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A Safe(r) HHO gas carburetor for small engines.

No more gas, diesel, or propane. Run it on WATER!

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HHO gas is not a new thing. The production of HHO in a safe manner to use in internal combustion gasoline engines needs to be addressed to make it a viable replacement for gasoline. The biggest advantage to developing the HHO carburetor is to provide power to locations where gasoline is too expensive or hard to obtain and where small engines run essential machines.

Gasoline, propane, and other fuels are not cheap and harm the environment. There are many other alternatives to fossil fuels out there but not many are easy to adapt to 100+ year old engine technologies that we use today. I started looking into HHO gas because production of HHO is fairly simple and could be done cheaply. Since the gas is relatively dangerous to contain and store development of an on-demand HHO production setup is the best route to go.

If a simple, safe, and reliable HHO production method could be produce to run on 12v DC power this method could be open to various uses. I picked a 12v DC system because automotive batteries are easy to obtain in most places and are common around the world. Charging systems for 12v batteries give various off the shelf options from solar charging to the standard wall charger which makes it easier to charge generator's power supply.

This may not be the most efficient way to make fuel for an internal combustion engine but it is a very green way that can reduce emissions and bring fuel and power to people who could otherwise not afford a regular fuel bill. Think of the average farmer. If they can run a small tractor or machine on HHO instead of gasoline by using a couple of batteries and a HHO generator they save a massive amount of money on the most costly items to operate on the farm. The farmer is also reducing the amount of smog in the air and keeping their land clean and free of fuel spills.

In one of my previous experiments I used a small amount of HHO stored in a balloon to run a small gas engine. This worked and ran the engine for a few seconds. When I tried to start the engine after it shut down I had a carburetor backfire and the hydrogen in the fuel line and balloon ignited. If this were connected to the glass jar I was making the HHO in there could have been dangerous results. Some of the problems came from the ignition timing of the engine which was set too early to run HHO. I need to find a way to modify the ignition coil or the magnets on the flywheel to make it fire at least 10 degrees later from where it is firing right now. This will make sure the intake valve is closed completely and put the piston at the correct position to fire. I think by moving the ignition coil will be the best fix for the problem. Making an adjustable bracket so I can play with ignition timing quickly.

With my current production process there are issues that will need to be addressed.

-The HHO generation process needs to be miniaturized as much as possible to create the most HHO in the least amount of space.

-Water solution gets hot during the production process.

-Safety. Gasses need to be evacuated from the generator as quickly as possible. This will help keep the gas bubbles separated as much as possible until they evacuate the system ready for ignition.

-Extra water. Since the system needs to be submerged in water to safely operate extra water storage is needed. A water level float can also help by shutting down the system if the water tank is low.

System Draft.

I have posted a picture for my idea. BEHOLD MY MSPAINT SKILLS! The system can be broken down into different components.

-Water storage and re-circulation.
Water will be consumed in the generation process so the system needs to be continuously fed. A water storage tank containing a safety shut off switch will keep the system full and shut it off if the water runs out.

-Excess gas removal.
I want to remove the gas from the chamber as fast as possible but with water moving in the system gasses have a possibility of moving around in the system with the water. Using a vented tank placed after the reaction chamber I hope to scrub the excess gasses from the water solution making it gas free before entering the pump and storage chamber.

-Gas generation
The gas generator and the gas itself need to be isolated from the rest of the system as much as possible. Keeping the generator fully submerged in water and venting out the gasses for use as fast as possible...

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  • 1 × 12v pump rated for continuous use
  • 1 × 12v battery at least 7 amp hour.
  • 1 × Solar panel 12v panel. At least 10 watt
  • 1 × solar charge controller Powerful enough to handle your solar panel
  • 1 × 26cc 4-stroke gasoline engine I got mine from a weed eater.

View all 13 components

  • A fun project idea. Water powered microcar.

    TheThriftstoreHacker06/17/2017 at 04:30 0 comments

    On my YouTube channel i build all kinds of neat things. Currently i have a recumbent bike and an adult sized trike collecting dust in my shed. I figure since i will be running an engine with the HHO generator i should hook it to something. With the front end from the recumbent and the rear end of the standard trike i will cobble together a microcar chassis to test out my engine. Using a 4 wheeled design will allow me to mount 4 large solar panels as a canopy providing shade and weather protection for the rider and provide almost limitless daytime range for the vehicle.

    I may need to go up to a 5hp engine for the project. I think it will put out an actual 3hp on HHO providing me with plenty of power to push 250lbs along at 15 to 25mph. Since personal funds and donations to my channel and projects are low this will be a cobbled together mess but i will plan to build a better one later on.

  • Price point for cheap production

    TheThriftstoreHacker05/22/2017 at 17:27 0 comments

    After searching around for parts and materials i think i have figured out my cost for production. The full sized prototype may cost 4 or 5 times more than the unit for sale (which is cheap for R&D) but i want to keep the overall production price per unit to under $300 USD. After the full sized production model is made i think with the right vendors supplying parts in bulk i can push overall construction costs per unit down to about $200.

    Now if i were to Kickstarter or GoFundMe something like this i could sell units at $250-$300 to start off. The $250 to $300 starting price (first batch buyers) would be ideal to help grow production and advertise the product.

    In an ideal situation if i could get my production costs down to $100 a unit the remaining $150 per unit would go to help with shipping, research, warehouse space, and a small bankroll for the business (advertisement, media, etc). If enough people want to buy the product that could drive down my production costs even more.

    This is just a thought with full scale production and sales way down the road but i hope i could make this product as affordable as possible.

  • So. We got HHO gas and a motor. What to do.

    TheThriftstoreHacker05/19/2017 at 07:44 0 comments

    The 26cc 4stroke engine puts out about 1 horsepower. I am expecting the engine to have less power running on HHO so i think i will limit my projects to 1/2hp. The real question is what to run with the engine. Some ideas i have for the motor are...

    - Water pump. Could be very useful when gasoline is hard to find. When gasoline is in short supply to run a pump the small HHO engine could do the work. The HHO generator battery can be charged with a solar panel to store power so the generator can run the pump at night.

    -Motorcycle/Scooter/Bike
    On my YouTube channel i made a 2 stroke gas powered bike with a chainsaw engine of a similar engine displacement. I hear that the 4 stroke engines produce really good torque, run way cleaner, and have a better overall life expectancy than a 2 stroke. It may not be the fastest thing on the road but a small scooter with a large storage capacity battery could generate all the fuel it needs onboard and on demand. Every time the bike is parked the battery could be quickly charged with a high amp battery charger or with a solar panel. A bike shed could also be sold with this product to keep the scooter dry/clean and the shed roof could generate solar power for the scooters storage battery. This would make it ready to ride anytime.

    - Run small mechanical items like farm or mining equipment.
    There are various small engines on different farm, yard, and garden equipment. Any of these engines could be easily converted to run on HHO. These engines although getting better in technology still put out a large amount of pollution. Running these machines on HHO would help produce less emissions from the farm or garden.

    -Clean Idle device.
    If enough HHO could be produced safely to run a production car engine at idle it could be used instead of gasoline while the vehicle is idling. If the car's battery storage capacity is enlarged the vehicle could charge the battery bank up while driving with the HHO generator off. When the car is idling at a light or in traffic the fuel injectors could be shut off and HHO could be used to idle the vehicle.
    If the battery bank is charged to 100% the HHO generator could provide additional fuel savings by adding HHO to the engine off the excess battery power while highway driving. If vehicles could idle on pure HHO pollution in cities would be greatly reduced during rush hour times and making the air overall cleaner. The power for the HHO generation is made when the engine is running on gasoline and has power to spare.

    After i get the full scale prototype (mine is currently 1/5th scale) i will be able to test a few of these ideas in a real world applications. The clean idle device is something i am going to seriously look into. Basically it is taking wasted power and using it when you usually waste power. Could boost most vehicle's fuel economy by 20 or 30 percent.

  • Yay! the PWM is here

    TheThriftstoreHacker04/28/2017 at 19:26 0 comments

    Picked up a cheap PWM to control the HHO generator cells. This should cut down on heat and electricity usage. The one i am using was sourced online and rated at around 30 amps.

  • Cell prototype design

    TheThriftstoreHacker04/26/2017 at 19:41 0 comments

    I have finally worked out a cell design that will allow the flow of water through the cell. The water and gas exit the cell at the top and the water is picked back up for return to the holding tank while the gas goes up into the line going to the engine. This will significantly reduce the amount of HHO gas waiting to be burned. With a little flashback control and the amount of gas stored in the lines drastically reduced will only provide a small pop if ignited.

    BEHOLD! more of my MSPAINT skills! lol

    Here is a diagram of the cell prototype. I think 3 of these units will run the engine just fine with gas to spare. Throttle can be controlled by the PWM.

  • More production needed in current model.

    TheThriftstoreHacker04/25/2017 at 18:50 0 comments

    With the current round plates (as shown in videos) i will need to generate at least 6 times the amount of fuel i am producing to make the engine run with on-demand HHO. Since the project is made from very easy to find parts i think this will not hurt my build budget too much. Currently i am searching for the perfect container for the generator cells and it has not been an easy find. I want something made of clear plastic and air tight.

    Here are the build videos from my channel. I originally started to convert this engine for propane but then the internet gave me ideas. lol.

    Carburetor build

    HHO cell build

    And the system test with a bit of fail.

  • HHO plate design

    TheThriftstoreHacker04/25/2017 at 18:05 0 comments

    I have messed around with the plate design of the mini HHO generator cells. I was thinking that large stainless steel washers would work but i need more surface area. I think the cells will be built out of thin stainless steel in a 7 plate configuration to minimize heat and get more production per cell. After i finish the first cell i will do a YouTube video measuring the production amounts.

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Morning.Star wrote 06/17/2017 at 06:49 point

Highly entertaining video lol. Man that stuff is so dangerous! Nearly everyone I kinow who's played with it has a story to tell how it escaped and managed to combust where it shouldnt. I have one too ;-)

Luckily in free air HHO isnt very concussive...

It does demonstrate rather neatly how HHO isnt a very good fuel. If you compare that explosion to a propane one you can see that a lot of the kinetic energy released is consumed as the HHO turns back to water. The gas molecules are a thousand or so times bigger and recombine to make a smaller molecule. It's an explosion followed by an implosion as the molecules reintegrate.

Using petrol the liquid vapourises and then splits into gases of which only a small proportion turns to water and other solids so the exhaust remains compressed until the valve opens.

Using HHO the exhaust valve must open earlier and allow negative pressure to equalise after a shorter power stroke. A pair of bubbler tanks inline is paramount; losing a balloon is funny but not terribly dangerous, an exploding tank could well be fatal. Because HHO contains both fuel and oxidant it will burn anywhere in the system, rip up fuel lines and pop tanks, generally throw stuff around.

I've only ever seen one way to burn HHO safely, and that was by bubbling it through a mesh using dish soap as a foaming agent. The foam burns slowly and releases its energy in thousands of tiny progressive explosions rather than one giant one. :-)

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Morning.Star wrote 06/17/2017 at 06:51 point

You'll also need four tanks running at your current output to run the engine continuously. Thats a lot of solar panels! :-)

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TheThriftstoreHacker wrote 06/17/2017 at 19:08 point

I have a big 65 amp hour battery i will have onboard. The panels will help keep it charged and provide some power for accessories. 

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TheThriftstoreHacker wrote 06/17/2017 at 19:06 point

Really good info here. Thanks!   The soap/bubbler idea is something i did not think about. Maybe i could find something to replace the baking soda as the electrolyte and use some sort of soap. 

As for the explosion risk i am trying to make a completely submerged system that will only allow gas to collect in a well vented space just before the carb. Messing with the intake and exhaust duration should be simple enough (angle grinder and welder to re-lobe cams) which should help with carb backfires. Advancing the ignition timing will be where i start first. 

One other problem i am working on is how to keep a system that works good in a stationary setup to work in a moped, microcar, etc. without the water solution sloshing around causing air pockets.

Thanks for the input. If you have any other thoughts and ideas let me know!

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Morning.Star wrote 06/18/2017 at 08:47 point

It sure sounds like you know where you are going with this :-) You're a bit braver than me, I sat and pondered on it looking at an old Atco engine in my shed, got as far as building the tanks and bubblers and then experimenting with making HHO in small quantities. I was using a stainless steel mesh for generation - surface area is key here so I layered this

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/30cmx60cm-304-Stainless-Steel-8-Mesh-Filter-Water-Filtration-Woven-Wire-Cloth/262966529231?_trksid=p2045573.c100506.m3226&_trkparms=aid%3D555014%26algo%3DPL.DEFAULT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D44829%26meid%3Db62c2adb2a3a45518b02f5a99482e124%26pid%3D100506%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26

and something like this, only thicker

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/30x30cm-PLASTIC-NET-STRONG-BLACK-FLEXIBLE-HDPE-INSECT-FISH-MESH-SCREEN-FINE-2mm-/290934722932?hash=item43bd0f9174:g:vssAAOxywFtSUJpv

alternately to make a 3" cube and dumped 12V 4A into it from a PC power supply.

Pretty spectacular, and without electrolyte. This increases gas at the expense of your electrodes... You're using HDD platters? The aluminium inside will literally dissolve out of the shell through a weak point, fascinating to watch tho. :-)

Printer manufacturers have got tanks down to a fine art; a block of foam will solve most problems with fluid in them. Considering you get a litre of gas for a ML of water, losing half the volume to some kind of baffling wont be a problem. Its not like you're paying over a thousand quid a litre for sooty vodka like you do with HP... ;-)

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TheThriftstoreHacker wrote 03/23/2017 at 17:05 point

This is the thing. I am not looking to store any gas. I want to produce it in a relatively safe manner for injection into the engine. If i can get the source of production as close to the engine's intake as possible and add some safety devices this will vastly limit the amount of gas waiting to be burned. 

If i can remove the gasses from solution and place them in a pre combustion chamber about 2inx2inx2in in size before the intake this should keep the chances of flashback to a minimum. If the engine backfires through the intake it would make a popping noise but only a small one about 1/5th the size of the balloon i detonated.

I have a question for anyone who can answer.  Is there a material i could use (fabric?) That will hold back water but easily let hydrogen and oxygen gas through? Let me know if you have an idea. Thanks.

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Martin wrote 03/23/2017 at 10:03 point

This is a perfect way to waste energy. Not only the electrolysis process is quite lossy ("the water gets warm") but such a small engine is also of low efficiency (<=20%). AFAIK the theoretically needed voltage to separate water would be between 1 and 1,5V. Any excess voltage which is used to overcome resistances just end as heat. The overall efficiency of the process from electricity to electricity (or motion, mechanical energy output) will be way less than 10%.

Storing any amount of detonating gas does also not seem to be a good idea. Any tank that stores more energy then a small battery is a real safety hazard. If you really want to experiment with hydrogen as a viable way of energy storage you have to separate the produced gases (H2, O2) at first. And then you have to work on the efficiency of the electrolysis process..

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Stuart Longland wrote 03/23/2017 at 10:50 point

Storing H₂ is fun… you have two protons fighting over a couple of electrons.

What can happen is when they figure out they can drop off their electrons somewhere and become H ions, just protons on their own… they can duck and weave through the lattice that is your gas tank until they get to the outside, pair up with another H ion, then resume their fight over custody of the electrons whilst floating away into free space.

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