Is it a good idea to spend time focusing on making carbon creating boilers more efficient?

Perhaps as after all they will possibly be around for another few decades. Is hydrogen a viable solution is a slim possibility for large scale heat in buildings?

I’m preparing a response to government  on their Improving boiler standards and efficiency and I wondered whether anyone in the community has technical or operational experience to share. The consultation is asking for feedback on 53 questions which relate to one of the three following topics.

  1. proposals to improve boiler and heating system efficiency through improvements to minimum standards
  2. proposals to mandate that from 2026 all newly-installed gas boilers are ‘hydrogen-ready’
  3. the potential role of gas boiler-electric heat pump hybrids in heat decarbonisation in the 2020s and 2030s

If you have ideas that you think should be included based on your experience, I’d be interested in considering them.

If you prefer not to respond publicly you are welcome to private message me.

  • I am gas safe registered, methane and domestic only. I have heard that a 20% addition of hydrogen to methane supplies is being proposed, implemented before full hydrogen supplies. I presume that hydrogen unready condensing boilers should be able to cope with the increased H2O produced by combusting the mixture, and that non-condensing boilers will just rust even quicker.

    I hadn't heard of embrittlement of steel pipes, there's still loads of that around in inaccessible places.

    There should be more done to offset the carbon produced by planting trees, and possibly bamboo, instead of legislating jobs for the boys in big boiler manufacturing industries.

    Also boiler replacement schemes with grants, never work for small businesses, as entry requirements are too restrictive.

    Sorry for non cohesive reply, just getting thoughts down

  • Actually it is better than that - existing methane burning appliances with a European G number, and that has been all new ones for years, are tested with the hydrogen methane blend as part of the type approval - 'hydrogen ready' means something nearer pure hydrogen.

    At very high pressures, many atmospheres at room temperatures, hydrogen permeates into steel and has an effect similar to hardening tool steels. Cast iron is less fussed, But, those old enough to remember coal gas (the 1970s and long hair for boys as well) will note that that was a mix of CO and hydrogen, up to about 40% of it, and the old lead and cast iron pipes of the era did perfectly well at 8 inches water pressure or whatever it was. High pressure storage would  have been awkward, but the old gasometers were not really what nowadays is seen as high pressure. And they leaked a bit but folk were less worried then,


  • the 1970s and long hair for boys as well

    Who? Me? Grin

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