A Joe-Cell is a device which, with the help of electrical energy, produces hydrogen from water through electrolysis and allegedly achieves physically impossible degrees of efficiency. Joe-Cells play a role in the Free Energy and water-fuelled car scene. Construction plans are said to go back to an unknown inventor of whom we just know his first name, Joe.
Looking over internet sources reveals there is no consistent, standardized description of the Joe-Cell, but various authors contend their own interpretations of the device. In particular the alleged mode of action is described differently. Generally, explanations appear rather esoteric.
Although various step-by-step instructions, plans, and even construction sets are circulated in the internet, no Joe-Cell is known featuring characteristics exceeding those of conventional, commercially available electrolysis devices. In particular there is no evidence that – in contrast to claims of supporters – engines may be operated at an increased degree of efficiency with a Joe-Cell, or even simply with water (see water-fuelled car), thus representing a perpetual motion device.
Joe-Cell construction kits are well suited as products allowing a flourishing trade among supporters of Free Energy who persist in notions of functioning perpetual motion devices.
Joe-Cells typically consist of several steel pipes arranged concentrically in a water quench. Details given regarding the consistency of the water vary. Length, diameter, as well as the relation of diameters of the individual pipes are said to be crucial for proper functioning. Usually there will be four concentric pipes in a Joe-Cell, also called stages. The pipes are connected to the supply voltage with a connecting cable; generally supply voltage will be a DC voltage source of 12 Volts (e.g. a car battery).
There are modifications and derivatives of the most widespread assembly plan, so e.g. a „Moe-Joe-Cell“, and there are further onion skin and spheric versions known.
Pseudoscientific and absurd claims regarding the functional principle
Some strange hypotheses about the functional principle are circulated. The cell is said to be able to run engines with unspecified "regulatory powers" or through implosion (instead of explosively expanding gasses as in a regular combustion engine). There are also claims a Joe-Cell was something like an orgone accumulator, and that a combustion engine powered with a Joe-Cell will not heat up, although the motor capacity is said to exceed that of conventional fuels.