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Trying to get things straight in my head
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ldl Offline
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Post: #1
Trying to get things straight in my head
Good evening to all. My name is Dewayne and this is my first post. Just getting started and need some help.

A co-worker of mine first brought this process to me about 2 wks ago and we goggled "hydrogen generator" and tried to make some sense of the process from the videos.
This was almost impossible because there were so many designs and theories with no directions.

We made a simple +- cell and produced hydrogen from tap water. We then made progressively more plates and added but didn't have an actual gen made just an open mouth gal jug. We added plates until we now have 6 + and 7 - . There was no plan for this number it was just the available material we had.
We found it heated the water up pretty fast but didn't really understand why.
I knew there had to be a logical process to to figure the qty, size and spacing of plates but without any knowledge of what we were doing we were lost.
I found this forum about 3 days ago and began reading and I now have some idea if what is going on.
I need some clarification though to make sure my thought process is correct.

Please fill free to correct me if I am wrong here.
A simple way for me to grasp it is to think of it as a battery. A 12v battery has 6 cells of 2v each for 12v. With an optimum v of 12v we need 6 2v cells to make a gen with a cell = 2 plates. I now understand that 3 plates make 2 cells in series of 4v and takes 4 groups to make 12v. 4 plates make 3 cells at 6v & 2 groups for 12v etc.

Am I right that the N plates are simply another plate used to make 2 cells from a single cell? It simplifies wiring so you don't have to have 3 connections to stack only 2. + - + has 3 connection and + n - has 2.

What I don't have straight now is the Amps. I understand that series adds volts and amps stay same and Parallel adds amps and volts stay same. I understand the series parallel circuit as it is used in heavy trucks. 2 Six volt bat in series for higher volts and then this series is paralleled with 2 more 6v for higher amps to starter.

Right now we are using tap water only to get our understanding of the system down. If my understanding is right the amps is governed by the electrolyte used and its ability to conduct current.

I have a few questions here so please be patient.
Is the amps only determined by electrolyte or does size of plate also affect it?
Is there a criterion for determining plate size? We found the site for the smack gen and settled for a plate size of 3x5in simply because it was in whole inches close to size of their plates.
I read here there was a certain sq in area per amp but haven't found it again yet. Is this tied to plate size? Please explain further.

We made a gen from 4" pvc pipe 12" long with clean out cap and put our 13 plate stack in. With rain water it took about 45min to an hour for it to start producing enough to bubble but once it started it went pretty good. I just bought the materials to make a measuring device so now we can judge production. Will construct tomorrow.

We will probably go to one of the electrolyte solutions you guys use here but right now we just want to get our theory down so we can get headed in the right direction.

I knew there was a method to this madness but just didn't know what it was until I found you guys.

Thanks for any info you guys can provide in advance.
Dewayne
07-20-2008 06:20 PM
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colchiro Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Trying to get things straight in my head
Hi Dewayne. I'd start reading any threads with "series cell" in the title, like this one.

The idea of neutrals is to drop the voltage the plates "see" to closer to 2 volts.... i.e. (+ nnnnn -) will run cooler than (+ -) with a 12 volt source.

Increasing the surface area of the plates or concentration of the electrolyte will increase the current.

I haven't seen a formula for plates size, but the bigger the engine (esp if it's a diesel), the more hho you'll potentially need.

At this point it's still hit and miss, trial and error.

Rick

Links: Documents / Tuning for Mileage | Toyota Sensors | Autoshop Sensor Tutorials
07-20-2008 06:59 PM
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stevekos7 Offline
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RE: Trying to get things straight in my head
The thread colchiro links to is mine. I had the same questions and it was has been very frustrating and time consuming to get to the bottom of the 'science' of this stuff.

I'm still in short pants, but some key things I have learned that will help:

Plate size will affect current, particularly because SS is a semiconductor. Too big plates for the output you want and you will waste current on heat. Too small and you won't have enough plate area for good production. I would stay with the plate size you have if you have 12v to work with. Increasing or decreasing plates won't be too expensive or wasteful at this size.

Neutral plates are not really neutral. They are actually connected to the circuit by the electrolyte. They are actually + on one side and - on the other, just without a gap in between. So all they do is allow you to create electrolyzing spaces without having to directly connect them. They divide up the current like you say, so if you have a +nnnnn- setup you will get 2v across each gap at 12v across all of them. If you use a +nnnnn-nnnnn+ setup you actually just double the plate area because you have the same voltage across more plates, which means you need higher amps to drive it.

The key unit of measure in electrolysis is not volts or amps, it is watts.
Zero Fossil Fuel (see youtube) has devised a formula for measuring cell efficiency. It is MMW = Millilitres per Minute per Watt. If you can get a MMW rate of 5 or better you have a fairly efficient cell. (Thats 1000 ml per minute at 200w - that's 12v x 16.66 amps or 14v x 14.28 amps).

If using neutral plates you need to seal the sides of the cell to prevent current leakage. Electricity is 'lazy' it will find the easiest path through the circuit. If your electrolyte is more conductive than the ss plates the current will bypass the neutral plates and find the nearest live opposite charged plate. If your electrolyte is less conductive than the plates it will pass through the electrolyte to the nearest neutral plate to find a less resistive path. Because it is a bit hard to work out the conductivity of your electrolyte (when you are a beginner like most of us) it is best just to make sure by sealing the cell to force the current to go through the neutral plates. (The most efficient cell will have the electrolyte at exactly the same conductivity as the plates, and the exact overall plate area to produce highest production without excess heat or wasted current. When you come up with the perfect design that produces the exact volume for your unique vehicle - that's 'Nirvana').

The best electrolyte is distilled water with either Sodium Hydroxide or Potassium Hydroxide. Forget baking soda, salt, vinegar, mineral water etc. etc. They just produce byproducts you don't want. Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) and Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) are about equal in effectiveness, although some would say that Potassium Hydroxide is a bit cleaner (but harder to get).

A good way to start with your cell is start with very little electrolyte, just enough to get some bubbles going. If you can see your plates (eg. in a clear container) you will be able to see where the production is happening with just a few bubbles. Sometimes you have poor connections or dirty plates that don't produce well, but if you have too much 'action' you won't be able to see this, and you might get frustrated because your cell doesn't work as well as predicted. (Believe me, I know this!)[/size]

That's enough to start with. There's alot more but I hope this helps.
07-20-2008 08:03 PM
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ldl Offline
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RE: Trying to get things straight in my head
Thanks for the info.

My buddy has a 200? Chevy don't know engine size. I have a 2001 Ford F150 5.4, auto, 4x4. My brother has become interested and he has a 2002 Ford F250 , auto, 7.3l diesel. We have several different vehicles to work on.
I now need to get an ammeter and start setting up some bench tests. Now that I somewhat understand the principle I think we are going to back down to a 2-3 plate cell and start from there. We still need to do some basic testing to better understand what we are doing.
I don't want to jump in over our heads at first. I am crazy about my wife's husband if you know what I mean. Big Grin

Thanks
Dewayne
07-21-2008 07:04 PM
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stevekos7 Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Trying to get things straight in my head
ldl Wrote:Thanks for the info.

My buddy has a 200? Chevy don't know engine size. I have a 2001 Ford F150 5.4, auto, 4x4. My brother has become interested and he has a 2002 Ford F250 , auto, 7.3l diesel. We have several different vehicles to work on.
I now need to get an ammeter and start setting up some bench tests. Now that I somewhat understand the principle I think we are going to back down to a 2-3 plate cell and start from there. We still need to do some basic testing to better understand what we are doing.
I don't want to jump in over our heads at first. I am crazy about my wife's husband if you know what I mean. Big Grin

Thanks
Dewayne

You must be gay then.

Hey, if you just take your time, try different things and don't get too impatient or set your goals too high too early you will have a very fun hobby for months to come. It's a bit like fishing. Just when you think you've nailed the method for one species, it stops working like you thought it would, but you do catch more fish the more you learn.
07-22-2008 03:38 AM
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colchiro Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Trying to get things straight in my head
Steve, he loves himself.Wink

Rick

Links: Documents / Tuning for Mileage | Toyota Sensors | Autoshop Sensor Tutorials
07-22-2008 03:35 PM
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stevekos7 Offline
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RE: Trying to get things straight in my head
colchiro Wrote:Steve, he loves himself.Wink

I know, but he is a bloke...
07-22-2008 03:38 PM
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owen1969 Offline
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RE: Trying to get things straight in my head
You are pretty sharp Rick, I had no idea where to go with that one.LOL

colchiro Wrote:Steve, he loves himself.Wink
07-22-2008 04:03 PM
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colchiro Offline
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RE: Trying to get things straight in my head
I was trying to come up with narcissism, but didn't think of it until later.

Rick

Links: Documents / Tuning for Mileage | Toyota Sensors | Autoshop Sensor Tutorials
07-22-2008 04:52 PM
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stevekos7 Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Trying to get things straight in my head
colchiro Wrote:I was trying to come up with narcissism, but didn't think of it until later.

A bit of levity on this forum keeps it light. We're in this to have fun as well as save $$ aren't we?
07-22-2008 06:35 PM
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