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Old 09-08-2014, 03:59 PM   #1
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Senior Engineerig Project

Hello everyone,
I am a senior in high school and I am doing my year long engineering project on HHO production and converting a small 4 cycle gasoline engine to run totally off the hydrogen Oxygen mix produced from the electrolysis process. Some background on myself- I am at the top of my class and take advanced placement calculus, physics, and chemistry so despite my age I can promise that I know the chemical and physical properties taking place. I have been a small engine mechanic for 3 years and know the workings of an internal combustion engine like the back of my hand. I have zero experience however building HHO dry cell's or doing engine conversions so that is where you kind folk come in. This project is for no practical application and is only educational but having said that I am shooting for a very efficient, calculated, clean, professional system. The more physics and chemistry calculations I can utilize the better. Funding is a non issue and I am far more focused on designing and building a nice dry cell then the time or money. I was hoping you could give me advice on things like size, shape, hole configuration, electrolytes, variable dc power supplies, and any other useful wisdom you can bestow upon me. Like I said, I'm a newbie but I have seen the incredible amount of garbage info on this subject and I am trying to bypass that mess by joining this community. Thanks for your time
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:36 PM   #2
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Sounds like a fun project! To be honest, I don't know how many replies you will get here. We might have some members who can chime in but but Fuelly isn't really a technical forum, you might find better responses on a site like HHO Forums:
http://www.hhoforums.com

Good luck and circle back and post some pics so we can see how it worked out!
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:53 PM   #3
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rats....I have been trying to register for the hhoforum for 8 days now between 3 different emails and I can get anything to work. Their "account activation" email is a total joke and it wont even let me contact the administrators for help. I would gladly join but I'm way too fed up to try again for a couple days
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:35 AM   #4
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Do you want to run entirely on HHO? Or use HHO to supplement the fuel (and thus use less of the "imported" stuff)?

If you want to run purely on hydrogen, you would need an external power source to generate the hydrogen, and you'd have to store it (I envision a pressurized cylinder). Creating the hydrogen and pressurizing it take energy. (The nice thing about on-the-go HHO, made while you drive, is that you can dump the hydrogen into the engine as you make it- which eliminates the lost energy required to pressurize it when making HHO offline).

If you are searching for a purely water-fueled engine, unfortunately this would be in the "perpetual motion" category. Creating Hydrogen takes energy - more than you'd create with your engine (even ignoring all of the other energy losses in running an internal combustion engine). The only way to do that is make your HHO (hydrogen) offline with an external power source.

Let me know more about your project! I'm curious to know how it goes.

-Bob C.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:09 AM   #5
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sorry i probably should have specified, I am NOT attempting to break the first law of thermodynamics with this project. The engine I will be working with has no alternator or stator, just a magneto to energize the ignition coil, so i will be running the dry cell from wall power. I realize this makes no practical sense, the electricity is most likely produced from coal, but that's not the idea. I am doing this project because it is challenging and will have a very satisfying result
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:38 AM   #6
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Some forums (forae?) do not allow email addresses from Hotmail, Yahoo, or other "free" email systems. You might have to use an email account from your ISP.

Attempts have been made for decades to run reciprocating engines on hydrogen, usually supplying it alone and mixing it with air. It has a bad habit of detonating in the engine, because of the speed at which the flame front propagates. Oxygen content usually has to be reduced, and the easiest way is exhaust gas recirculation. If you try to use the HHO produced by an electrolytic cell as the only input into the engine you will most likely run into the same problem. As an aside, people have tried using straight oxygen instead of air when burning gasoline, and run into the detonation problem.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:54 AM   #7
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So basically, you will have two parts to this:

1) An IC engine that runs on Hydrogen
2) A stationary arrangement to make HHO (which will presumably have some type of storage device for the hydrogen)

Does that sound about right?

Will you be able to design/modify the engine specifically for Hydrogen? There are certainly plenty of Hydrogen engines out there, but they do have a few different spec's than 2-stroke or 4-stroke gas engines.

For your "small 4-stroke engine", will you be using something like a Briggs & Stratton? Or maybe a 4-cylinder automotive engine of some kind? (I'm just trying to understand what you're envisioning)

-Bob C.
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:32 AM   #8
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Wikipedia has an article on the electrolysis of water - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis_of_water - which you might find interesting. You might find it advantageous to design your cell so as to separate the oxygen (from the positive electrode) from the hydrogen (negative electrode) and store them separately. That is because the mixture is explosive. If you don't plan to separate the gases from each other it might be easier to use AC from a transformer to power the cell instead of converting AC from the wall into DC to power the cell. If you plan to use tap water for your cell, remember that as the water is removed by electrolysis any minerals in the tap water will accumulate as sludge in the bottom of the cell.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:21 AM   #9
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Bob C- yes that is about right except I would like to avoid storing the hydrogen if possible. Ideally the dry cell would put out enough gas to run the engine on demand so I don't need to worry about finding a way to pressurize and store it. Because of my work I have access to pretty much any engine you could find on yard equipment, I was thinking a simple 5hp Tecumseh horizontal shaft snow blower would do well. like I said I take these things apart all weekend long so I am very comfortable modifying the engine in any necessary way to get it to work.
Charon-Do you have any more information on this detonation problem and exhaust recirculation? I anticipated retarding the ignition timing, which sounds like it may be what was causing the pre-det. Thank you for the input this was the type of stuff I was hoping for
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:47 PM   #10
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Retarding the timing only goes so far. If the hydrogen self-ignites when compressed, then you'd be running like a diesel and timing is irrelevant. But obviously this depends on your compression ratio, engine temperature, etc... That's why I'm wondering about modifying your engine. If you need to change compression ratio by a big chunk, that might require some fancy machining and/or design.

I'm a bit out of my league here, but running 5HP worth of hydrogen sounds like you would have to have a LOT of production capacity. This might be a lot more electricity than you'd think. But like I said, I'm out of my area of expertise.

And I suspect that distilled water will give you much better results that tap water for this project.

-BC
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