Using hydrogen to provide a sustainable heating solution to reduce carbon emissions
Group MembersLuke Bradburn, Daniel Bryant, Harvey Hiscock, Jon Pairman, Edward Trigle
SupervisorsDr Ranga Dinesh Kahanda Koralage
Sustainable solutions to reduce carbon emissions are needed to help reduce the effects of global warming. Solutions to reduce the need for hydrocarbon combustion must be sought. One solution is the introduction of a hydrogen economy as it does not produce any carbon emissions at the point of use. Hydrogen could be used to replace the use of natural gas in domestic heating, however, there are key challenges relating to the safety of combustion and the production of NOx emissions that are harmful to human respiratory health. Currently there are no domestic boilers that operate with hydrogen so this project aimed to synthesise novel burner designs that could operate with hydrogen. Theoretical and computational analysis in CFD and COMSOL Multiphysics was conducted to assess flame performance. Safety and control systems were created to increase the safety of the burner. Two final design proposals and prototypes were generated. The first design was a premixed fuel burner that can operate at a low equivalence ratio range of 0.4-0.6 at up to 100% hydrogen blends. This burner would facilitate a staged transition from natural gas to hydrogen without major design changes, beginning with hydrogen enriched natural gas blends. The second design was a novel non-premixed fuel burner that was optimised to operate with 100% hydrogen for an equivalence ratio range of 0.5-1.0. The design possessed many innovative features such as swirling air using helical fins to stabilise the flame, partial pre-mixing to lower the temperature of the flame and NOx production, a bluff body to produce recirculation in the partially pre-mixed zone.