Hydrogen Sailboat Secures Storage Needs

Taking another step toward commercializing a line of sailboats that could power, and propel themselves entirely from hydrogen fuel cells, the HaveBlue company secured a partnership to solve their boats’ hydrogen storage needs.

Ventura Harbor, California – January 22, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] HaveBlue reached an agreement with Texaco Ovonic Hydrogen Systems (TOHS) that calls for the company to provide the developmental metal hydride hydrogen storage system for HaveBlue’s X/V-1 marine hydrogen fuel technology demonstration vessel. The first of its kind, the X/V-1 is a modified Catalina 42 mk II provided by program sponsor Catalina Yachts that will use hydrogen energy produced through renewable resources to economically deliver all required power and propulsion. The X/V-1 program, which has received positive attention from both the yachting and environmental communities, is commonly considered the first example of a critical early adaptor market in the practical application of hydrogen as a transportation fuel, said HaveBlue. “We are thrilled to have a world class leader, like Texaco Ovonic Hydrogen Systems, join the X/V-1 program,” said Craig Schmitman, President of HaveBlue LLC. “Sailing yachts are the perfect early adopter of hydrogen as a fuel, and we believe that the vast majority will be ideal for application of metal hydride hydrogen storage technology like the systems produced by Texaco Ovonic Hydrogen Systems.” HaveBlue’s patented propulsion and power generation system produces renewable hydrogen from purified sea water using clean energy power sources such as solar panels, wind generators and regenerative electric drive motors. With HaveBlue’s self-contained systems on board the emissions, noise and odor associated with conventional internal combustion engines are eliminated. “Our advanced proprietary hydrogen storage technology opens the door to new applications like the innovative marine fuel technology being developed by HaveBlue’s technology team. We’re excited about the commercial opportunities HaveBlue’s renewable self-contained onboard systems could create within the sailing industry and look forward to collaborating on this initiative,” said Mark Schiller, Manager of Sales and Marketing for TOHS. HaveBlue has teamed with sailboat builder Catalina Yachts, to build its first full-scale technology demonstrator. The X/V-1 will complete testing and public demonstrations of HaveBlue’s patented technology through 2004, with the goal of limited retail availability in 2005. TOHS will provide its storage system technology using proprietary metal hydrides to store the hydrogen produced by HaveBlue’s patented technology in a safe, solid form aboard the modified Catalina 42 mk II and will also provide technical support. TOHS’ said their storage systems offer numerous advantages over traditional hydrogen storage methods including environmentally friendly components, higher performance, greater hydrogen capacity, better absorption and desorption, and competitive costs. Financial terms of the agreement were not released. TOHS will also join the list of industry leaders sponsoring the X/V-1 technology demonstration program. Subject to the completion of a successful test program, the agreement further calls for TOHS to become an approved supplier to licensees of HaveBlue’s patented technology and HaveBlue will also become an authorized wholesale distributor of TOHS systems to the marine marketplace.

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