Cold Weather Tips
I get a lot of "Cold Weather" questions about Cells. Here
are a few tips to consider.
The colder water gets, the more it resists electron
current flow. That means your cell is not going to produce as much
hydrogen and oxygen gases when the water is cold. We need to add more
order to produce the gas. Ohms Law states that if Resistance Increases,
Current Flow Decreases. Water temperature (Resistance) has a direct effect
on the amperage your cell produces (current flow). The colder the water
gets, the less gas your cell will make. The warmer the water gets, the
more gas your cell will make. As temperatures drop - current flow drops.
It does so because the water becomes more resistive to electron movement.
As the water temperature gets closer to its freezing point - electrons
move slower and slower; when the water freezes, they stop. Your cell can
not generate any hydrogen if it is frozen. So, the electrolyte mix you
used in the summer, is not strong enough for the winter.
A Pulse Width Modulator (PWM) is one of the best
investments for cold weather driving. It will allow you to make stronger
mixes of electrolyte and use them year round. It does so by letting you
control the amperage. That strong electrolyte mix is needed for freezing
weather. But when the cell water warms up, the strong mix produces too
much amperage. With the PWM, you can adjust and or regulate the
amperage, as needed. Example: you start your car that has been sighting
in 10 degree weather all night. You turn on your hydrogen cell/generator
and see that it is drawing 1 amp; because the water is so cold. No
problem, you adjust the PWM to 10 amps and drive off. As the water gets
warmer, the amperage will increase; when it exceeds your normal
operating temperature, you can make an adjustment. Some models of PWMs
automatically regulate the amperage for you. You will find that a PWM is
handy for maintaining the amperage year round.
Build your container out of Stainless Steel; it will take
a licking and keep on ticking. You say - but stainless is so expensive,
and hard to work with. Well how many plastic units hold up to freezing.
How many must rupture on you before you see the light? I can tell you
first hand, my stainless container has frozen many times. I assure you it
is safe while the water is frozen - as long as I have enough head space
for the water to expand in. It does not take much. Keep in mind,
electrolysis will not take place if the water is frozen. Ice is a solid.
Ice is an insulator, not a conductor.
Ok, so you built your container out of plastic; PVC, CPVC,
Poly-what-ever, Nylon. Did you leave room for water to expand in - when it
freezes? Did you even think about that? If you live in a warm climate -
probably not! Did you think about - traveling - from a warm climate to a
cold climate? Oh, it is warm in the engine compartment! Well yes it is -
when the engine is running; but only when it is running. Turn that engine
off in cold weather and guess what can happen. Think of it this way; if
you put a half a bottle of water in the freezer, and mark the water level,
the level will rise above the line as the water freezes. The bottle will
not break as long as the ice has room to expand. It will follow the
contour of the bottle; pushing away - anything in its path. Water is the
most powerful substance on our Earth. It can lift a locomotive, crush a
battleship; and if Stanley Meyers was still alive, we would be using it to
put our space shuttles in orbit.
KOH electrolyte (potassium hydroxide) lowers the freeze
point when mixed with water. A 30% solution is about as high as can be
used. Any more will start raising the freeze point. Mr. Bob Boyce stated
that a 28% solution, by weight, of KOH reduces the freeze point to -40
degrees C and -40 degrees F.
Denatured Alcohol (190 proof) lowers the freeze point of
water. A 25% solution will protect you below zero; perhaps to a negative 5
below. It can also cause your stainless steel plates to turn golden brown
and clog up with gunk that looks like clay.
Isopropyl Alcohol is probably the best to use. It will not turn your
plates brown, but high concentrations will melt some plastics and make
190 proof Ethel; such as Everclear or Golden Grain is
good, but turns the water brown.
Mixing Alcohol and KOH will also help.
Common sense tells me to add insulation around the cell
and bubbler. In other words, put a coat on it. Example: foam designed for
Extreme cold may require a heating blanket; like the ones
used on car and truck batteries.
Thermal-electric Peltier Heater/Cooler Chip
- 12 vdc Semiconductor that heats on one side and cools on the other
side. Can also generate DC voltage.
- Various sizes and amperages available.
- Heat side requires a heat sink at all times.
Available on amazon.com
Available on Ebay.com
More on Winter Driving:
You are using the KOH to lower the resistance of the
water so that it will conduct electrons and make the HHO. The colder water
gets, the more KOH you will need to get the let's say 10 or 20 amps of
current. The warmer the water gets, the less KOH you will need. But the
more KOH you use, the lower the freezing point will be. We use
electrolytes for one reason; to get HHO production started. Once started,
the cell heats the water. Heating the water lowers the resistance of the
water and lets current flow. The hotter the water gets, the more current
you will have. It is a vicious cycle that has to be controlled. Most
people are making short commutes to and from work, or the store, etc., in
which case the cell must be able to start-up then reach operating
temperature reasonably fast. However, the longer the cell runs, the hotter
the water gets. The hotter the water gets, the more water vapor it makes.
That depletes the water supply faster because that water did not get
electrolyzed into HHO. To me, water vapor is a good thing. It gets turned
into steam inside the combustion chamber. Steam helps drive the piston
down; thus you will use less petro. (I hope I am making sense). You will
not be able to mix large amounts of KOH - because it will allow way too
much current, electrical current. That will cause way too much heat, which
will cause your water to boil, which may cause your plastics to soften.
Now you have a real problem. You are making an explosive gas - in a soft
You will not be able to operate the cell with KOH alone, that is, unless
you are using a really good PWM to control the amperage (electrical
current). With a PWM (Pulse Width Modulator), you can lower the operating
voltage of the cell; that will lower the current; which will lower the
water temperature because it lowers the current. A PWM gives you control
over the current. It allows you to mix higher concentrations of KOH,
lowering the freeze point of the water; and it allows you to maintain the
amount of amperage you need to get the amount of HHO you are wanting.
Winter days start off colder, then warm up, then get colder again. The
cell water starts out colder; which means a lot less HHO will be produced.
But as the water heats up, the HHO production increases.
I use an 80 amp PWM. Not because I needed 80 amps of current, but because
I needed more control over amp production in winter driving. I could
adjust my water so that it is capable of producing 80 amps, but then I
would adjust the PWM output to 10 amps. I use a digital ammeter on my
dashboard to show me - real time - what my amperage is. Without the PWM,
summer time water that produces 10 amps of HHO, will produce about 1 amp
of HHO if it is freezing outside. It will take 10 to 20 minutes for the
water to heat enough to produce the 10 amps. I hope now, you can see how
the temperature of the water effects the HHO production. It is the amps we
need to make it; but we have to control the HHO production. We can do that
with a PWM. We can start the cell with 10 amps; as the water heats, the
amperage will increase; we can lower it back to 10; if it increases, we
can lower it back to 10. Without the PWM, we can do nothing - except turn
the cell off and let it cool; or circulate the water to cool it.
So for winter driving, we have to increase the amount of electrolyte in
the cell, but we also may need to add alcohol to the water to help keep it
from freezing. Alcohol will not electrolyze; but it will vaporize and it
will evaporate. So make a mixture of water, KOH, and alcohol; and use it
to top off the cell when it is low on liquid. You do not have to use a PWM
on your cell. But, it will take longer to get the cell up to speed in