UCL leads the way on clean, green energy
An electrochemical energy outreach group based at University College London is educating and engaging the public with innovative clean energy by actively powering events around the country.
UCell is a team of PhD students, researchers, academics and industrial partners based in the UCL Electrochemical Innovation Lab (UCL EIL).
The foundations of UCell were laid in 2011 when Professor Dan Brett (UCL Chemical Engineering) was asked by a curator involved in the Green Man Festival to recommend UCL students to work on a summer project to build a hydrogen fuel cell system to provide emission-free power for Einstein’s garden – one of the ten areas that make up the Festival.
Fuel cells are electrochemical energy devices that turn the energy locked in chemicals into electricity directly without any combustion similar to a battery, which also turns chemical energy directly into electricity. However, while batteries have all the chemicals stored inside and must be recharged or replaced when they run out, in fuel cells the fuel is flowed through the device constantly, making electricity as long as the fuel supply lasts. Because of this, they can be much more efficient than other methods of making electricity.
Following their success in 2011, in 2013 a further five students were drafted in to work on the project and UCell was born. The team powered the performance stage at Einstein’s garden and provided live stats from the fuel cell such as voltage, current, and power output.
In 2014 the team celebrated it’s fourth year at Green Man Festival and debuted at Glastonbury Festival showcasing The 'Clean Green Charging Machine', and provided power to the Greenpower International Finals.
UCell is dedicated to engaging with the public and being an ambassador for UCL. It conducts demonstrations, revision sessions and energy discussions at schools and colleges.
UCell has received funding the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014 and from the Public Engagement Unit multiple times and were awarded a UC Sustainability Achievement Award for 'Positive Impact on Society' by Green UCL in 2016.
- UCell website
- UCell's on Facebook
- UCL Electrochemical Innovation Lab
- UCL Chemical Engineering
- UCell at Glastonbury
- Credit/Source: UCell