Viessmann hydrogen boiler prototypes are currently running on test beds in the research and development centre at the company’s headquarters in Allendorf (Eder) in Germany prior to approval, endurance testing, and deployment in actual heating systems.
The boiler is based on Viessmann’s series-produced natural gas-condensing Vitodens boiler, adapted for operation with pure hydrogen. The main modifications include the adaptation of the burner and development of the combustion, flame monitoring, and control system.
The first practical deployment will take place in Kaisersesch, Germany, in early 2023 as part of the SmartQuart project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics. As part of this pilot project, a complete hydrogen infrastructure will be established, from the generation of renewable electricity for electrolysis to the storage and distribution of the hydrogen created and its use for heat and power in industry and transport.
The technical concept allows for a further boiler to be launched, possible to operate with natural gas, natural gas/hydrogen mixtures, as well as with pure hydrogen, meaning boilers are ready for pure hydrogen in the future, and they can be operated as conventional gas boilers before the gas supply is changed over. For operation with the new fuel source, only the burner assembly needs to be replaced, for which a cost-effective retrofit kit is being developed for a quick and simple conversion by a specialist installer.
Dr. Markus Klausner, Chief Technology Officer of Viessmann Climate Solutions SE, said: “Viessmann was one of the first manufacturers in the world to develop gas condensing boilers that can run on pure hydrogen and therefore emit no CO2. With this breakthrough, we have taken a huge step towards realising the goals of the Paris Agreement in the building sector."
Graham Russell, Managing Director at Viessmann UK, said: “The heating market will play a crucial role in achieving climate targets by 2050. Only by exploiting all technological possibilities can the necessary decarbonisation be achieved. This is why experts see a reliable, secure, affordable and climate-neutral heat supply solution in a sensible energy mix that uses renewable fuels in addition to electricity. 'Green' hydrogen in particular will play a major role in achieving this goal. Its use, especially in existing buildings, is the logical way to make the heat supply climate neutral. Significant CO2 reductions can also be achieved immediately by using hydrogen for heating."
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