IH Expert Witness Publishes Scathing E-Cat Report

A recent filing in the Rossi vs. IH case has revealed a particularly scathing expert technological report by Rick A. Smith, P.E., which claims to invalidate Fabio Penon’s data and even goes so far as to call it “fictitious.” Smith further contends the water flow numbers were caused by a hot water flow circuit and not any steam flow as advertised by Rossi.

The full report may be read here.

Conclusions
Based on the preceding and my more than forty years’ experience as a professional engineer engaged in facility and utility engineering and operations, it is within a reasonable degree of engineering certainty that I conclude the following:

1. There was no steam flow from the E-cat to the black box, based on both a pressure difference analysis and a heat transfer (temperature difference) analysis. In fact steam flow (other than de minimus amounts to warm the piping) was impossible with the configuration at the time of the validation period. Thus, any steam flow numbers appearing in Mr. Penon’s report are not valid, therefore the whole report is invalid.

2. If there were a heat exchanger and cooling fans in the mezzanine, there is absolutely no physical evidence of their existence.

3. Because of anomalies in the reported data which violate the laws of thermodynamics, and major discrepancies between Mr. Fabiani’s data and Mr. Penon’s data, the data reported by Mr. Penon must be viewed with extreme skepticism.

4. Only the four BF units were running during the majority of the validation period. At times, some units were down for repair or maintenance. Their combined maximum “steam” output is 482 KW thermal. Despite this, Mr. Penon reported significantly higher produced energy numbers for the entire test. It is the author’s opinion that the produced energy numbers in Mr. Penon’s report are incorrect and therefore, his entire report is invalid.

5. It is the author’s opinion that the water flow numbers found in Mr. Penon’s report were not generated by condensate returning from the black box. The alleged steam and condensate system was in reality a hot water flow circuit using the Grundfos pump to circulate the water through the piping and the water meter. Because of this, any “steam” flow numbers in the Penon report are fictitious and the whole report must be invalidated.

6. As the photos of the BF units illustrate, there are no superheaters, thus there can be no superheated steam. Because of this, Mr. Penon’s reported steam temperature numbers are not valid, thus his whole report is invalid.

Industrial Heat in Aggressive Pursuit of LENR

Another exhibit from the Rossi v. Darden case offers a revealing look at Industrial Heat and their activities over the past few years. IH has been aggressively pursuing LENR technology through acquisitions, patenting, funding and “grooming” partnerships with a myriad of LENR inventors and firms.

In an email dated March 4, 2016, Woodford Funds expresses clear disappointment in the coming announcement that IH was unable to announce successful testing of Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat technology as it was a “core element” in their initial investment of a reported £39 million.

214-35 – Exhibit 35

Drama in the Rossi V. Darden Case

A recent transcript of a discovery hearing in the Rossi et al. V. Darden et al. case from March 9, 2017 proved to be very informative. The magistrate is clearly rankled with the attorney’s bickering and in a revealing comment, Mr. Pace, for the defendants answered “probably not” when the magistrate asked if they were never going to settle the case. Mr. Pace also predicted a 2-3 week trial this summer. IH and Darden seem very committed to proving Rossi defrauded them and/or breached the agreement they had.

THE COURT: All right. Good.
You guys are never going to settle this case, huh?
MR. PACE: Probably not.
THE COURT: How long is this case going to take to try?
MR. PACE: A couple of weeks.
THE COURT: Really?
MR. PACE: Yes. Two, three weeks.

Rossi and Leonardo lost a tactical battle to disclose to the defendant’s attorneys two deposit transactions into Leonardo Corporation that the plaintiff’s are maintaining are irrelevant to the case. The magistrate upheld an agreement among the parties that will allow these transactions to be revealed for attorney’s eyes only. We may never know who this mystery financier is, but Rossi’s attorney tried very hard to conceal it.

THE COURT: And why is this so sensitive that he
cannot — I mean, why are we spending twenty minutes on this
thing? Why don’t you just show it to them and they will say,
okay, it’s not relevant.
MR. ANNESSER: Your Honor, our company works with
certain parties that has nothing to do with this license
agreement and nothing to do with anything at issue in this
case.

Rossi also lost in a bid to keep his tax records concealed. There is a lot of Internet discussion about Rossi’s purported tax issues in Italy and his agreement with IH made this a condition of their agreement – that Rossi must pay his taxes – so this may come to bearing on this case as well.

THE COURT: All right. I am going to require that tax
returns be provided for attorney’s eyes. It’s alleged in the
complaint. Not even a defense really saying there was a prior
breach. So because of the prior breach serves as a defense to
Plaintiff’s breach because the contract was already breached.

Read the full transcript here.

Final Penon Report on E-Cat Output Published

The Rossi v. Industrial Heat, et al. case in federal court in Florida has resulted in the release of numerous exhibits. In fact, over the past week there has been almost too much to speculate on as both sides can be inferred as making compelling arguments for and against their claims. This is very typical of the U.S. adversarial judicial system where the truth unfortunately matters less than mounting a vigorous legal attack and defense.

Among the documents is the final report of one Fabio Penon, who was the mostly absentee professional chosen as the Expert Responsible for Validation (ERV) by both sides. The report claims the “energy multiple was always higher than 6” and the temperature of the steam produced was in excess of 100 degrees for the 350 days. In fact, on most days the reported COP was in excess of 60, which is a shocking number for many reasons.

You can decide for yourself the veracity of this report by reading it here and all the other court documents.

Confidential Industrial Heat Update Published at Trial

The Andrea Rossi/Leonardo vs. Industrial Heat LLC, et al. trial has released an interesting investor email update from Tom Darden of Industrial Heat LLC from March 7, 2014.

67-02 – Exhibit 1

From: Tom Darden
Date: Friday, March 7, 2014 12:43 AM
To: Tom Darden, “Watkins, Thomas”

Subject: Industrial Heat Update 3/6/14 CONFIDENTIAL
This report describes some of the key events at Industrial Heat (IH) in February. The sections after the Summary offer more details for those of you with time to read a long document, but the Summary contains the salient points.
Summary
The third independent test of Rossi’s technology began Wednesday, 2/26/14 in Switzerland. The committee of professors managing the test reported after one day that the new device appears to be generating 4-6 times as much energy as it is consuming. However, infrared measurement methods are subject to large errors based on settings which are specific to different materials and temperatures, so we are withholding judgment until the scientists have analyzed the data.

Over the week that the test has been running, Rossi reports daily on the output and says it continues as before. But again, we will wait until the professors reach their final conclusions and we have a chance to review the work. We are not relying on Rossi’s informal conclusions. The inputs and outputs are being recorded on computer drives and cameras, for future analysis by the committee of scientists, five of whom are from Sweden and two of whom are from Italy.

We are exchanging research license agreements with two very large US manufacturing companies. Both want to license our technology, if their internal tests are successful, and both seem highly motivated. The names of the companies are confidential.

We are increasing our patent work and spending. We have about 25 filed provisional patents now, and we are working on more. Many were filed by Rossi, and they are very informally written, so we need to re-do this work. The US patent office might be slightly more receptive to LENR patents now than they have been, although still not highly receptive.

Public Relations
My last update reported that word had gotten out about Industrial Heat being the entity backing Andrea Rossi‘s technology. Our goal was to avoid any publicity for as long as possible, simply because LENR technology, and our inventor specifically, are so controversial. We preferred to be identified only after achieving some success. But once we were known to be involved, we issued a press release so that people would have some facts about who we are and why we are interested. Broadly, the results of the news stories have been positive. Interested technology partners have been able to reach out, and we are having some productive conversations, detailed below.

Licensing
We have visited two large technology-based manufacturing businesses to discuss limited, research-based licenses. We have traded drafts of such an agreement with one, and it appears they will sign something acceptable to us. Under the discussed terms, they will assess our technology both theoretically and through testing. They will have no rights to the technology, or very limited rights, and they will have to create a limited internal group with restricted access to information. That group will not share their knowledge or work on other LENR projects. IH will get their data and engineering work. Either of us can stop the process at any time.

Both of these companies are doing this because our technology, if successful, would substantially affect their businesses. They want advance awareness and an early relationship with us so they will be at an advantage in licensing negotiations. The second company sent another draft document to us this week to review, with conceptually similar terms. While both companies are motivated, they are formally skeptical as well. Rossi’s reputation and unpredictability add to their skepticism, but also increase their appreciation for IH’s role as an intermediary. We believe additional companies would do similar research at no cost to us, just to be able to see if the technology might have application to their business. In a similar vein, NASA has done general market and technical assessments of Rossi’s technology as it could affect them, based only on the last Swedish test. Their report is attached below. Interestingly, Rossi emailed me today regarding one of his current research projects, which entails designing a jet or rocket motor using his devices. I am more interested in a simple steam boiler or a water heater right now, but it is good to see he is thinking beyond the current test in Switzerland.

I met recently with a brilliant theoretical researcher in Greenwich, CT, who made money in financial services software and now does LENR research in his own laboratory; and with a German financier who supports Ukrainian physicists who believe they have a theory explaining how  works, and who want to build a test reactor. Both want to team up with us.

I met also with Brillouin’s entire management team, and | have spoken on the phone to their financial person several times. You may recall that IH owns a small investment in Brillouin, as well as rights to Rossi’s technology. They are excited about IH becoming a larger investor, but they are upset that we chose Rossi instead of them for a significant investment–although they understand why, and they perceive Rossi is ahead of them in progress. I believe we have a good relationship. They agreed at a handshake level that we could license their technology for China, if we make a material investment in their company, probably $10 million. I am discussing this with some potential Chinese partners now who would invest the capital and use the technology.

We have been contacted by several of Rossi’s unhappy licensees from outside our geographic territory. We generally have avoided such conversations. But this is happening because people see us as an aggregator of LENR technologies and a friendly supporter, which is consistent with reality and helpful to us. Our long term goal is to gather these technologies and researchers and get the technology out to others who can implement and do further research.

We also have been approached by people involved with two well-known entrepreneurial technology investors, with interests in rockets and alternative energy. We have not met with them, but we might in the next 30 days. One of them previously tried to meet with Rossi, but Rossi backed away before the meeting. I will attempt to find out why–usually the answer is fear of technology theft. The other is a large supporter of Tri-Alpha, a fusion company in California that we believe has spent hundreds of millions of dollars so far.

Testing and Research
I have mentioned in prior updates that the committee of mostly-Swedish physics professors that tested Rossi’s reactor in Italy in 2013 would be performing a longer and more comprehensive test. The reasons for this are several: they apparently were impressed by what they saw last time, and they want to replicate the results, for a longer time period; Rossi reports that they have been discussing him as a Nobel prize candidate, if his technology proves out; and Rossi generally trusts them, so he is willing to allow them to do a test, rather than other entities that he perceives might try to steal something. Rossi is very compelled by the second reason above, the Nobel. In fact, it has been his sole focus for the last half year or more. He justifies this relative to his commitments to further develop IH’s technology by pointing out that it would be very good for us if he won the Nobel Prize. This is correct, although his work on designing a new reactor for the test has delayed our overall progress. Also, a visible, public test creates public relations risk for us that may not be offset by the benefits even of the Nobel Prize. I say all this to convey that IH is not the driver behind the Swedish professors’ test, and in fact, we are staying quite removed. But due to Rossi’s extremely independent personality, the test was going to happen regardless of our sentiments. We have chosen to be friendly and helpful to Rossi’s efforts for relationship reasons.

Regarding the test, I began writing this update in the US, but this section comes from Switzerland where I visited the test site and met four of the professors. In my last update, I mentioned that Rossi wanted to do the test in Europe instead of our facility to better accommodate the scientists, who have to travel back and forth.

We also like having distance between IH and this test, for several reasons. We want the test to be independent and not influenced by us. Also, we were and still are anxious about results. We felt Rossi was hurrying to make a new design in the last weeks before the test, and it was not properly assessed or measured in advance. It only existed for a few days before everything was shipped to Switzerland. We have been worrying that it would fail to produce excess energy, or that it would otherwise fail, because we had no time to test the new design to failure, meaning we do not know what temperature the device can tolerate. After destroying and improving probably a dozen different reactor designs over 5 months, we knew their set points and safe operating parameters, short of failure. This new reactor went from pure idea to working device to a FedEx box bound for Europe in just a few weeks.

The current test is similar to the four-day test reported in the ArXiv article from May, 2013, although it entails a different reactor design using slightly different fuel than Rossi used in Europe or than we used in almost all our work in the US, until just before this test. This device is perhaps 25% as big and 10% as heavy as the prior reactor, yet Rossi believes it has similar output. The overall dimensions are roughly one foot long and 1.5″ to 2″ in diameter, and it weighs about 350 grams or 3/4 pound.
In Switzerland, the testing team told me that the energy being produced by the reactor after one day exceeds that of conventional fuels, relative to the mass of the reactor. This is a very preliminary conclusion based on rough calculations, all to be re-done once the data can be analyzed in detail.
The professors weighed the device before the test began, and they will compare the weight lost over the course of the month (or longer if it keeps running) with the energy produced. They will be updating their computations along the way, so after one day they were able to say it produced more energy than one could extract from 350 grams of anything conventional, like gasoline or high-efficiency batteries. In the future, besides refining the energy output computations, they will attempt to weigh the actual fuel instead of the whole reactor-they are just making preliminary observations and trying to be conservative.
They also were being conservative, it seems, on some other relevant variables. This reactor is slightly finned, so it loses heat from convection faster than a smooth cylinder with less surface area. Their convection loss formula is for a smooth cylinder. They also ignored the greater finned surface area for purposes of calculating radiated energy. They measure the surface area as if it were smooth. These two factors might change the results by 10%. By the time the report is prepared, they probably will use more precise formulas for these items.

My perennial caveat is that IR camera setting errors would dwarf this kind of conservatism. If they are wrong with the settings, the results are not meaningful. They did go through a camera calibration procedure at the beginning using an unfueled device, which is ideal. But, we do not yet know their procedure. We also can find questions or faults with the process they are using when making their preliminary, first-day calculations, like how are they averaging the temperature of the device when it varies greatly across the surface. This can be done appropriately, but we do not know how they will do it. One reason we do not know these answers now is because we are trying to be respectful and discreet. We do not want to intrude into their program aggressively, but rather to observe. Also, Rossi tends to be secretive and not open about these topics, and he often announces conclusions that do not make sense to us or that we disagree with. So, we are not comfortable with his responses to questions about the testing process. We think the professors are more knowledgeable and precise–their last report was so. If they do what they did last time, we believe their conclusions should be accurate. But all this bears watching, and in any event, we need not to rely on the results of any single test. I realize I might sound overly cautious or skeptical in reporting on results, but this is a function of the extreme difficulty of communicating with Rossi about measurement methods and processes.

At the test site, I met Professors Levi and Foschi from the University of Bologna, who are long-term followers of Rossi’s technology. Levi began his career at CERN, the Swiss nuclear collider and research facility, while Foschi is a young PhD. We perceive they are quite convinced this reaction works as reported, and they clearly do not bring a skeptic’s point of view. They performed the first tests in December, 2012, which were reported in the ArXiv article along with the 2013 test, showing generally similar results. The latter test had multiple other participants.
I also met Professors Pettersson and Hoistad from Uppsala University in Sweden. They were colleagues of Sven Kullander, a highly respected Swedish nuclear physicist, whom Rossi believes was the head of the committee that selects the winner of the physics Nobel prize. Kullander was the leader of the initiative to test Rossi’s device. He died unexpectedly from a heart attack last month, while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Rossi spoke to him about final plans for these Swiss tests only 6 hours before he died, and Kullander’s son spoke at the funeral about his father’s belief that Rossi’s work was the most important development in science in many decades. Rossi believed his chance of winning the prize were extremely high under Kullander, who carried great weight in the physics world. He believes Hoistad has taken Kulllander’s place as leader of the Nobel committee. He is a great guy, but he lacks Kullander’s broad reputation and awareness, so he probably does not have such a deciding vote. None of these roles are publicly known, so these beliefs by Rossi cannot be verified. Also, we might prefer that the professors all be skeptics and think it does not work, instead of being more optimistic about it. Rossi and Fulvio Fabiani say they were much more skeptical when they came for the last test, but after that, they changed their opinions.

The two Swedes in attendance were quite convinced that something important is happening. They said this, and they are investing time and reputation risk in this effort. They are mystified by the unwillingness of many professors to realize that some kind of LENR reactions occur (aside from ours), and that these reactions demonstrate there is a fundamental error in current physics theory. The Swedes hope that scientists will be able to acknowledge that one or more of the thousands of reports of anomalous excess energy are true, so therefore there is a flaw in their broader theories. Unraveling this flaw could be very important, beyond energy applications.

Also participating in this test will be Hanno Essen, Lars Tegner and Torbjorn Hartman, who participated in the last test. They have reached agreement with Rossi that they will visit unannounced at various times in the next 30 days, and Pettersson and Hoistad plan to return also. Rossi and Fulvio Fabiani, his primary assistant, plan to stay throughout the next month and maybe for as long as 90 days. At the end of 30-90 days, assuming the machine is still operating, the mass vs. energy output analysis will be very clear-subject as always to one’s confidence in the IR settings. The data are being logged on drives throughout the test, and we will have access to the data.

Prior to beginning work in Switzerland, we saw results that were more compelling than we had seen previously during our testing and development period, from September, 2013 through January, 2014. Similar results were reported to have occurred in Italy, before we were involved, but we had not seen dramatic evidence of energy production. And, we definitely had seen reactors not working at all. But I mentioned in my last update that we saw a reactor explode from the inside, relatively dramatically, as others had exploded in Italy. These explosions are not very violent, just a pressure release and a burst of energy blowing out the side for a couple of feet and a few seconds. We have since dismantled that reactor and saw that prior to exploding, it expanded or swelled by about 1/4″. It was made from stainless steel, 1/4″ thick and only about 1.25″ in diameter, so it is extremely strong. This could only happen through a combination of very high temperature plus high pressure. Stainless steel melts at 1500 degrees C, far beyond our operating external temperatures, and we do not think the electricity we were using could have been sufficient to do this, implying that the energy came from inside the core. Of note, we changed the fuel formula right before building this device, and that fuel is being used in the device undergoing testing in Switzerland. Almost all the fuel used previously in Raleigh was different, and apparently less effective, because those devices never melted and exploded. All of our earlier failures were electrical in nature.

We are building tiny glass reactors for rapid testing purposes. Our cost per test has dropped from thousands of dollars to about $25. We have been seeing flashes of energy in the fuel when it is heated. Our goal is to be able to see and record the intensity of reactions occurring with different fuel materials. We think this also could help us with patents because it will be harder to deny enablement, or that something happens, which is the basis for the US patent office’s anti-LENR policy. If we have a video showing something occurring, that may be persuasive. We like these tests because they are very inexpensive, and they will be important for our patent development if they are in fact easy to see. But broadly, we intend to hand serious, long-term assessment and testing over to large engineering entities that have much greater capability than ours.

Conclusion
We are all feeling anxious these days because we are in the middle of a very public test. The early results have been positive, which is a relief especially when compared to how we were feeling about the probability of success right before the test began. However, we are completely reserving judgment regarding the output, waiting to see the data and the Swedish professors’ conclusions.
Our primary work now focuses on intellectual property development and on developing business partnerships. We want to acquire other technology rights and to find deployment partners that can implement. We want to see LENR technologies developed by larger, more sophisticated companies.

Please reach out with any questions or comments. I would like to meet with any of you to discuss IH at any time, and I would enjoy getting the benefit of your insights. Thank you for your support.

Tom Darden
Industrial Heat

Industrial Heat and Boeing Reportedly Tested E-Cat

A purported Industrial Heat investor and insider has revealed that The Boeing Company and IH were under a NDA to test Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat technology. Boeing has also surfaced in recent court documents pertaining to a protective order.

Boeing has long been reported as being interested in LENR and has applied for patents in the past. They have also been working on a Boeing Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft, which may someday make use of LENR powered engines.

Darden Upbeat On Other LENR Avenues

Tom Darden, founder and CEO of Raleigh’s Cherokee Investment Partners, an investor in Industrial Heat LLC, has stated he has “moved on” from Andrea Rossi and his E-Cat technology, despite ongoing litigation with Rossi and his partners.

Darden says he’s moved on to other possibilities when it comes to LENR technologies. Rossi’s research was just one of a dozen avenues Industrial Heat was exploring. Of those 12, Industrial Heat has halted or slowed funding on about half, he says, adding that the management team feels “increasingly good” about the remaining avenues. “Our triaging process is working pretty well to figure out which ones we want to continue to support and which ones we don’t.”

Troubling Documents in Rossi Case

Rossi et al. v. Darden et al. (1:16-cv-21199), Florida Southern District Court.

The ongoing federal litigation between Andrea Rossi and the principals of Industrial Heat LLC has revealed some troubling documents and correspondence regarding the testing of the E-cat system.  All of the filings and motions may be found here.

Exhibit 5 – Is a list of questions IH’s engineer, Joe Murray, sent to Fabio Penon, the Expert Responsible for Validation (ERV), questioning some of the data from the preliminary reports issued by Penon.  These questions include some troubling observations about the equipment and measuring techniques used.  Apparently these questions were never answered and Penon has yet to respond to this lawsuit.

Document 118-01 – Is a compilation of email communications between Andrea Rossi and the agents of J.M. Products, Inc. (JMP), the purported customer making use of the E-Cat’s excess heat.  Rossi seems to exert an unsettling amount of control over JMP’s operation.  In emails with James A. Bass, the Director of Engineering for JMP, Rossi appears to be “coaching” Bass on what to say to observers, with Bass asking Rossi, “My question is, will the people I meet tomorrow want to know anything technical?”  In another email, Rossi tells an assistant to Henry W. Johnson, Rossi’s attorney and organizer of JMP, that he will transfer $500 from Leonardo Corporation to the JMP account, which had apparently been overdrawn.

 

Industrial Heat Brings Counterclaims

Industrial Heat and IPH (collectively “Counter-Plaintiffs”) bring this action against Leonardo; Rossi; J.M. Products, Inc. (“JMP”); Henry Johnson (“Johnson”); Penon; United States Quantum Leap, LLC (“USQL”); and Fabiani.

Industrial Heat LLC has brought counterclaims against almost everyone involved in the Rossi project and makes allegations of fraud in the performance, review and testing of the E-cat.

Eventually Counter-Plaintiffs discovered that the test that Leonardo and Rossi were conducting, in conjunction with the supposed “customer” in Miami, was not a real test at all, but a carefully scripted effort to deceive Counter-Plaintiffs into 1) providing Leonardo and Rossi with credibility in their efforts to license and promote the E-Cat IP to others and/or obtain investments from others in their business ventures, 2) making the third payment under the License Agreement to Leonardo, 3) paying a multitude of expenses of Leonardo and Rossi including in connection with their operations in Florida, and 4) paying Penon and Fabiani for services not rendered and reimbursing them for unnecessary expenses.

Answer and exhibits available here.

Rossi’s Response to Industrial Heat Motion to Dismiss

Leonardo Corporation’s response to Industrial Heat’s motion to dismiss was entered on June 17, 2016.  The document can be read here.

While all the facts of this particular case aren’t publicly known, this blog strives to be about the bigger picture and the potential of LENR.  Andrea Rossi and Industrial Heat LLC make up just a small segment of the broader industry and we hope this unfortunate distraction does not detract from the attention, investment and encouragement all earnest LENR researchers deserve.

That being said, while disappointed, we reserve judgment on Andrea Rossi’s work and credibility until it can be openly and thoroughly vetted through whatever means necessary.