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Thread: Hydrogen generator update

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Ryde
    Posts
    99

    Hydrogen generator update

    Hi all!

    Just thought I'd post a quick message with an update of the modifications I've made to the set-up of the Hydrogen generator.

    I've decided to do away with running the generator off a spare battery I carried in the boot. I'm now running it directly off the car's battery, which is of course being charged by the alternator. This saves me having to re-charge the spare battery from the mains every night!

    I've also put in a switch on the dashboard, and an ammeter to monitor the current being drawn. It seems to be working really well so far!

    I was going to run it on just 5 amps, but I thought this too wussy, so I calibrated the generator to pull 10 amps. After some "umming and arring", I decided to go to 15 amps! No trouble experienced so far. I hope my alternator and battery are up to the job! I guess I'll find out tomorrow morning when I leave for college.

    I topped up my fuel tank so I'm now going to do a second economy trial using the hydrogen generator. I hope I get as good a result as I did the first time!

    As soon as I've got some pictures I'll post 'em up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,654

    Re: Hydrogen generator update

    Look forward to the results!

    Of course it will be a much more accurate test now, as charging the 2nd battery in the boot from mains power overnight was cheating a little, as it was putting extra energy into the equation, so of course you were likely to experience better economy, as you were in a sense stealing it from a coal fired power station overnight.

    I was really impressed with your little unit on Sunday.

    I must confess, the "energy in/energy out" sceptic in me tells me that you won't get much gain from this sort of "hydrogen/oxygen (browns gas) fumigation", as the energy required to generate it sucked off the battery will not be more than the energy gained from combusting it. I am however sincerely hoping that there will be some small gains through other factors in the combustion process. The only thing I base this hope on is that biodiesel has a lower energy content than petro diesel, but it makes up gains in other areas during the combustion process. I am hoping that your little device might make gains in a similar method.

    I'm sure you'll keep it as scientific as you can to win over us sceptics. If it is as simple as it looks and it does offer benefits, then I'm sure you'll have a whole army of us here in the forum tinkering with our own little versions.
    Last edited by Robert; 26th September 2006 at 11:55 AM.
    Robert.
    Site Admin.

  3. #3
    David Guest

    Re: Hydrogen generator update

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert

    Of course it will be a much more accurate test now, as charging the 2nd battery in the boot from mains power overnight was cheating a little, as it was putting extra energy into the equation, so of course you were likely to experience better economy, as you were in a sense stealing it from a coal fired power station overnight.
    Robert,
    I was talking to someone last night about the gas generator and said nearly the same thing word for word.
    While I too thought about the extra energy input, I also thought that it would be so minimal as to be cancelled out by the weight penality of lugging that huge battery around everywhere and would probably be more of a drain than an input. 5 amps is roughly 60W. My 10 yo son has one of those electric scooters which is 100W and it is starting to have a bit of trouble moving him around so 60W applied to a car is insignificant especially when its a case of more in than out.
    Still technically cheating though

    I will admit to being sceptical as to if this will make any significant difference to an engines economy. However, Tom seems like a highly intelligent and creditable man whom has got me sufficiently interested enough to give it a go and see for myself. Although this seems on the surface to be another " glitch Cattleist" job, it was great to be able to meet Tom at the picnic and the fact that he just brought his gas gen along to show other people believing sincerely that it could be a benefit to them and the fact he wasn't trying to convince anyone of anything or line his own pockets made his gas gen so much more creditable as well. All I heard him say was " this is what I made, this is how I made it and this is what it has done for me".
    Honesty like that is 1000 times more persuasive to me than any website, literature or claim from any lab, university or manufacturer.

    I am of the belief that at 5 amps, the extra load on the alternator and engine would be so tiny as to be immeasurable in increased fuel consumption. 15 amps I think may be measurable in a lab, but not in real world driving conditions. One decent squirt from the lights, pull up a decent hill or getting stuck beside a truck in the turbulent air spilling from the front of it would put the load of 15 amps into insignificance for a whole average journey fuel wise.

    One thing I did think of to absolutely minimise this load on the engine which may be worthwhile if one were to start running greater loads would be to run a small battery and have a switch on the throttle that activated a relay so that the gas gen battery would only charge when the throttle was closed such as pulling up to the lights, coasting down a hill and at idle like at traffic lights when engine load is minimal. This would reduce the load on the engine in the most fuel inefficient driving conditions such as city driving. You may want to also incorporate a voltage meter or low voltage alarm so if the gas gen battery got too low, you could manually flick a switch to charge it. You could also put a low voltage isolator on the second battery so if it got too low, it turned the load off till it was up to the correct voltage again. Would depend on how you would want to run the setup.

    One thing you would have to make sure of when wiring the gas gen to the cars electrical system would be to run a relay from an ignition switched supply so as the gas gen was switched off when the car was to prevent battery drain and a gas buildup.

    Tom, I have been reading up on browns gas the last couple of days ( as I know others have as well, you really got some people thinking with your devise) and in the little I have learned, there are a couple of things that do concern me somewhat.

    The first is the browns gas itself and the fact you have your generator in the boot of your car. Browns gas unlike other gases is highly flammable ( explosive) and different to other gases in that it is a combination of fuel and oxygen combined. If you were to get an LPG or even acetylene cylinder and screw a spark plug in the side, fill the cylinder and spark the plug, nothing would happen because there is no oxygen in the cylinder for anything to burn ( explode). If you did that with browns gas, well lets just say I would not want to be within a mile ( literally) of such an event.

    While your secondary chamber acts as a flashback arrestor of sorts as well as a filter, you still have two pockets of highly explosive gas in glass jars and a reasonably long ( albeit thin and soft) tube running the length of your vehicle. To me, this is a concern.

    The second thing is the way your generator is plumed together. What I read on Hydrogen says one of the difficulties in using it as a fuel and compressing it etc is that the hydrogen molecule is very small and therefore it is difficult to stop it leaking out of anything that contains it where a joint or connection is made. Looking at the pics of your generator It would seem very possible that with only push fittings you may be losing an amount of gas which could possibly accumulate in the boot of your car and be ignited by a spark say from the tail lights or any other of a number of ignition sources.

    If Possible, I would think locating the generator under the bonnet would be much safer if you were able. Much more air circulating and you could eliminate the gas in the tube running from the boot to the engine. We all know what these european cars look like under the bonnet so i'm guessing this may be a reason you have the thing in the boot in the first place.
    In any event, I would suggest that you may want to look at sealing the joints on the generator as best as possible to stop any potential leaks or even more air being introduced to the system if it is under any draw from the engine. Running the gas gen at a higher current may also heat things up a lot more so the plastic hoses may soften and be more prone to leakage unless sealed firmly.

    What I have read so far all says there is less energy out than in but that is for using the gas as sole fuel, not in the use of a catalyser/ fumigation application.

    Wether the thing works as an economizer or not, I have already found it useful. I was looking for a say 50Amp load to use with my 12V generator for testing various things and it seems I have found a way of making a cheap, high amperage dummy load that can also be made to any load factor I want probably to the amp. For this alone I am very appreciative of you sharing your knowledge which for me will be something very worthwhile and helpful I have learned.

    I'm looking at making a gas gen out of a 10 or 20L sealed bucket as a load and seeing how much gas that can produce at 50 or 100 Amps! .

    I don't think you have to worry about an extra 15 amps on your electrical system. If you want to absolutely test it, turn on everything on your car, air con, blower on max, rear window demister, high beam and driving lights, heated seats if you have them, radio, whatever uses electricity etc and see what the battery voltage is at idle. If it doesn't drop below 11.5V your laughing. If it does, rev the engine to 2000 rpm and see where the voltage stabilizes. Again if is above 11.5, no worries and if it isn't, You'll have to drive with the window down on a hot night instead of running the aircon or drive slower and use low beam
    If you do have a lot of things turned on, before you shut it down, turn everything off and give it a few minutes at a fast idle to top the battery off again. This way you won't have any trouble starting in the morning.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Ryde
    Posts
    99

    Re: Hydrogen generator update

    Hi David!

    I just read your post and I think I'll have to go with your advice - when I think about it now it seems like I'm carrying around an 'accident waiting to happen' in my boot! If I make sure all the hoses and whatnot are plumbed and sealed tight I think this might help somewhat. I could also borrow a hydrogen detector from college I guess - that would give me reassurance.

    Yeah, like I said at the picnic, it seems to have worked. I just wish I knew how! I'm trying to think of what else might have been attributing to the economy if it wasn't the hydrogen generator, but I can't think of anything though! I didn't exactly drive it economically what with using the air-con and all, so maybe it was the hydrogen and oxygen making a difference? I guess I'll soon find out at the end of my second trial! I'd like to see others try to replicate my results - this might help prove or disprove if it works for other folks!

    In a funny kind of way, I'm actually hoping to disprove that it wasn't the hydrogen generator that gave me the extra 220 or so kilometres. I've never returned over 1000km from a tank of fuel though, so I'd really like to know just what's going on inside my engine!

    I've actually got some left over bits and pieces (a few stainless steel bolts and washers etc) as well as a spare cookie jar if you'd like them David. It's probably not enough to build a complete unit like mine, but it'd be a good start!

    With 50 or 100 amps you could generate a tremendous amount of gas I'd think! It's cool that you've found another use for it as a test load!

    Anyway, thanks for the kind words David! I think you're spot on with your concerns about safety and such - I'll try to make some improvements as soon as I can.

    Talk to you soon!

  5. #5
    David Guest

    Re: Hydrogen generator update

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the offer of the bits for the gas gen. I am going to do mine a little different by just welding some pieces of steel plate I have to some threaded rod. Very similar to your design only different.
    I worked out that this will give the surface area of quite a number of washers so being just mild steel plate, the extra surface area may give it some more longevity.

    I had another play this afternoon with the open coffee jar and was able to pull more than 40 amps with the thing. Quite an impressive amount of power to sink into such a relatively small ( 1L) container. Got the thing to boil really quick this time.

    Something I read on browns gas was that it can also be generated by putting Aluminium in a caustic soloution. The problem with this in an automotive application is that it is not controlable as in not having the ability to switch it off. The gas is produced till the aluminium is consumed.

    I was thinking how much gas could be generated if you were to pass 40 amps through a cell with aluminium electrodes!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    queensland
    Posts
    20

    Re: Hydrogen generator update

    G'day Emporator,

    I have done a bit of mucking around with onboard hydrogen generation myself.

    While I have seen much scepticism on the topic, I felt I got some results also.

    I used a water filter housing, stainless rods/plates, and some tube etc.

    The thing I really noticed was that with the unit switched on, the BBQ smell at the exhaust dissapeared completely, and reappeared about 2-3 minutes after switching it off.

    I also noted what appeared to be improved mileage, but didn't use it for a full tank, and had planned to rig it better before hitting the highway.

    I used perforated stainless for my plates, which were supposed to give off more gas due to surface area. At 10-15 amps, there was plenty of gas. A little unnerving due to the explosive nature.

    I also rigged a check valve and a 12v air pump (for aerating live bait) to pump the gas into the air filter housing. I felt this seemed to make the most difference (albeit subtle) to the running of the car.

    I have seen on a few sites that a vacuumn pump is ideal.

    The only problem I really saw was the continued topping up of the reactor with water. I used KOH, by the way.

    I have made a much better unit using pvc pipe, with check valves, splash guard, etc, but never got around to fitting it.

    Your results have got me keen again..................

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    5

    Re: Hydrogen generator update

    I have been contemplating making the gas generator for some time.. I have plenty of aluminium at my disposal.. would this be suitable for electrodes?
    Alternatively where is best place to find long threaded stainless steel rod.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    70

    Re: Hydrogen generator update

    HI
    I too have one of these new must haves fitted to my patrol and I have not done enought km's to test if that has improived milage but I am noticing a little more low down power, and the ablity to climb hills in fifth not forth, so I guess it does seem to make some difference. The point people keep making about the amount of electricity used is I feel a little misguided. The HHO generation is not a fuel but there to assist the burn so very little current is required in a normal set up. Mine uses 15A when warmed up, less the the spotlights on the front of the bullbar.
    If your alternator and battery is healthy you should have no problems
    Just my 2 cents worth... Rob

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    368

    Re: Hydrogen generator update

    The trouble is, some people claim to not use any fuel.

    The gas is not HHO, it is a mixture of hydrogen gas and oxygen gas.
    Please click below for info on how you can help the victims of spinal injury, or just spread the word.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    70

    Re: Hydrogen generator update

    HI
    Yeah the claims people make about this is a joke.
    I believe it helps but is not the answer ....just yet.
    I call it hho gas due to this being the commen name given to it on the numerious sites I have looked into on line. A friend I spoke to about this corrected me on calling it hho gas and as he has a chemistery background I tend to believe him, but do a google search on hho and you will be amazed at the response.
    I will need to fuel my car this weekend so I will be able to tell if the MPG has improved and will post me results but if nothing else the improvement in power makes it worthwhile in my book.
    Rob

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