Bill Gates Orders World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Superyacht for £500 Million

Gates is a renowned philanthropist and investor into a Californian start-up aiming to turn sunlight into a source of heating ; For your free ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems Gap Analysis Checklist, click here.

Microsoft founder, Bill Gates has become the owner of the world’s first hydrogen-powered superyacht, signaling a possible change in tact for the marine industry in terms of environmental considerations when powering vessels large and small.

The news comes via a report from The Guardian who says that “tucked away below decks - two 28-tonne vacuum-sealed tanks are cooled to -253C and filled with liquid hydrogen, which powers the ship. The fuel will generate power for the two one-megawatt motors and propellors via onboard fuel cells, which combine hydrogen with oxygen to produce electricity.”

The only byproduct released into the water, is water.

The Sunday Telegraph is reporting that despite its revolutionary hydrogen fuel cell, it will retain a conventional diesel engine as a backup, considering the scarcity of hydrogen refueling stations across the globe; particularly in positions that the yacht will be able to access.

Bill Gates is a well-known investor in alternative fuels and other philanthropic projects. Industry and transport combined are said to be responsible for as much as 75% of the world’s carbon footprint, and as an investor in Californian startup company, Heliogen, Gates is potentially signaling a new direction to power both industry and transport further into the 21st century.

According to The Guardian, Heliogen “aims to turn sunlight into a source of heating exceeding 1,000C that could help replace fossil fuels. It is the first company in the world to concentrate sunlight to reach temperatures that are high enough to power heavy industry without carbon emissions.”

The vessel was first unveiled at the Monaco yacht show last year by Dutch design firm, Sinot. The marine designer responsible for the vessel, Sander Sinot said that “for the development of the Aqua we took inspiration from the lifestyle of a discerning, forward-looking owner, the fluid versatility of water and cutting-edge technology, to combine this in a superyacht with truly innovative features.”

The yacht has five decks, accommodating 31 crew members and more than a dozen guests in quite possibly the most luxurious setting on the seas. The decks feature gel-fuelled fire bowls, which eliminate the need to burn wood or coal to keep its guests warm; said to be for environmental reasons.

The superyacht is set to be completed in 2024.

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