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World’s first hydrogen powered superyacht

  • May 21, 2024
  • 2 min read
World’s first hydrogen powered superyacht

A  luxury superyacht is making history as it becomes a test bed for green hydrogen technology. The ship, formerly known as Project 821, was launched in the water at Feadship’s Amsterdam base. It is the largest motor yacht launched in the Netherlands.

Hydrogen is often touted as one of the major alternative energy sources. But real world applications are needed to showcase its capabilities as well as the hurdles it has to overcome before widespread adoption. This is especially true if it is to be central to global economies, the way that fossil fuels currently are.

Launched on 4th May, 2024, Project 821 is expected to push hydrogen technology to its limits with regard to superyachts. This is especially important as there are currently no regulations for hydrogen storage of fuel cell systems. As a result, Feadship needed to work with superyacht brokers Edmiston and Lloy’s Register to come up with technology for ships over 100m (328ft) long as well as the protocols and regulations.

Fuel cells have been around for some time. They were used on the Apollo Moon missions but have had little application especially in the maritime sector, and definitely not on this scale. Project 821 highlights the challenges needed to overcome. For such a large ship, it is still hard to deal with. It is very efficient as an energy source however, but it needs to be stored under pressure at very low temperatures.

The ship needs to carry over four tonnes of hydrogen fuel to run 16 fuel cells to allow its switchboards to deliver the DC power it needs to operate. And that’s just one of many issues the ship has to face. It also needs to store methanol to feed the fuel cells if hydrogen is not available.

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