Click here to see the KOH MSDS sheets.
Operation of the Basic Fuel Cell Learning Kit
THE ELECTROLYSER CONTAINS KOH (POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE), AN EXTREMELY CAUSTIC SUBSTANCE. DO NOT LET KOH COME IN CONTACT WITH THE SKIN OR EYES. FOR SKIN CONTACT FLUSH WITH WATER AND THEN NUETRALIZE THE AREA WITH VINEGAR. FOR EYE CONTACT FLUSH WITH LARGE AMOUNTS OF WATER AND SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION.
KOH IS NO MORE DANGEROUS THAN MANY HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS SUCH AS DRAIN CLEANER OR OVEN CLEANER. PROPER SAFETY PROCEDURES SHOULD BE FOLLOWED SUCH AS GLOVES AND GOGGLES.
The Basic Fuel Cell Learning Kit is shipped assembled, with all components and the entire system tested prior to shipment.
To make the system operational:
1. Remove the hose connecting the two sides of the electrolyser.
2. Connect the H2 hose to the H2 side of the electrolyser.
3. Connect the O2 hose to the O2 side of the electrolyser.
4. Place the unit in the sun.
5. The electrolyser should start to bubble immediately.
6. After less than 1 minute bubbles should start coming out of both the first set of test tubes (the ones with the vinegar in them).
7. It will take about 5 (10 or more on a cloudy day) minutes to purge the air out of the H2 side of the system.
8. The fan will start to turn after about 5 minutes.
9. The fan should run all day once it is turning.
Prior to each startup of the Learning Kit:
1. Check the overflow tray around the electrolyser, it should be dry.
2. If the electrolyser is leaking, call for details about service and replacement.
3. If the O2 side test tubes are overflowing then dry the tray and reduce the level of the vinegar on the O2 side.
4. Check the color of the vinegar, dump out the vinegar and replace it when it gets to be a pale red. Replace with red wine vinegar. (Red wine vinegar is used for the visual color change indicator it provides.)
5. Check to see that there is sufficient KOH in the electrolyser. (If not see the steps on adding water to the electrolyser.)
6. Check the levels of the test tubes.