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Dying fuel cells, meter hookups

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:04 am
by swarner
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,

RE: dying fuel cell

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:45 am
by shawn
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?
PS Thanks for being courageous enough to be the first poster. That's the only way anything works!

Killing a cell

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:13 pm
by swarner
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.