Urdd 2019

TheHydrogenBike was presented for 3 days at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay in May 2019, starting on the second Bank Holiday Monday. The Urdd is a Welsh language youth festival with competitions, culture and performances, and has grown to become Europe's largest youth festival, which is some achievement for a small nation like Wales.

On Monday, Game of Thrones actor Iwan Rhion sat on the bike, and was happy to report that generating hydrogen was definitely a new experience for him. Then on Tuesday, S4C presenter Mali Ann Rees pedalled the bike whilst interviewing Bill Gannon in Welsh, for broadcast later that day. A video of the broadcast is included below, together with a transcript of the conversation.

Mali: "A lot of people cycle to the Eisteddfod here of course, but I’m on a slightly different bike at the moment. I've got Bill here who's going to talk a bit about what I'm doing, so what is this bike, Bill?"

Bill: "Well, the bike just generates electricity, and we can use the elec and store it. At the moment in Wales if we use wind turbines we must use the electricity immediately because it's difficult to store it. Outside today, there's a lot of sunshine and wind, so we could generate hydrogen during the day and use it later."

Mali: "Right, so what are those then, do they capture the electricity?" [points at tubes]

Bill: "They capture the electricity, they use water, we pass the electricity through the water, and produce hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen goes into the atmosphere, and we can breathe that, and then the hydrogen can be stored until the next day, or next week. We can generate electricity from it, or just burn it, because it's flammable."

Mali: "Right, so how much biking must I do to get a cup of tea?"

Bill: "Well, that will take ages, at least quarter of an hour of effort just to boil a cup of tea."

Mali: "Right, well I've got a lot of biking to do, and I will have a earned a cup of tea after that. Thank you very much, Bill."

Hydrogen Economy North West

Great to be invited up to showcase hydrogen in real time with the launch of the hydrogen economy in the North West.  Was a great day with very few but influential people coming to visit and sit on the bike.  Some of these events are more about quality than quantity..  34 tokens counted, however, very positive all round.  Few more friendly faces for our picture galleries including Stephen Speed, the head of nuclear at BIES.

Big Bang 2019

We attended the Big Bang over the full 4 days of the event in 2019.  Birmingham NEC was the venue and it was a great experience.  This year we split the team into 2 teams one for the set-up and the first 2 days and then the other team for the final 2 days and the takedown.  Much better experience for the event to not do the full 4 days in a row which was exhausting from previous experience in 2017.

Ove the course of the 3 days we spoke to and gave tokens to 3055 people which was a hell of an achievement. massive thanks to Swansea uni who gave us some money to cover travel and accommodations as well as a couple of student ambassadors to chat to people about engineering degrees at Swansea.

 

Statistics:

The individual statistics for the days are shown below shows just how much of a fantastic time we had..  The combined statistics are shown here to give a flavour of the event in total.

As you can see we had 3055 conversations with again as expected an overwhelmingly positive skew to the data.  The vast majority of respondents did not have a prior opinion of hydrogen and therefore received a yellow token. This is not surprising given the nature of the event however there were lots of older students coming to the end of their A-levels who would have had a pretty good idea about hydrogen and it's possibilities both positive and negative.

 

Day 1

 

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 4 was very much the family day so there was a shift in audience perceptions. The proportion of the respondents who were adults and had an opinion was higher as seen from the greater proportion of red and green tokens on this day.

Heating and Hot water Industry -Low Carbon Forum

On the 4th December Charlie and Kat travelled to Stoke on Trent to see our new friends at the Heating and Hot water Industry -Low Carbon Forum.  The event was a great opportunity to talk to a targeted audience of people involved in gas networks and with an interest in the use of hydrogen primarily for heat.  We set the bike up n the reception and attended the conference with people coming and having a go during the lunch and coffee breaks.  For many it was the first opportunity to actually see hydrogen in real life rather than just in the presentations.

Impact:

This was really interesting as many of the people attending knew lots about Hydrogen and potentially had a positive opinion. this is to be expected at a conference on decarbonising the gas networks as hydrogen would inevitably play a large part. The people who had no opinion before interestingly mainly didn’t change their opinion though on talking to these people we discovered that they were in more than one case answering the question of how likely a hydrogen future is rather than the how do you feel about a hydrogen powered future. They expressed opinions that the conversion to hydrogen was too big a job and that they had little faith that we would be able to do it..


Swansea Science Festival 2018

The Hydrogen Bike was at Swansea Science Fair on the 3rd and 4th October, at the National Waterfront Museum, a huge showcase of science from across Swansea University. Undergraduates and master’s students as well as staff member all contributed to the successful running of the Hydrogen Bike over the weekend.

Lots of kids hopped on the bike, donated their energy and were chuffed to see bubbles being produced and their efforts turned into a hydrogen flame.  We had conversations with people of all ages, including my favourite where one visitor said ‘I thought you would just have a digital display saying ‘This is how much hydrogen you would have produced’.  You’ve got actual hydrogen!’ Loads of good conversations about hydrogen and lots of positive impact on the concept of a hydrogen powered future.

 

HUGE thanks to Kat, Dan,  Jainaba, Joshua and Gwynfor.  they did s fantastic job and put in loads of energy and enthusiasm.

Impact

 

Your Green Future 2018 Newtown

Awesome couple of days in Newtown in Powys Wales. The Your Green Future event is an annual event looking at encouraging school goers to partake in a a STEM career and look at sustainable options for future business. We saw load of youths and spoke to many people about hydrogen and it’s possibility as an energy future.  Unfortunately we couldn’t bring the car along as it was a little out of the range to get there and back on one fill. 

We even has a visit from some of the rugby stars (Dan Lydiate and Gareth Davies) from Oil for Wales.

 

Impact:

 

OK so this was  a really good young crowd.  The overwhelming majority of students took yellow tokens indicating that there was little prior knowledge or judgement for hydrogen as an energy carrier.  Many students knew that hydrogen was a gas and that it was part of the make up of water but not many had come to a conclusion on safety.  The positive swing is clearly evident and many of the students were hugely positive e about the possibility of a hydrogen future by the end of the display. 

National Eisteddfod- 2018

The Hydrogen Bike was at The National Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay. The Eisteddfod is reportedly the largest cultural festival in Europe and is a very ‘Welsh’ event with a long history, and is based around singing, poetry and dancing competitions. The Eisteddfod is very much a family occasion and over time it has also come to include a small science village which is heavily supported by the universities.

 

The event is covered extensively by the BBC and S4C, and we managed to get one of the S4C presenters on the bike interviewing Bill.

If you follow the link and go to 08:19 you can see the interview https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p06fpqh9/eisteddfod-genedlaethol-cymru-cyfres-2018-wed-08-aug-2018-2130#subtitles are available in the bottom right hand corner.

 

HUGE thanks to Bill and Eira who attended and ran display this occasion.

 

IMPACT

Swansea Clean Air Roadshow 2018

July 28th 2018 – Central Swansea

A beautifully rain soaked day out in Swansea, with some really lovely sunny patches. Turned up with the bike and the hydrogen car and has a surprisingly good day with periods of rain huddled under my gazebo.

Had lots of really good conversations with well over 100 people though during the day so was an awesome event, though hard work on my own.  Thanks to everyone who popped by to say hello, despite the rain.

 

IMPACT

As expected from a public event in  Swansea, many yellow tokens with lots of people forming an opinion on hydrogen, be it good or bad.  A few people were not to be convinced that hydrogen was the future, and a couple (younger kids) just matched the token with their favourite colour.   Overall a pretty positive response to hydrogen with a good few red tokens ending up towards the green end suggesting a change in opinion.. 

Wales on Wheels 19/5/2018

Dr. Mike Warwick and Jon Amirmadhi took the bike to this event.

On Saturday (19-5) Jon and I attended the sixth “Wales on Wheels” event held at the Waterfront Museum in Swansea. The event showcases diverse types of historic, vintage and classic vehicles from around the country and displays them in the square. We went along with both the hydrogen bike and car and were set up outside with all the other vehicles.  Due to the nature of the event showcasing cars I was expecting people to be sceptical of the idea of hydrogen being the fuel of the future. However, the response was positive overall with many people commentating that this is what cars should be aiming at becoming and all very interested to look under the car bonnet and see the hydrogen fuel cell. It was an amazing day (helped by the beautiful sunshine) and lead to some interesting conversations with real car enthusiasts.

HUGE Thanks to MIKE and JON for taking the bike to this event.


Conversations = 60

Bike interactions = 20

Impact: 

Lot of people came to see the hydrogen car so many green tokens given out with people who like the idea of hydrogen in cars. The expected green skew is present as always with 16 people who before had no opinion about hydrogen now having a positive concept.  Of the three red tokens given, one remained unconvinced however the other two ha a more positive opinion of hydrogen after the event.