Romtek Basic Hydrogen Fuel Cell Apparatus




        Romtek Basic Hydrogen Fuel Cell Apparatus demonstrates & enables detailed experiments on harnessing renewable energy to power the cars of the future. It incorporates multidisciplinary technologies and is useful to educators & experimenters in Physics & Chemistry; Electronics & Mechanical Engg. & Non-Conventional Energy Sciences.

 How it Works

         The apparatus uses a PEM (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane) reversible, bi-modal fuel cell, a solar panel, a dc motor driven, scaled down automobile, a winch attachment for lifting a small mass & electronics control module.

                      In mode One, fuel Cell works as Electrolyser, accepting electricity obtained from sunlight, to electrolyse distilled water to Hydrogen & Oxygen, which is then stored in a graduated container. In mode 2, the Fuel Cell accepts the stored Hydrogen & Oxygen as input and generates electricity. The generated electricity drives a dc motor, which drives the model 4-wheeled vehicle. Provision is there for the motor to lift a known small mass using a winch attachment to directly measure mechanical work done. A block diagram illustrates the processes:



Experiments :



Solar Group Expts (S.1 to S.5)




Fuel Cell Group Expts (F.1 to F.5)



Measurement & Plotting the short circuit Current (Isc) & No load voltage (Voc) of Solar Panel for incident radiation of different intensity.


Measurement & Plotting of Gas Generation rate vs intensity of light


Measurement & Plotting of Solar Panel Output (Current (I) & Voltage (V)) as a function of distance from the radiation source.


Determination of Electrolysis Efficiency


Measurement & Plotting of Solar Panel Outputs (I & V) as a function of angle of incident light.


Measurement & Plotting the characteristics curves (V vs I) and (P vs I) of Fuel Cell.


Measurement & Plotting of characteristics curves of (I vs V) & (P vs V) Solar Panel, determination of Maximum Power Point (MPP), and Filling Factor (FF).


Measurement of Faraday Efficiency & Energy Efficiency of Fuel Cell



Measurement of Efficiency of Solar Cell


Measurement of ‘Mileage’ of Fuel Cell Car


Calibrating radiation meter


Measurement of ‘horse power’ of the Fuel Cell Car “engine”


Solar Modules


4 3/2 ”X 5 ½” X ¼ “ (120 X 135 X 5) mm

Open Circuit Voltage

3.0 V DC

Short Circuit Current

245 mA

MPP Voltage

2.4V DC

MPP Current

200 mA


480 mW

Data on standard conditions of 1000 W/m2 at 25o C

Reversible Fuel Cell (PEM)


2 ½ “ X 2 ½ “ X 3/5 “ (65 X 65 X 15) mm

Mode 1


Input Voltage

1.4 – 1.8 V DC

Storage Volume (H2)

Storage Volume (H2) : 20 cc

Storage Volume (O2)

10 cc

Mode 2

Fuel Cell

Output Voltage

0.4 to 0.9 V

Power Output

400 m W


Model Automobile Car with geared electric Motor & Crane facility


(Axle to axle)/(Wheel to wheel)

6 ½” X 4 ½ “ X 5 ½ “

Driving Voltage

0.5 to 3.0V

Driving Current

100 m A @ 0.6 V no load

Hydrogen Consumption

3-5 mL / min

Crane Attachment


 Light Source with Dimmer

Input Voltage

220 V, 50 Hz(110 V, 60 Hz operation optional)

Power Input


Intensity Control

10 to 90%


Turn Table

Angular Displacement

Angle : + 90o, variable


3 ½ “ to 39” (10 X 100) cm, variable


Climatic Conditions

Operating Temp

10o – 40o c

Storage Temp

5o – 45o c


Electronic Control Panel


Digital, LCD / LED, 3 ½ digits

0 to 2 V

0 to 20 V

Accuracy : 0.1%


Digital, LCD / LED, 3 ½ digits

0 to 200 m A

0 to 200 m A

Accuracy : 0.5%

Direct Reading Power Meter

Digital, LCD / LED, 3 ½ digits

0 to 1000 m W

Accuracy : 5%

Radiation Meter

Digital, LCD / LED, 3 ½ digits

0 to 1999 watt/ M2

Accuracy : 5%


1, 3, 5, 10, 100, 200, Ohms and lamp and motor positions

Stop Watch


Power Source

0.1 to 3.0 VDC @ 1000 mA, regulated

Input power

220V / 50 Hz or 110V / 50 Hz or Batteries as per order.

 Items required in Lab

Distilled Water

 Climatic Conditions    


10o – 40o c

Storage Temp

5o – 45o c





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