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Feadship launches the world’s first hydrogen fuel-cell superyacht

Feadship has launched the world’s first hydrogen fuel-cell superyacht.

Project 821 has been five years in the making, and is the Amsterdam shipyard’s answer to the question ‘How far can we push green technology on superyachts’?

The vessel has been designed by RWD Studio and with owner’s representation by Edmiston,

Feadship has combined a multi-faceted, zero-diesel approach to cruise between harbours or anchorages and to operate the yacht’s hotel load and amenities with emission-free power from green hydrogen.

“The aim has been to develop a new, clean technology not just for this project, but for the world,” said Jan-Bart Verkuyl, Feadship director / CEO Royal Van Lent Shipyard.

Feadship’s R&D team has been researching hydrogen, among other fossil-free fuel options, as part of the company’s pledge to develop net zero yachts by 2030.

The shipyard partnered with companies from allied industries to develop the hydrogen storage and fuel-cell systems as there were no regulations at class, flag-state or IMO level. Feadship, Edmiston and Lloyd’s Register developed appropriately scaled equipment, protocols and safety regulations simultaneously.

Feadship's project 821 is the greenest yacht the shipyard has produced. Photo courtesy Feadship
Feadship’s project 821 is the greenest yacht the shipyard has produced. Photo courtesy Feadship

“The value of the research as well the development of class and flag safety regulations for an entirely new type of energy generation is an advancement we are proud to have made available to all,” said Jan-Bart.

“We have now shown that cryogenic storage of liquified hydrogen in the interior of a superyacht is a viable solution.

“Future innovations on fuel cells and onboard reforming of methanol to hydrogen are on the near horizon.”

He added: “For Feadship, the bottom line is that the decarbonisation of Feadship’s upstream process such as our extensive use of aluminium produced in a more environmentally sensitive way and the production of net-zero carbon-free fuels or hydrogen carriers deserves utmost priority.”

One key hurdle to overcome when developing the technology was to develop a way to store compressed liquid hydrogen below deck at -253°C aboard a luxury yacht.

A double-walled cryogenic storage tank was required, holding 92m2 (around 4 tonnes) of hydrogen.

Sixteen compact fuel cells, their switchboard connection to the DC electrical grid, and the vent stacks for the escaping water vapour added four metres to the yacht’s original specification length.

The fuel cells developed for Project 821 can also use easier-to-store methanol.

And while Project 821 is not able to carry enough liquid hydrogen to power a crossing – it takes eight to ten times more space to store hydrogen than the energy equivalent in diesel fuel – the hydrogen could generate electricity to serve the hotel load.

The yacht we see today, designed by RWD and built by Feadship is without doubt the best yacht ever built.”

Jamie Edmiston

For longer travels or when pure hydrogen is not available, the electricity powering the 3,200kW ABB pod drives will come from MTU generators combusting HVO, a second-generation biofuel that reduces harmful emissions by 90%.

Project 821 also features an efficient waste heat recovery system, a system that will heat everything from the pool, Jacuzzi and steam room to the ambient air temperature and towel bars and floors in the guest bathrooms.

Further savings in the hotel load will come from a Smart AC system linking sensors to an energy management system that automatically reduces air conditioning or heating in unoccupied guest spaces.

Project 821 has five decks above the waterline and two below.

She also has the most hull openings of any Feadship to date including 14 balconies that slide out from the ‘tweendeck space, five shell doors, and seven large opening platforms.

The full owners’ deck above the bridge is essentially an apartment with two bedrooms, twin bathrooms and dressing rooms, a gym, a pantry, two offices each with a fireplace, and a living room.

The yacht has a full walkaround deck, with shaded areas forward and aft. “The brief was to build the greenest and most environmentally advanced yacht ever built, without compromise,” said chief executive Jamie Edmiston.

“It was a huge challenge, but one that the team has embraced and delivered on. The yacht we see today, designed by RWD and built by Feadship is without doubt the best yacht ever built.”

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