Infinite Energy Device Update
New Energy Research Laboratory
Device and Process Testing Update
Published in IE Volume 5, Issue #28. By
Ed Wall and Jeffery Kooistra. November 1999
On the electromagnetic side of things, the frontiers
of knowledge were pushed back not at all since our last update.
However, the reasons for this are good ones we were concentrating
on patenting and putting together demonstrations of the things we've
already discovered for potential investors. So now we are acquiring
more computing power and more machine shop tools so that the onslaught
against the unknown can really progress at high speed.
On the cold fusion side,
incremental progress has been made in researching the best processes
to investigate and the best methods for proceeding in these investigations.
Testing is proceeding on the Case cell. Because the Case cell investigation
has been going on so long, a brief history seems in order.
Case Cell History
The idea of gas-phase cold fusion predated Dr.
Les Case's experiments, which were announced at ICCF-7.1,2,3
However, the use of industrial catalytic material for cold fusion
work did not attract much attention before he did his long series
of tests to determine if such efforts might be commercially valuable.
He came to the conclusion that an aneutronic nuclear process occurred
that resulted in the production of substantial amounts of helium
and excess heat within his cells using deuterium gas with a catalyst
from United Catalysts, Inc. The externally heated catalyst and deuterium
gave excess temperature readings, compared to runs where ordinary
hydrogen was used in place of the deuterium. This announcement generated
considerable excitement, and some replication work, including the
first observation of the "excess temperature" effect right here
at NERL (see IE No. 19, pp. 32-35).
EarthTech's Scott Little quickly put together a cell
to see if he could confirm the claims.4 In a series of
runs with a cell configuration that did not at all closely resemble
Case's cells, no excess heat was detected in eight runs. The cell
used three thermocouples inserted at different depths into the catalyst,
and so a thermal gradient could be recorded. The cell was enclosed
in insulation that was inside a flow calorimeter envelope, an insulated
coil of copper tubing. Water flowed through the tubing and was warmed.
The flow rate and measured increase in temperature determined the
reported heat output of the calorimeter. Little obtained very nearly
the same heat out as heater energy in for all the reported runs.
He did report slight excess temperature in run 1b, but none in run
2, 3, 4, or 5. Run 6 had a slight increase in deuterium temperature,
but none was noted in the catalyst bed. That run had an interesting
thermal oscillation in gas temperature, which he believed to be
due to thermal instabilities. It was repeated with quartz chips
and the same anomaly was observed. In run 8, he did not use regular
hydrogen, so no comparison of temperature was made, only heat determination
was done, and no excess heat was seen. Little wrote, "There was
no sign of the gradually increasing temperature that Dr. Case has
Les Case lent a small cell to NERL, which he took
the time to demonstrate to Gene Mallove. In this experiment, definite
excess temperature was seen. Its characteristic was a gradual increase
from above the established hydrogen baseline over several hours.
In further experiments, we did not have the very same heating mantle
that Dr. Case employed, so we improvised by placing a mantle at
the bottom of a large Dewar and placing the cell on top of it and
covering the Dewar. The cell had one thermocouple in the thermowell.
At that stage, our calorimetry was rather simplistic, but gradually
grew more sophisticated. Thermocouples were attached to the neck
of the cell, which would provide data that was thought to be independent
of the difference in heat conduction between the two gasses. In
fact, no excess temperature of the catalyst thermowell or the neck
temperature was found over an extensive set of runs. The variability
of room temperature caused problems, so a constant temperature hood
was constructed to improve the data resolution, but still no excess
temperature was seen.
The repeated hydrogen charges and pressurization took
their toll on the cell, which was made from a World War II surplus
stainless steel oxygen bottle. Something called "stress corrosion
cracking" was occurring in the vicinity of the welds. After a couple
of welding repairs (see photo 1 in IE #28, p. 28), and more
cracking, the cell had to be abandoned. Dr. Case was kind enough
to provide us with an unmodified oxygen bottle to get us back in
By considering the difference between Case's arrangement
and ours, it became apparent that both in Little's setup and in
our Dewar, the cell was exposed to very little temperature gradient.
Perhaps that gradient was essential to the process. Within the hood,
the cover on the Dewar was removed and a fan was installed to blow
the constant temperature air onto the exposed top of the cell. Getting
the catalyst to the desired temperature range required much more
heater power. A big temperature difference was also found between
deuterium and hydrogen runs at the same heater power. Surprisingly,
a similar temperature difference between different hydrogen runs
at the same heater power was found. Any slight movement of the cell
in the Dewar resulted in big catalyst temperature swings. This was
disturbing, because it cast into doubt any sort of calorimetry that
relied on simple thermometry. It was apparent that an actual calorimeter
would have to be constructed. The calorimeter would have to allow
for exchanges of gas without disturbing the cell.
It seemed possible to improvise something resembling
a Seebeck Envelope by using the constant temperature air as the
reference medium instead of the outside wall of a chamber. This
idea may have merit, but after some failed efforts, it was decided
to go ahead and build a water flow calorimeter, with a lot of help
from Scott Little and Mike Carrell. Much has been written about
this in previous Updates, so only the current status of the calorimeter
at this time will be described. It works well, but the environment
temperature fluctuations were still a problem, so a chamber was
provided around the insulated tubing coil that is kept at constant
air temperature. This results in some very steady heat readings,
so steady that the biggest problem with heat output readings is
that the peristaltic pump flow rate varies (as much as 1% in a day),
which may be improved by enclosing the pump inside the constant
air temperature chamber.
We have just reached day 32 in an almost continuous
deuterium run that has seen the temperature of the catalyst gradually
rise (it is still rising slightly) around 32ºC above hydrogen
baseline. We can think of no prosaic explanation for this anomaly,
yet there does not seem to be a corresponding quantity of excess
heat as measured by the flow calorimeter. Although the higher catalyst
temperature with deuterium only occurs with convection currents,
those currents are not believed to be the cause of the slow temperature
rise, because it is such a steady rise.
This large excess temperature only occurs when there
is a considerable thermal gradient across the cell. The setup has
about 20 feet of 1/4" tubing wrapped around the top of the cell,
circulating cool water, while the heater is driving the catalyst
bed to over 200ºC. The resulting thermal convection has to
be considerable. Photo 2 shows the top view of the large coil with
the cell inside, packed in fiberglass insulation, all within the
constant temperature air chamber. A thermistor assembly is visible
on the right. The layer of fiberglass insulation was installed around
this big coil to reduce heat losses other than via water flow.
While we do see some rapid excursions in the temperature
readings from the two thermocouples in the thermowell buried in
the catalyst bed, they are less than 0.25ºC, which is dwarfed
by the slow trend in temperature increase (see Figure 1 in IE
#28, p. 29). It should be noted that some increase in catalyst temperature
was seen with ordinary hydrogen. The rapid excursions are presumed
to be due to convection currents.
A sampling canister with a Nupro bellows valve (very
slow helium leakage) was purchased to sample our deuterium gas and
sent to SRI. Fran Tanzella (Dr. McKubre's associate) ran tests on
it and determined that the helium concentration was quite low, in
fact, less than 0.1 ppm (5.22 ppm is atmospheric concentration).
We are now at the point where we will sample gas from the cell and
have the helium level determined again at SRI. Along with helium,
nitrogen levels would be useful to determine whether atmospheric
helium might be a possible source.
The change in the calorimeter to implement the constant
temperature chamber essentially invalidated the pre-run calibration.
Consequently, any determination of excess heat will be performed
by a post-run calibration. This will be performed after many prolonged
vacuum pump-downs of the cell, using a cold trap, and charging with
ordinary hydrogen in order to remove all of the deuterium. This
is done with the catalyst heated to promote release of trapped deuterium.
It is expected that the pump-down cycles will continue until a consistent
temperature reading for catalyst temperature is attained.
The heat measurement in the flow calorimeter is not
as precise as would be needed to be confident in small amounts of
excess heat. The standard deviation (sigma) of the heat output,
which has been rather constant since the installation of the constant
temperature chamber (15 days) is 0.2 W. Therefore, a minimum excess
heat of 0.6 W is required to be seen as statistically significant
The power to the cell heater was turned off and the
cell cooled overnight. When the heateršs regulated power supplies
were turned back on, the input power returned to its former level,
as did the catalyst temperature and the heat measured in the calorimeter.
The catalyst temperature did not repeat the weeks long slow rise
to get back to 223ºC, where it was when the heater power was
In summary, any excess heat is small and will be determined
after the run is complete and calibration is performed with regular
hydrogen. Helium analysis of the cell gas will be conducted at SRI.
After many months of waiting and anticipation,
the nominal 75HP device was activated for the first time here on
the night of October 13,1999; the local utility company required
we run it at night. It seemed to run all right, but readings for
current and voltage on the three phases seemed very high. This may
be a result of the SCR controller, which switches power at each
cycle in order to optimize power factor, creating a very non-sinusoidal
waveform and confounding the power analyzer. That feature will be
disabled for the next run, which will not be conducted until we
can arrange for a better water flow system. The water flow rate
was much too slow, but was all that our buildingšs well pump would
provide. The output water was boiling in about a minute, with temperature
For now, we have no useful test data to report on
the Griggs HydroSonic PumpTM,
other than a successful power-up.
Paul Pantone called recently to tell us that
his company, Global Environmental Energy Technology (GEET)5,
decided to give away the plans to their main technology in the hope
that people would take advantage of it. Paul has spent a large portion
of his life developing a process that has the ability to make ordinary
internal combustion engines capable of using fuels that are not
ordinary fuels. Simply put, the device uses exhaust heat to pre-treat
the air/fuel mixture on its way to the combustion chamber. On first
inspection, the idea certainly seems like a good way to recover
some waste heat, and it turns out that automobile manufacturer Jaguar,
among others (see his website), have investigated this sort of method
for their own reasons. A distinct feature that Pantone employs is
a special rod within the air/fuel stream.
Many amazing claims are made about this technology,
which revolve around the idea that an air/fuel plasma forms in the
heat exchanger. There is one clear anomaly that seems to stand out.
There is a magnetic field near this exhaust/fuel heat exchanger,
which was reported to be very strong (i.e. strong enough
to erase credit cards from typical viewing distance of several feet).
This strong field was not witnessed in the limited testing of the
small type of device in our possession, but a field was found, initially
using a compass, and it seemed to have some anomalous properties.
The field associated with any piece of steel is typically stronger
than the background geomagnetic field and non-uniform, as found
by examining various samples around the lab with a magnetometer,
so it should not be surprising that a field would be associated
with the heat exchanger rod.
Testing over a year ago on this 10 HP Tecumseh GEET
modified engine revealed that the rod and surrounding steel diverted
a compass needle from geomagnetic north both while the engine was
running and when it was not running. The magnetization of the rod
was found to be N on one end and S on the other, with field intensity
close to geomagnetic strength. The rod was installed in the engine
with its N end toward the muffler. The engine was run for about
7 minutes and the rod was removed. The end that was N was now S.
The rod was reinstalled in the same way, so now the end near the
muffler was S. The engine was run for another 12 minutes. The rod
was removed and its field checked again. This time, both ends were
found to be N, and the center was S. These checks were made with
both a compass and magnetometer. The thermal gradient along the
length of the rod, combined with engine vibration, may cause seemingly
random changes in magnetization. It is too soon to conclude anything,
but this is interesting.
- P. Raj, P. Suryanarayana, A. Sathyamoorthy
and T. Datta. 1989. "Search for Nuclear Fusion in Gas Phase Deuteriding
of Titanium Metal," BARC Studies in Cold Fusion, April-September.
- F.G. Will, K. Cedzynska, M-C. Yang, J.R. Peterson,
H.E. Bergeson, S.C. Barrowes, W.J. West, and D.C. Linton (National
Cold Fusion Inst., University of Utah, USA). 1991. "Studies of
Electrolytic and Gas Phase Loading of Palladium and Deuterium,"
presented at Second Annual Conference on Cold Fusion, June 29-July
4, Como, Italy. T. N. Claytor, D. D. Jackson, and D. G. Tuggle,
"Tritium Production from a Low Voltage Deuterium Discharge on
Palladium and Other Metals," Los Alamos National Laboratory.
- E. Mallove. 1998. "Preliminary Confirmation
Test of Dr. Les Case's Catalytic Fusion Process," Infinite
Energy, 4, 19, 33.
- EarthTech Case Cell work: http://earthtech.org/cold-fusion/Case/
- GEET website: http://www.Friend.ly.Net/GEET/