An innovative 100% hydrogen boiler has received an international award for its sustainable method of heating homes and buildings.
BDR Thermea Group’s hydrogen boiler design scooped the VSK 2020 Audience Award, indicating increased public awareness of the benefits hydrogen boilers could provide.
The VSK Awards, which celebrate developments in the world of installation, took place in Utrecht, the Netherlands between 4-7 February.
Hydrogen is being widely explored as a solution to the UK’s heating problems because the main by-product of burning hydrogen is water, a carbon-free fuel source.
BDR Thermea Group’s Remeha 100% hydrogen boiler has previously been tested in Rozenburg, the Netherlands. It is now being assessed in a large-scale field trial in the UK, with more than 400 hydrogen boilers set to be installed in the next two years.
BDR Thermea Group’s boiler burns pure hydrogen that has been produced by wind of solar energy, without releasing any carbon dioxide.
The simplicity of the design means that it can replace natural gas-fired central heating boilers in homes with very few installation adjustments.
In November 2019, Kiwa (an independent testing, inspection and certifying body) certified Remeha’s range of domestic gas boilers in the Netherlands for up to 20% hydrogen admixture.
Peter Snel, technical director for the BDR Thermea Group, said of the boiler: “The operating principle behind the hydrogen boiler is the same as a boiler running on natural gas. In the future, we will be able to replace conventional gas boilers with hydrogen boilers on a like-for-like basis, provided that hydrogen can be supplied by gas pipelines.”
Are Hydrogen Boilers the Future?
Hydrogen boilers could help to decarbonise heating and hot water systems in the UK, and ease the transition from natural gas. When pure hydrogen from renewable energy sources is distributed via a dedicated gas grid, this allows boilers to provide heating and hot water to homes with zero carbon emissions.
From 2025 it will be illegal to install a gas boiler in new builds, and HB&R expert David Hilton is one of the leading advocates of hydrogen’s benefits as a replacement. “Early investigations have found that it is likely that hydrogen boilers can run on natural gas until the day hydrogen becomes available, and a much smaller, almost seamless, conversion of the appliance can then be undertaken,” he said.
Last week, boiler manufacturers Worcester Bosch unveiled a new hydrogen gas boiler prototype, and earlier this year Keele University launched the first pilot project in the UK to inject zero carbon hydrogen into a gas network to heat homes.