Is hydrogen a safe fuel?
There are numerous trials taking place across the UK into hydrogen gas and its uses in the home, many of which we at Worcester Bosch are involved in.
These include ‘HyStreet’, a test site in Northumberland where over 200 tests have been completed to research the safety of converting homes and gas networks to hydrogen.
There is also a two-home Hy4Heat trial in Gateshead where two homes have been built specifically to showcase the gas in operation. Such as boilers, cookers, and fires all running on hydrogen.
These trials will prove that hydrogen is a safe alternative to natural gas, from then hydrogen-ready boilers will become more of a reality.
What research is being undertaken into hydrogen gas?
Additional research is being undertaken at Keele University, where around 150 boilers were running on up to a 20% hydrogen blend for around 18 months. There have been no issues with either heating systems or cooking appliances.
There is also a 300-home trial in Fife, which will see a switch from natural gas to hydrogen by 2022.
Finally, there is HyNet in the Northwest of England, which although not specific to boilers, does include heating homes as one of its key focuses. This is alongside hydrogen production, transportation, and manufacturing.
All trials are working towards one goal: gathering and building evidence, as well as confirming what we know already, to help increase confidence in hydrogen as a technology
What are the benefits of fitting a hydrogen boiler?
Many existing homes, despite energy efﬁciency improvements, still have relatively poor insulation and high rates of air exchange with the outdoors.
A hydrogen-ready boiler can accommodate an existing high temperature heating system in a hard-to-heat building. Where costs are highly constrained, the boiler (and conversion of the local gas network) provides an accessible way to deeply decarbonise heat.
From a customer point of view, a hydrogen-ready boiler does not require any behaviour change and will provide the same delivery of comfort as an existing appliance.