Hydrogen to power next America’s Cup chase boats

Emirates Team New Zealand has committed to develop hydrogen powered chase boats for the 37th America’s Cup.

The team’s been working with AFCryo, a Christchurch based innovative company in design, development and manufacture of composite cryostats for the cryogenic and superconducting industries.

Currently ETNZ designers are working on a prototype hydrogen powered foiling chase boat, to be built at the team’s North Shore build facility.

Once launched and verified, and with the support of Ineos Team UK, it is possible that the protocol for the 37th America’s Cup will contain a provision that all teams must use hydrogen powered support boats. This would also apply to the 20+ event and race support boats which will have a considerable impact on the reduction of consumption of fossil fuels across the event.

“Emirates Team New Zealand continues to be at the forefront of innovation and we intend to really drive the development curve of new and clean technology in the marine industry,” says ETNZ CEO Grant Dalton. “It is our hope that we can make a seismic shift into hydrogen power and an emission free statement for the industry. This initiative is not without risk as we have very specific operating criteria within the team and the America’s Cup, so it is not a small undertaking.”

Technical director Hugh Reynolds is leading the project for AFCryo.

“As an organisation we have been working in cryogenics, and clean-tech solutions, for 17 years,” Reynolds says. “We are a strong proponent of green hydrogen and are manufacturing hydrogen production systems in New Zealand. It is exciting to work with Emirates Team New Zealand on such an aggressive development curve and timeline to deliver on water hydrogen storage and power. The opportunity to contribute to such an exciting project aligns perfectly with our view of sustainable future energy.”

“For nearly two centuries the America’s Cup has pushed the boundaries in design and engineering, whilst ensuring innovation benefits the wider marine industry,” says Sir Ben Ainslie, for Ineos Team UK. “With so much investment in hydrogen across the world, shifting to foiling chase boats, powered by hydrogen could well prove to be a sustainable and practical solution for the future of the marine industry, while supporting the AC75s which are reaching speeds in excess of 50 knots.”

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