Does anyone know whether its ok to run one of those HHO generators on
a diesel engine? My father-in-law is building one for his turbo Saab
car, and swears that they are used in big rigs (diesels) and that they
improve the fuel mileage on them.
In case anyone doesn't know what an HHO generator is, it's basically
an electric circuit that ionizes water into hydrogen and oxygen, then
injects the gas into the air stream of the intake.
My thought is that the diesel runs off of fuel being injected into the
air (and only air) in the chamber. If I add more oxygen and hydrogen
into the air, it will burn more readily, but it seems that it would
throw off the timing of the ignition.
Anyone have any input, or comments? Does anyone use one of these on a
diesel (or gasoline) engine currently?
In my opinion, the energy required to split the
H2O molecules would be more
than you are likely to get back but, if using
solar or other free source of energy, it indeed
could be feasible.
It reminds me of a guy way back who told me that
he had a 5 HP electric motor attached to the grid
and was planning to attach a fan to it to blow air
onto a wind turbine. It seems that he expected to
get more energy out than he was putting in. I
disabused him in a hurry.
What is yor father in law's experience with HHO? What kind of fuel mileage
increase has he recorded? I am interested in this too for diesel.
I do know someone who is a mechanic who has friend who does that for
business and claimed to work real well... but he himself did not tinker into
it as his buddies are working out all the kinks.
"but it seems that it would throw off the timing of the ignition."
No, a diesel's ignition occurs when the fuel is injected into the
cylinder; that occurs regardless of what gases are in the cylinder.
However, a gasoline engine will differ because the fuel is injected into
the intake air before any compression from the piston occurs so that air
- fuel mixture may preignite - always a problem with gas engines.
On Jul 27, 5:08 pm, "-->> T.G. Lambach <<--" <"T.G. Lambach at
I hate to say it because I'd love to believe it would work but RF is
right. If more power was being returned to the engine than was needed
to generate the electricity to split the water molecules, you have
achieved the impossible -- the makings of a perpetual motion machine.
These contraptions will always use more energy than they create if you
are simply drawing power from the alternator. An exception, as RF
noted, would be if you were to get the extra power from a solar cell,
or if you had a system that generated electricty only as a means of
slowing the car down (like hybrids when they coast). But, in this
latter system, the power draw would have to cease once you were using
the engine to accelerate again so you would only generate surplus
power when braking which likely wouldn't last long.
All this also begs the question of whether it wouldn't be more
efficient to use the power from using the solar cells or braking
dynamo to power an electric motor to drive the car. I'm guessing it
would be since that's what they chose to do with hybrids but I don't
On the other question, Tom, couldn't the Hydrogen predetonate on the
compression stroke since it would enter the cylinder with the air on
the intake stroke unlike the fuel?
We are not trying to generate a ton of Hydrogen... only a tiny amount that
does improve the efficiency of burning the fuel.
The real test of H production is hooking up a balloon to the HHO generator
and if the balloon rises... H is produced.
If this tiny amount of H2 could react with another
chemical in the combustion chamber to produce an
additional exothermic chemical reaction, then it
is possible that this process could make a
contribution to the usual combustion.
Just to clarify for those that are making assumptions about the energy
requirements, and ability for it to work at all. I does work. At
least, my father-in-law has got his working. Currently, he has it
attached to a '93 Saab 900 turbo (2.0L). It gets about 24-28 mpg
normally, and he has pushed it up to 28+ with his initial tests. I
haven't talked to him in a couple of days, but I heard a few minutes
ago that he's added a second container to the system to help produce
From what he's told me, and what he's observed, the system doesn't
produce an enormous amount of hydrogen gas. The first container he
used actually sucked in from the engine vacuum overpowering the
sidewalls of the container (cheap plastic). So, there is no
pressurized production of hydrogen here, just enough to enrich the air/
Yes, it does take more energy to convert water into hydrogen gas, but
we're not running the car on hydrogen (or even electricity), we are
running on gasoline (or diesel as the case may be), and we simply want
to make this combustion process more efficient. The hydrogen allows
the air/fuel mixture to be more lean and still obtain the same power
from the fuel as before. If you don't understand that, the more lean
the mixture (air/fuel) the less fuel (i.e. gasoline) you use.
Gasoline engines aren't the most efficient machines at burning all the
fuel that enters them. When you pressurize the air (add a turbo) you
get a better efficiency that normally aspirated engines. When you add
hydrogen to the mixture, it gets even more efficient. Thus, less
gasoline used per mile driven. (more mpg)
Interestingly, this link says that the engine is more efficient while
idling than under full load when using this concept, which is where
you really need to cut fuel usage.
That doesn't sound particularly promising. What exactly is 28+? If
he was getting 24-28, and is now getting 28.X from limited data, this
doesn't mean much. For example, after investing time, energy and
belief in this system, it wouldn;t be unusual for someone to also
alter their driving habits, either consciously or not, which could
have a significant effect on the results.
If anyone has any independent testing by any credible authority that
shows this works, I'd love to see it. As I understand it, what we're
talking about here is doing this to a standard engine as a simple bolt
on widget without modifying anything else, like the engine computer,
which governs much of how it operates, including the fuel/air
mixture. The above wikepedia article doesn't sound too promising, as
after it talks about the technology, it says possible to reduce fuel
consumption by 4% and that was apparently through engines designed to
make use of it, not via a simple add on.
There is a recent article that covers this concept as well as the
"water powered car" claims in Popular Mechanics:
Tiger, no question that electrolysis produces hydrogen and oxygen.
What's questionable is whether there is any net energy returned in the
process which requires energy itself. Judging by the article above and
some other sources the best answer from actual testing seems to be
possibly a very modest improvement . . . in a specially tuned engine.
Interesting discussion though. Always good to learn about new things.
I take it that this is not the same coast-to-coast run that CNN is
following, or is it?
I believe that the CNN run involved running an older car on either
reclamed vegetable oil mixed with biodiesel (or something similiar).
That run, at least as reported on the CNN website is turning into a
disaster, with a humerous side to it. Last time I saw a report, that
car was stranded somewhere in the soutwest after man breakdowns, and
had to be towed at a cost of $600 to the closest town with a repair
shop, the crew having given up on repairing it themselves which got
them slowly through the first 900-miles or so.
What to me makes the story funny, is that the 'experts' directly in
this demo expected fuel filter problems, and had cautiously packed 4
spare fuel filters. Part of the problem that they encountered on the
road was that they had packed the wrong fuel filters, which didn't fit
the car. (Heck, doesn't everyone drive carrying 4 spare fuel filters?
L0L). At last reading, and addition problem was that the fuel they
were using had degraded the fuel lines themselves to the point of
serious leakage. (I suspect that they meant the short neoprene flex
links that connect the fuel lines, but the report was not that
They should maybe have packed more duct tape! :-)
I'm going to check on the CNN website later today, to see if there are
any new reports. At last report, they were stranded somewhere outside
of Phoenix (?).
Here is the latest from the CNN website today at 4:15 pm. Just click
on "Cody's Road Trip" and here is what you today get:
It's sad, and like I posted before, funny at the same time. For what
it's worth, here is a link to the site where you can follow "Cody's
Road Biofuel Avemture" that appears in the 'Special Coverage' section
(scroll down) on the CNN website.
CNN today has no details of the "road trip", and has decided to
replace it with filler material that in no way describes this near
disaster. Picture the headlines if these naive kids had become
stranded out in the middle of the desert and died as a result of their
stupidity. My guess is that CNN pulled the plug on this, before it
Let see. Follow cnn.com for future reports, if any.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.