Installers’ hydrogen questions answered by Vaillant

The use of hydrogen to heat our homes continues to spark many questions and much debate across the industry. To help answer the queries that are most important to installers, Vaillant asked what they really wanted to know on the topic.  

Forming the basis for Vaillant’s latest video, the resulting Q&A session was filmed on site at the HyStreet demonstration in Spadeadam, where the second of its 100% hydrogen boilers is now installed. Head of Product Management at Vaillant, Paul Honeyman, was joined by installers from PCL Net Zero, to ask the team of experts from Vaillant and DNV working at the site.

The top three highlights are below, or you can watch the full discussion here.

Q: Can you tell us more about the differences between installing a hydrogen boiler vs. a natural gas model?

Steve Dixon, Field Service Support Manager at Vaillant, explained:“I was lucky enough to install both of Vaillant’s 100% hydrogen boilers, one here in Spadeadam, and one at H21 South Bank in Middlesbrough earlier in the year.

“Changes have been made to how the boiler works in terms of the ignition train inside the boiler, the electronics, and how the flame is monitored. But, from an installation perspective, there was very little difference. As with Vaillant’s gas boilers, the 100% hydrogen boiler has been designed to be straightforward to install to ensure the transition journey for our installers is as seamless as possible.

“Going back to basics and making sure all installation practices, such as purging the system, are implemented properly is the most important aspect when approaching a hydrogen install.”

Q: How is hydrogen going to be delivered to homes?

Dan Allason from DNV, one of the companies responsible for the logistics of getting hydrogen to the Spadeadam site, answered: “Nothing is set in stone yet, but you can produce hydrogen in a number of different ways. The key thing about hydrogen conversion is that we will be looking to use the same assets to deliver the gas to homes that are already out there, with some very minor modifications. So, the gas network itself in the street, we will be converting that and we’ll just be changing the gas within it.

“There are some modifications to procedures to how we run those networks that will change, but, predominantly, certainly from an installer point of view and from the appliance point of view, there will be very little difference that you would see.”

Q: When should installers be looking to update training?

Paul Honeyman, Head of Product Management at Vaillant, picked up the questioning: “Manufacturers like ourselves, are keen to give as much support as possible to installers and it is a great idea to keep an eye on the training modules available.

“We’ve already added new options to our training schedule to help those who want to see how hydrogen will fit into the low carbon landscape, including An Introduction to Hydrogen, which is available now.

“Hydrogen is still very much in its testing and feasibility phase, however, with energy efficiency high on the agenda many customers may be looking to make savings now. So, it is also a great idea to pair these with modules such as Low Temperature Solutions, or look at our Heat Pump training series, so you can ensure homes are running as efficiently as possible whether this is on natural gas, hydrogen or even heat pumps.”

The HyStreet demonstration, in Spadeadam, Cumbria, is now home to the second of Vaillant’s 100% hydrogen boilers certificated for use in a pilot setting. The site, which comprises of three, purpose-built terraced properties is run by DNV and Northern Gas Networks and is playing a key role in testing the feasibility of using hydrogen in our homes. The results of which will feed into the hydrogen village sites, expected in 2025.

To find out more about Vaillant’s 100% hydrogen boiler install at the DNV test site in Spadeadam, or to watch the discussion in full, visit https://www.vaillant.co.uk/for-installers/business-support/industry-drivers-and-legislation/hydrogen/spadeadamqa-2493699.html