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Cold Weather Tips


 I get a lot of "Cold Weather" questions about Cells. Here are a few tips to consider.

  • The colder water gets, the more it resists electron current flow. That means your cell is not going to produce as much hydrogen and oxygen gases when the water is cold. We need to add more electrolyte in order to produce the gas. Ohms Law states that if Resistance Increases, Current Flow Decreases. Water temperature (Resistance) has a direct effect on the amperage your cell produces (current flow). The colder the water gets, the less gas your cell will make. The warmer the water gets, the more gas your cell will make. As temperatures drop - current flow drops. It does so because the water becomes more resistive to electron movement. As the water temperature gets closer to its freezing point - electrons move slower and slower; when the water freezes, they stop. Your cell can not generate any hydrogen if it is frozen. So, the electrolyte mix you used in the summer, is not strong enough for the winter.

  • A Pulse Width Modulator (PWM) is one of the best investments for cold weather driving. It will allow you to make stronger mixes of electrolyte and use them year round. It does so by letting you control the amperage. That strong electrolyte mix is needed for freezing weather. But when the cell water warms up, the strong mix produces too much amperage. With the PWM, you can adjust and or regulate the amperage, as needed. Example: you start your car that has been sighting in 10 degree weather all night. You turn on your hydrogen cell/generator and see that it is drawing 1 amp; because the water is so cold. No problem, you adjust the PWM to 10 amps and drive off. As the water gets warmer, the amperage will increase; when it exceeds your normal operating temperature, you can make an adjustment. Some models of PWMs automatically regulate the amperage for you. You will find that a PWM is handy for maintaining the amperage year round.

  • Build your container out of Stainless Steel; it will take a licking and keep on ticking. You say - but stainless is so expensive, and hard to work with. Well how many plastic units hold up to freezing. How many must rupture on you before you see the light? I can tell you first hand, my stainless container has frozen many times. I assure you it is safe while the water is frozen - as long as I have enough head space for the water to expand in. It does not take much. Keep in mind, electrolysis will not take place if the water is frozen. Ice is a solid. Ice is an insulator, not a conductor.

  • Ok, so you built your container out of plastic; PVC, CPVC, Poly-what-ever, Nylon. Did you leave room for water to expand in - when it freezes? Did you even think about that? If you live in a warm climate - probably not! Did you think about - traveling - from a warm climate to a cold climate? Oh, it is warm in the engine compartment! Well yes it is - when the engine is running; but only when it is running. Turn that engine off in cold weather and guess what can happen. Think of it this way; if you put a half a bottle of water in the freezer, and mark the water level, the level will rise above the line as the water freezes. The bottle will not break as long as the ice has room to expand. It will follow the contour of the bottle; pushing away - anything in its path. Water is the most powerful substance on our Earth. It can lift a locomotive, crush a battleship; and if Stanley Meyers was still alive, we would be using it to put our space shuttles in orbit.

  • KOH electrolyte (potassium hydroxide) lowers the freeze point when mixed with water. A 30% solution is about as high as can be used. Any more will start raising the freeze point. Mr. Bob Boyce stated that a 28% solution, by weight, of KOH reduces the freeze point to -40 degrees C and -40 degrees F.

  • Denatured Alcohol (190 proof) lowers the freeze point of water. A 25% solution will protect you below zero; perhaps to a negative 5 below. It can also cause your stainless steel plates to turn golden brown and clog up with gunk that looks like clay.

  • Isopropyl Alcohol is probably the best to use. It will not turn your plates brown, but high concentrations will melt some plastics and make others brittle.

  • 190 proof Ethel; such as Everclear or Golden Grain is good, but turns the water brown.

  • Mixing Alcohol and KOH will also help.

  • Common sense tells me to add insulation around the cell and bubbler. In other words, put a coat on it. Example: foam designed for piping.

  • Extreme cold may require a heating blanket; like the ones used on car and truck batteries.





Thermal-electric Peltier Heater/Cooler Chip

  • 12 vdc Semiconductor that heats on one side and cools on the other side. Can also generate DC voltage.
  • Various sizes and amperages available.
  • Heat side requires a heat sink at all times.

   Available on amazon.com

   Available on Ebay.com

  Power Generation


More on Winter Driving:

You are using the KOH to lower the resistance of the water so that it will conduct electrons and make the HHO. The colder water gets, the more KOH you will need to get the let's say 10 or 20 amps of current. The warmer the water gets, the less KOH you will need. But the more KOH you use, the lower the freezing point will be. We use electrolytes for one reason; to get HHO production started. Once started, the cell heats the water. Heating the water lowers the resistance of the water and lets current flow. The hotter the water gets, the more current you will have. It is a vicious cycle that has to be controlled. Most people are making short commutes to and from work, or the store, etc., in which case the cell must be able to start-up then reach operating temperature reasonably fast. However, the longer the cell runs, the hotter the water gets. The hotter the water gets, the more water vapor it makes. That depletes the water supply faster because that water did not get electrolyzed into HHO. To me, water vapor is a good thing. It gets turned into steam inside the combustion chamber. Steam helps drive the piston down; thus you will use less petro. (I hope I am making sense). You will not be able to mix large amounts of KOH - because it will allow way too much current, electrical current. That will cause way too much heat, which will cause your water to boil, which may cause your plastics to soften. Now you have a real problem. You are making an explosive gas - in a soft container; ka-boom.

You will not be able to operate the cell with KOH alone, that is, unless you are using a really good PWM to control the amperage (electrical current). With a PWM (Pulse Width Modulator), you can lower the operating voltage of the cell; that will lower the current; which will lower the water temperature because it lowers the current. A PWM gives you control over the current. It allows you to mix higher concentrations of KOH, lowering the freeze point of the water; and it allows you to maintain the amount of amperage you need to get the amount of HHO you are wanting. Winter days start off colder, then warm up, then get colder again. The cell water starts out colder; which means a lot less HHO will be produced. But as the water heats up, the HHO production increases.

I use an 80 amp PWM. Not because I needed 80 amps of current, but because I needed more control over amp production in winter driving. I could adjust my water so that it is capable of producing 80 amps, but then I would adjust the PWM output to 10 amps. I use a digital ammeter on my dashboard to show me - real time - what my amperage is. Without the PWM, summer time water that produces 10 amps of HHO, will produce about 1 amp of HHO if it is freezing outside. It will take 10 to 20 minutes for the water to heat enough to produce the 10 amps. I hope now, you can see how the temperature of the water effects the HHO production. It is the amps we need to make it; but we have to control the HHO production. We can do that with a PWM. We can start the cell with 10 amps; as the water heats, the amperage will increase; we can lower it back to 10; if it increases, we can lower it back to 10. Without the PWM, we can do nothing - except turn the cell off and let it cool; or circulate the water to cool it.

So for winter driving, we have to increase the amount of electrolyte in the cell, but we also may need to add alcohol to the water to help keep it from freezing. Alcohol will not electrolyze; but it will vaporize and it will evaporate.  So make a mixture of water, KOH, and alcohol; and use it to top off the cell when it is low on liquid. You do not have to use a PWM on your cell. But, it will take longer to get the cell up to speed in winter months.


Page Last Edited - 04/03/2022

    Copyright 2003   All rights reserved.   Revised: 04/03/22.                                             Web Author, David Biggs
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