LENR Technology, which is the basis for the reactions occurring in the ECAT core, have a huge advantage over existing energy sources because it utilizes the energy bound in the atomic nucleus. Earlier this energy has only been utilized in nuclear reactors based on fission.
LENR technology has several advantages over existing nuclear reactors in that there are NO radioactive materials involved, and that there is NO radioactivity and NO radioactive waste from the process. At the same time it has similar energy densities to other nuclear energy sources, which has far superior energy densities compared to any chemical energy sources such as oil, coal and gas.
The superiority of LENR Technology lies in the energy density of the underlying reaction. The chemical reaction for burning coal in air, for instance, is
C + O2 → CO2 + 4.1eV,
where the 4.1eV(=6.6*10-19J) is released as heat. This is to be compared with one of the LENR processes in the ECAT core
Ni62 + H → Cu63 + 6.12 MeV,
where the 6.12 MeV(=9.8*10-13J) is also released as heat. Hence, the heat released by the LENR process is about 1.5 million times higher, per atomic reaction, than what we get from a chemical reaction like burning coal.
ECAT Fuel Facts – Comparison with Oil
- Costs 1/1000 of Oil (in fact, ECAT fuel cost is less than transportation cost of oil)
- Energy Density > 100 000 x oil, Power Density > 100 kW/l
- Reserves to last 10 billion years (oil 150 years)
- No emissions, no pollution, no noise
- 1 liter Ni-H 2 000 000 liter oil
Figure 1. 1 barrel of ECAT fuel has the oil equivalence of a full Supertanker
In order to have commercial success with a product based on LENR one has to demonstrate:
- High enough COP (Coefficient of Performance)
- High enough working temperature.
The COP is a measure of the ratio between energy output and input. Leonardo Corp guarantees a COP of 6 for the ECAT, meaning that it takes a required 1 kW of input power to produce 6 kW of heat.
To understand the basis for building product applications upon a heat source, such as the ECAT core, one needs to know the physical and mechanical limits in transforming heat into work (work can be electricity or the movement of a car for instance). The physical limit is defined by the Carnot efficiency,
nc = (1-Tc/Th),
where Tc is the temperature of cold heat reservoir (the temperature of the coolant), and Th is the temperature of the hot heat reservoir (the heating temperature of the heat source). Both temperatures needs to be given in the natural temperature unit Kelvin. As an example, electricity obtained from a heat source at 327C and a coolant at 27C has a Carnot efficiency equal to
nc = (1-(27+273)/(327+273)) = (1-300/600) = 50%,
which is the physically maximum of electricity you can get from such a thermodynamic process (273 is the difference between degrees Kelvin and Centigrade).
As can be seen from the formula, the Carnot efficiency increases when the temperature of the heat source increases and/or the temperature of the coolant decreases.
In addition to physical limitation, all mechanical processes have energy losses, and as a rule of thumb usually only 60%-70% of the Carnot efficiency is achievable in practice. Assuming mechanical efficiency of 65% gives a formula for achievable net electricity efficiency taking into account the input power used to drive the process, which is 1/COP:
Should the net electricity efficiency (in the above formula) be negative the interpretation is that not enough electricity is produced from the heat source to support its own need of input power.
Nevertheless heat is also a product, so even if a heat source can not break even on electricity, it might still be viable as a heat source product. Below, the net efficiency formula is put into a heat source utility map divided into viable products such as Heat, CHP and Power.
Figure 2. Heat Source Utility Map
The ECAT HT core operates at temperatures as high as 1000C. Hence, if a COP above 5 can be achieved, most energy problems in the world can be solved.
In addition to the temperature and the COP, the power density is a utilizing factor, especially for transportation applications, where size and weight are limiting factors.
To summarize – LENR technology is far superior in comparison to all existing energy sources:
- SUPERIOR ENERGY DENSITY: LENR has an energy density that is a factor 100,000-10,000,000 times greater than today’s combustion processes (Oil, Coal, Natural Gas) and reportedly higher than today’s commercial fission.
- GREEN & SAFE: LENR is 100% green and carbon free. LENR is a nuclear reaction, however it does not require uranium/plutonium, has no nuclear byproducts, and has no harmful effects or safety issues like fission energy.
- LIMITLESS: The current fuel for LENR, nickel + hydrogen, is nearly limitless, the most abundant metal and the most abundant gas on earth. No combustion process takes place, instead the hydrogen is merged with nickel, which is transmuted to form copper + energy. LENR also appears possible using metals other than Nickel such as Palladium for instance.
- CHEAP, SMALL & SCALABLE: The forthcoming LENR devices are all very cost efficient. They are small, easy to manufacture/operate, highly efficient and reliable, with no moving parts and requiring only the replacement of a nickel-hydrogen cartridge every 6 months or so.