A qualified group of journalists present at the 2020 Genoa International Boat Show took part in the meeting organized last Saturday 2 October by H2boat, at the Fiera di Genova press room. The event was the occasion for the Italian company to introduce the innovative technology that uses hydrogen to power boats as well as the important partnership with B&G (Navico Group), which will see the two companies work side by side during the next promotional activities.
Engineers Paolo Olivieri and Alberto Traverso, representing the team of H2boat team – a spin-off of the University of Genoa, a start-up focused on the research and development of energy systems based on the use of hydrogen – presented their “Energy Pack”.
H2boat Energy Pack
“Our system is currently the only one to have the necessary safety requirements to be used on ships and boats. – said engineer Olivieri – As a result of an electrolysis process, the hydrogen contained in the water is separated from the oxygen, directly on the boat. The hydrogen is then used to power a fuel cell system capable of guaranteeing the energy needed to power all the utilities available on board“.
“The uniqueness of the H2boat Energy Pack – underlined Mr. Traverso – lies in the fact that it uses a storage system for the hydrogen produced on board, based on the technology of metal hydrides contained in cylinders, which are able to absorb and therefore store the hydrogen at low pressure and without the need to refrigerate it. These cylinders can be contained where it is useful to have weight, that is in the boat bulb”.
A partnership for the environment
After having aroused interest with the more exquisitely technical part of the project, engineers Olivieri and Traverso talked about the event which will launch the new partnership between H2boat and B&G: the first “Zero-emission Tour of Italy by boat”.
The protagonist of this circumnavigation from Imperia to Trieste will be “h2boat Nikyta“, a Phoenix 24 sailboat featuting the first Energy Pack – the boat and system were exhibited at the Genoa Boat Show – which will allow not to burn a single gram of fossil fuel. The crew will also use a set of electronic tools supplied by B&G, perfect for this type of boat, which will help them during their long navigation: a Zeus³ 12 Chartplotter with C -Map world map, two Triton² digital multifunction displays and the Pilote Remote system with wind station, autopilot and echo sounder module.
Statements at the conference
At the conference, the Navico Group was represented by Roberto Sesenna, General Manager at Navico Italia.
“We have enthusiastically accepted the technical partnership with the H2boat project to join the tour that will bring NikYta to sail in all the seas of Italy – said Mr. Sesenna – first of all, because we totally embrace the message of which the boat will be ambassador: we all must make every effort to reduce the impact of our activities on the environment, even when it comes to boating and, above all, sailing.
Hydrogen technology – continued Sesenna – seems to be the best solution, especially with the H2boat Energy Pack, a system that marks the state of the art, the reference point in the market, just like our B&G equipment does in the field of on-board electronics. Our collaboration with the engineers of the H2boat team will go beyond the supply of material since we are working together so that our tools and their technology can be put together also in terms of integration on board. We are already working so that the H2boat Energy Pack can be fully interfaced with our systems and controlled from Navico touch screen displays“.
H2boat is an innovative start-up company that originates from Bluenergy Revolution, a recognized spin off of the University of Genoa born from the DIME Mechanical Engineering department with which it collaborates in technology transfer.
H2boat is driven by the desire to concretely implement its ideas on an industrial level, while maintaining the innovation and resourcefulness of university activities. It is a pioneer in the use of a completely new energy source in the nautical world: hydrogen.
Hydrogen for boats: how it works
H2boat Energy Packs allow to store and produce large quantities of zero-emission energy. They integrate perfectly with the structure of the boat to increase its performance in an ecological and sustainable way, also increasing comfort thanks to the elimination of noise, odors and vibrations.
The technology developed for H2boat by Bluenergy Revolution related to nautical applications can be transferred to all applications requiring sustainable energy and which are already the subject of the services that are offered through the consulting, engineering and teaching activities provided by Models and Solutions for Energy Sustainability (MOSES). MOSES has already successfully concluded several activities with some important industrial partners, and offers high-level skills in the energy sector.
H2Boat derives from the experience of the Thermochemical Power Group (TPG), one of the most important research groups in Italy in the energy field. Its partners and employees have many years of experience as researchers in the university field.