Article Source: Green Car Congress
The first hydrogen-powered domestic boiler was recently put into operation in a real-life situation in Rozenburg, the Netherlands. The boiler was developed by BDR Thermea Group, a leading manufacturer of smart thermal comfort solutions, whose mission is developing and producing heating and hot water solutions with virtually no CO2 emissions.
The boiler burns pure hydrogen that has been produced by wind or solar energy. Gas network provider Stedin, the company that has initiated the project, is responsible for the production and supply of the sustainably produced hydrogen.
This is the first real-life situation in which pure hydrogen will be used to fuel a high-efficiency condensing boiler to heat the central heating system of a residential building. The boiler was developed by BDR Thermea Group’s Research and Development (R&D) competence center in Italy. After the first pilot in the Netherlands, which is being carried out by the Group’s Dutch subsidiary Remeha, it is carrying out a large-scale field trial in the United Kingdom. New opportunities for projects in other European countries are now being explored as part of the broader, pan-European development of this technology.
Sustainably produced hydrogen is an important, potentially very interesting energy carrier for the future. Power to gas (hydrogen) is an unavoidable and necessary technology if we want to store sustainably generated energy over a longer period of time, as abundant wind and solar energy is not always immediately available at times of greatest need, such as during the winter. With the new hydrogen boiler, along with our fuel cell appliances, we are firmly committed to making the built environment more sustainable.
—Bertrand Schmitt, CEO of BDR Thermea Group
The operating principle of the hydrogen boiler is the same as that of a boiler running on natural gas. In the future, we will be able to exchange conventional gas boilers for hydrogen boilers on a like for like basis, provided the supply of hydrogen is available through natural gas pipelines. That is why co-operation with network operators is of crucial importance to BDR Thermea Group. In addition to the pilot in Rozenburg, we will also participate in a large-scale demonstration project in the United Kingdom. Over 400 hydrogen boilers will be installed over the next two years.
We would like to invite other network operators and building owners in Europe to collaborate in field tests as well. In this way, the development of a CO2-free heat supply will be accelerated. This will also boost the production of sustainable, green hydrogen using wind and solar energy.
—Peter Snel, CTO of BDR Thermea Group
The Dutch project in Rozenburg is a joint initiative with network operator Stedin, the municipality of Rotterdam and housing cooperative Ressort Wonen. The hydrogen boiler will be installed in a boiler room alongside an existing conventional natural gas boiler which will ensure that the residents have sufficient heat and hot water at all times. Stedin is using an existing regular pipeline to supply the hydrogen, demonstrating that the existing gas network is suitable for carrying hydrogen. In this project, Stedin and its partners are considering the entire chain of the future: the production, distribution and conversion of hydrogen, with the ultimate aim of providing zero-carbon comfort.