“Cold fusion” tests misled scientists

All around the world, thousands of people have been heralding the introduction of the Rossi E-CAT energy catalyzer device which claims to generate more energy output than is input due to low energy nuclear reaction.

What makes this claim different is that at least fifteen scientists from around the world, including from NASA, have lent some support for it, after witnessing a demonstration or analyzing the results. They generally concluded that the output power was apparently much larger than the input, and only nuclear reactions could account for the difference.

However, Dick Smith, patron of Australian Skeptics, says, “It would be great if it’s true, but it’s more likely just a misconnection of the power lead.”

Smith was approached in December to invest $200,000 in this scheme to provide almost free energy and thus save the planet from climate change. He sent aerospace engineer Ian Bryce of Australian Skeptics to an investors’ meeting on the NSW North Coast on January 13 to investigate.

Smith says, “If one of the wires in the three-core power lead was accidentally misconnected, the actual measurements of current witnessed by two Swedish scientists would not be the total power going into the reactor, and there would be an apparent power gain. One of the scientists who observed an earlier test has now agreed this could be so.”

Bryce found that in all six published tests up to July, a misconnected earth lead could funnel in up to 3 kilowatts, thus bypassing the power meters used, and accounting for all the measured output power in the form of steam. In all later tests, there was no valid power measurement due to poorly placed thermometers.

Smith says, “It is now up to Mr Rossi to recreate the March 2011 demonstration – surely it would only take a couple of hours – and to have an independent person actually measure the current in each of the wires in the three-wire power cord.”

“There is little doubt that this will show that it was a misconnection of the wires that resulted in the seemingly unbelievable power gain which Mr Rossi attributes to cold fusion,” Smith says. “Hopefully this finding will prevent millions of dollars being wasted by Mr Rossi.”

“Until the chance of this accidental misconnection (an easy thing to happen) is ruled out by a further test, I strongly recommend that the public do not purchase this machine or invest in this technology”.

The full press release on this topic can be found here. A release covering the technical issues can be found here.