Why Resideo is taking action on hydrogen
The theme for this year's World Earth Day was 'Invest In Our Planet'. And when you consider the events unfolding across the globe, it has never seemed truer that, individually and collectively, we all have a responsibility to take care of what matters most.
Outside of the additional focus that the climate emergency gets in the run up to and on World Earth Day, it remains a key focus in the news media across the world - with energy security top of mind. There is continued social and governmental pressure on nations to diversify their energy sources and deploy more renewable energy, so end users can ultimately lessen stress on the energy grid.
As a result, the pace of the move away from fossil fuel is likely to materially speed up. In the EU, the majority of energy consumed in the home is for heating1, so the opportunity to innovate and power our heat sources with renewable energy is crucial.
This means that the action we have been taking to invest in Hydrogen (H2) technologies to power boilers takes on even greater significance. So how does the H2 process actually work in boiler manufacturing and what is Resideo's part in it all?
To start to answer this, Erin Woodward, Products and Solutions Sustainability Leader, and Uwe Deptolla, Senior Thermal Solutions Product Manager, sat down to unpack the complexity of the H2 world.
Erin: Uwe, what difference does using H2 in boilers make?
Uwe: Using H2 in the combustion process means not using fossil fuels. As a result of this, no carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted, instead the only waste product is water vapor.
Erin: Can we all make the switch to H2 powered boilers now?
Uwe: No. The process of full de-carbonisation of the heating market will only be realized over a long-term, maybe 10-20 years. However, the industry can start the journey now by blending natural gas with H2.
Erin: Where does H2 come from?
Uwe: H2 occurs naturally on earth in compound form with other elements in liquids, gases, or solids. For example, H2 combined with oxygen is water (H2O). H2 combined with carbon forms different compounds—or hydrocarbons—found in natural gas, coal, and petroleum.
Erin: What part does Resideo play in the manufacturing process of boilers that are powered by H2?
Uwe: We produce gas valves that are H2 durable. H2 molecules are much smaller than methane molecules, so it's important that the valves are tight enough and don't leak.
Erin: Can you tell us more about our involvement? Is what we are doing a recent thing?
Uwe: We've been involved in the industry discussions from an early stage and took action several years ago to assess the H2 impact on our business and products. For example, as there are no standards available for H2 use in gas valves yet, we developed a test plan in collaboration with the Dutch testing, inspection and certification body, Kiwa. By taking this action we now have several certifications confirming our valves are H2 ready.
Erin: And are we investing in any new developments?
Uwe: Absolutely. That's why our new technical centre in Lotte is so important. We are focused on delivering new technologies for our customers that don't exist on the market today. For example, flame supervision of burners. Also, our combustion systems are underway to be H2 ready soon.
Erin: One final question for anyone wondering why H2 is getting so much focus. Why isn't electricity directly generated from renewable sources an industry-wide option just now?
Uwe: In some cases, this could be a really good idea. However, there are currently two main challenges:
- The distance between where the electricity is produced and where it is used is too great. Many of the existing electricity grids are not designed to transport a much higher amount of energy.
- Renewable energies are not always available. The sun doesn't always shine to produce solar energy and wind is variable.
Overall, everything that Resideo has done, and continues to do, is informed by close contact with our customers to find the best solutions for them. We know how excited they are to be part of 'Resideo's H2 Ready' journey and we are excited for the future. By working together with them we will continue to take action to invest in our planet to help protect what matters most.