producing 3+ kW output with about 100W of control input, with reasonably good calorimetry. His latest move to a 1MW plant demo is extremely stupid - expensive, dangerous and totally unecessary as any potential investor would be happy with a 5kW demo done with care.

    So even if his engineering and judgement is atrocious (he built a steam pressure vessel as a box shape FFS!!) I am personally convinced that he has something (neither he nor anyone else knows how it works, but it works). But at this point he should be removed from the project and replaced by someone competent for his and the world's sake.

  • Re:Oblig xkcd (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CaptSlaq ( 1491233 ) on Friday October 28, 2011 @09:28AM (#37867798)

    I suspect this is feeding a troll, but I also suspect more than this one actually shares this view.

    Believe it or not, the motorheads that actually look into this stuff WANT electric cars. Having full torque from rev one all the way up to the maximum potential of the engine would be a panacea. Neck snapping acceleration could be the NORM, not the exception. The simplification that the electric drivetrain would bring would also be wonderful. Assuming the packaging of the power plant is small enough, or can be flexibly packaged, you put the thing anywhere you want and put electric motors at the diff or on the wheels. You don't have to worry about where to store a cubic meter of engine/transmission in one place. The properly designed electric car brings HUGE design advantages. You can make truly beautiful and/or functional things with much less concern about "how can I shoehorn enough engine in here?".

    The current problem with the electric car is energy storage. Batteries suck compared to petrol/diesel. Gas/go doesn't happen with batteries. Range is problematic, and even if you did get 300 miles out of a single charge, it's still 2-4 hours (in an ideal world, even) to do it again. Weight is problematic.

    And finally, The US doesn't have the corner on petrol powered vehicles. Last time I looked, most of the most desirable cars came from Germany (Mercedes, BMW, Bugatti, Audi), England (Aston Martin, Rolls Royce), and Italy (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lamborghini). I don't recall ANY of them making electric cars either. As a matter of fact, the only "mass production" electric cars that I'm aware of have come from US companies: GM (EV1) and Tesla (Roadster). I could be wrong on the latter, tho.

    But, yaknow... if all you want to prove is how witty you can (not) be by taking shots at people who love cars and happen to be from a certain country, that's fine too.

  • Re:It's a scam (Score:5, Interesting)

    by craznar ( 710808 ) on Friday October 28, 2011 @10:36AM (#37868680) Homepage

    I have a computational linguistics invention ...and have had for around 15 years now.

    I'm NOT ALLOWED to publish as I don't hold qualifications, nor do I have the wealth to patent it.

    Believe me - getting ideas to the public is way more complicated than you may imagine if you don't have money.

  • by Paul Fernhout ( 109597 ) on Friday October 28, 2011 @10:59AM (#37868936) Homepage []

    Essentially, whenever a system does not seem to obey the second law of thermodynamics, we just invent new science.

    And here is another essay by me sent to Andrea Rossi on why cold fusion information be made freely available because of a paradigm shift in economics from scarcity towards abundance: []

  • Re:Oblig xkcd (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pixelpusher220 ( 529617 ) on Friday October 28, 2011 @03:17PM (#37872406)

    I don't like the added complexity and maintenance vs. the simple vehicles I currently own that are cheap to own, operate, and repair.

    Electrics are significantly less complex and cheaper to operate than conventional vehicles. No transmission, no belts, no oil changes, no filters etc. Again your issue seems mostly to be the range of the 'tank' not the system itself. Your hybrid boat examples are about what the Volt is now. Electric capable but still gas propelled at some times. I assume there's still some sort of linkage from the engine to the prop yes? One step further and you decouple that link and just have a gas generator running an electric motor that drives the prop.

    We won't run out in my lifetime and I think any environmental damage is overstated

    You have kids? What about their kids? Even the uber anti-climate-chage Koch brothers funded study just found that global warming is happening - they verified the data and methods used by the people saying climate change is happening and came to the same conclusions using that data.

    It's real, it's happening and it's going to be pretty damned expensive when it comes due if we don't start fixing it now.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.