Dying fuel cells, meter hookups

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swarner
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:54 am

Dying fuel cells, meter hookups

Post by swarner » Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:04 am

Never used a forum before, so just want to see if this works. Unfortunately, I don't see any other posts, but my question is that my first cell started acting badly, running for a few seconds before shutting down. I wondered if it was defective, so bought another cell. That one ran fine the first time, and then started doing the same thing. If I wait for a minute and reattach the motor wires, it runs again for a few seconds.

I'm concerned that I've done something to these, and the only thing odd is that I've used a Voltage/Amp meter. When I touched the contacts (red to red, black to black) testing for amps, there was a noticeable drain on the power and I could hear the motor die down. Could the way I've used the meter kind of short circuited the cell?

Anyhow, is anyone out there? Thanks,
Stuart

shawn
Site Admin
Posts: 277
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:41 am
Location: Ithaca, NY

RE: dying fuel cell

Post by shawn » Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:45 am

There are others who can better help with analyzing symptoms of dying fuel cells. Anyone?
Now, about the meter. You were certainly using it incorrectly. You may only test voltage, not current, if you connect the meter directly to the terminals on the cell. To test current, you insert the meter between two points in a path that includes the cell and a load, such as a fan. In short, yes, you short-circuited the cell.
Perhaps someone might tell us whether the cell is permanently damaged?
-Shawn
PS Thanks for being courageous enough to be the first poster. That's the only way anything works!

swarner
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:54 am

Killing a cell

Post by swarner » Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:13 pm

Oh man. So I've killed two cells with my ampmeter. I must have misinterpreted the book in how it had us measuring amps for the watts calculation.

Well, I'll call the Hydrogen store and see if they'll give me a break. I'm close to a volume discount.

Also, a warning. The second kit I purchased had no resistor installed in the battery pack. The manual distinctly stated that a charge much over 2 volts will slowly kill the cell, albeit creating the gases much faster while it works. The battery pack with resistor gives just 2.1 v, and without, 2.8.
Stuart

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