A foiling hydrogen boat project being developed by the Delft Technical University in the Netherlands is now being sponsored by Marinetrans. Through the new sponsorship, the maritime logistics provider aims to support hydrogen propulsion and foiling technology to support the reduction of vessel emissions.
The foiling hydrogen-powered boat – being built by students at the university – will compete in the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge, a competition that aims to demonstrate viable and sustainable propulsion systems.
“The reasons to sponsor the TU Delft Hydro Motion Team are clear,” said Steven Forsberg, managing director, Marinetrans. “As a marine logistics company, we are aware of our own footprint and the environmental impact we make when handling global transport projects for our customers. Since we formulated our ‘Going Green’ mission, we actively seek to align ourselves with sustainable technologies, projects and suppliers.
“Innovative propulsion systems and other emission-reducing maritime systems, software or equipment are of key interest to that mission. This project, the technical developments behind it and the vessel itself provide all of that. A great example of what is possible today, especially with real teamwork.”
The TU Delft Hydro Motion Team was founded to showcase ways in which the maritime sector can solve climate challenges. This year, 23 multidisciplinary students are exploring an array of industry developments in collaboration with experts, partners and alumni.
Over the 17 years that the project has been running, teams have developed a range of vessels including solar-powered boats capable of speeds up to 29.7kts. In 2021, the university’s team switched to using hydrogen propulsion systems, and subsequently delivered what the team state is the first foiling hydrogen-powered boat in the world.
For this year’s competition, the team is building the Aurora, a ground up, purpose-built carbon-fiber zero-emission vessel with a monohull. The Aurora’s foiling system has been redesigned to save weight, ensuring a high level of maneuverability, endurance and speed. The student team will also build their own lithium battery for the vessel.
“We want to inspire the maritime industry to move toward sustainable shipping and shipbuilding,” explained Emma Alblas, responsible for external relations, TU Delft Hydro Motion Team. “For that, we spend one year in designing, building and racing a zero-emission boat, in this case a foiling hydrogen-powered boat. And of course, we will test it.
“This year, we’ll spend three months of testing the hydrogen system, the vessel characteristics and of course the foiling system; an interesting period in which our partners are regularly updated and invited to see the technology and progress for themselves. As a team we do this to show the world what is possible, and we thank Marinetrans and our other partners for enabling us to make this vessel a reality.”