H20 / Hydrogen ENERGY

About Hydrogen and the Bob Boyce 101 Plate Electrolyzer Tank

I strongly suggest anyone interested in building this project to go to:

http://ww.free-energy-info.co.uk     (Notice  .co.uk   not  .com)

Read and familiarize yourself with all the aspects, recommendations and instructions that Bob Boyce, Patrick Kelly, and ALL the other contributors to this literary masterpiece on alternate energy(s) have outlined FOR YOU.

Bob Boyce’s 101 plate unit is covered extensively in CHAPTER 10 (PDF or HTML), starting about page 64 through 134. Take note that this has recently been updated. I suggest you check for updates before beginning any work.  I also understand that considerable changes have been made to the electronics in December of 2007.

Part 1: The Box and Separator Plates:

The scope of this writing is targeted at the 1” acrylic box and the UHMW-PE (Ultra High Molecular Weight-PE) separator plates.

The options available here are basically two:  Build your own or buy it already made.

Let’s look at some of the problems of building it yourself:

A:  Usually when you build it yourself, you are doing it to save a buck (or two). You’ll quickly find out that this 1” acrylic is very expensive.  Naturally, you’re trying to save a buck so you’ll shop around – and you’ll find some cheaper - sometimes A LOT CHEAPER. I found it as low as $462. for a 4’ X 8’ sheet and as much as $1101. plus S&H on the web!

The problem with the cheap stuff – it’s nicknamed “Mex-Plex” by the guys in the business. i.e. it’s made in Mexico, has many ripples and worse – bows! You’ll know it right off, MADE IN MEXICO is plastered all over it. It’ll work but if there are bow(s) in the sides or bottom, your stainless plates will be out of tolerance. We’ll get back to this later.

One other nasty little item is they usually won’t sell you a quarter sheet (which is slightly less than you’ll need for one unit) – they’ll want you to buy the whole damned sheet!  The thickness is (usually) .944 plus or minus 10%!   So, buy AMERICAN, it costs more but its worth it. You’ll still probably have to buy a whole sheet, maybe $550 – 600. Not to worry, you’ll probably need a whole sheet before you’re done anyway!

Shows Sept 2008 Version without included tank top

Shows Sept 2008 Version without included tank top

Shows Sept 2008 Version without included tank top

B:  Gluing her up! OK, you’ve chopped your pieces out with a saw or an axe, sanded the edges and are ready to glue. Forget it! Acrylic glue (It’s not really glue, it melts the acrylic resulting in what they term as a weld…) needs what’s called a “molecular bond”. This means the glue joints need a very good – flat surface. Preferably machined on a milling machine.

I personally gave up on gluing this stuff myself long ago. I pay a local plastic company to glue them. I call him my “Glueologist”. He loves the title! He’s worth every nickel of the $75. a box I pay him.

The INSIDE width dimension is very fussy because this dimension also is what ultimately will determine the fluid and electrical leakage limitations. (See “bows” / “ripples” above).

So, the bottom line is; your box (might) leak hydroxy fluid like a sieve! Or worse, HYDROGEN GAS! We’ll all be watching for the mushroom cloud on the horizon! There’s a half cubic foot or more of hydrogen in this box at any given time!

C:  How ‘bout the spacer plates? UHMW plastic (I just bought another full sheet for $296.00 – enough for about 16 units) is a dream to machine – like a nightmare! Using an “end mill”, you might get about 1” into it before it melts to the cutter and plows up your plastic.

It took me 80 hours to make a very special fixture to even hold this slippery stuff. Without using a very specialized (proprietary) method, well…. Better write down my email address.  Oh all right, it involves using bees wax and nitrogen.  That’s all you get!

D:  So, if all that isn’t enough, THE MAJOR FACTOR here is you HAVE TO CUT THESE SLOTS ON A CNC MACHINE! Why? Because the first and last slots of all three spacer plates have to line up – exactly. So do all the slots in the middle! This is what we call in the machining business an ACCUMULATION OF ERROR problem.
Say for instance you’re off .0001 on each slot. By the time you get to the 101st slot your off .0101! You only have a 0.0003 inch tolerance on the slot. You’ll be putting the last 60 or 70 stainless plates in with a hammer! Frankly, I’m amazed how close these CNC machines really are! There is NO measurable difference between the three spacer plates – anywhere. It’s simply amazing what you can get for $42,500. ain’t it? Oh well, there went the new Town Car! (I can’t afford the gas fer it anyway!)

Now, let’s look at some of the problems of buying it:

A:  You are gonna be out $2500 or so (see price sheet) for the box and more for the stainless plates plus shipping, which are guaranteed to fit, IF you follow #2 below.

B:  Yes, I can make you just the separator plates but you’d better email or call me to insure you build the box to the needed specs! Especially the INSIDE WIDTH.

C:  We’ll talk about the 316L stainless plates next but I do want to mention that it is best to:

  1. Get your steel.

  2. Send me two stainless steel plates (first & last) so I can check the thickness (I think some of you guys use a pipe wrench on the micrometers…) AND, I’ll Spot Weld the two electrical connection straps on your stainless plates for you and return them with your order.

  3. I’ll also do this for you free, even if you don’t buy your box and or separator plates from me. This connection HAS TO BE good to eliminate arcing IN the box. The life you save may be your own!

  4. If you plain weld it yourself, it’ll warp the stainless plate.  Spot Weld at at least 8 places on each strap, allowing the weld to cool between “hits”.  I’ll supply the straps (1/16” ss, 5/8” wide and about 7” long) no charge.   If you want some other type of strap welded, include them with your plates, with instructions and I will Spot Weld them for you again at no charge.

  5. Every box I build includes instruction sheets on how to drill the electrical connection holes through the box and also how to build the recommended angle iron box to surround the unit and hold down the top.

Part 2: Getting the 316L Stainless Plates:

A:  Nightmare #1: Congratulations! You found a steel company who will sell you the 316L plates! What do you mean the plate isn’t flat – Oh! Its “coil” stock not “flat” plate – too bad! Try again.

B:  Nightmare #2: You ordered 16 gage (.0625) and its only .059? How very common! The cure? Follow 1, 2 & 3 above and I can make the slots to fit this “very common” occurrence. Remember, you need 0.0003 inch over the plate width for the slot  CHAPTER 10 (PDF or HTML).

C:  Nightmare #3: You got cheap and had ‘em sheared instead of Laser cut. Scrap ‘em, shearing will (usually) bend the edges down .010 - .015 (or more…) They won’t fit into your slots. AND, the 6” X 6” will be all over the lot! Again, we have 0.0003 inch for fluid and electrical leakage.

D: Nightmare #4: Can’t find a steel provider ANYWHERE. There a steel company called ALRO METALS that according our local place, can supply you with 316L. They have locations in quite a few states. Try this link and see what you can find in your area:   http://www.alro.com/    Make sure you give them the specs on flatness and thickness. Personally, I prefer the .059 or .060 stuff. My CNC mill will cut slots this dimension nicely and provide the +0.0003 inch needed.   Don’t forget to specify 316L.

E:  Nightmare #5: Can’t find anybody to cut the 6 X 6’s. Check your Yellow Pages under “Laser Cutting” or “Welding”. Sometimes a welding supply company can tell you who might be able to the job for you locally. I found a guy here (Clearwater, Fl.) through the Alro Metals people.  No, I don’t want to get into supplying your steel, I’m too old, too tired and the stuff is too heavy and problematic to mess with.

Incidentally, the local laser cutter guy gave me these prices:

101 plates  $1.96 each
500 or more plates  $1.38 each

Okay, now lets talk about how many stainless plates you’ll get out of a 48” X 96” sheet. Don’t hold me to this – its not my trade but this is what I was told:

When Laser cutting, a “footprint” for the cut must be used. This means that the “edge” of a cut part can’t be used as an “edge” on the next part. It needs about 1/8” (.125) of material to start the next cut in order to hold the tolerance. This means that the last row of plates on the 48” would be too small. It also means the bottom row on the 96” would also be too small. Fortunately, (if that 1/8” is held) this should leave you with 105 plates. (7 across X 15 down = 105)

And now, you know everything about everything!

Good luck on your Project!

Ed Holdgate                                       

Click  H2O / HYDROGEN  for main information page

for main information page



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Reasonable care has been employed in the design and construction of all items and information provided; however due to conditions beyond our control, failure of the same is always possible due to unforeseen situations and events. WE WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DEFECTS IN THE MATERIALS, CONSTRUCTION OR DESIGN OF ANY AND ALL ITEMS PURCHASED OR OBTAINED FROM US.   ALL USE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK.

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Send mail to Ed Holdgate  with questions or comments.
31 Bohenia Circle, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767   (727) 447-8387