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Improving Fuel Efficiency: HHO Devices – Fact or Fiction?

Looking to cut fuel costs?  Read on

Car fuel gauge showing low fuel

What is HHO?
By running an electrical current through distilled water (dH2O), the hydrogen and water split, creating hydrogen and oxygen gas. The hydrogen is then carried to the carburettor and is combusted along with the normal air flow. An small amount of salt (electrolyte) in the form of Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) is added to the water to aid current flow as distilled water is a poor conductor of electricity.

Hydrogen isn’t that dangerous?
Not really, most of these devices monitor and control the current and prevent a run away reaction. Small amounts of hydrogen are produced, but sufficient enough to improve fuel economy.

What type of engines can these devices be fitted to?
They are suitable for both petrol and diesel engines and are most easily fitted to older cars. The most challenging aspect of using these devices especially on newer engines is tweaking the oxygen sensors to reduce the oxygen intake.

What kind of improvement in efficiency can be expected?
Users claim they have reduced their fuel consumption by up to 30%

Have you or someone you know fitted one of these devices?
Not yet, however a trusted friend has fitted several of these devices, to a stationary engine and generator, a number of pre 1990 jeeps and classic car.

He maintains he is getting close to the 30% improvement in fuel efficiency.

Why aren’t more people using these devices?
People perhaps have concerns when they hear the device produces hydrogen. Flashbacks to history classes with thoughts of the Zeppelin come to mind. The airship in the early 20th century that exploded in flames causing the death of many people.

There are also concerns about the admissibility of engines fitted with these devices for National Car Test/Ministry of Transport and Department of Transport vehicle tests. We can’t be certain, but we can see no reason why the device would affect emissions and in fact if anything it would reduce carbon emissions. This is a question best directed to the seller and/or your national or local car test centre or department or ministry.

Would you fit one of these devices yourself?
Yes we have plans to purchase one and fit it to a stationary engine we will connect to the off-grid electrical generator later in the year.

Are they expensive, these HHO devices?
No, they generally retail from upwards of 150E/100GBP.

Would you recommend any particular site to purchase them from?
No without having purchased and tested one, we couldn’t recommend any particular site.

However my friend purchased all of his from HHO Plus (a Portuguese company specialising in making and selling them) and was happy with the quality and service of the product and company.

Are they easy to fit?
They are relatively easy to fit to stationary and older type transport engines.  Best advice is to get the assistance of a good mechanic when fitting it.

Happy and cheaper motoring.

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Travelling off-grid – A guide to getting around

Travelling can be an issue for people, who want to live off-grid and reduce their dependence on money.

Travelling Short Distances

A solution inspired by a friend in Wexford, Scott was to convert a bicycle into an electric bike. There is no road tax, NCT/MOT (vehicle test), insurance.

It’s cheap to run, the only outlay is the small cost to charge the battery, and perishables such as tyres etc.

As you cycle the bicycle, the motor, which in my case is fitted to the rear wheel, kicks in and assists you as you go. The faster you pedal the more assistance you get from the motor. A 20 mile trip feels like a 5 mile trip. The pedal assist can be set from 1 (least assistance) to 5 (most assistance).

Hills are no problem either, the pedal assist really helps there too!

The bike has a range of about 12-30 miles/19.5-48 kilometres depending on the level of pedal assistance, the weight of the bike, wind speed/resistance and your weight and anything you might be carrying. Which is fantastic for my needs.

I got a bicycle given to me by another good friend, Brendan. It has front and rear suspension. This was great because I needed something built for comfort not speed.

We got the kit from Electric Bike Conversions (UK). The kit included everything needed to do a home conversion. A replacement rear wheel with motor, the battery and rack to hold it, the controller box, and on-board odometer to tell you your speed, the time taken to travel, the battery charge.

I remember as a child, the sense of freedom I had when I got my first bike. I grew up in the country, our nearest town was 8 miles away. At that time country shops were in decline, but we had a local shop only a few miles away. My cousins and I would go off on adventures, exploring and visiting other friends and perhaps stop off at the local shop for a treat.

Living in a rural setting, with no public transport, I still have that childhood sense of freedom, knowing I can go anywhere. .

It’s a great way to get fit and have a closer connection with nature. You get to see more of life, the flowers, insects, the birds and animals. You’re not travelling as fast as a car and notice more of your surroundings.

I spent around €800 getting the bike ready between the kit and accessories. The kit costing €600.

I like the old style Dutch bells, the sound alone brings back such happy childhood memories. I picked one of them up for around €3, and a powerful led torch and holder for €6, which came with added bonus of a head lamp.

Dutch Bell for Bicycle

Available from eBay

It took a short time to convert the bike and I got a second battery to double the distance I can travel.

Here it is, the finished project

Electric Bike

The bicycle is now my principal means of transport and when the off-grid electrical system gets installed, the four hour battery charge will be from home produced free electricity.

Travelling Longer Distances

We have friends dotted all over the country and as good as telephones and Skype are, they are a poor substitute for a hug, a face to face chat or sitting down talking or enjoying a meal together.

For longer trips I like to hitch-hike or thumbing as we call it. It’s not at all common today, but many people that will stop an give you a lift are people that at some point in their life have done it, so they know the relate easily to you.

It’s a great way to meet people that you otherwise would never encounter and a great way to travel if you not looking to get anywhere in a hurry. You get to hear their stories and experiences and gain their perspective on different real life issues and vice versa It’s great for whoever gives you a lift, it shortens the journey for them, having someone to talk to.

Almost always, if there is something I am looking to understand or find a solution to, the universe will bring forth someone with that understanding or solution I have been searching for and I have been told the same is true for them. Many times I have answered questions or given direction which has helped the driver.

I have never had a bad experience and have travelled many miles by hitch-hiking. I have met many generous people, who have given advice as to where to get the next lift, offered me food and drink.

One wonderful lady, a real mammy, with grown up children, explained, her husband would scold her if she told him she had picked up a man. He would have been concerned for her safety, picking up a stranger.

She was really kind, she talked a lot about her children and what they were doing in life. They were all grown up and I gathered she missed having them around as much. She gave me a lift from Carlow to Bunclody, offered me fruit to take in case I got hungry. Bless her, she reminded me so much of my own mother and I enjoyed the journey with her.

Another man gave me a lift from Bunclody to Enniscorthy. He turned out to be a web-developer and to my surprise, despite his business suit, was a avid gardener, bee-keeper, animal lover and small holder. Much like myself. It’s strange as I asked the universe to help me with optimising the website for search engines and it’s fantastic to have met someone who is sensitive to growing etc. and understands my needs.

On route home I met two people who both mentioned an author, sadly now deceased “Ronnie Plant” an Irish man, who wrote a number of books on herbalism and maintaining good health. That was the universe telling me to get his book, which I have done and it’s great.

ronnie plant

Talking on the subject of writing. It’s my dream to publish a book on self-sufficiency and I really had no clue how to go about it. I got a lift a few miles outside Bunclody heading towards Carlow. This man as it turned out is a writer and editor and he explained that you can publish and have your book printed on demand each time it sells, by using a site called www.lulu.com. You just upload your proof, at no cost, set your price and the Lulu take a commission on each book sold. Fantastic 🙂

People ask me was I waiting long for a lift, and in truth I seldom do. The longest I have waited is 40 minutes, which is unusual. Fairer weather is a good help when hitch-hiking.

Here is my hitch-hiking guide (Loved the film)!!

  • Plan your journey and know the names of the towns and villages you will pass through.
  • Dress and look presentable – first impressions count.
  • Wait in area just before the town limits, where road users are not yet travelling at full speed.
  • Face the oncoming traffic, in a place with good visibility.
  • Get a good sized piece of white corriboard (A3) and a whiteboard marker and write your destination on it, in large sized print. Place it at your feet. Corriboard can be easily folded over when travelling.
  • Enjoy the whole experience, from waiting for a lift to travelling. (People tend to give happy people lifts.)
  • If a lift doesn’t come quickly, don’t get disheartened, it will affect your mood and expression. Remember the universe will provide the right people at the right time.
  • Avoid being offensive and opinionated.
  • Don’t smoke unless the driver smokes, and even then ask is it ok. Avoid taking liberties.
  • Being open with people, breaks down a lot of barriers and you will find people will be more relaxed with you. How open you are is relative to how comfortable you are with the driver, if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable then talk generally. The weather is always a good ice-breaker.
  • People seldom want to hear your woes, keep topics light hearted and interesting and solution based were possible as opposed to problem based.
  • Conversation is a two way process, give the driver a chance to talk and you a chance to listen.
  • Always remember to thank the driver for stopping and thank them again once you stop and give gratitude to the universe.
  • If people ask you a personal question such as what do you do for a living, then its a given that its ok to ask the same question back. Ask questions to show your interested and help keep the conversation going.

I know people say, you are a man and it’s safer for a man to hitch-hike. A women friend of mine, hitch-hiked all over Europe. She related that she almost always felt comfortable, on a few occasions, men have stirred the conversation towards sex and depending on what was said, would either change the topic, pretending not to have heard, said she wasn’t comfortable discussing that, started talking about her boyfriend or if she so wished continued with the conversation but made it clear, she wasn’t available for casual sex.

In conclusion I believe we create our own reality, whatever you focus on, in fear or love, is what we manifest or call forth into creation.

Main image source: http://www.businesshitchhiker.com/why-hitch-hiking/

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Spring is almost over – New life

For a Spring its been a mixed bag, but now the weather is picking up and the growing season is in full swing.  Sorry for the lack of posts recently, the workload has ramped up of late.

There is so much to do and it’s a blessing to have the good weather and longer days to do it.

We have been propagating and planting seeds.  Growing a wider variety of fruits and vegetables than last year and introducing new medicinal herbs for home remedies such as the the burdock plant.  A fantastic detox herb, we plan to harvest the root with dandelion root and make our own root beer/soft drink.  This year we are introducing courgette, squash, gerkin and aubergine to the variety of vegetables we already grow.

We set a Rhode Island Red hen, on 9 eggs and hope on Monday 2nd May 2016, we will have adorable baby chicks.

Here is the proud Mammy to be, Reddy Penny, nicely snuggled up in her box of straw.  We separated her from the other hens to prevent them from laying in her nest and disturbing her clocking.  She ventures out into her separate run only very occasionally to eat, stretch and do her business.

Reddy Penny on her nest

     Reddy penny clocking chicks

Hen Ark

      The hen ark where Reddy Penny lives

The red grape vine we brought back from Romania is thriving and hopefully before too long will be supplying us with lovely homegrown grapes for juices and wines, salads and snacks.

The rhubarb is flourishing and it will be ready soon to harvest and make the first wine of the year.  We have been gathering up wine bottles from friends and family, enough to hold about 125 litres.  We prefer the swing-top bottles, but they can be expensive.  Aldi/Lidl do have natural lemonade/soft drinks in swing top bottles, so we buy a few of those from time to time to have them for wine.

Red Grape Vine from Romania

   Red Grape Vine from Romania

The kiwi plant has survived the Winter, as have the asparagus and it has 14 spears sprouting already.  We are excited, as it will be our first time to harvest them.  Steamed and sprinkled with cilantro or coriander leaves, mmmm.

Cilantro is a new herb for us.  Despite the misunderstanding that its another name for coriander, which it is too, it is slightly different in its properties.  It tastes and looks the same, but has more active/potent chemicals that are good for liberating toxins/heavy metals from the body.  So it’s a welcome gift from two lovely people.

The parsley has burst into life in the polytunnel, so it’s time to dust off the de-hydrator, a great buy last year, that dries from the top down as oppose to the bottom up, avoiding juices dripping down into the fan/motor and then breeding germs to blow onto the food your drying.  It’s BPA free, a rarity in domestic appliances, I think.  Here is the one we bought. BPA Free De-Hydrator

We have a few homebrews on off late, and recently we have tried a high specific gravity beer, called the “Hammer of Thor” it’s a 6%, so a strong one at that.  Thanks to Matty for the suggestion and the trial.

We don’t drink much despite the fact we make our own drinks.   Mostly the wines are used in cooking and we bring them with us to barter and exchange as gifts, when we visit friends.

A friend from Mullingar, County Westmeath is setting up a homebrew company, with a physical shop and online presence.  He has a real passion for quality, and customer satisfaction and will only stocking products and kits he has tried and tested.

At the end of this year, we hope to have enough material to publish a book of off-grid/self-sufficient living and publish the book in hard copy and e-copy formats.  It will cover herbalism and home remedies, growing, keeping poultry and bees, off grid electricity, home preservation of foods, off grid transport, spirituality and homebrewing.

Another project is to get the 4kw off-grid system assembled and wired in, there is a few things to get to be ready, but most of the equipment is there.  Exciting times ahead. 🙂

So it’s going to be another wonderful year, growing ever closer to the goal of self-sufficient living.