One of the absolute best parts of my “Day Job”, is all the amazing people I get to meet. And, as much as I would like to stay home and research all the projects on my list, well, my better half would kill me if I didn’t leave the house. Over the weekend I met with a new client, Charles, from Westcorp Technology. Charles has one of the most amazing products I have run across in our little town, HHO Hydrogen Generators. While the use of hydrogen generators isn’t new, the fact that Westcorp designs and builds these systems right here in Citrus County, Florida, is pretty incredible to me.
Here Comes The Boom
Charles called me last week to talk about his credit card processing services and we scheduled a time for Saturday. He told me “you can’t miss me. Just listen for the loud boom”. Turns out the boom was caused by Charles igniting the hydrogen from a test system while he demonstrates the units to people walking by. I really wish he would have told me to bring my ear protection. The sound is somewhere in the neighborhood of firing a .22 but don’t worry, if you were to buy a kit you wouldn’t hear a thing. As a matter of fact, his truck runs all day during his presentations and I doubt you would realize it, if I hadn’t told on him.
What is a HHO Hydrogen Fuel Cell?
I have heard conflicting stories on the history of Hydrogen fuel cells, but the basic concept remains the same. By applying a Direct current (DC voltage) through a set of metal plates that are immersed in water, the hydrogen and oxygen molecules will split. This is called electrolysis. One of those stories I’ve heard actually involves the late Nicola Tesla (would have loved to have met him) and says that he approached Henry Ford with Hydrogen technology for the first automobiles. The story ends with Ford declining Tesla’s offer. Whether or not it’s true, we do have the technology today and unfortunately, not many people are taking advantage of it.
What engines will run on hydrogen?
Here is the good news. Just about all gas powered or diesel engines will run using hydrogen gas as an additive. The method used by Westcorp Technology inserts the gas into the fuel stream so that it mixes with the gas and air before being combusted. This small addition of hydrogen gas can increase fuel mileage anywhere from 10%-40% depending on your engine and how heavy your foot is.
While I was visiting Charles, he was in the process of converting a gas generator to run on hydrogen gas. He told me the engine would need to be started with fossil fuel(gas), but after a brief warm-up, the system could be switched to run on nothing but the hydrogen the system produced. That to me, is awesome. I will definitely be checking back in with Westcorp since we live in Florida and hurricanes are a very real threat. The idea of producing electricity from water is something I am going to need someday.