In this paper we present an inexpensive electronic measurement instrumentationdeveloped in our laboratory, to measure and plot the impedance of a loaded fuel cell orbattery. Impedance measurements were taken by using the load modulation method. Thisinstrumentation has been developed around a VXI system stand which controls electroniccards. Software under Hpvee®
was developed for automatic measurements and the layout ofthe impedance of the fuel cell on load. The measurement environment, like the ambienttemperature, the fuel cell temperature, the level of the hydrogen, etc..., were taken withseveral sensors that enable us to control the measurement. To filter the noise and theinfluence of the 50Hz, we have implemented a synchronous detection which filters in a verynarrow way around the useful signal. The theoretical result obtained by a simulation underPspice®
of the method used consolidates the choice of this method and the possibility ofobtaining correct and exploitable results. The experimental results are preliminary results ona 12V vehicle battery, having an inrush current of 330A and a capacity of 40Ah (impedancemeasurements on a fuel cell are in progress, and will be the subject of a forthcoming paper).The results were plotted at various nominal voltages of the battery (12.7V, 10V, 8V and 5V)and with two imposed currents (0.6A and 4A). The Nyquist diagram resulting from theexperimental data enable us to show an influence of the load of the battery on its internalimpedance. The similitude in the graph form and in order of magnitude of the valuesobtained (both theoretical and practical) enables us to validate our electronic measurementinstrumentation. One of the future uses for this instrumentation is to integrate it with several control sensors, on a vehicle as an embedded system to monitor the degradation of fuel cell membranes.