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Water powered cars rubbish - Popular Mechanics
Transportation, Aug 08 2008 (The Hydrogen Journal)
- The idea that car enginer performance can be improved using an electrolyzer generating hydrogen from the car battery is a myth, says Mike Allen, senior automotive editor of leading US magazine Popular Mechanics, following his attempt to try to make it work.
There are plenty of articles on the internet, and Google Adwords next to most online articles about hydrogen, talking about the dream of being able to power a car from water, using a special kit that can be bought for $100.
The proponents of the technology claim that they can draw power from the car battery to electrolyse water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then send both gases (still mixed together) into the car engine to somehow increase its performance.
"Water-powered cars continue to be the largest single topic taking over my in box—and the Comments section of this Web site," Mr Allen writes. "This trend has become an obsession with many backyard inventors, and some of them have become quite strident, insisting that if I knew anything at all about cars, I'd be embracing this technology."
Mr Allen says he grew tired of telling people that the science was bad, so decided to actually try it himself to prove it, purchasing one such electrolyzer and setting it up on a car with test equipment.
"My fuel economy is exactly the same, whether the HHO generator is turned on or not, and that's exactly what I expected," he writes.
Several people have claimed to experience fuel savings from the system but Mr Allen is says he believes it may be due to modifications made to the engine while installing the equipment which makes it run more efficiently, or the "placebo effect."
However Mr Allen acknowledges a different theory as ´interesting´ that the purpose of the hydrogen is not as a fuel itself, but as an additive, which enables gasoline to be burned with an increased amount of air, thus lowering the total gasoline needed.
However he notes that in order to get the benefits of this, you will need to tamper with the vehicle´s emissions control system, which most people are not allowed to do under the requirements of their state´s smog control requlations.