Boat Reveal

The team started in august with designing a flying hydrogen-powered boat. 26th of January we presented this design. Since then the team has been working hard to realize this design, to make a digital idea reality. In just 5 months we produced a brand new hull from scratch, we have turned and milled a lot of parts, we soldered our custum design pcb’s and wrote a lot of code to make al these separate parts work together. It is so exciting to see our hard work pay-off and the team is thrilled so present our flying hydrogen-powered boat.

This May 23rd the time is finaly there, our hydrogen-powered boat will be revealed! In addition to revealing our boat to the public for the very first time, she will be christend by Raoul Boucke aswell.

Location: Lake7, zevenhuizen
Time and date: May 23rd, 14.00 till 18.00

Reserve a ticket via the button down below

Here you can find the design of the flying hydrogen-powered boat of 2022. Spin around the model youself and read about the detail of our design.

A Flying hydrogen-powered boat

The first seaworthy monohull

This year was the first year we designed a hull for hydrogen. This led us to design a monohull, this means that the hull of the boat exists out of one piece. With this we also designed the first seaworthy monohull of the foundation. The two seaworthy boats before us used a trimaran. This monohull allows us to use all the space as efficiently as possible and be more manoeuvrable, which is important for our race.
On top of our boat we have two caps, but these are not just for show. If we have a hydrogen leak, the hydrogen will float upwards. Our two tanks are right below the caps, so the caps make sure the hydrogen has a place to leave the boat. This ensures more safety for our pilots in the boat.
Both the hull and the caps are made of carbon fibre, a light and strong material. To make sure our hull can withstand the rough conditions of the Mediterranean sea, we analysed exactly how many carbon layers we needed.

Isometric view
Front view
Hydrogen tanks
Tanks and fuel cell

16 kg of hydrogen

The hydrogen we use to propel our boat is stored in the tank, located under our caps. Our hydrogen is stored in a gaseous state at 350 bar. To make this comprehensible, 350 bar is the pressure you would feel when two elephants would be standing on the palm of your hand. And even under this immense pressure, our tank is still 2,3 meters long and has a diameter of 50 centimetre. Now in our boat, we will be carrying 2 tanks of hydrogen, this is 16 kilograms which is double the amount of last year’s boat!
From the tank the hydrogen goes to the fuel cell. A fuel cell is a device that uses the chemical energy in hydrogen and transforms this into electricity. Our fuel cell uses hydrogen and oxygen to form water and generate electricity. We use this electricity to power the our boat.

The beating heart of our boat

The beating heart of our boat is our fuel cell, but to understand how our fuel cell actually works, we need to take a closer look at hydrogen itself. Hydrogen is an atom, an element. A hydrogen molecule consists of two atoms. You see two protons and two electrons.
Hydrogen goes from the tank to the fuel cell and passes through the proton exchange membrane. This is like a filter that only allows protons to pass through, but it blocks the electrons. That’s why, when a hydrogen molecule reaches the proton exchange membrane, it splits up into two protons and two electrons. The protons then pass through the filter to join an oxygen atom on the other side to form water. Because of the membrane the electrons have to travel through an external circuit, producing a direct current. However, we are not just letting it go through any ordinary external circuit, we are powering our boat with this!

Fuel cell
Strut and foil
Back view

A FLYING hydrogen-powered boat

Besides building a hydrogen-powered boat in just one year, we also make it fly! When a boat picks-up more speed, the drag with the water increases leading to more energy usage. By making our boat fly we avoid using those big amounts of energy, making our boat much more efficient. When sailing the foils create an upwards force, known as lift. When sailing faster, the foils create more lift. The foils and the struts lift the boat out of the water when we reach our take off speed of 25 km/h
The waves we face when we fly on the ocean influence the balance of our boat. That’s why we actively control our foils with a height control system. We have three sensors that constantly measure the height and orientation of our boat. That means that, when our starboard side drops ever so slightly, our sensors measure this and tell the starboard foil to adjust its angle of attack: generating more lift and re-balancing our boat. This way we can stably fly for extensive periods of time.

Propulsion

Just like many other boats we use a propellor to move forward. However with our struts and wings underneath the boat the mechanism connecting the propellor to our electro motor is quite complex. The propellor has to be at the end of the strut so it will always be submerged even when we are flying. The electro motor however cannot fit in this strut. This make the usage of a driveline necessary. The driveline translates the rotating of the electro motor down the strut into the propellor, making it spin. This is how we can keep moving forward even when we are flying.

Strut and foil exploded
Top view