The winner of the America’s Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand, has committed to developing hydrogen-powered chase boats for its sailing yachts.
It is also pushing for this to be included in the ‘Protocol’ (the official rules for the race series) for the 37th America’s Cup, meaning all teams and the organisers will have to use similar technology for their support vessels.
Given that the latest America’s Cup AC75s can reach speeds in excess of 50 knots, the performance goals for these new hydrogen-powered craft are going to be impressively high.
Emirates Team New Zealand says it is already working on a foiling prototype at its North Shore facility in Auckland with assistance from AFCryo, a Christchurch-based cryogenics specialist that makes hydrogen power systems.
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To give sufficient power density, hydrogen needs to be stored as a liquid under high pressure and at very low temperatures in specially insulated tanks called cryostats.
“We intend to really drive the development curve of new and clean technology,” says Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton.
“It is our hope that we can make a seismic shift into hydrogen power and an emission-free statement for the marine industry.”
The news comes three months after Grant Dalton revealed that he is the commissioning owner of the first McConaghy MC63p foiling powercat.