PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF CLEAN SCIENCE - The solar and wind powered 'Elizabeth Swann' will feature solar collectors and wind energy harvesting apparatus in an advanced configuration. She is seen here sporting a single VAWT electricity generator. The hull design is ideal for mass hydrogen storage, that when coupled with a suitable fuel cell, makes her the largest floating hydrogen battery in the world. It is possible that this vessel could circumnavigate the world in under 80 days using hydrogen in combination.
Is this 140-Foot-Long, Hydrogen-Powered Concept, the ultimate in Sustainable Superyacht design?
The hull design of the Elizabeth Swann lends itself to the mass storage of hydrogen. The problem being that the gas is not generally available at most dockside bunkering stations. It's an infrastructure problem, where the shipping world is in state of confusion, reeling from the IMO's demands for pollution reductions of 40% in the short term, and finally 100% by 2050.
The concept could solve the problem that is facing fleet owners all over the world. What type of clean technology should they invest in, with so few theoretical solutions like ammonia (and cryogenic hydrogen) being way lower that the TRL 10, that will inspire confidence for such investors.
Plans to build the prototype are underway, with shipbuilders lined up and ready to go, all bar the detailing.
The Swann will use the latest 'Sealence' electric hydrojet drives from Italy, to make the renewable energy stretch that bit further, for our sustainable future and the circular economy that the United Nations is aiming at.
So, what makes the Elizabeth Swann different?
Firstly, the technology is just about good to go. Two ships have proven that what is planned for this unique design is a solid basis for development, into the next phase of ZEWT blue water cruisers. The PlanetSolar has demonstrated that the world can be navigated on solar power. The Energy Observer has crossed the Atlantic using hydrogen made onboard, to power a fuel cell and electric motors, using solar energy by day and a combination of stored energies by night.
What was missing from these two pioneering ocean cruisers, was a way to store energy in large amounts. Because their hull designs were not suitable, and it is expensive to start from a clean sheet of paper and design from the waves up, it would not have occurred to their naval architects, to use the hull of these two (very) famous catamarans in a more efficient way to provide the storage that is required for blue water voyages. In the case of PlanetSolar, they did not use hydrogen.
Where dockside supplies of green hydrogen gas are not yet available, the Swann has the ability to convert seawater to hydrogen and store it, when there is more energy that the yacht can use in normal operation.
Typically, this will be when parked up in marinas and harbours, during cruises. The trimaran has large solar wings that harvest between 55 - 70 kW of electricity, some of which charges a battery, but when that is full, electricity that would normally have been wasted, is converted to hydrogen via an onboard electrolyzer. This formula is thus ideal for Cross Channel Ferries, for example, for fast crossing of La Manche. Hydrogen is so much cleaner than using a diesel backup, as on the Mayflower trimaran, with no fine particles.
Yachts like this will one day be available to order, custom built and fitted out to your requirements. Soon we hope.
General enquiries, investors, pre-order enquiries and expressions of interest to:
Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd
Solar House, BN27 1RF
Tel: +44 1323 831727
HYNOVA, NEW ERA - You cannot get around battery or fuel cell mass (at the moment), but the space and weight of the hydrogen cylinders seen in the picture above, can be avoided if the hull is used to advantage. Unfortunately, most conventional designs are not adaptable, hence, ship hulls that are proposed as suitable for hydrogen power, by the majority of naval architects, may not benefit from the proposed hydrogen range extending innovation.
Electro-hydrogen hybridization is at the heart of the propulsion system of The New Era by HYNOVA Yachts, the first day-boat equipped with a REXH2® running on hydrogen and currently in approval phase. This is the brainchild of Frédéric Ménière, President of EVE System, Chloé Zaied, Managing Director of HYNOVA Yachts, and Romain Jallon, Director of Operations at EODev.
ENERGY OBSERVER - She started out with 21kW of solar panels, seen here with 34kW of sun packing power, but still has a power to hull displacement ratio of 1.14 kW/ton. That is an improvement on PlanetSolar's 1.05kW/ton, but nowhere near the 3kW/ton of the Elizabeth Swann. Oddly enough, PlanetSolar managed a higher average speed across the Atlantic, over the Observer. Suggesting that the energy conversion chain of the French yacht, is not as efficient as the large Swiss boat. Not wanting to be greedy, but we think we can improve on both of these magnificent achievements. For that is what they are; trail-blazing pioneers.
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