> Powerboat-World.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Newsletters FishingBoating Features Photo Gallery Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising
MarineBusiness-World

 

Sail-World.com : Hydrogen assisted Sailboat – the Making of a Dream

Hydrogen assisted Sailboat – the Making of a Dream

'Morning Star - the yacht which inspired it all'    .    Click Here to view large photo
Jim Harrington is the very essence of an inventor – with an impressive history of electronic and mechanical product design in astrophysics, geophysics and oceanographic – but it took the experience of messing about on his 42ft ketch Morning Star to inspire this dream.

'It was early February 07 and I was running up the diesel engine in Morning Star. With diesels, there is smoke, smell, and the noise, all of which cannot be good for me - or the environment. So I thought, is there not a better way? In early 1970 I had seen a fuel cell onboard an Apollo spacecraft and that came to mind, followed by the question, is it time for this technology to be used?'

Since then, Harrington has worked with friend Ian Soutar, who works in the fuel cell laboratory at the University of Victoria, to develop a 5 hp outboard which will cleanly and silently replace the fuel hungry diesel or petrol engine for the weekend sailor. The process is simple: The fuel cell ('a high powered solar panel that works in the dark') powered by hydrogen('sunshine in a bottle') on the boat charges the battery power box; which in turn runs the motor driving the boat without the use of the sails. While under sail, the small fuel cell recharges the battery pack back to full charge in a short time period.

It seems like a modest ambition, but if achieved, it could be the start of a whole new way of powering yachts – not to mention other types of transport. 'Not that different from the development of the automobile,'says Harrington, and, referring to the lack of hydrogen pumps on every corner, 'and let us also note that there were no gas stations on every corner then, but look at it now.'

But the way is not easy: Harrington began by looking for Government Research and Development money to develop his idea, and with his background, you would think that would be easy.

However, as he remembers, 'I was told the use of fuel cells was too risky and that there was no potential to commercialize such a product. Then, 6 months later, when we succeeded at getting a system that works, we were told that we still did not qualify for funding. The same government research and development agencies that initially refused funding now could not fund further development of the system because the project was now considered to be simple engineering.' As an afterthought, he adds, 'Almost like somebody does not want hydrogen projects to work out.'

The Jim D - typical of many sailing boats for which the planned motor would be ideal -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo
This left no option but for Harrington, determined to continue with an idea he thought had potential, to fund the project himself, with loans of the actual fuel cells from two manufacturers – Horizon/Igreen Technologies and Palcan Ltd.

Since then, working on many fronts at once, Harrington and Soutar have tested and evaluated various methods of achieving their aim. By September, on a boat used by Harrington for other research work – a bilge keeled sailing boat called Jim D - they had bench tested and installed a hydrogen fuel cell system on the boat, and tested it at sea.

They were ready to go!


Testing trip route undertaken on research sailboat Jim D to prove the potential viability of the system -  .. .  
On 1st September 2007, they undertook a 21 nautical mile sailing journey on Jim D which started and finished with hydrogen. 'What a beautiful ride it was, ' says Jim, 'Especially the portions while under fuel cell drive. The boat slipped quietly through the water almost totally quiet except for the occasional puff of water vapour coming out the fuel cell's exhaust.

This was a valuable experience for the unfunded project. 'It has pointed to the strengths and weakness of the overall method and systems available. It has also shed light on how to do this for a very reasonable price. This small system is a good emergency motor power system and a good APU set up for the sailboat.'

However, the achievement, while impressive and showing the way forward, is only the first of a five stage plan.

Stage 2 involves the introduction of a 1Kw fuel cell and high pressure tank arrangement for the storage of the hydrogen, overall cost and safety being the major concern.

Stage 3 will involve achieving 100 lb of thrust by the use of 2 of 1KW fuel cells supplied by Palcan, and reduction in the weight of the overall system through the use of high voltage AC electric motors.

Stage 4 will take the thrust to 250lbs, and during these stages adaptor kits will be developed to be able to retrofit old Evenrude or Mercury gas outboards.

Stage 5 will involve the finalisation of both the form and function of the fuel cell powered 5hp outboard, and market it as a kit or complete product. Harrington plans to 'hand the system over to some group that would like to sell the system.'

Fuel cell in situ -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo
All of these stages require time, and money, to achieve. There are many issues to be solved. Hydrogen supply is one of them, because the easy and cheap availability of hydrogen is as a by-product of the petroleum industry. Hydrogen storage is another. Temperature is yet another issue, as there is water vapour present in fuel cells, making their use in cold climes problematic. The list goes on....

However, this project, as positive and forward looking as it is, is a money drain, not a money producer, and Harrington, who heads a company called A.G.O. Environmental Electronics Ltd, (www.agoenvironmental.com) must spend time on money making projects.

Hence it is difficult, because of the lack of funding, to keep the project moving forward. 'Since this is not my day job, but my hobby, all I can say is 'so much to do, so little time......'

To learn more about the technicalities of the project, go to the web page


To discuss the project, email Jim Harrington on info@agoenvironmental.com

Jim D moving, powered by fuel cell -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo




by Nancy Knudsen

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.powerboat-world.com/index.cfm?nid=40335

8:04 PM Fri 28 Dec 2007 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Power Boat News







Yamaha inspires students to succeed by Yamaha Motor Australia,








Swan celebrates sales success *Feature by Jeni Bone,




Polar research: Six priorities for Antarctic science by Mahlon C. Kennicutt II and colleagues,


Stealth i14 out of China by Neil Patchett,














































Refurbished Protector project 'better than buying new'
Gold Coast International Marine Expo - High-Diver Steve Black is back
4x4 Outdoors Show, Fishing and Boating Expo - Campfire cooking corner
See the heat with FLIR ONE *Feature
John Temple to retire, Will Sangster appointed General Manager
Multihull Central launches Aquila range at SIBS *Feature
If all else fails read the instructions!!
If all else fails read the instructions!!
Sun shines on recreational boating at Sydney International Boat Show
Phuket Yacht Show: new kid on the block taking on PIMEX? *Feature
2014 Offshore Superboat Championships - The boats are back!
Sydney International Boat Show - Days 3 & 4 *Feature
Kirby Marine launch 13metre Naiad Tender
Shellfish reefs in Port Phillip Bay to be rejuvenated
2014 Brisbane Boat Show - What's your trailer boat worth?
Custom exhaust system solves buoyancy problem
Sydney International Boat Show - Day 2 *Feature
Marine Rescue volunteers celebrate new unit and $120,000 vessel
Sydney International Boat Show - images from Day 1 *Feature
Pantaenius Insurance - being seen in yellow, green and orange *Feature
Sydney International Boat Show begins!   
Sydney International Boat Show - Changed conditions on Sydney Harbour   
Fraser Island annual fishing closure starts August 1   
Mildura boaters reminded Murray River will be low until mid August   
Gold Coast Broadwater no closer to welcoming supermaxis *Feature   
Sydney International Boat Show - all systems go!   
UK superyacht industry on the rise   
EOMAP modelling shows what's under our water   
Great Barrier Reef in a bad state, and getting worse   
Gold Coast International Marine Expo - Organisers add extra sites   
Series Point’s Championship - Formula Two team secures a second place   
Marine Rescue volunteers called to rescue second vessel out of fuel   
Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart   
Marine Rescue volunteers rescue seven in marathon operation   
Watch this whale lift a Kayak clear out of the water   
Clipper Motor Yachts expands with Boat Equity   
Check out the Fountaine Pajot Saba 50 at Autumn boat shows   
Brisbane's biggest outdoors expo to celebrate ten years   
Vietnam Marina Development: ONE°15 Vung Ro Bay Marina Resort   
Sydney Harbour welcomes premium boat storage   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png   http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW PBW
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT