ICCF24 Solid-State Energy Summit
by Christy L. Frazier
Read the more complete conference summary appearing in Issue 162 of Infinite Energy.
Check out these important ICCF24 links:
Group Photo from ICCF24 — July 25, 2022 (Courtesy of Anthropocene Institute)
Monday, July 25, Morning Session
The ICCF24 Solid-State Energy Summit is being held this week in Mountain View, California at the Computer History Museum. The organizing team from Anthropocene Institute deserves a lot of credit for ensuring a safe environment for attendees as Covid cases ramp up once again. They facilitated very user-friendly access to virtual registrants via Hopin. Organizers estimate approximately 150 in-person attendees and a high of 135 online observers (online has much flux due to time differences around the world). IE representatives are all attending the conference virtually.
Day 1 of the conference kicked off with a colorful, artistic opening video and short anime piece titled “Run, LENR, Run.” A touching tribute to Richard Chan, who passed away earlier this year in the midst of planning ICCF24, was presented. Opening Remarks were given by Anthropocene’s Carl Page (Founder and President) and Frank Ling (Chief Scientist).
Ling noted that Anthropocene is a “team of artists, designers, scientists and communicators” whose goal is to better communicate scientific ideas and breakthroughs to the public. Carl Page has become known to the LENR community in recent years and has provided support to many projects. He noted that he was “grateful to welcome this community here” and acknowledged the dedication of researchers in the field, saying that “this is a community that understands that ‘too good to be true” is not a scientific” principle.
In keeping with their creative approach to the conference, Anthropocene commissioned songs from Baba Brinkman of Event Rap. (An IE story about these songs is forthcoming.) Ling introduced the theme song for the conference, an appealing rap song called “You Must LENR." In it, Brinkman writes: “Crazy times calls for crazy moonshots too / And this isn’t ’89 it’s 2022 / And science is about finding out something new / So what you gonna do? Quit, or tunnel through?”
The morning keynotes included:
- “Geopolitics of Energy Security and Transformation Toward Carbon Neutrality” by Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency from 2007 to 2011
- “Solid-State Fusion: The Formation of a Scientific Field” by Florian Metzler, Research Scientist at the MIT Industrial Performance Center
- “Perspectives on the ARPA-E LENR Workshop” by Scott Hsu, Senior Advisor and Lead Fusion Coordinator at ARPA-E, who announced a “Teaming Partner List” for an upcoming ARPA-E program on LENR, which will have a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in August 2022. He also discussed the overall emphasis of the ARPA-E workshop held in October 2021.
These talks, and all other presentations at the event, will be more closely covered in a larger IE overview of the event.
During breaks throughout the conference, Anthropocene’s Anna Michel and Paloma Ledesma will present recaps, previews, creative content and highlights of speakers, sponsors and organizations of interest. During one break, they presented the results of one of many online poll questions: Do you think prize incentives can propel LENR technologies? They reported that 70% of respondents felt that prizes definitely can benefit the field.
Before the lunch break and group photo, Carl Page announced the early stages of a Solid-State Fusion Prize. He called the Prize, which is a work in progress, an “engine of innovation we might bring to bear on this problem and speed things up.” He noted that “something magical happens when you announce a new competition” — “the implausible suddenly becomes the inevitable.” He considers a Prize a sort of PR exercise, a way to “draw attention to the space and the people involved.” Page asked for ideas and suggestions for the Prize, the plans for which may be finalized by the end of the year. (Watch for a full story about the evolution of the Prize, forthcoming from IE.)
Monday, July 25, Afternoon Session
The afternoon session kicked off with a very interesting “Fireside Chat” on “Why Prizes Accelerate Moonshot Technologies” with Huw Price (Professor Emeritus, Bonn University) and Peter Diamandis, founder of the XPrize. Diamandis noted that LENR has been on his radar for some time and feels that it would be a good prize project. (IE’s forthcoming story about the Solid-State Fusion Prize will contain more about this exchange.)
Other afternoon talks were:
- “Risk Transfer Approaches to Achieving ESG & Resilience Objectives” by Jeffrey Bohn, Chief Strategy Officer at OneConcern
- “Funding Moonshots,” by Carly Anderson of PrimeMovers Lab
- “The History of LENR Research at NASA Glenn Research Center,” by Theresa Benyo, Principal Investigator at NASA Glenn Research Center
- “A Rising Academic Tide Will Lift All Boats,” by Oliver Barham, Project Manager at U.S. Navy NSWC-IHD
These talks will be highlighted in the full IE overview of the conference.
The formal program for the day ended with a “Fireside Chat” with Carl Page and G. Nagesh Rao, Eisenhower Fellow and Board Director at Enchroma, on “Innovation and Investment in Our Clean Energy Future.” Rao called Page a “luminary of luminaries” who puts “his own personal resources on the line to save the planet.” Page noted that it “shouldn’t be a real surprise that a paradigm change could be on year 33” of discovery, using the history of the development of the computer as an example of just one technology that took many years to develop. He lamented a widespread “hyperconservatism in terms of taking technological risks” and stated, “Science is not a matter of consensus.”
Rapper Baba Brinkman closed out the session with a short freestyle rap prepared on the spot. Most impressive was his Rap Up of the day’s events. Brinkman performed a nearly 10-minute rap about the day’s presentations and major points. He sat in the audience taking notes on talks and managed in a few short hours to prepare an overview of the day that included speaker names (which in some cases were part of the rhyme scheme!), direct quotes and general themes.
This was an impactful, interesting first day of the conference.
Tuesday, July 26, Morning Session
It should be noted that the conference organizers have done a remarkable job of adhering to a very strict timetable. The start of the day and all talks have begun on time, with very immediate transitions from one speaker to the next. This makes the time between breaks and the day as a whole seem to pass by very quickly. Viewing will get more complex after today, when there are presentations on two separate stages.
This second day of ICCF24 began with brief Opening Remarks from Greg Tanaka, a member of the Palo Alto City Council and a Congressional candidate who is running on a pro-nuclear platform. He spoke about the need for expanding he use of nuclear energy.
Huw Price, of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) and Professer Emeritus at Bonn University, spoke on “Risk and Reputation,” highlighting the important reasons why scientists must sometimes risk personal reputation to conduct “risky” new science. He noted that “Science tends to look under the lamppost, where things are most illuminated” but that “great research often comes from the shadows.” He has written “Risk and Scientific Reputation: Lessons from Cold Fusion,” a chapter from a forthcoming book Managing Extreme Technological Risk.
Venture capitalist (currently with DCVC) and former Google program manager Matt Trevithick moderated a panel on “Some Accumulated Wisdom: A Historical Look Back.” Panelists included Robert Duncan (Texas Tech University), David Nagel (George Washington University) and Thomas Schenkel (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Program Head for Fusion). Trevithick was an exceptional moderator, posing four key questions and transitioning between responses seamlessly. The four topics were:
1. Describe one or two experimental results that cause you to remain interested in LENR.
2. If you had $10 million over two years to invest in LENR, what would you do?
3. Which experiment would you most like to see compete for the Solid State Fusion Prize?
4. What advice do you have for an early career scientist or engineer interested in LENR?
We will dive into the panel’s answers to the first three questions in IE’s full coverage of the conference. Their responses to the fourth question were encouraging.
Nagel noted that even if LENR captured just a very small part of the energy sector, it could be as much as a $10 billion market. He suggested that there are three outlets for those interested in pursuing the field: science, engineering and business. His advice is “to learn the fundamentals of one of these three and apply it in this field for the good of mankind.”
Duncan hopes that young scientists will apply their “curiosity and ingenuity to expand” their education. He stressed that it is key to follow the Scientific Method. Duncan said, “Once you answer all the questions fairly well, now question all the answers.” He cautioned that scientists should not “trip over their frontal lobe” by getting a mental model so ingrained in their heads that “when you see something surprising you think it must be an outlier.”
Schenkel echoed the need for a strong foundation based on the Scientific Method. He stressed that one must have the “courage to be critical” but “notice what excites you and follow that instinct.” He noted the importance of seeking out peers and mentors who can be trusted.
Trevithick wrapped up the panel discussion by reminding attendees of the ARPA-E announcement (see above) and the plans for a future prize. He said he would love to “see some great groups come together” out of the conference and become teams for either of those endeavors.
Two fairly technical talks will be detailed in the forthcoming IE coverage of the conference:
- “Lattice-Catalyzed Fusion: A First-Principles Approach to an Irrefutable Proof of Principle” by John Dodaro of Aquarius Energy
- “Nuclear Fusion Rate Enhancement in Solid-State Environments: A First-Principles Approach to Particle Theory” by Nicola Galvanetto of the University of Zurich
Stephen Bannister, an economist at the University of Utah, presented on “Technology Growth: Intersection of Energy, Economics, and Geopolitics.” His belief in anthropogenic global warming science led to a greater sense of urgency about the importance of LENR research and engineering. Bannister noted that LENR as an energy source could “expand the frontiers of science” by providing cheaper new sources of energy that can replace or eradicate carbon sources. He advised that “economic growth often relies or depends heavily on new technologies” and if we are able to “deploy new, scaleable, cheap and clean energy sources, we could have another industrial revolution.” He laid out numerous reasons to abandon carbon combustion energy sources (which will be highlighted in a later story). Towards the end of his talk, Bannister said, “I’m not a net zero person, I am a zero-zero person!”
The morning session closed with Michael McKubre teasing the afternoon session of technical talks. He noted that “not a single conference has occurred without me learning something unexpected” and said that he hoped the presentations will “surprise” him and give him “something new to chew on.”
Tuesday, July 26, Afternoon Session
The afternoon session of Day 2 consisted of the following nine technical talks, which will be covered in the IE full coverage of the conference:
- Yasuhiro Iwamura, “Anomalous Heat Burst Triggered by Input Power Perturbations Observed in Ni-based Nanostructured Thin Films with Hydrogen”
- Masahiko Hasegawa, “MHE Reaction in New Experiments by D-System”
- Francesco Celani, “Progresses on Confirming Simple Procedures to Produce AHE and Investigate Their Origin by Thin Constantan Wires Under H2, D2 Gases at High Temperatures”
- Dimiter Alexandrov, “Cold Nuclear Fusion Reactions in Constantan: Successful Experiments”
- Jean-Paul Biberian, “Excess Heat in Nano Particles of Nickel Alloys in Hydrogen”
- Edward Beiting, “A Search for Excess Heat: Replication Studies”
- Mitchell Swartz, “Synchronization of Vacancy-Loaded Deuterons Enables Successful LANR Mass-Energy Transfer”
- Anatoly Klimov, “Water Plasma Vortex Reactor and Obtaining of ExtraThermal Energy and Transmutated Chemical Elements”
- Si Chen, “Excess Heat in a D2(H2)-Ni(Pd) Reaction System with Multiple Oxidation of the Ni-Pd Alloy Powder”
See the link at the top of this page for the abstracts of these presentations.
Steve Katinsky, of LENRIA, presented some perspectives on the LENR field and invited attendees to Poster Session 1.
Rapper Baba Brinkman again finished the day’s events with a “Rap Up” rap song written throughout the day as he listened to presentations. He joked that he wrote it “months ago, psychically predicting what everyone on this stage would say today.” One line of the song noted that those in the room had a “healthy skepticism of the impossible.”
Poster Session 1 ran concurrently with the Sponsor Showcase in the Grand Hall. See the full list of Posters on the ICCCF24 website.
In keeping with having meals outside to lessen exposure due to Covid, the formal banquet was also held outdoors. An overview of the banquet will appear later. After dinner, Carl Page gave a short speech. This was followed by two of the evening’s performers. An art showcase was presented by Yiying Lu and a demo was conducted by Chef Martin Yan. Rapper Baba Brinkman of Event Rap performed a half-hour set, including the debut of another LENR rap song, “Cold Fusion Renaissance,” and songs related to climate and technology.
At the banquet, Bill Collis of the International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (ISCMNS) presented the Minoru Toyoda Gold Medal to Edmund Storms. Made of 94 grams of 18 carat gold, the medal has only been awarded one other time: to Martin Fleischmann in 2009. It is awarded to someone who has made “outstanding contribution to the promotion and progress of CMNS.” (See the IE articles about the ISCMNS and Edmund Storms.)
Prior to ICCF24, David Nagel organized a Short Course on LENR, focusing on the status, potential and momentum of the field. The presentations prepared on selected topics are available on the ICCF24 YouTube page. The direct links to the talks follow:
- Introduction and Issues by David Nagel
- Electrochemical Loading by Michael McKubre
- Hot Gas Loading by Shinya Narita
- Plasma Loading by Lawrence Forsley
- Calorimetry and Heat Data by Edmund Storms
- Transmutation Data by Jean-Paul Biberian
- Materials Challenges by Ashraf Imam
- Theoretical Considerations by Peter Hagelstein
- Commercialization by Steve Katinsky
- Applications and Impacts by Jed Rothwell (See Cold Fusion Will Lower the Cost of Both Energy and Equipment.)
If you have an interest in LENR science, technology and business, consider joining the LENR-Forum, which currently has a running thread of updates about ICCF24.
Wednesday, July 27, Morning Session
The conference program got more dense and complicated today. Presentations were being held in two separate conference rooms. Online attendees could choose which stage to watch, and hop between stages if desired. The Hopin event platform was very easy to navigate, even for someone like me who has a rather old computer. It would be fantastic if future ICCF conferences utilized this platform.
Opening Remarks on the day’s technical talks on “Modeling Energy Exchange, Excess Heat, Transmutation and Other Effects” were presented by Peter Hagelstein of MIT.
Thomas Grimshaw of LENERGY provided an overview of the LENR Research Documentation Initiative (LRDI). The main goals for the LRDI project are to capture records while they are still available, preserve those records for re-analysis and honor the LENR “heroes.” So far, Grimshaw has worked with 28 participants (see IE stories about some of the work: Ludwik Kowalski, Stanislaw Szpak, Peter Gluck). Grimshaw noted that the J. Willard Marriott Library (University of Utah) has an existing Cold Fusion Special Collection that he anticipates will house some of the collections he has been helping to organize; he has negotiated with the Library to process the collections of Edmund Storms and Thomas Passell. See Grimshaw’s IE article, “Documenting Cold Fusion Research” for more information about the LRDI process.
Jed Rothwell, creator of the e-library lenr-canr.org, spoke on “How to Fix Global Warming with Cold Fusion.” His 2004 e-book Cold Fusion and the Future predicted possible impacts of cold fusion, which he believes still exist: energy 200 times cheaper than today’s cost; crop fields in the U.S. would be grown inside buildings; desalination and water treatment would be used to convert deserts into verdant land; the threat of global warming would be eliminated. He noted five things that are necessary for cold fusion to address all of those applications: 1) reasonably high power density; 2) reasonably good Carnot efficiency; 3) high energy density; 4) perfected safety with no tritium or at least no tritium leaks; 5) complete control over the reaction. He noted that Requirement (5) is the only one not currently satisfied, but that “with enough funding and research, we can get control over the reaction.” Rothwell said, “The whole history of science and technology says it [control of reaction] can be done.” Some steps he proposes for not just stopping but reversing global warming with cold fusion are: stop emitting carbon dioxide; put carbon back underground where it came from (he suggests growing billons of trees, cutting them down when old and burying them in abandoned coal mines).
David Firshein, Chief Financial Officer of Brillouin Energy, gave an update about the status of Brillouin’s Hydrogen Hot Tube (HHT) technology. They have built small test devices (19”, 3/8” in diameter) and are working on scaled-up commercial systems, based on the invention of their Chief Technology Officer Robert Godes. Firshein noted that reacting hydrogen in the HHT device has the potential of powering “30,000 homes on the amount of hydrogen in a glass of water.” Brillouin has had a long-term research agreement with SRI; Francis Tanzella and his team at SRI have independently validated and replicated the heat output. Firshein’s slides indicated that Brillouin has worked closely with other researchers on verifications; see Marianne Macy’s 2015 story “On the Quest for a Commercial LENR Reactor with Robert Godes and Brillouin Energy” for more on those collaborations and the work done by Godes.
Masami Hayashi, Global Strategy Director for Clean Planet, spoke about Clean Planet’s role in “New Energy, New Future: Inventing an Alternative to Fire.” Founded in 2012 by Hideki Yoshino in response to the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and tsunami that severely damaged the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant, Clean Planet has an impressive R&D team familiar to those who follow LENR: Yasuhiro Iwamura, Jirohta Kasagi, Takehiko Ito, Yoshito Endo. Their process, termed “quantum hydrogen energy” (QHe), produces “heat generated by quantum phenomenon during the hydrogen diffusion process in nano-sized Ni-based composite material.” They have three locations and an experiment at the Kawasaki Base has shown long-term heat generation for over one year. Clean Planet currently has 57 patents in 21 countries and partnerships with major Japanese companies. They are currently completing: QHe Module #001; prototype for 2.8 kW boilers; scaling up an industrial boiler application; R&D of other QHe-powered products. The Clean Planet goal is to bring one or more QHe-powered products to the market by 2025 to bring a “green transformation to the world.”
The following technical talks from the July 27 morning session will be detailed in the forthcoming IE conference coverage:
- Peter Hagelstein, “Models for Accelerated Nuclear Deexcitation: Dicke-enhanced Excitation Transfer on the 14.4 keV Transition in Fe-57”
- Akito Takahashi, “Understanding of MHE Power Generation Patterns by TSC Theory”
- Vladimir Vysotskii, “The Self-sustaining Flashing LENR in Magnetized Low-temperature Plasma”
- George Miley, “Advances in Understanding Cluster Type Reaction Sites” (presented by Erik Ziehm)
- Lawrence Forsley, “Electron Screened and Enhanced Nuclear Reactions”
- Bill Collis, “Exotic Neutral Particles as a Comprehensive Explanation for CMNS”
- Graham Hubler, “Microscopic Insights into the Anomalous Heat Effect that Unify Disparate Experimental Results”
- Kazuaki Matsui, “New Hydrogen Energy (NHE) Project of Japan”
- Anthony Zuppero, “Electron Quasiparticle Catalytic Binding in Chemical Reactions with a Proposed Nuclear Analogy”
- Mikio Fukuhara, “Earth Factories: Nuclear Transmutation and the Creation of the Elements”
Wednesday, July 27, Afternoon Session
Two workshop sessions on “Rapid World Building: Our Clean Energy Future” ended up being only accessible on-site to invited participants. IE will see if an overview of the discussions can be made available. The workshop was moderated by Bodhi Chattopadhyay and Bergseinn Thorsson of CoFutures.
The following technical talks will be detailed in the forthcoming IE conference coverage:
- Erik Ziehm, “Detection of Alpha Particles using CR-39 During a Deuterium DC Glow Discharge with Pd Electrodes”
- Nancy Bowen, “Applying Nuclear Engineering Considerations to the Nuclear Active Environment for LENR”
- Takehiko Itoh, “Analysis of Photon Radiation for Spontaneous Heat Burst Phenomena During Hydrogen Desorption from Nano-sized Metal Composite”
- Rakesh Dubey, “Experimental Study of Electron Emission in the DD Reactions at Very Low Energies”
- Shyam Sunder Lakesar, “Lower-Bound Voltage for Transmutation Using Half-Wave Rectifier in Light Water Electrolysis”
- George Egely, “Direct Electric Energy Production by LENR”
Three talks related to a device called a lattice energy converter (LEC) finished out the day’s presentations. Frank Gordon briefly overviewed his accidental discovery (“Increasing the Output of the Lattice Energy Converter”), which has been replicated by numerous parties, including the two speakers Antonio Di Stefano (“Experimental Observations on the Lattice Energy Converter”) and Jean-Paul Biberian (“Lattice Energy Conversion Replications”). IE hopes to pursue a story about the technology, including replication efforts. Alan Smith et al. at LENR-Forum earlier this year prepared two videos about Gordon’s LEC, one an overview by Gordon, and the other a panel discussion about the LEC.
Plans for the Solid-State Fusion & Atomic Energy Demos exposition morphed over the past few weeks. IE staff was not available on Wednesday evening to participate in this expo; we will get information later about the demos or presentations. We understand that Frank Gordon, Robert Godes and Larry Forsley all had booths.
The second (and last) Poster Session was conducted this evening. Over the two nights, 50 posters were presented. Online attendees were able to view slides or the presentation poster. In some cases, poster presenters had pre-taped talks about their posters; some presenters were available for live interaction. If the materials are made available at a later date, we will link to them.
Thursday, July 28, Final Day of ICCF24
IE staff was not available to view the conference on the final day, so we will note the program and provide details in the full IE conference coverage story.
A panel made up of Shally Shankar, Michael Halem, Valerie Gardner and Malcolm Handley discussed “Perspectives in Investing in Innovative Nuclear.”
No details were available on the program, but a presentation on the software COMSOL took place, titled “Calorimetry, Nanomaterials, Electrolysis Simulation for Solid-State Reactions.”
A roundtable discussion on “Applications of S-SAFE” (solid-state atomic fusion energy) included Tom O’Sullivan, Tito Jankowski, Michael Gurin, Bo Varga and Peter Shannon.
These technical presentations wrapped up the final day of ICCF24:
- Edmund Storms, “The Nature of Cold Fusion (Cold Fusion Made Simple)”
- Konrad Czerski, “Experimental and Theoretical Arguments for the DD Threshold Resonance in 4He”
- Theresa Benyo, “A Theory for Transmutations Observed as a Result of Deuterium Gas Cycling of a Palladium Silver Alloy”
- Jirohta Kasagi, “Comparison of Excess Heat Production in NiCu Multilayer Thin Film with H2 and D2 Gas”
- Charles Martin, “Use of AI as a Tool for LENR Research”
- Jean-Paul Biberian, “Reaction of Hydrogen in Nickel Based Alloys Under a Variable Magnetic Field”
- Natalia Targosz-Sleczka, “Study of LENR with Light Nuclei in Zr and Ni Based Alloys using UHV Accelerator”
- Peter Hagelstein, “Ion Beam Experimental Set-up and Results So Far”
- Oliver Barham, “U.S. Navy HIVER Project: Nuclear, Thermal and RF Results”
- Benjamin Barrowes, “New U.S. Army LENR Replication Efforts: HIVER Co-deposition and Gas Loading”
- Monu Kumawat, “Trends in Transmutation Products and Hydride Formation in Brass, Bronze, Solder and Silver Brazing Alloy Cathodes During Light Water Electrolysis”
- Agata Kowalska, “XRD and PAS Investigations of Deuteron Irradiated Zirconium Samples”
- Guido Parchi, “Evidence of Reproducible Tritium Production in a Pulsed Electrolytic Cell”
- Pamela Mosier-Boss, “The Case of the Missing Tritium”
- Lawrence Forsley, “Contamination, Transportation or Transmutation in LENR Material Analyses”
- Daniel Gruenberg, “The Role of Appropriate Calorimetric Methods for Scaling-up LENR Devices and the Irrelevance of Coefficient of Performance (COP)”
- Jacques Ruer, “A Technological Foresight for the Future Deployment of Different Types of LENR Energy Sources”
David Nagel, who was Chair of the Technical Review Committee for ICCF25, closed out the conference with a summary and closing remarks. The team at Anthropocene and the vendors they used for organizing and conducting the event should be commended for presenting a fantastic conference.