By Thomas Lamberti – CEO of H2Boat
Thomas Lamberti started his speech by introducing the current ecological situation, underlining that thanks to the abundance of energy provided by fossil sources, mankind has experienced unprecedented growth, thanks to a rapid but not sustainable economic development based on a linear model of continuous growth.
The cycle of oil formation and its consumption travel on two incredibly different time scales. Furthermore, the rapid release of fossil CO2 has brought the planet into the Anthropocene era, characterized by strong ecological imbalances.
The future of humanity will require more and more energy, but in a sustainable way, within a circular economy approach.
Lamberti then continued his discussion focusing on the importance of hydrogen as a new source of energy; he explained that the hydrogen energy is among the most promising solutions for storing energy produced from renewable sources.
H2Boat, is a spin-off of University of Genoa, born within the Department of Mechanical Engineering DIME and they work together on the technology transfer. H2Boat was born out of the desire to concretely realize its ideas at an industrial level, always maintaining the innovative and enterprising spirit that characterizes the university activity.
Among his projects, Lamberti is researching and developing innovative solutions in order to introduce hydrogen technology on the market and make it available in every sector and to engineer energy systems for sailboats and motorboats, with the intention to start a successful entrepreneurial initiative able to contribute to the clearance of fuel cell and hydrogen technology in the nautical/naval world and beyond.
The launch product of H2Boat is the Energy Pack, an energy storage system produced from renewable sources for sailboats.
H2Boat Energy Pack is a system that uses hydrogen technology for autonomous pleasure boats – in particular sailboats – from the on-board electrical needs point of view.
The system consists of three parts: a Fuel Cell, capable of producing electricity from hydrogen; an accumulation with Metal Hydrides, capable of storing large quantities of hydrogen in safety at low temperatures and low pressures; an electrolyzer, capable of producing hydrogen from water using excess energy produced from renewable sources.
H2Boat Energy Pack is ideal for maximizing the exploitation of renewable energy produced on board from renewable sources thanks to photovoltaic panels, drag wind generators and hydrokinetic generators. The available energy, for the same weight, is six times greater.
The development process of the complete Energy Pack is structured in three phases with as many prototypes:
Prototype 1: it optimizes the thermal and fluid coupling between the Fuel Cell and the Metal Hydrides. The development of the prototype led to the design and construction of Energy Pack 1, a modular hydrogen storage system that can be coupled with any type of liquid-cooled Fuel Cell or cooling source.
Prototype 2: it represents the development of the first prototype in the field of sailing. The study led to the design of the H type Drift, a system that integrates metal hydrides inside the bulb and the passage of fluid pipes inside the drift.
Prototype 3: it involves the creation and optimization of a hydrogen electrolysis generation system using an electrolyzer suitably sized to be coupled with the renewable energy production sources used on board and to the Metal Hydride storage system installed in the H type drift.
The products are completely modular and scalable, they can be installed both on new and existing boats. The Energy Pack will work in parallel with the already existing renewable energy sources (photovoltaic panels, drag propellers, wind generators) accumulating excess energy produced. The modularity of the system and its operating characteristics make it a product intended initially for boating, but which may have different mobile applications.
Hydrogen technology allows the generation of electricity in the total absence of harmful emissions and CO2.