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View Full Version : OT: Commentray on running your car with H2O



rotate
06-05-2008, 09:58 AM
A friend of mine call me at work this morning with an excitement in his voice. He said, check this website out.

http://www.runyourcarwithwater.com/

Both he and I studied engineering so it's not like we're completely lacking in science education. I was so shocked that I wanted to reach through the telephone and bonk him over the head and yell "ARE YOU F@#$ING STUPID!!!" :mad: . He was calling me to see whether I thought this product could really work. Not only did I lose all respect for my friend as a engineer, but I'm quickly lose all faith in humanity. It saddens me to think about how many people with good intentions get swindled by something so ludicrous. Are people really so gullible?

People who run websites like that should be jailed!


(My apology for having two consecutive OT threads....I just had to blow off my steam)

NickH
06-05-2008, 10:04 AM
No worries,
there'l be some chump along in a while arguing that it's not a complete scam:D
Nick

Evan
06-05-2008, 10:40 AM
Your friend is an engineer? Would you mind detailing exactly what he engineers? I might want to avoid certain bridges or something...

sidegrinder
06-05-2008, 10:41 AM
Right on cue...

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4991469

This was on ABC, so it has to be absolutely true ;)

rotate
06-05-2008, 10:59 AM
Your friend is an engineer? Would you mind detailing exactly what he engineers? I might want to avoid certain bridges or something...

Ironically enough, he studied metallurgy and material science at University of Toronto. I studied electrical engineering. No need to worry. He's not building any bridges.

ahidley
06-05-2008, 12:31 PM
Interesting.... So I go to WAWA and buy a 16 oz bottle of H2O for $1 that equates to $8 per gallon. But today people only whine about gas prices...............

Scishopguy
06-05-2008, 12:55 PM
Ironically enough, he studied metallurgy and material science at University of Toronto. I studied electrical engineering. No need to worry. He's not building any bridges.

After working for and with engineers most of my professional life I come to the conclusion that some of them are just like some of the professors that I worked for. To quote my former boss, "They are educated beyond their own ability." Some folks take education to such an extreme that they lose all common sense. Thank heavens that they all are not like that or we would be in deep do do.

Alistair Hosie
06-05-2008, 01:19 PM
didn't cars run on water once???? steam:rolleyes: :D Alistair

Evan
06-05-2008, 01:41 PM
Sure. But Mr. Stanley had the good sense to avoid trying to burn it.

J Tiers
06-05-2008, 10:21 PM
Obviously he didn't think of combining it with wax...... to dissociate it to oxygen and hydrogen again...................

Sorry, could NOT resist...............:D

ckelloug
06-06-2008, 03:50 AM
I was asked as ye old skeptical engineer to test this theory for some friends a few years back. I put aside my it's crazy objection and built a 5V 75 amp electrolyzer using DC-DC converters from Battery voltage. I figured that such an electrolyzer was much more powerful than the crazy stuff on the internet.

I never obtained a conclusive result on the mileage effects though in a few controlled tests it appeared to have a positive effect.

I can say with absolute certainty that the Hydrogen oxygen stream thus generated was enough to make the engine run obviously rough at idle and to cause check engine sensors to come on.

All in all, it would take a fair amount of equipment and work to prove or disprove an actual mileage effect.

--Cameron

Frederick Harvie
06-06-2008, 08:18 AM
All in all, it would take a fair amount of equipment and work to prove or disprove an actual mileage effect.

--Cameron Not true at all. Where is the energy comming from used to break down the water? All that is needed to prove this a fraud is a simple energy balance of the energy needed to break down water versuses the energy released when water is produced. To quote from another web site promoting one of these devices.. "The engine alternator keeps turning whether or not the engine and battery use all of the electricity it produces. Energy is wasted constantly turning the alternator" This is simply not true . While it is true that the altenator turns continuously it does not produce continous electricty. The altenator only produces electricity on an on demand basis as there is a load placed on it. When it is not prducing electricty it is in free spin and the engine only has to work against the bearing losses in the altenator to turn it. On the other hand when the altenator is under load it becomes increasingly difficult to turn as the load increases. The increasing effort that it takes to turn the altenator is of cource a load on the engine which then consumes more gas to turn the altenator. In short there is no such thing as a free lunch. Or to put it another way, if you are really lucky, you get the lunch you pay for which you won't since the altenator is not 100 percent efficient

wierdscience
06-06-2008, 09:08 AM
When someone tells me they are an engineer,plumber,housewife,dogcatcher etc I am skeptical.But this comes from experience.

I know not one but two mechanical engineers that have no clue about crane load scales and how they are used.

I know one plumber who doesn't know how to thread pipe.

I know several housewives that don't know how to cook or clean anything.

And,well one dog catcher that couldn't catch a cold let alone a dog.

But aside from that I don't fault anybody from occasionally getting sucked in to some weapons grade BS,it has happened to me before too,I just try not to make a habit of it:D

lazlo
06-06-2008, 11:10 AM
I know not one but two mechanical engineers that have no clue about crane load scales and how they are used.

Is that such a bad thing? Engineering is mostly about analysis and design, not how to operate a load cell on the shop floor.

We have brilliant electrical engineers at work who couldn't tell you what end of a solder iron to hold, but soldering isn't electrical engineering...


Ironically enough, he studied metallurgy and material science at University of Toronto.

"Studied" is often a polite term for "dropped out." Did your friend graduate with an engineering degree? No degreed engineer will believe a > Unity design -- it violates the first law of Thermodynamics.

ckelloug
06-07-2008, 09:04 PM
Fredrick,

I agree that there is absolutely no such thing as a free lunch. I'm neither a crank nor a supporter of this idea. I got data that seemed slightly positive in the experiments I was asked to perform but certainly do not believe the data was significant enough that I would stake my credibility on it.

The effect of adding hydrogen/oxygen (if there is any effect) would have to be based either on some sort of catalytic effect or fooling an engine sensor into running the engine in a way that it normally wouldn't such as doing something that increases efficiency either at the expense of emissions or engine life.

I ran the calculation for the energy content of the gas stream and it's clearly within epsilon of zero compared to the engine fuel energy content.

The problem is not incredibly simple because the efficiency of a heat engine is quite low and the system is quite complicated when you factor in closed loop emission controls.

I never bothered reading the internet tripe on this subject and I'm not saying that I think the idea works. I'm saying that I was asked by non-technical people to test the idea scientifically to determine its validity. I did as good an experiment as I was able to with limited resources and I got inconclusive data that seemed slightly positive.

I can say with absolute certainty that running the gas from an electrolyzer into the air intake of the engine caused odd behavior at idle and was the likely cause of a check engine light seen during one of my test runs. The cause of this could be something as simple as depressing the 12V power in the car.

My conclusion from the experimental work was that there is some kind of effect not explained by the obvious explanations from adding the gases from a 75 amp electrolyzer on the operation of the engine. (I also ran several tests using bottled hydrogen and there was virtually no effect.)

Whatever the effect is must be due to something other than the energy content of the gases which we all acknowledge to be nil. I'm not saying free (or any) energy has been created, I'm saying that the system is complicated enough that the engine misbehavior I saw is due to some effect that isn't predicted by the energy content of the gases argument.

Whether this kind of device modifies gas mileage is another question. I have a feeling that it could modify gas mileage (because I couldn't outright disprove it) but my data doesn't support it and I had to conclude that despite the anomaly described above, that the device most likely doesn't work.

Without running a vehicle with fuel flow instrumentation on a dyno with an exhaust gas analyzer, it's difficult to prove conclusively that it doesn't work and I didn't have the resources to do that.

As such, I told the people that asked me the question that while the data causally showed a positive effect on gas mileage, it wasn't of good enough quality to prove an actual effect and that it probably wasn't going to be worth pursuing.

So, to prevent being branded a crackpot, let me reiterate: I tested something similar, the data were inconclusive but casually looked positive. Repeatable odd engine behavior at idle shows that something outside the effect predicted by calculating the energy content of the gases happened. I couldn't determine the cause of the odd effect.

Scientific curiosity aside, unless the vendor shells out the the $27,000+ for the EPA to run a 511 test and by some miracle passes, See http://www.epa.gov/oms/consumer/b00003.pdf ,a fuel saving device should be considered bogus and the vendor fraudulent.

P.S. I didn't get sucked into the weapons grade B.S. afoot here. I'm just telling a story of my failed attempt at debunking it from first principles and noting I saw a curious anomaly in the process.
--Cameron

Evan
06-07-2008, 10:32 PM
Changing the engine fuel mixture will change the efficiency and mileage. Engines are not tuned by default for best mileage as it has an unacceptable effect on driveability. It is possible to increase the mileage of the average factory tuned engine, sometimes by simply adjusting certain parameters in the electronic control.

J Tiers
06-07-2008, 10:45 PM
Changing the engine fuel mixture will change the efficiency and mileage. Engines are not tuned by default for best mileage as it has an unacceptable effect on driveability. It is possible to increase the mileage of the average factory tuned engine, sometimes by simply adjusting certain parameters in the electronic control.

And, in the US, the pollution controls have an effect as well.

The main function of the computer in your car is not really for better engine performance....... When the "check engine" light comes on it is NOT because of something to help you drive the car......

The check engine light means that the pollution controls are not meeting emissions requirements, and so the car is out of spec, emission-wise.

There has to be a reason why even high mileage cars OUTSIDE the US have a severe penalty INSIDE the US.

The "Dumb car" is supposed to get 50 mpg, but in the US gets 40 mpg, a number that my "normal" cars from the 1960's and 1970's routinely approached (VW bug and Saab 95 and 96).

Aviemoron brags up his diesel Daimler, which gets 50 MPG equivalent..... In the US that would probably be slashed dramatically.

Driveability = more power for Bubba and Yuppette to stamp on the gas and zip with......

Funny how the older cars got very good mileage AND were lots of fun to drive in many cases......

Electrolysis?

probably the magic of "brown's gas".......... :rolleyes:

Or, maybe a small effect on the mass air flow sensor, which might detect the lighter hydrogen in the mix and cut back on fuel a bit. The MAF is ASSUMING a normal air mixture, which is a pretty reliable assumption. But you are adding a certain amount of lighter gas, AND you are providing oxidizer as well.

Perhaps that is why adding fuel gas only (hydrogen) does not have the same effect.

No, WAIT...... ALL BOW BEFORE BROWN'S GAS............ :rolleyes: :rolleyes: