Zero-emissions hydrofoil uses minimal energy by floating above the water
Image credit: Artemis Technologies
A zero-emissions, high-speed hydrofoil has launched that runs on electricity and 'flies' above the water.
Developed and built in Belfast, the vessels - which cost £12m to develop - can achieve a top speed of 34 knots and a range of 60 nautical miles at 25 knots cruise speed.
Developers Artemis Technologies said the vessels achieve energy savings of up to 90 per cent compared to conventional fossil-fuel workboats.
The new boats fly 'silently' above the water to ensure a smooth ride for passengers, even in rough conditions, while creating a minimal wake, making them suitable for busy waterways.
Artemis Technologies is a spin-off from the Artemis Racing team that competed in the America’s Cup.
Its founder, Dr Iain Percy OBE, said: “Combining our experience from the worlds of high-performance sailing, motorsports and advanced manufacturing, the electric propulsion system that we’ve designed and developed is an absolute game changer for the industry in terms of range, costs savings and minimal wake created.”
He added: “With hydrofoils that lift the boats out of the water, we are dramatically reducing drag. This is coupled with a submerged electric drivetrain that is exceptionally efficient, as proven through rigorous testing with our partners, confirming what we had discovered through our own onshore digital simulations.
“The ride comfort of a hydrofoiling vessel through a large seaway has to be experienced to be believed, offering a completely smooth journey whatever the sea state. This will allow engineers in crew transfer vessels or port operations to get to their destination and deliver their services without discomfort.
“This is only the beginning. As our vessels transform the commercial workboat and city-to-city passenger ferry sectors over the coming years, Belfast and the UK will be at the forefront, creating thousands of jobs across the supply chain and heralding a green shipbuilding revolution.
“With the global small boat market worth $70bn, we are immensely proud to launch our first range of zero-emission vessels for the workboat sector, from which we have already received significant pre-market interest.
“This is a hugely significant milestone not only for us but in global decarbonisation efforts with the International Maritime Organisation requiring emissions to be halved by 2050.”
Maritime UK, an industry umbrella body, welcomed the new development.
Chairwoman Sarah Kenny said: “As an island nation, maritime surrounds all of us and its impact is felt in every community across the UK.
“We saw that during the pandemic, through the provision of vital supplies, and we are seeing it now as we bounce back, with maritime driving the net zero agenda and providing skilled jobs in all corners of the country.”
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