I have been receiving a lot of emails lately about HHO in recent weeks. I spent a great deal of my time in this field over about 10 years. I felt it was time to republish this article I wrote 4 years ago.
Results of testing diesel engines with Hydrogen and HHO injection revisited
This is a brief summary of the key findings of my research into HHO injection for over 8 years. I have spent a number of years visiting many countries throughout the world. I have consulted or talked to over 100 companies, scientists, engineers and experimenters over the years. I have analysed thousands of results of on-road studies, in addition to being involved with many high level tests in motor and dyno labs at both Government and private facilities located Australia and the USA. I was very lucky to be part of all of this research and testing.
I also tested water injection, alcohol injection, fuel additives etc etc. Last year alone over 200 K was spend by one firm I assisted in lab time. I am under NDA with many companies, however I can share some general observations without breaching the NDA. The data is out there if you care to look hard enough online, especial with university research and many past studies by a variety of companies, governments and agencies.
I have also analysed many claims being made by HHO companies and by the experimenters who have appeared over the years promoting performance that is more often than not out of the bounds of reality.
I am also only covering data and results in this article, not the theory behind it as that would be a long chapter in a book. Perhaps when time permits I will go into the theory.
HHO testing and Results
The following results are based on research with diesel engines. You can expect more with gasoline because of the difference in the nature of combustion. The following conclusions are not specific and more like a generalization after analysis of thousands of on road studies, and engine lab testing results
Before proceeding I have never found a HHO device that could run an engine in a closed loop arrangement (Water for Fuel) without an additional fuel source. In every instance they turned out to be scams or would not allow testing .
It should be noted that engine lab tests often yield different results to on road tests. There are several reasons for this.
1. The human Element. In the lab the is removed. On road tests using a double blind method often netted better than 15% improvements when the driver thought he had the system turned on and it was not functional. We had the reverse where no improvement was recorded when it was turned on and they we led to believe it was turned off
2. The extra power meant that taller gears could be used up hills, this is not reflected in lab engine tests but was recorded in Dyno tests.
3. Using a smog meter from a smog shop did not compare with results of using instrumentation available n the labs. Often they were out by 70% or more especially measuring NOx
4. Traffic and weather can distort results with road tests and are removed in lab conditions.
5. Long term road tests run over several months proved to provide the most reliable results, especially when the same driver and route was used.
6. In at least one engine lab test we actually took over all the functions of the ECM so no other variable could come into play. Many of the setting were set and did not vary.
The HHO devices tested over many years ranged form simple backyard plastic devices to professionally well built and engineered units costing many thousands of dollars. The main difference was the efficiency of production of gas and the quality of the gas. Typically a well built unit consumed around 150 watts of electricity to produce 1 liter per minute of HHO. Some of the bad ones took over 400 watts. The less efficient ones ran at much higher temperatures.
Many units also through poor design allowed a lot of water vapor to be transported with the gas…this was not a problem unless it contained KOH in high concentrations which then corroded engines.
10 Facts about HHO from the testing
1. HHO will reduce carbon monoxide up to 90%. Carbon monoxide is a fuel and HHO is a catalyst to promote its combustion
2. HHO will reduce HC or hydrocarbons in a range 10% to 90%
3. HHO will reduce particulates, especially organic particulates in a range between 10% and 70%
4. HHO will reduce EGT (Exhaust gas temperature) from 50 to 150 degree F (depending on engine load)
5. HHO will quiet the engine down (was noticeable in every lab test by all the technicians but not measured
6. HHO will not always reduce NOx and in some circumstances increase it (water injection reduces it really well)
7. Only a small amount and a very specific amount of HHO is needed depending on engine capacity. If too much is applied engine efficiency will be reduced if using electrolysis to produce the HHO
8. Horsepower is increased between 3% and 12% depending on the engine a grade of diesel used.
9. HHO did improve and clean heavily carbonized engines. Often after weeks of running fuel efficiency increased through this cleaning process. In one case an improvement of 13% was obtained and when the unit was removed it still retained a 11% improvement.
10 HHO works best when an engine is at a ertain speed or above. There we no benefits at idling speed.
This is where a lot of variables come into play including engine condition, engine load, fuel used and gas injected. The results varied from 2% to 22%.
1. In the labs I worked in over the years I always asked the operators the best result they had witnessed in regards to diesel. They were under NDA with specific companies but as a general rule of thumb none had seen better than a 5% improvement In one case the lab had tested over 15 HHO devices over many years. I never witnessed anything above 5% except in testing one device that was generating the hydrogen from the fuel and injecting it directly in to the fuel (well that was the theory)
2. In some long term tests fuel efficiency did improve between 10% and 20% by cleaning the engine. Up to 80% of this efficiency was maintained after removing the device
3. Road tests in countries like South Africa have yielded up to 20% improvement, mainly due to assisting the combustion of poor quality fuels. However fuel additives have also achieved similar results in these vehicles.
4. results on road were typically better on the road, Typically they are in the 2% to 8% range with clean engines burning quality fuel, however i have seen some tests regularly achieve over 10% and up to 20% with older vehicles
5 In some marine trials over 20% had been obtained. I reveiewed the data but did not take part in teh actual testing
1. HHO does work as a fuel combustion enhancer.
2. It will assist in burning any unburnt fuel. It does not introduce extra energy into the equation other than the unburnt fuel and CO
3. I can improve economy up to 8% in newer vehicles (typically under 5%) and over 20% in older ones especially if they are carbonized.
4. It will reduce specific emissions and clean up engines.
Most of the professional drivers who used the HHO generators over long periods of time enjoyed the smoother running and slightly increased power. They could run taller gears and did achieve fuel savings. The HHO devices never really took of in the market place and many companies that had spent millions developing and selling them folded. There are still some companies making quality units and achieving modest sales and many experimenters are running devices often home made on their vehicles with much satisfaction. In many cases water injection obtained a similar result and typically had around a 5% efficiency gain on the road. Water injection also reduced EGT and provided more power. Water with Alcohol really boosted power (up to 40%) and reduced diesel consumption depending on the amount of alcohol injected
I would like to repeat the above results are on diesel engines and I have seen much better results on gasoline or petrol engines.
I have do not enter into debates lightly about water for fuel and highly exaggerated claims about fuel savings when it comes to HHO. Just show me the data and how it was obtained.