[Vo]:Comments by Duncan, Celani at ICCF16
Mon, 07 Feb 2011 05:59:42 -0800
Rob Duncan was supposed to give one of the keynote addresses. Unfortunately, the blizzard in the U.S. shut down Chicago and he was unable to come. He e-mailed his comments and they were read by Melich. They were excellent. I hope to get a copy soon. Anyway, one thing he said was that the heat in many of these experiments is "definitely real." I think he also said it is definitely not chemical.
Rossi's work was discussed by Celani and then Melich.
Celani's description of the demo was more critical than his discussion with me, yesterday. He was quite upset that they did not let him make nuclear measurements, and I suspect that has colored his thinking. Rossi told him "we can't let you take a gamma spectrum because that will tell you exactly what reactions are going on, and we cannot reveal that information until we can get a patent." That remark alone is revealing, isn't it!
I am not good at taking notes while listening to a lecture, but here are some of my notes from Celani's talk.
This was not a typical cold fusion experiment, especially in the choice of materials, which was nickel plus two other unnamed mystery elements. It is "conceptually mistaken" to call this Ni cold fusion. Celani believes these other elements are the active ingredient and the Ni assists the reaction in the other elements. [I have the opposite impression; that the other elements are dopants which enhance the Ni reaction that Piantelli and Focardi discovered years ago.]
There were many problems with the demonstration. The device was working a lot better on January 13. Unfortunately, on the day the people assembled, the A/C heater failed "catastrophically" and then some other parts were acting flaky. The audience become restless and upset. When they finally got it going, they were only able to reduce control power down to 400 W, and it was not as steady as it had been in recent tests at U. Bologna. On Jan. 13 and in some previous tests they could bring it down closer to 100 W, which is more impressive, with a "gain" of 30 - 40. [I quibble with use of the term "gain" in this context.] Celani referred to the 100 W level as the "self-sustaining level." In other words, almost heat after death.
The hygrometric probe [RH meter] was not reliable and the readings were not continuous.
There was the sound of steam but it was not loud. There was a lot of noise in the crowded room.
The data acquisition system failed, as noted by Levi in his report, which is why they had to use a photo of the screen.
Celani thinks there were "questionable assumptions" about the dry steam. He showed a graph of the estimates made here about 1% of the steam by volume reducing the enthalpy by a large margin. (Storms says that estimate is wrong -- the reduction is much too big.)
Celani thinks the outlet temperature probe was too close to the body of the machine.
Celani reiterated what he told me yesterday, that calorimetry by vaporization is problematic, and it would be better to increase the flow rate and use water below 90 deg C instead.
Levi and Rossi are preparing a more detailed report about the recent set of tests. (The Levi report now uploaded is a rush job, as I think anyone can see.)
After the talk, Celani mentioned that he held his hand over the exit pipe, which I think is rubber. Someone asked if he touched it. He said it was too hot. That would put it at about 50 deg C, as the person pointed out. That's very hot.
Melich, Storms and I feel that some of this is nitpicking. Celani did not address the most important issue, which is that even if there was a only a tiny bit of steam, that means the water temperature was close to 100 deg C, so there must have been massive excess heat, on the order of 400 W in, 1,800 out. You can ignore the steam altogether. In most cold fusion experiments this much excess heat would be considered a definitive triumph.
McKubre remarked that Rossi presence in the room during the test "weakens" the claim. I don't think anyone would argue with that.
Melich followed with a shorter discussion, without viewgraphs. He was more circumspect because some of the work he based his discussion has not been published yet so he cannot reveal full details. He is confident that it will be published. He agreed that Rossi's results are still somewhat "fuzzy" but warned people not to judge a project by a one-off test on one day, especially a test with 50 impatient people in the room. That is bound to be somewhat chaotic.
Levi remarked somewhere that he felt confident in the machine after the Dec. 16 test [Test 1] and also when he saw it run with no input, in heat after death. Levi's judgement does not rest entirely on the Jan. 14 demonstration [Test 2]. People such as Melich and Levi, who know the most about this machine, seem to have the highest confidence that it is real. That is a good sign.