Posted by Morris Dovey on May 2, 2013, 7:32 am
On 5/1/13 10:44 PM, mike wrote:
It?s still there. It?s being reproduced. The goals I set for myself have
been achieved, and people are welcome to use (or not use) what I
learned. Additional improvements are possible, but the project I
undertook is completed. :-)
Agreed - some even intentionally. :-)
?Sloshing? isn?t strictly inaccurate, but in order not to lead anyone
astray, let?s be clear that what?s oscillating is an ionized gas with a
substantial push at one end and a (synchronized) substantial pull at the
I?m interested in using supercritical water for a number of reasons
which include cost and availability, its super-solvent characteristics,
and its R-constant (from PV = nRT). Especially I?m interested in the
dP/dT behavior (the change in pressure relative to a change in
temperature) in the operational temperature range.
Some of this stuff seriously offends my intuition. Just the idea of
completely dissolving a substantial quantity of (for example) common
table salt into a gas is a bit ?creepy? - and that?s not the worst of
the creepyness. :-)
Superconductivity isn?t part of the design.
Yes, an oscillating flow does require design consideration - but an
oscillating flow is still a flow in one direction followed by a flow in
the opposite direction. If the magnetic field remains constant, then the
result will be AC, and if the magnetic field is reversed at the end of
each ?stroke? the result will be pulsed DC (as if AC had been fully
rectified) - yes?
Excellent questions! If I could provide the answers, there wouldn?t be
any need for R&D. At this point the thermal-to-mechanical energy
conversion looks as if slightly more than 40% might be possible. The
mechanical-to-electrical efficiency via the two MHD heads remains to be
I have no idea how any of this stacks up against a classical steam
turbine. I?m after reliable, simple, and inexpensive, and that will
operate for a very long time without maintenance.
I?m satisfied that Rossi was able to produce a very small (?4.7kW) LENR
device that you shouldn?t want to buy. Producing a proof-of-concept
device is very different from having a marketable product, as I?m sure
you already know.
It could be, but until I convince myself that I?m not able to make it
practical, I?d rather explore this than play golf, shoot pool, and/or
watch reality TV - and if it turns out that I can?t produce a practical
LENR, I?d like to know (and share) why not.
I spend most of my working life at the bleeding edge - doing stuff that
had never been done before - and I?ve enjoyed it so much that I?ll
continue doing that for as long as I can.
In spite of his very real contribution, I don?t think Rossi has what it
takes to produce a practical device. I think I can build on what he?s
done and at least add enough to move it closer.
Not bad - perhaps we?ll be able to continue this discussion when I have
a better handle on the limitations of LENR and/or MHD technologies. :-)
Posted by mike on May 2, 2013, 9:47 pm
On 5/2/2013 12:32 AM, Morris Dovey wrote:
Would be interesting to see the theory.
I'm concerned that the operation might be extremely sensitive to the
temperatures at each end and the middle. You need physical dimensions
and masses to be well tuned to maintain the oscillation. Solar input
is not known for stability.
I think you're talking about a LOT more than a pipe with hot water in it.
If you table the MHD issues and just build the pipe, does it oscillate?
You should be able to calculate the mechanical energy available from the
mass of the supercritical water. Put some lossy compressible
material in the end caps to simulate taking energy out and see how that
affects the system.
Sounds like an evening project.
I'm trained as an electrical engineer. I know just enough about physics
to be dangerous. I don't have the answers, but I do know enough to ask
Here's my concern about that...
If you have a plasma flow in one direction, the charges are "bent"
in response to the magnetic field. Given enough distance, you can make
all of them hit the collection plates...EXCEPT...
If you let charge/voltage accumulate on the plates, they also repel the
incoming charges. That's why the paper discussed 1000AMPS at 0.2V.
Sounds like big numbers, but it's only 200W.
You have to hold the voltage down, or increase the magnetic field.
Getting that 0.2V converted to 12V or 120V efficiently is a non-trivial
Consider the sloshing. I have no idea the waveform, so I'll just talk
about it as a sine wave. For a significant portion of the time, the
rate of flow is small and producing almost no power. If you look at the
amount of power you can get out of a sinewave with peak value of 0.2V,
I think you're talking about something like 40%. Strike one.
The ions have mass. Consider an ion in the middle of the stream.
With a DC field, you can get the ion to the collection plate...eventually.
If the direction is changing, the ion gets sloshed around in the center
of the plasma and never makes it to the collector. Depending on the
frequency of oscillation and the mass of the ion and the distances, it
may or may not make a huge difference in how many ions can be collected.
Reversing the magnetic field each cycle sounds easy, until you do the math.
The magnet is an inductor. If it's not a superconductor, it has lots
of resistance. And the magnetic field represents substantial stored energy.
You have to dissipate that energy and put it back in the other direction
every cycle. I can't think of a way to do that other than resonance.
So, you have a sinusoidal magnetic field that drops the efficiency more.
Although, that may mitigate the issues with having to change the direction
of the ion flow. The devil is in the details.
It may be more efficient to generate AC and use a transformer to get
higher voltage to rectify by conventional synchronous rectifier technology.
My guess is that, by the time you get it working, you'll find
that all the little details have reduced the efficiency too far to be
And simplicity and ease of maintenance will be far in the rear-veiw mirror.
I'm not blind to the fact that, if everybody thought like me,
there would be no technological advances at all.
Who, in their right mind, would even consider making explosions
that push things up and down making things go round and round
fueled by stuff not yet invented...with chains and levers and rods
and unimaginable complexity? ;-)
If you have a novel idea that's never before been considered, your
chances of success are very small. If your "idea" has been
worked on for a century by the best minds available, success seems
Probably the reason I got fired from my last job...
I stood up in the executive staff meeting and drew a tiny circle
and a huge circle on the whiteboard.
The market wants features we can't produce, despite years of
concentrated development. We don't even have a theory that
predicts success. Best I'd done was show them a "trick"
to double the output. And it had nothing to do with technology.
We're the number one investor in our technology.
We're the small circle.
Investment in the competing technology is the big circle.
Who do you think will win?
Nobody had a rebuttal, but they really, REALLY didn't want to hear it
or quit banging their heads against the development wall.
Stock was at $0 when I was shown the door.
Last I looked, it was creeping back up toward $.
Technological breakthrough is very different from wishful thinking.
Funding for technological breakthrough has to jump through feasibility
Wishful thinking just requires some hype and greed.
I'm not convinced. We're talking about producing energy that's WAY, WAY
in excess of what's available by conventional chemical reactions.
It takes zero technical skill to know that it's working. A bucket of
water, a stopwatch, a thermometer and a bathroom scale is plenty accurate.
Rossi could have put one in a suitcase and taken it to my garage.
You pour water in the top.
By the time it produced 10X the amount of energy you could get
from an equivalent mass of gasoline, I'd have declared it a success.
Would never have had to look inside.
And I wouldn't have to care how it worked.
I'd just buy 'em.
Rossi is a master of obfuscation and misdirection.
Just like Stan Meyer's water car.
If stuff works, it should be easy to demo and reproduce.
I think you'd be better off playing golf with someone in the business
of funding Rossi and collecting commission. ;-)
Bleeding edge is incremental advance based on sound theory.
Bleeding edge good!
Wishful thinking based on wishful thinking bad!
Wishful thinking easily debunked is LENR.
I don't play golf, but I'll use a golf analogy anyway.
Stand at the tee taking your usual stance.
Then rotate 90 degrees around the ball and take a swing.
People who have spent decades studying physics and golf
would suggest that you can't get to the hole with that
strategy. But maybe you read that some guy named Rossi
consistently achieved a hole in one that way...but nobody
had ever seen it or reproduced it.
How many times are you gonna bang the ball into the trees?
I'm all for optimism. But when the idea instantly runs smack
into currently known theory, I start looking for something
else to be optimistic about.
LENR is a game-changer for the Earth. I hope he succeeds.
But I'm not investing in it just yet.
Posted by Morris Dovey on May 3, 2013, 3:16 pm
On 5/2/13 4:47 PM, mike wrote:
It?s a relatively straightforward Carnot cycle / Stirling / fluidyne
engine. There?s an abundance of educational material on the web in
addition to the specifics I provide in my web pages.
With temperature above 705?F and pressure above 3200 PSIA, I?m inclined
to proceed a bit more deliberately.
I think you may have confused supercritical water with plasma.
Keep in mind that MHD is a reversible effect - that a given amount of
power can be applied to an MHD head to move a given mass of water at a
given velocity; and that if that mass of water is moved through that MHD
head at that velocity it will generate that same amount of power.
There are some informative YouTube video demonstrations.
Never underestimate the power of laziness. :-)
I?m guessing you?re unaware that the Ni/H LENR has been verified
independently with different experimental apparatus.
?I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don?t intend
to waste any of mine.? ...Neil Armstrong
Posted by mike on May 4, 2013, 2:40 am
On 5/3/2013 8:16 AM, Morris Dovey wrote:
I don't pretend to understand any of that except that temperature
differences and/or pressure differences are required to make it work.
And the upper bound of energy output is the energy you put thru it.
Which begs the question, "why pick water with an exceedingly high
Ethanol would reduce your pressures considerably.
And helium is supercritical at 2.24 atm at any temperature you'd
care to operate it.
Should be able to do initial experiments with a helium balloon
and copper or aluminum or glass pipe???
Piping issues are subject to the natural laws that we understand.
Should be a simple calculation of what material and how thick.
Fill it with salt water, open a port and boil out half, close the port
and you should be able to observe the effects of the working fluid
sloshing back and forth. Hook up a FET as an electrometer to see
if there's any response when you sense next to a magnet.
Keep heating it to the supercritical
temperature and observe a dramatic change in efficiency...or not.
Yes, I've only done a little research on supercritical water. All of what
I have found related to solvent properties. I found nothing related
to free ions.
Plasma is about ionization.
MHD relies on bending ion trajectory in a magnetic field. Yes?
So, I agree that I am confused how supercritical water relates.
Pretty easy to verify. Turn on the garden hose. Spray it thru a big
magnet. Stick some tinfoil collector plates near the stream.
Measure the power.
I think I'll convert my house pipe to PEX, put old hard drive
magnets on it and harvest the shower-power.
I've rarely encountered informative YouTube videos on anything
controversial. I've seen lots of hand waiving with pseudo-science
applied to make it sound like something wonderful is happening.
If you have a link to a particular youtube video that expresses
the concept with RESULTS...as opposed to handwaiving and pseudo-science,
I'd like to see it.
I'm an expert procrastinator. Problem is that I never seem to have the
time to do it. ;-)
Exactly. Hasn't Tokamak been reproduced? Based on sound theory?
It's a simple matter of not being able to build one with currently
available practical materials.
Musta missed it in all the hype.
You'd think it would have been on the front page.
If you've got a link, I'd like to hear about a peer reviewed working
model with practical/usable amounts of sustained output power.
Can't argue with that. If you're doin' what you love, you're better off
But sellin' Rossi shares on commission is an easy hedge.
No problem with having both. ;-)
I'd still like to hear more details about what you're doin'.
Sounds like you're doin' a lot of stuff at once. That often leads
Stuff like free energy and water cars and the like are all about taking
a small part of a theory and generalizing it to predict a result that
is never achieved, because the theory fell apart with the
generalization. Simple experimental results are nonexistent.
You get some hand-waiving with no substance...surrounded by conspiracy
Stanley Meyers is an urban myth. I can't believe that anyone with
such a monumental achievement wouldn't have told anybody else how to do
it. But there's no shortage of "believers".
I'm doin' all this naysayin', but it's easy to put me in my place with
some simple theoretical/experimental results. And that's all I'm trying
to make visible. I don't wanna read websites or watch youtubes.
I wanna see YOUR analysis/plan/results...with real predicted/measured
I'll even volunteer to help.
I built/instrumented/debunked some HHO stuff for a local water car
I was hoping it would channel his considerable creativity away
from HHO into something more practical.
Ok, one more story.
The inventor mentioned above took me to visit a local guy
with a HHO augmented Honda. He couldn't answer any basic
theoretical questions about anything.
His entire case was built on one experiment where he installed
a device to tweak his car's ECU. He filled up his tank,
headed down the freeway, tweaked the ECU until the engine
stalled, then backed up till it restarted.
Drove for 35 miles, filled up at a different station,
calculated the MPG. He put up a website trying to sell the
He accepted my offer to build a gizmo that instrumented
fuel flow in real time so we could actually test it.
By the time I got it done a week later, He'd disappeared.
Guess he really didn't want to know the facts.
Most interesting part of the whole process was his story
about how he forgot to turn off the hydrogen generator overnight.
Next morning, he blew the valve covers off the engine when
he tried to start it.
Posted by Morris Dovey on May 4, 2013, 5:35 am
On 5/3/13 9:40 PM, mike wrote:
Yes, the energy that goes in is the energy that comes out. :-)
The upper bound on efficiency of thermal-to-mechanical energy conversion
is determined solely by hot and cold side temperatures, and the goals
are to maximize the operating ?P and the cycle frequency.
The most obvious answers were listed together in my post before last.
True, but at low pressures both are too compressible and provide
inadequate dP/dT behavior - and you might want to consider the
difficulty of inducing the high degree of ionization required.
Speaking of which, how would you go about ionizing Helium?
I?m not interested in putting anyone in their place - and I can?t see
publishig results before the experimentation is completed.
Okay. When/if I have those online I?ll let you know - but then you?ll
still need to read at least one web site. :-)
If you had useful knowledge, your offer to offer would be appreciated,
but without that I can?t see that you?d be able to help.