Michael Mapes Final Project Revised[1]


Published on

Written discription of fuel cell progress.

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Michael Mapes Final Project Revised[1]

  1. 1. 8/21/2009For the Management and Investors | Michael Mapescentercenter2H+O Inc. Hydrogen fuel cell gas/diesel booster unit: research, design, and production<br />2H+O Inc.<br />4035 Watercove Dr.<br />Riverview, FL 33578<br />Dear Mr. Wyrock, and Investors:<br />I have compiled a report for the hydrogen Booster Unit project, requested by the investors.<br />Work Completed<br />The primary circuit designs have been completed, and prototyping has started for the following components.<br />Water refilling and sensory circuits<br />Overheat protection<br />Over current protection<br />Work in progress<br />Testing of gas production, and shock resistance of unit once installed are in progress.<br />Projected completion of fully operational prototype is 08/31/09.<br />Preliminary test will be complete by 08/27/09.<br />Shock resistance tests will be done this afternoon.<br />Work Remaining<br />Final decision upon the frequency settings used for maximum efficiency must be made.<br />Many tests have rendered our information to be changing with the PH of the solution.<br />Testing of solution resistance in order to set the self adjusting frequency modulation.<br />Determine the size of water refill tanks for vehicle model specifications.<br />Evaluation<br />The project is staying on track with the projected time frames that were set in the beginning. The initial phase of research and design took longer than expected, but the time was gained back during the prototype stage. Scheduling for the shock test may be delayed by the production of printed circuit board deliveries. Funds for component purchases should be increased to be sure all circuits may be built. We will finish the project in its entirety by September 21, 2009.<br />Sincerely,<br />Michael D. Mapes<br /> Electronics Department Manager<br /> Table of Contents<br />Introductionpg. 4<br />Hydrogen fuel cell designpg. 4<br />Work completedpg. 6<br />Work in progresspg. 9<br />Future work neededpg. 9<br />Anticipated obstaclespg. 10<br />Summarypg. 10<br />Works Citedpg. 11<br />List of Illustrations<br />Exposed drawing of the fuel cell, Fig. 1pg. 5<br />Drawing of the fuel booster unit, Fig. 2pg. 5<br />Drawing of example head unit, Fig. 3pg. 7<br />Water refill circuit prototype, Fig. 4pg. 7<br />Picture of fuel cell in lab, Fig. 5pg. 8<br />Introduction:<br />The reasons that we have started working on this project are simple. The first reason is that many wars have been waged over who controls the resources of fossil fuels, and we wish to help reduce any confrontation that happens over such causes. The world has been depending on fossil fuels for many years in use for combustion engines, and will not completely stop using them one way or the other. The second reason is that the resources that we depend on for fuel are not endless, and will run out sooner or later. Motor vehicle emissions have damaged the earth’s atmosphere in many ways, and anything we can do to help this world survive longer is needed. Hydrogen fuel cells will reduce emissions, and increase the efficiency of the motor vehicles in use today. The third and final reason is that the federal government is willing to give tax reductions and reimbursements for using alternative fuel sources CITATION USD08 l 1033 (US Department of Energy). <br />We are working on implementing technology that has existed for hundreds of years to aid the fuels that are being burned today. Electrolysis of water is the basic method that we will be using for the hydrogen fuel cell unit. Electrolysis separates water into the two elements that it is made of, hydrogen and oxygen CITATION Wik091 l 1033 (Britannica). The next section will go more into detail in that aspect of how we plan on doing just that.<br />Hydrogen fuel cell design:<br />The housing of the fuel cell is a 4 inch wide stainless steel pipe, which has a sight tube attached to the side in order to view the solution level physically. A ground connection is welded to the outside of the pipe. At the top there is a sealed cover that has a threaded port for access to the solution inside, and also secures the gas outlet tube as well as the water refill inlet. Inside the housing there are 5 more stainless pipes that graduate by 3/8 of an inch in diameter, and are separated by a polypropylene (hard plastic) spacer from that insulates the inner tubes from touching the bottom of the housing. The center is a solid stainless rod that has a positive connection welded to it. The chamber that this forms is then filled with a mixture of potassium and water. The potassium lowers the waters resistance to current, and thus reduces the production of heat in the unit itself. When a positive voltage is applied to the center rod, and a ground is provided by the outer housing, a current will flow through the metal tubes and the water/potassium solution. The effect of electrolysis is then present. Meaning that Oxygen forms on the positive side of the metal, and Hydrogen forms on the negative side of the metal CITATION Wik091 l 1033 (Britannica). Those gases bubble up, and then pass through a stainless steel tube at the top of the housing into the bubbler unit, and then into the intake manifold of the engine. Below is a cut away drawing (Fig. 1) of what the fuel cell looks like on the inside. Below that is a picture of the assembled fuel booster unit (Fig. 2), which will be inside an aluminum diamond plate box with the rest of the unit.<br />Fig. 2<br />Work completed:<br />I will provide a brief description of the water high/low sensor, overheat protection, main power, over current protection, and pulse width modulation circuits that have been prototyped.<br /> The refill sensor is based on a voltage comparator. It tests each probe individually for a voltage that is higher than 1.3 volts. It does this once every 2 minutes in order to determine if the solution is above/ below the high level probe, and to determine if the same is present at the lower solution level probe. If both the high and low level sensors read no voltage a signal will be sent to the water pump. Then the water pump will activate for 1 second, pumping approximately 4 oz. of water into the fuel cell. The pump will not reactivate for at least 2 more minutes. We designed it that way due to the fact that a vehicle will stay on a grade, or go over bumps frequently. The 2 minute timeout function of the circuit is used to help eliminate false readings produced by road conditions, and the possibility of overfilling of the fuel cell with water that will weaken the solution strength.<br />The overheat protection circuit is similar to that of the refill circuit in the fact that it also uses a voltage comparator as its sensor. In this case though we used a thermistor (heat sensitive resistor), in line with another resistor, which gives us the voltage that is compared to a preset voltage. In other words, if the housing get hotter than 140˚F, the overheat circuit will shut down the master power supply and eliminate the possibility of the unit evaporating all the solution. <br />The main power circuit is a sort of daisy chain of open switches. The switches are located at the ignition switch, oil sending unit, overheat circuit relay, and the head unit master power switch. All of them must be closed in order for the fuel cell and circuits to operate.<br />The over current protection circuit is a combination of the low solution probe, battery voltage sensor, and heat sensor circuit. The voltage sensor will tell the over current protection circuit if the voltage has gone beyond the range of the output power transistors. Thereby feeding back a signal that will reduce the power applied to the output power transistors that are connected to the center rod in the fuel cell. If the solution remains at a level that is too low for an extended period of time due to the failure of the refill circuit, or that it is simply out of water, the over current circuit will reduce/remove the power to the output transistors. Lastly, if the heat remains high, an over current condition will happen as well, and the over current circuit will shut everything down, excluding the water refill. <br />The pulse width modulation circuit is provided by using a 16f88 microcontroller (small microprocessor). It uses a signal provided by the alternator of the engine, and transforms that into an output. The reason for the voltage to be pulsed is that gas production is greatly increased by doing so. This is needed due to the fact that as the engine increases in revolutions per minute, there will be a greater need for gases to burn. What that means is the faster the engine turns, more gases will be produced on demand. Therefore increasing the efficiency of the unit as a whole, and reducing the strain on the alternator and battery of the vehicle.<br />Below you will see a drawing of an example head unit (Fig. 3). The only user function is the master power switch. The low water, high temp, and on lights are only indicators. Following that you will see the prototype water level sensor circuit (Fig. 4). On the next page you will see a picture of the prototype hydrogen fuel cell (Fig. 5), with cover removed during testing. <br /> Fig. 3<br /> <br /> <br /> Fig. 4<br />Fig. 5<br />Work in progress:<br />The shock tests are being done now in order to find out if the electronic components will survive the stress of road conditions. Vehicles are subject to all sorts of bumps and vibrations. Should any of the components be damage, the booster unit will fail to function properly. So far there has been no significant damage to the circuits or the fuel cell. Our main concern is that the connection for the fuel outlet may become loose, and leak the gas vapors that are produced by the fuel cell into the box where a spark could happen. We are continuing these tests daily in order to simulate normal operating conditions. We will continue to do so until we are fully satisfied that no failure is possible. <br />Overheating is also a concern in the fact that the conditions inside the lab are not that of what will be present on the road. We have installed a booster unit in a vehicle in order to test if it will heat any more than it has in the lab. The design we have used is one that allows for a high operating temperature, due to the fact that the installation location will vary from vehicle to vehicle. Global location is another factor that we have taken into account, given that some of the units would be used in obscure places such as a desert. <br />Being that the prototype is complete, we have been testing the amount of gases that are being produced at certain engine operating conditions, in order to determine the values that are needed for proper vapor to gasoline ratios. Most vehicles have oxygen sensors that will be thrown off by extra amounts of oxygen present, and must be compensated for. There are also guidelines set by the government on what percentage of gases may be used as fuel additives in combustion engines.<br />Future work needed:<br />The most crucial testing that has to be carried out still is that of what solution will give us the most efficient gas production at all operating conditions. So far 7% potassium (by weight) to water solution is working best. However, it is yet to be seen how much potassium will be lost in the electrolysis process. When the unit is operating the amount of potassium lost must be measured and recorded in order for us to give a schedule of when to add more potassium to the fuel cell. If you remember from the beginning, the solution is conductive because of the mixture of water and potassium. Pure water will not produce enough gases all by itself and needs an electrolyte (conductor) for strong gas production capability. <br />Another factor that is yet to be set in stone is what frequency that the pulse width modulation circuit produces, in relation to engine speed. At higher frequencies the output transistors will heat up more than at lower frequencies, and may suffer from long term heat damage. It is a delicate balance between productivity and overheating that only testing can provide the answers to.<br />The last thing that we are considering is the size of the water refill tank. Each vehicle has a limited amount of space to mount a holding tank in. Each vehicle will also use a different amount of water depending on engine volume, and frequency of use. Ultimately we would like for the user to only have to fill the tank once a week.<br />Anticipated obstacles:<br />I am sure that at one point, the test that we are running will give us some results that will not be satisfactory. Balancing the frequency that the voltage is pulsed at, and the resistance of the solution, while both are counteracting each other will not be an easy task at all. Installing/ calibrating this unit in a variety of vehicles will pose certain difficulties as well, being that all vehicles have different electrical characteristics, and amounts of available space to use. We plan in the future for all the circuit systems that are separate now, to be integrated into 1 or 2 larger circuit blocks to conserve space, and make them easier to replace. Perhaps they will be replace with digital IC’s in the future beyond where we are now, in order to reduce the price of the booster unit.<br />Summary:<br />By now you should have a pretty good overview of the fuel cell booster unit design and operation. With that you should also have a basic understanding of what system capabilities/safety features are designed into our model hydrogen fuel booster unit. We have come very far from where we started 9 months ago. It should be clear that we have taken every possible step to ensure the operational safety of the booster unit. Peace of mind is something that every person on earth desires, and we wish to be able to give a 100% guaranty that our product is safe and efficient. In one month this project will be at a level where we can begin to advertise it to the public. That day, much like today, will be a great one. Thanks must go to hydrogen garage CITATION hyd09 l 1033 (hydrogengarage.com)for helping us get started with our design. Thank you all for your attention, confidence, patronage, and patience.<br />Works Cited BIBLIOGRAPHY Britannica, Encyclopaedia. britannica.com. 2009. 21 august 2009 <electrolysis." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 26 Aug. 2009 <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/183116/electrolysis>. >.hydrogengarage.com. 15 april 2009 <http://hydrogengarage.com/home.html>.US Department of Energy. 16 december 2008. 19 august 2009 <http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/education/pdfs/nha_h2_tax_credit_summary.pdf>.<br />