German electric solar catamaran builder ALVA Yachts is building a 90ft catamaran – the Ocean Eco 90 H2 – that will burn no fuel. The 85 ton vessel is propelled by electric motors and wingsails, with electricity supplied through a system using solar panels, hydrogen fuel cells and battery storage. The boat is scheduled to be on the water in late 2024
Commercial use including events and chartering
The undisclosed owner of the superyacht says he is “converting a dream to reality” with the goal of “highlighting to the public that we can sail safely, sustainably, with an environmentally fully clean system and with a high level of comfort.” He plans to use the Ocean Eco 90 H2 for commercial use including private and corporate events, and chartering.
ALVA has a full line of sailing, solar electric and hybrid yachts ranging from 50 to 90 meters, and the Ocean Eco 90 is also available in a standard all-electric and hybrid version that uses diesel generators to extend range.
The fuel free capabilities of the Ocean Eco 90 H2 are achieved through integration of different solutions:
- Wind propulsion is provided by twin AYRO Oceanwings with wind sensors on the wing sails.
- Mechanical propulsion is provided by twin 250 kW (total ≈680HP) electric motors
- Electricity is generated from 200m2 (2,150 sq ft) of solar panelling, which provide up to 40kWp.
- A hydrogen fuel cell from EODev is also connected to the 500+kWh battery pack.
EODev is the commercial arm of the Energy Observer research vessel, which is sailing around the world without emitting any carbon or particles. The fuel cell system on the Ocean Eco is a product of research and development on a similar set-up on the Observer. It provides electricity to augment the solar generation. This is supplied to the battery as necessary and used for propulsion or ‘hotel’ load – the electric amenities like lighting and air conditioning in the boat.
Similarly, the Ayro Oceanwings wingsail system has been refined through data collected from use on Energy Observer, which has sailed more than 50,000 nm with zero emission. A wingsail is essentially an aircraft wing turned upright that provides horizontal ‘lift’ (instead of vertical) to assist a boat being on tack. The Oceanwings are automated, with sophisticated software that monitors and analyzes wind and water conditions and adjusts the angle of the wingsail for optimum efficiency.
ALVA Yachts founded 2020
Holger Henn, CEO of ALVA Yachts, said: “We are very happy to have found such a confident and innovative client that pushes us to explore new technologies. What is special about this project is certainly the leap that we are making in technology. A superyacht that can operate without fossil fuel is something we could only dream of. But with the help of strong partners and a lot of effort from the ALVA team, we want to show what is possible in boat building today.”
ALVA Yachts was founded in Germany in early 2020 when Henn, a celebrated yacht designer who has won numerous awards, joined with Mathias May, previously head of business development at Silent-Yachts. their idea was to service the emerging market for luxury electric yachts with superyacht quality fit and finish.
True to their vision, the open flybridge of the new vessel has a sky lounge, cocktail bar and jacuzzi on the top deck. It offers a large beach club, water sports and entertaining areas coupled with spacious above deck living and relaxing zones that provide a modern ocean lifestyle.
There are twin bathing platforms at the stern and the aft deck is set up for al fresco dining or sunset cocktails with plush U-shaped seating for eight guests.
The Ocean Eco 90 H2 is extremely well-suited to accommodate both private events and chartering, with a large enclosed saloon and spectacular entertaining area with large dining table for twelve. The galley comes complete with full size fridge-freezer (there’s your hotel load) and features a large separate island with bar and stools.
Zero emission yachts getting bigger and bigger
The generous master suite boasts spacious lounge seating areas either side of the bed, a private study and walk-in wardrobe leading to a large en-suite bathroom with dual sinks. There is a twin guest room with en-suite and more guest accommodations in the other catamaran hull: two ensuite double rooms and two single rooms.
The Alva Ocean Eco 90 is part of a growing trend to bring electric and zero emission propulsion to large yachts. The new 120 Explorer by Silent-Yachts was a winner of the 2022 Gussies Electric Boat Awards. The Sunreef 80 Eco sailing catamaran just won a Yacht Club de Monaco Explorer Award for its use of solar panels incorporated into the entire hull of the boat. Soel Yachts unveiled plans for the Solar Senses 82 last year.
In some ways, the Ocean Eco 90 H2 and others are serving the advance of zero emission solutions the same way high speed racing is the proving ground for next generation technologies. The size of these superyachts means they have lots of room for solar electricity generation and can more easily accommodate increased battery sizes and weights.
In addition, their owners have the financial wherewithal to afford cutting edge technologies like fuel cells and wingsails along with the desire to contribute to climate change solutions. Expect to see more of these exciting innovations and yachts in the near future.
ALVA OCEAN ECO 90 H2
|Length LOA||27,50 m / 90 ft|
|Beam||13,98 m / 35.8 ft|
|Draft||1,20 m / 3.9 ft|
|Light Displacement||85 tons|
|Motors||2 x 250kW (2 x 480 kW optional)|
|Battery Pack||500+ kWh|
|Solar Panels||200m2 (2,150 sq ft) • 40kWp|
|Hydrogen Fuel Cell||EODev|