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."

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.



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.

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.



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.




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. 

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.


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

British Science Festival 2016

BSF came to Swansea in 2016.  We saw loads of people through the days that we were on display and spoke to all sorts of interesting and interested parties about the role of energy in our future.


The highlight for me was to be on the big talk stage showing the concept whilst it was broadcast live on the big screen in Swansea Castle Square.



We also made a splash across the world in Melbourn Austrailia with a radio show describing our activities.

Gearing up for the Hydrogen Economy