Hydrogen Boiler Taking Over The UK in Future- A Complete Guide

hydrogen boilers in the background

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This is part of the government’s plan to phase out older boiler technologies. A hydrogen boiler can help change how you heat your home. Since it uses hydrogen gas, it takes its name from it. Now the truth is that the UK wants to use more of these boilers by the year 2035. That’s because the government wants to help the planet and fight against climate change. But, will the hydrogen boiler completely replace the gas boiler we use now?

In this blog, we’ll learn about how hydrogen boilers work, why they’re great, and their pros and cons.You might not have a hydrogen boilers now, but in the future, you most likely will. It is going to replace current gas, electric, and biomass boilers.

Why Hydrogen?

Hydrogen helps us use cleaner energy and does not hurt our planet. It plays a crucial role in the country’s energy supply. This environmentally friendly option aims to deliver locally produced, low-carbon heat and power to millions of homes. Moreover, its impact is multi-faceted. Firstly, it is expected to generate hundreds of thousands of jobs across various sectors. Secondly, as a greener alternative to natural gas, hydrogen contributes to environmental sustainability. Next, it establishes a secure future energy source, ensuring stability for the UK’s energy needs.

Undeniably, right now, we can’t buy a boiler that uses 100% hydrogen, but manufacturers are working on it. They already made boilers that are ready for hydrogen containing up to 20% hydrogen mix. Companies like Worcester Bosch and Viessmann are constantly making progress on these types of boilers. So, hydrogen boilers are the future to help our planet stay happy and healthy.

Is a shift to hydrogen possible?

Hydrogen is like a super energy for home heating. It is still getting ready to take over from natural gas. This change is happening because we want to be kind to our planet. Plus, we’re finding ways that are good for our pockets too. But, not everyone knows how awesome hydrogen is. It’s made right here, and we can use the same pipelines we use for gas to bring it to our homes. A hydrogen boiler and cooker work just like the ones we have now.

Moreover, some homes are already trying out this hydrogen power. It’s like a big experiment to see if we can use hydrogen for everything at home. If this works, it could create lots of jobs, stop pollution, and help us not rely so much on the gas that we export. Exciting times ahead!

What is a hydrogen boiler?

A hydrogen boiler is like a regular boiler, but it uses hydrogen gas as its main fuel. This is a clean and renewable resource. When you burn it, there’s no pollution, unlike using oil or gas.

Now, just like regular ones that use natural gas, hydrogen boilers burn hydrogen to make hot gases. These gases then heat water. You can either store this hot water or send it through radiators to warm up your home.

By 2030, the UK government wants 5 gigawatts of low-carbon hydrogen. It hopes to replace natural gas in homes and industries. For this purpose, it has two ways to make hydrogen: electrolysis and steam-methane reforming.

Electrolysis uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Steam-methane reforming separates hydrogen from carbon in methane. It does so by using high-temperature steam. The government plans to support these methods by 2050 to reach its Net Zero goal.

Types of a hydrogen boiler

Now, there are two types of hydrogen boilers: hydrogen-ready and hydrogen-only. Hydrogen-ready boilers can use a mix of hydrogen and natural gas. Hydrogen-only boilers need a hydrogen infrastructure. They come in two main types: combi boilers and system boilers.

Combi boilers do both heating and hot water. System boilers only handle home heating. So if you have a separate hot water cylinder, a system boiler is a good choice.

How does a hydrogen boiler work?

A hydrogen boiler works in five steps. First, hydrogen gas comes into the boiler from either a hydrogen grid or a storage tank. Next, the hydrogen mixes with air in a special chamber. After that, the mix of hydrogen and oxygen is lit to make heat. Further, this heat goes to a heat exchanger. This warms up water for heating and hot water at home. Finally, the water vapour goes outside into the air.


Hydrogen boiler cost

Getting a hydrogen boiler for your home is a good idea to be eco-friendly, but it might not be cheap. Right now, a hydrogen boiler cost can be between £2,000 and £3,200. The big companies making boilers promise that hydrogen-ready ones will be as cheap as or even cheaper than regular gas boilers.

But because hydrogen boilers are still being tested, we can’t be sure about the exact cost to install them. We’ll only know when they are ready to be used by everyone.

Pros and cons of hydrogen boiler

Pros of hydrogen boiler

  • Helps the Environment: Hydrogen is clean and reusable energy. When we use it in boilers, it doesn’t make any pollution – just water vapour comes out.
  • Works Well: Hydrogen boilers are better than regular ones. They can make more heat using less energy because hydrogen has a lot of power in a tiny bit.
  • Fits Right: Hydrogen boilers fit easily into our gas systems. We don’t need to change much because they work kind of like the boilers we use now.
  • Keeps the Earth Healthy: We can make hydrogen from sunlight and wind. This is much better for our planet than using gas or oil, which can harm the Earth. Furthermore, choosing hydrogen helps us take care of our home.

Cons of hydrogen boiler

  • Expensive: Right now, a hydrogen boiler costs more than a regular gas and oil one. But, as more people start using them, the cost will go down.
  • Not Everywhere Yet: Hydrogen boilers are not easy to find in the UK right now. But the government is working on it. It is investing in the hydrogen system, so we’ll probably see more hydrogen boilers around soon.
  • Needs to be Safe: Hydrogen is a gas that can catch fire easily. So, it’s super important to have a trained person install and take care of hydrogen boilers to keep everyone safe.
  • Needs More Stuff: To use hydrogen more, we need to spend a lot of money on making and delivering it. Even though some boilers can use the current system, boilers that use only hydrogen need some changes in how things work.

Is a 100% hydrogen boiler available?

Unfortunately, not yet. You can’t buy a 100% hydrogen boiler right now. The technology for hydrogen boilers is still new. It is not widely available for regular purchase. As a result, in the UK, there has yet to be a complete system for using hydrogen in homes.

But to use a hydrogen boiler, you need access to the hydrogen pipeline network. But that’s still being developed in the UK. So, it’s not practical to buy a hydrogen heating system at the moment.

Even though you can’t get a 100% hydrogen boiler, companies like Baxi and Worcester Bosch have made boilers that are ready for hydrogen. These boilers can use a mix of hydrogen and regular gas. Moreover, they’re not fully hydrogen boilers. But they are a step in that direction.

Is the future of hydrogen technology brighter?

Without a doubt, hydrogen boiler efficiency is better than gas boilers. Moreover, they bring some good things, like saving money on energy and are kind to the environment. These boilers don’t just warm up homes and water; they can even make electricity.

But, there are a few hurdles before everyone can have a hydrogen boiler at home. First, the technology for these boilers is still pretty new. Secondly, there might be some issues with the first production. Also, right now, hydrogen boilers cost more than regular gas ones. And, there’s no big network of pipelines for hydrogen fuel yet, making it a bit complicated.

Despite these challenges, there’s progress. The government is putting money into research, and companies are busy working on boilers that are ready for hydrogen. So, while it’s not all set for everyone yet, hydrogen boilers could be a big part of our home heating future.