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Spring 2004


Auterra Dyno-Scan Monitoring and Augmenting


          In February I was pointed to a tool of exceptional value for any fuel mileage enthusiast, whether or not that person had the Hydrogen-Boost system.  This tool is called the Auterra Dyno-Scan and can be viewed at http://www.auterraweb.com/ and has proven to be a great tool for analysing the operation of the Hydrogen-Boost system.  At first we though we could get Auterra to incorporate some of the features of our electronic control circuit into the Dyno-Scan tool so we could do away with the separate control circuit.  This isn't possible but we will be able to incorporate some programming into the Auterra which can display on the PDA screen a parameter unique to Hydrogen-Boost users, that being a meter displaying hydrogen production as a percent of maximum.  I think we can even program in a warning flash when water levels in the hydrogen generator get to low for hydrogen production.  Whether we end up working this into the Auterra scan tool or some other scan tool will be decided when we finish our research of scan tools available and negotiate costs of modifications and production of the finished unit.  Until then we will do extensive testing with the Auterra in conjunction with the Hydrogen-Boost system to achieve the best possible mileage.  We will keep you informed of our research as we go along.


Ignition Timing Difference with Hydrogen-Boost


          We have long maintained that Hydrogen-Boost works in two ways in the combustion process.  First it spreads the flame of combustion faster after spark plug ignition.  Second, it burns more of the fuel in the top 1/3 of the power stroke because more of the injected fuel gets vaporized.  Therefore more complete combustion is achieved throughout the power stroke, thereby reducing the emissions as well as reducing the amount of fuel needed to attain the same power and torque.  Many have concluded that if our claims were true we must retard the ignition to make up for the quicker flame spread caused by the hydrogen injection.  Since most vehicles sold today have no way of adjusting the timing but indeed the timing is indeed adjusted by the ECU on-board computer.  Until now we have had no way of documenting these claims.

          Using the Auterra Dyno-Scan tool we monitored and recorded five parameters, over time, that would help us back up the claims.  The parameters that were recorded were engine coolant temperature, intake manifold pressure, throttle position, rpm, and ignition timing advance.   

           The main interest was in the ignition timing advance but the other parameters were needed to insure that we had similar conditions for comparing the timing advance.  Six recordings were made of drives of a certain route that allowed numerous accelerations under full throttle.  Three runs were done without hydrogen injection and fuel heat, and three with hydrogen injection and fuel heat.  Also noticed on the recording were short periods of stable idle rpm.  Since the timing advance during idle was not a stable reading at any time we focused on the acceleration timing advance, which was quite stable.

          We took periods of acceleration that matched parameters and then averaged the ignition timing advance during those times.  The average timing advance without hydrogen and fuel heat was 18.5 degrees, and the average timing advance with hydrogen and fuel heat was 13.125 degrees.  This verifies a retarding of the timing by 5.375 degrees, with the addition of hydrogen injection and fuel heating. 

          Calculating the timing advance at the average rpm of the tests (3300 rpm) we see that the "flame spread" of the stock equipment was 9.3425 milli-seconds while the "flame spread with Hydrogen-Boost equipment installed was 6.628 milli-seconds.  This accounts for a 30% reduction of "flame spread" time.


Tire Rolling Tests


Four months ago I drove to the Rochester, NY area to take delivery of some tires I had purchased on Ebay after researching "low-rolling resistance" tires.  I had found out that most new vehicles come equipped with low-rolling resistance tires so that the manufacture's fleet would meet the federal fuel mileage requirements.  Typically when the tires are worn out the owner will opt for tires that are not low-rolling resistance.  Winter, mud, and rain traction, as well as warrantee wear mileage, typically determine what model tire is chosen.  This I'm sure is due in part to the lack of emphasis on the value of low-rolling resistance tires by either the car manufacturers, the tire manufacturers, or the media.  As I have said before, most Americans are not interested in fuel mileage until there is a spike in fuel prices. 

Knowing that the low rolling resistance tires typically have a higher maximum air pressure rating, and knowing that most people are scared to ever pump in more pressure than what is stated on the side of the tire, I decided to do some rolling resistance testing.  Without a chassis dynamometer I had to design a couple comparison tests that would show the difference in rolling resistance.  I had already done previous tests on how tire air pressure affected rolling resistance and those results are published on the newsletter pages of the hydrogen-Boost web site.  What I was most interested in on these present tests was to compare the rolling resistance on various tires while each held the air pressure that I recommend, despite the rating on the side of the tires.  Refer to the February 2002 newsletter hydrogen-boost.com web site to see why I maintain that 50 psi is a safe recommended pressure.

The three tests I chose to determine the rolling resistance were a coasting test down a hill from a standing start, a coasting test from a running start at 40 mph, and a cruise test while monitoring the intake manifold pressure. 

The first test was done on Nathan Street in Queensbury, New York.  This street is where I live and it is five blocks long on a medium grade down hill.  I used a mailbox at the top of the hill as a starting line.  Four time check points were one block apart from each other and were telephone poles and a stockade fence.  On each coasting test I recorded the time I passed each checkpoint.  For each set of tires I did a minimum of four test runs.  For comparison I added all the times of each test run together and averaged the runs done on each set of tires. 

The second test was a coasting test starting at 40 mph on the top of a slight to medium hill and checking the speed at the finish line about one half a mile away.  The higher the finishing speed, the lower the rolling resistance.

The third test was done at 45 mph cruise on the same flat section of road about half a mile long.  The lower the intake manifold pressure required to maintain speed, the lower the rolling resistance.  Though I did not do an Auterra recording of these runs I did note that the manifold pressure was hardly noticeably different but did correspond with the findings of the other two tests.


Test one established total checkpoint time averages as follows:

Michelin MXV4 Energy 195/65/15 rated at 44 psi tested at 44 psi                   129.3 seconds

Firestone FR680 mud & snow 175/70/14 rated at 40 psi tested at 50 psi         127.75 seconds

Michelin MXV4 Energy 195/65/15 rated at 44 psi tested at 50 psi                   126.83 seconds

Goodyear Integrity 175/65/14 rated at 44 psi tested at 50 psi                125.25 seconds

Bridgestone Potenza 175/70/14 rated at 44 psi not tested due to flat from slow leak


          Test two coasting speed test beginning at 40 mph gave the following finishing speeds:

Michelin MXV4 Energy 195/65/15 rated at 44 psi tested at 44 psi                   22 mph

Firestone FR680 mud & snow 175/70/14 rated at 40 psi tested at 50 psi         22 mph

Michelin MXV4 Energy 195/65/15 rated at 44 psi tested at 50 psi                   21.5 mph

Goodyear Integrity 175/65/14 rated at 44 psi tested at 50 psi                21.5 mph

Bridgestone Potenza 175/70/14 rated at 44 psi not tested due to flat from slow leak


Analysis and conclusion:


          The above results show a noticeable difference in performance but only a very slight difference.  Notice that all the tires that were compared were not only of different brands and tread pattern but they were also of different size.  Though not conclusively ranked in order of size the results generally showed that the smaller tire gave the least rolling resistance.  Given that the difference in performance of different Makes and tire treads at the same air pressure was so close, less than 2%, and the difference due to air pressure of only 6psi with the same tires (MXV4) was also 2%, and the difference due to tire size was not truly consistent, I conclude that the most important determining factor of rolling resistance is tire air pressure.

          It should be noted that the tread patterns and the sizes were very much similar and that if a snow tire was used instead of the treads used today there would be an appreciably noticeable difference in performance.  Evidence of this assertion is reported in the winter 2003-2004 newsletter where it was reported that there was a 4.8% decrease in mileage when I tested snow tires at 50 psi at a driving speed of 70 mph, compared to the Firestone FR680 tires at 50 psi. 

Also I would like to warn of the negative affects of using larger tires than those prescribed for your vehicle.  Wider tread causes the obvious extra drag, but larger radius also causes a usually detrimental affect on mileage, even after you calculate the adjustment factor for the size difference.  There is a chance that at certain speeds with certain vehicles, that the adjusted mileage obtained with larger diameter tires might be slightly greater than with the normal tires.  Only through experimentation could you find the optimum tire size for the optimum cruise speed for your vehicle.  Generally sticking to the stock size tire will give you the best mileage unless you can find a narrower tire and are willing to sacrifice maximum traction available to get the mileage.  Remember, if you are choosing tires for fuel mileage you will sacrifice traction so don't drive like a hot rod driver on high psi tires.  I spun out on the cloverleaf of the interstate highway when I exited too fast on my 50 psi tires.  If you are driving for mileage you shouldn't be going fast anyway.


 What makes a tire low-rolling resistant?  My opinion is that any tire can be made into a fairly low resistant tire, but not always safely.  What makes a tire low-rolling resistant is little tread, and high pressure, neither of which is a safer condition than what the tire was designed for.  Little tread makes for an unsafe tire in standing water at high speed, and high pressure makes a tire unsafe if you are driving at high speed on wet pavement.  Since high speed is not good for fuel mileage we can run with these conditions to a point as long as we are the only one driving the vehicle.

When a tire's tread gets down to legal limits it is time to change the tire, but not until.  Don't risk running on tires with less than legal tread, but don't change tires when they are only half worn out either.  Tire tread pattern is also important, especially when the tire is near new.  Snow tires should only be used when there is a good chance of snow.  All weather radials are fairly good on snow but with much lower rolling resistance.  If you travel mostly when you can choose your weather there is not much reason to drive all winter with snow tires.  A good summer tread pattern with vertical grooves and no staggered patches is best for low -rolling resistance, even better than all season radials.  Vertical grooves disperse standing water well as long as the water is not too deep or your speed is not too high. 

If you want deep tread tires spend the money for high rolling resistance tires with maximum pressure ratings of 44 psi or higher.  Most major manufacturers make a low-rolling resistance model tire.  If you don't know which model are low-rolling resistance, generally look for a fairly straight groove tread and 44 psi or higher rating.  If you are always hard up for cash don't feel bad about purchasing used tires that are half worn out. 




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