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ALVA Yachts announces its first hydrogen-powered 90' yacht

ALVA Yachts, a German builder of luxury electric solar catamarans and sailboats, recently announced a new partnership with EODev to provide hydrogen powered fuel cell technology implemented into ALVA Yachts vessels, thanks to the 70kW REXH2® range extender, which will be integrated by Seco Marine.

High-tech to enjoy the seas without impact

The first ALVA Yachts unit to be equipped with EODev's REXH2® is the latest 90' Ocean Eco Explorer, whose construction has already started at ALVA Yachts' shipyard in Turkey. Based on the same platform as the Ocean Eco 90, the latest iteration incorporates Ayro's Oceanwings® wind propulsion system and EODev's REXH2®, two major innovations intended to enable the Ocean Eco 90H2 to increase substantially its autonomy. Powered by electric motors coupled to batteries charged by 200 square meters of solar panels, this first Ocean Eco 90H2 will be used both privately and commercially as the owners want to “emphasize to the public that we can sail safely, sustainably, with a completely clean system for the environment and with a high level of comfort".

The Ocean Eco Explorer 90' only requires 60 kW of energy to be propelled at 7.5 knots, without taking into account the power delivered by its Ayro's Oceanwings® rigid sail. Whilst its solar panels can supply more than the needs, it is well known that solar power remains intermittent. The principle is therefore that any excess solar power production is used to recharge the batteries, for a total of 420 kWh in 12 batteries; but even then there may be times when there is no sun and the batteries have been discharged. It is in this instance that the reserves of hydrogen will come into play: with its 24 type 4 composite tanks that contain 200 kg of hydrogen compressed at 350 bars, the Ocean Eco Explorer 90' will benefit from more than 300 hours of full hotel load and low power propulsion needs from its hydrogen supply.

Holger Henn, President and CEO of Alva Yachts, is delighted with the journey undertaken: "A superyacht that can operate without fossil fuel is something that we could only dream of a few years ago. But, with the help of partners solid and innovative customers who push us to explore new technologies, we show that it is possible to build sustainable yachts today", and also to specify, "We also thank the classification body DNV which has proven its proactivity, and was able to establish new rules specifically based on this project, the particularity of which is certainly the technological leap we are making."

Shaping the future right now

Milan Henn, lead designer at ALVA Yachts, said: “We had previously developed a fuel cell solution for our Ocean Sail 72 and Ocean Sail 82 and this saw us substitute the diesel genset for a fuel cell, but the whole boat was still a serial hybrid. This new partnership with EODev gives us the opportunity to offer the options of fuel cell technology alongside our solar power which will really appeal to our already eco-conscious customers. Customers will now have the option of hydrogen power for any future orders moving forward."

In fact, a number of other ALVA Yachts' clients have already shown strong interest in the hybrid solution, where main power is delivered by the sun, and the hydrogen powered range extender will combine with the batteries onboard to provide direct energy for propulsion and/or hotel load.

Jérémie Lagarrigue, EODev's CEO, commented: "We're delighted to supply our REXH2® for this first Ocean Eco Explorer 90', as the initial step into a long-term collaboration with ALVA Yachts to offer their clients a standardized solution to further their range and autonomy. Interestingly, the additional use of the Oceanwings® reminds me of the Energy Observer project. Whilst it follows the same philosophy, ALVA Yachts is demonstrating that the combination of environmentally-friendly solutions applied to yachts is possible, is the way forward and is not just R&D."

Matthias May, ALVA Yachts' Managing Director, added: "It's a great undertaking, which would not have been made possible without the proven expertise of EODev, but also the trust of our client in both EODev's technology and our capacity to deliver a vessel that is being adapted to his objectives whilst retaining its original design and spirit."

Delivery of this first unit is expected to take place in Spring 2024, for a Spanish-based client, ahead of the America's Cup taking place in Barcelona in September 2024. It opens the path for ALVA Yachts to offer its customers a packaged and standardized solution that incorporates EODev's fuel cell technology as a standard option.

EODev attends the Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo at RAI in Amsterdam from 20-22 June, stand 5033, where the REXH2® which equips ALVA Yachts Ocean Eco 90H2 will be on display. For more, see also Alva Yachts and Ayro.