Producing hydrogen on board the Ocean Imagineer

Thanks to Jake Wilkinson for building the setup.

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Hydrogen Production Experiment 1

Method

In our first experiment we produced hydrogen using the electrolyzer and 25W of energy. Current was limited by a XL4016 DC-DC Buck Converter and current regulater. Distilled Water was pumped through the exectrolyzer using a small, 12v peristaltic pump. In this experiment no electrolyte was added, though it is assumed that some amount of Sodium Bicarbonate was left in the electrolyzer which mixed with the ~500ml of distilled water, as otherwise that stuff shouldn't pass a current. In lieu of more accurate measurements of hydrogen produced we captured it in a latex party balloon and measured the circumference at the smallest and largest point every 5 minutes of electrolysis.

|  Time     |  Lesser Circumference  |  Greater Circumference  |
|  -------  |  --------------------  |  ---------------------  |
|  11:21am  |  135mm                 |  ??                     |
|  11:26am  |  246mm                 |  260mm                  |
|  11:31am  |  308mm                 |  320mm                  |
|  11:36am  |  352mm                 |  360mm                  |
|  11:41am  |  380mm                 |  388mm                  |
|  11:46am  |  398mm                 |  418mm                  |
|  11:51am  |  418mm                 |  436mm                  |
|  11:56am  |  450mm                 |  457mm                  |
|  12:01pm  |  468mm                 |  473mm                  |
|  12:06pm  |  476mm                 |  511mm                  |
|  12:11pm  |  498mm                 |  513mm                  |
|  12:16pm  |  508mm                 |  525mm                  |
|  12:21pm  |  515mm                 |  542mm                  |

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Hydrogen Production Experiment 2 (Incomplete)

Method

In our second hydrogen production experiment we sought for more accurate methods of measuring our production. With what we had on board on the day we suspended a bottle of water upside down with the nozzle submerged in a larger tub of water. The hydrogen outlet was fed into the bottom of the bottle so that hydrogen generated would float to the top and displace water.

Unfortunately we ran out of time to complete this experiment and only a short, test run was attempted.

Equipment

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Partially disassembled Electrolyzer, center of image the red wire connects to the cathode which is hidden underneath a membrane and white, plastic insulation. The anode plate can be seen on the right with blue wire attached.

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From left to right, the partially inflated hydrogen capture balloon, then the Electrolyzer, then above is the water reservoir and below is the current controller. The 12v peristaltic pump is the silver cylinder with blue, plastic top and on the right is the big, red switch which controls the 12v supply to the pump and electrolyzer.

Power Consumption

Watts of machines on board

ApplianceProduction on Consumption in Watts
110W Solar Panels per panel
+15W on overcast afternoon
Fan Level 1
33W
Fan Level 2
37W
Fan Level 3
46W
Electrolysis (Hydrogen production)
25-30W
Night Light
<1W
Globe Lamp
6W
Security Lights
29W * 6

Reference and Inspiration