Add-On Hydrogen Fuel Systems Improving Fast
The next generation of hydrogen fueling (HHO) systems is proving itself on everything from ATV's to diesel trucks, says Dan Delasantos, HHO technology writer and entrepreneur. It includes not only a refinement of technology, but a focus on production of a specific hydrogen isomer.
"The technology is improving on a daily basis," he says. Delasantos recently reviewed HHO equipment for use on ATV's and other off-road recreational equipment for Sand Sports magazine. He has also written extensively about using the technology in diesel pickups.
He notes that glass jars and steel wool hydrogen-generating units are being replaced with titanium and stainless steel plates. Efficiency can be greatly improved by adding a pump to push hydrogen bubbles off plates and a control device, like a Pulse Width Modulator, to define the amount of amperage a cell can draw from the battery.
Even new cars with their full array of sensors can use hydrogengenerators equipped with devices like the new Volo FS2-HHO circuit plug-in.
Delasantos has tested many of the new technologies. Until recently, he was part of a company perfecting titanium plates (Smactanium brand) adapted for everything from ATV's to diesel trucks. The death of a cousin/partner has put the business on hold. However, Delasantos says the industry is definitely not on hold.
"If I was buying an HHO unit now, I would probably go with one from Central Valley HHO," he says. "They use stainless steel plates that won't corrode," he says. "We had higher mileage with theirs than with our titanium unit."
Delasantos acknowledges that judging mileage on an off-road machine is difficult. However, he tested HHO units on ATV's in Arizona where on-road use is allowed. He says the most easily recognized benefit is the power boost.
Whether on a 4-wheel ATV or a 6-wheel diesel pickup, he says the power boost can be substantial. "We had a unit on a 2003 Duramax dually, and we were spinning our tires," he says. "We put a Central Valley unit on, and though they advertise a 10 to 35 percent increase in power, we experienced more."
Delasantos went from a base of 17 mpg to 24 mpg with the HHO. Towing an 18,600-lb. payload gave a base mileage of 9 mph. With the HHO on, he recorded a 15.5 mpg average.
"After years of research it has been discovered there are ways of producing the two different hydrogen fuels," says Delasantos. He is referring to the orthohydrogen isomer with added oxygen, referred to as hydroxy gas, versus the parahydrogen isomer. Both are considered fuel additives to enhance the combustion of fuel. However, while 98 percent of fuel cells make parahydrogen, orthohydrogen has four times the strength, says Scott Smith, Central Valley HHO.
"That's why we're getting greater gain with our equipment," he says. "We're producing a higher quality gas. We have two-liter diesel engines getting a 38 percent increase in mileage and drawing only 5.6 amps." Smith says other benefits of the hydroxy effect include reduced NOX (nitrous oxide) emissions, increased horsepower and longer engine life. However, none of these improvements with hydroxy fuel would be possible, he says, without new generation HHO electronics.
"It took us two years to perfect our electronics to control hydrogen production," he says. "Now we're doing every kind of engine from scooters to stationary engines for agriculture and getting into marine applications. I know an Australian farmer who is saving 33 percent on fuel since adding an HHO unit to a large forage chopper." Central Valley HHO is a manufacturer that markets its products through distributors listed on the company website.