To summarize the news from Piantellis Fusor E-Cat fusion progress:
• Older devices worked continuously for many weeks and generated 2× to 4× energy gain, even so the actual energy balance was greater, because the cells reached self-sustaining mode.
• Several un named third parties have verified that the older models worked in self-sustaining mode for extended periods of time.
• Several of those older devices were just lately reactivated. After some servicing they started up quickly and produced 2× to 3× energy gain, however they haven’t yet been forced to high excess energy levels.
• New units with new fuel should be completed in about two months, and are expected to produce 200× energy gain.
• The brand new devices will be tried gradually in numerous steps of increasing power, starting from a couple of hundred watts up to higher levels of power on the order of kilowatts.
• The scale-up will take as long as its necessary. Smaller sized units will be ready for sale first.
• No Italian public institutions are associated with the current research, but a US govt agency that’s had the opportunity to examine the research will most likely validate and certify the reactor, as well as contribute to its improvement.
• Piantelli’s team is also in discussions with several big construction companies to produce generators operating at certain power levels.
• The studies guarded by 3 pending patents, the latest of which was filed a week ago.
• Piantelli’s group will create a supporters’ trust. In two to four months the open public can buy shares in the trust to help the research, to prevent the technology from abruptly vanishing, and to be part of any future revenues. Piantelli’s group doesn’t need money: the goal is protect the technology by putting it under the control of a multitude of stakeholders and enthusiasts, but there is no guarantee the shares will make a profit.The 3 patents already mentioned most likely don’t include Piantelli’s 1995 patent application. The Piantelli group filed an Italian patent application, “Method for Producing Energy and Apparatus Therefor”, on November 24, 2008, which was published on May 25, 2010.
It looks like 2011 will be the year cold fusion attempts to make it on the commercial stage, and with at least two competitors. Piantelli’s group appears to be starting off at a disadvantage to Rossi and Defkalion, as Defkalion claims to have already achieved a 6× to 30× energy gain. (See Section 3: “Product Status” in the white paper.) However, Piantelli professes to have a comprehensive theory of the hydrogen-nickel reaction, which may speed up his group’s research.
E-Cat Fusion is not exactly suffering from a lack of explanatory hypotheses, but if Piantelli’s hypothesis fits well with the available evidence and, more importantly, if it makes predictions that can be tested experimentally, it will be worthy of the notice even of detractors of cold fusion research.