Installed in one of the three purpose-built, terraced homes on the site, Vaillant’s hydrogen boiler is certificated to operate with 100% hydrogen, according to the Gas Appliance Regulation legislation, and for installation in pilot sites in real operation mode, offering valuable evidence to demonstrate how hydrogen performs in a ‘real-world’ environment.
The project, which is part of the H21 programme and is led by Northern Gas Networks and DNV, includes testing on a one kilometre purpose-built polyethelene MicroGrid. The MicroGrid mirrors a typical UK distribution network and comprises pipework of various pressures and tiers and is being used to understand how gas distribution companies would manage and operate the networks under 100% hydrogen conditions. The data gathered will form part of the vital evidence that is required to inform any operational and maintenance procedures which will need to be updated for a hydrogen gas network in order to deliver a lower carbon heating solution for UK homes in the future and ensure customers can have a choice about how they heat their homes.
This is the second of Vaillant’s wall-mounted hydrogen condensing boilers to have been installed in the UK. In March this year, its first 100% hydrogen boiler was installed at the H21 South Bank site in Middlesbrough, where testing is taking place within a bespoke facility on disused land, purpose built to utilise the existing underground gas pipework which formerly supplied houses on the site, which have since been demolished. The evidence gathered here will be used to examine practicalities such as gas tightness and purging through to installation needs.
For Vaillant, the data collected from both sites will help further develop and improve its hydrogen offering globally, shape training needs for installers and ensure the company can continue to feed into regulatory requirements going forwards.
Speaking about the project, Mark Wilkins, Technologies and Training Director at Vaillant, said: “We are delighted to be playing a significant role in the development, testing, and guidance on using hydrogen as a low carbon option to heat our homes. With the government’s roadmap moving closer towards the first hydrogen village, planned for 2025, the results of this test site will help inform and shape how that looks and the requirements that need to be in place to make it a success.
“The future of heating is expected to be a mix of technologies, rather than being reliant on one source. For Vaillant, the data gathered from this site will continue to inform our own product development, and ensure we continue to lead in both boiler and heat pump innovation. Ultimately, providing UK homes with multiple options for lowering carbon emissions, selected to suit their property, and aiding the move towards net zero.”
Dan Allason, Head of Section – research and innovation at DNV, commented: “The results collected from Spadeadam and our other H21 sites are key to assessing the viability of a full hydrogen rollout. At HyStreet Spadeadam, the properties are designed to emulate a real home environment, and the work being conducted is vital not only to assess the performance of the fuel in action, but also in informing and managing the perceptions in the minds of the people who will eventually receive the fuel in their homes.”
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