ETNZ has developed a hydrogen foil hunting boat unveiled

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America’s Cup: ETNZ developed hydrogen foiling fighter boat unveiled

by Hamish Hooper/ETNZ media Feb 5 12:06 PST
February 6, 2022

America’s Cup Hydrogen Pursuit Boat © Emirates Team New Zealand

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America’s Cup Hydrogen Pursuit Boat © Emirates Team New Zealand


Emirates Team New Zealand’s hydrogen-powered pursuit boat prototype is in the final stages of a complex fit-out before its launch in March.

Construction of the boat began in August 2021 at the team construction facility on the North Shore, construction of the appendage is in its final stages and installation of the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain is underway at the team’s base in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.

The Toyota-powered ETNZ Hydrogen project has been important to Emirates Team New Zealand who, as America’s Cup advocates, are committed to driving hydrogen innovation in the maritime industry by working with clean technologies.

“The Hydrogen project was a whole new challenge on all levels for the designers, builders and engineers at Emirates Team New Zealand,” said Dan Bernasconi, Design Manager. “These types of projects are extremely beneficial for allowing guys to push boundaries, learn and continually approach issues from different perspectives, which helps to raise the bar in our approach to designing the 37th America’s Cup. which also progresses in parallel.”

The prototype foil boat is 10 meters long and approximately 5200 kg displacement, cruising speed will be 30-35 knots with a top speed of around 50 knots and will carry 6 crew members with a range of 150 at 180 km generating around 440 peak kW. powered by a 400V DC system powered by the hydrogen fuel cell.

“A project like this is not simple, and we had to bring together a wide range of suppliers and components for this prototype boat, some parts of which look like something out of Back to the Future,” says the project manager. Geoff Senior.

“Toyota New Zealand and Toyota Motor Corporation Japan played a significant role in the project by supplying the 2 Toyota pre-production 80 kW hydrogen fuel cells. Global Bus Ventures provided the design and system integration of hydrogen powertrain and Gurit has been a valuable partner for composite materials and engineering.


The four hydrogen storage tanks on board Hexagon Purus will store 33 kg of hydrogen gas at 350 bar while propulsion is via a Mercury bottom propeller which is integrated into the foils. The design of the foil wings by the Emirates Team New Zealand design team was largely based on AC75 technology and the autopilot that will be used to control the ride height is proprietary ETNZ technology that will be implemented in the new AC40 boats in production.

Michael Rasmussen ETNZ Mechatronics Engineer said: “It’s a learning curve for everyone involved, but it’s always the case as we drive technology into new territory. But with that comes a really focused commitment from everyone involved to produce something that we hope will achieve the goals we have set for ourselves in driving net change in the global maritime industry since here in New Zealand.

It will be an exciting but stressful time once we are ready to launch and test it, which seems to be the case with every boat created by Emirates Team New Zealand.

The prototype boat is set to launch early next month and will undergo an extensive sea trial to work through all the complex systems involved in flying the boat.

Sir Stephen Tindall, Emirates Team New Zealand Sustainability Ambassador and former Chairman of the Board, who as well as helping fund the project also believes that strategically clean hydrogen will be a very important part of New Zealand. Zeeland’s green sustainability in the future.

“Green hydrogen comes from renewables like wind, solar and hydro and once the hydrogen is used in the boat, the only by-product is water.” said Tindal.

“I believe our ambitious move to hydrogen powered boats by Emirates Team New Zealand will set the stage for powerboats as we did in launching the marine foil revolution. I look forward to seeing millions of hydrogen powered vehicles and boats over the next 20 years.

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