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Electrolysis Wattage?

  1. Jun 20, 2015 #1
    After my endeavors on Electro-Tech-Online, I have concluded that they are the least bit constructive.

    Now, I wasn't sure which section to post this in, so I went with EE. I'm currently developing a new engine concept similar to a Stirling Engine, and I have no idea whether it will actually work. I'm having a hard time grasping the wattage concept of the electrolysis. I understand that I should probably go for more wattage in general, but I want to know whether the amperage or the voltage is more important in conduct electrolysis at an extremely fast rate. One thing I think is worth mentioning is that as the piston is moving across the cylinder, more water will be separating the two electrodes, so how will this affect the ideal voltage and wattage?

    Sorry if my questions are too farfetched, but I'm excited about building the engine to see if it works properly and efficiently within the next month or so.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2015 #2
    I was also wondering about using ignition coils connected to the electrodes, which are going to be supplied by a couple of car batteries, in order to make a higher voltage. Is this a good idea?
     
  4. Jun 20, 2015 #3

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to PF!

    This is all very vague. What pistons? Can you draw us a diagram of what you are trying to build? While vague, it does have the scent of a potential perpetual motion machine, which if that is your intent, you are on the wrong track.

    I'll let an EE help with the nuts and bolts of the electrolysis.
     
  5. Jun 21, 2015 #4
    No, it is not a perpetual motion machine. Just as a Stirling Engine requires a constant heat source, my design requires only a power supply. Since it's late I will try to draw a diagram in the morning.
     
  6. Jun 21, 2015 #5

    NascentOxygen

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    Hi twiz_. It's current that determines how rapidly gas is evolved. You need a large area of electrode exposed to the solution. This is difficult to arrange, because as the gas bubbles cover the plates this tends to insulate them from the electrolyte and restricts the current. Increasing the voltage is next to futile.
     
  7. Jun 21, 2015 #6
    I remember someone telling me that a high voltage/low amperage was key to a fast rate of electrolysis, but they were clearly wrong. Anyway, would using a method of electrolysis of water vapor be useful? Since then the electrolyte will be more hybrid with the rest of the substances in the mixture. This will also eliminate the need for a condenser, rendering it more efficient. Perhaps I could create a system that continually increases electrode surface area as more water enters the cylinder. I could even implement this idea on the part of the crank arm that's inside the cylinder. I know you guys have no idea what I'm talking about, but I just got home and I'm going to work on a drawing tonight.
     
  8. Jun 21, 2015 #7
    Better yet, I could create a cork shaped electrode that moves in a circular motion as the piston moves across the cylinder which automatically pushes the bubbles out of the way.
     
  9. Jun 24, 2015 #8

    NascentOxygen

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    I can't picture electrolysis of water vapor working. I expect it would have a high resistance, but I'm no expert.

    I don't know how large-scale electrolysis works, but there would seem to be a need to mechanically remove the bubbles adhering to the plates, either by using some sort of a brush or by 'hosing' it off by arranging a turbulent water flow.

    You will be disappointed by how much electricity is needed to generate a puny volume of gases.
     
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