Thank you for choosing Thames & Kosmos and for your interest in our Fuel Cell 10: Car & Experiment Kit.
Depending on when the kit was purchased, there is a chance the fuel cell may be old and that may be contributing to the lack of output. But there are a few things they can try to revive it.
First, I would recommend using distilled water, not deionized water. Deionized water can be reactive and does not always remove all uncharged organic particulates.
A reduction in electrical output from the fuel cell could be caused by a reduction in the compression of the fuel cell module. The nuts on the fuel cell can be carefully tightened with a wrench (turn to the right to increase pressure). But they should only be tightened slightly in small increments (like a 1/16 or 1/8 of a turn). Be careful not to damage the threads or accidentally break any of the nozzles on the fuel cell.
It would also be good to test the motor with a battery. First, prop the car up with something small right under the chassis (so that the wheels can spin freely) and then press one of the wire leads from the motor directly to the negative terminal on a fresh AA battery while simultaneously pressing the other wire lead to the positive terminal. The motor should spin the wheels easily. If that's not the case, then the motor may be defective.
We hope that resolved the issue. If not, we kindly ask you to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a little more information that might help us further diagnose the cause.
Try answering these questions for me:
- Did you prime the fuel cell by drawing distilled water through both sides of the fuel cell?
- Are the tubes that go into the tanks properly sealed?
- Is there enough water in the outer tank to keep the gases in the inner tanks?
- Are all of the connections secure?
- Are the wires coming out of the motor and into the fuel cell making good contact?
Along with your answers, let us know what your findings were when going through the troubleshooting above.
If you have any additional questions about this or any of our other kits, please do not hesitate in including them in your email to us.
Thank you again for contacting Thames & Kosmos. We look forward to assisting you further.
The Thames & Kosmos Technical Support Team