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Old 03-13-2008, 01:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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"fuel cell" on Craigslist




Has anyone any experience with a device like this one?

http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/car/601246572.html

It appears to be an electrolysis unit, which runs a current through water to convert it to hydrogen and oxygen, both of which burn great.

Are there any practical technologies out there that AREN'T just a scam?

I know that converting water to gasses uses quite a bit of energy, but if that could be provided by using a battery charger at home to supply the energy, that seems like a better way than paying for more gasoline.

I remember seeing years back, a set of plans for making a water&electricity to Hydrogen and Oxygen gas conversion system that would run a car in place of the gas tank. A guy actually did that and had some great photos of the system. The downside was that it took up the entire back of a station wagon. It apparently did work though.

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Old 03-13-2008, 03:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have years of experience with fuel cells ranging from working at a machine shop that made cells selling to the company for $34,000 to doing lab testing on smaller ones for my university. They work. Almost always you feed in hydrogen, it consumes oxygen, and outputs electricity. The hydrogen is ideally created through efficient and green processes such as wind power like the hydrogen car refueling station in Montpelier VT, by my university. Besides high costs compared to capacity, the cells biggest drawback in my experience is that the cell membrane corrupts quite easily. A lot of little things can taint it and it won't work right. That could simply mean it doesn't output optimal power or it could just stop working. Also be warned, their power output is not constant...
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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bennelson -

I have seen that model on web sites in the past. You should be able to make that version for $20 to $30 in parts. Here are you-tubes of a custom version that uses the same container :

01 - Hydrogen Booster Test


02 - Hydrogen Booster Test - The BIG Bang


I have one (http://www.hydrogen-boost.com/), but I haven't been willing to do all the other stuff needed to make it work properly, so it's on the backburner.

This dude is doing lots of stuff right now :

HHO Generator
http://flapdoodledinghy.com/HHO_generator.html

Tons of detail on what he is figuring out.

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Old 03-13-2008, 10:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm planning on building a series plate electrolizer right now. I'll be posting on that as soon as I start building it. I just picked up the stainless plate last night.

The key to these units is tuning the engine after the device is installed to adjust for the change in combustion characteristics. The usual kit just includes the generator, but no way of altering fuel and ignition maps after its installed. The stock computer doesn't know what you have done to the engine, how is it supposed to cope with it correctly? It really doesn't, so you need to tune it afterwards.
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Jeez.
24 volts @ 50 amps
That will just about push the Forkenswift down the road on its own won't it?
Seems like a lot of wasted current if you ask me.
If you could generate you HHO @ night and use it during the day, maybe.
Otherwise I can't see a practical use for the HHO generator.
There is a lot of talk out there though for this being the way to go.
My two cents (~ $0.015Canadian)
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Its hard to tell from the picture, but that looks like a parallel type electrolyzer which are known to be very inefficient.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I was imagining using a secondary (deep cycle?) car battery for running an electrolysis unit.

That battery could be run off the alternator or charged seperately at home with a charger.

My Optima Yellow tops are marked as 55 AH. Pulling 20 amps for an hour would run it less than halfway down. Typically, the longest trip I take in my car is 35 minutes.

The electrolysis unit could be set up with a manual control on the dashboard, and have some sort of safety feature where it would automatically turn off if you forgot to do it, got in an accident, etc.

Has anyone any idea how much adding Hydrogen/Oxygen gas would add to fuel economy?

Doax - keep me updated on your project, I am very interested.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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From my reading, you don't need much HHO (aka Browns Gas, Water Gas) to change combustion chamber characteristics. I believe that the current market HAFC (Hydro Assist Fuel Cell, a commercial unit) is currently making somewhere around 60 L/hr @ 15 amps. That is enough Browns Gas for a 3.0L engine. Their unit is not the most efficient either. I'm aiming for roughly half of what they are getting, so 30 L/hr @ 7 amps or less. That should be plenty for my Paseo or Matrix. Anything over and above the amount of Browns Gas needed to change combustion characteristics is simply used as fuel and will decrease efficiency.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Daox -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
From my reading, you don't need much HHO (aka Browns Gas, Water Gas) to change combustion chamber characteristics. I believe that the current market HAFC (Hydro Assist Fuel Cell, a commercial unit) is currently making somewhere around 60 L/hr @ 15 amps. That is enough Browns Gas for a 3.0L engine. Their unit is not the most efficient either. I'm aiming for roughly half of what they are getting, so 30 L/hr @ 7 amps or less. That should be plenty for my Paseo or Matrix. Anything over and above the amount of Browns Gas needed to change combustion characteristics is simply used as fuel and will decrease efficiency.
I agree. Is there a circuit I can make to limit the amperage draw to the HHO generator? Here is some stuff that agrees with what you are saying but is using an on/off approach to solving the problem :

Diesel Dynamometer Testing Analysis
http://www.hydrogen-boost.com/September%202007.html
Quote:
... Our Model 20 is designed to produce enough hydrogen for even the largest gasoline engines including those of 8 liters displacement. So those who are installing and operating on a one liter Geo Metro engine may be only preventing improved mileage when producing hydrogen at 20 amps.
Recent changes in installation instructions provide for installation of a throttle position switch or intake manifold vacuum switch that would only turn the hydrogen generator on during acceleration and high cruise throttle settings. This will avoid most of the negative savings operations. Adjusting the vacuum switch to optimum setting should practically eliminate the negative savings zones. ...
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh wow, there are a ton of plate configurationsout there. www.hydrogengarage.com is a good place to go for info and a lot of links. I been lookin at youtube and see a lot of work with helix shaped electrodes that seem to yield a lot of gas, saw one vid that claimed a gent went from 26 to 44 mpg on his new mercury Milan with no other alterations, an escort that gets 60mpg. From what I can see once one builds the basic pvc canister the sky is the limit on electrode configuation inside. On the Hydrogen garage site they talk about nuetral plates with are plates between charged plates that seem to lower the amperage going thru the cell and lengthen the time between cleanings. I have to say I am very interested in this also.

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