Sailcargo Inc has begun working with Costa Rican company Ad Astra Servicios Energéticos y Ambientales (AASEA) led by Costa Rican engineer and astronaut Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz. The two companies are supporting the “Hydrogen for the Sea” campaign that will promote the development and implementation of hydrogen fuel cells in the maritime industry.
The “Hydrogen for the Sea” campaign will initiate a joint funding effort aimed at demonstrating the implementation of a hydrogen fuel cell system in zero emission cargo ships. Thanks to Costa Rican national electricity being produced from 99% renewable resources the production of green hydrogen electricity from the national grid is a zero emission process.
Green hydrogen fuel cell systems will be implemented in future ships of Sailcargo’s Ceiba Line. This new line of ships will consist of 45 meter wooden sailing schooners. These tall ships are primarily propelled by a suite of 14 sails with 3 masts and a cargo capacity of 250 tons or 9 Teus.
All Ceiba Line ships will carry an auxiliary electric engine for use in low winds and ports, with future shipsusing green hydrogen fuel cells to power the auxiliary electric engine. Ceiba ships however, are being built with an integrated battery system that is regenerated from twin variable pitch propellers. The first ship is currently being constructed from sustainably harvested timber on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
A unique opportunity
Together Ad Astra and Sailcargo Inc are using this newbuild as a reference for modeling the use of green hydrogen fuel cell systems in the forthcoming ships. Both companies benefit from the unique opportunity to use the ongoing construction as a working example of how to design hydrogensystems in future wooden sailing ships.
Ad Astra’s research will include finding the optimum volume of hydrogen and corresponding fuel cell which can fit inside the predetermined ship structure. The first Ceiba ship is aimed to be in the water in 2022.
According to Sailcargo Incs Corporate Director John Porras, Ad Astra shares the same vision andinnovative approach as his company which provides opportunities to jointly promote these types of projects.
For Dr. Chang Díaz this collaboration once again demonstrates the potential of the projects that are being developed in Costa Rica. “The best way to change the paradigm and educate the population is throughdemonstrable and real projects that can give visible results as we are doing.” said Dr. Chang Díaz.
Ad Astra Rocket Company
Ad Astra Rocket Company (AARC) is a leading spaceflight technology company dedicated to the development of advanced plasma rocket propulsion. The renewable energy division is led by Ad AstraServicios Energéticos y Ambientales (AASEA) in Liberia, Costa Rica.
AASEA is working on developing further renewable energy infrastructure in Costa Rica and its surrounding region by offering solar andwind power energy storage and waste to energy conversion solutions.
Vision For the Future
Sailcargo Incs vision is to offer zero emission value added shipping services helping to promote access to sustainable supply chains. For the first Ceiba ship, currently under construction, the sailing route is from Costa Rica to Hawaii and Canada. Future plans for Sailcargo Inc include the construction of 2 new zero emission ships and the exploratory phase of opening 2 new routes: the Caribbean Line and the Transatlantic Line.