The quirkily named Water-Go-Round will demonstrate the viability of hydrogen fuel cells onboard supply vessels, ferries and a range of workboats.
‘Water-Go-Round’ will show hydrogen power is viable
Joe Pratt of Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine (GGZEM) told MJ his company GGZEM and a range of partners are on a mission “to show our communities there is a long-term solution” to pollution and climate change emissions. In fact, Dr Pratt originally developed the concept for the boat when working at the Sandia National Laboratories, and has recently set up GGZEM “because it was just too good an idea to let go, I wanted to see it through to reality”.
Supported by a $3m California Air Resources Board grant, this will be the first commercial hydrogen fuel cell vessel in the United States.
The boat is being designed by Incat Crowther has a 22-knot top speed and will be built by Bay Ship & Yacht Co of Alameda. Dual 300 kW electric motors using independent electric drivetrains from BAE Systems will be installed, with power generated by a 360 kW Hydrogenics proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell bank and Li-ion battery packs.
Hydrogen tanks from Hexagon Composites, with valves and hardware from OMB-Saleri, are installed on the upper-deck and contain enough hydrogen to go up to two days between refuelling. GGZEM’s ‘zero infrastructure’ flexible bunkering arrangement allows the Water-Go-Round to be fuelled anywhere with truck access.
After the vessel is launched it will be operated for three months in San Francisco Bay. During this period Sandia National Laboratories will independently gather and assess performance data. CARB will use the real-world data to verify the suitability of the technology for marine use. The partners will also collect feedback from passengers and operators to assess the best commercial markets.
Red and White Fleet will operate the multi-purpose vessel for the demonstration and plans to purchase the Water-Go-Round as the first of several vessels with GGZEM integrated powertrains in order to meet its commitment to a 100% zero emission operation.