Sunday, August 31, 2008

Electrolyzer for Beginner's, Parts List and Construction Details

Here is a electrolyzer for beginners and those that like to experiment and learn what electrolysis is all about for a very reasonable cost.

Many are against using glass containers and I don't really know why it is so, because I have yet to find a case where the canning jar has broken or exploded in a properly set up system. I have had one break because of freezing.....

There are cases of course where people have brought a flame from a match or lighter to the output hose to see what happens. Usually the plastic cap or lid is shattered but the jar remains intact.
If you are curious to see and hear hydrogen gas explode, it can be done very safely by first putting the output hose in a jar of water and then bringing a flame to the hydrogen bubbles as they rise to the surface of the water. Igniting a small bubble, 1/4 to 3/8 inch in diameter sounds like a 22 caliber rifle shot, a bubble that is 3/4 inch and larger in diameter makes an extremely loud bang like a 45 caliber shot and will leave your ears ringing for a long time.
Hydrogen is very explosive and not to be taken lightly!

This Beginners Electrolyzer or Cell outputs 300 milli-liters of HHO
per minute with 1/4 teaspoon of lye drawing 3 amps.
This is 4.75 times more than a Water4Gas cell
Temperature after 2 hours of running was 115 degrees F
Temperature after 41/2 hours was 150 degrees F

The above photo shows the completed Electrolyzer for Beginners ready to power up!
As you can see by using a glass container everything in the jar is visible, water level and whether there is any crud at the bottom of the jar. This photo was taken after it had been running for 8 hours on my balcony.

Parts List for Beginner's Electrolyzer

6 - 304 18 gauge Stainless Steel Plates 2.5" by 4.5"
2 - 304 18 gauge Stainless Steel Plates 2.5" by 5"
2 - Nylon screws 1/4" by 2.5"
2 - Nylon Nuts 1/4 - 20
8 - Nylon Washers 1.6 mm thick
4 - Stainless Steel Washers 1/4"
2 - Stainless Steel Hex head Screws 1/4" by 3"
10 - Stainless Steel Nuts 1/4"
6 - Stainless Steel Nuts 5/16" (for spacers)
1 - 1/4" Nylon or Plastic elbow ( I used a 3/8" which I had on hand)
1 - Nylon Nut to fit above Elbow
1 - Wide Mouth Mason Jar
1 - Plastic Storage Lid for Mason Jar
1 - Rubber Gasket for the Lid
2 - Rubber Grommets with 1/4" holes
1 - Rubber Grommet to fit the 1/4" Elebow
1 - 7/8" Rubber Stopper

Here we see the plate assembly fastened to the lid with the 3" ss screws

A different angle showing the assembly, etc

A view from the bottom of the plate assembly

A view showing the end plate

View showing the top electrical connections, 3/8" elbow and the 7/8" Rubber stopper in a 7/8" hole which is used for adding water or lye to the electrolyzer.
If you decide to construct this electrolyzer, it is entirely at your own risk and peril. This device is not a play thing or toy. It is your responsibility to make sure that all safety precautions are followed . Neither the designer of this electrolyzer or author of this document will be liable should you suffer any loss or damage by your own actions.
Play Safe Always!

Construction Details

First drill two 1/4 inch holes approximately 2 1/2 inches apart down the center line of the plates. If you have a drill press you can put all the plates together and drill them at one time. I used a 3/8 electric drill using a titanium drill bit, and drilled each one separately.

The outside plates are drilled as well with the holes matching, when all are stood up on end. There is an extra hole to be drilled on each side plate (5 inch ones) centered on the plate and about 1/4 to 3/8 inch down from the top. Using a hacksaw make 2 cuts, one on each side of the hole, about 1/2 inch apart, then using pliers or a vicegrip bend the created tab so it is 90 degrees to the plate. See photos

Before assembling the plates, get some coarse sandpaper and sand the plates from end to end, then sand them from side to side, do this to both sides. If you have a sander, you can use that. The sanding leaves minute grooves on the surface of the plates which helps to increase the production of HHO. Rinse off the plates prior to assembly.

Assembling the plates

Take one side plate and insert the nylon screws from the tab side, then put one nylon washer over the screws, then put one of the 4 1/2" plates over the screws, now place a 5/16" nut as a spacer, next add another 4 1/2" plate, now a nylon washer, another 4 1/2 inch plate and continue that sequence until you finally add the other side plate with the tab on the outside. Now put on the nylon 1/4 inch nuts to hold the assembly together...tighten the nuts, but not so much that you strip the threads.

See below for the plate arrangement, our design does not have the minus and plus as shown below. The "A" spaces have the nylon washers and the "B" spaces have the 5/16 nuts as spacers.
Above diagram from Smack Booster article

Next insert the two 3 inch SS screws through the holes in the tab and fasten to the tab with a 1/4 inch nut. Make sure this connection is really tight using two 7/16 inch wrenches to tighten it down. If this connection gets loose when the electrolyte level is low and causes a spark, it will ignite the hydrogen gas.

Cap or Lid Preparation

First make sure that the two 3 inch screws of the plate assembly are parallel to one another and line up properly, then invert the assembly over the inside of the lid and mark the spot where the screws touch the lid. You could also measure the distance between the top of the screws and use that to mark the lid for the 1/4" holes to be drilled. Now mark the spot for the nylon elbow and the 7/8" hole for the rubber stopper. Drill them now. I used a step drill for the 7/8" hole.

Final Assembly

Place a rubber grommet over the thread of the nylon elbow, insert the elbow through the hole in the lid and screw the nylon nut to the elbow and tighten it down so that the grommet is compressed.

Next place the plate assembly in the jar, put two 1/4" nuts, one on each 3" screw, add one washer to each one and then the rubber grommet as well. Screw the nuts, etc down far enough so the rubber grommet is slightly below the rim of the jar.
Place the lid so that the screws are protuding through the holes in the lid and screw the lid down. Now place a washer and a nut on each screw, Turn the nuts so that the plate assembly is just resting on the bottom of the jar. Remove the assembly by unscrewing the lid. Now holding a wrench on the nut on the top side of the lid, turn the nut on the underside until the grommet is compressed against the underside of the lid, do this to the other screw as well.
Finally put on another nut on the top and holding the first nut on the screw with a wrench, tighten the nuts together so they are jammed. Add the other nut that will hold the wire, do not tighten it until the wire is connected. Mark one terminal Plus or + and the other Minus or - Does not matter which one is plus or minus at this point. Place the gasket in the lid and and insert the assembly into the jar.

Regarding the grommets, I have generally had good luck with them sealing the area around the terminals, but several times I have had to take things apart and squeeze some Silicon Seal around the thread of the screw and the grommet. You may want to put the Silicon Seal right from the start to avoid problems later.

The Big Test!

To make sure that your creation is air tight, screw down the lid, stick on a length of tubing to the elbow and immerse the entire jar in a bucket of water or the kitchen sink will do as well. Now blow into the tube and if you see any bubbles rising, you have a leak and will have to fix it before proceeding any further. The lids are notorius for leaking if you do not have a gasket in the lid to seal it properly. Once you have no leaks you are set for the final test.

First fill the jar with distilled water to just cover the top of the plates, (99 cents for a 4 liter jug at the grocery store) then add about 1/4 teaspoon of lye (Gillettes from Home Hardware, get the small container)

Be very carefull with the lye as it is very corrosive, don't get it on your skin or eyes and make sure you do not breathe any of the fumes, etc. Never add water to lye, only lye to water....I have a bucket of water closeby in case I happen to get some on me, so can wash it off immediately.

To test the electrolyzer, make sure you are outside or in a well ventilated space or area as hydrogen will rise and accumulate on the ceiling and the slightest spark will set it off. Under no circumstances test it inside your home.

Have your output hose from the electrolyzer go into the bottom of a jar or other container of water closeby. Now connect your 12 volts DC to the terminals and switch on the power, immediately you should see action in the form of small bubbles from the plates and sort of a cloud form near the top of the cell. Very shortly you will see bubbles rising to the top in the jar of water as HHO is being produced.

You Have Arrived!

Anyone interested in how to install it in your vehicle?