‘Hydrogen-ready’ boiler will run on either natural gas or hydrogen
Worcester Bosch has officially unveiled its 100 per cent hydrogen boiler prototype, which is designed to fit into the same footprint as a current natural gas boiler.
The company notes that so-called ’hydrogen-ready boilers’ will be a direct replacement to natural gas, burning natural gas on its first day up until the switch to hydrogen takes place. “With a similar build to existing boilers, installers will already have most skills necessary to fit these products too.”
The protoype is a 30 kW boiler but the unit can be scaled up or down to suit what the individual house requires. The switchover process from natural gas to hydrogen is expected to take under an hour, the manufacturer says, but it notes that if a Hydrogen-ready boiler was sold and installed onto the current Natural Gas infrastructure then it could run on whatever constituents are in that gas supply, which could be a blend of 20% hydrogen
The 20 per cent hydrogen blend gas supply is currently being trialled in the HyDeploy trial at Keele University.
Martyn Bridges, Director of Technical Communication and Product Management at Worcester Bosch said; “The development of hydrogen-fired boilers will mean millions of existing heating systems in our homes can be saved, rather than the entire system needing to be replaced. The beauty of hydrogen as an alternative to natural gas is that as well as water as a by-product, Worcester Bosch has developed a technical solution that will feel familiar to both homeowners and installers. The gas network is also in place, so homeowners won’t experience any major infrastructure disruption.”
The manufacturer is confident that the combination of an advanced stage of development and relative ease of use will make hydrogen the most appropriate low-carbon heating option, Mr Bridges said ”“With fully developed prototypes, various trials planned and many heating engineers and manufacturers in agreement that this could be a viable solution to decarbonise heating and hot water, we are hopeful that the future will be hydrogen.”
The first public trial of 100 per cent hydrogen looks set to be at Levenmouth in Fife, where SGN’s H100 project is expected to see up to 300 homes trialing hydrogen boilers.