A new boiler prototype that can run on 100% hydrogen gas has been unveiled by Worcester Bosch. 

Worcester Bosch believes the boiler could be instrumental in decarbonising heating and hot water in the UK, and help the UK to meet its climate change targets of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

The boiler manufacturer has been developing the prototype over the last few years. The hydrogen boiler also runs effectively on natural gas, meaning the prospective transference to hydrogen gas in the future will be easy for those with a ‘hydrogen-ready’ Bosch boiler, which can convert to hydrogen without the need for an entirely new heating system.

Hydrogen is being widely explored as a solution to the UK’s heating problems. This is because the main by-product of burning hydrogen is water, a carbon-free fuel source.

Martyn Bridges, Director of Technical Communication and Product Management at Worcester Bosch said, “The development of hydrogen-fired boilers will mean millions of existing heating systems in our homes can be saved, rather than the entire system needing to be replaced.

“With fully developed prototypes, various trials planned and many heating engineers and manufacturers in agreement that this could be a viable solution to decarbonise heating and hot water, we are hopeful that the future will be hydrogen.”

The Future of Boilers

In 2019, a report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) called for a ban on gas and oil boilers from being installed in all new homes from 2025, but HB&R expert David Hilton is a firm advocate of hydrogen’s benefits.

“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.”

The UK government has already introduced measures to improve the energy efficiency of gas boilers, and from 2025 it will be illegal to install a gas boiler in a new build.

According to Worcester Bosch, the boiler will be a direct replacement to natural gas, burning natural gas on its first day until the switch to hydrogen is made. With a similar build to existing boilers, installers will already possess the salient skills needed to install the product.

Earlier this year, the first pilot project in the UK to inject zero carbon hydrogen into a gas network to heat homes became fully operational in Keele. 

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