Hexagon Purus Powers Hydro Motion to Victory at Monaco Energy Boat Challenge
In a partnership bringing together cutting-edge technology and innovation, Hexagon Purus, a global leader in clean energy solutions, sponsored the Hydro Motion team as they clinched victory at the prestigious Monaco Energy Boat Challenge. This collaboration showcased the immense potential of hydrogen technology and highlighted Hexagon Purus' commitment to sustainable energy solutions.
The Hydro Motion Team
For 15 years, students from Delft Technical University have successfully built solar-powered boats from scratch to showcase the potential for sustainable boats to accelerate the transition to sustainable shipping. In 2020 the team of 23 students explored uncharted waters by starting the Hydro Motion project; designing, building, and racing an innovative next-level hydrogen-powered boat with foils, to lift the hull out of the water reducing drag and increasing efficiency and speed. The triple hulled boat, known as a trimaran, weighed over 1000 kilograms. The hydrofoil allows the boat to soar above the water at a speed of 22 kilometers per hour. The subsequent years led to the development of the latest boat, which can reach speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour.
Cutting maritime emissions
Shipping accounts for around 3% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is striving to reach net-zero Greenhouse Gas emissions from international shipping by 2050. Achieving this ambitious goal will demand substantial amounts of scalable zero-emission fuels.
“There are several options to generate green electricity including wind and solar. To come full circle, it is essential that we not only look at the supply side of the chain, but also pay attention to the way we store this energy. Right now, the industry mostly uses chemical cells when it comes to storing energy and powering electric transport. However, this is only part of the solution to reducing carbon emissions in the transport industry because different applications require different solutions and the demand of lithium is growing faster than the supply can satisfy,” says Joost Meinesz, Hydrogen System Engineer of HydroMotion, Delft Technical University.
“This is why we focus on an alternative way of storing green energy. The most prominent contender in our opinion is hydrogen. Using hydrogen as an energy carrier has the benefit that it doesn’t produce greenhouse gas emissions when used to generate electricity. On top of that the hydrogen energy system is also light - it would be twice as heavy with only batteries. This is a huge advantage when it comes to powering a vessel.,” continues Meinesz.
Hydrogen System Engineer, HydroMotion
"It is essential that we not only look at the supply side of the chain, but also pay attention to the way we store this energy."
Hexagon Purus: Pioneers in Hydrogen Technology
Hexagon Purus, renowned for its cutting-edge hydrogen storage solutions, supplied two hydrogen cylinders to propel Hydro Motion’s boat. Hexagon Purus’ Type-4 cylinders are lightweight, compact, corrosion resistant and provide a safe means of storing hydrogen, making them ideal for maritime applications. The cylinders provided a clean and efficient source of energy that is both environmentally friendly and powerful. To prove the power of hydrogen, the team decided to enter the boat into a race and put it to the test.
Setting the Stage for Success
The Monaco Energy Boat Challenge is an annual event that serves as a platform for emerging and established companies to showcase their innovations in the maritime sector. The event's ultimate goal is to accelerate the development and adoption of clean energy solutions within the industry.
It welcomes students and professionals from across the world to race in several classes with sustainable powered boats. In order to win, the team needed to get the highest score over a total of three challenges: maneuverability, speed and endurance.
“This challenge gave us the opportunity to show the true potential of hydrogen in the maritime industry. For the Endurance Challenge we had four hours to sail as many nautical miles as possible. For us the trick was to balance the speed with energy consumption. We had an advantage over the other energy sources because hydrogen has a high energy density. We were in the lead from the start and really showed why hydrogen is better for endurance than batteries,” says Meinesz.
The team finished first in the endurance challenge, second in maneuverability, and unfortunately had to pull out of the speed challenge due to high waves causing technical problems. Fortunately, the team’s performance in the first two challenges was enough to secure them a place as world champions.
“The Monaco Energy Boat Challenge is not just a competition; it's a celebration of sustainable boating and technological advancement,” says Håvard Stave, Technical Sales Manager, Hexagon Purus Maritime. “In this year's event, the Hydro Motion team's boat equipped with Hexagon Purus' hydrogen cylinders outshone the competition. Their victory was not only a testament to their dedication and their triumph at the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge is a testament to the potential of hydrogen technology in the maritime sector.
A Bright Future for Hydrogen-Powered Boats
As the world continues to seek sustainable energy solutions, this victory serves as a shining example of what can be achieved through innovation, dedication, and collaboration. It paves the way for a cleaner, greener future for marine transportation and reaffirms Hexagon Purus' commitment to advancing clean energy solutions.
“Hydrogen is gaining momentum as a clean and efficient energy source for maritime use,” says Håvard. “Ship designs are evolving to incorporate hydrogen storage tanks and various hydrogen-fueled power systems. Safety measures are also being developed to minimize the risks associated with hydrogen storage and use. These design adaptations are making hydrogen a viable and efficient fuel source for the maritime industry. The technology is developed, now we just need classification society approvals and regulatory bodies’ acceptance to prove that hydrogen can meet the safety and operational requirements for shipping,” he continues.