The Promise of Controlled Nuclear Fusion, Part XV

There has been a further series of key events in the LENR drama. Firstly, Andrea Rossi has been awarded his long-sought-after American patent. That day was captured best by the E-Cat World site in this link. The patent’s wording and scope were commended by retired patent attorney David French in a two part series here and here. One paragraph makes a key point for this and all other patents:

The patent disclosure contains no discussion of theory. In fact, some readers will find this disappointing; but the reality is that it is not required for an inventor to disclose a theory supporting why an invention works. It is enough for the disclosure to provide sufficient direction to enable a skilled workman in the field to reproduce the useful results promised by the disclosure.

Thus, while there may still be a number of patent examiners in the US Patent Office who baulk at the idea of granting patents that seemingly violate the current laws of Physics, they are compelled to allow those that simply prescribe what are effectively recipes for achieving the effects claimed (provided there is independent, objective evidence that they do, indeed, achieve them).

Nonetheless, in my opinion, only after the correct theory behind LENR is established can we be sure that any given LENR-based device is as safe and efficient as the 21st century marketplace will expect. The ongoing “LENR Lament” is not that there is no theory of LENR but that there are far too many! New or re-vamped older theories are an almost weekly occurrence and most get a mention, followed by a critical debate, on the above-mentioned E Cat World site. Recent contributors include Jean-Francois Geneste, Lundin and Lidgren, Leonid Urutskoev, Louis De Chiaro and Jean-Paul Biberian.

Rossi has also contributed to the debate on the theory but his plan to market LENR devices mainly depends on a successful outcome to his year-long endurance test of a 1MW E-Cat already in use by a, so-far, confidential customer. This test is due to finish at the end of February next year. If it is successful, we might expect to see at least one version of the E-Cat in mass production as early as this time next year!

In a notable re-appearance on the “Fusion Radar”, Time Magazine has staged a partial return to covering the fusion story, although only in terms of hot fusion. It was, of course, Time’s 1989 article Fusion or Illusion which heralded the 25 year banishment of “Cold Fusion”, as LENR was inaccurately described at the time, from “respectable” scientific circles. What would certainly signal the official end of that banishment would be a positive LENR-based article on the front page of Time. Only that, I suspect, would finally give “permission” to most mainstream businesses to invest in LENR.

Even so, some large investment groups have already joined in, notably Woodfords and, of course, Tom Darden’s Industrial Heat has been supporting Rossi for several years now. As a further indication, Tom Darden recently announced that IH will be setting up large R&D facility in the city of Cary, not far from IH’s home base in Raleigh, North Carolina, a further clear indication of Darden’s confidence in LENR and related technologies.

Finally this time, we return to the recurring question of whether we “Think Tank Reporters” (who now number over 5000) should invest some of our own money in LENR. I have been using the analogy of a cycle race (the “Tour de Fusion”) up till now but, what with the Melbourne Cup only a week away today, it may be more accurate to think of the race for the LENR marketplace in horse racing terms. As many of us have surely experienced, horse racing can turn up some remarkably unexpected wins from outsiders and it is this thought that still gives me pause concerning the “LENR Cup”. The favorite would clearly be Rossi’s E-Cat, with Robert Godes’ Brillouin Energy Boiler not far behind. But, as a browse through the many other entries from around the LENR world reminds us, together with the still unresolved theory behind it, there can be no certainties in either racing or research!

P W Power
October 2015

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