In the coming years, there will be a transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources and carriers. Climate change and energy transition are topics we at Zara Heating want to contribute actively. In essence, it is always about reducing CO2 emissions with innovative technologies.
You may be familiar with sustainably produced electricity from wind and sun, but there are even more possibilities. One of them is hydrogen, a promising energy carrier. What are Hydrogen-Ready Boilers? How is it works? What are the advantages and disadvantages, and how can hydrogen contribute to reducing CO2 emissions?
What are Hydrogen Boilers?
Hydrogen is not an energy source like natural gas, wind, and sun. Hydrogen is a light, odourless gas and, as such, an energy carrier. That means we can use it to produce energy and extract it from it. Moreover, just like natural gas and other gases, hydrogen can be stored and easily transported. Therefore it has all the essential factors to be considered a sustainable energy source.
A hydrogen boiler is a heating system that can generate heat and, depending on the operating principle, electricity from hydrogen. The hydrogen provides the primary energy for this. Hydrogen-ready boiler is supposed to be the future of the UK's heating system. As Zara Heating, we support the transition to renewable energy systems with our expert staff.
Pros and Cons of Hydrogen Heating
You can benefit from many advantages if you want to heat with hydrogen. However, there are also some disadvantages. The pros and cons of hydrogen boilers are as follows:
Pros of Hydrogen Heating
● Low-noise technology: No motors or burners are required to generate energy with the fuel cell.
● CO2-neutral and emission-free: no exhaust gases are produced during cold combustion.
● Low space requirement: The fuel cell is very compact and can also be installed in tight spaces.
● Generation of heat and electricity: In this way, fuel cell heating systems with hydrogen achieve efficiencies of up to 100 percent.
Cons of Hydrogen Heating
● Gas connection required (as long as there is no hydrogen network): Natural gas is converted to hydrogen so that the fuel cell can generate heat and electricity.
● Storing hydrogen is very complex for condensing boilers that are operated with hydrogen.
● Energy requirements are usually not wholly covered in peak load times: This applies when several large household appliances operate simultaneously or the fuel cell does not generate enough heat in the cold season. Then a gas condensing boiler is usually switched on as a supplement.
To understand the operation of hydrogen boilers, it is necessary to distinguish between two uses of this fuel. Indeed, it can be transformed and injected directly into the gas network, thanks to the "power-to-gas" process. This makes it possible to obtain sustainable gas. It can also be injected in small quantities directly into gas pipelines.
The Hydrogen Fuel Cell
The other solution is micro-CHP (combined heat and power), which is what we are talking about when the term "hydrogen boiler" is used. It consists of using a fuel cell to generate electrolysis and obtain green hydrogen:
1. The boiler gets its energy from a system that mixes hydrogen and natural gas.
2. The cell rises in temperature by thermodynamic effect. The hydrogen mixes at this time with the oxygen in the air and the combustion of the gas.
3. The heat generated is used to heat the water in the heating circuit. Moreover, electrolysis also produces electricity that can be used for the house.
If this system is still not widespread in UK and Europe, it is prevalent and widely used in Japan.
The 100% Hydrogen Boiler
Also, hydrogen can then be used alone, that is to say, 100%, requiring a boiler whose operation differs from gas heating or fuel oil.
The 100% Hydrogen Boiler is still being tested in the UK, and several ways are being worked on. The BDR Thermea company is currently testing one of them since the beginning of 2021. This heating system also requires nearby hydrogen storage.
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Q: What kind of fuel does your boiler use?
Remeha has developed the world's first residential hydrogen condensing boiler at BDR Thermea Group's Center of Excellence for Research and Development in Italy. Since the summer of 2019, it has been used under actual conditions in Rozenburg near Rotterdam in the Netherlands to collect representative data.
Hydrogen boilers are not yet widely used in the UK but will gradually begin to spread. Worcester Bosch and Viessmann make the most innovative investments in the hydrogen boiler. That means we will not see widespread use until it is fully developed.
Contact Us For New Boiler
Recent condensing gas models fully support the current 10% hydrogen mixture. Nevertheless, given the increase planned for 2030, many manufacturers are already adapting their models to a 20% or even 30% hydrogen amount.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you need to change your old boiler. If you have any questions about our services, feel free to ask through the Contact Us section. You can reach Zara Heating's experts by calling or sending an e-mail.