Friday, August 31, 2012
Defkalion says: HENI is a more proper name…
Interview with John Hadjichristos, Chief Technology Officer of Defkalion Green Technologies Global
I had the privilege to discuss with John Hadjichristos about the Ni-H technology of Defkalion in a human cultural frame. This scientist is more than 20 years younger than me, but our ways of thinking on subjects much beyond the technology have much in common. We are coming from the same geographic area, his country is the cradle of civilization and this cannot be changed by the problems of present, but only in principle, because in practice the company has to move in an area better for work and business.
Very short CV of John Hadjichristos
John is a 54 years old mathematician with post graduate studies and research in System Theory and Biology. One of his research results caused, by accident as he says, his involvement with Information Technology, where he worked for 23 years from different positions in large scale IT projects, mainly in Greece, before moving to management consulting and energy. This designing systems and managing teams of brilliant young people- period, as he describes it, gave him insight experience of how systems work and change.
I think that somebody famous has already said that history repeats itself but does it in a non-repetitive way. I think the best definition of technology is:
“Processes of transport, transfer and transformation of matter, energy and information that create something useful for people.” (Pierre Le Goff)
Actually this definition is Humankind's great plan of progress.
Up to today, only a part of this was accomplished namely "transport and transfer of information" I call this generically “Google” because when I have read the 1998 paper by Brin and Page my reaction was: "this is it, they have done it, from now on search will be finding!" I am far from idealizing Google but summa summarum they and their competition have done a great work.
I had a good prediction for Google, I have predicted quite early that you will succeed; I will apply for a job of techno-prophet.
History repeats itself, your technological mission is now obvious, and you have to solve “transformation of energy”. Can you please compare the Information Revolution with your Energy Revolution- to come fast?
I think your hint to compare any forthcoming evolution with Internet Revolution is very wise, even though each field has its own rhythms and special characteristics. I believe that the goal to reach Google (in analogy) in the forthcoming energy revolution requires as a prerequisite an energy Internet in place, which is impossible without something in analogy of a PC in energy. I am convinced that nature provides us with the kernel patterns for its operating system software.
From the very first beginning, we vision Hyperions as one of the energy-PC of this new energy era, producing enough heat energy to cover the energy needs of people and their societies as a base source of energy. Note that about 75% of everyday energy needs of a typical Central European house are for heating/cooling applications and only 12% on electric energy applications. Still, the energy model humankind is using, relies on the transportation of energy enclosed in carbon formations from one place to an other, resulting huge energy loses during transfer and chemical reformation of fossils, whilst energy policies (at least in EU) focus on the 12% of the energy needs (electricity through renewable) ignoring, yet, the 75%! Solar or wind energy are important, but I think that no society can rely on such technologies to create base energy sources, always needed to stabilize any energy network.
But there lies a problem, predicted by the great visionary and technology prophet Arthur Clarke. I think it was in his Odyssey 2061, where he predicts the result of the development of "fusion technology" as it was called during his days: Cheap and safe heat energy, that can be easily transformed also to electricity using existing technologies. According to Clarke’s prophesy, this may result to "thermal pollution"!
We think that Clarke was right! For example, when one can buy a 45kW Hyperion for household use, he would like to produce as much electricity he can- to sell to the grid and create a profit from such “high currency” energy. Existing technologies can turn something around 20% of the “low currency” heat energy to electricity, so the remaining energy has to be consumed somehow (covering his heating and cooling needs) and not thrown to the environment. But this remaining heat energy is huge, far more than the usual needs of a household.
What can you tell us about the evolution of DGTG’s strategy regarding this new source of energy and your personal approach to a Solution?
In the Hyperion design we embedded technologies and design architectures to avoid (as much as we can) such irresponsible behavior by the consumer/producer of energy using Hyperions. What we will encourage is the "strategy" of such man/woman or business entity to give the energy he can not consume to the neighbor, resulting to the creation of neighbor energy networks and hubs, in analogy to the LANs in the Internet networking. Then, the formation of a global Energy WEB, as proposed by Jeremy Rifkin in his "Hydrogen Economy" book, is possible “copying” the same characteristics of the Internet we know: non-hierarchical structure, common shared "values", self-organize etc. The implications of such challenge are huge at different levels. And the responsibility of every "player" in this new energy era, involving also the "consumer" decisions directly in this evolution, has to be as big as possible.
So, before reaching the Google era of such energy network, we have to focus on its PC build, equipped with characteristics that will help the positive result of the energy revolution within a very responsible manner. I guess humankind will be smart enough to avoid the mistakes of the previous technological revolution, the IT revolution, like building mainframes of energy, which is the main characteristic of the existing hierarchical energy distribution model based on ecological non-friendly fossil or nuclear energy sources. I guess that, in analogy, such hierarchies of dinosaurs in the decision making made you suffer Peter during the Ceausescu regime era…
I see, you had and still are living in too interesting times. Perhaps it helps that here in the Balkans to educate somebody is equivalent to teach her/him to cope with any situation.
You survived and progressed Peter, we Greeks are surviving also in this rocky places for centuries, maybe because of our quick adaptation to changes using traditional networking techniques, such as the ones that made Greek maritime industry the biggest in the world. Such “networking” always creates new rules in game-playing, such as decision making or performing R&D, much more effective than any authority can create.
Can you please tell us about your “cold fusion history”- your first contact with the concept, your meeting with the problem, your encounter with what we can call the community- your first impressions about the field as such?
I think this history is still hot…
Originally I was very skeptic if heat energy can be produced in room conditions with the so called “Cold Fusion”. Thanks to Prof. Stremmenos and Andrea Rossi, we realized during measurements we performed on his lab-reactors that I was wrong. We still pay our respect to Rossi for that as his major contribution to the forthcoming developments.
We signed a contract with Mr. Andrea Rossi. He (through his wife’s company Leonardo Co) was to provide the core technology (reactor) and us to build the engineering around it in a safe product, which we called Hyperion. In our contract, we deserved the right to distribute complete Hyperions globally, except US and military applications where Mr. Rossi had already some reservations.
In the mean time, Rossi signed a contract with Ampenergo that was in conflict with our contract. Ampenergo would act like us in US, but due to their contract with Rossi, for the whole American continent exclusively. Ampenergo published their relationship with Rossi on 25 of June 2011, that created us a huge problem: our Greek-Canadian share holders were basing their investment on our company under the hypothesis that we could distribute products to Canada also.
By mid July 2011 a combination of technical issues, relating with the lack of testing on e-cat reactors following our protocol (as well as his denial to accept technical changes we proposed already to increase control capabilities) and serious commercial issues created a dead end. In the mean time, we had invested a lot from our pockets in order to fulfill our obligation and role responsibilities as engineering around e-cat. That dead end really came up by the end of July 2011. As far as I know, Andrea Rossi divorced also from Ampenergo a few months later… but this is another story with no relevance with what we are talking here.
Then Alex Xanthoulis, the CEO of our company, asked me if we can "trigger the reaction" without Rossi. I said that this could be possible but with very little success possibilities over the financial risk we would undertake. Alex then said "OK, let's do it, I trust you”.
What really followed was an orgasmic period of work, where we set up our team, designed the basic protocols and our development strategy and set up our first lab. This was followed by a second lab in Piraeus whilst the most recent is the demo-lab we operate in our HQ in Glyfada.
What most people do not know is that we got very big help from what had been published already in CF/LENR literature. Most of the scientific announcements, including those of Rossi made in public, indicated us WHAT NOT TO TRY. On the other hand, a lot of positive indications and useful scientific knowledge related, had already been published in public domain from other fields such as plasma physics, astrophysics, chemistry, metallurgy, volcanism, new material science, nanotechnology etc.
By November 2011, we had the first positive reaction in our R3 (release 3) reactor, activating LENR with thermal preheating/shocks. I think we had some good luck too, as we had carefully analyzed before a small burst of energy that took place inside one of the closets where we keep raw materials, caused by an electric leakage and a wrong handling procedure by me, who is the worst hands-on in our labs.
Very quickly we realized that the “thermal method”, as well all the “gas loading methods” were not giving us the expected results that could lead to an industrial prototype due to their very slow feedback. We designed then our R4 lab reactor where a more aggressive triggering method (plasma ignition or ion-bombardment as some people call it) was introduced. We faced a lot of difficult methodological and technical problems, as well as lab safety risks, that taught us valuable lessons that concluded to the results we reported in our ICCF17 paper. What we have not reported in the last, which is the result of our R5 testing equipped also with calorimetry, was the problems we had over most of this period. There were times that we had to work non-stop experiments in machinery rooms in Pireaus with 2C room temperature and with very limited resources (but with a lot of promises for support from the Greek government, never fulfilled).
Needles to say that during this first period of our R&D, some brilliant and stupid ideas came up, some from our young scientists and engineers. We did not reject any without a good reason, in most cases followed by testing. This procedure is still on and highly motivated for anyone in our company, as well as for people close to us. For example Symeon Tsalikoglou, our CBO’s grand mother, 92 years old, gave us in written (!) a very surprising idea/proposal for heating up airfield corridors using Hyperions as she hates the delays from snow when travelling.
During this crucial period there were times that Alex was trying to cheer up me and our R&D team, in order to continue after a failure and times when we exchanged this role.
I think that you know the rest of the story.
What I admire especially at DGTG is team work. How was it achieved that people working in science, technology, engineering, metrology, management, business cooperate in conditions, that, I bet, are quite far from ideal?
We shout and smoke a lot during our meetings, if this gives you an idea… but this is typical Greek brainstorming procedure (laughing…)
Any way, team building, as well as success, is a mind game. Such “game” of ours is highly motivated and controlled by corporate values. Teamwork and unity are our company’s best asset.
And the reverse- how is the community reacting to your ideas new approach and achievements? More directly how could the LENR specialists help you?
Till NI Week and ICCF17, I think that the reactions from the members of the existing LENR small research community and this technology fans were quite cautious on us. This is well understood and respected as far as we are “the new comers” in this field, carrying new ideas and proposing (as loud as we can) a co-operation attitude towards this technology commercialization. So far, I think that this field has been dominated by self-referential approaches. I assume that you had pretty good reasons when naming your blog EGO-OUT…
Following ICCF17, we recognized a big difference in such behavior. In contacts we created and maintain with certain active members of the research community, we do recognize that the “Co-operation” message we tried to give had a very positive perception. I hope that we will be happy to announce the result of such co-operations in science and in related technologies build before ICCF18 in Missouri next year. In the mean time, we continue our work in R&D and business development, moving our HQ and the basic R&D to Vancouver, Canada within September 2012, where we intend to finish the pre-industrial prototype build and to start the safety certification procedures.
In your NI Week paper you have asked for a good (define good please!) definition of this source of energy. I know that actually to “call a spade a spade” is an ancient Greek saying. We call it LENR (but which energy is low, exactly). You call it HENI-Heat Energy from Nuclei Interactions- made from your analyses of the partially spent fuel you know more than us about these interacting nuclei. How are they interacting?
As you know, a definition is always a pre-theory. So far, research was conducted in this area with an understanding on the observed phenomena (heat anomalies or transmutations) using the scientific “tools” of hot fusion and conventional nuclear physics. So LENR was almost commonly accepted as Nuclear Reaction phenomena in Low Energies (how low, no one defines) because of the tools in use and not due to the real phenomena causing effects to be measured and analyzed by such tools (as well as by other).
Trying not to be too much technical at this point, I can state that the phenomena we trigger and measure give us very strong evidence of a dynamic environment (system if you want) of a series of interactions between nuclei. These involve nuclei when we make hydrogen atoms reactive and nickel more receptive, as you have described within just this wise small phrase already.
The result of such triggering is first of all the “disguise” of the Hydrogen’s proton to a neutron for a very short period of time, that can then interact with other nuclei without the barriers of the Coulomb law. Such “nuclei interactions” are completely out of the existing definitions on what is nuclear or what is chemical reaction, as defined in the 30’s, where no observations could be done on phenomena on the atomic level nor any scientific knowledge was available on different states of the Hydrogen or the actual “shape” of its electron trajectory.
So, the LENR term is problematic due to such serious scientific reasons. But there is one more problematic effect from the use of such wrong definition: Certification of products based on such technologies when named “nuclear”, will result the involvement of lobbies dominating the present related Nuclear Authorities, that they will use any of their spades to delay any improvement out of their control or interest, when the area of interest and responsibility of such Authorities has nothing to do with the phenomena we are talking about!
Following these and being a mathematician, I think that a good definition, keeping all egos and dogmas out, must describe in general the observed phenomena with a more open-mind attitude from anyone involved. We have to avoid the relation of any development of science and technologies around HENI phenomena with the funding of the Physics/Nuclear or the Chemical Department of a University, that could be involved in this research area. Science is one and we have to keep it that way, if we want to keep on talking with Mother Nature. In any other case, we can not see or listen and understand her stories by stop talking and hearing to each other.
On the other hand, the brutal force strategy to reach nuclei fusion may result what Agamemnon achieved for ten years in front of Troy’s walls. Finally the castle was taken because Odysseus tricked Trojans, disguising his proton warriors into a neutron gift.
I hope that the above is an answer to your last question.
Thank you Peter for the opportunity you give us to communicate with the very interesting people that follow your blog . I will be glad to clarify anything they want to ask in your blog posts.
What should I tell? I am in my room, almost 75% blind, dominated by an insatiable curiosity and the Internet gives me the marvelous possibility to get real frontline news coming from a Friend six months ago I did not know that he exists and now he shares with me and you, dear readers a great and essential adventure. John is a man who has understood what his Ithakas mean:
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/ithaca/ Read this please!
I will finish with an idea I had that had to be censored, it is too heretical.
You know this quote:
Politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.
(Charles de Gaulle)
It probably originates from some antic sayings referring to more decent professions- but now it inspires me to think:
“Cold fusion is too complex a matter to be left to physicists”
I apologize for this idea, but reality is not so humble, perhaps we needed a mathematician who thinks that a good solution is based on deep and active understanding of complexity and engineers who know that some problems can be solved only when we change them.