Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 14, 2016 at 9:15 pm.
: See also Directory:Hydroxy or HHO Injection Systems
A hydroxy or Browns gas generator is an on-board electrolysis unit that injects that gas into the air intake of a vehicle to improve efficiency of the fuel combustion, whether it be gasoline or diesel or other fuels.
Such modifications usually also require compensatory adjustments in the fuel mixture algorithms of the vehicle, which entails Article:Modifying the Vehicle's ECU to Accommodate a New Mixture from Hydrogen Boosting.
Prior to implementation of a hydrogen fuel injection system the seals of the engine must be verified. If oil from the engine lubrication system is leaking into the cylinders it will mix with the water created as a byproduct of hydrogen combustion. This will create a sticky white oil/water mixture that can clog, and corrode various components of the engine and exhaust system. If the vehicle is relatively new the engine seals are most likely in good condition, and this situation will most likely only arise on vehicles with substantial mileage.
The addition of hydrogen will increase flame velocity, allowing for more pressure to build in the cylinder prior to the critical crank angle. The critical crank angle is the degree in which pressure is no longer being converted into work, therefore any pressure created after the critical angle is wasted. Increasing the flame velocity forces the combustion process to complete faster, allowing more of the fuel to burn completely prior to the critical crank angle. Therefore the addition of hydrogen alone will increase combustion efficiency, but the sensors in the vehicle may counter-compensate depending on design. Also, increasing the flame velocity will change the composition of the exhaust gas, therefore the design of the catalytic converter, and oxygen sensors must be considered. The catalytic converter, on most vehicles, is designed to oxidize, and catalyze therefore if the exhaust gas requires less of a catalyst reaction then the catalytic converter may be stressed too far toward and oxidation reaction. This can degrade the usefulness of the catalytic converter faster than manufacturer specification.
When determining the viability of a product you must first understand how your vehicle is designed. If your vehicle is design with a wideband O2 sensor, most likely the data from the sensor will be weighed heavily by the ECU. Because wideband O2 sensors are relatively accurate the ECU has most likely been programmed to assume the data is important this is relevant because the ECU will most likely override other sensor modifications determining that they are faulty rather than disregarding a substantial variance in the wideband O2s signal. For example, if you offset the signal from a mass airflow sensor, attempting to increase or decrease fuel flow, the wideband O2 will most likely override your attempt to vary the air/fuel ratios according to the predefined fuel maps. Although on older car where the ECU is programmed to weigh a narrowband oxygen sensor signal as less critical, varying the signal from the mass airflow sensor will indeed allow for variation of the vehicles air/fuel ratios.
There is a huge liability in selling hydrogen fuel enhancement systems to the general public. If the seals on the engine are faulty the white gooey residue mentioned above can substantially damage a vehicle. This can turn a working vehicle into a 2 ton paper weight. Also if the temperature of combustion is increased more NOx will be produced, which can violate EPA regulations and increasingly harm the atmosphere. These issues can be resolved with proper tuning that requires at minimum a dynomometer to gather data.
The tuning of a hydrogen fuel enhancement system will vary for every make and model vehicle. ECU configuration is dependent on engine, fuel system, and exhaust design. Therefore products that consider these intense tuning requirements should be considered better quality. Products that do not consider these requirements and hazards may be considered a liability in the making.
While the concept of hydrogen fuel enhancement is scientifically sound there are many requirements to increase the efficiency of an IC engine. IT IS NOT SIMPLE. To make it appear simple is misleading, and caution should be taken with marketing that claims "do it yourself". At minimum an electrolyzer is going to be mounted in a vehicle. This electrolyzer should be durable, and efficiently designed. The product should come with enough instructions to enable a safe, and long lasting installation. The product should declare these liability issues, and that it is the responsibility of the client to make sure the seals on their vehicle have integrity prior implementation of the system. All this information would constitute a disclaimer.
There are three aspects to hydrogen fuel enhancement that contribute to increasing efficiency. First and foremost is flame velocity, which is described above. Second is lean limit extension. As the air/fuel ratios approach ultra lean conditions the temperature of combustion will decrease. This will mitigate NOx pollution, which is most commonly dealt with by running the engine rich. Running the engine lean requires precise air/fuel ratio managment, which definitively requires the precision of at least a wideband O2 sensor. The temperature of combustion should be actively monitored by the ECU to avoid too little or excess temperature. Since the efficiency of an IC engine is described by the carnot cycle the temperature of combustion should be focused according to the efficiency curve of the particular IC engine. Efficiency varies from RPM to RPM, therefore different combustion temperature will result in a different efficiency at different locations on the efficiency curve. The fuel maps should be tuned according to optimum temperature requirements to achieve particular efficiencies at particular RPMs. To tune an engine as such a dynomometer is required to produce an efficiency graph. The graph will relate how much fuel is being consumed with how much power is being output from the engine. By actively monitoring the dynomometer graphs, and varying the vehicles air/fuel ratios optimization of the vehicles efficiency can begin.
As the air/fuel ratio gets leaner, the compression ratio can be increased. This will require mechanical modification to the vehicles engine, but the benifits are substantial. Increasing the compression ratio will increase the distance that the pistion will travel during each cycle and having the pistion travel a greater distance is directly proportion to the amount of work the fuel is performing. Since work is the amount of force applied over a given distance increasing the compression ratio will increase the pressure in the cylinder allowing the fuel to produce more force over the distance of the pistons movement.
Hydrogen fuel enhancement is the appropriate terminology, and there is many terms floating around on the internet. To clarify the situation the following is important. HHO is a term invented by Dr. Ruggero Santili. It represents a theory that was published in the Internation Journal of Hydrogen Energy Technology. It does not represent a hydrogen fuel enhancement system, it represents a gaseous mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. Apart from the specifics of the theory the gas is an oxyhydrogen mixture, being that oxyhydrogen is defined as a 2:1 ratio of hydrogen and oxygen. Oxyhydrogen is the fundamental terminology, and neologisms are used to create branding. HHO should be considered a brand of oxyhydrogen, and the same goes for Brown's Gas. Other neologisms include Rhodes Gas, Hydroxy, E-Gas, ect...
All of these neologisms refer to a gaseous mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. Therefore they are not a fuel enhancement system. An automotive fuel enhancement system may use one of the brands to enhance the efficiency of the IC engine. Now comes the most important consideration efficiency. What is the efficiency of the oxyhydrogen production? If an engine is 20% efficient, and an alternator is 80% efficient then 16% efficiency is available for electrolysis. Given a 50% efficient electrolyzer only 8% of gasoline energy is being converted into hydrogen. Is this enough hydrogen to effect flame velocity? Is this enough hydrogen to extend the lean burn limit?
The effectiveness of a hydrogen fuel enhancement system is largely dependent on the efficiency of the electrolyzer design, which in turn determines how much hydrogen is produced.
Because of the efficiency issue, New Energy Congress member, Congress:Member:Tai Robinson argues for having hydrogen tanks on board to inject H in proportion to the torque requirements of the vehicle (governable), rather than via onboard electrolysis.
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