New propulsion technology for cleaner maritime transport.

Now Reading:

New propulsion technology for cleaner maritime transport.

Text size Aa Aa

The “24 Super Indios” is Italy’s first electric speed boat showcased at the 49th International Boat Show in Genoa. It’s a fuel free craft and glides through the water emitting zero emissions, its rechargeable and with its high power electric engine reaches a respectable speed of 20 knots. The vessel has been designed using the latest technology and is a step toward cleaner maritime transport.

What’s the key difference between this new model and the previous, more traditional 24 Super Indios?

Lucio Calegari, Chief Executive of Giacomo Colombo S.p.A one of the companies behind the project:

“The position of the engine is the same, the principal of propulsion is the same and the boat handles the same, there is no huge difference. The fundamental difference is the silence, just the sounds of wind and water with no pollution.”

The industry is all to aware of the need to find a cleaner way of powering vessels. Hydrogen has its drawbacks as fossil fuel is used to create it but researchers believe its more reliable than solar energy, which for the time being is less consistent.

Professor Nicola Conenna is president of the Hydrogen University:

“Our hydrogen engine begins with an external electric energy source, because we cannot produce it on board, we charge it up in dock. On the boat there is a hydrogen generator that produces hydrogen and releases oxygen. The hydrogen is stored at low pressure, 3 atm. The system using metal hydride is able to store large amounts of hydrogen without any fire risks for the vessel. The system feeds a fuel cell and batteries. The fuel cells can recreate electric energy using a mix of hydrogen and oxygen at low temperatures and generate heat that can be recovered and the electric energy will generate propulsion.”

For the moment this zero emission hydrogen motor is only available in smaller craft.

The Riviera 600 is the first example of a boat that uses the fuel cell system.

The development is a positive step for the industry, which is looking more toward electric based forms of propulsion as reliance on the more traditional combustion engine is simply untenable.