Connecting Fuel Cells to the NI 9206

Updated Jun 12, 2018

Reported In


  • NI-9206

Issue Details

The NI 9206 specifications state that I can only connect +/-10V MAX between COM and ground. How do I connect my fuel cells to the 9206, and how many can I connect to a single module?


The NI 9206 can measure +/-10V per channel relative to COM. The channel that's going to measure the highest voltage is measuring 10V relative to COM or -10V relative to COM. For instance, if your COM is at 20V relative to ground, you can measure a voltage that's ranged from 10V to 30V.

Page 21 of the NI 9206 Getting Started Guide describes fuel cell connections, which typically is an array of batteries (cells). 

Additional Information

For example, if your fuel cell is composed of 3V cells, then the most cells you would be able to hook up to the module is 6. This would give the fuel cell a total potential of 18V relative to ground. The figure from page 13 shows that when COM is placed in the middle of a fuel cell (COM is located at half of the total fuel cell potential, aka 18V/2=9V), the 6 different channels are measuring 0V, 3V, 6V, 12V, 15V and 18V relative to ground, but -9V, -6V, -3V, 3V, 6V, 9V relative to COM. Because the channels that measures the highest voltage difference relative to COM are measuring 9V and -9V, this meets the specifications.