Yesterday I participated as an observer at the Greek-Canadian company Defkalion’s demo of its LENR based energy device Hyperion in Milan, Italy. The device is just like Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat, loaded with small amounts of nickel powder and pressurized with hydrogen, and supposedly produces net thermal energy through a hitherto unknown process that seems to be nuclear (LENR stands for Low Energy Nuclear Reactions).
Defkalion used to be a commercial partner to Rossi until an agreement was cancelled in August 2011 (read more at Ny Teknik here).
The demo was the first public (apart from a short pre-run on Monday) from Defkalion that since 2011 claims to have developed its own core technology.
My general impression is that it’s a process that is similar to what I have seen at Rossi’s demos. If you believe the values presented, it produces thermal power in the order of kilowatts from a very small amount of fuel. Although Defkalion has a somewhat different method to control the reaction, it still seems be a delicate thing to get it to work well without stopping or run away.
I believe we will get some reliable answers on the validity of Defkalion’s and/or Rossi’s technology during this year.
At Defkalion’s demo I was asked to verify calibrations and measurements just before the start of the demo, although I had not been prepared for this. Yet, here are a few more detailed considerations:
– the demo was set up in the lab of Defkalion’s Europe office, and thus under complete control by Defkalion. All instruments and sensors were Defkalion’s.
– as far as I could verify there were no hidden wires or energy sources. I cannot completely exclude it, but my general impression was that of a fairly transparent implementation. I was offered to check anything except inside the reactor, also to cut cables (although I never did this).
– all values were collected with National Instruments’ Lab View.
– input electric power was also measured by me with a Fluke True RMS Clamp Ampere meter (Defkalion’s) and a standard Voltage meter (my own). Electric energy was input through two variacs — one for seven electric resistors connected in parallel inside the reactor, and one for a high voltage generator, feeding sparks through two modified spark plugs. I measured both before and after the variacs.
– output thermal power was calculated through water flow and delta T of the water cooling the reactor ((Tout – Tin)*4,18*water flow in grams/second).
– a control run was performed with argon instead of hydrogen, which showed no excess power. Calibration of the water flow was done and controlled by me during the control run and showed that the real water flow was a few percent greater than what was showed in Lab View.
– an issue was detected as Lab View showed an input electric energy to the high voltage generator of between 200 and 300 watts, whereas I measured an input electric energy to the HV generator of between 1,0 and 1,3 kW. We never found out what this issue depended on.
– in the active run with hydrogen the output thermal power reached about 5,5 kW whereas the total input power was about 2,7 kW, taking into account the higher value of the power fed into the HV generator.
– Defkalion had expected to reach a higher output power but admitted that it was a problem degassing the reactor only an hour after the argon run. The process is supposedly very sensitive to small amounts of other gases than hydrogen.
– no consideration was taken to vaporization enthalpy. Yet the temperature at the output reached over 160 degrees Celsius with and open ended output tube, thus basically at atmospheric pressure. The output was led down into a sink. Initially water was pouring down, but at high temperatures there was no water dropping at all. If all the water was vaporized, the output thermal power would have been above 27 kW.
– the hydrogen canister seemed to be a standard commercial canister containing ordinary hydrogen — no deuterium.
– I could detect no DC voltage or current at any point. The Fluke clamp meter was capable of measuring DC.
UPDATE: I forgot to say that according to CTO John Hadjichristos there are HUGE magnetic fields inside the reactor as a result of the reaction, in the order of 1 Tesla if I remember right, possibly due to extremely strong currents over very short distances. Hadjichristos says the field is shielded by double Faraday cages, probably the reactor body and the external metal cover outside the heat insulation.
UPDATE 2: Since I have been asked if I can exclude that hydrogen was fed into the reactor during the experiment I have to admit that I didn’t check that the valves were closed. Bear with me.
And some statements/claims from Alex Xanthoulis, president of Defkalion:
– Collaboration is on going with six companies for development of particular applications. Several of these companies are among the 10 major companies in the world. Concerned applications are: UAVs, computers, water boilers, electric power generation, green houses, ship propulsion (managed by Defkalion), automobile, water desalinization/purification (non profit organization) and big turbines.
– Agreements for licensing of manufacturing of a consumer product — the Hyperion — is signed with companies in Italy, France, Greece (Defkalion 50%), Canada and South Africa. 1,300 companies in about 78 countries are interested. The license price has previously been EUR 40.5 million.
– Defkalion has no external investors so far. Principal owner is Alex Xanthoulis.