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Old 07-04-2012, 01:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Breeze - '97 Plymouth Breeze
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Having made hydrogen at home with a complicated generator designed and built by actual engineers, and having used said hydrogen to power a car (briefly) I can tell you this.

Does "HHO" work? Yeah. It actually does. It generates hydrogen, it can be burned, and it actually does do something.

Unfortunately all it does is a glorified science experiment. The losses in generating hydrogen are extremely high. The amount you get off a car alternator are very little. The energy to run the alternator comes from the cars engine. Burning hydrogen results in even at %100 efficiency a "HHO" generator will only result in a complicated way of moving water down into the exhaust pipe...rendering -ZERO- power output. The laws of conservation of energy apply here.

The only science supporting this increases fuel economy? Efficiency boosting. Hydrogen effects the way gasoline burns since hydrogen itself is flammable. Its a lot like propane in diesel applications, it can cool an engine, increase flame front speed, and it can increase the amount of timing advance the engine can handle without causing pinging. Great!

So lets analyze this NASA paper you post as evidence. Its long and extremely technical so I'll break it down for people. Yes, NASA agrees, adding hydrogen in a piston engine increases efficiency. Perfect. But how much is also posted.

Page 14 (16 on the PDF), "Total Energy Consumption". It goes on to state that the engine they used experienced a %3 (three) increase in energy conversion efficiency. So, taking that for lent, it already means HHO doesn't work, because everyone running HHO claims improvements over ten times higher then that. This was a NASA test to find hydrogen's overall energy benefit and they got all of three percent in a controlled environment, which a car is not.

But just to make sure this horse is beat to death properly, how much hydrogen did they inject into this engine? Granted, the engine is in excess of a 7 liter engine, so I'll do some extrapolation, but NASA needed to inject 0.231 kilograms per hour into this engine to get that %3.

Lets divide that by seven for fun. 0.033 kilograms per hour. This is poor math and bad scientific application, but needless to say you need /at least/ that much hydrogen per hour to even approach the claims that NASA paper makes. 0.033 doesn't sound like a lot except for one problem.

To get 1 kilogram of hydrogen, it requires about 55kWh of energy. This is easily found online because many people ponder if we can use wind or solar to generate hydrogen from water for cars, and needless to say, the energy requirements are massive. Doing the math, 55000 watts / 1 kilogram translates to 1815 watts of power / 0.033 kilograms.

1815 watts an hour. /1815/. Per hour. That is how much energy we're talking you need to generate enough hydrogen to get a %3 increase in efficiency. Bearing in mind, NASA considers an increase in efficiency to be an increase in total usage of gasoline energy. That entire paper says nowhere that the engine, itself, is generating the hydrogen.

1815 / 13.4 = 135.4 amps of current. Awesome; your alternator is absolutely maxed out or way over its capacity at this point. Most cars don't even have an alternator capable of over 80 amps constant. This also eliminates everything else in your car operating. This is how much current is necessary to produce /less then/ enough hydrogen to match the NASA test. Bearing in mind, I divided the required figures /by seven/, meaning this extrapolates to something around the hydrogen required to increase the efficiency in a 1.1 liter engine a whopping %3.

And I could easily calculate the horsepower draw but needless to say, people disabling their alternator have already net more gains then %3 anyhow. According to Google, with a perfect (perfect) translation of energy, 1815 watts equates to 2.43395509. A 1.1 liter engine in a FIAT Panda as an example, generates about 50 horsepower. Using 2.5 horsepower to generate hydrogen to net a %3 gain means you're getting 1.5 horsepower in increased power output from more efficient fuel burn. 50 - 2.5 + 1.5 = 49. Not a lot, but that is a loss anyhow, with the added cost of ruining your alternator.

So, we done yet with HHO? I'd love to know why its so popular when nobody has any logical science behind it and nobody has any independent tests to prove it. There's a reason why. Its a fraud. And being so enthusiastic about it without any verified claims and quoting the amount of members on a forum as being evidence means you're either insane or buying into a fad because you want to be right.
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