Meltdown ! at 20 amps....
On April 6/08 I was surprised when I filled up and checked my mileage to find I had only got 14.66 MPG I had noticed that the amperage had crept up a bit from previous outings.
On April 7/08 I was driving along nearing home when I noticed the amperage to the W4G cell had climbed to just over 20 amps, do not know how long this had been occurring, but on reaching the parking lot and opening the hood, I was surprised to see the electrolyte in the cell boiling very hard (sort of what I would call a rolling boil) and steaming like crazy. I had to wait for nearly half an hour before I could disconnect everything and remove the jar. The picture on the left shows what was left of my SS wire wrapped around the 1/4 inch thick plexi-glass tower. The wires had all come loose from where they had been "gooped" and the tower itself had been twisted nearly 90 degrees from one end to the other.
This all happened after I substituted lye for the baking soda I had used previously. My amperage remained quite stable using the baking soda and had not experienced any runaway as happened here.
Since then I have not used the W4G cell in the vehicle, only using a vaporizer and the MAF Enhanser and getting over 27 MPG.
I have run 4 bench experiments since using 1 teaspoon of lye, 3/4 teaspoon of lye and 1/2 teaspoon of lye with distilled water and one test with tap water in the W4G cell and the amperage starts quite low but in each case after about 1 hour it gets into the runaway situation with the amperage climbing rapidly. I will be trying a resistor in series with the cell to limit the amount of current that it can draw.
April 10th - Did not have any resistors around so used a GE3057 bulb in series with one filament connected.... 13.8 volts applied, drew 5 1/4 amps and the voltage across the cell was 9 volts. The amperage did not vary during the hour test. The electrolyte got quite warm but not hot.
Next I twisted the two filament leads together and connected it in series with the cell... This time it drew only 1 amp and the voltage across the cell was 3.66 volts. After an hour the amperage remained the same.
Next I tested two W4G cells in series with 13.8 volts applied, current was 3 amps with voltage across one cell at 5.92 Volts and the other at 5.12 Volts. Current remained at 3 amps for the duration of the hour long test. Electrolyte got warm but not hot.
Have not got my custom enclosure for my Smack Booster yet from the plastics shop, am anxious to try it out.