Pure water is an insulator. It will not conduct electricity;
but pure water is rare. River water, stream water, well water, and city
water all contain minerals that conduct electricity. The higher the mineral
content the better the water will conduct (pass an electric current).
So what does this have to do with cell spacing? Well
consider the distance between your plates. If water is an insulator, then
the more water you have between two plates, the higher the resistance will
be between the plates. If you know anything about Ohms Law, an increase in
Resistance causes electron flow to be reduced. Electron flow is the amperage
your cell is drawing. The farther apart your plates are, the less amps your
cell will draw through the water. The closer the plates are, the more
amperage your cell will draw. Amperage plays a big part in HHO production.
Without it, your cell will produce squat; nothing.
If we add Electrolytes to the water, we will make the water
conduct better by decreasing the Resistance between the plates. A decrease
in resistance allows more current to flow; thus increasing the possibility
of producing more HHO. A cell that has wide spacing can be made to produce
just as much HHO as a cell with close spacing. The difference is going to be
the amount of electrolytes added to the water. The cell with wide spacing
will need larger amounts of electrolytes.
There is another factor to
consider ----- Heat. Cold water has more resistance than Hot water. The
hotter your water gets, the better it will conduct electricity. How many
times have you been told that Electrolysis causes heat? Pay attention. The
better water conducts electricity, the more amperage your cell is going to
draw. Amperage is the movement of electrons. Movement is friction. Friction
causes heat. So the more amperage you draw, the hotter your water is going
to get. The hotter the water gets, the more amperage it draws; which in turn
creates more heat, which causes more current, which causes more heat. Do you
get the idea that amperage/heat needs to be controlled? You bet it does. If
you don't control it, it will run away from you. Eventually blowing a fuse
or tripping your cells circuit. We have learned that a Pulse Width Modulator
will help us with that problem.
As for plate
spacing, I use 0.060 inches, or about 0.1524 centimeters. That is about
as close as possible and still get good bubble flow.
needs less electrolyte. It does not produce more gas or less gas; per
say. Gas production is caused by amperage.
does not conduct electricity without adding electrolytes or minerals, we
will have to add electrolyte or minerals no matter what the spacing is.
makes our cells more compact. Sometimes spacing comes about by what we
have to use as an insulator to separate the plates. Our gaskets for
instance. Gaskets need to be strong and pliable enough to endure the
process of taking the cell apart and putting it back together. I would
not use more than 0.654 cm.
Here is an example of the spacing
I use in my tube cell.
The spacing is determined by the tube diameters.
drawing shows the
spacing from the outside edge of one side of a 1 inch diameter tube to the
outside of a 1.25 inch tube; etc., The picture shows the tubes are 0.065
thick with 0.060 spacing between them. Each tube increases in diameter by a
quarter of an inch. 1, 1.25, 1.50, 1.75, 2.0
This is close spacing to me.
If the tubes were any closer, it would be difficult to keep water on the
surface of the metal as the bubbles rise.
This image shows a 1 inch diameter tube inside of a 1.25 inch tube. The
tubes are 0.065 thick. There is 0.060 spacing between them.
These figures show the spacing that will be between tubes that are 0.065
It is important to have your tubes or plates spaced perfectly;
the same amount of distance, so that the electrons will flow equally from
all surfaces. That means that the distance at any one point on a tube or
plate, is the exact same distance as another point. In other words, you do
not want any dents on the surface. It will cause a difference in distance.
Electron flow takes the least path of resistance. If the dented area is
closer than the rest of the plates surface area, then the majority of
electrons will take that path. That means that HHO production will be high,
in that area, and low on the rest of the plates area. You want equal
Still confused about Spacing? Let
me overview it again for you:
- Spacing is determined by the
thickness of your gaskets; if you make a dry cell design.
- Spacing is determined by the
thickness of your Spacers if you make a wet cell design.
- Have you done any Tests, with just
2 electrodes and a bowl of water?
Electrolysis takes place, regardless
of the distance between them.
But the closer they are, the more
reaction you will see.
It is the Resistance of the amount
of water - between the plates - that Spacing deals with.
Closer spacing has less resistance,
because their is less distance through water for electrons to
The same can be said of "Number of
- Spacing can work for you, or against
you. Hydrogen and Oxygen are made on the plate surface. They lift
off of the plates as Bubbles. Bubbles collide, collect, and grow in
size, as they rise to the surface. New formed bubbles bump into
newly forming bubbles. If their numbers are great enough, they
can block water from touching parts of the plate surfaces (which can
lower HHO production).
- Spacing of the plates has no
majestic affect on HHO quality; it merely affects
the Resistance of the circuit between the Negative and Positive
electrodes. Resistance starts with the type of metal used for
electrodes. As the resistance of the water changes, so does HHO
production. Resistance changes due to distance. Resistance changes
due to temperature. Resistance changes due to atmospheric pressure.
Resistance changes due to the amount of HHO being produced.
- I think most experimenters use 1/16
inch pacing. That would be 0.062 inches, or 1.5748 mm or 0.157 cm
- Closer spacing can be used but that
usually introduces Bubble problems. It all depends on How Much HHO
you are making. Obviously large quantities will need more room to
escape out the top of the plates.
- If you find your cell producing way
too much foam, Your spacing may be too close. Or, it may not be the
spacing at all. It could be that you failed to clean the oils out of
the hoses you are using. Manufacturing plastics and rubbers, usually
requires some lubricating oil - now and then. KOH and NaOH make soap
out of oil.
When troubleshooting a problem, in short,
first make a good visual inspection. Then sectionalize the problem; then
localize the problem; then isolate the component causing the problem.
Recommended End Plate Materials:
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