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US On-Board Hydrogen Boost Unit to Launch in New Zealand

Design of the H to-go system. Click to enlarge.

On 11 Dec, an international collaboration lead by RENZ (Renewable Energy New Zealand), a New Zealand-based Charitable Trust, will introduce an on-board electrolysis unit that produces and injects small amounts of hydrogen into the combustion cylinders of an engine. The result is improved combustion with lower fuel consumption and fewer emissions.

The device, the “Hydro-charger,” is based on the technology developed by H to-go, a Texas-based company that markets its on-board electrolysis unit as MAPSOE—the Most Abundant Power Source On Earth.

A one-day event will be held at the Queenstown (NZ) Events Centre on 11 December. The Hydro-charger will be demonstrated in a variety of applications including cars, buses, farm equipment and others.

The 11 December technology launch will also mark the start of the Hydrogen Challenge: New Zealand where a variety of retrofitted vehicles will have fuel use and emissions carefully monitored and measured against pre established benchmarks. The Hydrogen Challenge: New Zealand has been designed to prove the efficiency of the unit to heavy consumers of fuel such as taxi drivers, transport firms and tourism operators.

Rudimentary internal tests by H to-go found that use of the device improved fuel economy between 33% to 73%, depending upon the engine platform.

H to-go Fuel Economy Testing
Vehicle and Engine Without device
mpg US
With device
mpg US
% Change
1996 Freightliner
60 Series Detroit Diesel
5.5 9.5 +72.7%
2000 Freightliner
C15 Caterpillar Diesel
5.0 7.5 +50.0%
2002 Chevrolet Pickup
5.3 Vortec Gasoline
15.0 20.0 +33.3%



does anyone know how difficult it is to retrofit this device? Cost?


Lets see. Generate electricity on vehicle alternator with efficiency of 60%, then use it to electrolyze water with efficiency of 30%, feed hydrogen to the engine and burn it with efficiency of 20%, then again feed obtained mechanical energy to alternator, and so on. With 33-73% improvement in fuel efficiency.

I feel very misanthropic.


Their web site makes it sound like Hydrogen just sits around waiting to be used. They make no attempt on their main page to indicate that hydrogen is just an energy carrier. Interesting device though.


If this device can speed up the combustion process enought it might add efficiency. If an engine is running at 1800RPM that's 30 Revs/Second. If you want all the fuel burned by 5 degrees after Top Dead Center to get good peak pressure and efficiency then that's just 1/2160 of a second to burn the fuel completely 1/30 of a second multiplied by 5/360 or 5 degrees of crank rotation equalls 1/2160. If you burn it faster than that you will get more cylinder pressure. The closer the piston to TDC the smaller the combustion chamber volume the higher the pressure buildup and the more time to extract mechanical energy as well from the power stroke. This product MIGHT work, though I doubt quit as much as claimed.


I agree with Andy.
I do not remember the figures, but in a SI engine, hydrogen burns much more quickly than gasoline.
That is why, in a SI engine that burns pure hydrogen, the spark timings should be more delayed than those of a gasoline engine.


Just read this :


to understand that all this is pure bullsh*t. I love this sentence : "On earth the hydrogen atom contains a single proton, around which orbits a single electron."

And on other planets in the universe, how many protons ?

Rafael Seidl

Francois -

didn't you know BS was the most abundant power source on earth? Especially since the proton and the electron both rotate around the common center of gravity...

Note, however, that the addition of a modest fraction of hydrogen actually does stabilize the combustion of very lean gasoline mixtures (up to lambda = 1.6) and/or at high EGR rates. Arvin Meritor has developed a system that partially combusts a small amount of total fuel flow in an oxygen-deprived atmosphere, yielding synthesis gas (H2 + CO). The energy penalty of preconditioning the fresh charge is overcompensated by the gains due to lean combustion (principally, reduced throttling losses in part load). Net gains of ~10% were claimed. Unfortunately, any lean-burn concept will foil a three-way catalyst, so you need an expensive NOx store or SCR solution in addition to the fuel reformer.

For now, manufacturers such as Mercedes are using downsizing, turbocharging, direct injection, stratified combustion in part load and yes, NOx store catalysts for their high-end models. No hydrogen in sight yet.


___This reminds me of Hy-Drive's system. It does not need to use all of the engine's power to run the H2 (and O2) gas generator. Instead, it takes some of the energy, and uses the produced gases to increase combustion efficiency.
__Using engine power for gas production may make sense during idle and highway speeds, but I would like to see excess electrical energy, from regenerative braking, to be used for electrolysis.
__I do agree that 50-72% gains are a bit much, but 33% seem reasonable with Hy-Drive's ~27% gain.
__One more thing, the engines used may be a bit dated. If the engine are not current, then the astounding improvement upwards of 72% are not so impressive.


Here's a thought....The dynometer chart given by H to-go (verified by Caterpillar), for a Cat C15 engine, has max HP at 380+ fewer RPMs. Granted, there is are differences between max power of diesel and diesel+H2, and between 1478 RPM and 1859 RPM, but some of the improvment may be in decreased engine friction and pump loss, due to lower RPM.


Not to mention, Rafael, a standard closed loop gasoline engine operational algorithm will do everything it can to pull the mixture from lean back to stoichometric (and throw codes, putting the vehicle into a "limp" mode if the long term fuel trim adjustment is abnormally large) making the implementation of such a device requiring a re-map of the ECU or a "piggy back" fuel controller otherwise you won't gain the benefits of a controlled lean burning.

Bill Young

I remember as a kid a gadget that you installed under your carburetor, on top of your manifold. It promised a 30% improvement in mileage. It sounded feasible.

This was before I took a courses in mechanics and thermodynamics and received instruction in perpetual motion machines.

This reads like an add in the back of an old copy of Mechanix Illustrated. Watch your wallet!

Rafael Seidl

I wasn't talking about a retrofit but the development of new engines. You have to change a whole lot more than just the ECU if you start messing with the fuel composition, compression ratio and/or lambda.

shaun mann

a previous post here was about using a plasma device from a major auto part manufacturer to convert some of the fuel supply into hydrogen to take advantage of the benefits of hydrogen characterized combustion, included faster and more thorough combustion for power gains and pollution reduction.

so, hydrogen injection is advantageous, but whether the benefits outweigh the costs of onboard generation in an alternator driven electrolyzer is questionable

richard schumacher

Forget the hydrogen: in a Diesel engine, can one reduce exhaust particulates by injecting oxygen?

michael halpin

With icebergs on our doorstep it's about time we addressed the global warming problem;using hydrogen in a combustion engine is a small step forward. The ultimate is to strip the electrons via a fuel cell rather than burning the fuel; giving off zero pollution.

It is heartening to know that we do have people here in N.Z. that want to take us away from a crude oil economy to a sophisticated hydrogen one.

Our future is with H. "tHe friendly element"

Michael Halpin (founder HYDROGENHEADS)

Mike H.


The plasmatron from MIT created hydrogen to reduce emissions in ICEs.


Brent Arave

I just wanted to comment about all the negative people out there. It is easy to be an authority on something you know nothing about. People never believed Edison could develop a light bulb or that Columbus could sail the ocean, but both proved the public wrong. The misnomer by the public is that you are running the engine on hydrogen, that is not the case. Hydrogen is the catalyst that gets a better burn from the fuel you are currently putting in your automobile. Pollution is nothing more than unspent fuel. A catalytic convertor recycles the fuel after the combustion chamber thus restricting flow and hurting fuel mileage. Hydrogen burns the fuel in the combustion chamber. You have increased horsepower and torque, your overall engine burns cooler, fuel mileage goes up, and I have in my possesion emmissions tests that average 82% decrease in hydrocarbons. I also have a lot more reports showing similar or better fuel gains. I have used a similar device on my Chevy Duramax pickup for 3 years, my horsepower went up by 68 horse, my torque by 118 lbs, my emmissions to 0, my engine runs about 200 degrees cooler, and my mileage is between 4.5 and 5 mpg better.

It was immpossible to run a 4 minute mile until Roger Bannister did it once, now a lot of people have ran the mile in under 4 minutes. So it is with Hydrogen, it has taken time to learn how to manage it, but it can be done, and the combution engine can be improved.


hey brent!
were did you get this similar device?, that is on your truck.


who can advise me?

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Henry Gibson

Driver differences can result in these improvements alone. Running at lower speeds will in general give great improvements. All automobiles used in fuel consumption tests can now be equipped with devices that measure power delivered to the wheels and integrate and record such power over months of time. They also can measure fuel consumption.

A simple engine that runs a generator on an instrumented test stand is a quick and fast way to prove efficiency increases, and all other driving tests are subject to unknown parameters including wind and road surfaces and tire inflation.

An electric car is the cheapest and most efficient to run, but it is too expensive to buy. Nothing will make a general fuel powered vehicle less expensive to run than an electric vehicle of the same weight. A very few people can get zero or low cost fuels.


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