Please select your home edition
Edition
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - Top 728 x 90px - 6 jpg

Emirates Team New Zealand Take Flight In Hydrogen Powered Foiling Chase Boat

by Emirates Team New Zealand 7 Apr 01:28 PDT 7 April 2022
Emirates Team New Zealand's Hydrogen powered foiling chase boat on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour © Emirates Team New Zealand

Just one week after Emirates Team New Zealand first christened their hydrogen-powered foiling catamaran 'Chase Zero', the 10m prototype was up and foiling around the Waitemata harbour in Auckland today.

Chase Zero has been progressing through a highly measured and stringent commissioning process with every element of the Hydrogen powered boat tested independently and collectively before bringing it up to foiling flight mode with the ETNZ developed autopilot in control of the ride height.

"This is just our second day on the harbour", explained Project Manager Geoff Senior.

"And if I am honest, we are always pretty conservative with our commissioning timeframes, but everything has worked amazingly off the bat, maybe one or two small gremlins to work out of the system as always, but we didn't expect it to all be up and foiling as quickly as we have got it today out here."

It is the same harbour that in late August 2012 saw Emirates Team New Zealand first introduce foiling to the world of the America's Cup in their AC72 catamaran yacht, which changed the face of sail racing globally.

And now, just under 10 years later the team is introducing hydrogen powered foiling chase boats to the America's Cup also. The common theme is obviously foiling.

"Travelling at 50 knots on the water requires a lot of power, and so foiling, like in sailing, was an obvious choice for us to reduce drag and therefore help to extend our range to around 180km on one fill of hydrogen which is stored on 4 tanks onboard, two in each hull." said Design Coordinator Dan Bernasconi.

The green hydrogen is stored in gas form at a maximum pressure of 350bar. The tanks are made from a plastic liner, wrapped in carbon fibre for the required strength. Each is capable of holding 8kg, giving a total capacity of 32kg when full.

Chase Zero is powered by two 80kW Toyota hydrogen fuel cells, 1 in each hull, which provide most of the energy needed to power the boat. The hydrogen gas is passed through a catalyst which strips the electrons away from the H2 molecules. These electrons are used to power the boat and then return to the positively charged H+ ions which are combined with oxygen from the air, leaving nothing but pure H2O to exit the exhaust of the fuel cell. This electricity is then either stored in the battery, or fed directly into the electric motors that provide the propulsion to the boat.

The batteries onboard also play a critical role in allowing Chase Zero to accelerate and achieve its top end speeds as Electrical Engineer Michael Rasmussen explains, "The fuel cells provide the majority of the energy, however the battery acts as a filter for the faster changes in power demand. The response time of the fuel cell is much slower than available from the battery, so during fast changes in demand the battery supplies the difference as a compromise in performance was not an option."

"The battery is also used to achieve the higher speeds. The boat can cruise at approximately 30kts with the 160kW generated from the fuel cells, but to achieve the higher end speeds up towards 50 knots we are able to draw from the batteries as well to bump this up to around 420kW for shorter periods. The fuel cell will then re-charge the batteries once there is excess power available again."

Looking on was Emirates Team New Zealand COO Kevin Shoebridge, "This really is a considerable step forward in clean renewable energy in the marine industry. Looking at Chase Zero foiling along today, it looks like a futuristic power boat, but then you actually need to remind yourself that there are zero carbon emissions, it is basically water vapour coming out of the exhaust which is amazing when considering the positive environmental impact that can be made by reducing emissions from regular boat engines."

When acknowledging what the Chase Zero team have achieved in the past 9 months Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton said, "The team have really delivered under all sorts of Covid challenges and pressure to get this boat designed, built, commissioned and foiling in such a small timeframe. And when I say 'the team' that includes the essential partners we have bought together as well like Toyota, Global Bus Ventures, Gurit and several others."

"This project is all about proving how we can influence the global marine industry by producing a prototype hydrogen powered foiling catamaran. And today has been a huge progression towards that. We have no doubt there will be a lot of entities and organisations that will be watching and thinking how the technology can be adapted to their specific use case or ideas.

The Chase Zero team will continue its commissioning process over the coming weeks to be ready for use when the team resume sailing operations later in the year.

Chase Zero Key Specifications:

  • LOA: 10.0m
  • Beam: 4. 5m
  • Draft: 2.2m
  • Foil configuration: Primary p-foil, single T-rudder
  • Displacement: 4800kg
  • Fuel cells: 2 x Toyota 80kW
  • Motors: 2 x 220kW
  • Batteries: 2 x 42kWh
  • Tanks: 4 x 8kg Hydrogen @ 350bar
  • Cruise Speed: 30kts
  • Range: 180km (typical chase boat working cycle)
  • Top Speed: 50kts

Related Articles

Project Landspeed: Heading back to the drying lake
The land speed team will head back to Lake Gairdner this weekend and the prospect of 200km/h runs The land speed team will head back to the lake this weekend to set up for what is hoped will be a couple of weeks of dry lake speed runs in breeze forecast to be 20 knots + to help work Horonuku up closer to the 200km/h mark. Posted on 29 Nov
Project Landspeed: On hold for a fortnight
Horonuku goes back into the shed waiting for the lake to dry out in the increasing temperatures. After the wettest October on record in Australia, the Land Speed team have decided to put ‘Horonuku' back in the shed for a couple of weeks to have a break while allowing more time for the surface to dry out in the increasing temperatures. Posted on 9 Nov
Project Landspeed: Horonuku starts speed runs
making the most of every vital window that becomes available to get more speed runs in. After an enforced break over the past week for the Project Land Speed team at Lake Gairdner they are back on location making the most of every vital window that becomes available to get more speed runs in. Posted on 2 Nov
Project Landspeed frustrated by more rain
Project Landspeed goes on hold while team wait for Lake Gairdner to dry off after new rainfall It has not been an easy few days for the Land Speed Team on Lake Gairdner. Like much of Eastern Australia, it too has seen more precipitation than welcome. Posted on 21 Oct
Project Landspeed: A creep of frustration
The creep of water was accompanied by the creep of frustration on Lake Gairdner The creep of water was accompanied by the creep of frustration on Lake Gairdner for Glenn Ashby and the land speed team as near perfect winds blew across the wetted lake surface restricting any sailing again. Posted on 16 Oct
Emirates Team NZ receives prestigious award
“Value of Design Black Pin” at Best Design Awards Emirates Team New Zealand was recognised alongside the best of New Zealand design industry at The Designers Institute Best Design Awards 2022 on Friday evening at Auckland's Aotea Centre where the team received the prestigious "Value of Design Black Pin". Posted on 11 Oct
Project Landspeed: Horonuku hits 156kmh
The team managed to get four runs squeezed into the afternoon session in a breeze of 15-18 knots The team managed to get four runs squeezed into the afternoon session in a breeze of 15-18 knots and Ashby and the team were pleased with the progression forward. The team hit 156kmh in a 15-18kt breeze - 50kmh short of the record. Posted on 11 Oct
Emirates Team NZ: Lessons from Lake Gairdner
The Project Speed team reflect on the lessons learned from the first day on Lake Gairdner The Project Speed team reflect on the lessons learned from the first day on Lake Gairdner, and have to cope with an unexpected but probably unsurprising issue. Posted on 9 Oct
Emirates Team NZ: Horonuku gets a first salt run
ETNZ's land yacht ‘Horonuku' has had its first day of sailing on Lake Gairdner, in South Australia Emirates Team New Zealand's land yacht ‘Horonuku' has had its first day of sailing on Lake Gairdner, in South Australia, with pilot Glenn Ashby behind the wheel, in his bid to eclipse the 2009 wind-powered world record speed of 202.9 km/h. Posted on 5 Oct
A busy week getting Horonuku to the Lake
It has been a week like no other so far in the wind powered land speed world record campaign It has been a week like no other so far in the wind powered land speed world record campaign, with Horonuku finally reaching its destination at Lake Gairdner in South Australia. When Glenn Ashby said last week “Lets get ready to go” he meant it. Posted on 1 Oct
Armstrong-Logo-Only-728x90 gif BOTTOMHyde Sails 2022 Wuzzos - FOOTERUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTER