Heating Innovation

H2Heat Positioning in terms of R&I Maturity and Technology Readiness Level – Part 1
H2Heat Positioning in terms of R&I Maturity and Technology Readiness Level – Part 1 1024 475 H2Heat Project

The H2HEAT project is all about making green hydrogen for heating a practical reality. It’s not just about ideas; it’s about putting them into action. We’re taking the lab experiments and turning them into real-world solutions.

OSW    Yes Yes 
Electrolyser  Yes  Yes  
H2-CHP   Yes  Yes Yes 
Heat Pump     Yes Yes
H2 compression and storage     Yes Yes
EMS  Yes  Yes Yes  

Ambition and progress beyond state of the art 

H2HEAT will contribute substantially to advancing the concept of green H2 for heating (and O2) both in terms of “idea to application” and “lab to market“.

Electrolyser Advances

Alkaline based electrolysers are more mature when compared with proton (PEM) or anion (AEM) exchange membrane electrolysers. However, they typically employ expensive electrode precious metal materials resulting in cost inefficiencies and likely increasing future costs.

Stargate Hydrogen is developing advanced alkaline electrolysers based on nanoceramic active materials. The use of novel materials allows Stargate to achieve performance that is on par with widely used precious metal-based electrolysers (both PEM and precious metal-based alkaline), yet without the use of precious metals. It will be demonstrated that the materials that Stargate utilizes in its novel cells and stacks can achieve electric power consumption of 45 kWh/kg H2 at the high-efficiency operating point. Quantitatively, Stargate electrodes will demonstrate electrolysis current ≥50x higher than for IrO2 electrodes per EUR invested.


There are currently no 100% H2-CHP installations in most European countries. There are none in the Canary Islands. An alternative are 100% H2 boilers, but they too at R&I stage. EU funded BIG HIT combined 12 5kW domestic H2 boilers to heat 2 schools. Progress is being made on blend-certified condensing boilers (typically 20% H2 with natural gas) which will eventually be replaced by pure hydrogen. Another route being pursued is the hydrogen hybrid heating system that combines a H2 boiler and heat pump e.g. trials at Port of Milford Haven.

The H2HEAT 100% H2-CHP developed by partner 2G will be the first real commercial scale H2-CHP.

H2-CHP by partner 2G

The key innovations include:

  • It is the first CHP to work with H2 stably, with high efficiency.
  • Due to the fact that hydrogen has a very high detonation capacity, the mixture will take place inside the combustion chamber, so the gas will be injected through the Hoebiger injection valve, while the air will be compressed with the turbocharger. The process has to be very precise, therefore the injection valves will be electronically correlated with the cylinder head valves.
Formation of the mixture just before the combustion chamber CFD analysis of the mixture formation. Cooperation with the Technical University of Münster. Hörbiger gas injector direct entry to combustion chamber

  • It is essential to be able to control the production of electricity, and enable it quickly adapt to the consumer requirements.  The 2G H2-CHP will be able to start, stop and work at part load. It will to be able to work in island mode and achieve the maximum load possible in the minimum time.
  • The CHP from 2G can operate with varying levels of gas purity compared to fuel cells which require pure H2.
Heating Innovations: Safeguarding Hydrogen’s Place in the Energy Transition
Heating Innovations: Safeguarding Hydrogen’s Place in the Energy Transition 1024 768 H2Heat Project

Hydrogen, dubbed the future’s fuel, is advancing in residential and industrial heating. As we shift to cleaner energy, hydrogen’s potential to replace fossil fuels is evident. However, safety concerns accompany its benefits, particularly regarding hydrogen storage and use in heating. This article explores these issues and how to mitigate risks for a secure, sustainable future.

Hydrogen’s Heating Potential

Hydrogen as a heating innovation plays a vital role in heating. It burns cleanly, emitting only water vapor, offering an eco-friendly alternative. Hydrogen-based heating systems promise significant carbon emissions reduction in homes and industries, aligning with global climate goals and reducing fossil fuel dependence.

Safety Challenges with Hydrogen

Despite hydrogen’s promise, safety concerns are present. Hydrogen is highly flammable, necessitating cautious handling and storage. Risks include leaks and combustion hazards, raising questions about storage and transport.


Mitigating Risks through Measures

Hydrogen Sensors and Leak Detection

Sensors promptly detect leaks in homes and industries, triggering alarms or system shutdowns if hydrogen levels become unsafe.

Purpose: Hydrogen sensors are devices designed to monitor the concentration of hydrogen gas in the air. They play a critical role in detecting leaks promptly to prevent potential hazards.

Hydrogen sensors typically employ various detection methods, such as semiconductor sensors, which change their electrical conductivity in the presence of hydrogen gas. When hydrogen levels rise beyond safe limits, these sensors trigger alarms or activate safety protocols.

In residential and industrial settings, hydrogen sensors are installed in areas where hydrogen is stored or used. If a leak occurs, the sensor detects the increase in hydrogen concentration and sends signals to warning systems or control units to initiate safety measures. These measures can include activating ventilation systems, shutting down equipment, or alerting personnel.

Storage Safety

Purpose: Ensuring safe hydrogen storage is crucial to prevent leaks, explosions, or accidents.

Advancements in Materials: Innovative materials and design techniques are employed to create robust hydrogen storage systems. These materials are selected for their compatibility with hydrogen and their ability to withstand high-pressure conditions.

Types of Storage: Hydrogen can be stored in various forms, including compressed gas, liquefied hydrogen, and solid-state storage materials. Each type comes with its own safety considerations, which are addressed through materials and engineering solutions.

Safety Features: Storage systems are equipped with safety features such as pressure relief valves and double-walled containers to minimize the risk of leaks or ruptures.

Application: Secure hydrogen storage is essential in industrial facilities, where large quantities of hydrogen are often stored, as well as in residential settings where hydrogen-powered heating systems are becoming more prevalent.

Training and Education

Proper training and education ensure that personnel and users understand the properties of hydrogen, safe handling procedures, and appropriate responses in case of emergencies.

Training programs cover topics such as the flammability and behavior of hydrogen gas, safe storage and transportation practices, and protocols for responding to leaks or accidents.

Education is a fundamental aspect of hydrogen safety, as informed individuals are better equipped to prevent accidents and respond effectively if a safety issue arises.

Training is provided to employees working with hydrogen in industrial settings and individuals using hydrogen-powered systems in residential applications.

Research and Development (R&D):

Ongoing R&D efforts focus on advancing hydrogen system safety through various means, including materials development and the creation of advanced sensors.

R&D activities aim to develop materials that are more resistant to hydrogen embrittlement and degradation, enhancing the integrity of storage and transport systems.

Advanced sensors are designed to improve the accuracy and speed of hydrogen leak detection, enabling quicker response times.

R&D also includes safety assessments and simulations to identify potential hazards and develop mitigation strategies.

The goal of hydrogen safety R&D is to continually enhance safety measures and address emerging challenges as hydrogen technologies evolve.

These comprehensive measures collectively ensure the safe integration of hydrogen into heating applications, both in residential and industrial settings, paving the way for the broader adoption of this clean energy source.

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