If you are considering installing a hydrogen gas saver in your car, you have a choice between purchasing a commercially available unit and constructing your own. There are many detailed sets of plans to build a gas saver on the internet; what we will do here is provide an overview of the process and summarize the key points in the process.
It is always helpful to understand the principles behind a machine before you try to build one, so that you know what each part does, and can better understand how to operate it and maintain and repair it. In this case, you would want to learn the basics of electrolysis and the basics of electrical wiring (if you don’t know this already) since the gas generator has electrical components. Research which more directly concerns the operation of the generator concerns how to go about adapting a hydrogen saver to your particular model of car and its fuel injection system; for this part it would be wise to consult with a qualified expert mechanic.
Preparation for the actual construction could include drawing plans, and drafting a parts list which falls within your budget.
Types of Hydrogen Gas Generators
There are several varieties of hydrogen generators in use. The most common is the “plate type,” which uses two parallel metal plates to deliver DC current to split the water. One, the negatively charged plate, is called the cathode, and the other, positively charged, is called the anode. Since water is polarized (one end of the molecule is more negatively and the other more positively charged), a sufficiently strong electric force will rip the molecule apart, as the hydrogen atoms are pulled toward the negatively charged plate and the oxygen atoms toward the positively charged plate.
Another variety is mechanically simple, applying the electrolysis principle with a different configuration: the “pipe and bolt” type. In this sort of gas generator, a stainless steel bolt with finderwashers serving as the cathode sits inside a stainless steel pipe, which serves as the anode. One advantage of this design is that these sorts of bolts and pipes are widely available at any hardware store.
Spacing of Anode and Cathode
The distance between the positively and negatively charged components of your setup makes a significant difference in how the generator will operate. This arrangement of charged plates with an insulator between them forms an electronic device known as a capacitor, a device commonly used to store and quickly discharge energy in electric and electronic devices.
You can visualize the effects that the voltage applied to the plates and the distance between them as acting in a similar fashion to the mechanical force of two arms squeezing a spring of equal resistance per unit length. For a given squeezing force (voltage), the effectiveness of the action diminishes as the length of the spring (distance between the plates) increases, as the same force gets “diluted” trying to overcome a greater amount of resistance. On the other hand, increasing the force (voltage) applied to a given length of spring (plate spacing) will increase how effectively you can compress the spring (separate water). The actual physical effect is that a greater charge builds up between two capacitor plates of a given voltage as they get closer.
One method of achieving the desired spacing is to drill holes through the plates, and mount them on a bolt made from an insulating material, spacing them with washers (also of an insulating material).
In wiring the electrical components of the generator, you will want to take care to avoid wiring which will send too much current though a wire, which can create excessive heat. You may wish to install a dashboard on/off switch as well as a device known as a pulse width modulator (PVM), which controls the characteristics of the current sent to the generator and/or an Electronic Fuel Injection Enhancer. Fundamental safety practices to obey in all electronic wiring applications include using wire of the correct gage and using a fuse.