Apart from skirmishing with a few subjects most of the session was taken up by Tony Haynes talking about the promising areas of research that offer the prospect of cheap electricity – with a follow-up question and answer period. He described three new methods, all making use of Hydrogen in one way or the other. All three, he said, have potential but in various ways are at the fringe of acceptable consensus science.
The first one involves Eric Lerner, the author of The Big Bang Never Happened and the plan is to produce energy from plasma, a notoriously difficult substance to confine in a restricted space as it seems to have a mind of its own (but see previous post at http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/little-one-cops-big-one-tokama…). This led to considerable scepticism that such a device could work – but Eric Lerner and team have persevered. He set up his own company, Laurenceville Plasma Physics, and fuses Hydrogen with Boron by using a reactor. However, it does not produce radiation as in a nuclear reactor – but it does requires generating extreme high temperatures. Lerner's company has managed to reach the necessary high temperature – but not continuously. The breakthrough is expected and the aim is to produce power at less than one penny KwHr at an installed cost of an estimated £27 per KW.
The second development is Black Light Power and Randell Mills is a scientist that has been pilloried for years but has stuck like a limpet to his basic idea. After experimenting with hydrolysis of water and claimed to have achieved a higher output of Hydrogen by use of photon energy at ultra violet frequencies applied to the water – the so called black light (see www.blacklightpower.com/theory/theory.shtml).
The third development is that of Andrea Rossi's E-Cat system, another man that has been maligned and accused of virtual criminal fraud. His work has preceded under the spotlight of a general tone of scepticism and the system is not a lot different from that of Black Light Power – but Rossi claims he does not know why the reaction occurs, possibly a ploy for commercial reasons. It involves compressed Hydrogen poured into powdered nickel via a catalyst that consists of substances that he will not reveal – for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, the process emits X-rays which are kept at bay by a lead shield, or lining. Over time the nickel powder converts to copper, a useful product but on the market has a going rate much lower than that of nickel. In addition, nickel is in short supply and if there was renewed demand for it the price would rise. A few weeks ago Rossi organised a public demonstration for the purpose of attracting investment. It ran for several hours in a free running mode news of which was widely broadcast around the blogosphere. As it is perceived as a threat by other power generators Rossi is still being accused of operating a scam.
Eric Lerner in his book asks if the big bang never happened how did it all start? He said there was already a sea of continuous energy just as there is now – an electric universe with Birkland currents and a plentiful supply of Hydrogen atoms ionised by the flow of electrical currents. This, in time, creates the background noise – the so called echo of the Big Bang.
Tony Haynes, towards the end of his talk, was scathing of the way politicians and governments, both sides of the pond, have allowed commercial vested interests to hijack science for their own benefit and to the detriment of everybody else – the sort of thing I imagine that is described at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/17/make-29-on-your-money-guaranteed/ and the way climate so called 'deniers' are derided in a similar fashion to the likes of Lerner, Mills and Rossi. Mind, if they are at all successful they will become the new people to have the ear of politicians and governments – something to do with swings and roundabouts.