|March 22, 2008||Posted by Dave S. under Off Topic, Science|
I read somewhere about a guy in Florida some years ago who was winning races in an offshore speed boat powered by hydrogen/oxygen by water electrolyzed on demand. He used a conventional piston engine modified slightly to run on hydrogen/oxygen (which is one of the most efficient fuels you can get). Normally there’s no way to store hydrogen and oxygen that’s lighter than a tank filled with gasoline. High pressure or cryogenic tanks are HEAVY and DANGEROUS. This guy had developed an extremely efficient method of rapidly electrolyzing water at a throttled rate where the combined weight of the batteries and electronics were much lighter than a tank of gasoline. He won races by having a superior power-to-weight ratio in his boat. He claimed that his workshop was vandalized twice, his prototypes and working models stolen, and he didn’t have time or motivation to tool up more of his inventions. But he described the appartus in some detail on the internet (which I could probably find a link to again if I tried googling for it). As I recall the invention worked by using high frequency pulse width modulated electric current to perform the electrolysis with specially designed anodes and cathodes. Throttling was accomplished by varying the pulse width. Normally electrolysis is done by using simple direct current to the anode and cathode and throttling it by varying the voltage which is easy to do but not particularly efficient. The news clip on this water powered torch and water powered vehicle appear to be based on identical technology to what the boat racer described. If someone wants to look up Klein’s patent(s) before I get a chance to I’d appreciate it. As far as I know he IS the guy from Florida I read about a year or two ago. If not his patent(s) might have some prior art which would make them unenforceable as the Florida guy described the apparatus well enough for an expert to understand and duplicate it and put the description into the public domain.