Dropping a bomb on traditional methods20 May 2021
Is it time to blow traditional hot water delivery of the water? Chris Goggin of Rinnai certainly thinks so, saying hydrogen is the fuel that will probably replace natural gas in powering the country – and laundries – to a carbon-free future
A history of wanton pollution by the industrialised nations has resulted in driving climate change acceleration into areas where scientists predict there is a real possibility of irreversible damage to large expanses of the planet. If change is not soon implemented, it will be a reality for this and future generations. Governments across the planet have accepted that energy must be sourced and distributed in new and innovative ways in an attempt to minimise carbon emissions.
Total decarbonisation of the UK’s energy supply by 2050 has been identified as a prerequisite towards providing an environmentally cleaner future. An alternative and eco-friendly energy source that ensures continuity in commercial and domestic efficiency must be identified for society to adequately function. The UK has a population of 65 million and growing, so there is a need for pragmatism in ensuring reliable, secure and affordable energy for the mass market of both domestic and commercial uses.
The commercial laundry industry receives little to no public attention, yet it provides a vital public service by delivering clean linen to the essential services of the NHS, care homes, hospitality and personal hygiene sectors. Without clean sanitised clothing and bedding, it is not too dramatic to state that levels of personal hygiene and general health would drop noticeably.
One of the answers that many governments have settled on is hydrogen – it is seen as possessing the capability to maintain societal functionality without causing the ecological harm associated with fossil fuels.
Secure, clean and affordable
Each unit of carbon fuelled energy produced for consumption is responsible for releasing a measurement of harmful carbon dioxide. Coal releases 100 units of carbon dioxide per unit of energy yielded; petrol and diesel produce 70 units - natural gases 50 units.
Hydrogen is viewed as a secure, clean, and affordable alternative. There is a variety of means of hydrogen production but electrolysis is the main method gaining wide acceptance. Electrolysis splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. If the electricity is produced from renewable sources, such as solar, wind or tidal, the resulting hydrogen will also be considered as a form of renewably sourced energy that yields numerous emissions benefits.
Another factor that demonstrates hydrogen’s potential is found in the current infrastructure supplying the UK’s energy requirements. As 85% of all UK building stock connects directly to the gas grid, utilising current infrastructure capable of transporting hydrogen means that a complete industrial and domestic conversion is entirely feasible. Additionally, and more importantly, no further work has to be completed on enabling infrastructure to deliver hydrogen.
Altering the composition of known gases and utilising the present functioning infrastructure is by far the preferable methodology of ensuring a clean and consistent flow of energy, when compared to the task of discovering and revolutionising an entirely new form of power that guarantees zero carbon emissions. A transition based on hydrogen will eliminate any need to disrupt land as the necessary infrastructure is currently in place and ready to accept alternative and cleaner gasses. Put simply – a hydrogen conversion will consist of adapting appliances, leaving landscapes untarnished.
A varied selection of future energy options will be matched by competition in financial rates charged to consumers. A multiplicity of domestic and commercial fuel outlets translates into a multitude of options for energy cost savings, which is good news for the laundry industry.
Within the next decade official Government policy will determine what variation of energy is used and how it is sourced. Rinnai is in position to adapt to any change in the future as well as being able to offer current products that guarantee energy efficient performance at lower costs coupled with greater reliability to the laundry owner or managers.
For example, the new Rinnai Sensei N Series hot water heater range offers a more compact and enhanced combustion design that allows for convenient installation, superior operational performance and easy accessibility when servicing is required.
The Rinnai Sensei N Series is the first continuous flow hot water heating unit manufactured with stainless steel heat exchangers to be available in the UK – this provides a greatly extended working life at optimum performance to each of the four models in the range. Added to this are market leading extended warranties.
Throughout and despite the on-going pandemic, Rinnai has adapted its day-today methodology to meet all customer and end-user requirements in the Covid-19 crisis. Social distancing support, 24/7 technical advice, product and spare part availability are always available.Also available to laundry owners and managers is a ‘Help Me Choose’ facility now available on Rinnai’s website, www. rinnaiuk.com. This service offers end-users straightforward advice on replacing out of date, inefficient stored systems with highly efficient, high-performance, eco-friendly products that provide limitless supplies of hot water.