What cost Hydrogen ?

I understand that Hydrogen Ready Boilers should be available by 2028.  Then we be having a 20/80 mix of Hydrogen/Natural Gas.

Questions ?   Where does this Hydrogen come from ?   What effect will there be on the CV  ?   Any guess at kWh cost ?
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  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,822 Forumite
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    Robin9 said:
    I understand that Hydrogen Ready Boilers should be available by 2028.  Then we be having a 20/80 mix of Hydrogen/Natural Gas.

    Questions ?   Where does this Hydrogen come from ?   What effect will there be on the CV  ?   Any guess at kWh cost ?
    The hydrogen could come from a range of sources; ideally it will be green but some might be blue or purple. There is a guide to hydrogen colours here: https://www.nationalgrid.com/stories/energy-explained/hydrogen-colour-spectrum
    The calorific value of a cubic metre of gaseous hydrogen is roughly 1/3rd that of methane.
    Each kWh of green hydrogen will take 1.5kWh of electricity (maybe a bit lesss) to produce. This is expected to be the major contributor to the price. If electricity is 2p/kWh, green hydrogen will be 3p/kWh. If electricity is 10p/kWh, green hydrogen will be 15p/kWh.
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  • Ectophile
    Ectophile Posts: 7,308 Forumite
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    It can be made from methane, which is a pretty pointless exercise as generating hydrogen from methane leaves carbon dioxide as a waste product.

    Or it's made from spare electricity and water.  If we're going all-out for wind turbines, then there will be more electricity on a windy day than we know what to do with.  So using it to make hydrogen makes sense.

    I have seen an interesting YouTube video that suggests that adding hydrogen to natural gas is rather unhelpful.  The calorific value of hydrogen at normal gas mains pressures is so low that all you're doing is diluting the methane.  If the supplier added 20% hydrogen, you'd have to burn 14% more of the mix to get the same heat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrKvj2MHLVw .  Beyond 20%, most boilers wouldn't even work properly.
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  • coffeehound
    coffeehound Posts: 5,656 Forumite
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    Heard an interesting factoid the other day:  hydrogen is so light that it doesn't stay in the Earth's atmosphere -- it just floats away into space
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,604 Forumite
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  • Robin9
    Robin9 Posts: 12,077 Forumite
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    Ectophile said:
    ...........  If we're going all-out for wind turbines, then there will be more electricity on a windy day than we know what to do with.  So using it to make hydrogen makes sense..
    But what about the storage costs ?   Demand for Hydrogen on a day like today  - cold, no wind, no solar - will be high.
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  • coffeehound
    coffeehound Posts: 5,656 Forumite
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    edited 15 January 2022 at 9:06PM
    Interesting and surprising conclusion; would have thought H2 is so diffusive and bouyant that it wouldn't stay around long enough to produce explosive concentrations.  

    Worth mentioning that they excluded death by CO poisoning (around 120 people in the UK per year) due to natural gas combustion issues, which cannot happen with H2.  

    Must try to read the whole thing at some point ..
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,604 Forumite
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  • Ectophile
    Ectophile Posts: 7,308 Forumite
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    Robin9 said:
    Ectophile said:
    ...........  If we're going all-out for wind turbines, then there will be more electricity on a windy day than we know what to do with.  So using it to make hydrogen makes sense..
    But what about the storage costs ?   Demand for Hydrogen on a day like today  - cold, no wind, no solar - will be high.

    You need a really big high pressure tank.  Weight-for-weight, hydrogen is a great fuel.  But it's so light that 1kg of hydrogen is a huge amount of the stuff.
    If it sticks, force it.
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  • Robin9
    Robin9 Posts: 12,077 Forumite
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    Ectophile said:
    Robin9 said:
    Ectophile said:
    ...........  If we're going all-out for wind turbines, then there will be more electricity on a windy day than we know what to do with.  So using it to make hydrogen makes sense..
    But what about the storage costs ?   Demand for Hydrogen on a day like today  - cold, no wind, no solar - will be high.

    You need a really big high pressure tank.  Weight-for-weight, hydrogen is a great fuel.  But it's so light that 1kg of hydrogen is a huge amount of the stuff.
    But isn't it the intention that it comes through the existing pipes ?  Or are you suggestion that we have a pair of cylinders it a kitchen cupboard.
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  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,604 Forumite
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    Not sure how they' cope with bulk hydrogen delivered through the existing pipework. Natural gas gets delivered "on demand" from wherever it come from and doesn't really need a great deal of storage (as evidenced by us closing down most of our storage facilities).

    However unless you can produce this magic hydrogen at the same rate as it's being consumed then it will have to be stored somewhere so it can be distributed on demand

    I'm also guessing that if we are already in a crisis with the cost of gas, all this lovely hydrogen wont be any cheaper than gas especially as the only "clean" way to produce is is by electrolysis using "green"  leccy which the rest of us are using for our heatpumps and electric vehicles.

    AFAIK (and I'm happy to be corrected) the bulk of hydrogen that's being produced at the moment comes from fossil fuels so we'd have to replace that source with grren leccy as well.

    I'm not really cynical, and I'm sure we'll get there if there's a will and a way, but it's going to cost us all - going green aint cheap nor without problems, a lot of which we probably haven't even envisaged yet.
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