Pint of Science 15/5/2018

So I was asked to give a talk at the Pint Of Science event in Swansea which was a really interesting and different approach to TheHydrogenBike as an outreach project.  This was the first time that I had delivered a formal (ish) talk as opposed to a crowd coming to visit. 30 minute time slot called

“A Pint of Hydrogen”

The event went really well, the lights went off for the fuel cell to kick in and turn on the LED’s which worked really well and with volunteers all through the talk jumping on and off the bike we had loads of hydrogen to light the flame. Big thanks to Isaac and Harvey who gave up the night before their third year vivas to come and be my glamorous assistants, handing out tokens, helping people on and off the bike and keeping me to time.  Huge thanks also to everyone from the Pint of Science crew who helped me to tidy up as well.


Conversations – 54

Bike Interactions – 8 

Analysis: The Impact tubes were left out for the rest of the evening so this was an event where there was no pressure on the respondents to go in any particular direction (unlike many of the events where you walk the respondent over to the tubes and watch as they make their choice). This was however a tough crowd.  The majority of the crowd were scientists from in and around my research area (ESRI and SPECIFIC) resulting in a disproportionate number of people already having a positive opinion on hydrogen and therefore  receiving  Green (Blue)  tokens. Many of these know lots but work in competing fields and theretofore while positive (in the green smileys) are not overly sold on the idea.  Overall there was a Green Skew meaning that everyone is positive which is great. 11 people who didn’t have an opinion previously now feel good about hydrogen.  I’m especially happy with the two red tokens becoming green smileys indicating the 2 people who disliked hydrogen changed their opinion.  With 54 in the audience and 40 tickets sold for the event, I can only  guess there were some people who loved the display so much that they took their tokens home with them!!!


Jamberi – 28-4-2018

Saturday the 28th April we attended the Jamberi Festival in Swansea and were based in the TechHub.

We had a quiet day but managed to test out our new 5 point smiley system to measure impact.  Results are shown below.

Big thanks to my team who turned out to help. We even had a couple of third year students helping out the PhD students with the outreach, which was lovely to see.  Great also to see the new red T-Shirts.  


Conversations – 67

Bike Interactions – 40 

Interpretation of the Impact:

Bar graph: A large skew in the results towards the green end of the smileys indicate a generally positive attitude towards hydrogen  and its’s future use after the event.  As expected the large majority of people without prior opinion, (Yellow tokens)  were persuaded that hydrogen was a positive thing overall.  1 yellow token was placed in the red indicating a decision that hydrogen is not good however this is mitigated by the fact that this small child just liked the colour red the best and didn’t quite get the concept.  With a bigger sample pool of people these errors would be diluted.. 

Pie charts: Good positive impact from the red tokens, even though it was just 3 people.  All raised their opinion of hydrogen technologies and it’s use as the future energy carrier. The yellow tokens which inevitably were the largest group showed quite a very significant move away from the yellow smiley indicating that everyone had an opinion post event which is good impact. this was massively positive towards hydrogen.  The 4 people who knew about and liked hydrogen didn’t change their opinion as a result of the event. 


Note: for those of you reading this after attending the event the actual tokens used on the day were pink, grey and blue.  These correspond to the data for the yellow, red and green. 

Super Science Saturday

10-3-2018    Oriel Science and the National Waterfront Museum

Awesome day out at the Super Science Saturday event in the National Water Front Museum in Swansea. The total door figure for the day was 1,987 visitors, an increase of 96% from “Super Science Saturday” in March 2017.  We had more than 454 conversations involving 192 people on the bike and in addition showed 35 people around the new Hydrogen car. 

Swansea Science Fair

8th - 10th September

Amazing few days at the National Waterfront Museum.  This is going to turn into an annual event so if you missed us do look out for us and far more next year.

Set-up was on Friday with loads of people coming by.  Saturday was run by Rob and Bill seeing thousands of people and having the busiest day ever at the museum.  Sunday I was back with Bill.


This photo kind of sums up the day so it was hugely successful.


We ran out of space in the token smiley counter so had to empty it halfway through the event.


A couple of additions to the setup saw the hydrogen fuel cell operating.  This was amazing as it had the LED's under the water column operating from the hydrogen itself, rather than a battery.   We also saw the electrolyser moved out from under the table onto its own little table.

SmashFest Neath 2nd September 2017

We spent the day in the central square in Neath.  Was a wonderfull day of interacting with people about the use of Hydrogen as an energy vector and the energy source of the future, many of whome would not attend a special science fair.

The highlight of the day was the little kid who insisted on posting as many tokens as he could into the red and orange smiley face on the feedback just because they were his favorite colours!!  (Much to the annoyance of his father!)

All in it was a great day and a good warm up for Swansea science festival coming up this weekend.


Cardiff City Hall 21st Aug

We exhibited in Cardiff City Hall for a Flexis event on Monday the 21st August.  The event was part of a large energy conference and a global launch so we had a number of VIP’s attending.  For me, the highlight was to try out the new kit, sponsored by the RSC with the LED’s working.  It was the first time I had seen the new set-up so was very excited.


This is Dan getting things going.  Note the glow from the red and blue tubes..  This is due to the LEDs that we have installed underneath them.


The highlight of the evening was talking to Jane Hutt AM about the role that Hydrogen could play in our future energy landscape and the merits of welsh funding for projects such as FLEXIS, RICE and HYPERCOM. 


Clean Air Roadshow – Swansea


Long day chatting to people at the #CleanAirRoadshow at Swansea.  what an Awesome day. The weather was excellent, and we had loads of people on and off the bike chatting about Hydrogen. The sun made it really difficult to see the flame but we managed to show that it was it.  We had our “I’ve been on @TheHydrogenBike” stickers fo the first time, making it super brilliant seeing people walking around with our stickers knowing that they had been on the Bike earlier. These were a great success and will become a regular part of out exhibit.  The solar panel that I use to help the cyclists did a lot of the work today and we even found that the bike would run itself when they were both connected. Bring on the solar energy.

During the day we spoke to more than 350 people and had at least 100 on the bike.


Thanks to everyone who showed up to talk to us and to have a go on the bike.


Big Bang Fair 2017

We attended the fair with a sponsorship from the RSC who gave us £4000 towards the stand in the Birmingham NEC.

The Hydrogen Bike is an outreach project by Swansea University that enables participants to donate their energy via a static bike and observe in real time their energy stored as hydrogen gas.  It facilitates real understanding and discussion as to the issues surrounding our renewable energy future and the use of hydrogen to store and move energy.

The team of chemists and engineers were amazing and full of enthusiasm for the full 4 days of intense activity.  6 of us went up and we spoke to more than 1500 people every day with at least a third of them actually getting on the bike.  The event was totally exhausting in a good way with at times groups of 20 small children peddling for 30 seconds, seeing their bubbles and then jumping off. While others spent longer on the bike making a substantial amount of hydrogen. The flame was well behaved and really opened the eyes of loads of people as to the cutting edge science that we do at Swansea and the benefits of Hydrogen as a potential store for renewable energy.

We counted people in two categories those on the bike and those actively watching the display and discussions.  Broken down daily:

  • Wednesday –  1193 recorded interactions with an additional 359 on the bike
  • Thursday – 1451 recorded interactions with an additional 679 on the bike
  • Friday – 965 recorded interactions with an additional 549 on the bike
  • Saturday ~1000 recorded interactions with an additional 500 on the bike

Giving us a total of more than 6500 interactions with people.

The age range was across the board with most being of school age.  The youngest child on the bike was probably about 3 years old and sat on the bike seat while here brothers turned the peddles long below her feet, while the oldest interaction would have been one of the grandparents taking their grandchildren to the show.  There were people from all backgrounds and ethnicities involved, reflecting the diverse backgrounds from which our school children originate.

There were a number of highlights for me. People declaring that we were the “Best event at the whole show” were pretty touching, as was the young lad who climbed out of his wheelchair and onto the bike in order to see his own hydrogen bubbles. Some of the more in-depth conversations about sustainable living and energy transfer were great, as was the animated argument about how we should ignore the laws of physics and run the bike off the hydrogen energy in order to make more hydrogen…..

We also came up with loads of improvements for the display and are now trying to implement them before our next outing.

I am extremely grateful to the RSC for their contribution and to the dedicated helpers on our team and look forward to the next encounter for The Hydrogen Bike.

Charlie Dunnill

Flexis Launch

FLEXIS is a huge Welsh University flexible energy research collaboration between Swansea, Cardiff and University South Wales. We had the official launch on February 2nd 2017 and The Hydrogen Bike was there on centre stage.
It was great to have theWelsh Gov VIP’s looking at the bike and showing an interest in the concept of hydrogen as an energy vector.