Commentary on The Dingle Car and The Joe Cell
[Editor's Note: I'm publishing this article as a courtesy to this author whom I do not know. I have not looked at the Dingle cell design and I don't have the time to study its merits or that of this author's theories. I do know that any by-product of an energy production system that puts out something other than water vapor, CO2 or oxygen (such as in the Stanely Meyer designs) is less than my idea of the ideal water fuel cell design. This article is solely offered as food for thought...Ken Adachi]
From James <firstname.lastname@example.org>
June 11, 2004
[More information about the Dingle cell can be read at this link: http://oupower.com/forum/index.php3?request=899&HoursOld=48 ]
Subject: Dingle's Magic Car and How It Could Save the World
Date: Fri, June 11, 2004 11:34 am
Please forgive me for insisting on anonymity, but I hope you will understand. Please publish this letter because I think that it could be helpful to Joe Cell builders.
There have been plans for water-cell conversions of cars on the internet but it would be impossible to build a working water car from these plans because there is an essential feature missing which is present in Dingle's car. I believe that the authors of these planss are either deliberately trying to provide disinformation to discourage further investigation by the curious or else they wish to protect themselves in the event that their authorship could be proved. If the latter is the case then maybe they are hoping someone will be intelligent enough to to supply the missing piece of the jigsaw.
The Dingle car does not burn Hydrogen and Oxygen made by hydrolysis as has been supposed. In fact it burns Hydrogen and Nitrous Oxide. The latter is produced by an electric discharge in the empty space of the reactor under conditions of low pressure caused by the induction stroke of the engine. The combustion of Nitrous Oxide and Hydrogen has the following properties:
1. The combustion of Nitrous Oxide and Hydrogen (N2 + 1/2O2) is an endothermic process which absorbes heat and has a heat of formation of 74 kJ. In practice the engine runs cool and the exhaust is cool. The radiator can freeze up requiring anti-freeze in the coolant.
2. When equal parts of Hydrogen and Nitrous Oxide are ignited the volume of gas decreases by a half plus some water. In practice this means that the charge in the cylinder implodes rather than explodes and the timing of the engine has to be advanced by 20 to 80 degrees.
3. Nitrous Oxide contains three times as much Oxygen as does air so that when Hydrogen combusts in it there is an unusually strong explosion. This may allow the gas flow from hydrolysis to be sufficient to power the car.
4. a considerable amount of water is evaporated in the reactor due to the low pressure caused by the engine's induction stroke. This water vapour will condense in the cylinders and give up it's latent heat of evaporation to the combustion of Nitrous Oxide and Hydrogen.
The electrolysis of water (H20 = H2 + 1/2O2) an the formation of Nitrous Oxide (1/2N2 + 1/2O2) are also endothermic reactions with a heat of formation of 242 kJ and 90 kJ respectively. In theory it ought to be possible to recycle all of the Nitrogen and water from the exhaust making it a closed system, but Dingle for some reason has to refill the reactor from an on-board water tank.
Where does the energy come from to power the vehicle? I believe the energy comes from ambient heat in the space surrounding the engine. The temperature differential between the inside and the outside of the engine compartment would be insufficient to accelerate a car to 200km/h. I believe that the cooling system is functioning as a heat pump supplying thermal energy to the engine and that the power of the engine depends on the rate that heat is pumped into it as well as the difference in the temperature between the outside and inside of the engine compartment. This would make it analogous to the Stirling engine which uses an external heat source to expand a fixed masss of gas in it's cylinders. Unlike the Stirling engine, the Dingle Engine is not a Carnot cycle engine and is therefore much more efficient. It can alsos extract energy from low temperature sources. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that there are reports that water cars with aluminium engine blocks function better tahtn cars with iron engine blocks. If this hypothesis is true then I would expect water cars to be more successful in hot countries and this is confirmed by the fact that there are said to be many water cars in Australia.
It may be the case in cooler regions it would be necessary to burn hydrocarbon fuel in addition to the Nitrous Oxide and Hydrogen in order to achieve sufficient power. If this is the case then two or three cylinders of a four cylinder engine could be reserved for N2 + 1/2O2 combustion with advanced timing and the remaining cylinders would burn hydrocarbon fuel with normal timing. That is cylinders with different fuels would require different ignition systems. The heat of combustion of hydrocarbon fuel could be collected from the exhast using a heat exchanger and routed back to
the engine via the water jacket to supply the heat needed by N2 + 1/2O2 combustion. This would make it an extrememly efficient engine and I would expect outstanding fuel consumption figures like 300 mpg.
The environmental benefits of water cars would include not only a diminuation of harmful emissions and oil consumption. If applied on a large enough scale this technology could actually reverse global warming because heat is being taken out of the environment and converted into kinetic energy. There is a possible environmental risk in the fact that Nitrous Oxide would be leaked into the atmosphere, but this could be minimised by recycling all of the exhaust. Compared to the Nitrogen Dioxide released by normal internal combustion engines Nitrous Oxide is fairly benigh and has even been used as a propellent for spray cans instead of CFCs.
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