100% hydrogen boilers piloted in 12 Dutch homes

Baxi parent company BDR Thermea Group has heated historic homes with 100% hydrogen boilers in what was described as a world-first pilot.

Pure hydrogen boilers, manufactured by BDR Thermea Group’s Dutch brand Remeha, were supplied with hydrogen via the existing natural gas grid.

The hydrogen boilers were set up in 12 inhabited 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 pure hydrogen with zero carbon emissions.

The hydrogen is fed into the existing gas grid at a nearby industrial zone.

A collaboration between BDR Thermea’s Dutch brand Remeha and grid operator Alliander, the pilot will run for three years to ensure extensive testing in wintertime.

The houses were deliberately chosen as older residential housing stock, with restrictions to the changes that can be made to them due to their heritage status.

Bertrand Schmitt, CEO of BDR Thermea Group, said: “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. 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.”

Baxi is also currently participating in the government-funded Hy4Heat programme near Gateshead, while its boilers are also being used for pilots involving 300 homes in Levenmouth, Fife, and set to be used for the UK’s first ‘hydrogen village’ in Whitby, Ellesmere Port, in 2025.

Karen Boswell, managing director at Baxi UK & Ireland, said: “The pilot in Lochem demonstrates our ongoing commitment to exploring installer-friendly home heating solutions for the future – in this case supplying hydrogen via the familiarity of an existing gas network. We recognise the important role a hydrogen-compatible grid could play in decarbonising UK homes and will use insights from this pioneering trial to accelerate that drive.”