Tom is itching to read this.
A while ago after working with wind turbines and opening peoples eyes to the possibility of using cheaper and more productive compact wind turbines as an alternative off grid or stand alone power source I have taken this further and a single compact wind turbine can now produce gas as well as electricity for free; and anyone can make a simple gas production system for off roading.
What do most people use? it used to be butane as camping gaz in their familiar blue bottles which was available in most of the world, this was replaced by cheaper and hotter propane which was cheaper to buy for the consumer and burns hotter so you use less of it as it heats things up quicker, now many using disposable canisters are using a compromise gas which is a butane/propane gas mixture.
I now use something called HHO or hydrogen, hydrogen, oxygen which is produced solely by electrolysis using power from a compact wind turbine charging a battery pack and water. When parked up you clip your compact wind turbine to your vehicle to produce power to charge your battery pack, this power is then connected to something called a dry cell gas generator which is filled with water and when switched on it uses hydrolysis to turn this water into gas.
This splits the atoms into 2 X hydrogen atoms and 1 X oxygen atom; unlike hydrolysis we did at school using an H shaped glass tube affair this doesn't separate them out into separate gases where you disperse the oxygen into the atmosphere, they remain as two separate gases in the gas generator and don't re-combine. They exit the gas cell generator and you route them through something called a bubbler which is a container filled with water, your HHO is fed from the top of your gas cell generator into the bottom of the bubbler where the water cleans the gas and effectively removes contaminants of the two separate gases. From here it feeds a water balanced gas bladder which is best described as a balloon in a gas cylinder filled with water, as the gas is produced it fills the bladder which expands and displaces the water into a separate tube with a water switch which shuts off power when its full.
This gas bladder has another outlet to feed gas appliances such as gas cookers or gas heaters in vehicles and as it uses gas the bladder contracts and the water switch switches the power back on as it re-enters the cylinder to fill the void left by the gas bladder contracting.
People can look up this technology on sites such as youtube but please note the difference between wet cells and dry cells and also be aware many of the systems are dangerous as they are built by bodgers using bits of plastic containers and cheap plastic pipes.
Our dry gas generating cell is made from stainless steel (T316) and uses 6 plates, these are sandwiched together and separated by a neoprene gasket 2mm thick and 12mm wide, shaped to the outer shape of the plates, the surface of the plates are lightly sanded or brushed to give a larger surface area. On the incoming side we have a hole drilled and a small stainless socket TIG welded on to connect to a small plastic header tank for our supply water which incorporates a non return valve for safety, this prevents HHO bleeding back into the header tank. With all the plates assembled and gaskets fitted the plates have stainless steel threaded bar fed through them with stainless nuts and once tightened the gap between individual plates is around 1.5mm.
All holes or slots in the intermediate plates or neutral plates leak voltage so they are coated with epoxy paint, note this is only the inside edges of any hole or slot and once assembled, the outside edges of the plates now sandwiched together, never coat a face.
Voltage is critical as this process can create heat after prolonged use and we stick to 2 - 2.2 volts per neutral plate and using a 6 plate design and a battery pack providing voltage at 12.6 volts at full charge it equals 2.1 volts per plate which will allow prolonged use without producing excess heat anywhere dangerous levels meaning the system can be left switched on overnight in a cold climate for vehicle gas heating.
Controlling the gas production is the current or amperage, the more/higher the current the more gas is produced so this is how we control gas production, so lets look at some figures. On this compact system we limit maximum current to 10 amps, using a gas cell generator the approximate size of the side of a car battery and around 2" (50mm) thick we can produce around 20 litres of HHO per minute. This quantity is not to be sneezed at as an average caravan wall mounted storage type gas heater will run for 12 hours at its highest setting in extremely cold weather on 2-3 litres of gas. To make a variable system you simply insert a variable current controller and turn its current setting up or down to increase or decrease its gas production.
Our bubbler is a simple small gas bottle with a small hole drilled off centre in the top and one in the bottom, the valve on the top is removed and fitted with a screw in plug, this is to allow it to be filled and drained with water for our gas to bubble through. On the top hole we mount a socket and weld it on to let our gas escape, at the bottom we drill another hole and weld in a socket with non return valve to stop water escaping and let gas in.
Our gas bladder is a commercially produced item for reasons of safety and this holds around 17 litres of HHO gas, it has two connections to the actual bladder to let gas in and let gas out to our appliances which are on the bottom of the cylinder and one low down on the side to let water out into the plastic tube as the bladder fills and expands and when the bladder is full (90% full) it displaces enough water to switch power off.
We incorporated a gas drain valve so once the unit is dismantled it can be depressurised and drained of gas before stowing in the vehicle.
This unit is about the size of a computer base unit, the gas bladder is the size of a small gas cylinder, you simply attach the gas bladder by clipping it onto the side of the main casing, screw the connecting pipe to it, screw the outlet pipe to your manifold/gas appliance; fill your header tank with 1 gallon of water and fill your bubbler and connect to power and switch on and you get gas. It takes about two minutes to assemble and you get as much free gas as you can produce from a wind turbine power source and water.
As it is a free standing unit it can be stood away from the vehicle if you have any safety concerns as long as you have power cables long enough, and a gas feed pipe long enough.
1 gallon of water will produce approximately 11.5 litres of HHO gas, this weighs 1Kg in weight, it burns much hotter that propane due to the oxygen molecule remaining in the gas, if you have a seized nut or need to do an emergency gas weld you carry a little torch and weld steel using only HHO as it is hot enough to weld steel without oxygen, you don't even need clean water as dirty or contaminated water allows electricity to pass through the water easier and improves efficiency of the process.
Here in the village we have a system three times bigger which runs on a 950 watt wind turbine, the plates in the gas cell generator run at 12 volts, 30 amps and produce 65 L/min of HHO, it has a larger gas bladder and this feeds a FLP pump (flameproof) also running off 12 volts, this is switched on and off by the gas bladder water displacement and pumps the gas into a 3000 litre storage tank. Four houses are connected to this and they run gas central heating (except mine) and all four run gas cooking and all from a wind turbine and rainwater filling the header tank, free gas.
I have an even larger system at my mates farm which is running two large grain driers and these consume about £5000 worth of gas a year, not now they don't as he has run his barn gutters into the header tank and has a 2Kw turbine mounted on top of a grain drier.