There it is.
My youngest just whipped it up out there in the garage ....... kidding.
Ok, before we begin, we are cheerfully conceding that we have no idea what anyone is talking about here, and that this one seemingly might be a little tough to explain even if we did.
To begin, from Wikipedia.
Cold fusion refers to a proposed nuclear fusion process of unknown mechanism offered to explain a group of disputed experimental results first reported by electrochemists Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons.
It is sometimes termed "Low Energy Nuclear Reaction" (LENR) to avoid the negative connotations associated with the original name.
Those negative connotations are the result of the fact that Fleischmann and Pons never published and their results were never duplicated.
The field originates with reports of an experiment by Martin Fleischmann, then one of the world's leading electrochemists, and Stanley Pons in March 1989 where they reported anomalous heat production ("excess heat") of a magnitude they asserted would defy explanation except in terms of nuclear processes. They further reported measuring small amounts of nuclear reaction byproducts ...
The media reported that nuclear fusion was happening inside the electrolysis cells, and these reports raised hopes of a cheap and abundant source of energy. Hopes fell when replication failures were weighed in view of several reasons cold fusion is not likely to occur, the discovery of possible sources of experimental error, and finally the discovery that Fleischmann and Pons had not actually detected nuclear reaction byproducts. By late 1989, most scientists considered cold fusion claims dead, and cold fusion subsequently gained a reputation as pathological science.
With regards to that publishing issue, and subsequent inability to reproduce the experiment, excuses/explanations, take your pick, were subsequently offered.
Now ..... flash forward to January, 2011.
From Pure Energy Systems.
Eng. Andrea A. Rossi and Professor Sergio Focardi of the University of Bologna (one of the oldest universities in the world), have announced to the world that they have a cold fusion device capable of producing more than 10 kilowatts of heat power, while only consuming a fraction of that. On January 14, 2011, they gave the Worlds' first public demonstration of a nickel-hydrogen fusion reactor capable of producing a few kilowatts of thermal energy. At its peak, it is capable of generating 15,000 watts with just 400 watts input required. In a following test the same output was achieved but with only 80 watts of continual input.
They don't always use the term "cold fusion" do describe the process, but often refer to it as an amplifier or catalyzer process.
"Experimentally, we obtained copper; and we believe that its appearance is due to the fusion of atomic nuclei of nickel and hydrogen, the ingredients that feed our reactor. Since hydrogen and nickel 'weigh' with less, copper must have released a lot of energy, since 'nothing is created or destroyed.' Indeed, the 'Missing Mass' has been transformed into energy, which we have measured: it is in the order of a few kilowatts, two hundred times the energy that was the beginning of the reaction."
They also claim to be going into production, with the first units expected to ship by the second half of October of this year, with mass production commencing by the end of 2011. The first units will be used to build a one megawatt plant in Greece. This one megawatt plant will power a factory that will produce 300,000 ten-kilowatt units a year.
This would become the world's first commercially-ready "cold fusion" device. Licensees are mentioned, with contracts in the USA and in Europe. Mass production should escalate in 2-3 years. Presently, Rossi says they are manufacturing a 1 megawatt plant composed of 125 modules. These modules should begin shipping by the end of October. On January 31st, 2011, Rossi wrote: "The cost to produce the catalyzer is 1 cent per MWh generated; the life expectancy is 20 years; the cost impact is between 1 and 1.5 cents per MWh."
And then from New Energy and Fuel
Now just to raise the stakes the application discloses that at the time of presentment the inventive apparatus, installed on October 16, 2007, is “at present perfectly operating 24 hours per day, and provides an amount of heat sufficient to heat the factory of the Company EON of via Carlo Ragazzi 18, at Bondeno Province of Ferrara, Italy.”
To quote my dear old friend Mr. Genari, who replied as follows in response to a completely different set of questions,
"Ima don' know, Ya know?
But we are considering looking into a license.