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Hydrogen, Hydrogen heating, Viessmann, Stiebel Eltron

Pros and Cons of Hydrogen Heating

In June 2020, the German government presented its national hydrogen strategy. In the coming years, it intends to invest more than nine billion euros in the expansion of a corresponding infrastructure. The EU Commission also wants to significantly expand hydrogen production capacities in the coming years.

The question remains as to what is the best use for this valuable fuel, preferably produced from renewable electricity by electrolysis. According to heating manufacturer Viessmann, up to 20 % hydrogen by volume could be added to the natural gas grid today, thereby reducing German greenhouse gas emissions by around 7 %. Viessman’s Vitodens 200 and 300 gas-condensing boilers can already be operated with 20–30 % hydrogen.

Henning Schulz, press spokesman for competitor Stiebel Eltron, considers this to be a mistake: “Why should you inefficiently burn up what there is too little of anyway?”, he says, in part referring to the study entitled “Climate Neutral Germany” by Agora Energiewende. According to the study, it is not economical to use hydrogen for heating buildings as a step towards decarbonisation. In its 2019 Hydrogen Roadmap, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft also considers feeding hydrogen into the German natural gas grid to be unprofitable in the medium and long term.

Nevertheless, Viessmann is pushing ahead with the development of heating units that can also be operated with 100 % hydrogen. The basis of the H2ready appliances are gas-adaptive wall-mounted appliances for natural gas. For operation with hydrogen, however, the combustion, flame monitoring and control systems must be redeveloped and the burner components adapted. JS

Hydrogen, Hydrogen heating, Viessmann, Stiebel Eltron

Photo: Viessmann

This article is taken out of the following magazine:
DETAIL 3/2021

Concept Live and Work

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