A method and apparatus for monitoring the performance of fuel cells arranged in series. More particularly, the method and apparatus involve the measurement and comparison of fuel cell performance indicators, such as voltage, in groups of cells connected in series. In a first embodiment, the voltage across each fuel cell group is compared to a reference voltage equal to a predetermined minimum voltage. In a second embodiment, the voltage across each group is compared to a reference voltage equal to the average across all fuel cell groups. In a third embodiment, a reference voltage equal to the voltage across one group is compared to the voltage across each of the other fuel cell groups. In a fourth embodiment, the voltage across each group is compared as a reference voltage to the voltage across an adjacent fuel cell group. Other embodiments comprising various combinations of the first, second, third and fourth embodiments are also provided. An alarm is activated, and supply of fuel to the cells discontinued, when the measured voltage for a fuel cell group varies from the reference voltage by more than a predetermined voltage differential.