You are on page 1of 8
2) United States Patent Ros (a) FLUID TER (75) Inventor: Andrea Rossi, Miami Reach, FL. (US) Leonardo Corporation, Miami Beach, FL(US) (73) Assignee (*) Notice: Suibjoct to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended of adjusted under 35 USC. 154(b) by 609 days. (21) Appl. Nos 134420,109 (22) Filed: Mar. 14, 2012 (1) In FU 190 (2006.01) F24F 100 (2013.01) 122/16.1,21 Se aplication file for complete search history. 66) References Cited US. PATENT DOCUMENTS 3ns8.926 A * 41963 Hadeon ‘eal798 2112003 Abe «0220 1US0091 1591. US 9,115,913 BI Aug. 25, 2015 1 3B (10) Patent No. 4s) Date of Patent: ais 0253 20040013585 AL* 1/2008 Whyat ca 20040065314 AL* 42004 Layer eal ihe 20100251694 AL* 102010 Hogue etal Zo1a.0252023 A1* 102010 Coffey eal 201110005506 AL V/2011 Ross FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS * cited by examiner Primary Examiner — Alissa Tompkins Assistant Examiner — John Bargero (74) Attornes, Agent, or Firm — Occhiuti & Roblicek LLP ABSTRACT An apparatus for heating Muid includes 8 tank for holding ‘uid to be heated, and a fuel water in uid communication with dhe lad, The fel wafer includes fuel mixture includ ing reagents and a catalyst, and an electrical resistor or other beat source in thermal communication with the fel mixture and the catalyst. 10 Claims, § Drawing Sheets U.S. Patent Aug, 25, 2015 Sheet 1 of 5 US 9,115,913 B1 US 9,115,913 BL Sheet Aug. 25, 2015 U.S, Patent U.S. Patent Aug, 25, 2015 Sheet 3 of 5 US 9,115,913 B1 FIG. 3 U.S. Patent Aug, 25, 2015 Sheet 4 of 5 US 9,115,913 B1 FIG. 4 FIG. 5 U.S. Patent Aug, 25, 2015 Sheet 5 of 5 US 9,115,913 B1 FIG. 6 US 9,115,913 BI 1 FLUID HEATER FIELD OF DISCLOSURE ‘This disclosure relates to heat transfer systems, and ia S particular 1o devices for transferring heat to 8 uid BACKGROUND ‘Many heat transfer systems use ho Rds asa heat transfor medium, Sich systems inelude a heat generator for geneat- fing heat, heat transfer medium in thermal communication with the enengy souree, and a pump to move the heated tedium to wherever the ea is needed. Because ofits high heat capacity and its abundance, «common beat ansfer uid ji water, both in ts guid and gas phase, A variety of beat generators are in common use. For instanee, in nuclear power plants, nuclear fission provides ‘enoray forheating water. There also exist solar water heaters that use solar energy. However, most heat transfer sources rely onan exothermal chemical resetion, and in particuar,on ‘combustion of sme fuel SUMMARY, Inone aspect the invention features an apparats for heat= ing uid, the apparatus including tank for holding fd to be heated, anda fuel wafer in Muidcommuaication withthe Mid, the fuel wafer including. fuel mixture including reagents and ‘catalyst, anda heat sonree,forexamplenn clectical resistor, fn thermal communication with the fel mixtore and the cate lyst “Among the embodiments are those in which the fel mix ture chides lithium aod lithium slumiaum hydride, those hich the eatalystinludesa group 10 element, such as nickel in powdered form, orin any combination thereof nother embodiments, the catalyst in powdered form, has been treated to enhance its porosity. For example, the catalyst ‘can be nickel powder that Ins heen treated to enhance poros= there. ” Inthosc embodiments that include an electrical resistor, the pparatusean also includean electrical energy source, suchas a voltage source or curent source in electrical communica- tion with the resistor. “Among the other embodiments ae thse in whic the fuel ‘wafer includes a mult-layer structure having a layer of the sel mixture in thenmal communication With layer contain- ing the electrical resistor. TInyet other embodiments, the fuel wafer includes a central heating insert anda pao fel inserts disposed on either side ‘of the heating insert, A variety of tanks can be used. For example, in some ‘embodiments, the tank includes a recess Forreceiving the fel ‘wafer therein, Among these are embodiments in which the tank further includes door for sealing the recess. In yet other ‘embodiments the tank includes a radiation shield ‘Also included among the embodiments are those that fur- ther inchude @ controle in communication withthe voltage source, Among these are controllers that are configured ‘cause vary the voltage in response to temperature of the Mid tobe heat In another aspect, the invention features an apparatus for heating fluid, the apparatus including means foreontaining the fuid, and means for holding 2 fuel mixture containing 2 catalyst and a reagent, and means for initiating @ reaction sequence mediated hy the catalyst to cause an exothermic reaction. 0 o 2 Another aspect ofthe invention i a composition of matter {or generating heat, the composition including a mixture of porosity-enhanced nickel powder, lithium powder, and Jithium aluminum powder, and a heat source in thermal com- ‘munication wih the mixture for initiating nickel eaalyzed ‘exothermic reaction "Another aspect of the invention is a method of heating 3 ‘uid, the method including placing a mixture of nickel pow er, lithium povvder, and lithium aluminum hydride in ther ‘mai commonicaton with te fluid and heating the mitre, thereby inititing exothermic reaction in the mixte ‘hese and other features ofthe invention will be apparent ‘rom the following detiled deseription and the aecompaay- ing figures, in whieh: BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES FIG. 1 shows a heat sansfer system having @ heat source; FIG. 2isacutaway view ofthe heat source in FIG. 1; FIG. 3 is cross-section ofthe wafer for use in the heat source of FIG. 2 FIG. 4 shows an exemplary resistor in the central layer of the wafer shown ia FIG. 3 FIG. § shows the hest source of FIG. 1 operating with 3 ‘conventional furnaee FIG, 6 shows plural heat sources like that in FIG. 2 con- nectod in series, FIG. 7 shows plural heat sources like that in FIG. 2 con- ected in parallel DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. 1, a heat transfer system 10 includes 3 pipe 12 for transporting a heated fluid in a closed loop between heat source 14 anda thermal load 16. ln most cases, for example where there is hydraulic resistance to be over come, a pum I8 propels the heated fi. However, n some ‘eases, sch a8 where the heated fd i steam, the Muid's own pressureissulicient to propel the id typical thermal load 16 includes radiators sch as those commonly used for heat- ing interior spaces, “As shown in FIG. 2, the heat souree 14 a tank 20 having, a lead composite shield, an inlet 22 and an outlet 24, both of whieh are connestedto thepipe 12. The interior ofthe tank 20 ‘ntains Mud to be heated. In many cases, the Mid is water, ovwover, ther fluids ean be nse. in addition, the fil need ‘ot he a liquid uid but ean also he a ans, such aa. “The tank 20 further includes a door 26 that leads to 9 receptacle 28 protruding into the tank 20. Radiating fins 30 protrde from walls of the receptacle 28 into the tank 20. To ‘maximize heat transfer, the receptacle 28 and the fins 30 are {ypieally made of material having high thermal conductiv~ iy, such as metal, A suitable metal is one not subject to corrosion, such as stainless ste! ‘The receptacle 28 holds a multi-layer wafer 32 for gener- ating heat. voltage source 33 is connected 10 the water 32, and a controller 3§ for controlling the voltage source 33 in response to temperature of uid in the tank 12 as sensed by 2 sensor 7. ‘As shown in FIG. 3, the multilayer fuel wafer 32 includes ‘heating section 34 sandwiched between two fuel seetions 36,38. The heating section 34 eaturesa central layer 40 made ‘fan insulating materia, stich as mica, that supports resistor 442. FIG. 4 shows an exemplary central layer 40 having holes 44 through which a resistive Wire 42 has been wound. This resistive wire 42 is connected tothe voltage source 33, First and second insulating layers 46, 48, such as mica layers, US 9,115,913 BI 3 ‘encase the central layer 40 to provide electrical insulatio fom the adjacent foe sections 36. 38 Fach fuel section 36, 38 features a pair of themmally con- ductive layers $0, 52, such as stool layers. Sandwiched between each pair conductive layers $0, 52 isa fel ayer S4 that contains ® ficl mixture having nickel lim, and lithium aluminum hydride Lill, (*LAH™) alin powdered orm. Preferably the nickel has been treated to increase its porosity, for example by heating the nickel powder to for times and temperatures selected to supericat any water present in micro-cavities that aze inherently in each pstcle of Aickel powder. The resulting steam pressure causes explo- sions that create larger cavities, as well as addtional smaller nickel particles. The entire set of layers is welded together on all sides to Jorma sealed unit. Thesize of the wafer 32s no important 0 ts Funetion, However, the water 32 js easier to handle iit is ‘onthe order of“ inc thick and 12 inches on each side. The steel layers 50, 82 are typically 1 mm thick, and the mica layers 40, 48, which are covered by a protective polymer coating, are on the order of 0.1 mm thick. However, other thicknesses can also be used Tn opemtion, a voltage is applied by the voltage source 33, to heat the resistor 42. [eat from the resistor 42 is thea transfered by conduction to the fuel layers $4, where it initiates a sequence of reactions, the last of which is revers- ‘ble. These reactions, which are catalyzed hy the presence of the nickel powder, ae: SLAB Al 28838, ‘Once the reaction sequence is initiated, the voltage source 33 can be tuned of, as the reaction sequence is self-sustain- ing. However, the reaction rate may not be constant. Hence, it may be desirable to turn on the voltage source 33 al certain times to reinvigorate the reaction. To determine whether or notthe voliagesource 38 should be turnedon, the temperature sensor 37 provides a signal tothe controller 38, which then determines whesher oF not apply a vollge in response to the temperature signal thas been found that after the eac- tion has generated approximately 6 kilowatt hours of energy, itis desirable t apply approximately 1 kilowatt hour of ‘leczicel exergy to reinvigorate the reaction sequence. Eventually, the elficency of the wafer 32 will decrease (0 the point where its uneconomical to continually reinvigorate the reaction sequence. At this pointe water 32 can simply be replaced. Typically, the wafer 32 will sustain approxi- mately 180 days of eontinoous operation betone replacement becomes desirable, Te powder nthe fuel mixture consists largely of spherical particles having diameters in the nanometer to micrometer range, for example between 1 nanometer and 100 mierome- ‘ers. Variations in te ratio of reactants and catalyst rend (© {ovem reaction rate and are not ritical. However, thas been ound that suitable mixture would includes starting mixture ‘of $0% nickel, 20% lithium, and 30% LAH. Within this, mixture, nickel acts a a catalyst forthe rection, and is not itself a reagent. While nickel is particularly useful eeause of its relative abundance, its function can also be carried out by ‘other elements in column 10 ofthe periodic table, such as platinum or palladium, FIGS. 5-7 show a variety of ways t connect the heat source Ain FIG. 0 o 4 FIG. 5, the hea source Mis placed downstream from a conventional Furnace 86, In this case, the controller 35 is ‘optionally connected to contol the conventional furnace, As ‘result the conventional furnace S6 wil remain off unless the ‘output temperature ofthe heat source 14 falls below some threshold, st which point the furnace 56 will start. In this configuration, the conventional furnace 56 functions a a back-up unit ‘in FIG. 6, fist and second heat sources 58, 60 like tht described in FIGS. 14 are connected in series. This conlign- ‘ation provides a hotter output temperature than ean be pr vided with only a single heat source $8 by itself. Additional heat sources can be added in series to further increase the temperature ‘In FIG. 7, fist and second heat sources 62; 64 like that described in FIGS. 1-4 are connected in parallel. In this eon- figuration, the oufput volume can be made greater than what could be provided by a single heat transer unit by itself ‘Additional heat transfer units can be added in parallel 10 Tuner inrease volume, Having deseribed the invention, and a prefered embodi- ‘meat thereof, what I claim as new and secured by Letters Patents 1. An apparatus for heating fi, said apparatus compris ‘nga tank an electial resistor, and a fuel water, wherein said ‘ank is configured for holding uid to be heated, wherein said {uel wafer is configured to bein thermal communication with sid hud, wherein sad fuel wafer includes fuel mixturethat ‘includes reagents anda catalyst, wherein suid electrical resis tor is in thermal communication with said fuel mixture and suid eatalyst, wherein sid resistor is configured tobe coupled toa voltage source, whercin said apparatts futher comprises ‘avontroller i communication with sid voltage source, and a fempersture sensor, wherein said fuel mixture comprises Iithum, and ihium aluminum hydride, wherein said catalyst comprises group 10 element, wherein said controller is configured to monitor a temperature from said temperature sensor, and, based at least in part on said temperature, t0 reinvigorate areactionin sad fuel mixture, wherein eeiavigo- ‘iting said reaction comprises varying a voltage of sid vot age source 2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said catalyst com- prises niekel powder 3. Theapparatusofclaim2, wherein sid nickel powderhas been treated 1o enhance porosity thereof, 4. The apparatus of elaim 1, wherein said fuel wafer com- rises a muli-layer structure having a layer of sai fel mix- {ure in thermal communication with a layer containing said electrical resistor ‘5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said fuel wafer com- prises a central heating insert and a pair of fuel inserts dis posed on either side of sad heating insert, 6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said tank comprises a recess for receiving said fel wale therein. "7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein said tank further ‘comprises a door for sealing sid recess, 8. The apparatus of elaim 1, wherein said tank comprises 3 radiation shield '9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said resetion in said ‘uel mixture is atleast partially reversible. 10, The appara of elsim 9, wherein sad reaetion com- prises reaetingIithium hydride with aluminum to yield hyde ‘gen gos,