Hexagon Purus Maritime sponsors young students sailing hydrogen-powered boat from the Netherlands to London
Twenty-three ambitious students have a clear goal in mind: within just one year, they aim to design a hydrogen-powered boat that will sail across the North Sea from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom. These students are part of the Hydro Motion Team at TU Delft University, sponsored by Hexagon Purus, a leading supplier of zero-emission mobility solutions and hydrogen infrastructure. This self-built boat is intended to be more than just a vessel, but also an opportunity showcase the potential of sustainable maritime transport.
From the Netherlands to London
To help unlock this potential, students at TU Delft have been researching and developing solar-powered and hydrogen-based boats for 18 years. The students participating in this project by the university and will set out to cross the North Sea with their self-built hydrogen-powered boat.
On December 21, the team invited Hexagon Purus Maritime to the grand design presentation in Delft. "We were really excited to present our boat design,“ says Charlise, one of the eight students, who will pilot the boat in July. “We have worked on it a lot in the past months and it has welded us into a real team. We are now divided into five different departments, each with specific responsibilities,” she continues.
"We will first sail along the Netherlands coast, then across the North Sea to finish in London. With a speed of 22 knots, the destination should be reached in approximately 16 hours, depending on the weather and waves, says Charlise. "We have a vision of passing under Tower Bridge with our friends and family standing on it," she continues.
The team will rely on three Type-4 hydrogen cylinders from Hexagon Purus Maritime. These high-pressure cylinders store compressed hydrogen, enabling large-scale storage and transportation of the fuel. The cylinders are already being used across the global transport sector, including in trucks, buses, trains, and now boats.
Progress towards sustainability in the maritime sector has been slow. In 2018, the industry was responsible for around 3% of global emissions caused by human activities. Projections show that these emissions could increase by up to 130% of 2008 emissions by 2050. Emissions from the sector are also hard to abate, especially when it comes to larger vessels.
Hexagon Purus’s cylinders offer a solution to decarbonizing the maritime sector; they enable hydrogen to be stored and consumed across multiple applications across the maritime value chain, providing a viable, low-emissions alternative to fossil fuels.
Robert Haugen, Managing Director of Hexagon Purus Maritime, explains Hexagon Purus’s collaboration with the Hydro Motion Team: "It's great to see how much ambition, innovation, and teamwork the students put into this project year after year. Naturally, we support them wherever we can. It is an honor for Hexagon Purus Maritime not only to sponsor these students with the cylinders but also to provide them with know-how. We are very pleased that we had the opportunity to be part of the design presentation. Many students who were here today were, for example, part of the team last year and are gaining their first professional experiences - often in the field of hydrogen."
TU Delft – where dreams come true
For many years, TU Delft University has been a dream destination for bright, ambitious young engineers. The Hydro Motion Team has achieved great success in building 15 boats so far. It started with solar-powered boats, and now the focus is increasingly shifting towards hydrogen. The reputation of the university students’ work is significant: Their boats are inspiring models for the maritime industry to accelerate the transition to zero-emission fuels.