This experiment is designed to test the ability of power generation with hydrogen fuel cells. This experiment is part of a project to test the viability of fuel cells in clinics throughout the developing world. In the developing world, there is a very evident lack of access to resources, especially in the case of reliable and consistent energy.
The follow instructions explain the set-up and measurement of the current and voltages of the hydrogen fuel cell.
Step 1: Step 1: Fill Both Chambers of Fuel Cell With Distilled Water
Fill both chambers of the fuel cell with distilled water. One chamber will be used for hydrogen generation, and the other for oxygen generation. Both chambers should be filled to capacity.
Step 2: Step 2: Hydrolysis
Connect the positive and negative terminals of the fuel cell to the positive and negative terminals of a power supply. Set the power supply to deliver 1.5V at 100mA to the fuel cell for 20-30 minutes. This power supply will split the water into hydrogen and oxygen gas stored in the fuel cell chambers. The fuel cell water chambers will not empty, but will generate bubbles when the hydrolysis is taking place.
Step 3: Step 3: Connect Fuel Cell to Power Supply
Now remove the ends of the cords from the power supply but keep the other ends connected to the fuel cell. Get two additional cords and connect the positive and negative terminals to the current measurement and ground jacks respectively on a digital multimeter.
Step 4: Step 4: Measure Current
Connect a resistive load of 5 Ohms between the two positive cord terminals. Connect the terminals of the negative cords to each other. The resistive load should be in series with the fuel cell. Measure the current in mA on the digital multimeter.
Step 5: Step 5: Measure Voltage
Now, connect the positive and negative terminals to the voltage measurement and ground jacks respectively on a digital multimeter. Connect both positive terminals of the cords to one end of the resistive load of 5 Ohms. Then connect the terminals of both the negative cords to the other end of the resistive of 5 Ohms. The resistive load should be in parallel with the fuel cell. Measure the voltage in mV on the digital multimeter.
The power output of the fuel cell can be calculated by the product of the voltage and current measurements.