ZeRo Superyacht is a beautiful hydrogen dream for a clean future
Some distance into the future is the hydrogen-powered superyacht ZeRo, perhaps one of the most striking concepts at this year’s edition of the Monaco Yacht Show. This is the latest project from Australia-based design studio Sorgiovanni, a veteran of the superyacht scene both when it comes to actual builds and exceptional concepts. Notable designs by Sorgiovanni include Nirvana, Barbara and White Rabbit, and the superyacht Explorer Frontier.
ZeRo imagines the brightest future of luxury sailing: it is powered by hydrogen and therefore completely free of emissions, noise and vibrations, and still incredibly luxurious. Powered by hydrogen, it emits only water, offers a long range and a full set of ecological credentials, but in a classic timeless form, containing all the amenities without which one percent cannot live.
“My vision for ZeRo was to create a futuristic and holistic shape while maintaining a timeless elegance with the hull embracing the superstructure to create a striking yet elegant hull shape and understated superstructure. “ designer Sam Sorgiovanni said of the project.
Measuring 315 feet (96 meters) and spanning multiple bridges, details of the ZeRo have never been released. The design studio notes that the study could be further extended if an interested party shows up.
At the time of going to press, what is known is that ZeRo features a semi-planing hull with a pointed bow for increased efficiency and stability, and higher performance. In other words, higher speeds but without compromising on smoothness. The powertrain includes hydrogen tanks and hydrogen fuel cells, along with electric motors and a storage battery. The combination of the two, the hull and the powertrain, would allow ZeRo to travel at high speed on extended cruises, with zero carbon impact.
The interior would live up to current expectations for a modern superyacht, based on the renderings. In typical Sorgiovanni style, ZeRo offers large open spaces for socializing, a generously sized beach club with a swimming pool and lounge area, sun terraces and alfresco dining, as well as storage space for at least a few matching offers. There is also extensive smoked glass for maximum privacy.
To preserve the sleek and futuristic silhouette of the superstructure, Sorgiovanni hid a touch-and-go helipad at the bow of the ship. It’s not a regular helipad, however. The area is actually meant for a personal drone, the kind that’s far into the future, which gives you an idea of when something like ZeRo could be built.
Hydrogen fuel cells are seen as a solid alternative for sustainable transportation, but they are also well known to pose serious challenges, such as storage and production, charging and costs. With all of this, yacht designers dream of the day when hydrogen superyachts could become the norm, and ZeRo is just the most recent example.
The project that aims to become the world’s first all-hydrogen superyacht is the aptly named Aqua, from Sinot Yacht & Architecture Design. At one point it was rumored that Bill Gates had purchased the 112-meter (367-foot) concept and would have it built, but as likely as the rumors seemed they were later disproved.
Theoretically, Aqua would run on liquid hydrogen, using two tanks to store it, vacuum sealed at -423 degrees Fahrenheit (-253 degrees Celsius). Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells would then convert liquid hydrogen into electrical energy, for propulsion and to power auxiliary systems. Sinot imagines that Aqua would deliver 17 knots at full speed and a range of 3,750 miles.
ZeRo is in excellent and wonderful company.