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What is the difference...
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cmac0351 Offline

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Post: #1
What is the difference...
What is the difference between an open bath and closed bath system. I have seen those terms around this forum but couldn't quite figure it out.
06-27-2008 05:05 AM
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Tom Offline
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Post: #2
RE: What is the difference...
Open bath:

Closed bath:

orange: container
dark green: plates
red and black: positive and negative wires
blue: water
light green: flow of current

As you can see the open and closed bath systems are looking similar, however in an open bath case the current flows not just between the adjacent plates, but finds a DIRECT way to the opposite pole, which causes increasing heat and amperage ( = less efficiency).

In a closed bath system, the current can flow between adjacent plates only, NO DIRECT current flow between the feeding plates (opposite poles) or any other, non-adjacent plates. The voltage drops equally between each cell. (Cell= space filled with electrolyte between two adjacent plates). If we feed this series-cell with 12 V, then we get 3 x 4 Volt cells. Less heat, more efficiency. Of course not just the bottoms of the plates are sealed (in this case: attached to the container), but also the sides, too. In the example above there is 5 separate water areas (the first and the last are "non-living" ones, no current flow there). Only the tops of the plates are above the water level to prevent water (and current) flow-throughs between the cells.
The sealed cells has separate water areas. And here comes a little disadvantage of this design: we must supply the cells equally with water. We can do it e.g. by a feeding system (separate pipes going into each cell and a pump delivers water to them from a separate tank. This is a bit complicated but gives the best result.
There is a much simpler way: drill a little (1/16") hole into the plates. This way the water can level at all the cells all the time. However we'll get a bit of "false current flow" through the holes, but that's not a big problem.
06-27-2008 08:21 AM
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