- Business - Sanlorenzo plans for net-zero superyachts in 2027

By SuperyachtNews

Sanlorenzo plans for net-zero superyachts in 2027

Sanlorenzo's R&D and technical department engineers together with Lloyd’s Register will tackle this challenge…

The Sanlorenzo Group has deservedly been regarded as one of the pioneers of responsible sustainable development in the market, and, as a listed company, its strategy is shared with stakeholders, becoming a formal commitment in the non-financial statement, which is measured and finally publicly reported. This ultimately earned the group the 'Sustainability Excellence Award 2022'.

Sanlorenzo announced that the introduction of innovations and technologies made to reduce the environmental impact of yachts is becoming an increasingly central part of the Group's Research and Development department's business plan. 

They have announced that an exclusive agreement was signed with Siemens Energy for the development and integration of combined reformer/fuel cell modules into the power supply system for hotel load on yachts between 24 and 80 metres in length, and after the decision announced in September 2022 to develop such a system for the specific requirements of the new 50Steel, they have also announced that the project's progress is proceeding right as planned.

The testing phase of the first reformer/fuel cell modules has begun, while the basic design of the methanol/water supply, power management, condensation and ventilation systems has just been completed. At present, the components of the complete system that will be installed on board the first 50Steel unit in the Sanlorenzo shipyard in La Spezia at the beginning of 2024 are under preparation. Concurrently, the project team is engaged in the risk assessment of the entire hotel power generation system together with Lloyd’s Register.

Once completed, the innovative application will represent the first concrete step in the generation of carbon-neutral power from new-generation fuels (E-methanol and bio-methanol) for the entire yachting industry. At the same time, Sanlorenzo are considering the development of a carbon-neutral power generation system, with a substantial increase in the power developed by the reformer/fuel cell modules.

This will make low-speed, wide-range navigation possible in carbon neutrality conditions through the hybrid propulsion system, overcoming the current limitations of systems, which in zero-emission mode (main engines and generators off) can only rely on the modest energy capacity of the batteries. This second step will also require a technological leap in the yacht's structure and plant configuration.

Sanlorenzo's R&D and technical department engineers together with Lloyd’s Register will tackle this challenge by focusing on the development of high-capacity structural tanks suitable for the new fuel. These will be compatible with the limited space available on board and will take into account the strict regulations currently applied to large methanol transport vessels.

The ultimate goal for Sanlorenzo includes an even more ambitious third step: the design and construction of a superyacht powered solely by green methanol. The generation of the power needed to sail at maximum speed will therefore no longer be tied to diesel engines, but rather will be based on a combination of fuel cells and internal combustion engines powered by green methanol.

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Sanlorenzo plans for net-zero superyachts in 2027


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User photoDavid Smyth - 27 Jan 2023 02:31

Terraform Industries is making machines that convert renewable electricity (solar and wind) into pure methane: synthetic, manufactured, non-fossil, and in fact carbon-negative natural gas. We extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and create the world's cleanest natural gas.

If the vessels burn Terraform manufactured natural gas in any natural gas burning electrical generating plant, such as microturbines or any internal combusting generator that burns natural gas -- consider that very many municipal vehicles and trucks, as well as many trains currently burn natural gas -- then the yacht's energy and propulsion can be net-zero.

No fuel cells required.

At Terraform, the approach we are taking is inexpensive, scalable and sustainable. We are making inexpensive machines that are manufactured on production lines that can be anywhere on earth: Mass production of our machines ensures the cost of our machines will fall over time, like any mass produced product. The cost of our manufactured gas is very close to the cost of a megawatt of electricity: today in Texas we can manufacture gas for $1 per thousand cubic feet, which is less than the cost of gas from fracking wells in the most productive and lowest cost shale fields on Earth.

Since our machines utilize only materials that are easily and inexpensively available globally, long supply chains are not required. Our production processes are simple: our goal is to build factories in small villages all over the globe. Wherever renewable energy can be created (which is literally everywhere on Earth) and where CO2 is in the atmosphere (again, literally anywhere on Earth) our machines can be manufactured and operated.

Since the CO2 is pulled from the atmosphere, and of course burning the gas puts the identical amount of CO2 back into the atmoshpere, this process can be repeated literally for billions of years.

One could use diesel created in a similar process, and that will certainly happen. So existing boats or any vehicle, really, do not need to be destroyed. However, the longer the hydrocarbon chain, the more processing required, and therefore the more expensive will be the cost of the molecule. Hence, synthetic natural gas -- the simplest hydrocarbon -- will be cheaper than synthetic gasoline or synthetic diesel or synthetic jet fuel.

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