Looking into the future with hydrogen and HVAC solutions
Is hydrogen the solution for a cleaner future? On the narrow road to a net zero carbon 2050, it appears that hydrogen could be the missing piece of the clean energy puzzle. However, for heating and hot water applications, numerous challenges prevent the ambitious goal of net zero from being achieved, for now at least.
Firstly, 85% of homes in the UK currently rely on gas-powered central heating, and hydrogen boilers are only now being trialled in test homes with prototypes developed by industry leaders such as Worcester Bosch, Viessmann, and Baxi.
British Gas predicts that “when the gas supply switches to 100% hydrogen, every new boiler sold in the UK will simply be a hydrogen boiler. This is the ultimate goal, but it probably won’t happen until the mid-2040s”. So, there is a threat that hydrogen won’t pass the tipping point fast enough to mitigate a rapidly warming climate.
Secondly, producing enough green hydrogen to replace all UK boilers is estimated to require around 30 times more offshore wind than is currently available. Furthermore, it demands replacing 20% of the gas pipe system as hydrogen cannot travel through iron piping.
Thirdly, storing and processing hydrogen poses a higher safety risk as hydrogen is more flammable due to its energy storage.
Our thoughts as HVAC providers
Hydrogen offers an excellent long-term potential thanks to its versatility and efficiencies and has received the support of many governments and companies worldwide that back hydrogen as the key to a cleaner future.
But despite the potential, it seems to have faced many obstacles to a smooth take-off, meaning that industry issues exist for hydrogen generation. From clean sources, it’s still 2–3 times costlier than natural gas/coal. With the current gas prices already skyrocketing, we’re concerned that this trend will worsen.
There has not been sufficient traction on the development of hydrogen infrastructure to counter this, but individual nations have increased their hydrogen R&D and spending, suggesting that progress is being made to adopt hydrogen as a mainstream source of energy.
One company that has caught the eye with its development of hydrogen efficiencies is Australian-based business Hysata. Hysata’s world-leading hydrogen electrolyser technology has been recognised globally with ground-breaking research.
It confirms that Hysata’s ‘capillary-fed electrolysis cell’ can produce green hydrogen from water at 98% cell energy efficiency. This percentage is well above International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) 2050 target and significantly better than existing electrolyser technologies. Solving these sustainable challenges will take time, but progress has been made already. Overall, we’re confident a cleaner, greener, hydrogen-powered future is just around the corner.
In the meantime, for any HVAC unit enquiries, contact us. Follow our journey on Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram for more handy insights.