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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Problems revealed - License Plate Gen

I think I have it figured out. First the cell gets warm and softens the PVC. Next the gasket has nothing to push it against the plate in the area of the channel. So hydroxy gas is made under the gasket which tends to force it up. Add to that the venturi effect which sucks it up and it’s only a matter of time before the passages are closed.

The other problem is that I have put the fluid return and the gas outlet on the same side. All the gas made by the plates distal to this side, must fill and exit through the preceding channel. It puts a lot more flow in the front of the cell than the rear. In fact last chamber of the cell is being starved for fluid and drops a higher voltage. It’s all good at first, but when things begin to shut down the back chamber fries the small amount electrolyte; forming a crusty sponge of KOH from the dehydrated foam.

Running the fluids from front to back could rectify this. By placing the in and out on opposite sides would solve the problem but the overall dimension becomes thicker and the plumbing becomes more obvious, negating the idea to hide this unit behind the license plate. I may have to go to an epoxy encasement in order to create a passage from the last gap and return it back to a fitting on the front. This way all of the plumbing would continue to be straight through the bumper.

A second option would be to make the passages larger to allow the fluids to pass more easily. This seems like the easier method and I will try it first. After all, this works well for the EBN cell because the passage is large enough to allow all the fluids to flow and equalize easily. My passages are currently .04” x .25”. Perhaps I should widen the passage to .5”.

I also need to figure out a way to keep the shield gasket from blocking the holes. The suggestion to glue it down with gasket glue might work. I’ve also considered using Marine Goop which I’ve heard will adhere under these conditions. A small spot of the Marine Goop directly across from the hole could prevent current leakage while avoiding the use of a two layer gasket. I have not been able to find the Marine Goop locally so it will take some time to have it shipped to me.

Of course I could just compromise and go with an ordinary gasket and ordinary efficiency, but after coming this far I’m not willing to do that yet.

Thanks to those who have helped me get this far. It’s so close to becoming a reality. It just needs a little more engineering.

Bob Campbell

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