Massimo Perotti, chairman of Italian superyacht giant Sanlorenzo, has personally commissioned a 164ft (50m) trideck powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
It is the first privately owned leisure yacht to be propelled by this zero-carbon technology, and he is hoping others will follow suit.
He expects to take delivery of his new steel/aluminium superyacht by 2024 and intends to test the technology thoroughly himself before encouraging Sanlorenzo’s clients to take the same greener route.
Central to the design is a methanol reformer, which creates hydrogen gas by catalysing methanol and water (steam).
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Methanol is safer and easier to store than hydrogen gas, which needs to be compressed at very high pressure to be carried in sufficient quantities.
Fuel cells then convert the gas into electricity by combining hydrogen with oxygen across battery-like electrochemical cells. The only emissions from this process is water (H2O).
Sanlorenzo recently signed an exclusive deal with Siemens Energy to co-develop fuel-cell and diesel-electric solutions for the 80ft-plus yacht sector and has just reported its best ever turnover of €586m for 2021, a 28% rise on 2020.