Home Energy system The world’s first hybrid hydrogen heating system is part of the Milford Haven project

The world’s first hybrid hydrogen heating system is part of the Milford Haven project

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The world’s first smart hydrogen hybrid heating system has been demonstrated in Pembrokeshire.

The innovative technology could help the UK reach its 2050 target of Net Zero, which aims to see the decarbonisation of all sectors of the economy.,

The trial was part of the UK funded research and innovation program Milford Haven: Energy Kingdom project.

It has been successfully implemented by a collaboration of partners – Port of Milford Haven, Passiv UK, Wales & West Utilities, Kiwa UK, Worcester Bosch, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and Pembrokeshire County Council.

The trial combined a hydrogen boiler with an electric air-source heat pump and smart control technology and was conducted in a commercial building at the Port of Milford Haven, the UK’s largest energy port.

According to The Energy Saving Trust, emissions from home heating and hot water need to be cut by 95% to meet UK net zero targets by 2050, and hybrid heating technology will become increasingly important to customers commercial and domestic.

Hybrid heating systems can flexibly switch between using renewable electricity when available and green gases like hydrogen at other times.

For many existing homes and businesses, hybrid heating systems offer an affordable and convenient way to decarbonize heating.

Research suggests that almost 50% of UK properties are not suitable for stand-alone heat pumps due to their poor thermal properties and other limitations.

Hybrid heating systems are a cheaper, less disruptive alternative that can be installed as a quick and direct replacement for a typical boiler system. At the Milford Haven demonstration, Kiwa UK delivered bottled hydrogen to the Worcester Bosch boiler to simulate times when renewable electricity was not available to run the heat pump, or when a surge temperature was needed.

The smart controls were designed by Passiv UK and switch between air source heat pump and hydrogen boiler.

Every two minutes, the system assesses GB’s energy production mix and the availability of renewable electricity on the local grid, and instructs the boiler to run on hydrogen when it is not available. Hydrogen is a clean fuel that produces no carbon emissions when burned.

Steve Edwards, Commercial Director of the Port of Milford Haven, said: “Having already established itself as the UK’s energy capital, the Milford Haven waterway is now at the center of a renewable energy revolution, with a huge potential to become the capital of low-carbon energy. UK, saving thousands of local jobs and creating thousands more.

“To get to Net Zero we need to provide Net Zero electricity, transport and heat and we have all the components needed here on our doorstep in Pembrokeshire to act as a vital cluster of national importance.”

Wales & West Utilities, the gas network for Wales and South West England, is one of the partners in the project.

By 2026, they will have invested £400m to prepare its network for transporting green gases like hydrogen and biomethane.

Cllr Cris Tomos, Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, Welsh Language and Public Protection, said:

“The council is proud to lead the Milford Haven:Energy Kingdom project which positions the Milford Haven waterway as a frontrunner for the production, distribution and use of hydrogen.

“The project’s heating and transport demonstrators demonstrate what can be achieved through working with our partners and Pembrokeshire can use these innovations as we strive to become a net-zero carbon authority by 2030.”

The Milford Haven:Energy Kingdom project is one of the detailed design projects of the Prospering from the Energy Revolution works program funded by UK Research and Innovation under its Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The project aims to design a blueprint for smart local energy systems powered by renewables and hydrogen, and more specifically how to create demand and make the distribution and use of green hydrogen financially viable in buildings, l industry, energy and transport.