Dutch boiler-maker BDR Thermea today launched what it said was a world-first pilot using hydrogen boilers in 12 heritage homes in the eastern Dutch town of Lochem.
The detached listed houses, all built around 1900, will each be equipped with one of the boilers, which burn hydrogen with zero carbon emissions. The hydrogen will be fed into the existing gas grid at a nearby industrial zone.
Over the three-year pilot, BDR Thermea and grid operator Alliander will test the boilers during wintertime demand peaks.
The houses were chosen as examples of older housing stock that have restrictions on changes to their fabric because of their heritage status.
“Heating of buildings and water contributes significantly to energy use and CO2 emissions: space heating accounts for 63.6% and water heating 14.8% of EU residential energy use.” said BDR Thermea chief executive Bertrand Schmitt in a press release.
“Decarbonising buildings is therefore an urgent imperative, and hydrogen is one of the key technologies to do this, alongside heat networks, all-electric heat pumps and hybrid solutions that twin heat pumps with gas boilers.”
In the UK, BDR Thermea subsidiary Baxi is supplying boilers for a green hydrogen-to-homes heating network pilot involving 300 homes in Levenmouth, Scotland. Since isolating hydrogen from water is energy intensive, hydrogen is made with renewable energy is designated “green”.
Elsewhere in the UK, two communities are competing for a project to establish the country’s first “hydrogen village” in 2025: Whitby in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, and areas in Redcar, Teesside.