Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

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Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by SurBiker » Apr 27 2021 1:56pm

Hello,

My name is Tom Ross, I went through a systems engineering program that focused on mechanical, electrical, chemical, nuclear, and renewable engineering, before I worked administering federal grants and loans to businesses.

I'm working with my father and John Fiorini on a new exciting new hydrogen project. My father has worked with hydrogen since the 80's and I have been learning from him my whole life. John is a motorcycle enthusiast and six sigma professional chemical engineer that worked for Ballard developing and commercializing hydrogen fuel cells.

We're working on a new project together to eliminate the need for batteries in electric vehicles. We will also eliminate the need for hydrogen storage tanks and hydrogen production infrastructure outside of the vehicle as well. We use a regular wall outlet to power our on board electrolysis system. The system starts up and stores gas inside the electrolysis chamber that is built as a pressure vessel. After a few minutes, you will have stored gas that can be used for transportation or for power at a later time. The power can go back out through a wall plug, or can be used to drive an electric motor in a vehicle.

We combine our existing electrolysis system, a new hydrogen/oxygen combustion chamber that we designed, and we are currently using an off the shelf linear generator to create the power.

We want to start a discussion and see if there is any way to improve our designs. One of our goals is to make the power system either subsidize or pay for itself by offsetting utility costs. We are also looking for anyone that would be interested in getting a developer kit or integrating this into an existing product line. Our business model is to open source the technology through a non-profit organization, and to make money off of the services (customization, integration, training), analytics, and a hydrogen backed cryptocurrency.

Looking forward to hearing from people and answering questions!

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by SurBiker » Apr 27 2021 2:04pm

Here are some pictures for reference.
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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by neptronix » Apr 27 2021 2:33pm

Is your solution more efficient, less expensive to operate, and less expensive to purchase than an electric battery system? if so, then you can say the battery is obsolete.

Show your figures to support your claim please.

Quite sure you're yanking our chain especially with the hydrogen backed cryptocurrency :mrgreen:
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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by SurBiker » Apr 27 2021 3:11pm

Thank you for asking!

Yes I do believe we are more efficient and less expensive. I want to provide as much information as I can to help explain.

The only moving part in our power system is a free piston. The electrolysis chamber is on board and has no rare earth materials, over 90% is recyclable. We already built our electrolysis systems to pressure vessel standards and realized that there is no issue at all storing gas inside our system for later use. The only customer interaction required is to fill the water tank, and actually one of the first projects my dad gave me when I was about 14 was to pull water from the air using the difference in temperature from engine exhaust and outside air.

It solves the range, cost, charge time, and environmental issues.

Let me know if I can clarify or if you have any questions about the technology, I'll do my best to answer.

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by spinningmagnets » Apr 27 2021 3:17pm

Perhaps consider publishing a YouTube video of the system running.

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by neptronix » Apr 27 2021 3:21pm

This is not the correct venue to promote cryptocurrencies. We consider that spam. I have edited those comments out.
Show us some facts and figures about your system compared to others. This is an engineering forum and we need information on that.
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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by SurBiker » Apr 27 2021 3:56pm

No worries, was just replying to your comment about the crypto stuff.

What kind of engineering info can I help with? We are currently pulsing 0-2.5 volts and 0-150 amps for the electrolysis. Recently we started using an ASI BAC4000 to also pulse the polarity and are having some interesting results. With the higher amperage we are seeing 10lb of pressure within seconds. I have some YouTube videos and I can make more to continue to help explain things.

Our basic electrolysis design has seen over a million road miles in transport trucks and ten years in the field, in environmental conditions ranging from -40c to +70c. The combustion chamber is just a 1” electrolysis chamber. The linear generator is an off the shelf linear generator that uses power to move a piston and make compressed gas, but instead we make the pressure in our chamber and use that to move the piston and make power. We still need to scale up the power generation system size and that’s what we will be working on next - we would like to have a 5kw power system for an electric drivetrain next. But we are also interested in brainstorming other ideas for off the shelf power systems, our main expertise is in producing the hydrogen and oxygen gas.

Within a week we should have one of the SR8 frames from India and we are hoping that we can fit our system in that frame too.

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by SurBiker » Apr 27 2021 5:22pm

Here’s a YouTube link of the hydrogen production system running from the ASI controller. This is part of the next gen system with remote monitoring, over the air updates, and analytics tracking. I will make more videos as we build more and will explain more details of the system.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=InknKqZrAYY

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by neptronix » Apr 27 2021 5:47pm

Telling me volts and amps during generation without specifying output and input power isn't a useful comparison to battery technology.
I want to know how you think you are making batteries obsolete.

And let me warn you, you walked into a forum full of electric gearheads so you are going to get some spice from not just me :lol:


My engineering knowledge of hydrogen technologies ends in 2015 and is outdated. What i know is that the technology was extremely uneconomical and when natural gas is used to create hydrogen, the resulting fuel has a higher carbon footprint than just using the natural gas alone in a fuel cell. But even then, the cost wasn't competitive with pump gasoline. And when you used renewable energy to produce hydrogen, the cost would be equivalent to $9/gal.

Looked pretty stark and i've not researched it since, as i've found it extremely unpromising.

I can fill a battery with 11 cents of energy with 80-90% efficiency while doing so. Then discharge that energy at 85-97% efficiency. But with hydrogen, there are multiple steps of loss in production, compression, and distribution.. and the worst of these losses is that the best fuel cells only hit 60% efficiency.

Unless something has changed a lot since 2015, i'm going to take a lot of convincing and numbers to think the battery could be made obsolete and replaced with a fuel cell and hydrogen tank ( both very heavy AFAIK ).


Explain to me in measured facts and figures as to how your hydrogen system ( from start to finish ) is a better fuel source than a battery.
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." - Dalai Lama

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500 MTB.
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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by nicobie » Apr 27 2021 6:09pm

I just watched the video and I don't get it.

I'm interested in power in vs power out. Anything else is irrelevant if you want to make me a believer. :)
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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by Hillhater » Apr 27 2021 8:51pm

SurBiker wrote:
Apr 27 2021 3:11pm
Thank you for asking!

Yes I do believe we are more efficient and less expensive. I want to provide as much information as I can to help explain.

The only moving part in our power system is a free piston. The electrolysis chamber is on board and has no rare earth materials, over 90% is recyclable. We already built our electrolysis systems to pressure vessel standards and realized that there is no issue at all storing gas inside our system for later use. The only customer interaction required is to fill the water tank, and actually one of the first projects my dad gave me when I was about 14 was to pull water from the air using the difference in temperature from engine exhaust and outside air.

It solves the range, cost, charge time, and environmental issues.

Let me know if I can clarify or if you have any questions about the technology, I'll do my best to answer.
Questions ... please correct me if i have miss understood..
Your electrolysis chamber has a electrical power input to activate it ? What is that power input ? And. How would that be provided in a mobile vehicle system ?
What is the capacity kG/hr. L/hr, etc of the electrolysis unit ,?
What is the specific power output of this current system , and any proposed commercial device ..in kW/ kg ?
I want to know how you think you are making batteries obsolete.
Nep, as presented, this system is a “power generator” producing Electrical energy from Water..with potentially unlimited capacity.
..whilst a Battery is just a energy Storage system of finite capacity

However, having lived through the “Rossi” energy generator fiasco, and knowing the limitations of current Hydrogen technologies,...i have great reservations !
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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by amberwolf » Apr 27 2021 11:28pm

SurBiker wrote:
Apr 27 2021 3:11pm
Yes I do believe we are more efficient and less expensive. I want to provide as much information as I can to help explain.
Hopefully you'll realize the crates of worms you've opened up there. ;)

To satisfy your statements, you'll need to provide your complete efficiency test results and methodologies, including the test setups, and how much power you put in from all sources, and how much power you get out, and how much waste heat there is, etc., and your complete costs, so that we can make the comparisons between your system and existing batteries, for all the various factors.

You should also demonstrate that it can power a significant load by itself, without any batteries in the system (because if batteries are made obsolete by it, it shouldn't be using any in the system, either--if it requires batteries, it does not make them obsolete and you must remove that claim).

Without complete info, it's like any other "science" claim--unverifiable. At the least, the above info is needed, so that people can compare the numbers you get from your tests and the methodologies given to see if they match up. Just a simple claim that you "believe" you're more efficient and less expensive doesn't mean anything at all except that you believe that. ;)

For true verification, you would have to also publish everything about the entire system so that it can be built, tested, and verified by others in their own labs (or workshops, etc).



One thing that appears odd is your use of "part" of a three-phase motor controller by ASI; in some pictures it's connected to a battery via the battery power wires, and in some it's connected to what appears to be an SMPS. Only two of the phase connections are connected to the "device", and the third phase is unused. What specifically is this controller programmed to do in your system?

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by Cephalotus » Apr 28 2021 3:41am

For my needs batteries are just fine.

1kWh for 4,5kg and up to 2000W peak does the trick for me.

The thing I would be interested in is a 1500W charging system for it that weights just around 1kg.

Hydrogen + fuel cells never had a chance for laptops, is already losing the battle for cars and may even lose the battle in trucks.

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by SurBiker » Apr 28 2021 6:41am

neptronix wrote:
Apr 27 2021 5:47pm
Telling me volts and amps during generation without specifying output and input power isn't a useful comparison to battery technology.
I want to know how you think you are making batteries obsolete.

And let me warn you, you walked into a forum full of electric gearheads so you are going to get some spice from not just me :lol:


My engineering knowledge of hydrogen technologies ends in 2015 and is outdated. What i know is that the technology was extremely uneconomical and when natural gas is used to create hydrogen, the resulting fuel has a higher carbon footprint than just using the natural gas alone in a fuel cell. But even then, the cost wasn't competitive with pump gasoline. And when you used renewable energy to produce hydrogen, the cost would be equivalent to $9/gal.

Looked pretty stark and i've not researched it since, as i've found it extremely unpromising.

I can fill a battery with 11 cents of energy with 80-90% efficiency while doing so. Then discharge that energy at 85-97% efficiency. But with hydrogen, there are multiple steps of loss in production, compression, and distribution.. and the worst of these losses is that the best fuel cells only hit 60% efficiency.

Unless something has changed a lot since 2015, i'm going to take a lot of convincing and numbers to think the battery could be made obsolete and replaced with a fuel cell and hydrogen tank ( both very heavy AFAIK ).


Explain to me in measured facts and figures as to how your hydrogen system ( from start to finish ) is a better fuel source than a battery.
Sorry! I'm definitely open to providing more info, just needed to start somewhere. Let me do my best to clarify below.

We believe that by storing the gas inside our electrolysis system, we can use that gas over time to power our electric drivetrain instead of using a battery.

This is correct - electrolysis was less efficient and if you use natural gas your using power and releasing carbon emissions. There is also a perspective that if you can get hydrogen to $4/kg, it would be equivalent to gas/diesel - if you look at this comparison, we were producing hydrogen at $5/kg without pulsing the power, which allowed us to both reduce the input power for our system, and we can also pulse higher amperage for higher gas output from the same system (like rapid charging bursts). We don't provide the input power - just a plug that you can plug into an outlet, solar inverter, etc.

The second piece is that we do not use fuel cells, instead we use a piston to make power.

The volts and amps represent the input power to the system. I think the best way for me to show this data is through the data logger with the ASI controller, so I will put something together to present that data here. I will start with detailing the input power side of the system and then will detail the output power side of the system. If I miss any data or you see anywhere that can be improved, just let me know!

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by SurBiker » Apr 28 2021 6:43am

nicobie wrote:
Apr 27 2021 6:09pm
I just watched the video and I don't get it.

I'm interested in power in vs power out. Anything else is irrelevant if you want to make me a believer. :)
Working on it! Hard numbers are on the way, and some more videos.

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by SurBiker » Apr 28 2021 6:53am

Hillhater wrote:
Apr 27 2021 8:51pm
SurBiker wrote:
Apr 27 2021 3:11pm
Thank you for asking!

Yes I do believe we are more efficient and less expensive. I want to provide as much information as I can to help explain.

The only moving part in our power system is a free piston. The electrolysis chamber is on board and has no rare earth materials, over 90% is recyclable. We already built our electrolysis systems to pressure vessel standards and realized that there is no issue at all storing gas inside our system for later use. The only customer interaction required is to fill the water tank, and actually one of the first projects my dad gave me when I was about 14 was to pull water from the air using the difference in temperature from engine exhaust and outside air.

It solves the range, cost, charge time, and environmental issues.

Let me know if I can clarify or if you have any questions about the technology, I'll do my best to answer.
Questions ... please correct me if i have miss understood..
Your electrolysis chamber has a electrical power input to activate it ? What is that power input ? And. How would that be provided in a mobile vehicle system ?
What is the capacity kG/hr. L/hr, etc of the electrolysis unit ,?
What is the specific power output of this current system , and any proposed commercial device ..in kW/ kg ?
I want to know how you think you are making batteries obsolete.
Nep, as presented, this system is a “power generator” producing Electrical energy from Water..with potentially unlimited capacity.
..whilst a Battery is just a energy Storage system of finite capacity

However, having lived through the “Rossi” energy generator fiasco, and knowing the limitations of current Hydrogen technologies,...i have great reservations !
Sorry if my formatting is not perfect, I will try to clarify.

Yes you are absolutely right - our system requires power input to work. In our case, you would plug into the grid, solar, or any power input to compress gas and store it inside the system - much like you would charge a battery. For a mobile power system, you would plug in, "charge up", and then as you drive you would be using the gas that you stored, like you would use the power stored in a battery.

Our system is a pressure vessel. It can safely store 600lb of hydrogen and oxygen gas, but we only store up to 300lb. We always had an air gap at the top of our electrolysis system and we had always been able to pressurize the system - in the early days they would run at 10-25lb of pressure but then we would run them at about 1/10lb normally. Recently we realized that if we just pressurized the system it would hold power like a battery - so we can increase the pressurized air gap size to hold more fuel. We expect the current size to last 30 minutes at full throttle in something like the SR8 or Sur Ron - when we show the hard numbers on the output we will nail that range down more.

So, the electrolysis system produces gas that makes power yes, but it does also store that power to be used later in a mobile application, or maybe when the sun isn't shining or wind isn't blowing, in a finite capacity as a battery would. That said, our main expertise has always been on the gas production side, we just recently started producing more gas for less power and looking into applications to make power with that gas. The off the shelf linear generator compressor being used to produce power is a relatively new addition.

I hope that helps but let me know if I can clarify further or answer any other questions! I know there is a lot of skepticism, so I want to try to be as open as possible.

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by SurBiker » Apr 28 2021 7:06am

amberwolf wrote:
Apr 27 2021 11:28pm
SurBiker wrote:
Apr 27 2021 3:11pm
Yes I do believe we are more efficient and less expensive. I want to provide as much information as I can to help explain.
Hopefully you'll realize the crates of worms you've opened up there. ;)

To satisfy your statements, you'll need to provide your complete efficiency test results and methodologies, including the test setups, and how much power you put in from all sources, and how much power you get out, and how much waste heat there is, etc., and your complete costs, so that we can make the comparisons between your system and existing batteries, for all the various factors.

You should also demonstrate that it can power a significant load by itself, without any batteries in the system (because if batteries are made obsolete by it, it shouldn't be using any in the system, either--if it requires batteries, it does not make them obsolete and you must remove that claim).

Without complete info, it's like any other "science" claim--unverifiable. At the least, the above info is needed, so that people can compare the numbers you get from your tests and the methodologies given to see if they match up. Just a simple claim that you "believe" you're more efficient and less expensive doesn't mean anything at all except that you believe that. ;)

For true verification, you would have to also publish everything about the entire system so that it can be built, tested, and verified by others in their own labs (or workshops, etc).



One thing that appears odd is your use of "part" of a three-phase motor controller by ASI; in some pictures it's connected to a battery via the battery power wires, and in some it's connected to what appears to be an SMPS. Only two of the phase connections are connected to the "device", and the third phase is unused. What specifically is this controller programmed to do in your system?
Thank you! I very much would like to provide this data, and be available to clarify or add to it as needed.

I can start with a parts list and I am going to start providing data on the power input side, then work through it.

We will definitely run a system on the bench to show it supporting a load without any input power too. We can plug in to store the gas, then unplug and use the gas to run the motor.

We also do want to open source the complete hardware kit (other than the ASI controller, and a few other pieces that would be purchased). The electrolysis system itself is pretty basic, and we want to help train people to build, service, and keep developing them.

And yes it is extremely odd to be using a motor controller as a power supply for electrolysis! We started out with our own purpose built power supply made in Canada to military spec. They last ten years and we know they will work all the time, -40C to +70C. But then we were designing lithium ion battery packs for the Sur Ron / Segway electric dirtbikes and we were working on splitting packs to have 72V output for power and 36V output for delivery drivers to have range. We used a pretty exotic power supply from Costa Rica to rapid charge them and reduce the number of batteries needed for fleets - my dad was really really excited to try it with the hydrogen, and after about a year of playing with it I finally said yes. It has an oscilloscope and is extremely programmable, so we learned a lot about varying both voltage and amperage for electrolysis. That system made pulses every 17 milliseconds and I wanted something faster so I was looking at making something with MOSFETs when I realized the motor controllers we sell have the huge ones I needed. We are only an hour and a half from Accelerated Systems and have a close relationship with them, we have a joint press release talking about how we are the only ones working so closely on the ASI controller for the Sur Ron bike, and because of that relationship they also helped us with the electrolysis project. We are looking at custom firmware for the controllers that will be locked for our purposes, with a few custom parameters and possibly a few hardware changes. I really liked the answer they gave me when I first told them I was making gas using only two phases and a half twist throttle - they said they were "perplexed" as to how I was able to do that. But then I got a few pointers and we were able to make a lot of progress.

We had already developed an end user app for the ASI controller, so I think it's really cool to be able to use it for this and add in an android phone for over the air updates, analytic, and remote monitoring!

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by SurBiker » Apr 28 2021 7:14am

Cephalotus wrote:
Apr 28 2021 3:41am
For my needs batteries are just fine.

1kWh for 4,5kg and up to 2000W peak does the trick for me.

The thing I would be interested in is a 1500W charging system for it that weights just around 1kg.

Hydrogen + fuel cells never had a chance for laptops, is already losing the battle for cars and may even lose the battle in trucks.
There are definitely going to be applications for both batteries and hydrogen. I like to think of them as more complimentary really - adding hydrogen to a battery system can reduce the number of batteries needed. A system like the Prius where you can switch from a gas generator to a hydrogen generator would be fantastic to build - it's something I want to work on in the future.

My concern with batteries is what they are made with and that they can't be recycled like our systems. That's really always been a driving force for me to continue working in hydrogen.

I did just see a post about someone looking at mounting a foxtech nova-2000 generator for hybrid drones on their Sur Ron - that might be perfect for your current needs. We would like to come out with a similar bolt on kit, but large enough to store the gas on board and replace the need for the battery. I imagine in the Sur Ron the linear generator would stick out the sides like the BMW bike motors, with the electrolysis system sitting on top. One plug in to compress gas at an outlet, and one plug out if you need power wherever you go. I'm hoping that we can keep this discussion going and I can keep showing the progress as we work towards that kit.

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by spinningmagnets » Apr 28 2021 7:20am

Sometimes, you can be searching for "X", and you stumble across "Y", so even if the goal you have in front of you does not bear the fruit you wanted, your experiments can still be useful.

You mentioned burning the H2 in a piston engine, and getting the H2 from electrolysis. Both are easily done, and there are forums specifically made for this type of thing. However, I am convinced that it takes a great deal of H2 in order to operate a very small engine.

As a young man, I worked on one job for a while that was at a natural gas pumping station. The pumps were driven by large piston engines, which were modified to run off of raw "wet" methane.

The workers there had company pickup trucks that ran off of propane, and these trucks were used to search for gas leaks when citizens complained of a "gas leak smell". I said it was too bad the trucks didnt run off of methane, since they had all they could ever possibly need to use as fuel.

He explained that they originally did use LNG to run the V8 trucks, but they found that there was a very big drop in power, compared to gasoline. When they converted them to propane, the power of the V8 was roughly equal to a large 4-cylinder. They had a device in the shop that took in methane, and with heat and catalysts, produced propane.

Methane is C1 H4, and propane is C3 H8.

Gasoline is quite a soup, but over 90% of it is C8 H18. When you burn gasoline, you are burning hydrogen, and it's the same with propane and methane. The longer the carbon chain, the more power potential the fuel ha, because it has more hydrogen atoms crammed together.. Diesel has over 20 hydrogen atoms per molecule.

Which brings us back to H2. It has high flammability, so it is easy to ignite. It needs air to burn, but it can burn lean to ensure all the fuel is used.

I recall a farmer who used a wind-generator to charge forklift batteries. He increased the battery size as much as he could afford. However, once the battery was charged, the wind gen kept spinning and he wondered how to store energy for the non-windy months. He used a simple electrolysis cell to generate H2 that he stored in large abandoned propane tanks.

H2 embrittles steel, so the tanks had to be coated on the inside by some sealant that is unaffected by H2. He hooked it up to a small engine that had a propane carburetor, and adjusted the air-fuel mix. The engine was not very powerful, but it suited his needs, and this project gave him something to fiddle with during the slow time of year.

One lesson from it is that...it takes burning a lot of H2 to generate enough power for a small load.

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by SurBiker » Apr 28 2021 7:53am

spinningmagnets wrote:
Apr 28 2021 7:20am
Sometimes, you can be searching for "X", and you stumble across "Y", so even if the goal you have in front of you does not bear the fruit you wanted, your experiments can still be useful.

You mentioned burning the H2 in a piston engine, and getting the H2 from electrolysis. Both are easily done, and there are forums specifically made for this type of thing. However, I am convinced that it takes a great deal of H2 in order to operate a very small engine.

As a young man, I worked on one job for a while that was at a natural gas pumping station. The pumps were driven by large piston engines, which were modified to run off of raw "wet" methane.

The workers there had company pickup trucks that ran off of propane, and these trucks were used to search for gas leaks when citizens complained of a "gas leak smell". I said it was too bad the trucks didnt run off of methane, since they had all they could ever possibly need to use as fuel.

He explained that they originally did use LNG to run the V8 trucks, but they found that there was a very big drop in power, compared to gasoline. When they converted them to propane, the power of the V8 was roughly equal to a large 4-cylinder. They had a device in the shop that took in methane, and with heat and catalysts, produced propane.

Methane is C1 H4, and propane is C3 H8.

Gasoline is quite a soup, but over 90% of it is C8 H18. When you burn gasoline, you are burning hydrogen, and it's the same with propane and methane. The longer the carbon chain, the more power potential the fuel ha, because it has more hydrogen atoms crammed together.. Diesel has over 20 hydrogen atoms per molecule.

Which brings us back to H2. It has high flammability, so it is easy to ignite. It needs air to burn, but it can burn lean to ensure all the fuel is used.

I recall a farmer who used a wind-generator to charge forklift batteries. He increased the battery size as much as he could afford. However, once the battery was charged, the wind gen kept spinning and he wondered how to store energy for the non-windy months. He used a simple electrolysis cell to generate H2 that he stored in large abandoned propane tanks.

H2 embrittles steel, so the tanks had to be coated on the inside by some sealant that is unaffected by H2. He hooked it up to a small engine that had a propane carburetor, and adjusted the air-fuel mix. The engine was not very powerful, but it suited his needs, and this project gave him something to fiddle with during the slow time of year.

One lesson from it is that...it takes burning a lot of H2 to generate enough power for a small load.
Exactly! I was on a beach speaking to someone recently who managed intel capitals VC firm for latin america at 21. He said something that really resonated with me, he said "Think about all of the things that went right to get you here - did you plan them? How did they happen? Now, imagine it's 2030 - how did you get here? What went right? How did it happen?" It made me realize how many huge advances we had that were completely not planned, just me and my dad having fun experimenting in the shop. It helped me understand that not everything goes according to plan.

You're right, combusting pure H2 will take a significant amount more. We were speaking with a linear generator company here in Canada that came out of Y-Combinator. It's a very cool new engine technology and we are always open to partnering with people who can advance our goals. They had the same perspective that we would need a lot of H2, and most people would calculate it in liquid form even. There are two major differences in our technology.

The first is that we use both hydrogen and oxygen gas for combustion. We also get some pretty excited H2 if it's used right away, but I'd like to look into that in a separate experiment. The second is that this is a bit of a different type of piston. We are using a linear generator that has a free piston and uses no oil. It is actually extremely easy to start moving, and we are hoping to use the compression to run an air spring that will actually start it up before the first bang.

One big benefit to hydrogen versus LNG or propane is that it won't linger. Any gas leak would escape to atmosphere very quickly. We actually have the opposite problem - even the smallest leak and the system will lose pressure and the gas will escape.

We also worked with methane and LNG engines. We added 1-2% hydrogen and oxygen to the engine air intake. These are lazy gasses - like you said, you would lose power compared to gas/diesel. But the small amount of hydrogen and oxygen gave it the kick to actually produce power - I do believe it is due to the fast flame speed of hydrogen, burning more fuel you are using and thus getting more energy out of it. We have had really good results with diesel, gas, flexfuel and biofuel too.

That is very cool what the farmer was doing! A bit dangerous, but very cool. We use nickel - only noble metal and UHMW in the process chamber, to avoid embrittlement. If we were to run a traditional combustion engine, it would take more hydrogen for sure - in 1982 my dad strapped a hydrogen tank to a chevy blazer and ran it off pure hydrogen. It didn't go far, but that was enough to get him hooked. Now we have a motor that we believe can be even more optimized for just the combustion of hydrogen and oxygen gas, which is a piece we didn't have before and are really excited to add.

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by spinningmagnets » Apr 28 2021 8:52am

I recall one experiment similar to the early Honda CVCC engines. The main cylinder has a fairly lean fuel/air ratio to provide exceptional milage, and a small pocket next to the spark plug had an air/fuel mix that was optimized for easy ignition.

The similar experiment put a small amount of H2/O2 next to the plug for a similar reason. It was a long time ago, but I suspect it would work best in a long-stroke engine at medium to low cycles.

I am fond of the plug-in series-hybrid drivetrain, and I was disappointed to see the Chevy Volt discontinued. The Honda Clarity remains.

The back-up engine is rarely needed, but since it only generates electricity (no physical connection to the driveshaft), it can run at a constant optimized RPM.

Of course, this configuration would not make sense for your system, you'd be using the battery pack to generate electricity to make H2 to burn so you can charge the battery pack, with two stages of losses.

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by SurBiker » Apr 28 2021 9:19am

spinningmagnets wrote:
Apr 28 2021 8:52am
I recall one experiment similar to the early Honda CVCC engines. The main cylinder has a fairly lean fuel/air ratio to provide exceptional milage, and a small pocket next to the spark plug had an air/fuel mix that was optimized for easy ignition.

The similar experiment put a small amount of H2/O2 next to the plug for a similar reason. It was a long time ago, but I suspect it would work best in a long-stroke engine at medium to low cycles.

I am fond of the plug-in series-hybrid drivetrain, and I was disappointed to see the Chevy Volt discontinued. The Honda Clarity remains.

The back-up engine is rarely needed, but since it only generates electricity (no physical connection to the driveshaft), it can run at a constant optimized RPM.

Of course, this configuration would not make sense for your system, you'd be using the battery pack to generate electricity to make H2 to burn so you can charge the battery pack, with two stages of losses.
Very interesting. We also have a little portable hyundai generator here. We were able to lean out the fuel/gas ratio and increase the hydrogen to that, since it's so simple. I will see if I can dig up the numbers and put a video together.

Plug in hybrids are great. I would actually imagine our system would also plug in at the same time as the battery would be charging. So you would leave with compressed gas and charged batteries. We also are big fans of running the linear generator at the optimal RPM to provide power to the drivetrain - it just makes things so much more efficient.

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by spinningmagnets » Apr 28 2021 10:28am

I'm sure a steady RPM would help efficiency, but I suspect the greatest benefit would be for emissions.

During the VW diesel scandal, it was revealed that they lied about emissions in order to provide excellent mileage (*50 MPG+). When any combustion engine mixes fuel and air, a constant rpm can be adjusted to burn very clean. However, in a conventional drivetrain, the engine speeds up and slows down, leading to brief moments when the engine runs slightly rich or lean.

When rich, all the oxygen is burned up, leaving a tiny amount of fuel in the exhaust, which shows up as hydrocarbons by the sensors.

When lean, all of the fuel is burned up, with a small amount of oxygen left over. This was VWs issue. They ran too lean on purpose, and the computer data was skewed to show a clean burn.

With a lean condition, the leftover nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon are broken down by heat and pressure, which allows them to recombine in random molecules forming CO, NOx, CO2, and other undesirable gasses.

Using hydrogen means there is no danger of forming carbon-based molecules, which is a benefit. A constant rpm and using H2 would be very clean-running. The biggest drawback is the need for a high volume of fuel to produce a small power.

I would love to be proven wrong by some new tech...

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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by neptronix » Apr 28 2021 12:27pm

SurBiker wrote:
Apr 28 2021 6:41am
This is correct - electrolysis was less efficient and if you use natural gas your using power and releasing carbon emissions. There is also a perspective that if you can get hydrogen to $4/kg, it would be equivalent to gas/diesel - if you look at this comparison, we were producing hydrogen at $5/kg without pulsing the power, which allowed us to both reduce the input power for our system, and we can also pulse higher amperage for higher gas output from the same system (like rapid charging bursts). We don't provide the input power - just a plug that you can plug into an outlet, solar inverter, etc.

The second piece is that we do not use fuel cells, instead we use a piston to make power.

The volts and amps represent the input power to the system. I think the best way for me to show this data is through the data logger with the ASI controller, so I will put something together to present that data here. I will start with detailing the input power side of the system and then will detail the output power side of the system. If I miss any data or you see anywhere that can be improved, just let me know!
$5/kg makes it one of the most expensive forms of electricity in existence. Which is why hydrogen technology has extremely limited and small applications.

I can buy that equivalent amount of energy for less than a dollar and put it in my battery. And produce that equivalent for even less at home with a solar panel array.

We should say the inverse - the lithium battery made hydrogen obsolete, although hydrogen was never really relevant as an energy source.

As an inventor in the hydrogen space, i'd like to see you make me eat my hat. Us EV enthusiasts DO need a better storage medium. Just don't say your system makes the battery obsolete until you actually do.
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Re: Hydrogen Drive - We Made the Battery Obsolete

Post by Hillhater » Apr 28 2021 6:45pm

SurBiker wrote:
Apr 28 2021 6:53am

Our system is a pressure vessel. It can safely store 600lb of hydrogen and oxygen gas, but we only store up to 300lb. We always had an air gap at the top of our electrolysis system and we had always been able to pressurize the system - in the early days they would run at 10-25lb of pressure but then we would run them at about 1/10lb normally. Recently we realized that if we just pressurized the system it would hold power like a battery - so we can increase the pressurized air gap size to hold more fuel. We expect the current size to last 30 minutes at full throttle in something like the SR8 or Sur Ron - when we show the hard numbers on the output we will nail that range down more.
More questions..
Basicly , you have an Electrolysis unit ( with gas storage ) ans a “Free piston” linea generator to convert gas thermal energy to electrical output ?? ..correct ?
It can safely store 600lb of hydrogen and oxygen gas
That statement makes no sense ?... presumeably you mean it can store at up to 600 lb/sq in ?, which still does not define the mass or volume of gas..
can you be more specific, and quantify the electrical input (Whs ) required for a specific mass of gas.
Why do you believe your electrolyser is more efficient or advantageous compared to the commercially available units ?
Ditto the Linea free piston generator, why do you believe it is more efficient or advantageous, compared with modern fuel cells ?
This system uses combustion ..yes ?..... so what are the thermal losses and how is that dealt with ?
Untill you have repeatable data to verify these claims, i have to assume you just have a “different” combination of Electrolyser and “fuel Cell” generator .
Storing mixed H and O gas in the same chamber suggests a enhanced risk level ?

And a final comment on using H as a fuel in conventional type ICE piston engines.....
..it is a very bad idea on many fronts, which have consumed many years and millions of $$$s from the big motor manufacturers, who have now given up on that idea.
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