It is possible to convert a gasoline engine to running on clean-burning hydrogen for fuel. If you have a basic knowledge of auto mechanics, you can add a hydrogen generator kit to your existing engine, and run your vehicle on a water-powered generator that uses hydrogen for fuel. This hydrogen-conversion kit can be removed if necessary to return the vehicle to a gasoline-burning system. Due to the thousands of variations of vehicle engines and parts, a detailed project manual on this type of project is necessary to complete the hydrogen conversion.
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Things you need
- Detailed ebook or print project handbook
- Hydrogen generator chamber
- Electronic control module (HyTronics module)
- Hand tools
- Water Storage tank
- Indicator array
- Soldering iron
- Various nuts, bolts and screws
- Heat resistant tubes and hoses
Place a pre-assembled hydrogen generator housing inside the vehicle engine compartment. The best method and hardware to use for mounting the generator housing will depend on the shape of the engine and amount of space available. Place the chamber housing as close as possible to the carburettor. If you have to build your own hydrogen generator, use a CPVC pipe with a four-inch diameter. The functional size range of the chamber is 10 to 18 inches, with as close to 18 as possible being optimal.
Mount an electronic control module for the hydrogen generator under the dashboard and as close to the engine as practical. Some project handbooks refer to this as the "HyTronics" module and list the parts for building it with specific numbers to be purchased at Radio Shack retailers. Other guide books list different parts but essentially built the same component. Solder the main lead wires from the control unit to the main electrodes which protrude from the hydrogen generator housing.
Install a water storage tank by mounting it to the vehicle chassis, inside the engine compartment, if possible. Use a tank that holds at least 10-to-15 gallons. Several project manuals recommend US Plastic Part # No. 8658, a 16-gallon tank. Tanks will include some mounting hardware, but the best method for securing the tank will depend on the unique size and shape of your vehicle. Connect a hose from the storage tank to the inlet valve of the generator housing.
Put an indicator system inside the vehicle for monitoring the hydrogen system. The specific components and locations will depend on the shape of your dashboard and personal tastes. An efficient and good looking method for mounting an indicator panel is to use a prefabricated console, such as a VDO-II08720 Custom Console, which can be easily mounted above or below the dashboard.
Attach a carburettor adaptor to your vehicle. There are thousands of carburettors, so it would be wise to consult a professional parts distributor, such as Impco Technologies. Explain to a parts dealer your hydrogen project and the model of your vehicle. They will select the correct part for you. Run a heat resistant hose from the carburettor adaptor to the release valve of the hydrogen generator housing.
Connect the hydrogen generator electrodes and the electronic control system to the throttle assembly of your vehicle.
Carefully calibrate the voltage and pressure of your hydrogen system before starting the car. This fine tuning is a delicate process and will require some experimentation and careful calculations. Detailed guide books offer data and suggestions relevant to the unique parts and systems of you hydrogen kit and specific vehicle. Do not start the engine before you finish the adjustments to the system or you will damage the engine and hydrogen chamber.
Tips and warnings
- A detailed project manual which explains how to fine tune your system is required to finish this project.
- Download a hydrogen conversion project manual from ebook sources or find print resources at a library or bookseller. See "References" and "Resources."
- Project manuals provide multiple sources for materials and list specific parts and vendors with physical and web addresses.
- Hydrogen is a highly explosive gas. Take all safety precautions.
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