We all know about the promise and controversy that has been raised over the past 25 years over cold fusion or low energy nuclear reactions – the idea that we could get limitless amounts of energy at room temperature or near room temperature. Mention the names Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons or Andrea Rossi you either get cheers or derision for their belief that they had found the holy grail of energy.

Now, as Tom Whipple tells us, we may have another hero to cheer for, Brilliant Light Power and its SunCell Demonstration.

In 1991, BLP’s founder, Randell L. Mills, announced at a press conference in Lancaster, Pa., that he had devised a theory in which the electron in hydrogen could transition from its normal ground energy state to previously unknown lower and more stable states, liberating copious amount of energy in the process. Now, Brilliant Light Power claims it has developed a commercially competitive, non-polluting source of energy from water. A SunCell catalytically converts water-based solid fuel directly into brilliant light which is converted to electricity using photovoltaic panels. In Whipple’s words:

The issue is not that the SunCell does not work, for all those who have been close enough to see it in operation or tested its output testify that it does; the problem is that the device and the science behind it are simply too far ahead of our time to be comprehended…

Randell Mills and his associates at Brilliant Light Power have moved the technology from a single flash of light to a device that now can keep a teacup-sized version of the sun burning continuously inside a sphere made of refractory materials. In few weeks, this sphere, which glows with the intensity of a light bulb filament, will be encased in a geodesic dome of advanced photovoltaic chips which will produce electricity which first will measure in tens of thousands of kilowatts and eventually in megawatts…

It is obvious that widespread dissemination of this technology could quickly replace all other ways of generating electricity — including the combustion of fossil fuels, nuclear, solar, wind, and hydro. The major reasons for the rapid acceptance are that it is a compact device, simple to make, non-polluting, does not require an electric grid, and once installed, costs virtually nothing to run. While the photovoltaic cells currently are the most expensive part of the SunCell, their price should drop markedly once these devices are produced by the millions.

Current plans call for the photo voltaic cells to be ready for testing by January. Customizing the photovoltaic cells is not a simple matter as the SunCell produces light thousands of times stronger than that of the sun by the time it reaches earth. This energy must be safely handled and exhausted to prevent the cells from melting. If all goes well, early prototypes of the SunCell will be made available to prospective customers and collaborators for testing by the end of this year. If the testing is satisfactory, and all the safety certifications are in place, then the SunCell could be available for commercial use by the end of 2017. Whipple, as you can see, is quite confident about these technology:

Somewhere in the next six months, an electricity-producing prototype of a SunCell should be ready for public display. At this point, Mills, Brilliant Light Power, and its product will be difficult to ignore. Academics who have been denying Mills’ science for the last 25 years will either have to find an alternative explanation for the extraordinary amounts of electricity being produced or start rethinking some parts of physics. The world will never be the same.

Those who have followed and witnessed the SunCell demonstration say they can’t tell if Mills is a genius, is self-delusional, or is something in between. The research community has stopped short of the public dismissal it gave cold fusion and has tended to just ignore Mills and his work. (See here for the critics’ comments on Mill’s theory who say it is inconsistent with modern physics and our understanding of the hydrogen atom.)

How it works

In the SunCell hydrogen (from splitting water) and an oxide catalyst are introduced into a spherical carbon reactor along with dual streams of molten silver. An electric current applied to the silver ignites a hydrino-forming plasma reaction. Energy from the reaction is then trapped by the carbon, which acts as a “blackbody radiator.” When the carbon heats up to thousands of degrees, it re-emits the energy as visible light that is captured by photovoltaic cells, which convert the light to electricity.

You can see a demonstration of the SunCell here.

In July of this year, Mill said the cost of operating the SunCell is about 1 to 10% of that for any other existing form of power. As a result, the company plans to build and then lease SunCells or other devices to customers and charge a per diem usage fee, allowing people to go off the power grid and stop buying gasoline or diesel while paying just a fraction of what those things now cost.

Mill says: “This is the end of the age of fire, the internal combustion engine, and centralized power and fuels. Our technology is going to make all other energy technology obsolete.”

Mills has trademarked “Hydrino.” And because his issued patents claim the hydrino as an invention, BLP asserts that it owns all intellectual property rights involving hydrino research. BLP therefore forbids outside experimentalists from doing even the most basic hydrino research, which could confirm or deny hydrinos, without first signing an IP agreement.

BLP has hosted several demonstrations of its latest prototypes for investors since 2014, posting videos on its website after the fact. But these events do not provide clear evidence one way or the other as to whether the SunCell is legitimate.

For Mill and others who have witnessed it, the SunCell is a solid state “Sun in a Box”, powering a concentrated solar PV panel to produce electricity. A 200 kilowatt module would weigh around 250 pounds, with energy production cost being around 1 cent/kwh, so return on investment could be ten days.

UPDATE:  Scientific American has an article on Randall Mills and Brilliant Light Power here.

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