Worcester Bosch has developed a prototype boiler that can run on both natural gas and hydrogen, to future-proof it against what the company sees as an inevitable outcome of cutting down on carbon emissions.
The Worcester prototype hydrogen boiler is no different in size to a regular natural gas boiler, and shares similar schematics, so engineers won't be faced with an entirely new beast when it comes to its installation. Because it runs on natural gas as well as hydrogen, the expectation is that when hydrogen takes its place - something which Worcester Bosch has been advocating for - it'll be able to switch over, what with it being 'hydrogen-ready'.
"The beauty of hydrogen as an alternative to natural gas is that as well as water as a by-product, Worcester Bosch has developed a technical solution that will feel familiar to both homeowners and installers," said Martyn Bridges, director of technical communication and product management at Worcester Bosch. "The gas network is also in place, so homeowners won’t experience any major infrastructure disruption.
"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.”
As it stands, 15 per cent of the UK's greenhouse gases come from home heating. Swapping to hydrogen would mean we would be using a carbon-free fuel source, what with water being the main by-product of burning hydrogen gas. And the company is calling for such measures in order to meet the country's 2050 net zero carbon emissions target.
The design of the new boiler means that it could be easily integrated into UK homes without the need for rip out and replace the entire heating system. It's just a matter of waiting for hydrogen heating to become a reality.