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Electrolyser test cell for R&D fault troubleshooting

Electrolyser test cell for R&D fault troubleshooting

Electrolyser test cell for R&D fault troubleshooting

(OP)
Hi there,

Trying to finish a job on delivering this electrolytic stack to a local university and having electrical issues.

It's probably pretty simple stuff but I have no electrical engineer around at the moment and trying to troubleshoot the fact that the cell stack is charging the electrolyte positively, affecting the electrical path once the metal housing is closed for operation.

The main problem with that is that once the metal lid is in contact with the electrolyte we are having massive current runaway, therefore, loading up the power supply unnecessarily resulting in a fault.

Picture of the input voltage (from PSU)
https://photos.app.goo.gl/dNJcNGXrRxuVSndy1

Voltage between minus from PSU and electrolyte
https://photos.app.goo.gl/YtB0SbqMw1xtXxvB3
NOTE: This is the main problem, because the electrolyte is in contact with the steel casing so when you close the lid that is negatively charged (as the negative is connected to body) then the fault occurs

Here is a video that is a bit more informative:

Part 1: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZgVVM-iIGV9UXiKT...
Part 2: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-gD4L31mFoKG3D-O...

Here is the 3d model on inventor (Disclaimer: I own the copyright, just delete after viewing, if this design it gives you a good idea please let me know and we give you some rights to exploit)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By1l7HueUo__Qi1Zc...

Legend: Green = Polypropylene; Grey = 316 Stainless Steel; Blue = Neoprene Rubber

I would like to understand why the electrolyte around the cell is polarized with these particulars since the exact same surface of positive and negative electrode is in contact with it, according to my calculations the electrolyte should have been neutral.

PSU delivers 15VDC
Electrolyte has 11.7v (11.4 on the photo, the balance can vary slightly) potential difference from negative terminal and 3.3v from positive.

Would that be due to an unbalanced polarized surface of electrode in contact with the electrolyte or something else..

NOTE: The effect is the exact same with and without gaskets.

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