UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Ucell@It's All Academic Festival

16 September 2018

The fuel cell stack at the festival

The It’s All Academic Festival is a whole festival devoted to the research being done UCL-wide and gives departments, academics and research groups the opportunity to showcase their work to members of the public of all ages. With hands-on activities, workshops, talks and tours, visitors get the chance to get exclusive access to UCL and engage with the incredible work going on.

For the first time, UCell were lucky enough to take part in the festival, now in its second year. On Saturday 15th September, we arrived on campus nice and early to set up the stack, ready for a 10am kick off – we were thankful that for once we only had to wheel the stack 200 m from the laboratory and not all the way to another city!

After everything was set up, people started flooding in to the festival. The hydrogen was connected and the stack booted up then we plugged in our activity for the day – a popcorn machine. The stack worked without problem and people were so amazed to hear that their popcorn had been made completely off grid using the stack that they could see in-front of their eyes.

As well as the stack, we had plenty of people asking challenging questions about the future of fuel cells and batteries and what that means for the energy system of the future. My favourite question was from a girl, probably aged around 8, who asked “So, if there are more fuel cells putting out water, will there be more rain?”. Nick also brought his electrolyser down from his studio to put on display and was another excellent talking point.

Another excellent event – it was a pleasure to be a part of the festival and give something back to UCL, thanks for having us. We’re looking forward to next year already!

More about the festival here.