World's First Hydrogen Powered Boiler Installed - 01/02/2020

The world's first hydrogen powered domestic boiler was put into operation in Rozenburg, the Netherlands in 2019. The boiler was developed by BDR Thermea Group, a leading manufacturer of smart thermal comfort solutions, and parent of North American company ECR International.  BDR’s mission is developing and producing heating and hot water solutions with virtually no Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions. This ground-breaking boiler burns pure hydrogen that has been produced by wind or solar energy without releasing any CO2.   

Firmly committed to sustainability

“The development of a hydrogen boiler is part of BDR Thermea Group’s solutions for decarbonising heating. We currently offer a range of technologies, such as high efficiency gas boilers, heat pumps and heat networks, and now also hydrogen boilers and fuel cells. Sustainably produced hydrogen is an important, potentially very interesting energy carrier for the future”, says Bertrand Schmitt, CEO of BDR Thermea Group. “Power to gas (hydrogen) is an unavoidable and necessary technology if we want to store sustainably generated energy over a longer period of time, as abundant wind and solar energy is not always immediately available at times of greatest need, such as during the winter. With the new hydrogen boiler, along with our fuel cell appliances, we are firmly committed to making the built environment more sustainable.”

Exploring more pilots 

“The operating principle of the hydrogen boiler is the same as that of a boiler running on natural gas”, says Peter Snel, CTO of BDR Thermea Group. “In the future, we will be able to exchange conventional gas boilers for hydrogen boilers on a like for like basis, provided the supply of hydrogen is available through natural gas pipelines. That is why co-operation with network operators is of crucial importance to BDR Thermea Group. In addition to the pilot in Rozenburg, we will also participate in a large-scale demonstration project in the United Kingdom. Over 400 hydrogen boilers will be installed over the next two years.

Here in North America

“It is an amazing achievement of our parent company to develop the first 100% hydrogen powered boiler however that journey started by working with hybrid fuel mixtures of hydrogen and natural gas.  Here in North America the focus is on hybrid fuel mixtures of natural and hydrogen fuels at various ratios” said Ron Passafaro CEO of ECR International manufacturer of Utica and Dunkirk boiler brands.  “We are working with many North American stakeholders who are interested in natural gas as a means to greatly reduce CO2 emissions.  The key will be proving current and legacy appliances can burn these fuel mixtures reliably and this is testing our parent company has vast experience with.  Passafaro went on to say “we look forward to working with all stakeholders to have a positive impact on the environment while utilizing North America’s abundant, reliable and cost effective natural gas resources wisely”. 

About ECR International:

ECR International, with headquarters in Utica, NY, is a manufacturing company that provides heating and cooling products under a family of brand names including Dunkirk, Utica Boilers, Olsen, Airco, Pennco, RetroAire, Argo and EMI. The company markets its products in the US and Canada. ECR has a rich history, going back nearly ninety years. In 1928, Earle C. Reed, founded two companies: Dunkirk Radiator and Utica Radiator. The companies merged in 1999 as ECR International, taking the founder’s initials as its company name. In December of 2015, ECR was acquired by BDR Thermea, the third largest boiler manufacturer and distributor of innovative heating and hot water systems and services for residential and commercial markets.