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Cell Spacing

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.

Closer spacing needs less electrolyte. It does not produce more gas or less gas; per say. Gas production is caused by amperage.

Since water does not conduct electricity without adding electrolytes or minerals, we will have to add electrolyte or minerals no matter what the spacing is.

Close spacing 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.


This 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 thick.




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 production.

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 travel across.
    The same can be said of "Number of Plates".
  • 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 (about that).
  • 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 Gasket Materials:

  • High Temperature EPDM Rubber

  • High Temperature Neoprene Rubber

  • Silicone

Recommended End Plate Materials:

  • 3/4 inch HDPE Plastic


Page Last Edited - 01/30/2016


    Copyright 2003   All rights reserved.   Revised: 01/29/16.                                             Web Author, daddyo44907
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