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Hydrogen-Boost Newsletter 11-01-01

    Following is the report filed with International Clean Energy Consortium at the conclusion of Hydrogen-Boost performance tests in Switzerland during the last week of October,2001.

Hydrogen-Boost
Gas Mileage Enhancement System
Switzerland Certification Tests


    Summary of testing:  Arrival of Fran Giroux on October 23, 2001.  Original plan was to test an Opel Kadet station wagon.  Fran suggested testing a more modern version, one with multi-port fuel injection.  A larger Opel Ascona with 1.8 liter engine and  5-speed manual transmission was selected.  It wasn’t discovered until later that this vehicle had no oxygen sensor and hence no automatic adjustment of the injected fuel to compensate for the components of the system to be installed. 
    Wednesday morning October 24, 2001 a baseline test drive was performed with Martin driving and Fran observing.  For standardization purposes it was agreed that the speed would be regulated by the speed limit unless traffic prohibited.  The chosen route was a 97 kilometer route from Zollbruck to Ramsei to Hutwill to Willisau to Wolhusen to Langnau to Zollbruck.  On a few of the test drives additional kilometers were driven.   On one test drive a 9 kilometer navigation error from Langnau toward Bern and back to Langnau was driven.  Caution was taken to keep the driving style the same except during two maximum efficieny test drives by Fran during which he engaged driving techniques outlined in the Hydrogen-Boost Operator’s Manual. 
    Wednesday afternoon the installation started on the Opel Ascona with some difficulty obtaining and installing heater hose connections.  Regular garden hose was used and brass tees were fabricated by Jacob.  During installation the electrolyte (chemical brought by Fran and “battery water” supplied by Jacob) inserted into the hydrogen-generator leaked out because of a loose clamp on the lower rubber cap (this was left loose for the airline flight in case during baggage inspection an inspector needed to see inside, to insure the device was not a bomb.  A second batch of electrolyte depleted the supply of chemicals brought by Fran.  When installation was nearly complete it was discovered that no oxygen sensor existed on the vehicle. 
    During supper Fran was briefed by a Volkswagen mechanic on how the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor operated and could be adjusted.  It was advised that Fran should not attempt this without Jacob’s help.  As it turned out, after initially opening the top of the MAF, Jacob was busy each time the help was needed and with the communication difficulties Fran risked adjusting the MAF alone and succeeded in doing so with no damage to the system. 
    Thursday morning after only adjusting the potentiometer of the MAF (but not the spring tension) the Opel was ready for an initial test drive with Hydrogen-Boost installed.  There was no navigator available so Fran navigated himself as he drove the course.  Numerous gasoline leaks were noticed by observing the “rainbow spots” on the wet pavement before and after the test drive.  No repair was made before the test drive because it was thought that the leaking gasoline may have been from overflowing it during fill-up.  The results of the test drive were disappointing so more work was done fixing leaks and figuring out how to adjust the MAF without damage.  Also during this test drive the bolt protruding out of the end of the steering tie rod ripped a hole in the bottom rubber cap causing the electrolyte to leak out again.  Enough electrolyte was captured from the two spills, including some that was scooped up from the floor with a shovel, to fill the hydrogen generator one more time (some of the electrolyte having been contaminated by the floor).
    Friday morning another test drive was performed by Fran alone with the contaminated electrolyte in a hydrogen generator which now had a welded stainless steel bottom to prevent further leaks.  This test included the driving techniques outlined in the instruction manual.  It was also noticed that during the test drive that the current drawn by the hydrogen generator decreased throughout the trip and at the end dropped to about 1 amp.  Inspection of the electrolyte showed a precipitate in every sample of electrolyte mixed including the residual from each time we changed the electrolyte.  The results of the test were hard to calculate because when filling the tank before the test there were two major leaks at the filling station.  Two and a half glass jars of leaking gasoline were collected including some that was siphoned from the tank to bring the gasoline level down below the leaks.  These jars were carried in the vehicle during the test and one spilled on the floor of the rear passenger side seat.  When returning to the filling station Fran brought a funnel a large container and the three jars.  By filling the jars to the level collected at the beginning of the test, and refilling the tank it was calculated that 2 liters of gasoline was spilled.  Subtracting this from the 5.79 gallons it took to fill the tank, it was calculated that 3.79 liters were used during the test. This was ignoring the continuous two hours drip that was coming from a consistent leak that was calculated to be about 0.1 liter.  It also ignored the volume of gasoline that landed on the pavement on the filling station (about 0.2 liters).  Adjusting for these gives a total volume used during the test drive of 3.49 liters.          
    Arrangements were made with Martin to obtain some alternate chemical from a chemical distributor, which was mixed again with the battery water supplied by Jacob.  Again there was a precipitate in this new solution so Fran suspected a mineral content in the “battery water” supplied by Jacob.  A new batch was mixed with rain water collected in a concrete basin behind Jacob’s garage.  This too was cloudy with some solids floating on top but not as bad as the other samples. 
    The hydrogen generator was disassembled and thoroughly cleaned.  It was noticed that the positive side of each interior electrode was now a golden brown color instead of the silvery stainless steel color as before.  It was suspected that the “battery water” contained a mineral that electroplated onto the positive side of each electrode causing the color change.
    Friday afternoon another test drive was done by Fran engaging the driving techniques in the operator’s manual.  Results were again as good as expected.
    On Saturday morning Rolf drove a test drive with Fran navigating , with no problems with the systems including the hydrogen generator, electrolyte, leaks, or spills.

    A tabulation of the test results follows:


Driver    Navigator Distance      Fuel used     l/100km    improve  mpg    improve  driving style/notes

Martin    Fran        98     7.24        7.38    base    30.0    base    no
Fran    none        107    6.09        5.69    -23.0    39.0    30%    no/leaks, no MAF adjust
Fran    none        97    3.49        3.60    -51.1    61.7    106%    yes / leaks, spill
Fran    none        98    3.52        3.59    -51.1    61.7    106%    yes
Rolf    Fran        100    4.69        4.69    -37%    50.1    58%    no

Emissions Test Results

    When the hydrogen boost system was installed and properly adjusted, the hydrocarbon and carbon-monoxide emissions were greatly reduced.  No provision was available for testing NOx emissions at Jacob’s garage but these tests are expected to be made at the Touring Club of Switzerland testing facilities.  The following is a tabulation of the emissions tests performed at Jacob’s garage.

Test        Hydrocarbons    Carbon Monoxide    Carbon Dioxide

Baseline            200 PPM        2.00 %        12.9 %        at 1000 RPM
After installation   97 PPM        0.18 %          6.7%        at 1000 RPM
After test drive   119 PPM        0.13 %          4.6%        at 1000 RPM
Before Sat. drive  90 PPM        0.72%        14.2%        at 2000 RPM
Before Sat. drive  89 PPM        0.44%          4.4%        at 1000 RPM
After Sat. drive   175 PPM        0.26%        13.5%        at 950 RPM


    Conclusions:  The Hydrogen-Boost Gas Mileage Enhancement System was suitable for the Opel Ascona despite the antiquity of the fuel management system on the engine.  Although automatic adjustments and compensations that are expected from a modern electronic fuel injection system were not available on this vehicle, compromises were able to be made and adjustments were adequate to achieve great reductions in fuel consumption and hence great gains in distance traveled per liter/gallon.  Emissions tests also proved the Hydrogen-Boost  System was well suited for this vehicle.  Note that Hydrocarbon emissions were basically cut in half and Carbon Monoxide emissions were reduced by as much as 90%.  Hydrocarbon emissions could have been further reduced with the use of another component that was not included in this installation.  This component, called a PCV jar, is placed in the hose between the PCV valve and the intake manifold, and collects the heavy oily hydrocarbon molecules that now pass on to the intake manifold and are incompletely burned.  Collecting these molecules in the PCV jar prevents the HC emissions caused by their combustion in the engine.

Description of the Components of the
Hydrogen-Boost System

Hydrogen Generator
    The Hydrogen-Boost System’s hydrogen generator is of proprietary design and electrolyte.  Any divulgence of the design of the hydrogen generator or the composition of the electrolyte is strictly prohibited by the licensing agreement.  The hydrogen generator operates on 12-14 volts DC and is compatible with any 12 volt vehicle electrical system.  The hydrogen generator is switched on by a 30 amp relay with signal from the fuel pump relay or fuel injector circuit that is on only when the engine is running.  The hydrogen generator produces between one and two liters of gas (hydrogen and oxygen mixed) per minute depending on electrolyte concentration, current flow, and cleanness of the electrodes.  Under high output conditions the hydrogen generator will also produce water vapor and a water mist that may contain a minute amount of electrolyte which is filtered out by the engine’s air filter, when properly installed.  The purpose of the hydrogen injected into the engine is to accelerate the flame front from the spark plug to the outer reaches of the combustion chamber so that more of the fuel/air mix is combusted during the early portion of the power stroke when it can be used to push the piston.

Fuel Heater
    Two styles of fuel heaters are available from Hydrogen-Boost, one installed inside the upper radiator hose and the other spliced into the heater hose circuit.  The heater hose external heater was installed in the Opel.  The purpose of the fuel heater is to add extra energy to the fuel so that when it is injected into the engine, more of it is vaporized.  This causes more complete combustion at the early part of the power stroke and thereby reducing the amount of fuel needed to produce the power needed.

Fuel Vaporization Circuit and Canister
    The vaporization circuit is a small, valve metered, metal fuel line (2-3mm OD) that is teed into the fuel line after the fuel heater and is routed to a source of high heat which vaporizes the fuel and routs it through a slightly larger metal tube to a jar where any liquid droplets are also vaporized.  These vapors are then routed to the intake manifold for entry into the combustion chamber.  This circuit simply vaporizes an additional amount of fuel than what is vaporized inside the engine.  Of course with this additional vapor, some means of reducing the amount of liquid fuel being injected must be implemented.  With most modern vehicles this is done automatically by the ECU (electronic control unit).  On the tested Opel this adjustment had to be done by adjusting the MAF sensor.  Compromises had to be made such that any idling under 1000 RPM indicated a fuel/air mix that was too rich.  With most oxygen sensor controlled ECU’s the HC emissions would have been further reduced at idle.

EFIE Device (electronic fuel injection enhancer)
    This device is normally used to add an adjustable amount of voltage, usually less than 500 mili-amps, to the signal from the oxygen sensor.  This is used as a method of leaning out the fuel/air mixture in oxygen sensor controlled ECU vehicles.  This device was not used in the Opel installation because there was no oxygen sensor.  Note that normally when the EFIE device is used alone, power is lost because of the extra lean mixture.

XCEL Plus Engine Treatment
    Excel Plus is an engine treatment that has been verified to reduce internal engine friction.  It come in two parts, one installed in the gasoline and the other installed in the engine oil.  The oil added component is good for 80,000 kilometers and the gasoline added portion is good for 25,000 kilometers.  XCEL Plus is not a Teflon oil additive, which does not work at decreasing internal engine friction.

Amsoil Series 2000 0w-30 Motor Oil.
    This engine oil further reduces the friction and the internal engine drag caused by oil viscosity.  Other brands of synthetic oil have not been tested by Hydrogen-Boost and may work as well.  Note that this is not a synthetic blend oil, which is one part synthetic oil and four parts regular petroleum oil.  This is a 100% synthetic oil which does not need to be changed every 5000 kilometers.  Change interval is 35,000 miles  It is more expensive but it lasts longer and it saves fuel.

Other Synthetic Lubricants
    Transmission oil, rear end differential gear oil and grease can be replaced with synthetic equivalents that will further reduce drive train drag and friction.  This installation did not include these lubricants, which would have caused further improvements in efficiency.

Increased Tire Pressure
    This installation used a tire pressure of 50 psi (pounds per square inch, 3.5 atmosphere/bar), which some people will complain about.  For those who cannot bring themselves to drive on normal tires with 50 psi, I suggest they purchase low rolling resistance tires available with recommended pressures of 40-50 psi.  (one atmosphere equals 14.7 psi, normal pressure is 2 atmospheres, Hydrogen-Boost operates at 3.5 atmospheres).

Driving Habits (Human Behavior)
    As can be seen in the tabulated test results above, driving habits can make a big difference in fuel efficiency (3.6 liters/100 km versus 4.7 liters/100 km).   When reporting test drive results Hydrogen-Boost usually reports whether driving habits were incorporated into a test drive.  In this report results of both conditions are reported and noted. 


Effects of Each Component of
The Hydrogen-Boost System


    Effects of each component of the Hydrogen-Boost System will vary with the vehicle upon which it is installed.  Some components have an independent effect and some components work together to have an accumulative effect that is greater than the effects of each of the individual components combined.  The accumulative effect will be greater than the mathematical sum of the indivdual effects of the components.  For instance the fuel heater, the vaporization circuit and canister, and the hydrogen generator work together to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects. 
    An illustration will help you understand this concept.  Let’s look at a farmer, a plow and an ox.  The ox will not do much plowing by itself and neither will the plow, likewise neither will the farmer.  Even the ox and the farmer will do little together without the plow, and neither will the farmer and the plow without the ox, and so forth.  But if you put all three together you’ll be able to plow a whole field in a day.  Likewise with the hydrogen generator and the fuel heater and the vaporizer.
    Following is an estimate of the effects of the individual components of the Hydrogen-Boost System.  Remember some can work alone and some work together.

Hydrogen Generator

-5% to 25% increase in mpg (+4% to -10% improvement in fuel consumption)
    The hydrogen generator depends on vaporized fuel to do its job.  On engines that have a provision for adequate vaporization of fuel, the hydrogen generator will make improvements by itself.  However on some engines the hydrogen does nothing by itself except use electrical power that must be generated by the alternator, hence the negative improvement possibility.  Also on any engine that does not have the ability to automatically adjust or compensate for the effects caused by the hydrogen generator there will likely be a decrease in efficiency.  Such was the case with the Opel above until the MAF was adjusted.

Fuel Heater

0 % to 15% increase in mpg (0 % to -8% improvement in fuel consumption)
    On an engine that already has adequate fuel heating, the addition of an external fuel heater will likely do nothing for you.  However most engines have very little provision for fuel heating.  With these a modest improvement can be obtained but the real improvements come with the use of the fuel heater with the hydrogen generator together.

Vaporization Circuit and Canister

-5% to 25% increase in mpg (+4% to -10% improvement in fuel consumption)
    Once again there is a possibility of a negative gain.  On an engine that has no ability to adjust or compensate for the extra fuel being taken into the engine in the form of vapor, a vaporizer is only going to make you fuel/air mixture more rich, which will not only waste fuel but dirty up the inside of your engine.  On some modern vehicles the EFIE device might have to be used with the vaporizer or the fuel heater or the hydrogen generator.

Amsoil Series 2000 0w-30 Motor Oil

2 % to 5% increase in mpg (-1% to -3% improvement in fuel consumption)
    Here is a component that will work by itself even without the other components but again this component will work even better in conjunction with XCEL Plus engine treatment.  When used on an engine that has been poorly maintained and contains black gritty oil, this component will make a big difference.  A little less improvement will be obtained with an engine that is well maintained but still the synthetic oil will do better than the petroleum based oil in any engine.

EXCEL Plus Engine Treatment

3% to 10% increase in mpg (-1% to -5% improvement in fuel consumption)
    Again this product will absolutely work by itself to cause improvements, more so on a worn engine or a new engine.  On a mid-life engine that is fairly slippery or on one that might have already had a real engine treatment, the improvement will be less obvious.  Again this component will likely work better in conjunction with other components.

Increased Tire Pressure

3% to 15% increase in mpg (-1% to -8% improvement in fuel consumption)
    Increased tire pressure can improve your efficiency a great deal if you are willing to use it.  Tires with little tread will encounter the greatest improvements.  Tires with deep tread will encounter less improvement because the drag caused by those tires is caused mostly by the tread, especially when they are properly inflated.

Driving Habits  (Human Behavior)

10% to 50% increase in mpg (-5% to -20% improvement in fuel consumption)
    Driving habits are the biggest and only truly independent contributor to efficiency.  Almost everyone would benefit by reading and applying the driving and maintenance tips in the Hydrogen-Boost Operator’s manual.  The only people who probably know of and apply the tips already are those who compete in efficiency contests.  Most people contacted by Hydrogen-Boost who claim to be efficient drivers don’t even apply half of what is in the manual and could probably increase their mileage by 20% more than their present efficient habits.  When used with the rest of the Hydrogen-Boost System there are very few vehicles that can’t double their city mileage over that which is reported by EPA. 

Summary

    Many of the components of the Hydrogen-Boost System work best in conjunction with other components.  Don’t expect to be able to leave out a major component without suffering more than the individual improvement of that component.  The Hydrogen-Boost System is a system, not a device, and like most systems will not work without its major components.  The best investment you can make is to incorporate the whole system to any vehicle you drive.


End of report



    In the above report a component was referred to that had not previously been a part of the Hydrogen-Boost System.  This component, the vaporization circuit and canister, will be incorporated soon into the product line at www.hydrogen-boost.com and will likely sell for less then $100, depending on final design and equipment included. 

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