Drawbacks of Using HHO DRY-CELL Hydrogen Generators for Cars
In 1998, Ohio inventor Stanley Meyers rocked the automotive world when he demonstrated a water-powered dune buggy on a TV news broadcast. Meyers was awarded 42 patents for his water to hydrogen generator but it never saw production as he died the same year under suspicious circumstances. Although Meyer's dream didn't die with him, poorly designed do-it-yourself HHO (Hydrogen, Hydrogen, Oxygen) kits have left many wondering if Hydrogen power is a scam.
Most HHO enthusiasts aren't mechanics or electricians so it isn't surprising that some do-it-yourself HHO kits are getting bad publicity. Too many of them are over-simplified or incomplete because they're put together by researchers who lack hands-on experience. For example, the stainless steel plates in these kits work better if you sand them and keep fingerprints off them but these details are often left out. Other kits make the DIY process too complex with wiring diagrams and technical details that only experts would understand. This makes it easy to miss or misinterpret important details.
Many HHO kits are cobbled together from readily available components like filter housings and Mason jars. These parts need a lot of room and the engine compartments on some vehicles have little to spare. Any benefit from your off-the-shelf parts will be quickly lost if you pop the hood and find no place to put your new generator.
Hydrogen is a highly explosive gas but it's completely safe when it's handled correctly. A bubbler or flashback arrestor is one way to do this since it transfers hydrogen gas from your generator to the air intake of your engine through a glass tube filled with water and stainless steel wool. This tube filters out dangerous impurities, keeps hydrogen flowing towards your engine and prevents a backfire or flame from igniting the hydrogen before it reaches your engine. Some kits leave this bubbler out and put everyone at risk. Another hazardous situation occurs when hydrogen is trapped in the generator cell. A pressure-relief valve solves this problem but some kits skip it. Some kits also get in trouble with their choice of electrolyte. Since hydrogen is produced by electrolysis, an electrolyte is needed to maximize its efficiency, but some HHO kits use baking soda for this purpose. Baking soda gives off carbon monoxide that can enter your passenger compartment so this isn't a good idea.
Low Gas Production
A lot can go wrong when you're producing hydrogen through electrolysis. Some kits overheat the water in their cells with too much voltage and produce more steam than hydrogen. Other kits use stainless steel coils instead of plates so they don't have enough surface area for efficient electrolysis and hydrogen production. The HHO kits that use baking soda electrolytes are also less productive since it dissipates quickly.
ECU & O2 Sensor Problems
Today's vehicles have an ECU (Electronic Control Unit) and an O2 (oxygen) sensor. The O2 sensor detects oxygen entering your engine's air intake and reports it to the ECU. Since the ECU uses this information to adjust fuel delivery, as your O2 sensor detects more oxygen more fuel is delivered to your cylinders. This creates problems when you add an HHO kit since it sends a hydrogen/oxygen mix to your engine that the O2 sensor detects. Your ECU responds by increasing the fuel delivery and canceling your mileage gains. An EFIE (Electronic Fuel Injection Enhancer) can fix this problem by telling your O2 sensor that oxygen levels are fine but it's often left out or glossed over in cheap HHO kits.