Water as Fuel
I was browsing You tube and was surprised to see several video's on hydrogen generators. About 1990, I was given an article on The Stan Meyer, over-unity, hydrogen generation patents and asked to comment. I was immediately interested because at that time I didn't think that they awarded patents for a theoretically un-achievable over unity process. Yet there was Meyers with over twenty patents on his ideas and some under a class that means that they had actually been demonstrated to the patents office, with working models. After a little research I found out that he had also been awarded European patents for the same devices. Even, so I was very skeptical at the time, but determined to find out what the truth was. So I ordered copies of every single Meyer patent, in order to examine them in depth. I didn't realise it at the time, but thousands of other people and companies were doing the same thing. You see, Stan Meyer claimed that he ran his car on tap water !. It was the invention that was going to save the world !.
In order to split water into hydrogen and Oxygen all we need to do is place two stainless steel electrodes in the water and apply a voltage of 1.481 volts across them. Each molecule of water will then be converted to two parts of hydrogen and one part oxygen. Both gases being lighter than water, will then float to the surface of the water. When all water between the electrodes is converted into gas, the process naturally stops.
The 1.481 volts mentioned above may seem like an odd figure, but at that voltage all of the electrical energy is used to convert the water to gas. When the ambient temperature exceeds 25 degree's Celsius, this voltage will just begin to produce waste heat. When the electrode voltage exceeds 1.481, increasing amounts of heat are generated by the process. From an efficiency point of view, 1.481 volts is referred to as the 'thermoneutral voltage'. For electrode voltages between 1.23 volts to 1.47 volts, the electrolysis reaction absorbs heat. Over 1.47 volts the reaction gives off heat.
The Bang Triangle.
In a normal car engine we create a controlled explosion by mixing petrol vapour (fuel) with air (oxidant) and then ignite it with a spark (fire). So our 'Bang triangle' consists of fuel, an oxidiser and fire. Remove anyone of those components and you cannot have a bang. The best bang depends upon mixing the fuel and the oxidiser in the right ratios, under the right pressure and setting light to that mixture at the right time. Congratulations, you are now a rocket scientist !.
Stan Meyers claims.
Well, we already have hydrogen powered cars and they also use air and spark plugs, so it appeared to me that it was perfectly possible that he was cracking water into hydrogen and oxygen and then using a mix of those gases to power his car !. What was questioned, was simply whether the way he cracked the water, was an over-unity process or not. Or to put it in another way, did he get more energy out of the process than he put into it ?. Trying to prove him right became a very popular endeavor. The appealing thing was that the science involved was something you do in your own workshop and it was true .... anyone could generate hydrogen and oxygen gas with a very simple setup in their home workshop. In fact you can do it with two spoons, a jam jar and a battery !. However proving the over-unity claim required a more complicated effort. Basically Meyers was claiming that his process ripped apart the water molecule using much less energy that was required for electrolysis. Meyers used the word 'resonance' often in his patents and as an electronic engineer will tell you, resonance can do wonderful things ..... so there!. From my point of view the question was where was the resonance ?. Was it a proton resonance at molecular level in the water ?. Was it resonance within the fuel cell capacitor and load inductance,, or in the applied excitation currents. I could find no natural resonace frequencies in the tens of kHz and hundreds of KHZ that Meyer was supposed to be using ..... except the proton precession 'wobble' freqency as it realigns itself between new magnetic fields. At the UK latitude this wobble frequency is about 2 kHz. It did not look very promising.
The Capacitor fuel cell.
Myers basic fuel cell was basically very simple and consisted of a stainless steel tube inside a slightly larger one. Each two tube assembly formed a capacitor with plates insulated from each other. In order to increase the gas output of a cell he used several of these capacitors wired in parallel. This effectively multiplied the total capacitance of the cell. So far so good !. The next thing he did was to fill the cell with tap water, which he claimed had a high dielectric coefficient. Never having played with water capacitors before I was surprised that water has a dielectric coefficient of about 64. This has the effect of multiplying the effective capacity of the water capacitor by 64 ... very useful if we want to construct a cell that resonates at tens of kilo-hertz. The thing that really puzzled me was that he claimed to use tap water and not de-ionised water in his cells.
In order to experiment, I decided to make a copy of a Meyers fuel cell, infact I made four utilising different ideas. Here is one of them below.
I realised that if gas was being generated within a closed cell then the cell would become presurised, so I fitted it with a 0 - 30 PSI pressure gauge, so that I could measure what was happening. Since I would have to vacate the gas from the cell, it was also fitted with an on off tap and an output connection. The hydrogen oxygen mix in the cell would be explosive and I had in mind remotely burning it off. To prevent flame flash back into the cell, the output valve was fitted with a 0.8mm flash back arrestor orifice. In order to increase the capacitance of the cell it was fitted with six co-axial capacitors made of stainless steel. The two electrical terminals that connect to the capacitor plates are underneath the cell. You will notice that the gas that forms in the top of the cell, is a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen as I have made no attempt to separate the two gases. The reason for this is that Meyer claimed that it was of the correct stoichiometric ratio for an internal combustion engine. In later patents he fed back some of the exhaust gas to increase the latitude of engine speed control.
Electronic excitation of the water capacitor.
According to Meyer, at resonance the voltage developed across the water capacitor .... ripped apart the water molecule. It was further suggested that thousands of volts AC were required at the resonant frequency as opposed to tens, or even hundreds of volts. No problem, if that was what the man wanted then I would produce an electronic pulse generator that could be tuned in the range 1kHz to 1mHz !. If some magic resonance existed ... I wanted to find it !. I still had no idea at that time whether the resonance Meyer's was talking about was in the water or the equipment. He simply said that when excitation of the water capacitor (and the external series inductor) was correct then the amount of gas produced would greatly increase and the excitation power greatly decrease. How could this be ?. One possible way was that when the gas rate increased, more of the gap between the capacitor plates became filled with insulating gas and not water, so the impedance of the cell would increase drawing less power from the excitation source. It also follows that as the water between the plates of the capacitor was displaced by gas, the capacitance value would change because gas has a much lower dielectric coefficient than water. This would in turn change the resonant frequency of the series cell and move it away from the excitation frequency. So in a practical circuit one would have to make the excitation frequency track the changing resonant frequency of the series water capacitor / series inductance, in order to get maximum power transfer. So my confidence in Mr Meyer was considerably enhanced when he obtained a patent to do just that !. He used a CMOS phase locked loop to do the tracking and all the other functions in his new circuit were exactly the kind of things an engineer would expect to see in a working circuit. The only problem is that resonance eluded me !. Yes my replica setup did produce prodigious amount of gas using almost any excitation frequency but not a peak anywhere between 1 kHz and 1 mHz. I was beginning to wonder what I was doing wrong. After all, Meyer was supposed to have demonstrated his equipment to both the American and European patent offices. In addition the BBC had sent highly reputable scientists to see his equipment working. Everyone said it did exactly what he claimed it would do !. I think I decided to give up at that stage because I was running out of ideas. It was a sad moment for me, because like everyone else in the world ... I wanted it to work in order to save the planet. It was that important to me.
It is very difficult for an engineer to drop a problem after failure. So it was with me and I felt sure that perhaps I had missed something important in the pile of patents. Then one day I was reading through one and came across the phrase "idealised capacitor" and cursed, because with conductive water between the capacitor plates, it was far from being an "idealised capacitor". The reason is simple. The conductive water effectively shorts out the plates and it ceases to behave like a capacitor. It will still produce gas but only at a conventional electrolysis rate. To become an "idealised capacitor" one would have to insulate at least one of the plates. Then I wondered if our Mr. Meyers had done just that, perhaps by varnishing one of the capacitor tubes, thereby insulating it from the tap water. The casual observer would not be able to see a clear varnish coat when the tube was immersed in the water. The water capacitor and series inductance could now operate in a high Q resonance mode and a whole new world of possibilities would be open.
Another thought was that somewhere I had seen something similar .... and eventually remembered a short article in the "Wireless World" magazine from years before. It concerned the separation of oil from water. Two insulated metal plates were immersed in the oil water emulsion and an AC excitation signal applied to them. This caused the emulsion to break down into separate water and oil droplets. The effect is caused by the stress caused by the high excitation voltages applied to the plates. Could the same thing be happening in Meyers equipment or were all of the scientists fooled ?. Maybe you know the answer, because I do not.
1. Using tap water a brown flock is produced in the cell.
2. During one out door experiment, I accidentally left a small 12 volt / 100 mA solar panel connected to one of my cells. The cell was fitted with a 30 PSI gauge. The end result was one completely destroyed gauge !.
3. In one of Meyers patents he states that conversion of water to gas happened at a rate of 5 gallons per hour. This started me thinking about purification and delivery of water in third world countries. At least 25% of the worlds population do not live within walking distance of potable water. So delivery can be as important as purification. Water will always be found at the lowest point. Let us consider the case where the point of use is several hundreds of feet higher than the water source. We connect the two points with a length of common half inch garden hose. At the water source we use a solar panel to power a 'cycling' water splitting cell and feed the resultant gases into the bottom of the hose pipe. As Hydrogen is lighter than air, it will automatically rise to the elevated end of the hose pipe. Since the gas is being presurised in the cell, it will cause the pipe to fill with the heavier oxygen and fill the hose pipe to the elevated position. The hydrogen rising to the top of the hose pipe may also have an 'air lift' action assisting the lift of the oxygen.
At the elevated position we now pass the hydrogen / oxygen gas mix through a catalyst it will convert back to pure water, ready for use. Heat is also produced during the conversion and may be tapped off for other purposes, ie cooking. If a solar array can convert water to gas at a rate of 5 gallons per hour, that amounts to a serious amount of drinking water during a typical eight hours of sunshine per day, in places like Africa etc.. Would it work ?. Again I do not know. If it did, then it would be the most efficient water pump in the world !.
Also see Meyer signal generator.
John Kent 2007.