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Old 08-29-2008, 04:11 PM   #21
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Ok I can put to rest one theory as to why the water heats up. It is not because the plates get hot from the current and thus heating up the water. The first thing to heat up with higher currents is the solid stainless wires going to my plates. So I lowered the current in one test to just one amp, these wires and the plate have not gotten hot but the water is still heating up. My conclusion at this point is that the resistance though the water is what is heating up the water, the more resistant or weaker the electrolyte and lower the current the longer it takes for thermal run away to happen. For each electrode/electrolyte mix there is a point of thermal runaway, how long and under what ambient conditions is the question. So designing a electrolyzer that will not under most if not all conditions go into thermal run away is the challenge.

RW,
Do not all coolant systems of autos reach over 212 temperatures? If this is the case how will you get around your solution becoming too hot?

Terry
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:31 PM   #22
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Ok I have been running a HHO unit now for 9 hours at 12vdc with no thermal run away. It started out at 1 amp at room temp of about 80 degrees, and is now pulling 3 amps at 140 degrees. I don't think I will ever run it continuously for 9 hours in my vehicle, but you never know. The only problem I am forseeing is the ambient temperature of the engine compartment is usually warmer than 80 degrees, probably 100 on a hot day. Anyway that is the next test.

I am getting a LOT of brown sludge, and the stainless plates are now brown as well. As a results of my observations over the last 9 hours I have a few more theories. I now think the brown sludge is from oxidation of the stainless steel plates, it seems they get covered with a brown coating and it sluffs off making brown particles in the water. When one plate is producing pure oxygen almost anything will oxidize.

Another observation I now have now that the water on my bench is 140 degrees is that when big bubbles at the surface pop their is a little visable gas released, that could be the potassium hydroxy mist RW was talking about. Also at this point foam is not forming any longer on the surface, I have no idea why. The stainless connecting wires are still not hot (not even warm) so the amperage is still low enough.

Enough for today.

Terry
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Old 08-30-2008, 03:09 PM   #23
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BIGGER IS BETTER!! (in a way)

Well I have been experimenting today with a few things and figured out that the amperage making the unit go into thermal overload is directly related to amount of water since it acts as a coolant. For this one quart mason jar it seems if my unit starts with over 4 amperes it will eventually go into thermal overload, anything less than that is fine. That is in ambient temperature of less than 85 degrees.

Basically I found that with the same amperage and less water the same unit would go into thermal overload much sooner than with as much water as I could use in the same container. Also there seems to be something to this conditioning process both for the plates and the solution. I had one set of electrodes which comprised of one stainless AC outlet blank cut in half with corners cut off so as to attach conducting wires going for nine hours. It started out with slightly used electrolyte made with 1/4 teaspoon of potassium hydroxide per one gallon of distilled water. It intially started at just under 1 ampere with 12v at room temp it gradually, as stated above, climbed to 4 amperes at about 140 to 150 degrees. After letting it cool to room temp, it then when connected back up to 12v then read just under 3 amperes, and the HHO production was obviously increased by a large amount. I am looking for an exactly a one liter container to start measuring and logging HHO prodution. One last thing I have done is control the amperage at the levels I want with a larger set of electrodes (I added another AC blank plate to make four electodes [they all are cut in half]) by diluting the electrolyte with distilled water until the amperage was reduced to the previous level with only two electrodes. I know have an increase in HHO production at a lower amperage compared to before, I know by the number of bubble per 10 seconds. My test show about 20% increase in HHO production.

So the conclusions are at this point that I want to make an electrode with more plates making for larger surface area, with much more electrolyte for cooling, with amperage set so that it will not go into thermal run away. I am thinking 4 stainless steel AC plug blanks (possibly 6), in about 2 gallons of electrolyte. And my idea is to mount it in front but off to the side a little of the radiator to get it out of the heat of the engine compartment.

With regard to electrolyte, the more you use it the better it seems to get. I have kept filtering all this sludge out with coffee filters and reusing it and it seems to increase its HHO production the more I use it. I have two units I am working with at the same time although I am reporting only on one here. But an interesting finding happened yesterday when I thought about using my double spiral wound wire electrode in my best condition solution with the AC blanks, it did not produce any more current than its own solution, but the the wall plates produced more current in the same solution. But when I put the wall plates in the wire electrodes solution it didn't produce anymore current than the wire electrodes. So it seems there is a relationship that a specific electrode electrolyte combination makes, although the spiral wound electrode seemed to produce more HHO than in its own slightly conditioned electrolyte. I need to make more tests because this spiral wound electrodes I initially used with a baking soda solution and changed that once I got in some potassium hydoxide, so the baking soda may have messed it up to where I can't get maximum HHO for its surface area in potassium Hydroxide.

So bigger electrodes are better, just control the amperage with a more diluted solution or with less voltage operating the unit.

I have found opinions on the net that say that you need more HHO production than the wire wound units can provide if you want the best gas mileage that HHO can give. We will see, there has got to be a point at which their are diminishing returns though.

Terry
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Old 08-31-2008, 06:58 AM   #24
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Yes depending on the the quality and type of the stainless, some oxidation will happen still even after all the carbonate is "used up" or if you start with a purer hydroxide. Also all stainless steels are not equal and some mixes have a lower "overpotential" required. The overpotential is the work (voltage) necessary to move electrons out of the metal. I beleive a higher nickel content in combination with iron works well. This would be in contradiction of the observation that in general nickel is less conductive than iron, but alloys are weird like that.

Plate "conditioning" may have other effects than merely "pickling" the surface such that most of the iron available to oxidise is used up, nickel and other metal ions may be migrated to nearer the surface to provide a complex surface finish that has less overpotential and thus conducts better in the presence of an an electrolyte. There are in scientific and industrial circles lots of coating "recipes" to achieve this state in the first place. It's possible that quenching hot plates in an electrolyte while connected in circuit may speed this process up, but I wouldn't advise trying it without extreme precautions because you don't want to be splattered by boiling anything, least of all boiling hydroxide.
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:10 AM   #25
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I would suggest perhaps using adjustable current regulated supplies, rather than voltage regulated. That way, the current always stays the same rather than increasing as the cell heats. The power supply will just lower the voltage to maintain the same current.

I just happen to have recently inherited a big 10 amp adjustable current regulated supply... anyone got any spare outlet blanks?
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:41 AM   #26
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Well this is getting more complex. So first you need to condition the solution and the plates. It appears from what RW said that since I am starting out with potassium hydroxide then I am mainly conditioning my plates. I don't know if my KOH is completely pure because I have one jar that will no longer produce sludge, and if it does it is very little (this jar is slightly cloudy by comparison), and other jars produce it in quanities.

So at this piont i wonder what is the best method to condition your plates and solution. I let them run for many hours on the bench, but my power supply has a current limiting feature so I can turn up the voltage and then set the solution to 2 amperes and let it run for days. Eventually it will produce less and less sludge, and the current increases and increases, until it seems to level off. That must be when everything is stabilized.

These AC wall outlet blanks say 304SS on them indicating to me that they are made from 304 stainless steel. Some on the net swear by 316L stainless, but then I would have to search and buy the materials to compare. I would imagine that the amount of attraction to a neo magnet will determine the amount of iron in the steel. These blanks have a weak attraction to a neo magnet, whereas this stainless steel ruler I have has a strong attraction.

RW,
Do you think it would be self defeating to clean off the plates with steel wool to clean off some of the brown stains, because this could take off some of the top layer of steel and partially uncondition the plates surface.

Other observations at this point are; at first the sludge is not produced much with new plates, then there is a point where it seems to produce it in incredible amounts, after which it start to taper off to almost nothing. I am wondering if there is a wrong way or a better way to condition plates. For instance what if I started with a very strong KOH solution and low current. Of what if I jumped right in with very high currents say 15 amperes. Does the solutions heat level effect any of this? There just doesn't seem to be a lot of information about all of this readily available.

Terry
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:50 AM   #27
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Talking

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Originally Posted by Dalez0r View Post
I would suggest perhaps using adjustable current regulated supplies, rather than voltage regulated. That way, the current always stays the same rather than increasing as the cell heats. The power supply will just lower the voltage to maintain the same current.

I just happen to have recently inherited a big 10 amp adjustable current regulated supply... anyone got any spare outlet blanks?
Dalez0r,

The blanks at Lowes are $1.69 each, not much really, a set of 6 will cost you $10 and change. The expensive part comes in the nylon bolts/washers to connet them in their predrilled holes, and cutting corners out to then use stainless steel nuts, bolts, and washers. Basically the whole mess will cost you about $20.00 for six blanks, not bad really.

Oh an my supply is current or voltage regulated, and that is exactly what I do, as explained above. Good to bring it out like you did though. The more plates you use the more economical it becomes for expense, or put another way the more HHO you get for you money. Because you only need two stainless bolts, and two nylon bolts, so you might as well use as many plates as you can fit on your bolts, and then use a very diluted solution.

Terry
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:25 PM   #28
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Terry, I would suggest you go to Yahoo group water Car, join the group and check out the FILE section. The designs that use the electric covers for plates, came from a guy who makes the SMACK booster. He is electrik on the site. His plans and design are free on this sight. Your amps should be higher depending on the number of plates you are using. He uses shrink wrap around his cell and on the leads going to the cell from the cap. You will get most of your answerers here. Most are using PWM devices to control the amps after the unit has been driven awhile. I'm still looking into the water cooling devices.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:28 PM   #29
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BY the way, if you look at the title for this section it SAYs HHO products and Mods. So we are in the right place to put our findings and questions in. I don't know why others are telling you to go to another section.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:17 PM   #30
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BY the way, if you look at the title for this section it SAYs HHO products and Mods. So we are in the right place to put our findings and questions in. I don't know why others are telling you to go to another section.
curjones,

This thread was moved so this is why some comments don't make any sense. It was suggested by a friend of mine that works for the the maintenance department of my little city I live in California to use the wall plates, so that is where I got the idea.


AN UPDATE

I am a step ahead of curjones on the current limiting PWM, but I was hoping to go even higher in current than most are, there is a way to do this, but I need someone to wind a high frequency transformer before I can go over 50 amperes of current draw.

To day I built an 8 plate cell, at 3vdc it draw about 4 amperes, I increased my electrolyte to get this much current, I was hoping to get that much at one volt, I guess I need a lot more plate area. I found out how many AC wall plates you could fit into a mason jar, max is eight, I might be able to fit one more but I am trying to keep the number even. I mixed about 4 tablespoons of KOH in 24oz of water to get this with eight plates and I thought that was pretty strong, I don't know how folks get 100 amps at 1.2vdc unless your using a lot more plate area, something like 12" x 12" and ten of them. You start to get into some serious territory with cell size then.

I am just experimenting who knows what will end up in my vehicle. But I don't understand how 12v at 10 amps will cause heat, and 100amps at 1.2v will not, they are the same wattage. I do know that 4 amps at 3vdc causes no heat and the production is a tad more than 4 amps at 12vdc. Mostly because I have a much stronger electrolyte solution than before. Just for curiosity sake I mixed as much baking soda in 24oz of water as would desolve, and at 4 amps it reads 3.5vdc a half a volt higher than the KOH solution and I imagine I could add more KOH to this but it stopped yielding any more gains after three tablespoons. The baking soda solution does NOT yield as flammable of bubbles, they don't pop nearly as loud as the KOH bubbles do. I think there is a lot of chlorine and other gases in the Baking Soda solution.

Another observation at lower voltages and the same current because of more electrode surface area and stronger electrolyte solution, you don't seem to get as much sludge build up. It would be interesting to understand why this is the case. No heat and no sludge, looks like there are benefits to this route.

Curjones, thanks for the tip about the yahoo HHO forum, I'll check it out.

Terry
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