Saturday, December 29, 2007

Water Fuel Cell - fixes and more tests

The container is now air tight. This allowed me to start doing some electrolyser efficiency tests. By attaching a small hose between the container and a small flask containing some water I could see how fast the bubbles would form, by varying pulse width and frequencies (both the carrier signal width/frequency and also the gating signal width/frequency).

Monday, December 24, 2007

Water Fuel Cell - more improvements

While the air leak problem have not yet been solved, other problems are now fixed, and some improvements have been made. The control circuit have been verified, and it was found that the 7805 regulator that was being used, didn't had the GND pin connected (oops, minor mishap). In spite of that the two 555 timers would work, as the regulator would let the input voltage pass through. The output signals were not however perfect square waves. As the GND was hooked up, the MOSFET would no longer switch from cutoff (the 4 volts output from the second 555 would not be enough to activate the transistor). So the 7805 was replaced by a 78L09 and the circuit started performing normally, delivering a clean signal to the cell and smaller heat buildup in the MOSFET.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Starting to bust water into its basic elements

The basic electrolyser design is finally finished. After a lot of steel cutting and drilling, I've finally finished the first prototype of the machine which will tell wether or not pulsed electrolysis of the water, through special frequency and pulse duration control, can by itself be the key to making the process several times more efficient than conventional DC electrolysis.

For now there are a few issues to resolve, namely:
  • Make the seal on the top cover air tight - even though the container was bought under the premise that it would be air tight, in practice is was verified that it was not;

  • Control circuit FET transistor is heating up too much under a 4 Amps load - must check if the gate voltage is being enough to cause it to switch from cutoff to saturation and not somewhere in between. According to the device datasheet, it dissipates up to 150 Watts of power. In this case it has to dissipate around 40-50 Watts of power (10 to 12 Volts at 4 Amps), which is probably too much for the 25 cm^2 heat sink installed.
This is the complete setup (electrolyser + control unit + DC power supply):

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Water - alternate fuel source and a panacea for mankind?

When it comes the time to pay after filling up the tank, you dearly wish your car could run on anything cheaper than stinky old gasoline (or diesel). Wouldn't an entire global economy depend on this precious product, and you could establish a parallel with other things like drugs, where the desperate sense of necessity leads to the unavoidable obligation of paying a large sum of money just to obtain a given ammount of it.