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Hydrogen Applications


Hydrogen is not a very popular option for the heating and cooling of residential buildings nowadays. In fact, there are only a handful of projects around the world that are considering the possibility of using hydrogen as a heat source in public and private buildings. Hydrogen can be burned in co-generations or used in fuel cells where it reacts with oxygen and generates electricity and heat. Moreover, the hydrogen can be mixed with natural gas in the existing transmission grid, with some limitations. There are several initiatives in European countries that support the replacement of gas boilers with small stationary fuel cells. 

In many public buildings, the stationary fuel cells or the hydrogen-powered co-generators have a great potential to replace the currently used diesel generators as a backup power source. However, there are still barriers related to the cost, technological readiness, and policy design that constrain the residential hydrogen projects to localized operations.  

Fuel Cells Source: © Solid Power

Fuel Cells

Fuel cells used in the residential sector usually come with an installed capacity of several kW up until tens of kWs. The advantage of stationary fuel cells over traditional means of heating and cooling is that they not only can heat and cool the building but also produce electricity. Therefore, the efficiency of the whole system could reach more than 90%, making them one of the most efficient tools for this purpose. Another advantage of some types of fuel cells for residential usage is that different types of fuels could be used instead of hydrogen such as ammonia, methanol, natural gas, etc. 

Co-generation Source: Capstone C1000S,


Currently most co-generation generators or turbines are either powered by diesel or natural gas. However, hydrogen has a great potential of replacing such fossil fuels without major changes in the system. The state-of-the-art co-generation microturbines nowadays allow a mix of 10% hydrogen and 90% natural gas. 

Hydrogen-based energy storage Source:

Hydrogen-based energy storage

The hydrogen-based energy storage for residential usage has been seen as an alternative to lithium-ion batteries which are very popular. There are several companies that have their prototypes ready and the results from the tests are promising. However, there is currently no state-of-the-art hydrogen-based energy storage ready for the market.